Story about a detective who receives help solving cases from ghosts.
|Easier to read view: http://prt.ag/ZowB
Chapter One: Just relax and tell me your problems.
Ben lies on the psychiatrist's couch as he does once a month for his sessions. He leaves out a short sigh as he begins to relax. Looking around the room and at the doctor he reminds himself he is safe. This is the room he can be himself. Sort of. He has his reasons for he still has to watch his words. The fear of regular people thinking you're crazy is one thing, however, your psychiatrist writing prescriptions for you is another.
"Hello Mr. Waverly. How's business?" Dr. Dennis Rhodes. Mid fifties. Seen it all over his years as a psychiatrist. Very professional. He's working on a crossword puzzle with Ben's file packaged underneath his newspaper on a white plastic clipboard.
"Well, the holidays are approaching. So that means crunch time for this guy," Ben points his thumbs to his face as he speaks. "Funny how what is supposed to be the happiest time of year ends up really screwing with people. Things aren't all Christmas lights and corny Rudolph sweaters if you catch my drift."
"Hey, I wore one of those during one of our sessions last year." The doc replies.
"Oh, it's a good look for you. I like the red LED on his nose. You should wear it next time. Definitely helped me open up."
"Right. Well, is it a stressful time for you? I remember you telling me about the," he held the the as he checked my file, "-incident eight years ago happened during this time frame."
"Yeah, I've accepted it though. I mean, it was horrible and I'm always going to miss her. But, a part of me feels like she is still by my side so it's not so painful."
"I see. So you still hold her very dear to you? Have you considered dating anyone new?" Dr. Rhodes asks.
"Uh..." Ben stares of into space for a moment and smiles. He makes a gesture as if he is winking to someone and Dr. Rhodes is too busy with his puzzle to notice. "Not really. I don't really have time for romance. Too busy with work and what not."
"Understandable. Well, maybe it would be healthy to take some time off work and find yourself a mate. We are social creatures. And who knows, maybe some intimacy in your life could eliminate the need for these sessions and end your night terrors."
"It's quite possible. Who knows. Maybe when i feel the time is right I'll give it a shot. But, I am quite happy with my life right now."
"Okay. Well, tell me about your sleeping patterns. Have they been better since I've prescribed you those medications?"
"Sleeping like a baby, doc."
"Great, that's very good."
At that moment, Ben's cell phone began ringing. It is a client who called for his help just yesterday.
"Sorry Doc, I have to take this. See you next month!"
"Last Thursday of January, right?" Dr. Rhodes asks as Ben sits up.
"Uh, yeah." Ben walks towards the door. "By the way, the word you are looking for is 'escapism'." He smiles and walks out the door.
"How... I've been working on that one since yesterday!" Dr. Rhodes says to himself after Ben has left the room.
"Haunt you later, babe."MATURE
"Hello, Mrs. Gomez, how may I help you?" Ben answers the call as he is leaving the building.
"Hey, detective. I was wondering if you could check on my husband. He says he is about to leave for work but i saw his work schedule and he is supposed to be off today. I was wondering if you could follow him?" Mrs. Gomez had called the day before asking for Ben's services and is now giving him a lead.
"Okay, but there is a charge for a stake out. Standard fee is about a hundred a night," Ben adds.
"I am fine with that. I just need to know if I can trust him. He has been acting pretty peculiar. I mean you remember everything I told you last night, right? If he isn't being true I'll get my money back when i sign the divorce papers."
"Right. Text me your address and his license plate number and I'll either call or text what I find out ma'am."
"Parada en tu hermana! Ella no es un saco de arena, que poco diablo! Oh, sorry. These kids are driving me up the wall! Hold on," she puts the phone away from her mouth, "He dicho alto, idiota!" She gets back on the phone. "Yes, yes. Thank you very much!"
"Uh huh, no problemo,"
Ben hangs up and proceeds to his car. He grabs a snow scraper from the backseat of his dark blue Dodge Stratus and begins cleaning off his vehicle. It's been snowing lightly all day.
