Tuesday, May 17, 2011


We lay in each other’s arms, our lust satiated in the most temporary way, hidden deep within the protective circle of salt on the living room floor. Sounds came from all around us, some the mischievous bumps of youthful spirits, others more malicious grunts and growls and slams. The house was alive around us, but neither of us could care at that moment.
“So what do we do now?” I asked Meredith as she traced a gentle finger around the tattoos on my left arm.
“We leave.” She whispered. Her eyes were nothing more than slits in the gloom. “We go back to my place and tomorrow morning you call your friend. “ She didn’t move, just the delicate touch of her finger on my arm and her heat wrapped around my body. “We’ll all meet up for breakfast, someplace neutral. I’ll explain things there and then we come back here and end this.”
She said everything very matter of factly, as if she was discussing our plans for any other date. Finally she rose to her feet and reached through the circle for her clothes. We got dressed inside the circle and then left the house. As I locked the door I could hear furniture milling about inside, as if it had gotten bored and simply decided to rearrange itself. Something crashed and there was a devilish laugh from somewhere deep inside the shadows.
I drove Meredith to her house and spent the night. We used each other’s bodies with reckless abandon, getting very little sleep and waking up tangled in each others arms, happy and very close to being in love.
“Call your friend and tell him to meet us at the diner.” She untangled her gorgeous body from the covers and got out of bed. “Then meet me in the shower.” Her smile was contagious and I had to return it.
            I called Tony and told him to meet us for breakfast in an hour, then rushed into the shower to play with Meredith some more. We were like two teenagers discovering sex for the first time, exploring our bodies and finding new and interesting ways to torture ourselves with a new found explosive lust.
We were late getting to the diner, but so was Tony and his family. Meredith and I walked into the diner holding hands, which got a strange look from my friend. I ignored it and we took our seats at a circular table, ordering an overly large breakfast with an extravagant amount of side dishes. Both Meredith and I had worked up an appetite.
“So what do you have to report?” Tony was getting annoyed with our playful banter wanted to get down to business.
“I bound the spirits to your house.” Meredith looked from Tony to me and then around the table at the rest of the family. “Which means the spirits can’t leave, they can’t follow you.”
“I don’t want them in the house.” Tony slammed his meaty fist to the table and everyone jumped. The dark circles under his eyes showed a deeper frustration there, an anger that came from his failure to protect his family. “I want them gone.”
“That’s the next step.” Meredith calmly explained. “First I bind them to the house, that way they can’t hide somewhere else. Then I will sit down with each of you in turn and get to know you, because each of you contributed to this in your own way. Once that is done I will now better how to evict the spirits and cleans the house.”
“What do you mean we all contributed to this?” Tony was flat out angry now, and I knew it would be up to me to explain.
“Relax.” I told him. “A doorway was opened up in your house and certain spirits attached themselves to each of you, it’s pretty normal for things to happen this way. Ghosts are like people, they find someone they can relate to and hang around them. For that reason you each have spirits that have connected themselves to you, so Meredith has to meet with you individually to see who and what has attached to you, and why. Once she knows this she can formulate a plan to rid your lives of them. It’s not a quick fix, things like this take time to do them completely. So just be patient and work with her. “
Tony calmed himself down and nodded slowly, sipping from his coffee and forcing his body to untangle itself. I could see the rage and frustration ebbing from his slowly as he quietly accepted everything and left it all in Meredith’s hands.
After breakfast we headed back to their house and I kept vigil in the kitchen with the family while Meredith prepared to speak with them one at a time. She meditated for a few minutes alone, allowing the house to wrap it’s energy around her and speak to her. Meredith was alone in the master bedroom, something I didn’t really like but couldn’t stop.
“Tony?” Meredith called from the top of the stairs. He gave me one last look and a feeble smile before heading up to talk to her. All of this was for show, and I knew it. Nothing that was going on in the house had come from Tony or his wife. Everything here was either a direct result of the telekinesis of Tony’s stepdaughter or something that attached itself to the energy she was creating.
Tony was upstairs for half an hour, and then Meredith called in April. She took hold of my hand and studied me for a few seconds before smiling at me. “Keep an eye on my daughter?”
“Of course.” I smiled back, braver and brighter than I thought possible, and April went up to meet with Meredith. Tony came down and sat at the table.
“Jennifer,” Tony took his stepdaughters tiny hand in his meaty paws and smiled at the girl. “You know how much I love you, right?”
“Um, sure.” The thirteen year old visibly blushed and couldn’t look him in the eyes. I tried to make myself invisible so they could share their moment.
“I know I get angry a lot, and sometimes I say things I don’t mean. I can be a real jerk sometimes, and I have no right to direct my anger at you. I promise that I am going to do better from now on. I promise I will treat you like a daughter, not a stepdaughter, because that’s how I see you. You’re my blood just as much as the new baby is, and I love you both the same. I’m sorry if I’ve made you feel any different.” A fat tear slid down his cheek and dripped onto the tablecloth. “Being a dad is new to me, and I know I am not very good at it. You deserve better, but I love you and your mom so much I want you to give me another chance, OK?  I want to do better. Maybe you can help me?”
“You’ve said some real mean things to me Tony.” Jennifer kept her hands inside of his, but now her eyes were looking back into his and the blush was out of her cheeks. “You’ve hurt me a lot, and made me hate you. I don’t want to hate you, I want you to be my dad. All I want is for you to love me.”
“I do love you, Jennifer.” Tony was crying now, tears rolling steady out of his cheeks as he worked to find the words. “I love you more than you will ever know, more than I could ever explain or show. I know I’m not really good at showing it, but I promise to try and do better.”
“Jennifer?” April walked into the kitchen and places a hand gently on her daughters shoulder. “It’s your turn honey. Meredith needs to speak with you.”
“It’s OK Tony. I love you to.” She looked at her mom and then back to her stepfather. “We can work on it together. Maybe you can take me to the park and we can hang out a little.”
“I would love that.” Tony said. He watched her leave the room and his wife rushed into his arms, hugging him and kissing his head.
“You’re a great man, and I love you.”  April squeezed him tight and kissed him on the lips.
“We’re going to be alright.” Tony pulled her away a little and held her arms, smiling through his tears. “We have a great family and we are stronger than this.”

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