The Irritated Spirit

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No one enjoyed taking the elevator to the morgue. It was silent and depressing. A journey to a very cold hell, hidden in the bowels of the hospital! Dr. Lou Green was no different. He escorted detective Lorraine DeMarco to the gloomy dungeon. In normal circumstances he’d flirt with such a beautiful woman, but even her stunning looks and bright personality couldn’t lift his mood!
“Hi Lou, whats with the long face? Come one give me a smile.”
Lou looked at her. She was an olive-skinned beauty, unmarried, except to her career. Her perfect red lips curved in a smile and her eyes shone with mischief and humility.
“It’s the morgue. I feel defeated every time I come down here. A wall full of drawers, filled with dead folks defeats my purpose in this world.”
“You can’t save them all Lou! If their time’s up, they’re gonna go!”
“And tell me, why would the time be up on a 25-year-old girl? Who decided she should die?”
The elevator doors whooshed open and they stepped into the silent corridor that led to the room of the dead.
“I know, not good, but that’s why I’m here right? To find out what happened to her. You have the post-mortem results don’t you?”
“Not personally. You know I don’t do that, I’m just bringing you down here because Jack was called away. I couldn’t work on the dead, whats the point?”
Lorraine laughed, “Come on Lou, cheer up. A post-mortem helps us find the bastard that killed them.”
Lou opened the door to the morgue and shivered.
“I couldn’t work down here, I’d freeze to death.”
“It does seem colder than normal today,” Lorraine responded pulling her jacket tightly around her.
They walked along the wall of drawers until they found the one labeled Rosa Rosso. Lorraine chuckled.
“Death isn’t funny detective!”
“Oh come on, Rosa Rosso. She sounds like a stripper, where’s your sense of humor?”
Lou couldn’t find humor in the morgue and glowered at her as he slid the oversized drawer open.
The drawer was empty.
“Great, one’s escaped!”
They both turned towards the sound of the door at the end of the room closing, then ran towards it.
On the floor lay a toe tag. Detective DeMarco picked it up and read the name out loud.
“Rosa Rosso, dam Lou, one really did get away!”

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As they approached the hotel Jean’s anger flared. Her aura was red-hot. She felt it and worried that Bill would see her. He glanced in his rear-view mirror, a confused look on his face, as if something were wrong. Tugging at his tie, he loosened it and undid the top button of his shirt.
Perspiration prickled his face.
Jean smiled. He couldn’t see her, but she knew he felt her. The sweet little Catholic girl was going to release a world of pain on this man.
Bill wiped his brow with the sleeve of his jacket and switched on the AC.
With one glance Jean switched it off again.
Bill punched the button again, she left it on for thirty seconds, and then smiled and switched it off.
“Goddamn fucking AC, maybe I should have gotten the BMW after all”
Jean smiled and switched on the heating. Her aura calmed, she was no longer red-hot, but Bill was!
Driving erratically, he ran a red light, almost hitting two pedestrians.
“Shit, shit, SHIT!”
He slowed down a little.
“The last thing I need right now is another death!”
Then he smiled and relaxed a little. Jean hadn’t been rich, but they had a house together with at least $200,000 in equity. Jean’s parents had given them a chunk of money as a wedding present. Then there was the jewelry! He’d make a tidy sum when he sold that. He opened the car windows and breathed deeply. In the back of the car, Jean’s aura was red again. She could hear his thoughts. Closing her eyes she resisted the urge to kill him. She moved effortlessly into the passenger seat and remembered how she’d loved sitting next to him in the car. He’d slip his hand onto her knee and stroke her inner thigh while the drove. She shivered as she remembered…but the moment soon passed!
How long did it take for you to tire of me Bill? Did you ever really love me?
Bill pulled into the hotel parking lot. His head was full of his mistress, and her money. Parking the car, he walked quickly into the hotel lobby and climbed the stairs two at a time. Anticipating the rest of the afternoon, Bill was already aroused. Money and sex did that to him. He opened the door. The drapes were closed and scented candles burned. The room smelled of roses, and expensive perfume. Bill was right about the champagne, but wrong about her skimpy expensive attire.

