I read your letter very carefully. I think, what you wanted to say was, that you have a real fear of ghosts, that is so strong, that it holds you back in real life. And you said, that you would prefer, not to believe in ghosts like many others do. Well, that would be a good solution indeed. But you also wrote, that you are tired of the usual call from others to just be rational. Perhaps you put in this word, because you know it triggers something in me, that make my fingers go “typsy” (they want to type a text), if so – well done! I will take my usual approach for this problem by writing some short fiction. This is the first story of a series, that came into my mind.
Smell the flowers,
Your Muse in training
If there were Ghosts …
Modern Murder Investigation – Ghost Style
State attorney Clementine Wilson sat down in her chair in the darkened summon room. She emptied her coffee mug and sighed. She was not a fan of this procedure, although everyone around her seemed to think, that it was an amazing experience – a sure sign that they never witnessed a ghost summoning in person.
It was thought to be an unerring way to hunt down murderers and Clementine remembered quite well the hype this procedure got, when she studied law at the university. The victim will just tell, who the culprit was! The crime of murder will practically vanish, was the dream a lot of people had. They clearly underestimated how often murder victims had no idea, who took their life. And a surprisingly big number, didn’t even notice, they were murdered at all. But the case this morning looked more promising. The victim seemed to had a fight before his murderer stabbed him with a knife. There was a good chance, that he could remember the fight and would know, who killed him. And so there also was a good chance that this was one of the easy ones.
Clementines assistant had already put a hula-hoop around a chair – which was simple and more practicable than drawing a circle on the ground. Good thing, that scientist have studied the summoning of ghosts thoroughly. It had turned out quickly, that no occult signs were needed. No salt, no dried up endangered frogs, no pulverized fossils of as unicorns declared cave bears. A circle is all you need. And the use of candles – as romantically as it seems – has some dangers, like lighting up the ghost, causing rapid fires or explosions. The small light of a mobile phone normally did the trick just fine. Clementine pressed record on her voice recorder and began reading the personal data of the victim: “We summon Oliver Hunch, born 5thof June 1973, last address Hamilton square 34, owner of a dog named Beast,…” Like most murder victims, Mr. Hunch appeared fast. “I was waiting for you!”, his eerie voice said. “I was waaaiiiiting for you.”
Clementine nodded satisfied. That was usually a good sign. “Now we are here and can talk. First question, Mr. Hunch: Do you know, who murdered you?” Mr. Hunch, who was not more than a nearly invisible cloud of light, whispered: “I saw him. Eyes of the devil!” His voice screeched unpleasant, but that was a common problem with ghosts, they just could not hold their voice stable. “Do you know the identity of your murderer?”, Clementine asked calmly.
“A thief he was!”, screeched Mr. Hunch. “Stole my life away.”
“Can you give us a description?”
“Muscular type, with a silly looking mustache. Someone called him Ricky. Eyes like the devil!” Clementine did not respond to this. It was the usual hysteria of the freshly dead, and she heard repeated things like that in almost every summoning. She ignored it. “Ricky. Good, I write this down. How can I recognize this Ricky?”
“Eyes like the devil!”
Clementine just waited. This was way better than starting a discussion about diabolic eyes. She had a lot of experience. “He had a tattoo on his arm”, Mr. Hunch revealed suddenly. “Let me show you!” Her assistant was waiting for that to happen. He now sat down on the chair in the hula-hoop and let his hand with the pen be moved by Mr. Hunch’s ghost. Mr. Hunch seemed to have been not that good of an artist, but he managed to draw something snakelike. “We got in a fight”, he now remembered. “He stabbed me.” There was surprise in his voice. “But he was my mate… Ricky Brand. Why did he do that?”
“I don’t know”, Clementine said. “Why did he fight you?”
“He said, that I have betrayed him. That I have stolen from him.”
“And, did you?”
Mr. Hunch went silent. Then screeched horribly loud again: “Eyes of the devil!”
“Mr. Hunch, why did Ricky stab you?”, asked Clementine again.
“Oh, I remember now. I sold some of our drugs behind his back and kept the money. Yes, I betrayed him. Wasn’t the first time. Never thought, that he would be that angry about it.” Clementine knew, what to do now: “We take over from here”, she said. “You should rest now. Rest in peace.” And the ghost was gone.
“Philipp, please tell the police to look for a Ricky Brand. I will start the paper work for the prosecution.” She went to her desk and sighed, as she saw all the emails, she would have to answer today. Well, summoning ghosts was annoying, but there would always be tasks more annoying than the ones before.