Please calm down, Penney" Maybelyn tries to say calmly as Penney cries into her sweater.
"But he keeps coming back!" Penney sobs.
"Who, Penney, who?" Maybelyn asks.
"I don't know who he is but he follows me around and he haunts me at night and won't leave me alone!" Penney exclaims and loses herself to tears again.
"Do you have a dead family member or a dead relationship partner?!" Maybelyn asks.
"No I don't I just think he might be, I don't know, he's mean, he throws things and screams at me!" Penney says while hyperventilating.
Maybelyn, in heat of the moment, reaches out and grabs Penney by the wrist and traces her palm until she falls into the sleep trance.
Once Maybelyn has Penney settled on the couch in the corner of the room, she pulls her chair up to the couch and tries to assess the situation.
"Who do you have that would haunt you, do you have a dead family member?" Maybelyn asks out loud, directing the question to a sleeping Penney, but jumping in her chair when she gets a response from the corner of the room.
"No, but you do" Mitchell says.
"What are you saying, I somehow have a connection to the ghost that is haunting Penney?" Maybelyn asks angrily.
"I think you're receiving a call" Mitchell says and slides into the light a ouija board with Tom's favourite hat.
"You made him haunt her?!" Maybelyn exclaims and moves over to the ouija board immediately.
"Tom?" Maybelyn asks through the ouija board.
The planchette slides to "yes."
Maybelyn goes to her shelf and brings out visage powder to dust the air above the ouija board.
After the powder clings to Tom, Maybelyn shivers at the sight of the ghost of her husband on her office floor.
Except Tom doesn't fully look like Tom anymore.
He's been dead for so long that he's gone on to be an evil haunting spirit, and he isn't just a ghost anymore.
Mitchell set Tom to haunt Penney by giving Penney an item of Tom's, and the poor girl has been tormented ever since.
"I see the gears grinding in your mind, and I hope you've figured out that she first came on here with the issue of a haunting, and I've only fulfilled her fantasy, and he'll take care of her" Mitchell says proudly.
Mitchell grabs Maybelyn by the arms and holds her tight as the ghost of Tom gets up and goes to Penney, waking her, and right away she screams.
Tom picks her up and holds her in the air by the throat as he dumps the vase of decorative flowers, smashes it on the table, and then stabs her in the stomach and turns the vase till it twists her insides undeniably unrecognisable.
Disaster after disaster, Maybelyn's life never gives her a break, and seeing this young girl being torn to pieces by the rampaging ghost of her husband does just the right amount of damage to her heart that she sees nothing for herself after this moment.
Maybelyn racks her brain of all the things she could use around the house to end her life, and hope to the deity above that she has nothing that holds her back to this world like an anchor.
But instead of loathing in self hate and sadness, Maybelyn holds a funeral in her backyard, planting a seed of a Peony, and putting a cross in the ground made of Popsicle sticks and intertwined dandelions, and she reads an obituary she wrote for Penney out loud, disregarding the fact that she's the only one in attendance.
"Penney was a beautiful soul who died much too young.
She had many fears, but those fears were laid to waste in the shadow of all her aspirations, and she inspired many by her hopes and dreams.
She attended Brighton University, and took many courses, which in the end, would've made a difference on the whole world, and all revel in how short her existence was, but don't dismiss every instance she had in which she touched someone's heart, and in turn, still helped change the world.
She was beautiful, kind, smart, funny, innocent, and such a bright light.
I will never forget Penney, and I hope you won't either."
Days later, Mitchell comes home in an overjoyed mood, and stops in his tracks as soon as he gets to the kitchen.
"It smells like home made lighter fluid and the stove's gas is on. All your favourite things are in one box, and you're going to try and burn everything important to you because they'll hold your soul here and if you kill yourself, you won't be tethered here. I know what you're doing and you're definitely not going to get out that easily" Mitchell states and rips everything out of his mothers bawling hands.
Every attempt to remove herself from this madness Maybelyn has ever tried, has been abruptly interrupted by a more evil force and stopped her, and she wants to think she's helping this hurting world by saving lives through her work, but the only thing she's doing is giving her son a weekend activity.
When Mitchell disappears, Maybelyn fights a voice in her head that has been bugging her for the last few days in particular, and the voice ends up ruling her out, which brings her to her office floor with the same hat of Tom's that Mitchell used, and she summons his spirit like she's been curious to do as of lately.
"Tom. What is wrong with you? Why did you kill that girl?" Maybelyn asks.
"Everyone has to die, May" the board replies.
"Does death taste sweet?" Maybelyn asks.
"Yes" the planchette moves to.
Maybelyn closes her eyes and covers her face, knowing from that statement her husband is no longer her husband, but a monster and no one she ever knew before.
"You have been talking to Mitchell lately I assume?" Maybelyn asks, and assumes the answer.
"He's learned well from me, but he's a natural as well" the board replies, and Maybelyn marvels in that thought, of the evil spirit of her dead husband teaching her son to kill.
"You need to go now" Maybelyn writes and slides the planchette to 'goodbye.'
It slides to 'no' and writes, "you've been trying to kill yourself, Mitch told me. But you're not done yet."
Maybelyn sighs, because she so badly just wants this all to be over with; she is more than willing to give her life in exchange for the lives of all her customers that Mitchell has killed.
"I'm done" Maybelyn writes and slides the planchette again to 'goodbye.'
It slides back to 'no,' so Maybelyn takes it and smashes it on the ground and puts the board back up on the shelf.
The customers Maybelyn takes that day are oblivious to the fact that a death happened here just a few days ago, and they might even be next.
Maybelyn's sleep patterns become even more scarce, to the point of her practices at night being less of getting in bed and more of praying the rosary, even without the necklace, painting calming images to soothe her darkly creative imagination, and listening to old albums on very low volume, to distract her from the reality of herself being a contagious disease, in which almost everyone she comes in contact with, dies horrid deaths.
Maybelyn would try to write a book, an obituary for herself, or even a will, but no one in the world really cares about her, so it would be useless.
The cooking and cleaning is only a temporary distraction to the destruction going on around her, but Mabelyn tries to use those times to her advantage, and she doesn't really know if not seeing Mitchell for a few days is really good, or really bad, especially since he has been gone more frequently than ever as of lately.