“I remember my last Thanksgiving. I was dead a week later.”
I looked up from my work at Nigel the Ghost. He’d materialized in the chair across from me in the breakfast nook. Today his black hair was in kind of a side bang across his blue eyes making him look like he was getting ready to sling his guitar over his shoulder and go play in a Punk Pop or New Wave band somewhere. He was wearing a white shirt with a black vest, and black tie looking rather somber.
When someone tells you something like that words often are difficult to find, especially if it is a particularly ill-tempered ghost.
So I asked the first question that came to mind. “Did you ever figure out who killed you?”
“No. Not a clue. It still pisses me off. I was in the shower and then nothing. Blood running down the drain and the side of my skull was bashed in.”
“How long has it been?”
“Thirty three years.”
There was a pause. We looked at each other but nobody said a world. I could hear the clock ticking, and the dog no doubt doing bad things in the back yard like digging a hole the size of Lake Tahoe.
“I hate the holidays. And you’re a Vampire, here forever, and you don’t even eat Turkey.”
“Turkey isn’t really a Vampire kind of thing Nigel.”
“So what do you eat? Small babies? Unsuspecting travelers from other states?”
“Were you this rude when you were alive?”
“No, but I’m doing my best to haunt you with my rudeness since I know I can’t frighten you with loud noises and flying furniture.”
I got up and went to the kitchen for more coffee. I’d made a note to my self to go to Dave’s Bottle Shop later because they are having a huge sale of Poet’s Blood and Philosopher Plasma. I can get 20% off of case price. That also includes wine. In the meantime I had a ghost to deal with, or not. I didn’t have to deal with him.
For as long as I’ve known him I’ve come to expect him to be especially assholish around November and December.
“We could visit your grave if you like. Do you want to watch a movie? I could check Netflix.” I said. “All the new Christmas movies are coming out now.”
The room grew cold. He brushed his hair out of his face and glared at me.
“What do you want from me Nigel?” I asked. “You know I’m a Vampire. You know I don’t particularly like Ghosts.”
I got half and half out of the refrigerator, and poured it in my coffee. Nigel followed me. He leaned on the kitchen counter.
“I can see right through you,” I said.
He slammed his fist on the counter, making the entire house shake. “Oh, now you think you know my motivation. Just because you’re a Vampire…”
“No, I can see right through you. You’re transparent. I can see the dog looking through the sliding glass door.”
He lifted his hand and the door opened letting a muddy dog inside. She went to her dog bed and curled up. I turned away and the dog jumped up on the couch and pretended I didn’t know.
I looked at the mud on the carpet.
Nigel ignored the mud. “May I please have a cup of coffee? It would calm my nerves.”
The Ghost sat down at the table with me and held his hands around the hot mug. He took in the smell of the coffee he couldn’t drink. “Thank you. I feel better now.”
He didn’t apologize for his rudeness or the mud. That was fine with me. I don’t expect much from any Ghost, especially Nigel.
He looked up at me and gave me a half smile. “So are you going to blog about how diverse the paranormal community is, and how we all get along, and how everybody should be like us?”
“Nobody reads my blog or listens to me Nigel,” I said.
“It was a stupid idea anyway. Mind if Mary and I come hang out with you on Thanksgiving? How about the entire week when your kids are home from school?”
“Sure, that would be nice. Everybody likes Mary,” I told him.
“Thanks,” he said. “Please note Juliette that I did thank you. This is for Mary as much as it is for me. She likes you.”
Mary is Nigel’s Ghost girlfriend. Long story short, she was murdered in 1701 or sometime around then. They’re a good match. He is sweet when she is around. Love will do that, even to a surly perpetually pissed off ghost.
My family is used to Ghosts. We don’t always like them, but we accept them, as long as they don’t throw furniture around.
I’m never sure what the head count will be for Thanksgiving. All are welcome, even if we aren’t all exactly the same. And even if we are.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman