The spirit saw the quarry. It was a regrettable chore to complete, but knew it was the woman’s time. On reflection, the creature did suspect that this wasn’t going to be a death in the natural course of life, but it was for others to decide such things. Drawing itself up, the spirit was about to make itself known when the blade of a wooden sword appeared in its face. Looking down the length of the blade there was a small, stuffed corgi at the other end. He had a lopsided grin and a meaningful look.
“Now, he said, “ we both know what you’re about and I can respect a working woman such as yourself, but it’s time for you to go. There’s no work for you here.”
The spirit took on a panicked expression.
“You know I must do this,” it wailed. “I must keen over her death!”
The corgi nodded sympathetically, but his sword was unwavering.
“Regardless, even you must know that the death approaching this woman is contrived and outside of the normal rules for such things.”
“Well, yes, but I still must be heard. It is a tradition.”
“Tradition or existence to wail over another death later. It is your choice, banshee.”
With a crestfallen look, the spirit backed away and faded into nothingness.
Hamish glanced around at his surroundings as he trotted to catch up to the woman. Many thought the name of this place meant a dark and bloody ground. He tsked to himself that some people loved to dwell on doom and gloom. He caught up to her as she was crossing the street. She had neared the other side when something tugged at her collar, pulling her to the ground. Moments later, a large truck barrelled through the intersection in the lane she had been about to cross. People started to shout if she was alright, a number of them stepping out of their vehicles. She waved and called out that she was okay.
Hamish released his grip on the woman’s collar and caught the brunt of her fall. She wasn’t a large woman, but he was a small corgi, and the impact left him feeling squished. He stumbled to his feet and quickly hurried after her before traffic could start moving again.