Firehouse Ghost: Unveiling the Other Side

Vic Lazzarini’s ghost scowled at the short, fat-bellied fireman cringing in his jail cell. “Jaku, you sawed-off, lily-livered sneak!” Vic shouted. “Murderer!” He threw what would have been a bone-crunching punch if it hadn’t gone right through the punk’s head.

Jaku’s hairy nostrils twitched, his pin-prick eyes darting around the jail cell stinking of urine and sweat. Vic smiled as he watched worried thoughts shoot like bullets out of the killer’s brain, “How come I feel like that meathead Vic’s here? He’s one dead mothah! I blew him away!” Shivering, his belly shaking, Jaku’s small black eyes darted nervously around.

Vic’s delight at Jaku’s fear changed to rage as his former pal’s thoughts turned lustfully to Liz. Thinking about Liz’s impending danger at the hands of Jaku or his criminal pals was even worse than the memory of seeing his own blood-soaked body lying on Jaku’s garage floor after Jaku shot him four times.

Liz. Quick as thought, Vic shot into the fire department’s alarm room beside her. He touched her shoulder lovingly. Her bloodshot eyes looked right through him. “Vic … oh, how I miss you!”

“Stop crying, Lizzy. I’m not … DEAD dead. I’m right here.”

“Why do I feel like you’re right here?”

Vic, not one to pussy-foot around, bellowed, “Because I am!”

Liz looked startled. A smile slowly spread across her face. “I feel your presence…sort of like happy air, all around me. Oh, Vic, what happened? What were you and Jaku arguing about?”

“You!” Vic yelled. He hoped she would hear. She started crying again. “You!” he said, louder. “That scum bag was gonna break into your pad and jump your bones. You’re still in danger!”

Vic’s anger propelled him out of the room and into a classroom with purple walls where a frowning teacher with fuzzy hair rapped Vic’s knuckles with a ruler. “I get it,” Vic said. “I’ve got to learn to control my temper.” The teacher smiled, stuck a gold star on Vic’s forehead and vanished.

Now, three months after his murder, Vic knew that his thoughts and emotions catapulted him instantly to whatever he was thinking or feeling. But he couldn’t figure out how to reduce the rage he felt at Jaku, the fear of what Jaku or his gang of thugs might do to Liz so she wouldn’t testify against him, and the frustration of not being able to warn her.

“I’m tired of being bounced around like a ping pong ball at every passing thought!” Vic instantly started bouncing around the classroom. “Maybe if I concentrate.” For want of something better, Vic focused on the gold star in the middle of his forehead.

He traced the five-pointed shape in his mind, gave it a sugary taste, expanded it into 3-D and heard a sweet star-sound fill his mind. Vic became the star and rested in his star-ness.

Some immeasurable time later – not really later, because to Vic there was no past or future, only now – a stray thought of Liz penetrated the star-ghost. Vic popped back into his human form, more focused and relaxed than when he left it. “Now,” he said, “I’ll concentrate on Liz.”

Vic turned into a single, long thought, and whispered himself into Liz’s ear, saying over and over, “My lovely Miss Lizzy, the argument was about you and you’re still in danger.”

Still in danger. Unwillingly, Vic was pulled away from Liz and into Jaku’s intense thoughts of revenge. “It’s all Liz’s fault! Vic and me was running buddies ‘til she came along and turned him against me!” Jaku paced the jail cell like a squat, 5’2” caged gorilla.

For the first time, Vic felt something akin to compassion for the tormented man; for desiring Liz, who despised and feared him. But then the memory of that psycho Jaku ambushing and murdering him rushed into Vic’s mind. Rage welled up in him. He yelled, “You murdered me! I’ll break your face.”

Jaku grabbed the steel bars with a white-knuckled grip. “Bitch! My homeboys gonna blow you away.”

Vic’s anger faded as love for Liz washed over him like a warm wave. Instantly, he was back in the firehouse alarm room beside Liz, who was smiling and saying, “I feel warm, like sunshine. Vic – I think you’re here.”

Instantly, Vic’s love gave way to worry. “You’re still in danger. When Jaku makes bail…”

Liz frowned. “I sense that … you’re trying to tell me something. I get … a worried feeling ….” She sighed. “Maybe it’s all in my mind. Because I miss you so.” At that admission, Liz’s face crumpled and her hazel eyes spilled tears onto the radio console.

“No, no no! Not in your mind!” Vic yelled, and was back in the purple-walled classroom getting his knuckles rapped. “Sorry,” he muttered. He took three deep breaths, relaxed, and watched as his anger turned into a grimace, grew ragged wings and flew, scowling, out the window.

