going to suggest that he check offices, to see if there were big piles of drugs, or weapons of mass destruction or something. After all, he was the spook. The words dried up when Farley finally pulled himself to sitting and all the colour drained from him. Every bit.
“I’m going to lie down for a while,” he whispered. “I don’t feel that good.”
I opened my mouth to say something, anything that could keep him with me, but I was too late.
Blink, and he was gone.
Marie: Why Would a Ghost Feel Sick?
I stared at the spot where Farley had been, and knew that my mouth was hanging open, but couldn’t pull myself together enough to shut it. I’d never, ever, seen a ghost disappear like that. Ever.
What was going on?
I searched around as though he’d stepped outside my field of vision, stopping before I looked behind the furnace.
“Maybe he moved on.”
Even as I said the words, I knew they were not the truth. Spirits that move on are bright. Imbued with light. Farley looked like a smudge of shadow before he disappeared.
Sometimes spirits fade, losing so much inner essence that they aren’t visible anymore, even to people like me. He hadn’t done that, either. He’d just—blinked out.
“He said he felt unwell. They never feel unwell.” I tried to think, feeling a little unwell myself. Why would a ghost feel sick?
I glanced at my watch, and gasped. Mr. Latterson was going to be back any moment. I had to go.
I skittered up the stairs and carefully opened the door, checking to see if anyone was in the lobby. Luckily, it was empty, and I ran to the stairs that led to the upper floors, and managed to get into the office and to my desk before Mr. Latterson showed up.
“Did you get that paperwork done?”
I opened my mouth to say yes, but he didn’t give me time to actually answer.
“It absolutely has to be in the mail before the end of business today. You know that.”
“Yes, and—” I said.
“Get it done. I’ll be back at 3:30.” He turned on his heel and marched back out of the office, slamming the door shut before I could tell him everything was complete and waiting for his signature in the “out” box, just like he’d ordered.
It looked like I had the afternoon to myself, too.
I stared down at the computer, wishing that Googling “ghosts, moving on to the next plane of existence,” would help me. I didn’t waste my time. There was no help out there for me online. I knew that.
The only one I could really count on for information was my mom, and I wasn’t ready to talk to her, yet. It didn’t have to do with the fight I’d had with her. Well, not really.
The truth was, I did not want to let her know I had another ghost problem. I’d made the mistake of telling her about Sally. The only good advice she gave me was to get noise canceling headphones for the screaming. The rest of the time, all she would was say, “I told you so,” and “You should have listened to me.” She was convinced that because I could see ghosts, they were somehow drawn to me.
They weren’t drawn to me. I was just having a string of bad luck.
Anyhow, calling my mom was out.
I decided to assume Farley would be back. One thing I could do was get information for him about some aspects of his life. That had sometimes worked for Mom when she dealt with a “recalcitrant spirit.” Her words, definitely not mine. Then, maybe, Farley would move on the right way, and I’d be free. I set my fingers on the computer keyboard, and thought, hard. What did Farley need?
I tried to remember what Mom did when she first encountered a ghost with awareness, but couldn’t grab onto any one thing. She’d talked to them about their lives, their work, the way they died, everything associated with them. No true starting place.
I decided to fake it, and Googled the Palais. Maybe it was the place itself. Maybe that’s why he couldn’t leave.
I thought I’d lose