The ghost and the earthquake

Prompt by @WriMuse

My name is… well, was I should say, Gareth Johnson.
I was 48 years old and worked in a factory all my life.
They said it was my diet that caused it, a heart attack in the night. I’d say it was peaceful, but I don’t really remember it in all honesty.

I met with the Grey One, death as you would know him, and shook his hand. I was always taught to be polite by my mother, bless her heart. She still cries every now and then for me, despite the alzheimers trying to make her forget me.

Death told me the rules. I would walk the earth, not as a punishment, but as a mission. Not like some saint or anything like that, but more as a realisation of who I was in my final days and to come to terms with the fact that I had died. It was apparently something that happened to everyone, although it differed depending on the person.

So one day, I’m walking through a city, I’m not sure where, geography was never my best subject, when it hits.
A terrible roar that rocks the ground beneath me. The vibrations ripple up through my feet and shake my very bones.
People falling and running everywhere, screaming and crying. That’s when I spotted her.
The top of the building, several stories higher then I was, screaming for help.
Something inside me burst, filling me with energy that I hadn’t felt for… I don’t know, years? I had no count of time anymore.

Racing up the stairs, the building shook, I watched as people young and old fell down the stairs, unsure whether it was panic or the quake that threw them from the ground.
I reached her floor and rushed into the apartment. A cracking had begun to split the floor, shining light from outside poured through gap that quickly began to widen.
There was no time. I shouted to her and, for the first time since I had died, somebody looked at me.

Now mediums and spiritualists had a “sense” I was there but this was different.
Suddenly, time slowed down, distorting before me as we locked eyes. Her section peeled away, she was holding a small child at the time that cried in fear, and she began to fall away from me.

I leapt forward after her, something I never would have been able to do in a million years before, but now, I had no choice. I moved as fast as I could, diving towards the floor that spilt away from me, hand outstretched for hers as gravity teased her away from my grasp.

But gravity wouldn’t win. I couldn’t let it.
The Grey One wouldn’t have this girl and her child today.
I grasped her hand at the last second, pulling her towards me and shielding them from the blow as the building shattered into a hundred pieces in the street.
I held her for ever, or what seemed like it before she whispered “Thank you”.
Then she fell back away from me.
I had returned to my inconceivable self again, and rose up to continue my journey across the world.

I hope they do well.