“I am sorry,” he said roughly, pulling the book from the boy’s hands. “You can’t hide behind words. You can’t hide anywhere.”
The boy blinked, confused, since to him words were everywhere. His gaze skittered across the casket and away. “Not ready,” he whispered.
“You think anyone ever is?” The man asked almost gently.
The boy stood up from the floor and made his way through the crowd. Eulogies blended into each other to form a kind of white noise. He stopped beside the casket, stared inside at his own face.
“I look peaceful.”
“Yes,” the man said, coming up to lay a hand on his shoulder.
“Do I have to haunt somewhere, grandfather?”
“It is a tradition. If you desire.”
The boy nodded and left his funeral, beginning the walk to the nearest library. No one ever knew he haunted it and not a single seance reached him through all the books he read.