Ohlone College
Creative Writing Stories

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Page 4

After these first few encounters with the spirit world, Eve had decided to try and contact her mother. She was excited, and she was terrified. What if it didn't work? What if her mother was one of those who were now "gone" from this world, as Christianson had said? Eve's mother had always been a devout catholic, and learning there was no heaven or hell must've been traumatic...Or worse yet, what if it worked fine, and she found her mother, but it wasn't really her mother anymore? Would she be different somehow?

But Eve was determined. She had never gotten the chance to say goodbye to her mother - she had died suddenly in a car accident; no warning, no time for preparation. Eve had wanted more than anything to see her mother again, just to speak to her, to hear her voice...that is the reason she became a scientist, after all.

So she had reached out to her mother. Eve turned on the Deus Ex Machina and called out to her mother, willing her to come. She did this for hours until, finally, someone had arrived.

"Um, excuse me..." the figure had said. "Excuse me, miss, but what exactly do you hope to accomplish by sitting here and calling out this name like some kind of afflicted degenerate?"

It was an old woman with long grey hair and thick-rimmed glasses, and it was certainly not Eve's mother.

"I, uh...I'm trying to reach my mother, she's...she's also...well, dead," Eve stammered in reply.

"Oh, silly girl," the woman chuckled. "Do you think you can just call her and she'll come, like some kind of all-hearing puppy dog?"

"Well, I..."

"If she's not around here, she's not going to hear you. If she was around I'm sure she would have come by now, dear."

"Oh," Eve mumbled. She felt childish then. She had just assumed her method of contact would work. "Well, how do I reach her then?"

"Same way you reach anyone, I suppose. Ask around, spread the word...we don't exactly have telephones or P.O. boxes, you know."

"Right, so...do you think you could find her for me?" Eve asked, suddenly hopeful.

"Oh well I don't know, dear. It's a big world out there. Bigger, even, for folks like us... What's her name?"

"Natasha. Natasha Veritas. Please, please help me find her. She's my mother, and - well, I've been looking for her for a long time."

"Alright, I'll see what I can do," the woman replied, and then she was gone.

It was a month before Eve heard any news, but when she did, it was more than she had hoped for. Eve had been pulling another all-nighter, working with the machine and trying to improve its design, when she was startled by a familiar voice.

"Eve? Evie, sweetie, are you here?"

And then she saw her.

"Mommy?" Eve gasped. "Mom, is it really you?"

Both Eve and the lucid figure of her mother began to weep. If it had been possible, Eve would have hugged the woman close and never let go, but instead she settled for conversation. The reunited pair talked for hours, first about Eve's life since the other's death. Apparently, Natasha had dropped in from time to time to check up on her daughter, and it comforted Eve to learn that her mother had been there on the day she was married to Duncan.

"Time passes sort of... strangely sometimes, after you've died," Natasha told her daughter. "There were times I went years without seeing you, in what only felt like weeks. Oh, you've grown into such a remarkable woman, Eve."

After that first reunion, Eve and her dead mother had both decided to make it a regular event. Eve had excitedly shared the experience with Duncan who, strangely enough, was against the whole idea.

"I just don't think you understand what you're dealing with, Evie," he had told her. "I mean, I'm happy that you got to talk to your mom. I know how much that means to you, but...I don't think you see the implications of what you're doing."

Eve looked at him quizzically, angrily.

"I mean...Evie, all of the things you've told me, about what happens when you die, it's...it's not what people thought, you know? I'm sure a lot of people would lose it if they found out. To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about it myself."

A few months after Duncan's unfortunate demise, Eve had managed to perfect the technology of the HFR lenses, and everyone on her team had a pair of the prototypes to test out. Eve had decided to go with Adam on a sort of test run, to see how the lenses worked outside the laboratory. The results had been extraordinary.

There were spirits everywhere. The streets weren't crowded with them, it wasn't like that. They were just...there. They were standing around, talking to each other, walking through the park and laughing, just like the normal, still-breathing public. And when this dead society at large realized that Eve and Adam could see them, communicate with them, they had swarmed around the pair and started asking questions, giving requests. It was all "tell my daughter this " and "please let my brother know that ." They must have been waiting a long time for someone to see them, for a way to communicate with their loved ones, Eve thought. Her only reply was, "Soon."

That night, when Eve returned home (though she could hardly call it that - she spent most of her time in the lab), she had forgotten to take out her lenses, and entered to find Duncan sitting on her couch - the first of many such appearances. When she saw him, he had burst into tears. She told him she'd always love him, that she was sorry. He'd said he'd always be with her.

Two years later, on that same couch, Eve had once again told her late husband she'd always love him, only this time it was followed by a 'but'.

"What do you mean you've met someone?" Duncan had yelled. "I'm your husband, I'm still here ...you're my wife !"

"Duncan, I just...I can't keep on like this. I have to move on."

"Move on?! But I'm right here, with you -"

"Duncan, you're dead!" Eve had interrupted. "Yes, you're still here with me, and it's been nice...and a little strange. But we can't be together anymore, not like we were. Not like a couple, you know that...We can still be friends -"

"I can't believe this! I'm dead, and you're giving me the 'just friends' speech?! Evie, come on - we can make this work."

"No, Duncan. We can't. And I'm...I'm in love with someone else now. His name is Logan Hunter, he's a colleague and...and we're engaged."

Duncan's noncorporeal face looked hurt.

"Duncan, I hope you can accept this, I really do...but if you can't, you're going to have to stop coming around here. Do you understand?"

"Sure," Duncan said, teeth clenched. "Tell what's-his-name I said congratulations on marrying my wife. I'll see ya around, Evie."

 

Email author Danielle Adams

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