My neighbor’s cat, Tinkles, peed all over my new shoes.
That wasn’t the worst of it.
Tinkles died two years ago when he made the mistake of rummaging through the Whitstones’ garbage can.
The Whitstones, who lived across the street, had just adopted a dog. Brutus was a beast—all temper and teeth, no remorse. In a matter of seconds, Tinkles was toast.
But the cat’s spirit still liked to invade my closet and pee on my shoes. Not my old gym sneakers, not my wedges with scuffed heels. No, he had to pick the shoes that cost me two months’ babysitting money.
And the worst part, I couldn’t tell Brutus to fix the problem.
How do you kill a dead cat?
After I caught Tinkles in my closet, abusing my shoes as his fashion litter-box, I tried shooing him away. He only hissed, the black hairs on his neck stood up against the backdrop of a ghoulish glow.
Sometimes, dealing with the dead was really a pain. I never asked to be ‘gifted’ with psychic abilities, but that didn’t stop dead people from waking me up all hours of the night. And now, thanks to my strengthening powers, animals could be added to the list of unwelcome visitors.
Luckily, I was the only person I knew who channeled spirits, and no one else could smell the noxious stench. So in the name of fashion, I sacrificed my well-being and wore the shoes to school.
Imagine trying to sit through first period chemistry, ready to hurl your breakfast while choking on the fumes of dead cat drainage.
One good thing in all of this, despite the agony of my assignment, which was staring at the Periodic Table of the Elements until it burned a hole through my cranium, at least I wouldn’t fall asleep from boredom.
The fumes from Tinkle’s tinkle were more powerful than just a bad smell—more like the cat had deposited Pop Rocks in my brain.
Even worse, I was allergic, very allergic, to cats.
“H is Hydrogen,” I kept telling myself before giving in to another fit of sneezes.
The students in front of me turned their heads and gawked. They refused to allow me any shred of privacy while I consumed tissue after tissue, trying to expel dead cat smell from my nasal passages. I briefly wondered what Bryon Thomas was thinking. At least he wasn’t right next to me, watching me gag on invisible Tinkle fumes. His gorgeous bod was two seats to the left, and though I couldn’t see him at the moment, I had his face sketched in my mental memory book. Blond hair spiked with just the right amount of gel, soft blue eyes framed by pale lashes and a playful smile that shot arrows of fire straight to my heart.
I sighed, letting my thoughts linger on his kissable lips.
Just long enough for another sneezing attack to catch me by surprise.
“Krysta!” Mrs. Jackson grumbled. “You’re disrupting class.”
“Sorry, Mrs. Jackson. Cat allergies.” I whimpered into a wadded tissue.
“You need to get rid of that cat.” To further emphasize the issue, she pointed a huge yardstick in my direction, loose skin on her arms shaking with the movement.
“He’s already dead,” I groaned, sinking lower in my seat as everyone was probably glaring at my big red nose and not my shiny new shoes.
Mrs. Jackson’s mocha eyes softened. “Oh, I’m sorry, honey.”
“That’s okay,” I sniffled while trying to keep from rolling my eyes. “He’s still with me in spirit.”