Sofia was naked!

Eventually

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Monica stomped along the road in her expensive Italian boots. The evening hadn’t turned out as she planned.
“It’s New Years Eve and I was supposed to be enjoying myself with James. Dinner, Dancing and then…”
Things catch up with you eventually
She stopped and turned around “Who said that?”
Silence, nothing moved. “God I’m talking to myself AND hearing things. Someone is going to pay for this.”
Someone always pays eventually
“OK, not funny. I know you’re out there. Did James’s wife put you up to this? He was going to leave her anyway, nothing to do with me. He told me the marriage was over. He’d be with someone else if it wasn’t me.”

The frigid night air was still and silent. “Where the hell am I?” Nothing along the dark misty lane looked familiar.

Monica had been at the Royal Charles hotel, waiting in reception for James, her lover. A handsome and very rich business man who’d made his money in the fashion world, backing and funding new designers. She’d been seeing him for almost six months. Her goal was to entice away from his shrew of a wife and snotty nosed kids by the end of the year. It seemed to be working until tonight. Monica waited for him for over an hour. He wasn’t answering his phone so she decided to just check into the room and wait for him there.

“I’m sorry, but there must be some mistake, there isn’t a reservation under that name.”
“Alright, I’d like to reserve a room now please.” Monica said, trying not to be annoyed.
The receptionist didn’t even bother to check availability. She just shook her head. “We’ve been fully booked for months. New Years Eve is popular here. I’m sorry.”
“I’m in the middle of nowhere, what am I supposed to do?”
“If you drive down to the main road, and then head towards town, there’s a B&B on the right, just before the farm. It’s called the Charles Inn, sometimes people get the two places mixed up. Maybe your reservation is.”
“Seriously? A B&B? I highly doubt it. I didn’t drive, I took a taxi!”
The receptionist looked nervous, she didn’t want a scene on New Years Eve while dinner guests arrived. “Let me call you a taxi now.” She frowned as she dialed different cab firms.
“I can’t get anyone here until 8:30” She said apologetically.
Monica looked at her watch. “What, it’s only six o clock!”
“You could always sit in our lounge and enjoy a cocktail while you wait.”
“I don’t drink alone,” she snarled.

Monica picked up her Gucci overnight bag and headed out into the darkness. A five-minute brisk walk put her in on a narrow dark. The only thing that moved in the darkness was a damp luminous mist!

“I wish I’d had that drink now.” She said softly to herself. There was no sign of civilization along the dark country road, but Monica kept walking, what choice did she have. Taking her cell phone out of her pocket, she tried to call James again. “No signal, great!”
She saw headlights approaching and hoped it was him. No luck, the approaching car was battered red Nissan. James drove a silver Maserati. In the distance Monica saw lights, they were smudged by the mist, but she could make out a large dimly lit building. “At last, maybe this is the B&B, if it has a bar I’m going inside. To hell with everything, a drink or two would be wonderful.”

She paused for a moment when she reached the gate. There was nothing indicating this was a B&B. Music and laughter floated temptingly from the open door. Live jazz, lazy, lovely and full of promise. She was mesmerized!

“Sounds like a classy place, maybe I’ll spend the night.”
She took a compact from her purse and re-applied her lipstick. “This face needs a man to appreciate it, a man with deep pockets. I was bored with James anyway.”
Monica took a deep breath, puffed out her chest, opened her coat to show her perfect (implanted) breasts and walked to the front door.
The scene in front of her was warm, exciting, and full of promise.

The Lady in the Lake – was it me?

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A college grad! She couldn’t believe it. 22 years old!

“Mum, I’m home!”

SURPRISE!!!!!!

The quiet dark house exploded into a mess of bright light and excited voices. Juliet stood in the doorway as a sea of happy faces rushed towards her. She was pummeled with hugs and kisses. The party started in the early afternoon and didn’t ease up until after six. Finally she found a quiet place in the garden and sat down to catch her breath. A hand touched her shoulder. It was Jake, they’d been sweethearts since high school.

