Lesbian ghosts! Haunted House! Adultery! Murder!
THE SEVENTH DIMENSION, a short story originally published in the Fourth Woman Sleuth Anthology, has it all and more.
I zipped through the last door in time to see Ben, the current householder’s brother, wave a knife at Tracey, his brother’s wife.
To my alarm, Juliane slipped between them.
“No!” she shouted. “Don’t do this.”
He was stabbing her. Stabbing them. Tracey and Juliane. Cutting through them with one swoop, the dastard.
“Stop this moment!” I hit him upon the head with my fists and gouged at his eyes with my nails, forgetting the lessons of one hundred years of ghostly existence. “You blackguard. You bounder. Stop or I’ll make you wish you were born with a tail instead of a penis.”
Tracey slumped to her bed. Juliane glided back, unharmed and whole and as lovely as ever.
“Ugh,” she said, turning from Tracey.
My darling has an aversion to blood, even though this was not the first murder we’ve witnessed. Or, though we don’t speak of it, committed. Which is, we’re positive, why we’ve been fluttering like dust motes in sunlight for the last century.
“Elizabeth,” she said, floating toward me. “You tried to save me.”
“But of course, Juliane. You would do the same for me, wouldn’t you?”
“Naturally. I even tried to save this adulterous woman, dearest one.”
We both looked upon the dead woman, the blood seeping from the pear-shaped bosom, the still face that uncannily resembled mine. The resemblance had caused ardor in Juliane’s breast and pangs of jealousy in mine.
Juliane, I suspected, harbored a similar jealousy toward Daniel, Tracey’s cuckolded husband, a fine upstanding man whom—if my nature had been otherwise—I might not have spurned if he had come courting during my earlier time on earth.
Pangs—indeed, thrusts—of jealousy were what had catapulted us into this ungodly position. Oh, if we could only go back and undo that night in the dining room when the devil possessed us and we turned our carving knives on each other until we fell to our deaths over the remains of roast beef and carrots.
A decade later, I had attempted to make a joke out of it. “At least,” I said to Juliane, “we could have waited until after dessert. I always did fancy cherry cobbler.”