TITLE: Hannah's Half
The boy sitting on my bedroom floor couldn't have been more than four or five years old. The cowlick in the back of his corn-husk blond hair needed taming. He sat cross-legged and with dirty bare feet, holding a half-deflated red balloon.
"You got a name, kid?"
I rarely asked questions anymore because the Visitors never speak. I mean never. I've been seeing dead people for as long as I can remember and it's always the same routine. Stare with haunted eyes, linger in the room, then disappear.
"Come on. Give me a break." I sighed and pushed back my comforter. I had on a tee shirt and panties but I'd gotten over being shy in front of the dead a long time ago. If they were going to invade my space, then they'd have to deal, too.
The sweet, burned smell of kettle corn filled my nose and carnival music played in my head. In strobe-like flashes, I saw the little boy walking hand in hand with an older man in dusty overalls and a crooked John Deere cap. The man handed the boy a cardboard cone wrapped with mounds of pink cotton candy.
"I don't have time for this. I'm going to be late for school," I said.
The boy continued to stare. I didn't want to be shown how he died or if the older man had something to do it. The whole routine was getting super old and I'd give anything to have a dead-free day.