“Your parents did you proud, were you expecting this?”

“Are you kidding? I had no idea. I was sad they couldn’t come to see me graduate, but mum’s illness makes things tough. This was fantastic. Did you help?”

Jake smiled “A little. Lets take a walk by the lake. I want you to myself for a while.”

They walked hand in hand down the hill, the fading sunlight reflected on the distant glassy surface. Juliet shivered and stopped in her tracks.

“Are you cold? Shall we go back?”

“No, I’m okay, someone walked over my grave that’s all!”

“What a weird expression that is, I wonder where it came from?” Jake said as he put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer.

They sat on a bench close to the water and kissed. A romantic setting, the sort of setting that begged a proposal! Juliet said yes and they kissed again, softly, lovingly and then with unbridled passion.

Afterwards they walked to the edge of the lake and sat for a while, dipping their fingers into the shallow water, it was cool, clean. Jake turned his back for a moment, there was no splash, no scream for help, but when he turned around again Juliet was gone.

“Juliet, this isn’t funny, where are you?”

Silence. “Juliet?”

He looked at the water, its glassy surface was still.

“Juliet!”

She looked at him from the depths of the lake, a wicked smile on her face. I was lonely, but it won’t last forever. I’ll have you with me, I’ll catch you.

I’m the lady in the lake and I take what I want.

“Jake I want you!

Not Alone!

candle-in-darkA solitary figure walked through the deserted streets. With every turn plunged he was plunged into deeper, darker shadows as he walked into the bowels of the city, but he wasn’t alone.

“Where are you leading me?” he said to no one.

He came to a dead-end, a courtyard.

“What now?” he asked.

Looking around him he felt hopeless, lost, but he didn’t feel alone. A candle burned in a small grimy window. The only light in the gloom. No wait, there was a door. A slither of light escaped beneath it.

The hinges creaked as he pushed it open and entered a tiny room. He stood for a while as his eyes accustomed to the darkness. The room was empty, but he heard whispers, was someone praying? Following the sound he walked carefully through a darkened archway. A woman sat in the far corner, next to a bed. She turned as he entered.

“Father, how did you know?”

She was holding the hand of an old man. His breath was uneven ragged.

“He’s ready to leave us.” she said. “Bless him Father, help him move on.”

The good father crouched down beside them and held their hands. Eyes closed, they prayed together.

Father Rafferty stood up, his old knees crackling as he did so. The ragged breathing had stopped. He turned to the old lady to offer her comfort, but she was gone. Was she ever there?

The smell of roses tantalized the air and Father Rafferty looked around. A beautiful young woman stood behind him. Her eyes sparkled with life and happiness. She held her hand out, not to him, but to the old man in the bed beyond. A cool breeze passed by him as a young man rose from the old body on the bed.

The young couple embraced and faded into the night.

All that was left was candle light and the smell of roses.

EYES ON ME!

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She tossed and turned, but sleep wouldn’t come. The bedroom was cold! She could see her breath, the bed was cold too!

The furnace must have broken!

Pulling the covers tightly around her, Lou burrowed into them. They felt damp and icy!

Dammit whats wrong. 

Reluctantly she got out of bed and grabbed her robe. Her fingers touched something gelatinous. She screamed and recoiled! Fumbling in the dark, she looked for the light switch.

Found it. 

Frantically she switched it on. Nothing. She reached for the bedside lamp, it didn’t work either. Pulling back the drapes, she looked out of the window. The world was engulfed in fog. Heavy, dark and thick. Swirling like clouds.

I feel eyes on me!

Carefully, slowly and trying not to panic, Lou made her way downstairs and into the kitchen. Pitch black, hard to move, hard to breath.

She found the flashlight in the cupboard next to the sink.

Thank god!

She switched it on, it worked. Shining it into the darkness of her home gave her some relief, there was nothing to see.

I need to get some heat in here.

Lou made her way down to the basement and the furnace.

Somethings wrong!

She opened the basement door, letting out a cold stench. It came from something unfamiliar, something terrifying. She didn’t want to look, but couldn’t help it. A dozen distorted, decaying faces looked back at her, their mouths open in a silent scream.

