Harold glared at her. “Lucy! I'm ashamed of you. It's not nice to laugh at the death of other people.”
“She's not dead, Dad. She's in the salt shaker.”
Harold frowned and looked to Frederick to see if he'd noticed her observation but he seemed to have lapsed into a concentrated effort of watching the awards ceremony. He looked almost catatonic. Harold had asked him about this state a while ago and he'd explained the abilities of the dead to be aware of everything in their proximity at once. If he was watching television, for example, he could see all four channels at once (they didn't get channel five at the time) as well as the other non-corporeal residents, the fox in the kitchen garden, a family of house martens in the eaves and a rat feeding her children in the wall of the den. Also several hundred spiders and insects in every room of the house, plus a multitude of worms, woodlice, slugs, snails and centipedes. Being dead was no place for the insectophobe. And all that was before Harold moved in with his entourage and installed satellite television. His catatonic concentration was an effort to break through that, and it was unlikely he'd catch ambient conversation once involved in it.
He lowered his voice. “We don't talk about that. It's a secret.”
“Why? Aren't you going to help her?”
“She's screaming and screaming.” Lucy carefully ate a third cocoa puff. “You should help her.”
Lucy stopped eating and placed one tiny hand over his. “You should let her go.”