This becomes more and more challenging. I’m not really proud of what I’ve done here but instead of deleting it and skipping a day, I’ll show it anyway.
As usual, I grabbed the prompt from this website.
You’re the one human who is capable of seeing ghosts. It’s up to you to save them from being removed from the human world for good.
The evening rush had waned and Sarenna watched with a worried expression as Derek came out of the kitchen. “I’d ask you to close up, but you know. It’s kind of dangerous around here these days.”
Gathering plates from different tables, Sarenna brought an armload of dishes back in to the kitchen. She watched Derek move through the area, his gaze exhausted and worried.
“I sent an email to Ross collier.” He said to her after great length. She paused for a moment and then simply nodded.
It had been dangerous to work in the cafe. It started simply enough. Dishes being moved around when no one was looking. An oven being left on for too long. A cold draft in what was supposed to be a hot kitchen full of bustling workers. She moved easily, rinsing dishes and loading them in to the dishwasher as she continued to keep an eye on Derek.
He was a good boss and didn’t deserve what was happening here. The simple pranks turned in to something entirely dangerous when a knife nearly hit Lachlan in the arm. Not that he hadn’t deserved it. He’d antagonized the kitchen spirit instead of attempt to work with it. Not his fault he didn’t understand. Most humans didn’t. But she did.
“I need to stay and work on prep for the morning group. And I’d asked you to stay with me, but it’s getting to be too dangerous.”
She allowed the conversation to lapse in to silence as they worked companionably. Soon, all of the workers were gone and only she and Derek remained.
“Derek,” she carefully approached the subject as one might a live grenade. With great caution. She didn’t like for people to know what she was and what she did. If the wrong people found out, then those like Ross Collier would tear her apart. Both professionally and literally. Ross cared nothing of nuance and history. He only wanted to be rid of spirits, often by pulling their very essence apart. She’d seen it once and it was something that had stuck with her for a long time. Sometimes, she still thought she could hear the screams of the ghost family as he used his power to immobilize them and disperse them from the inside out. There were ways to do that which were ethical, allowing the spirit to leave willingly. If it didn’t want to leave willingly, there were other things that could be done. Figuring out what tied a spirit to a place they refused to leave. It required careful research and questioning. But so many just flocked to Ross Collier who didn’t care about anything except for ratings.
Then there were people like her, people who tried to get the spirits to live in harmony with those in the house. It was a skill she’d learned from her family and one which had held her in good stead.
A loud screech could be heard and Derek paled, lifting his hands as though to ward off a blow. She took his hand in her own and moved to the center of the kitchen.
“What’s wrong?” Sarenna asked. Derek opened his mouth to speak and she shot him a quelling glance.
The temperature of the room dropped drastically and she shivered. “Must be a problem with the boiler again.” He said. “You know I never believed in ghosts and spirits or any of that bullshit, but it makes me wonder sometimes. Let me go check it out.”
Torn, she said nothing as he left the kitchen. Taking a deep breath, she gathered her courage and said, “come to me.”
The apparition came toward her with force but bounced off of her. It felt as though something were reaching inside of her, freezing her lungs. “Stop it.” She said again. “Show yourself. I’m not going to hurt you. But you’re going to get Ross Collier after you and he loves hurting spirits. Adores it actually. And I’m not entirely sure he’s all human. It’s very doubtful. I think he might be a vampire. Do you want that?”
The apparition faded in to view. The woman wore a chef’s hat, apron, black pants and a lovely cream-colored blouse. She blinked hard and then considered, looking toward where Derek left.
“Why?” Sarenna asked. “I recognize you. You’re Derek’s grandmother. Cecille Abernathy.”
The figure looked taken aback before nodding. “Derek is trying so hard to keep this place afloat. Why are you doing this? He works hard all the time.”
A sad expression crossed the woman’s face and she looked longingly toward the bank of ovens and the general direction of where Derek went. “I bet this place has changed a lot since it first opened.” Sarenna said.
“Hard. Change.” The voice was waspish, but there was a thin thread of humor weaving its way through.
“It is.” Sarenna agreed. “But it’s your legacy. He always thinks of you. He has a lot of your recipe books. You know? You need to give him a chance, or you’ll ruin any opportunity to have of his business remaining well. You should watch how he works, see what he does.”
Cecille gave a short nod of approval as Derek walked toward them.
“Now, behave yourself. And look at the legacy you’ve made. Let Derek do what he was meant to do. Please? Don’t ruin it for him.”
“Who are you talking to, Sarenna?” Derek asked.
“Mainly myself. I must be tired. Let’s get out of here. We have a busy day tomorrow.”