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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Paranoia will... something something Part 1

Being a private eye, you learn to spot certain things that are happening around you.  Being a psychic, you learn to sense things that are out of the ordinary.  Being both, when something out of the ordinary happens (even for me) I have been known to... well, let's just say that I can sometimes overreact.  (Gladys is reading over my shoulder and just let out a bark of laughter, by the way.)

Anyway, the other day I was going about my daily business when I suddenly got the feeling that I was being watched.  I was downtown at the farmer's market doing some shopping for the next couple of weeks when I distinctly felt at least one pair of eyes boring into my back.  I casually turned and scanned the market acting as if I were looking for a specific stall, but I didn't spot anyone or anything out of the ordinary.  I focused and brought up my second sight and looked again.  I was assaulted by the auras of the people gathered at the market going about their business.  As I mentally sifted through the onrush of information, I had hoped to catch a glimpse of my audience, but no such luck.  I shrugged it off thinking that maybe I had imagined it and that even if I hadn't, there was no reason to worry at this point.

As I continued shopping, the feeling came over me several times.  Each time I did my best to get a casual look around either by scanning the stalls or checking the reflections in a window nearby.  Nothing caught my attention.  I was wrapping up my shopping and began heading back to the Beast, my clunker of a car, and was in the underground parking lot when I thought I heard a set of footsteps following behind me.

I didn't do anything as pedestrian as freeze in my tracks and whip around to catch the culprit.  My highly developed skills as a detective (Okay, now she is giggling right in my ear) led me to, instead, keep my pace and move closer to the cars so that I could use the windows to take a glance behind me.  However, my stealthy tactic didn't pay off as I still didn't get a glimpse of anyone there.  I decided to change tactics.  Instead of heading to the Beast, I headed to the nearest set of stairs and made my way down a level.

I stood in the stairwell of the lower level for a few minutes, waiting for my shadow to follow me down.  No such luck.  I held my breath and listened closely.  Other than the noises from out on the street, the place was silent as the grave.  I let out my breath in a sigh and headed back up the steps, watching closely around each corner in case someone was waiting to jump out at me, but there was no sign of anyone else in the lot whatsoever.

I made my way back to the Beast and loaded the groceries and sundries into the trunk.  As I pulled out of the lot I decided that maybe it was just stress and maybe I was just hearing things.  I was less than a mile from the market when I glanced in my rearview mirror and noticed a blue Chrysler a couple of cars behind me.  It stuck out from the other cars because it was riding right up on the yellow line, which most people tend to avoid doing.  I tried to shrug it off but something about it bugged me.  I decided to take an alternate route home, one with a lot of twists and turns.  After turn three, the Chrysler was still behind me, always staying two or three cars back.  That put things beyond coincidence.  I was being followed, but by who?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Troubled Spirits: Part 5

You have no idea how betrayed and hurt I feel right now!  I shivered as the temperature in the room lowered to new icy depths.  We'd gotten back in the office over ten minutes ago and the thermostat had been making a steady decline since we'd arrived.  Ghosts, spirits, and other spectral beings emote very differently than other creatures.  Their moods directly affect the world around them.  Ever walked through a room in the middle of summer and stepped through a patch of cold that make you shiver from head to toe?  Chances are it was a spirit of one form or another experiencing a particularly strong emotion.  Usually cold denotes fear, anger, or a depression of some sort.  Warm spells indicate the opposite emotions like joy and love.

I was standing in a room that started out in the mid seventies and was plunging down to the low sixties.  This was one of the worst spells I had ever felt from her and I was seriously worried.  Not that I didn't deserve it, but when ghosts get into such foul moods, strange things happen around them.  Doors fly open.  Objects move from one side of a room to another.  In one case, I had witnessed a spirit's mood actually affect someone's pace maker.  The person survived, but only just barely and only because Gladys and I hunted and captured the spirit before it could do more harm.

Gladys' mood was causing my file cabinets to shimmy a little in their places and the guest chair that she paced back and forth behind began to follow her motion inch by inch.

Do you have any idea the kind of trust you have broken between us?  Do you know exactly the line that you have crossed because of your nosy ass curiosity?  The water glasses on one of my side tables wobbled and nearly tipped over.  Well, she asked stopping in place, her cold stare boring into me, do you?

"I know what I did was wrong," I began but was immediately cut off.

Wrong?  Wrong?!  She began pacing again.  What you did was unforgivable!  It was a direct violation of my privacy!  Wrong doesn't even begin to cover it.  I mean, what would even possess you to do such a thing?

"Well," I stared down at my hands on my desk, "I don't know.  I just wanted to know where it is you go all the time.  It's not like you're exactly forthcoming with information about where you go and what you do."  That was the wrong thing to say because a little frost pattern appeared on the coffee pot in the corner.

And you think that I have to tell you every place that I go now?  The floorboards of the office began to give off a low moan.  What am I, your property, now?  Your pet ghost?  I have news for you, you nosy piece of... of...

