The door burst open. The wind was howling and the rain was so fierce it was ricocheting off the door mat. He walked in soaking wet, water dripping on the hall floor.

She looked up from the kitchen table where she was sat, fear in her eyes, barely able to speak.

“What are you doing here?” she whispered.

Without answering, he walked to her couch and sat down, not bothering to close the door. Too scared to shut it, she shakily poured herself another shot of vodka and drank it.

“You shouldn’t be drinking,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Please leave. I don’t want you here.”

“I can’t leave without you.”

Desperation in her voice, she shouted, “Get out!”

Slowly, he stood up and walked to the door. “I’ll be back.”

He left without shutting the door.


Her head hurt as she peeled herself off the kitchen tabletop. She must have fallen asleep there. The sun was shining through the blinds and it looked as if the storm had finally gone.

“Ow, ow, ow,” she groaned as she stood up, holding her aching head. Shakily, she went to the bathroom and took out a couple of Advil from the cabinet. She downed them with another shot of vodka.

She looked over at the couch and could see the seat was still wet from where he had sat.

“I need some fresh air,” she said out loud.

Gingerly, she bent over to put on her shoes but had to sit on the floor to tie them up, as it hurt to bend over. She couldn’t find her rain jacket, but put on a sweater instead.

The sun felt good on her face and the air was fresh. The streets and sidewalk glistened from the previous rain; the grass sparkled. There were still lots of puddles that had to be avoided, but the walk was pleasant and seemed to clear her head. Before too long, she was near the intersection where the off-ramp to the highway was located. She could see police tape and a diversion. There must have been an accident, she thought as she approached. Two people were looking onto the scene and as she stopped near them, she heard them speaking about the incident. “It’s awful, isn’t it,” the older lady with a cane said. “Someone went the wrong way and hit the poor guy head on.” She pointed to the mangled car a short distance away. The gentleman standing next to her spoke, “I guess he died?”

“Oh, yes, the nice policeman was talking to me just before you came. He died on impact. The other car which is off on the shoulder must have hit him.”

“Did that person die, too?”

“No, that’s the terrible thing. It was a hit and run. The person left the scene, but whoever did it must have some injuries; just look at the cars?”

She looked over at both vehicles and they were unrecognizable.

“There was an awful storm last night, but to go the wrong way? Probably drugs or drinking involved.” The old lady tsked her disapproval.

Suddenly, her head began to ache and she needed to get away from there.

When she got back home, she looked in the garage and the car she had been driving wasn’t there. It wasn’t even her car. This wasn’t even her place. She was housesitting for a friend who was on vacation. After her marriage broke up, she needed some time to think. She couldn’t do it in the home she had shared with her husband, so her friend offered her the chance to stay here while she was away. She left her car as well, allowing her friend to drive it as her ex took the car and left her the apartment.

“My God, what has happened?” She cried. She felt the back of her head and her hair was matted with dried blood. “No, no, no, please, no.” She slumped forward and sat on the hard, cold concrete of the garage floor.

She was crying, sobbing, rocking back and forth. She felt a hand on her shoulder. He was back; still dripping wet, standing next to her.

“Jesus, get away from me.” She stood up quickly and backed away from him.

“Don’t you understand; I can’t. I can’t leave without you,” he said.

Realization set in. “I know you’re dead and I killed you, but please leave me alone.”

He didn’t move.

“You’re haunting me, aren’t you?”

“I told you I can’t leave without you.”

“Stop saying that! Look, I’m so, so sorry but I’m afraid to go to the police. It wasn’t my car; I’d been drinking. I’ve been drinking a lot lately. You see, my husband left me. I know that’s no excuse, but I’m so lost…”

She could see he was unfazed.

“Please just give me time to think. I promise I’ll go to the police. Just leave me alone. My head is hurting; I need a lie-down.”

“You can’t run away. I’ll find you. I know what you’re thinking.”

She was thinking she would go somewhere, run somewhere; she couldn’t go to the police.

She went to press the indoor garage opener to get away from him.

“Please, don’t do that,” he said with some emotion this time. “I need to show you something.”

Resigning herself to follow him, she thought, how can I run away from a ghost?

He walked into the house and into the bedroom.

“Oh, no, no way,” she said. “I’ve seen this in movies, where a ghost assaults a woman. I’m not going in there with you.” She backed away. He opened the bedroom door. “Look in the bed.” He pointed to the lump under the covers.

Despite her fear, curiosity took over. Tiptoeing to the front of the bed, she peered at the face on the pillow. The person’s hair was covering the face and she could see blood on the pillow. Gently, she pulled back the covers. It was a woman; she was wearing the clothes she had on now. She pushed back the hair off the face; it was her.

