Sky Davis groaned as the flour settled on every inch of the kitchen around her. This was their doing, she had no doubt about that. Sky was used to the interferences. She’d known they were there from the day she’d understood that the woman who called herself mother wasn’t the same woman who had given birth to her. Before that, she’d thought she was just clumsy, or unlucky. Now she knew for a fact why the flour had fallen from the shelf and she wasn’t happy about it.
Just then, Christian walked in.
“Really?” He asked. There was a tinge of disappointment in his tone.
Sky sighed, resigned. Christian didn’t understand. She’d tried to explain, at the very start of their relationship. She’d warned him that weird things happened around her. She hadn’t gotten around to explaining why that was, though. He’d cut her off and insisted that there weren’t coincidences or things like bad luck. It was her choice if these things continued to happen, Christian thought. He never once considered the idea that Sky’s dead parents might have something to do with it.
Ghosts weren’t real, after all.
“It’s not my fault.” Sky grumbled, even as she turned to grab a broom and clean up the mess. There was flour coating her clothing and hair, though. It looked like some kind of bomb had gone off and she was sure it would take more energy than Sky had to both clean up the mess and argue with the man watching her.
“If you say so,” Christain said. His voice was taunting, doubtful. Sky hated it. Despite everything she loved about him, there were still flaws that she wasn’t sure she could forgive. Being a condescending dick was one of them. “Just remember, you bring this kind of thing on yourself.”
“Don’t you have a class to get to?” Sky snapped. Christian raised an eyebrow, but then nodded and turned away. No attempt to help her clean up. No questions about how her day was. Sometimes Sky wondered if he cared about her at all. Then he’d show up unannounced with some takeaway Thai food and a single rose and she hated herself for doubting.
When the flour was cleaned up and Sky was changed into clothing that didn’t make her look like she’d been attacked by a giant powdered donut, she crossed her arms and faced the empty kitchen. She waited, knowing they would appear.
Regardless of the anger she felt towards their actions, Sky knew her parents loved her. They would face the consequences of their actions or they would be banished from the apartment. It wasn’t the first time she’d done it, after all.
“Come on.” She said when her patience for waiting wore thin.
A cupboard creaked open. She raised a single eyebrow and it swung closed again.
“Do you have anything to say for yourselves?”
Nothing moved, the temperature stayed the same. For anyone looking in, all they would see was a young woman with dark hair and a darker expression glowering at an empty kitchen. Sky knew better. She’d been through this more times than she could count.
There was the time her best friend in high school had been cheating off of her during an exam, and her pencil kept flying off and hitting other people in the head. Sky had ended up with a month’s detention for disturbing the test.
Then there was the time when Sky was trying to get a job at a nearby convenience store. She remembered showing up to the interview nervous but prepared. Yet, she’d walked out of there without a job and without her dignity. The till had managed to jam, the security cameras had faded in and out before going on a loop that contained only Sky’s entrance to the store and the manager greeting her. No less than twelve cans of soda had burst when she’d asked what kind of hours they were offering.
The most memorable encounter was when she’d turned twenty-three. It was the one time that Sky was grateful to have two nosy ghosts following her around at all times. She’d gone to the bar with a few friends, left her drink unattended for a quick trip to the bathroom, and ended up in the alleyway later that night trying to regain her sense of direction. The man who followed her had been obviously creepy.
He’d taken her in his arms, guiding her further down the alley and away from anyone else. If it weren’t for her parents watching over her, that night would have taken a turn that Sky was sure she’d never have recovered from.
As it was, a ladder from a fire escape had dropped at just the right time. The man had been knocked out cold and Sky had wandered back to the bar. The cab ride home was cheaper than she’d ever seen a cab ride be, and the driver didn’t look happy about his tracker malfunctioning. Sky was grateful though, when she realized the man was charging exactly the amount of cash she had on her person. Five dollars and eighty-five cents would not have cut it if it weren’t for the attention to detail her parents had put into keeping her safe that evening.
“I get it.” Sky said, a rueful smile on her face. “You don’t like Christian. You’ve never liked him.”