"So, what was that wink for?" Karen sneaks up and gives him a hug from behind.
"You know how i feel about dating someone else. I already am in love," Ben smiles as he slowly keeps brushing off the snow.
"Aw, I love you, too," Karen kisses his neck as she holds him. "Why do you keep seeing this guy?"
"It's good to talk to someone that's not always about business and who is not a gh..."
"You were about to say it weren't you?" She says after a short pause. "You know how I feel about the 'G' word!"
"I'm sorry, it slipped. You know i hate upsetting you, babe!" Ben turned around and sees a heavy set teenager. His face is plastered in white make up, his hair is spiked, most likely zero gauge ear rings, with a black shirt and some sort of other pieces of metal in his skin.
"So... I think I'm in the right place?" The teenage boy stares at Ben awkwardly for he appears to be talking to himself.
"Dr. Rhodes? Yeah, he's uh... He's great."
Karen laughs almost uncontrollably in an otherwise momentary silence.
"Cool," the boy walks away and looks back and mutters 'so weird' under his breath.
"That's what happens when you sneak up on me! I'll talk to you in the car!" Ben exclaims in a low volume.
"You're so cute when you're perturbed!" Karen laughs some more.
Ben finishes cleaning off his vehicle and jumps in.
"So you have another case? Another possible 'CMW'?"
"Do you listen in on all my calls?"
"Like I have anything better to do!"
"Yeah, probably a 'CMW'," Ben replies. A 'CMW' is an acronym for 'cheating man whore'. Ben has acronyms for everything these days. Saying the full term gets quite redundant.
"Okay. If you need any help just say my name," Karen begins to disappear. As she gives Ben a kiss on the cheek she says "Haunt you later, Babe," in a half joking/half mad Ben almost used the word 'ghost' again. Then, she is gone.
Just then, as the detective was about to put the car in reverse to pull out of the parking spot a the psych ward, his phone receives Mrs. Gomez's text with her home address and her husband's vehicle information. Ben's text notification is a short bit of the classic blue oyster cult song 'Don't fear the reaper'.
"Okay, back to work I go." He says after reading the text. He places his phone back down and proceeds to go to the Gomez home.
Black El CaminoMATURE
Ben arrives in the Gomez's neighborhood. He has the vehicle description and license plate number when his client sent it via text message. He parks just down the street as he watches Mr. Gomez walk out to his car.
"I will see you later, mami. I might be working late so don't wait up!" He shouts as he jumps in to a black El Camino.
"Here we go," Ben says as the man in the El Camino reaches the end of the street. Ben follows him, keeping about half a city block between him and himself. "Where you going, Pedro?"
He follows him for about an hour. The sun is going down. The snow starts to fall again. Gomez pulls into the parking lot of a hotel at Bakery Square called Spring Hill suites. The building is a bit cheesy looking with what seems to be Easter themed paintings on the front side with phrases like 'work' and 'shop' as if to accommodate tenants if they are confused on why they are staying here. Brick style at the top floors with lighting that shoots up the sides at night.
Ben pulls up and parks on the side of the street across from the hotel where he can see the front doors. He watches Gomez walk up and pull out his cell phone to make a call. Moments later a six foot black man comes outside to wave him in.
"Oh God, don't tell me. Karen!" Ben shouts as he is looking through his binoculars.
"What's up babe!?" She appears in a flash standing outside Ben's car window.
"Ahh! Don't do that! You're going to give me a heart attack!" Ben exclaims.
"I'm working on it! That way we can spend more time together," Karen smiles and laughs a little.
"Yeah, I love you too, jerk. Look, this is all you, I can't do this," Ben shakes his head.
"Why you say that?"
"I don't want to get into it. You see who I'm after, right?"
"Yeah. Want me to go in?"
"Yeah. Go find his room and see what kind of evidence we can get on this dude," Ben says to her.
"I'm on it, cutie!" She vanishes.
Karen goes into the lobby and floats behind the front desk. The manager is standing there reading the paper.
'Need him out of here. Hmm,' Karen thinks to herself. 'I know what i can do!' She gets next to him and slowly squeezes his stomach.