An idea popped, big and bright, into Vic’s consciousness. “I’ll tell her in a dream! One so crystal clear she can’t help but understand the argument was about her.” With that thought held strong and steady in his mind, Vic floated at Liz’s bedside, whispering over and over into her sleepy head as she lay in bed, “You will remember your dream when you awake. You will remember.”

Liz shot up, grabbed her dream journal off the nightstand, and wrote,  “Dear God, please send me a dream, tell me what the argument was about between Vic and Jaku before Jaku murdered him. I don’t care what anybody says, I know Jaku murdered Vic. I know it!”

Vic watched as shapes and feelings formed in Liz’s mind. He tiptoed inside of her mind and pulled them into the shapes he wanted and the feelings he needed her to feel, painting a vivid dream story in which Jaku broke into Liz’s apartment and forced his way into bed with her. 

“No, no, no!” Liz screamed inside her dream. “I don’t want to!” But Jaku didn’t care a tinker’s damn about what Liz or anyone else wanted.

The dream scene switched to Liz’s living room, where Jaku joked and laughed and Liz, shaking with fear, thought, “People won’t understand. They’ll think I invited him in.”

“Now!” Vic thought, and jumped into the dream, wrapping his arm around Liz’s shoulders, touching her with such loving warmth and tenderness that she would know he understood she had not, would never have, invited Jaku in.  The love radiating between Vic and Liz was palpable, white hot and pure as truth.

Liz’s eyes shot open. Tears seeped from her eyes but her face looked radiant. “Vic! Is that your hand on my shoulder? Oh, Vic! I feel your love like an unstoppable force. Does that mean…oh, it must mean…the argument was about me?”

“Yes! Yes!” Vic turned happy somersaults in the air.

“Oh no! Vic! So you … died protecting me? My hero! I want to go with you! Oh, take me with you!” Liz’s hazel eyes scanned the room, searching for a sign from Vic.

“Just one New York minute!” Vic froze in mid-somersault. He frowned, worried. “I can’t do that. There are rules, you know.”

“I don’t want to live without you,” Liz sobbed. “I just want to die. It’s all my fault.”

“No, it’s not! It’s Jaku’s …” Vic began, which catapulted him to Jaku, who muttered, “It’s all Liz’s fault!” under his breath, even as he smiled at the guard unlocking his jail cell.

Vic shook with fear for Liz. Instantly at her bedside, he focused his energy, took three deep breaths, and shot thoughts like arrows into her mind, “Jaku’s out on bail! You’re still in danger.”

The pink flush faded from Liz’s cheeks as a chain of thoughts tumbled through her mind. “That’s why you’re worried, isn’t it Vic? I’m still in danger. That’s why you’re still around. Oh, my dear, am I keeping you earthbound?”

Vic found himself shackled to a giant earth globe, his muscles bulging as he strained against the chains. “Stop thinking like that,” he pleaded as the sweat poured off his brow. “I’m not earthbound! I’m free, like a bird.” The chains vanished and Vic soared through an endless sky, relishing the feel of the cool wind and the taste of freedom.

Vic’s thoughts returned to Liz, who was working in the firehouse alarm room again. “I’m here because I want to be,” he insisted. “I want to protect you from Jaku.”

“Vic?” Liz looked up from her book and smiled a sad smile. “I haven’t felt you around for weeks. Just now I heard some words loud in my mind – ‘mission’ or ‘missing’. Definitely ‘want.’ How I want you!” She swallowed hard and pointed at the tear-stained book in front of her. “Look, I’ve been learning to meditate, in hopes of hearing you better.” She closed her eyes, took three deep breaths, and said Om three times. “Now tell me something, Vic.”

He stared at her. All he could think of was how much he wanted her to be happy and whole.

“I get the feeling, dear,” Liz whispered. “But what in blue blazes can we do about Jaku? He’s out you know. And he’s after me.”

Did you miss part of this story?
Firehouse Ghost: Unveiling the Other Side
Whispered Connections: Firehouse Ghost II

Bridging Love and Afterlife: Firehouse Ghost III

Stay Tuned for Part 2

UPDATE: Read Part 2 Now! Unravel the mysterious afterlife as this thrilling tale continues. Bound by love, Vic navigates the ethereal realms to protect his beloved Liz from the sinister Jaku. Dive into their supernatural journey where spirits and emotions collide, and the line between love, life, and death blurs.

Lizbeth Hartz is the author of the true crime, true love memoir Angel Hero, Murder in Hawaii, A True StoryGet it on Amazon or sample the 1st chapter free there.