Friday 20 October 2017

Countdown to My Zombie Wedding Release - Day Four!

On Sunday I visited Mariel. 

I rang her doorbell, enjoying—as I always did—the sound of the clapper hitting the cast iron bell. It was much more satisfying than an electronic chime. There was no answer, which was unusual; Mariel was almost always home during the day. As a hypnotist, she usually works evenings, and most of the time she let me know when she was scheduled to work. I called her number. Again, no response. Just as I was starting to worry, she appeared on the path between her house and the next, waving at me.

“I thought I heard something!” She motioned for me to follow her into her backyard, then stepped around the side of the house again.

She was kneeling in front of one of her plant beds when I entered the yard. She was wearing a broad-brimmed hat, a pair of canvas gardening gloves, and an apron over a brightly coloured, floral dress. “I had a feeling I would be seeing you today.”

That was just uncanny—had a ghost given her a warning, too?

Glancing up from her work in time to see my shocked expression, she laughed. “I am sorry, Edward. I was only teasing you. I did not know you would be visiting today. Oh! I still have your tarp; have you come to get it?” She inclined her head in the direction of the folded canvas.

Seeing it brought back memories of the night I’d first found Kit. I’d been looking for that tarp, so I could use it to drag his body from the park where he’d been killed to my house. I hadn’t really thought of it since then. “No, you can keep it. You’ll be needing it to cover your plants soon anyway, right?”

She gestured at the plant bed, and the pile of pulled-up plants beside her. “I am getting everything ready for winter as we speak. Care to help?”

“You’re joking, right? I wouldn’t know which of these was a weed or not. I have the opposite of a green thumb. I have thumb.”

“That is true. Please, do not touch my plants.” Grinning at me, she continued her work.

I couldn’t tell why she selected some of them to uproot, while others got to remain; they all looked the same to me.

“To what do I owe the pleasure of your company, then?” she asked. The plant she held in her hand had small, round growths on its roots. I wondered if it was some sort of disease, but as she dug in the area around where she’d taken the plant from, she excavated several larger objects.

“Those are potatoes!”

Mariel sighed. “Yes, pitit mwen. Potatoes come from the ground. They do not simply appear in plastic bags at the supermarket.”

I blushed. “I-I know that! I’ve just never seen them growing before.”

She snorted, tossing a potato at me.

I actually caught it, and was very impressed with myself.

She motioned for me to put it in the basket beside her. “Clearly. I must be neglecting your education; I have taught you about herbs that will help you with your ghost busting....”

I rolled my eyes at her.

“...but I doubt that you could identify the plants they come from.”

Mariel had given me some of the herbs, already dried and looking like kitchen spices, and I’d bought the others online. I definitely had no idea what any of them had looked like when alive. “That’ of the reasons I’m here. Not to learn about plants!” My brain was so full of human anatomy already; if I had to add plant anatomy, it would probably give up the ghost entirely. Heh. “I was wondering...who did this job before me? Getting rid of ghosts. Helping people. I know it wasn’t you.”

“That is a very good question,” she replied, not looking up from her plants. “I was wondering when it would occur to you to ask.”

I loved when she told me I’d asked a good question. So often, I felt like I only asked her questions I should already know the answers to.

“There has not been someone filling that particular role in this city for a number of years, not since the last one died.”

My eyes widened as I imagined the last person who did exactly what I spent my nights doing dying in an epic battle against a powerful ghost.

Mariel laughed, patting my leg. “Sit down; I am tired of looking up at you. He was very old, Edward. He was not killed by ghosts.”

I sat. Phew. “What was he like?”

“I did not know him very well. Our paths seldom crossed, given the fact that I repel ghosts.” She smiled at me, flicking my arm with the long, slender leaves of the plant she was holding. “He would have liked you.”

That resonated deeply with me, made me feel like I was part of a tradition. That I was carrying on something, something that had begun before me and would continue after I died.

Learn more about the Undead Canadian Series here.

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Day Three

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