The faucet started dripping.
“That doesn’t mean you need to throw a fit every time he comes over.” She added. The drip stopped. “I am an adult, in an adult relationship. Do you realize how creepy it is that my dead parents are trying to control my love life? Just because Christan and I don’t agree on things like religion and the nature of the universe doesn’t mean we can’t make it work. We’re both committed to each other, and your input isn’t appreciated.”
She waited, and waited, and waited. Neither of her parents did anything to respond. There were no plates crashing to the floor. No terrible groaning that only Sky could hear. Not a single sign that they’d heard her. She sighed, running a hand through her hair before turning away towards the living room.
Sitting on her coffee table, lonely and forgotten, was Christian’s phone.
His class was only an hour long. It wouldn’t do him much good if she raced over to the campus just to give it to him when he’d be back for it sooner or later. She ignored it and reached for the remote instead.
As her hand passed over top the phone in an effort to reach the remote, the screen came to life. It was password protected, and she wasn’t the kind of girl to snoop. She valued her privacy as much as he did, and there wasn’t any reason not to trust him.
Well, besides the dislike her parents seemed to have.
Sitting back on the couch, Sky flicked on the television. She needed something mindless to calm her down. It was always exhausting to argue over her love life with her intangible, invisible parents. She’d had a long day as it was, and the flour explosion had been the icing on the cake.
The television whirred to life. She flicked mindlessly through the channels, uninterested in the thousands of sitcom reruns that were playing just then. Cartoons, she decided, were exactly what she needed.
Just as she’d settled in on the Disney channel, the poltergeist activity started up again. the volume went from a nice 15 down to zero in about six seconds. She sighed and turned it up again. It stayed for a moment and then shot back down to zero. Huffing, she crossed her arms and glared at the television.
Slowly it inched it’s way up to a decent volume. Just as she was certain her parents were done, however, the television shut off entirely.
“Oh my god, stop.” She groaned. Reaching out for the remote again, she leaned forward just far enough to see that Christian’s phone was lit up and that the home screen had been unlocked. She was about to turn away, maybe to ignore her parents by taking a nice nap or perhaps even pulling out the ingredients for the banishing spell just in case the threat was needed.
Then the messaging app opened on its own, and her eyes were glued to the three unread texts that were waiting. Two of them were from some girl named Cynthia, and another was from Sky’s friend Amber.
She didn’t need to open them to see what they said. The beginning of each text was enough to tell what was going on. Cynthia was dying to see Christan, wanted him inside her. Amber was wondering if he was on his way over yet, a text that was sent at almost the exact same time Christain had said his Sociology course would be running.
Sky felt cold. Not the kind of cold that came from realizing she was being cheated on, though that was also running through her mind in a terribly destructive fashion. It was the kind of cold that came when her parents got too close. It was a comforting cold, the touch of a mother long dead, still watching out for her after all these years.
Suddenly the flour in the kitchen didn’t seem like such a terrible thing.
Just like that night in the alley, her parents had been watching out for her. From the day they died, when she was only six months old, they’d stayed on the earthly plane just to make sure she didn’t find herself in some terrible situation. They’d saved her again, though they couldn’t keep the heartbreak at bay. Still, Sky would rather feel cold and heartbroken with her parents sitting beside her any day if it meant knowing that someone was watching, protecting, caring for her.
“Dad?” She asked, a hint of a smile gracing her face as she realized there was more than just irritating hauntings and the rare save that her parents might be willing to do. “What do you think about haunting Christian for a bit? I think he was right when he said people brought bad things upon themselves. It’s time he got a little of what he deserved, don’t you think?”
The resulting bang that came from the nearby window shutters made Sky laugh. Her life wasn’t perfect, but at least she had people who cared. It didn’t matter that they were dead. It only mattered that they were hers.
Hey there! I hope you enjoyed Sky’s small story of realization. Now, if you’re interested in doing your own Cards Against Humanity writing prompts you can buy your first deck through this link. If a purchase is made I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. This money is used to keep the site updated and The Author focused on writing rather than silly things like how to pay for coffee.