I died five hours ago. I can’t see my body, but I know it’s there, hastily buried under a bundle of branches, doused in petrol. I want to tell my date that the air’s too damp, that he’s watched too many movies, and that he’s going to get caught.
He’s panicking, picking up a branch, dropping it, trying to arrange the ground like a dried bouquet. I actually planned my own funeral a few years back after the car crash, and an open pyre was on my list, but it’s too humid.
“Hello, officer,” he mumbles, wringing his hands together as he empties the red plastic container. “I saw smoke in the woods, and—” he shakes his head. “Hello officer,” he starts again, looking around with wild eyes. “A man stole my car and burned a body, that’s why my fingerprints—”
“That won’t work,” I try to say, but he can’t see me. “You should get out of here,” I tell him, and he brings out a lighter. His hands are damp; so are his shoes. The smell of petrol hides the fresh forest air, and I didn’t know until now that ghosts could grin. He crouches down, and I pull him into the flames.
Annie Summerlee is a writer living in Catalunya with her girlfriend and three cats. Her writing is inspired by her queerness and disability and tends to lean towards the speculative side of things. She has had work published in Litro, 404 Ink, Jenny, as well as a couple of anthologies in Catalan and Spanish.