"Ugh. Damn tacos. Never eating there again!" The manager rubs his stomach and proceeds to the bathroom.
'Ok. Gomez, Gomez. What room you in, buddy?' Karen gets on the computer that has all the guest information. 'Got it!'
She floats up to the third floor and finds room three-zero-two and walks through the door. What she saw made her want to laugh. But she had to stay quiet. Strong emotional outbursts either positive or negative are sometimes heard by those without the gift of seeing the dead. Karen covers her mouth and flies quickly out of the room.
'Oh, my god! Oh, my god! That's why he sent me!' She says to herself in her mind. 'How embarrassing!" She contains herself and goes back into the room.
"Baby, do i really need to wear this?" There stood the six-foot African-American wearing a french made outfit.
"I went through all that trouble finding this thing on-line and now you don't want to wear it!? I wore that sexy out fit for you last time, bro! No respect at all!"
"Don't call me bro! It doesn't sound right!" He whined.
"Look I'm sorry, just come here. You look gorgeous!" Gomez smiles and sits down in the bed.
'Ahh!' Karen shrieks a little and flies out the window and goes to Ben.
"Ben! Give me a camera! Quick!" Karen exclaims.
"What's going in up there?"
"You will see," she laughs.
"Here ya go. Be careful, don't spook them, now! You'll blow our cover!"
"Right, be back soon!" Karen flies quickly back to the window. "Oh, crap. The window is closed!" She lays the camera on the window sill and goes back in.
"Yeah, see that dust down there? Yeah, right there, dust that %!%* good."
'If i could puke i would be right now' Karen says to herself. 'How do i get them to open the window?' She looks around and she see's the room temperature controls on the wall. 'Okay, one hundred degrees should do it."
The thermostat beeped as she pressed the button. "&*!&i"
"What was that?" Gomez asks.
"I don't know. Maybe the heat is kicking on?"
"Oh, okay. Whatever. Back to cleaning!"
"Don't be so bossy!"
"Chill, we're just goofing around!"
"That's all this is to you?"
"Ugh, come on I didn't mean it like that!"
A Maid Man.MATURE
About fifteen minutes of dusting the room, the man int he rather questionable attire began sweating. "I'm so hot!"
"Yeah, you are baby! Ugh, I can't believe how well that dress fits you!" Gomez adds.
"Well, thank you. But, I mean it's really hot in here. Did you turn up the heat on purpose? Sounds like something you'd do," he laughed.
"No, no. At least, not this time. You're right. Let's turn that down and crack a window for a bit. It is pretty hot in here," he gets up and turns down the thermostat as the man in the maid dress opens the window.
Yes! It's working! Karen thinks to herself.
"It'll cool down here in no time," Gomez says as he hugs the maid from behind.
Why do I have to do the dirty work? I mean I don't even get paid. No like I can use money or need it. The things I do for love! Karen waits as the two men lay on the bed and start playing their usual hotel game. They've been seeing each other for half a year secretly living the other half of their double lives.
"Oh, yeah! Clean my clock! Polish my end table! Get on your knees and scrub my hardwood floor!"
"You're getting way into this, mister!"
"Just go with it. Earn that pay check you dirty maid!"
Erm, I better take the pictures. I almost forgot! Karen grabs the camera from the ledge and waits until they are fully engrossed in their cleaning activities and not paying attention to what is behind them. A floating twelve megapixel digital camera.
Alright, make this look as incriminating as possible and... Click, click, click. Karen takes several photos of the two men in the hotel room. Problem is, she forgot to turn off the flash.
"What the hell was that!? Gomez! Did you hide a #^%%ing camera! I told you I'm not into that !*@@i"
"I did not! How could I? You rented the room, remember!? You hid one and you're blaming it on me!! You !*##@ii"
"Oh, I'm a %%^bitch? Just you... wait... if you didn't, and I didn't. Who the &&!% did?"
"I'm going to the front desk!" The maid man rushes out the door in a huff.
