Short Fiction

You push through the House of Rafa’s double doors with your medical bag, holding it open for your new partner who is too preoccupied with their hand pie.

“Finish eating after you get on!” you urge, pointing towards the bikes.

You load your bag into the tandem bike’s basket and take the front seat to steer. Picking up speed down the hill towards town, you narrowly avoid a fire lizard who attempts to singe your patched socks for disturbing its sunbath. Startled, your partner hiccups while you cackle.

“I had to get used to spirits after the big city, too. You’ll get there…”

Cozy Community

Entering the village of Kahal, colorful buildings sprout up on both sides of the path, bricks and stuccos of pastel colors, hues of lime and lavender and orange.

The bustle must look chaotic to your backseat passenger, but you recognize all the daily routines for what they are: homemakers folding laundry from the prior day’s clothesline, Baker Ahava pulling breads from the communal oven to cool and emanate wonderful yeasty airs, groups of children heading to the village center for school.

Waving at your favorite patients, you glimpse some adults doing a double take at your protege in the back seat. No longer the newest Rafa anymore, you pluck with pride.

As you start to hear the Scholars debating over coffee in the center Square, your partner taps you and asks whether it wouldn’t be quicker to cut east since you are trying to get to the outskirts anyway. You acquiesce since you gave them a hard time about making it on time earlier.

Supernatural Shenanigans

It gets quieter again and the houses thin out as you reach your destination. The very air feels thinner, as you struggle to catch your breath from cycling.

“Definitely the haunting grounds,” you wheeze.

The property is a little ramshackle and could use some weeding, but its unmistakable quality craftmanship affords it much dignity.

“We’d best get on with it,” your Rafa apprentice sighs.

They help you set up wax divination and watch from behind as you cast an advanced spell for Locating Ghosts. You lead the way into the house, shielding your protege from whatever could be possessing the abandoned house. You make it several rooms, before determining the telltale green shade of ghost is stalking you.

Your partner smiles sadly and nods, a green aura surrounding them. Your wide eyes must ask a question, because they respond, “I left here decades ago when my wife died. I saw many new places before I died, and then I traveled some more. But I’m ready to join her.”

You are awed by this ghost who maintains so much humanity and intelligence. You engage seriously, ensuring they have no unfinished business that could anchor them to this world, then begin the ritual to Shepard their Soul to the World to Come.