Oh dear God in Heaven!

She fainted!

Ghostly Guidance

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Larry and his wayward friends left, pleased and excited with the way the night had turned out leaving Jack, Janie and I at the kitchen table, where we talked long into the night. Photos from the old tin were spread out in front of us. The faces on them were now familiar to me. Everything made sense now, well sort of.

“My mom and dad were killed in a car accident when I was twelve years old. I was home alone when the police knocked on the door. They took me with them and arranged for me to go into foster care.”

“Why? Did you have no more family?” I asked.

“No, I didn’t even have a birth certificate.”

“Where was your home?” Jack asked.

“Colorado Springs, it turns out my parents weren’t my birth parents, but took me in when I was a baby. There was no legal documentation. No way of knowing where I’d come from.”

“How do you know they weren’t your parents?”

“A neighbor told the police when they were trying to track down family. She’s known my mom a long time, knew she couldn’t have kids.”

Jack shook his head, “You were so close, less than an hour away from me for all of these years. How did you end up on here? How did you get involved with the scumbags on Colfax?”

“I ran away when I was fifteen. My foster parents were awful, I was nothing more than an unpaid child minder to their spoilt kids. The man tried to abuse me several times, he’d hit me and threaten me. It was a nightmare. His wife didn’t believe me, she hated me for telling her.”

“How did you come by the photos, the ones you’ve just showed to us?” I asked.

Janie’s eyes filled with tears. “I found them in my mom’s room when the cops took me back there to collect my belongings, I’d never seen them before so I snatched them, hoping they’d help me find my real parents.”

“You know the girl in the photos is my daughter Janie, don’t you!”

“Yes, thats why I’m here, I recognized you when I saw you walking down the road one day. You were younger in the photos, but I knew it was you. I figured out you were my grandad. I was happy, but scared to talk to you because I’m a no good drifter!”

Jack covered his face with his hands, rubbed his bleary eyes and then spoke in a weak trembling voice, “Don’t ever say that about yourself. I can see you mother in you. I knew the first moment I laid eyes on you. I don’t care about your past, what you’ve done, or where you’ve been. I want to make your future better, I want to make up for everything you’ve missed. Your mother died giving birth to you. I let her down, I miss her and I can never fix that, but you are going to have the life she never got chance to live!”

I could see it was time for me to leave.

“I’m going to let you two talk and figure out your future, I’ll see myself out.”

Jack looked up at me. “Thank you for everything!”

“Hey, don’t thank me, thank Alice Hobson, she’s my grandma and the one who pushed me to help. I suspect your wife and daughter conspired with her to draw Janie to the barn, and close to you. Its got to be more than coincidence”

I felt my gran smile inside my head, she liked it when I talked about her.

“You’re different that for sure,” Jack responded, “but in a good way I guess.”

I looked back towards the kitchen before I opened the front door. Jack and his new-found grand child sat opposite each other, holding hands across the table. Behind Jack, and probably only visible to me, stood his wife, she smiled across at her daughter Janie, who stood behind her namesake. They were there for a few seconds and then they were no more.

The kitchen was filled with the smell of fresh bread.

 

Just an old fashioned brothel!

BrotherlThe creep who’s propositioned me made himself comfortable on a chair next to Janie. Without taking his eyes off me he draped his arm around her and pulled her close. Tears streamed down her face. Push him off Janie, push him away. I knew she couldn’t. He kissed her on her neck, then her lips. He stood her up and pinning her against the wall with his body, he slid down and nuzzled his head between her breasts. She was terrified. I looked at Jack’s face, worried about his reaction. Larry spoke!

“Hey man, leave her alone, I can’t concentrate on the cards while you’re doing that.”

Tom turned around and faced him. “Can’t have that can we!”

He took hold of Janie’s arm and dragged her across the floor. She fell to her knees but he didn’t stop, he continued to walk, dragging her behind him. She managed to get to her feet again when they reached the door, her knees were scraped and her blouse torn.

“You want to come too darling? I can handle two of you.”

