I am a plain man. I do not believe folks can read the future or your palm or your mind. Things too wonderful for me to understand, I don’t even ponder. Who can claim to know what happens when we die? Whether we go to Heaven or sleep until Jesus returns or something else? For Edna, I suppose it was something else altogether.
Since my wife passed, me and the girls only go to church once a week. Edna insisted on some church activity six or seven times a week. She was a noble woman, a woman of hard-earned character. When the townspeople called her a good woman, she did not accept the compliment. A humble ol’ girl, she was. I don’t know how in heavens the girls turned out the way they did.
When the girls were first born, Edna was delighted to have twins. Her face shined like she just won first prize in the pie contest. She even said how wonderful it would be for the girls to have each other as companions for all of their lives. They weren’t companions though, not even close.
From the time they were toddlers, they clawed and scratched at each other, fighting over toys and clothes and whatever else. Bonnie was the biter. They aren’t the kinda twins that look alike, mind you. Bonnie has wild and wiry blond hair; Serena has ivory skin and jet black hair, just like a china doll. Edna and I called her Doll, but Bonnie just called her Serena.
Doll and Bonnie kept on at that quarreling even when Edna was lying on her deathbed. She lay under the covers with her eyes closed in our bedroom. The girls stood on either side of her.
Doll grabbed her hand and said with more sadness than an eleven-year-old girl should ever know, “Mama, remember Elisha and Elijah from the Bible? Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit right before Elijah went up to Heaven in a whirlwind. I will be Elisha; you can be Elijah. Give me a double portion of your spirit when you go.”
Tears, the kind that fall when your heart has just been squeezed like a piece of fruit, fell from Bonnie’s eyes. “No, Mama. Don’t give it to Serena. Give me your spirit.” She laid her head on Edna’s lap. That’s when Edna died.
The men came to get Edna’s body from our home shortly after that. Some ladies from town brought us dinner that night. I told the girls an early night would do us all good and tucked them in their beds.
I could not bring myself to sleep in the bedroom. Just hours earlier, Edna was so there. And then, all of a sudden, she was so not there. It was like a black hole in our bed had swallowed the sun. And if I laid down where the black hole was, it might suck the moon up too.
So I tossed and turned on the couch. I thought about things the way Edna would want them. At the funeral, I mean. Since I couldn’t sleep, I decided to check on the girls.
As I quietly opened the door, I saw both Doll and Bonnie sleeping sound in their beds. But when I closed the door, something gold flashed fast like lightning. I only saw it out of the corner of my eye, so I opened the door again.
Standing at the foot of Bonnie’s bed was someone like an Amazon woman dressed up as a Solid Gold dancer. Auburn ringlets covered her head, but it looked as if a great light was shining on some parts of her hair and, in those places, it shone gold. She wore a leather and metal bodice with a frilly skirt. She held a bow with an arrow pointed at Doll. It was transparent in appearance and vaguely resembled Bonnie in some ways. I figured it was Bonnie’s spirit.
Just then, a ghostly figure rose right up out of Doll’s body — her spirit. Also exceptionally tall, this woman wore a long sapphire gown. She drew a sword and blocked the arrow shot at Doll’s sleeping body. I was frozen in fear and could not believe my own eyes as the two battled in the girls’ bedroom. The spirits paid no attention to me and just kept on battling until the woman in the blue dress stepped close enough to the Amazon woman to catch her bow with the tip of the sword’s blade. She flung it across the room.
Then the Amazon woman — er, Bonnie’s spirit — ran right through me into my bedroom. I spun around and pursued her. As I stood in the doorway, she snatched something from the bed like a folded robe. When the robe had unfurled, wafts of Edna’s rosewater perfume filled the air. Not only that, but the robe emitted Edna’s very presence. Doll’s spirit leapt right through me and took hold of the robe. They yanked and pulled. It was a regular tug-of-war over Edna’s spirit.
Finally, Bonnie’s inner apparition leaned forward and bit Doll’s spiritual arm. The lady in blue suddenly let go. Bonnie’s spirit quickly slipped the robe over her Amazon attire. While Doll’s spirit looked in awe at her empty hands, Bonnie’s spirit marched toward me. I stepped aside (so as to avoid her walking through me again).
I followed her back to the girls’ bedroom. The Amazon woman lay atop Bonnie and sunk into her body. Doll’s body sucked the woman in the sapphire dress right through the hallway and back into her body like a high quality vacuum sucks up a peanut.
The next morning, I thought it all was a dream. But when the two girls awoke, things were unusually peaceful. I thought it was the despair of their mother passing. However, Bonnie offered to make breakfast and when she whipped my eggs, she hummed a joyful song.
Then she called out, “Doll, how do you want your eggs?”
At that moment, I knew it could not have been a dream. Bonnie never called her Doll. She had most certainly inherited Edna’s spirit. From that time on, Doll and Bonnie became the companions Edna had hoped they would be.
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