By Olivia Dunst
from Spell Booked by Joyce and Jim Lavene
I know the world can’t always be the way you want it to be, but come on! It doesn’t seem fair that I should be the one to die early out of the three of us. I wouldn’t wish anything on my friends, Molly or Elsie—although Elsie IS the oldest! I really wouldn’t want them to die alone in a dark alley as I did.
But I had just discovered my daughter. After all these years, there she was at the New Hanover Public Library. She’s a strong witch too, though she doesn’t know a thing about it. It’s not going to be easy training her, not like the way the three of us were trained by our mothers and grandmothers. But I had to make that decision for her sake. Her father would have taken her away in a heartbeat and I would never have seen her again. Not to mention that he probably would have taught her to be evil.
Yes, he was an evil, possibly immortal witch, but he was so handsome and had such an air about him. We had a wonderful time together. I came down from my pink love haze quickly when I found out I was pregnant. It was one thing for me to have a short dalliance with him and another to give him our daughter. Naturally some sacrifices had to be made. I must say that I think I choose to give up the worst part of her life, completely missing the poopy diapers and awkward teenage years.
Now she’s a beautiful young witch—and I’m dead. How is that fair? I was supposed to be there to teach her and watch her grow wise, and possibly more fashionable, each day. We should have been able to travel the world together. Now I’m a moldy old ghost who can’t even change my dress.
Oh there are some advantages. I could eat whatever I want and never gain weight. I wouldn’t have to worry about having Elsie’s matronly figure. But I can’t eat at all! I have a chip on my nail polish that I’m going to have to live with for the next hundred years. That’s the lifespan for a ghost.
Maybe it’s not all bad. I can’t do magic anymore but I’ve known a few ghosts who had some amazing powers. There was this wonderful ghost of a handsome Revolutionary War captain on Fifth Street at the bed and breakfast. He had some smooth moves! I hated when they tore that place down.
I have to reinvent myself. I have to learn how to be a ghost. Not a puny, pathetic ghost like those young girls looking for a ride home in every town. I want to be a strong ghost. A dashing, sexy ghost. It’s time that I took charge of my afterlife.
As soon as I figure out how to get through this door!
Joyce and Jim Lavene write bestselling mystery fiction. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family, Quincy, their black cat, Stan Lee, their tabby and their rescue dog, Rudi.