Monday, 28 June 2021

'A message from the other side' by Amy Wilson

“Happy Birthday, darling.” My mother’s voice makes me jump.

“Mum! How long have you been standing there?”

When I look closely, I realise that she’s not so much standing as she is hovering, her feet vanishing into the coffee table. I make a move to clear it out of her way before I catch sight of the small frown on her face and remember just in time how much she hates people to ‘make a fuss’ over her spectral form. Instead, I plop myself down on the sofa and gesture for her to join me. 

She smiles as she arranges herself, hovering just above the cushions, close enough that she looks like she’s really sitting. It took her almost a year to master the trick and she loves to show it off whenever she can.

“Your grandma sends her love,” she says, tucking her legs underneath her to complete the trick. “She wanted to come, but you know how she is about travel.”

I nod. Grandma Iris had never even liked taking the number 4 bus, let alone making the journey from the astral plane.

“Was the traffic bad?” I ask and my mother wrinkles her nose.

“Oh no worse than usual, I suppose. Although I swear the queues get worse every year.” She reached out and lays her hand across mine. I can’t feel it, but I appreciate the gesture. “Although it was worth it to see you on your special day,” she says, smiling.

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