"Wait, you're still wearing your-" the door slams "out fit... ha ha..."
Oh, no! I gotta get out of here! Karen flies out the window with the camera and zooms back to Ben who was patiently waiting in his car. Asleep.
"I got it! I got the pictures! Wake up!"
"Ahhh!!! What did I tell you!"
"Look, see?" She shows him the pictures.
"Ugh! C'mon. I don't... what the hell are they... Just give me the camera so i can go and wrap this case up!"
"After all my hard work you're all upset because it wasn't a hot chick this time aren't ya!" Karen laughs.
"Oh, whatever. I'm sorry, just hop in, please," Ben laughs and shakes his head.
Back in the hotel lobby the six foot African American wearing the french maid apparel shows up at the front desk.
"Excuse me! Hey! Hey, Mr. Manager guy! I think some pervert put a god damn camera in me and my man's room. What you going to do about it!?"
The manager is lumped over the counter with his head down. As he looks up to see the man in his strange clothing he suddenly feels his stomach tighten up again.
"Oh, my lord. I mean, I'll have someone come look right away," he runs to the back room, "Oh god, now it's coming out the other end!" He exclaims as he holds his mouth and abdomen as he frantically searches for a trash can.
"You better be calling a crime scene investigation right now, mother &!!^eri Or else I'm suing the hell out of this hotel!!" The maid man shouts.
"Hueaaahhhhhhh!!!! Huuaaaaahhh!! Blleeeehhhhhh!!!!" Goes the manager loudly.
The ride home was tiring after sitting in the car for the past four hours before even starting back at eleven at night. The city was quiet as midnight hit. Karen visited briefly in Ben's car to joke about the last case and have a little small talk about how he was feeling and about a few phone calls from new clients he received throughout the day. Nothing major except for one. A missing teen case. A fifteen year old girl named Shauna Warren has been reported missing since two days ago when she never came home from school. Ben was asked by a contact and close friend of his within the Pittsburgh Police Department to investigate named Frank Di Angelo. They got to know each other through a few cooperative work cases for which the PPD invited Benjamin to provide his skills.
Ben arrives back at his apartment complex just outside of the city in a neighboring town called Penn Hills. He can't live in the city or else he could never find peace and quiet. Not because of the living, but because of the amount of lingering lost souls roaming everywhere seeking answers.
If it's not already obvious, Ben has a gift. He developed it slowly after Karen passed. He could never sleep once he heard the news of what happened to her. Months went by as he never left his room in his parent's house. He hated life, hated everything and everyone.
But, something happened. One night, as he laid in bed thinking, always thinking, he heard a voice in his head he was sure was not his own inner voice. As he began talking to this voice, the more he did, the more it sounded like his lost loved one. For three days, he stayed in his room, talking to himself. His parents were worried and began making plans to call for medical advice. Ben and Karen figured everything out. He found peace knowing she was okay. He found reason to live again knowing Karen still existed. However, Karen did not have the heart to tell him what happened to her. How she died. Until this very day, she won't say a word about it. Karen knows it would crush him.
(This ends chapter one)
Chapter two: A quick little flightMATURE
As Ben lays down to sleep he remembers all the studying and audio tapes he used to think were complete bull. He keeps practicing a new past time that let's him go places he couldn't go before. The weightlessness is very enjoyable to him. The experience makes him more grateful. He feels a strengthened connection to the ether and more importantly to Karen with each trip.
"I'll see you, soon," Karen smiles and kisses Ben on the cheek as he closes his eyes. Benjamin was focusing on not thinking in order to clear his mind from all thought.
He lays still. Bringing his focus now on getting every single muscle in his body to relax as he lays on his backside with his head rolled back comfortably. As he relaxes sensations, a tingling occurs throughout his body that is like a low surge of adrenaline. It makes him want to jump out of bed as a natural reaction but over time with practice he has taught himself to stay put. Now, it's time to focus his eyes as his lids are closed to the center of his forehead and find that quiet peaceful spot where all is blocked.
He's getting ready to leap.