Screaming, she ran from the room. “No, no, it can’t be. It can’t be.” She wanted to run out the door, but she didn’t. Instead, she sat on the sofa, the same spot he had sat. It was wet. It didn’t matter.

He came over and sat on the chair, opposite her.

“I’m dead?” she asked, although she knew the answer.


“I don’t understand. Why didn’t I know? Why am I still here?”

“You’re in limbo. Due to the traumatic events, you can’t or won’t move on.”

“But why can’t you? I don’t understand?”

“I’m here to help you. I can’t leave without you.”

“You go, just go. I’ll come later, when I’m ready. I’m not ready yet.”

“You don’t get it. There is a protocol that has to be followed. I need to go with you. It’s part of my karma.”

“But I’m the one that hit you; you didn’t do anything wrong.”

“I have done some things that need to be accounted for. This is my penance, if you will.”

“I can’t. I’m afraid. I’ll go to Hell. Is there a Hell?”

“The Hell is here on Earth, not on the other side.”

She rolled her eyes. “You’re not kidding there.”

“You must be a young soul. How many lives have you lived?”

“I have no idea. You’ve had a lot?”

“Yes, around 20 or more. I was hoping this was going to be my last one. Now, I’m not so sure.”

“Fuck! Sorry, I suppose I shouldn’t be swearing.”

“Technically, you are still in the land of the living, so you will feel all kinds of emotions.”

“You won’t feel them up there.” She pointed to the ceiling.

“It’s not really up there; it’s more like a separate dimension. All you feel is joy. Anyway, we need to get going. I’ve been down here far too long.”

“How do I know you’re not lying and will ship me down to Hell? I mean, I did kill you.”

“Everything will make sense once we cross over. Please trust me.”

She looked down at herself, looked at her life, looked over at the guy she killed. “I guess I owe it to you.” She sighed.

“First, we have to get someone to find you. We can’t leave your body like that; it’s a desecration.”

“You mean we have to haunt someone?”

“No, just give them a nudge. He or she won’t see us. Who should we let know?” he asked.

She thought for a minute. “I guess the neighbor. She knows I’m staying here and she has a spare key, Mandy gave her one for emergencies.”

“Okay, let’s go.”

Before she could stand up, they were both in next door’s house.

Iris was sitting, watching her favorite talk show on TV. She could feel a cold breeze at the back of her neck. She looked over her shoulder to see if the window was open. It wasn’t. She shrugged it off and returned her attention to her show.

“Tell her to check next door,” he said to her.

“You said she can’t see me, so I assume she can’t hear me.”

“It’ll just pop into her head.”

“Okay.” She leaned into Iris and said, “Go check next door. It’s important.” She shrugged her shoulders and looked at him.

Iris suddenly turned the volume down on her TV and went to look outside her window. She was looking at Mandy’s house. After a moment’s hesitation, she sat back down again, turning the volume back up.

“What the…”

“Try again.”

She moved closer and yelled into Iris’s ear, “GO CHECK NEXT DOOR!”

He pulled her back slightly.

That did the trick; Iris abruptly turned the TV off and grabbed her keys from the key holder near her door, almost running next door.

“Is that it?” she looked at him expectantly.

“Yes, that’s it.”

She grabbed his hand, “I’m scared. I’ve done a terrible thing.” She bent her head down, tears welling up in her eyes.

“All our actions have consequences, but I promise you, these are the last tears you’ll shed…for now, well, until you’re back on Earth.

She nodded gravely.

“Ready?” he asked.

She took a deep breath and nodded her head.

Suddenly there was a golden vortex of light, swirling round and round.

They both felt an immediate calm, peace, and incredible love as they stepped into it.


Mandy was sitting in the airport waiting for her flight home, her vacation cut short by the tragic events at home. She clicked on a local news story.

“There is now closure on the tragic hit and run along the off-ramp to Highway 1 in North Vancouver. Vicky Kaminski was found dead in a home where she was housesitting. It is believed she entered the highway in the wrong direction and hit the vehicle of Grant Pearson head on. He died instantly according to the coroner. The vehicle she was driving was not her own but that of the person whose house she was staying at. It is believed she fled the scene of the accident after the crash and succumbed to her injuries later that night. Although it was the night of a terrible rain storm, it is believed alcohol may have played a part.”

“Oh my God, Vicky, what have you done.” Mandy cried. The newscaster was still speaking, “…Grant Pearson was a financial banker and due to appear in court following allegations of a Ponzi scheme he had been involved with…”