Word Prompts (R17): Rejection

It takes about three weeks to realize that this situation isn’t sustainable.

The draw of your psychopomp responsibilities take you out at all hours, sleep and homework and even school be damned. Your sporadic attendance isn’t favorably looked upon, even if you weren’t constantly dozing during classes and just a step off from the perfect student ideal.

Your cousin’s forehead is nearly constantly furrowed–confusion or frustration, you’re not sure which–and while your aunt could not be more pleased with your shiny new renegade reputation, that’s not exactly a vote of confidence.

You have detention for the next four months–not that you’ll be going to them, afternoon is apparently a very popular time for dying in this town–but still, it’s the principle of the matter.

Something’s gotta give. You’re afraid that something will end up being you.

///

A fire.

That’s what killed you. You, your mom, and almost two dozen other residents of the Montenegro apartment complex.

Faulty wiring, a particularly dry season, and exposed insulation going up like kindling. Fire escapes not up to code, people taking the batteries out of their smoke detectors, and no extinguishers to be seen.

The news reported it as an accident: a horrific, compounding accident.

When your father brings you back from the dead, he informs you that is false.

///

You don’t actually care, is the thing: you wonder if this has something to do with dying once, or if its the newly disclosed other half of your heritage.

Psychopomps can’t afford to care. Emotions mean attachments, attachments mean mistakes, mistakes mean the difference between life and death.

There are other kinds of attachments.

You can’t get rid of all of them.