"But most importantly, Anna, why do you still blame yourself for the fire?"
"It was my fault" sobbed Anna. "I was so happy, I’d just gotten my
first big check as a reporter for Mogue. I felt we needed to celebrate.
My... husband... was still at the war but he wrote, telling me that
he’d be sent home for Catmas later that year. It was one of the happiest
days of my life! I decided to buy the best organic chicken I could
afford. It was all going well, the kittens loved the smell of real
chicken; Grams was making some of her best Ginger Beer. I realized I had
forgotten the catnip dressing for the green salad... I remember all
this as if it was yesterday... I went back to the shop to get the
mugging dressing... and I realized I forgot to switch the stove off.... I
ran back to the house and on my way there I saw the explosion...
everything went up in smoke and flames!" She couldn’t control her
emotions any longer. Minerva bit her ghostly lip and then
licked Anna on the forehead. It didn’t make any difference to Anna,
because she couldn’t feel it... but somehow she felt comforted.
"It wasn’t your fault. You did switch the stove off. You are
obsessive-compulsive, remember? Grams lit her cigarette on the stove and
SHE forgot to switch it off. She has Old-Timer’s disease. Which still
makes it unintentional." "You say they aren’t very far away... how can that be? I have searched all over the place for them!" "You didn’t look in the right place, that’s all" said Minerva warmly.
"Will I see them again? and will I see.... him?
"You’ll just have to be patient. My work here is done. But you will be
visited by two more ghosts. Now, try to be a bit nicer to them... this
is not an easy job, and we do appreciate kindness and cooperation"
"That’s it? You are leaving me? No answers?.... You don’t know! You
don’t know where they are! You are not the most efficient ghost, are
you?"-Minerva started fading- "Wait! Wait Don’t go! I didn’t mean
that! I was joking! come back!" Anna looked around her in desperation,
but she suddenly composed herself. "Bah! Muggerbug! I don’t believe in
ghosts anyway. It must be hallucinations due to... well... starvation".