Faisal walked through his new home making a mental list of items he’d need to buy at the store – cleaning supplies and a few basic tools would be enough to get him started. It wasn’t long before the vile surroundings made him gag and he ran outside for a breath of fresh air.
Dead shrubs and trees were clumped together here and there over much of the property – firmly holding their ground, too stubborn to have fallen, refusing to allow themselves to be blown away by the wind. An eerie fog clung to the dead plants, and Faisal found that it floated over the little pond behind the house too.
Looking up from the pond Faisal spotted them, the graves of Jorja and Acadia Lynsky. Two headstones, side-by-side marked their final resting place. Two small headstones, proof that at an earlier time, Jorja and Acadia lived and breathed and existed – and it was too much. Faisal broke down and cried.
Needing to get away, Faisal hopped on his bike and rode hard down the hill toward the store, the wind stinging his eyes.
While Mamie was ringing up his purchases, Faisal mentioned some of the work he wanted to do on the house, adding that he had little experience with renovations. “You want to talk to Jake. He’s handy and I’ll bet he’ll help you out. Stop by his place after 7:00. He’s usually home, unless he’s fishing of course. Jantex Oil, across the road from the police station.”
Faisal killed some time at the library across the street from Night Owl Foods, then he paid Jake a visit. It seemed that the old man knew everything about leveling floors and laying tile, replacing laminate countertops, fixing gas lines and wiring, refinishing hardwood floors, and extending rooms. “If something gives you trouble, you’ll find me at the store, or here, unless I’m fishing of course.” Faisal thanked Jake for his help and headed home.
Faisal fixed the leak in the sink, cleaned it the best he could, then mopped up the puddle on the floor.
His growling stomach reminded Faisal that he hadn’t eaten since earlier in the day – a roasted apple will have to do. With the interior of the house in shambles, Faisal preferred to sleep outdoors in his sleeping bag. Weariness and the cool night air took over and Faisal was soon fast asleep.
While he slept, little Acadia rose from her grave and sat on the ground, rocking and laughing.
Startled from his sleep, Faisal walked over to where the toddler sat. She didn’t react to his presence, it was as if he wasn’t even there. She played with her feet and her nose, looking around and right through him. Faisal returned to his bag and fell asleep once again, this time to the sound of laughter echoing through the yard.
The ghost of Jorja Lynsky joined her daughter a short time later. Jorja wandered around the property, her previous home. She entered the house and went into Acadia’s old room, staring for a moment at the toddler’s charred crib. She haunted her old bed – now rusted, the bedding in ruins. Jorja picked up her daughter and held her for a short time before the toddler returned to her grave. Jorja mourned their passing, and then joined little Acadia beneath their headstones.