Categories > Original > Drama

Ghost Busters

by Lines 0 reviews

Hunting things of the Otherworld is just part of the job. High-tech gadgets and frogs are just perks.

Category: Drama - Rating: PG - Genres: Fantasy - Published: 2007-10-31 - Updated: 2007-10-31 - 1645 words - Complete

Chris watches anxiously over the top of the fence, Stanley clinging to the beanie he has pulled hastily over his bright hair. Parker, on the other side of the fence, adjusts his own beanie, which unlike Chris, he is wearing neatly, his hair tucked carefully under the edges as to keep it out of his face. It’s a black beanie, with a blue frog outlined in stitching near the hem. The rest of his outfit is black too, come to mention it, from his turtleneck to his slim utility belt to his soundless, custom made sneakers.

He moves silently up the dilapidated path to the crumbling relic of Cahier House to stop still at the door. The radio in his ear crackles gently to life. “Parker?” Chris’s apprehensive voice sounds clear enough that if Parker closes his eyes he can imagine the other boy standing right beside him. “Report?”

“Chris, I’ve been gone forty seconds,” Parker murmurs back, crouching down to watch the line of cockroaches scuttling away from the bottom of the door frame. “There’s nothing to report. Grass is overgrown, there’s a lawn-mower rusting towards the cherry tree, and the cockroaches are fleeing just as Ms. Weir told us.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll be quiet. Just let me know if you see anything at all, okay?”

“Roger that.” Parker would roll his eyes here were he not so busy inspecting the outside of the door. The hinges are rusting badly, and he can’t decide whether to oil them or just let the door squeak—does he want to stay quiet for a while longer, or alert them to his presence early? “Over and out.”

He goes with the sneaky option.

The house isn’t so quiet on the inside as it was on the out. The sounds of Carol Kidd drift through the large and empty hall, decked out as if it’s half a century earlier than it really is. Parker, stalking silently along the deep red carpets, is tempted to take a second and concentrate, see the house as it really is, but that isn’t important right now. He can always do it later, he supposes.

Laughter rings out from the second floor, and Parker makes a crouching sprint up the winding staircase towards it. As he climbs higher, low conversation reaches his hearing and he turns the radio on again. “Chris, I’ve found them. Don’t reply—just turn on the recorder.”

“Roger that.”

He leaves the radio on and sits with his back against the railing at the top of the stairs. There’s only a tea room up here, he thinks to himself as he pulls a translucent cube from his belt, with the . He pulls on both sides at once and twists the ends in opposite directions, which leave him with a periscope like device. He places one end to his eye and raises the other end high until the tea room and it’s three occupants comes into view. Lightly tracing a circle into the smooth side of the device, the room shifts sharply into focus. He smiles grimly to himself.

“And, well, it’s not as if I had much choice in the matter, is it now?” An elderly woman with an elaborate hat and perfect posture says. She looks, Parker thinks, like somebody’s grandmother. Certainly not one of his own, but somebody’s, for sure. “Though, honestly, I can’t see myself anywhere else now. Another biscuit, Amanda?”

Amanda? Parker frowns, sure his hearing must be going, as he swings his line of vision around to find the other woman. He does a double take. He’d been expecting to find another elderly woman, but instead he sees a thin blond woman, certainly no older than twenty-five, and decked out in several layers of brightly coloured and somewhat skanky clothing. There’s a shimmer to her face that suggests she’s wearing make-up. Definitely from this millennium, he thinks in surprise.

“Oh, no thanks, Elise. I’ve had way too many. I’ll get fat. And anyways, I’m way tired. I should probably head for bed.”

“Come on, Manda. Stay a little longer! It’s just barely midnight, and you’ve yet to tell us your story.”

“Well, I suppose I could,” Amanda smiles and tosses her hair a little. Tracing a figure eight into the surface of his periscope, Parker zooms out and Geoff comes into sight. A man of maybe forty, with a hint of Indian to his appearance and an amiable smile. Parker frown again.

What the hell is happening, he wonders, that we’ve got a woman from decades ago, a girl who could be any other mall hopping, figure obsessed snob you’d walk past in the street, and then one of the Cahier’s.

Deciding he’s seen enough, he folds the device up neatly and clips it back on his belt, before getting to his feet. The ghosts freeze as they notice him, before relaxing a moment later.

