Is there love at first sight? Or even before then? Read on.
|Sylvia settled Aunty’s cape around her shoulders. “There.”
The crystal thingy like an upside down fish bowl was in place. “Now me.”
She made a final swipe at the funny woven band of cloth making a hat on her head. “Heavier than I thought. Funny thing. Now what?”
At the fragile young and innocent age of seventeen, Sylvia’s experience at fortune telling the future was little more than hoping Ronny Stokes would be on time for their next date. The further art of talking to the dead called forth during a seance had no romance at all. Blooming with life, It never had entered her mind. “Let’s see. Rub the crystal ball. Gaze into its depths. What do I see.”
Aunty wouldn’t be back for hours. Some mysterious trip to the bank sorting out funds, it was. Ire growing red hot after getting the mail. “And me alone, dumped off on the weekend, just because they caught Ronnie climbing up to my bedroom window.”
Now that had been romantic until her dad showed up in pajamas and slippers, putting a shotgun in her boyfriend’s face. Tears and threats joined his hasty retreat. “Will I ever see him again?”
Sylvia’s future seemed dim, indeed. “There’s not a ghost of a chance love will soon enter my life.”
“What’s the hurry?” The words floated, foreign, virile, male, invading her mind. “Your departed husband, Harry Arthur Turnbill sent me. He couldn’t make it on such short notice.” Mist swirled, pulsed in a vibrant cloud shining within the globe.
The face of a young man so handsome it took Sylvia’s breath away in a gasp emerged, eyed her with a wink and exclaimed, “What? A Virgin? Where’s Madam Mariam? Where’s the emergency? No patsy needing their fortune told? Who are you who called me and why?”
Sylvia jumped back in her chair. “Get out of my head.” Her arms and legs flailed for balance, lost.
The action wrought havoc with the crystal globe on the table. It rolled, teetered on the edge of the table and shattered where it landed. An explosion of glass, mist, glittered in the air. The face rose with it drawing the energy along. “Now, you’ve done it.” Accused the voice, no longer coming inside her head but from the shapely mouthed lips of a fully formed young man not two years her elder.
“Holy, Ghost.” Sylvia didn’t know what to do with herself.
“Not so holy, but ghost I am, or was. Name’s Henry Wallace, recently of Trenton, Ohio. And you?” The man shook himself, his body fine tuning itself from an incorporeal to an animated earthly being. He sat down in the patsy chair on the other side of the table while Sylvia attempted to gather back together her senses.
“You scared me to death. What kind of joke is this? How did you manage that trick? Did my parents put you up to this?” Sylvia’s rapid fire questions attacking the moment gave no time for a response and got none.
Henry Wallace shut her up by leaning over and nibbling on her lips. “Why aren’t you just the most adorable thing since Adam met Eve?”
There he was inside her head again. Touching her with a soul kiss had done it, happening so suddenly it made Sylvia respond without pause. The warmth teasing, stroking throughout her body left a delightful tingling sensation behind when he stopped. “What?”
“Fate. That must be it. Nothing happens by chance. I know you felt what I did.”
Sylvia felt a sudden sense of loss, of feeling incomplete, half of a whole. “Is this what true love feels like?” Sylvia searched his eyes before plunging into another kiss, feeling her breath escape and return in the next heartbeat with his.
“Told you so, bright eyes.” Henry tasted her words on his lips. “We were meant to be.”
The sound of the locked front door rattling broke the spell., “Honey? Let me in. I forgot my key. Never mind. I’ll use my credit card. Only good thing about having it. I’m broke, it seems.”
It was Aunty. Busting in, unaware of the scene set before her. “Bank is still sorting out the computer error. My identity is hijacked, dear. What a mess.”
“Eek.” she squealed, staring at the crunching crystal shards under foot and Sylvia dressed up in her garb. Madam Turnbill sniffed a sudden shiver of cold air. “What did you set free, girl? Are you out of your mind? Demon, saint, what manner of spirit lurks without my control?”
Sylvia knew. The ghost had fled. Without a crystal ball to fling itself into, her soul kiss had claimed him inside herself. The fusion gave her an inner and outer glow not to be denied. “There’s nothing you can do, Aunty,” Sylvia said, comforting the feeling of the ghostly transition of Henry hiding and shivering behind her smile. “We are one. It was meant to be.”
“You can’t be serious, girl.” Aunty grabbed her turbin, shoved it askew on her curls and unwrapped her niece from the cape. “What kind of relationship is that? You’ll never be seen with him. People will think you crazy talking to yourself. And what about kids? Ghosts can’t give you one.”
The voice of Henry Thomas escaped Sylvia’s next breath. “You forget the positives.” His deeper male aggressive tone made Aunty pause. “We know each other inside and out, when to give in and when to give aid. Our love transcends death, we have no fear or remorse.”
“Oh. Stop it. Come out of her. Stop hiding. Act like the man you once were.” Aunty assumed all the seance powers within her. She rubbed her temples mentally calling upon her husband to appear forthwith and take this young clown back with him.
Pieces of the puzzle once shattered crystal floated, reforming in midair, hovering and settling without a crack down upon the medium’s table. “Dear?” The flustered face of her deceased husband enquired softly. Their bond was ephemeral but had never broken upon his untimely accidental death.
“Hey, Henry Thomas. What’s up?” The feeling of intense cusp in the reflected looks of the others in the fortune teller’s room did not go unnoticed. “Who’s that young man coming through the door?”
All eyes turned towards the entrance. Ronny Stokes heaved a sigh, planted his feet and with hands on hips demanded, “Sylvia. I tracked you down. Come on, now’s our chance. Your parents are hot on my heels. It’s now or never.”
“No, you don’t. You’ll have to come through me first.” Sylvia’s loving ghost materialized in thin air but not soon enough to keep Ronny from barging through him, feeling his soul split in two for a brief second.
“All he wants is your body, babe.” Henry Thomas’ yelped from Ronny’s throat. “He’s got a backup broad dangling on the side. You know a Sally Rinehart?”
Ronny’s body seemed to vibrate in place as Henry extracted himself. It took a moment for his spirit mist to reform. Ronny’s pale, shaken face looked like and had just seen a ghost. The screech of tires and smell of rubber announced Sylvia’s parents outside. “I am so out of here.”
Ronny was helped along by being booted, flying a foot off the ground by the madam, her spirit husband and ghostly Henry Thomas levitating him on his way.
“Oh, let him be.” Sylvia floated into the arms of her new lover. “I’m grateful to him for teaching me what true love really is.”
It took a while to sort things out, a year if it took any time at all. Things settled down when Sylvia’s parents realized it was impossible to keep their daughter’s ghost and her apart. No wall nor lock could separate them when they wanted to be together.
Not wanting to worry them, Sylvia and Henry fortune telling of what might be, changed small frustrating calamities into good luck. The couple never took it too far to bring undo attention to changes in fate’s hand.
Madam Turnbill and her spirited husband helped them set up shop and learn the fortune telling/seance ropes when Sylvia turned eighteen and received her own crystal ball.
"It makes life so much less complicated," Madam Turnbill assured Sylvia. "People accept you for who you are."
And so it was.
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