Need a good lockdown read? Check out mine: Jamis Bachman, Ghost Hunter.
The cameras were the only tools left in her ghost hunting toolbox. She had night vision goggles to help her see in the dark, but they did little else. On television, Jami used everything from meters that read electrical impulses to Ouija boards. But they were just props, intended to entertain, so she let them go with the show. Now, stripped bare of everything, she relied on her second sight, and the rare moments when the cameras caught something.
The potential to dip into melancholy rose inside her. Her life was reduced to waiting for the video clip that couldn’t be refuted. Despair creeped around the corner, stood on the threshold. Depression was tempting, but warmth enveloped and stopped her. With it came her most vivid childhood memory, and Jamis felt it as though she were there, reliving it. Her mom carried her from the couch to bed, half to sleep, safe in her arms, and tucked her into bed. The blankets were heavy on her limbs. The window was open, the air cool on her nose. The radio, on soft jazz, filtered in from the front room, and while she drifted back to sleep, her mom rubbed her back.
Then, something pulled the warmth from her, like the blanket her mom lovingly tucked around her was yanked off with force. Her arms burned like she’d held a bag of ice for too long. The safety of the bedroom faded away. Now she was somewhere else, and her mom’s body was on a stretcher, the zipper of the body bag opened just enough to see her face, eyes closed, lips blue.
It was the worst moment of her life. Every night for the next ten years, it was the scene that played on the backside of her eyelids when she tried to sleep. She left a whole chunk of herself in the room that day. The coroner packed it up in the body bag. The grief made her feel like she was clawing at a brick wall, fingertips bloodied. She carried the loss inside, woven into the scar tissue of her heart, and imagined death would come and she’d carry nothing else. Anguish reorganized her into someone different from that point forward.
Jamis leaned over the stretcher to kiss her mom’s forehead, heart wrenched. Her mom’s eyes opened. Adrenaline flooded her system. Her heart thundered and stomach muscles spasmed. It took a few minutes for Jamis to regain control of her limbs. The image of her mom’s death clouded eyes was prominent as she struggled to breathe. Upset clogged her windpipe. She couldn’t escape the vision.
“That was not nice,” Jamis said, struggling to leave. “I’d like to help you but if you keep that up, I’ll tell you to fuck off.”