This story is by Kelly Brookbank and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
Lea grabbed her partner’s arm and pointed across the alley. “Do you see Georgie Duvolt?” she blurted out before computing what it meant. If she hadn’t been completely frozen she would’ve thrown up.
“You mean victim #3 of this scumbag we’re after?” Dallas searched for what or anything Lea was talking about.
“Ye…I mean, pfffft – NO! That can’t be Georgie. She’s been dead for a month!” Lea removed her hand. Her head swimming, she shook it to ‘get the crazy out’. “Must’ve been the morning fog. Let’s get back to work!” Lea looked up at Dallas with a big fake grin. He was aggressively chewing gum on one side and had a toothpick hanging out of the other. A look of deep concern mixed with “should-I-be-taking-you-to-the-loony-bin?” took over his face.
“O…K.…” Lea glanced across the other side of the crime scene to see if Georgie was still there. She was, the prostitute dressed in a short jean skirt, a tube top and gold platform shoes, staring back at her. She looked exactly like Lea had seen her last remove the gunshot in the neck. “Your roommate in one of her moods again last night, Stick?” That was her partner’s nickname for her because her body looked like a stick – no tits and no ass.
“Yeah, probably.” Lea answered absent-mindedly, still shocked at how she could possibly be seeing a dead hooker.
“Didn’t get much sleep, did you?”
“I think so.”
“You know you have a maxi-pad stuck to your face?” Dallas said, trying to jostle her back to earth.
Dallas grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her. “Stick! What the hell?” He let her go. “When’s the last time you had a day off?”
“I don’t know, it couldn’t have been…..ummm….” Lea started to think.
“Ya, exactly. Go home. Get some sleep. Take a couple of days off.” Dallas demanded. They were partners but Dallas was still her superior.
“Bu….” She saw his stern, gum chewing face and knew there was no sense arguing. “Whatever. I’ll just work from home.” She jumped to avoid her partner’s shoe that was about to kick her in the ass. Lea looked over at the hooker again. Georgie started to walk away and just as she took a few steps, she disappeared into thin air.
“That’s an order. Go home. And DO NOT take any files!” Lea stuck her tongue out at him.
As soon as she was out of sight her emotions took over and a tear fell down her cheek. What the hell is wrong with me? She threw up.
Lea needed the comfort of home so she went to her mom’s place. She opened the fridge. “Son of a bitch.” She was hoping there was some leftover lasagna but she was out of luck. “Should we go on the hunt?” She asked Snowball, the persian cat who was nestling up against her leg. Her mom usually had some lasagna in the freezer so she picked up the cat and headed for the cellar.
Just as Lea flicked the downstairs light on, Snowball meowed angrily. “Ouch, shit!” The cat jumped down. Lea saw a child at the bottom of the stairs and she must have squeezed Snowball causing her to scratch Lea’s shoulder. Lea looked down the stairs…the child was gone. “What the fuck?” Her stomach was in knots and her neck hairs were on end. Lea’s Mom had never mentioned having a kid there. She instinctively grabbed for her gun.
“Hey kid, it’s ok. I just want to talk to you,” she yelled as she slowly crept downstairs. “Are you hungry kid?” Lea swung herself behind a door. No kid. She kept slowly walking down the hall checking all the rooms. “My mom makes some mean lasagna.” She opened the shower curtain, just a sad looking plant. She checked all the rooms but couldn’t find the girl. She must be seeing things…again.
“What are you doing here?” Lea’s mom Bernie asked as she walked through the door.
“I was sent home for going bonkers.”
“Is that right?” Bernie said as she got out some wine and glasses. She sat down and opened the wine. Lea looked deep in her mom’s eyes and something told her she would understand.
“I saw a couple of murder victims today,” she eased into the conversation.
“That’s nothing new.”
“No, but one victim was leaning against a wall, looking as live as you and me. Aaaand only I could see her.”
“Huh.” Bernie said as she took a sip of wine.
“Huh?” Lea asked, bewildered. “I tell you I saw a…a….I don’t even know what to call it – spirit? And all you have to say is huh?”
Bernie sat back. “I was wondering if you were ever going to get our talent or if it was going to skip you all together. You’re a late bloomer.”
Wine just about fell out of Lea’s wide open mouth. She felt like her brains were going to fall out also because they were pounding so hard now. Bernie took another drink of wine and let this all sink in for her daughter.
“Wait, so this means you have this…what did you call it…talent?”
“Yes dear. Since I was a child.”
“Did Dad know?”
“Well, I tried to tell him.”
“So he was pretty close-minded?”
“Well, I have some other two-word phrases that I prefer to use but yes, you could say he was close-minded.”
Bernie looked at Lea and winked. Lea started to relax a bit. Bernie looked at the bowl Lea was eating from. “Awe, if you told me you were coming, I would have baked you a fresh lasagna. Is that from the freezer?”
“Oh AND!” Lea almost shouted. “I could have sworn I saw a child when I turned the light on downstairs.”
“Oh! You met Dolly.” Bernie paused and took a deep breath. “She was your sister. Add that to the ever-growing list of things your father kept from us.”