"Crap?" I supplied, but it was the wrong thing to do.  A file drawer slid open and paper exploded out the top of it.  I'd never seen her this angry and I was starting to fear for my own neck.  "Okay," I put my hands out in a pleading gesture.  "I know what I did was... was far beyond wrong."

It was- she began but this time I put a hand up and cut her off.

"I know," I said coming around the desk and picking up pieces of paper and setting them on my desk.  "I violated your privacy.  I admit that, and I know it was wrong.  It was shameful.  However,"  I felt her move to me like a flash of frozen lightning.

However?  The lights in the room dimmed a bit as she nearly engulfed me in her rage.  However?  You dare add a however as if you have some excuse, some viable reason for such an insufferable act of mistrust?

"Yes," I growled back at her, adding my rage to the storm around me.  "I do!  I'm not saying what I did was right on any level.  I'm not saying that it was understandable or even close to approaching appropriate based on our work relationship or our friendship.  What I am saying is that it was a down right atrocious thing to do, however," I felt her rev up to start again, but this time I overrode her.  "However!  I also feel that as much of a partner you have been to me both professionally and personally, I also feel that you sometimes do and say these cryptic little things for no other reason than to get under my skin!"

I never, she pulled back a bit.

"You do," I said in a much softer voice.  "You do it every day.  I ask what your plans are and you say things like 'Oh, just something I have to attend to.' or 'Wouldn't you like to know?'  And you know what?  Every time you say that, it makes me feel like there is more and more about you that you don't want to share with me.  Like you want to push and see how far you can go until I reach a breaking point.  I don't keep my life secret from you.  Hell, you have free reign to come into the office or my home without so much as a knock or a 'how d'you do,' and I don't say a word about it.  What if I had someone over?  What if I was doing something in my personal time that I didn't want to share?  How is that any different?"

First of all, the room began to warm a little, you would have to have a personal life for me to interrupt.

"That!" I pointed at her and stamped a foot.  "Right there.  That is exactly the kind of thing I am talking about.  My life is just as much a joke to you as yours is a mystery to me.  And both bug the hell out of me."

Oh, she glided away.  So since I am so blase about your personal life that gives you the right to snoop around in mine?

"No, but it..." I shrugged and turned away.  I wiped my face with my hands and took a deep breath before beginning again.  "I let you into my life, all of it.  Home time, work time, all of it.  I hardly ever bat an eye.  But the minute I start to ask or want to know anything about your life outside of work, you shut me out or make cryptic little comments that push me to do some pretty stupid things."

So now I'm the reason you do stupid things?  I could feel a small smile in her words and felt like the worst may be behind us.

"Sometimes," I said turning back to her with my fists on my hips, "yeah.  And considering some of the really stupid stuff I've done in your presence, I'm fairly certain you know exactly what I mean."  I gave her a smirk and a sigh and started picking up the rest of the papers on the floor.  "I know I can be intrusive." I continued as I shuffled around the office gathering bits of file.  "And I for damn sure know that I can be an ass from time to time."

Ha!  The warmth from that laugh felt as soothing as a warm, summer rain.

"But you have to know," I continued as I stacked the papers on my desk, "that I respect you and your privacy.  Hell, Gladys, I love you.  It's just that sometimes my jackassery takes over and... well... you know."

You go and do something stupid like follow a friend, a person you love and who loves you, in her time off, she floated over near me and I could feel her hand on my shoulder.  Maybe I am secretive.  Maybe I do keep a lot to myself.  And maybe, yes, I tend to be "cryptic" just to get under your skin from time to time.  But you have to know that what you did goes way beyond intrusive.

"I know," I sighed and shook my head, "and in retrospect, I'm not at all proud of what I did, if that helps.  And I'm just so damn sorry, Gladys."  I could feel a lump rising in my throat.

Listen, mister, she glided over towards the window, what you did was wrong, I felt her shoot a glance my way, and I am a long way from forgiving you for it.  But maybe you're also right that I don't share as much in our relationship and I'm not as open as you are with me, but that's just who I am.  I'm not suddenly going to tell you all of my secrets.  What fun would that be?

"And I should know you better by now," I shuffled over next to her and stared out the window.  "And I should know that your life is your own and none of my business, and from now on, I'll try to do better to respect that."

Good, she said as she glided closer and laid her head on my shoulder.  And maybe, just maybe, some day I might be more forthcoming with my personal life.

"Like maybe you'll tell me what you had planned for tonight that I so callously ruined?" I bounced my eyebrows at her and she laughed and it felt good that things were a bit better between us.

Not on your life, she said with a small, warm smile.  I'm still pissed at you and you are still in the dog house, ass.  Don't think that just because you apologized and got all pathetic on me means that you are off the hook.  We've still got a long way to go before I can really trust you again.

"I know," I sighed, feeling like a true piece of garbage, "and I am profoundly sorry.  Do you forgive me?"

We'll see what tomorrow brings, she gave me a mental nudge and I smiled.  For now, let's just look at the stars and maybe for once you can try to not ruin it by doing or saying something childish.

"We can always hope," I said as we stared out the window.  A shooting star blazed across the night sky and we both sighed.