“Oh, just another one,” Elise sighs.

“There’ve been lots of them through here lately, haven’t there?” Amanda says airily.

“Not really,” Geoff replies, “Only one or two in the last few years. The last time there were more than that was when they were here for you, Manda.”

“Oh?” Parker says, tilting his head and fingering his belt. “What happened to you, Amanda?”

The ghosts freeze again. Amanda frowns. “Um, like, can you see us?”

“I most certainly can.”

Elise blinks. “Oh. How quaint.”

“Meaning amusing, pleasant, or interesting?” Parker asks, tone light. His hand stays at his hip though.

“Amusing,” She drawls back, slowly rising from her chair.

“I think it’s pleasant,” Amanda giggles, tossing her hair. Parker raises and eyebrow at her.

(and a few hundred meters away in the back of a ute, Chris makes a choking noise).

“I think it’s interesting!” Geoff grins, leaping to his feet and grabbing Parker’s hand, pulling it away from his belt and shaking it throughly. “How fascinating! I can even touch you!”

“Wonderful, Geoff,” Elise says sharply, and the man wilts a little, dropping Parker’s hand and moving back. Elise moves forward to take his place, drifting upwards a little to peer scrutinizingly at Parker’s face. “Why are you here, boy?”

Parker snorts and gently pushes her back to the floor. “To ask you to leave.”

Elise nods slowly, Amanda lets her mouth fall open, and Geoff smiles sadly. “I wondered how long it would be before this happened,” Amanda sniffs. “I knew it would happen though.”

“How’d you know that?” Geoff asks, puzzled.

“She watches TV,” Parker mutters, and Amanda flushes slightly, cheeks turning the colour of the summer sky.

“We don’t want to,” Elise says stiffly, turning the conversation back to the point. “We aren’t going anywhere.”

Parker nods. “I thought you might say that. However, you three are the most reasonable dead I’ve met since my mother—you’ve actually retained your senses. Most others loose all coherency, sanity, and reason. So before you make me do something I really don’t want to, could you please reconsider?”

All at once, three voices reply:

“No, we will not.” Elise says just as stiffly as before, chin held high.

“Your mom?” Amanda asks with pity in her voice (which Parker now places as American, and wonders how he missed the accent).

“Ooh! Unpleasant, or just uncomfortable?” Geoff bounces on the balls of his feet like a child being presented with a new toy. “Do you have some high-tech gadget or something?”

“My mum, yes,” Parker says as stiffly as Elise. “I have high-tech gadgets, yes. And my apologies, Ms, but I have a rent to pay, a roommate to feed, and a shop to run.” He reaches onces more for his belt.

“You are being paid for this?”

“Yes,” Elise’s question makes him hesitate. “I’ve been commissioned to remove you from the premises so the building can be demolished.”

“Why? By who?”

“Who is none of your business,” He says sharply, pulling something very much like a gun in appearance from his belt and pointing it at them. “But they want to build a new public school here.”

Elise opens her mouth once more to say something, but Parker pulls the trigger. The last he sees of them is Geoff’s intrigued expression, Amanda’s accepting pout, and Elise’s distraught face, before they vanish. The gun warms in his hand and the clip glows blue. He clips it back to his waist, and it weighs slightly more than it did when he removed it.

“Got all that, Chris?” He starts down the stairs once again, squinting hard at the carpet, which dissolves from rich red to moldy orange as he does so.

“I think so,” Chris chirps back. “And that was the chattiest I’ve ever heard you with any ghost since Bella.”

“They were sane, and interesting,” Parker shrugs as he pushes the door open. Chris waves to him from the drivers seat of the ute, and waves half-heartedly back.

“Hurry it up,” Chris demands over the radio. “It’s late, and I wanna get to sleep.”

“Mm.” Parker murmurs. “We have to be up early to organize a meeting with Ms Weir as well.” He unclips the radio from his ear and slides it in through the open window in the back of the ute, before sliding in beside Chris, who hits the gas before Parker even gets his seatbelt done up.

“Mission successful!” Chris sings, Stanley croaking loudly along with him.

Parker cracks a smile and fingers the warm blue clip of his gun. He can think later, he supposes, about what to do with the three of them.

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