by M.K. Theodoratus
Some say the ability to see ghosts is a gift, but after losing her job, Dumdie Swartz says, “Hogwash”.
Since she was a child, Dumdie has seen ghosts and has developed several quirks to cover the fact so she wouldn’t need to explain herself or be exploited. When her boss witnesses several of these occasions, he fires her, thinking that she suffers from a mental issue that could be a liability to his business.
Without a job and money, Dumdie becomes just another old, homeless woman living out of her car. As winter approaches, her luck changes, and she secures a private room in a homeless shelter, but it isn’t as private as she thinks. The ghost of the former owner of shelter haunts the room where she died, searching for the misplaced will that guarantees the shelter would continue to exist as she so desired.
Dumdie must make a decision. Does she continue to hide her gift in fear of upsetting people or appearing insane? Does she go out on a limb and try to save the shelter, the room they have given her, and herself in the process.
“Do you think the place has bed bugs?” Hanna had picked up the clothes and putting the suitcases in the closet. She stood in the middle of the room, wrinkling her nose. “I wonder if they sterilized the mattresses. I hope so.”
“The carpenters probably left the closet as-is to save money. Haven’t you noticed all the short-cuts in the house remodeling? All the places the boards don’t even meet.” Dumdie stopped before she said she’d seen nine corners where there were gaps in the trim. Fifty-two places where the paint coat was uneven, and she was only passing through the rooms on the tour.
Hanna pulled a face. “The house reeks of charity, but the public rooms were much nicer than the bedrooms. Must have been part of the original rooms. The two bathrooms still have the old fixtures, but I kind of like those deep old bathtubs. Think of the wonderful soaks we’ll have. Much nicer than the showers the janitor at the fitness club let us use in the mornings.”
The janitor at the gym had called them Mutt and Jeff. Dumdie was tall and dour, and while the shorter and thinner, Hanna beamed with good cheer even as she described the shelter’s shortcomings. Dumdie wished she could be more like Hanna.
“This place could be worse. Granted, my bed has more lumps than under-cooked porridge.” She poked her head back into the closet. “At least they didn’t try to squeeze someone else in there. It’s big enough for a cot and chair if they put hooks on the wall. That’d make our rooms smaller to fit in a hallway to the landing.” Her nose contorted. “Think we’ll have ta get up at an ungodly hour to get a bath? The seven of us will cause a log jam in the mornings, otherwise.”
“Seven old ladies fighting for the lavatory.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Hooked by comic books at an early age, M. K. Theodoratus’ fascination with fantasy solidified when she discovered the Oz books by L. Frank Baum with his strong female characters. She has traveled through many fantasy worlds since then. When she's not reading about other writer's worlds, she's creating her own. Most of her tales are set in the Far Isles where she explores the political effects of genetic drift on a mixed elf human population. She also writes about gargoyles, magic, ghosts and other magical beings.
A sixth grade English assignment started her writing. The teacher assigned a short story. Theodoratus gave her an incomplete, 25-page Nancy Drew pastiche which turned into a full novel by the next summer. She’s been writing happily ever after ever since in two different alternative worlds – that of the Far Isles Half-Elven and in Andor where humans fight demons in many forms.
Social Media Links:
Author Website – http://www.mktheodoratus.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/kaytheod
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