"The heat works just fine," a male voice says. My heart jumps into my throat and I flip around, thinking we have an intruder. My gaze darts all around the store looking for anyone, anything to explain what I thought I heard. I shiver again, realizing I'm alone.
"And so do the lights," the voice adds.
A chill runs down my spine. I feel like I've stepped into the kind of horror movie where the stupid heroine just stands there pleading with the ax murderer not to hurt her instead of getting the heck out of there.
"Who's there?" I do a 360-degree turn and still see no one.
I feel the hairs on the back of my neck rise. Silence. I try the light switch again, but the lights just keep flickering and finally go off completely. I open my mouth to scream for my mother but, just like in all good horror flicks, no sound comes out. I'm frozen to the spot in fear.
Just when I'm sure I'm going to be the lead story on the six o'clock news, I see Uncle Omar across the room, leaning on the bookshelves, his arms crossed in front of him.
"Ohmigod, I'm seeing ghosts again!" I shriek. I blink hard trying to get rid of the apparition.
"Well, I'm not really a ghost, I'm a spirit, but materializing sucks energy out of the air," he says with a grin.
I stare in disbelief. "I...I...uh..."
"Don't worry, I won't slime you," he says, laughing.
I could almost laugh with him if I weren't so freaked out. Just when I'd chalked up my last sighting of him to stress, or exhaustion, or hormones, or whatever, here he is again. Now all my rationalizations go out the window as I look into the seemingly solid face of my mother's dead brother.