Go Sheila go, it’ll be OK! He’s strong, but drunk. Go help her. The voices in my head belonged to someone I’d come to know. It was Jacks daughter. Go, we’re here with you. This time it was my gran.

“Sure, let’s have a party.”

The look on Janie’s face was horrific. “No, leave her alone, leave her out of this.”

“Shhh, honey, you can’t keep a mal like this all to yourself” I said, trying to take on the role.

I didn’t look behind me, daren’t see the look on Jack’s face.

The bedroom that Tom led us into wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It was clean and sumptuous, reminded me of a saloon brothel from some Western, where the madame would be called Kitty and her girls would wear frilly bloomers and basques. He saw the look on my face. “Like what you see, you’re gonna like what you get too.” He unbuckled his belt and started to unzip his jeans. “Lets play around a little first shall we?”He walked toward me, his belt hanging loose, the top button of his jeans undone and his zipper halfway down. Janie stepped in front of me, trembling, but trying to protect me. She moved towards Tom and draped her arms around his neck. He put his hands on her shoulders, dropped his head and kissed her breasts, then he pushed her to one side and laughed.

“I’ve had you before, its her I want. She’s new, fresh and I don’t think she’s done this before.”

Oh dear god please help me. 

I looked across at the speckled mirror in the old-fashioned dresser and saw four faces looking back at me. My own terrified face was in the forefront, but the faded, determined faces of my gran, and the two souls she’d befriended hovered behind, like fading holograms.

Everything moved very fast. Janie lurched forward and grabbed Tom’s jeans, she yanked them down to his knees and pushed as hard as she could. His legs tangled in his jeans and he went down hard, banging his head on the corner of the dresser as he fell. It knocked him out cold.

Run, run, run, run, run, run, ruuuuuuunnnnnnn! Get away, flee!

The faces in the mirror had disappeared, but the room echoed with their words. I grabbed Janie’s hand and we ran for the door. It opened as we approached and on of Larry’s boys appeared. He looked behind us and saw Tom on the floor, a pool of blood spreading around him.

“This way!”

We fled down the hallway and out of the back door. The old van stood outside, its engine running. We fell inside and the van took off, even before the door was closed.

“You girls OK?”

Janie and I didn’t speak, we just hugged each other!

“What about Jack,” Janie said, “What if they hurt him?”

I put my arm around her, feeling her wet tears on my shoulder. “He’s in good company, I think he’ll be OK!” I replied and hoped I was right.

 

Ghost Whisperer?

“Jack, how long has this been happening?” I asked.

“Since New Years Eve! Since I saw you in the Saloon. You seem to be the connection. My wife and daughter are with me again. I think they’ve come to take me home”

“No, I don’t think that’s it. If they’d come to take you home, why would they need me? Something else is going on here.”

He looked at me, his tired eyes were moist with tears. “You talk as though this is an everyday occurrence. Are you some sort of Ghost Whisperer or Medium or something?”

I smiled, “Not exactly, but I do seem to attract the dead. Well those who have unfinished business anyway.”

“There’s no unfinished business here! My wife and child have come to take me with them. I have no use for this life anymore.”

“But you’re still alive aren’t you! Life hasn’t finished with you yet.”

Jack looked back at the locket on the table. “Tell me where you got this again!”

He sat in silence as I told him about the young girl in the Stagecoach. He shook his head, “None of this makes any sense, we need to find her and find out where she got it.”

“I agree with you, everything happens for a reason and I know she must be a part of this.”

“Tell me your story from start to finish again. I need to make sense of why you came into my life.”

I started with my night-time walk in the snow, my dreams, messages through my mam and my Gran. I talked slowly, thinking about every word before I spoke, being careful not to embellish any of the events. The words coming out of my mouth did sound like an episode of the Ghost Whisperer and I wondered what he’d think. If he’d believe me.

We sat in silence for a while after I’d finished.

“Fancy a walk?” It was Jack that broke the silence.

“Sure, I’ve called in a PTO day at work, I’ve nothing better to do. Anywhere in particular?”

I think its time we went back to the barn!