I had never thought about it before. I mean, they inhabit me for a while to write their good-bye letters but I have never had any spirit do something like what happened this afternoon.
I was in downtown Troy. I was just wandering, shopping, trying to find a spirit to help. I was in a helpful mood. I wasn’t paying attention to the living, or apparently not enough attention.
The guy grabbed me from behind and forced me into a short, tight alleyway. I was frightened. Then I felt the familiar feeling of a spirit entering me. My eyes clouded over then they cleared some. It happens when the spirit possessing me wants me to help with or experience their actions.
I had never taken any self-defense classes. I spent most of my time at home or in Waterford where I was comfortable. I never saw the reason to spend the money. Now I realized my mistake.
The spirit that inhabited me had some sort of training. It didn’t even hesitate. It slammed my head back into the face of the guy holding me. Jammed my right elbow into his stomach. Then we turned counter clockwise and kicked the black man right between his legs. He fell. I ran.
I got winded easily. I was not in the best shape but I do walk everywhere so I have some endurance. It is hard to run with a spirit inhabiting your body trying to force it the other way. I stopped. With an effort similar to forcing out bowel blockage I forced the spirit out of my body.
“I saved you.” She complained.
“I am grateful.” I responded truthfully.
“We can go back and kill that rat bastard who killed me.” She demanded.
“When did you die?” I hadn’t read of any female deaths recently in the library newspapers.
“That was twenty-four years ago.” I explained softly. Sometimes spirits lose track of time.
“It wasn’t him then.” She said sounding confused.
“No it wasn’t him.” I agreed. “What is your name?”
“Why does it matter?” She asked forlornly.
“I need to know what to call you. Even if you are ready to move on I need to know the name of the woman who saved me, who made me rethink the cost of self-defense classes.”
She laughed. “I don’t know if I have anything to move on to.”
“Spirits stay for unfinished business. I am guessing yours is revenge.”
“I don’t know. Twenty-four years he might be dead by now or at least an old man.” She paused then added curiously “I have never entered a person before.”
“I have an affinity with the noncorporeal.” I said trying to sound technical.
“What like Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost?”
I laughed. “That is the best comparison I have heard.”
“So you milk people out of money by pretending to contact their departed loved ones?”
“No.” I exclaimed. “It is the best comparison for my abilities. I make my living writing.”
“I tell the stories of those spirits who want their stories told.” I said.
“How do you make money with that?”
“I write a lot of novels, sometimes articles or short stories. I publish them all under the name of the spirit that tells me the story. They are not my stories but theirs. I just facilitate the telling and collect a sort of finder’s fee.” I tried to explain. Sometimes explaining my profession to spirits made me feel guilty. Sometimes the spirits thought I was taking advantage of the situation.
“That is a much better way to earn a living with such an ability.” She sounded relieved.
“You can call me Jane. My full name is Janet Marshall but I prefer Jane.”
“Thank you Jane. My name is Tiffany Sibyl Tien.”
“With a last name like Tien I would expect you to be oriental.”
“Most people would. Makes it easier when they come looking for a psychic to contact their loved ones. I can just say “nope, not me, I sublet” when they come to the door and they go away.”
“You don’t like the living?”
“I don’t like most people. I prefer to interact with them as little as possible, especially in person.” I paused thinking of the girl from the other day. “Sometimes it is true for spirits too but you and I seem to be getting along rather well.”
“I was not a people person in life.” She said and I could hear her smile. “I liked movies. Preferred them over television because it took too long for an ending and I hated the cliffhangers. I wanted the full story in one sitting.”
“I can find a way for you to watch movies at my place if you want to come home with me.” I offered.
“I don’t know…”
“I could tell your story.”
“I have no story.” Jane stated.
“Everyone has a story.” I said.
“No. I think I will just be moving on.” She said.
“You don’t have to go.” I pleaded. There was no response. “I didn’t mean to pressure you.” I stood there for a minute before finally admitting defeat. I had scared her away. Perhaps I had moved too fast. Perhaps, like me, she just didn’t trust people. I shook my head sadly and began walking to the nearest CDTA bus stop. I was going home.
I might Google Janet Marshall. I might just try and find a local self-defense class. I might just cook a good meal and watch Ghost again, saving the computer work for another day. I would see how I felt when I got back to my apartment.