Chapter 5

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The next morning, I told my father I wanted to explore the attic but was too afraid to go up there on my own. Ecstatic that I'd taken an interest in anything besides moving back to Spokane, he agreed to escort me.

Jack, who'd popped back in my room around breakfast time, promised to hang out up there and wait for my dad to show.

"You can travel between floors now, at least. That's something!"

He shrugged. "I suppose."

He might not be impressed with himself, but I was. He'd only been haunting this home for two days and already he was gaining the ability to teleport at will. Granted, it was only between my cluttered bedroom and a musty unfinished attic, but still. If I could teleport, I wouldn't be moping around depressed just because I was dead.

The good news was that my dad thought we could convert the attic into an office space. The bad news was that Jack did a stellar dance performance for him that went entirely unnoticed. After taking a few measurements, Dad left to meet up with my mother at the restaurant where they were going over resumes for new kitchen staff. Anxious that they wouldn't find the right employees, their stress hung like a cloud of moss spores over the house. I barely noticed. Hiring a decent chef didn't seem nearly as pressing as helping a ghost figure out who he was and why he was haunting me.

Jack sat on the narrow ledge next to the attic's tiny window, sulking as he watched the world he couldn't be a part of go by outside. "I think you may be the only one who can see me, Mazie."

I pulled my t-shirt away from my skin and fanned it in and out. "It's hot as hell up here. Do you think we could talk some more down in my room where the windows are open and I don't have to breathe in a century of dust?"

He sighed and disappeared.

Back in my room, I did a one eighty. Jack had teleported out of the attic and might as well be on Jupiter for all I knew, because he wasn't in my bedroom. "Jack?"

"Mazie! I'm down here!"

Down here. I entered the kitchen a moment later and there he was. Jack could add a third floor onto his room resume.

"I had a flash of this kitchen before, but only a flash."

"See? This day isn't a complete disappointment. Maybe you'll be able to travel through the entire house soon. Except... stay out of the bathrooms, will you? That's just creepy. And who knows... maybe the better you get at this ghost thing, the more you'll be able to be seen by people. I mean, people besides me."

"I guess. Don't take this the wrong way, Mazie. I'm grateful that you can see me. But why just you?"

"My guess is that I'm a medium and I just never knew it before. Pretty soon, you're going to see a whole slew of ghosts coming through here, all of them wanting me to reconnect them with their loving spouses, or their kids. Or their mortal enemies so they can seek revenge upon them."

"Not sure if I want to be here for all of that."

"You don't have much of a choice. I'm making you my assistant. You'll keep my schedule and see that none of the ghosts try to hijack me, trading my soul for their own so they can live a new life using my body. None of those shenanigans."

Jack laughed. "Your friends back home must have thought you were so amazing. You always say the funniest things."

"Friend. I only have one, really. But she's a good one. And now you, maybe, so that makes two. I'm not like this with, um, living people usually, out there in the world."

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