One Last Good Deed

Submitted into Contest #221 in response to: Write a story from a ghost’s point of view.... view prompt


Fantasy Fiction

One Last Good Deed

I always wondered what it would be like to actually die. I don't think it will be long now.

Recently I've felt a need to declutter my life. I've got rid of numerous unwanted possessions and cleaned my little apartment until it shone. I have tried my best to put my financial affairs in order. It was a strange but satisfying feeling, rather like the 'nesting' process that you go through when you move to a new house. I am not ill, apart from the accumulated aches and pains that come with age. Nevertheless, I have a premonition that ,pretty soon now, my time will be up.

I hope I have done some good during my life even if I have no one left who will particularly mourn my passing. My husband passed four years ago after forty two years of, if not bliss, companionable closeness. We were never blessed with children but I loved playing with the little ones that my friends brought to visit.

I remember dying quite clearly. One minute I was balancing on a stool, trying to reach into the kitchen cupboard to get the porridge oats from the top shelf .The next, I overbalanced, cracking my head hard on the worktop as I fell. One minute I was alive and hungry for my tea, the next I was spread-eagled on the floor in a pool of blood. And dead. 

"Well, that wasn't so bad" I thought. "84 is quite a respectable age and it had to happen one day. So what do I do now?"

To my surprise I found that I was able to stand up. I wouldn't have been able to get up without help an hour ago. Also my arthritis pain seemed to have miraculously gone away. Of course, my body was still lying on the floor and I can't say it looked very elegant. Arms and legs splayed out and my knickers on display to the world. I only hoped that whoever was unlucky enough to find me would cover my dignity before letting the emergency services involved.

Now, why am I still there? I can't spend the whole of eternity or whatever, in my kitchen. I must have something I need to do.

 I live alone, relying on the help of carers who pop in to help me dress and undress each day. Occasionally my neighbours call round to see if I need a bit of shopping but most of my close friends are already dead. Maybe I'll get to see them again in the afterlife. Anyway, none of them need anything I can provide. Nevertheless I am certain I have something important to do before I continue on my final journey.

I wander into the hall and towards the front door . Luckily I find that don't need to open doors, I just float through them. It feels strange but not unpleasant.  

Tonight is Halloween and outside it is just getting dark.

Groups of giggling children run along the pavement, dressed up as witches, zombies, skeletons and ghosts. Ironically, none of them even notice me. Either they can't see me, or they assume that I'm entering into the spirit of things and am out in costume. I watch as they knock at doors, chanting 

"Trick or treat." Their bags were rapidly filling with sweets. More work for the dentists. 

One or two adults entered into the fun and have festooned their houses with cobwebs and spiders or opened the door wearing plastic masks or made up as ghouls. The children squealed in mock terror but still wait to collect their booty.

As the last group disappear down the road, the sound of their laughter fades as they turn the corner by the main road heading towards the town. Clearly none of them need my help. Still I can feel an urge to wait. Soon now, someone will have cause to be thankful for my presence, even though I no longer truly belong in this World.

It is growing darker now and most of the younger children should be on their way back home. It's not safe for youngsters to be out after dark these days and their parents will be starting to worry.

One last little witch, dressed all in black with a dark green face, trails into sight, lagging far behind the others. She couldn't be more than five or six at most. Far too young to be out this late all alone. I can barely see her in the dark but, as she passes me, she turns and gives me a gap-toothed grin. There was no question that she could see me, but no sign of fear on her face. I pretend to be terrified of her and she rewards me with a gurgling laugh.

For some reason I feel compelled to follow her, a couple of steps behind. She doesn't stop to knock on doors but speeds her steps, perhaps hoping to catch up with the others. I wonder if some of them are her brothers or sisters but

when she arrive at the corner she does not not turn the corner, as the older children had done. Instead she steps 

down the kerb without bothering to look and starts to run across the busy road. 

If I hadn't already been dead, my heart would have stopped as I see what is about to happen.

A car is hurtling towards her, the driver unable to see her dark figure until it is much too late.

I hear the squeal of his brakes as he tries desperately to stop. At the last second I throw myself forward under the wheels of the car, pushing the child out of his path. I felt the car pass through my body like an icy shudder.

Before I can go to the child the car has come to a stop and the driver, white-faced and shaking, runs to her side. She is weeping from the shock and the pain of grazes on her hands and knees but she is not seriously hurt. The driver shows no signs that he is aware of my presence.

Gently he picks up the still sobbing child and hugs her to him. 

"Oh baby, I could have killed you," he whispers.

"Daddy, the ghost lady saved me."

She points towards me but her Father can see no one.

As he straps his precious daughter into the car I feel a warm sensation envelop me. Now my time on Earth is truly finished and I am free to move forward into the welcoming light. In the distance I see the faces of my beloved husband and friends waiting to welcome me. I go gladly to meet them.


October 24, 2023 15:29

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