The next step begins as he visualizes a silver rope coming from his head with his mind's eye. What begins as imagination seems almost real within minutes. He focuses his entire mind on feeling weightless, disconnected, free. His breathing slows as does his heart rate as his body begins to fall asleep, though his mind awake and conscious. It finally begins after an hour of deep, deep meditation.
His soul lifts. He is without body. He now floats at the ceiling. For a moment he enjoys the feeling; not thinking, no pain, no worry, he is free. He opens his eyes as his body sleeps and focuses on landing.
"You're doing well. Can you come to me?" Karen asks.
Ben can't seem to form words. He can only attempt to walk forward to reach Karen a few yards away.
"That's it. You're improving! I want to try something. Here, can you take my hand?" Karen reaches her hand out for his. Ben brings his up as he stares at her without expression.
Karen grabs Ben's hand and pulls him up through the apartment building to the roof.
"Cool, huh? It's like we can go on dates again!" Karen smiles. "I wish you could talk. I know it will take practice."
Ben tries to smile. It comes off like a twitch and fades fast.
"Hold on tight, okay?" Karen laughs and drags Ben up into the sky slowly. It's snowing with a break in the clouds to see the moon. The skyline is slightly brighter. You can't see the city but you can see the light bounce across the sky and light up the snow as it falls on it. They keep rising up to the point where they can almost touch the clouds.
"Here, can you reach up and grab some? Go ahead, try it. It's pretty cool," she smirks.
Karen holds on to Ben as he raises his arm to the sky and just as he tries to grab the white fluffy cloud he begins to vanish.
"Aw, come on and focus, Ben," She coos.
He falls back to his body as he is pulled down by the silver rope connected to his body's head. In a flash, he see's a scary face he cannot recognize. Seeing it for only a short moment he can see a demonic entity. Then, the feeling of fright crawls over him as he jumps, in his physical body, out of bed in a cold sweat.
"What... what was that. What did I..." He stopped. He heard a low pitched voice laugh. Looking around his bedroom he could not see it's source. Ben gets up, gets a drink of water and lays back down. He's heard this voice before, and although worried, he doesn't let it scare him like it used to.
Karen lays down next to him and sighs, "You lasted much longer this time, baby!"
"You're so funny," Ben replies as he shakes his head. "I have to admit it was pretty amazing."
They lay in bed together as any normal couple would. They kiss and hold each other. After Ben falls asleep, Karen begins working on the missing teen case.
Partners in anti-crimeMATURE
Ben and Karen make a great team in the detective business. It's rare that a freelance private investigator bodes so well with out being on the pay roll of a higher authoritative body like the department of justice or perhaps the local police department. Why aren't they running out of a legal organization? Because, they don't have to. After cracking so many cases, it's a question of heart and who can get the job done. People want answers. People want to know if their loved ones are cheating, who stole their money, where the family pet has gone, who murdered their loved ones, who the kingpins are in the drug war, and so on. It's getting harder with each case for Ben to come up with a story on how he found the evidence. He can't come out and say, 'oh, my dead girlfriend found out for me,' no one will believe him or else it won't stand in the court of law. There's nothing in the law books that says one cannot take the word of a ghost or use obtained proof from said deceased but it's just too darn complicated to convince judges. Sometimes, the case doesn't need evidence that will stand in court. Sometimes, Ben has clients who just want to know and find proof enough for them.
So, what do they do when things get a little iffy in the lack of proof? They call Franky Di Angelo. They've gone back in forth many times with cases where Ben needed help piecing together evidence or paper trails leading the precinct to find the dirty laundry they need to catch their man. The bad part is, Ben had to do something he didn't originally want to do. Four years ago, as the two realized they wanted to help in catching criminals and help in the legal field as a profession, they had found the man who killed several other men in a drug deal gone awry. Karen led Ben to him but they could do nothing because they did not find the evidence they needed to book him. The precinct questioned Ben's verdict of who the killer was so Ben made a deal with Di Angelo. He agreed to tell Di Angelo his secret if he kept it to himself and he helped him cross the legal tethers that would up in the justice system.
As Ben sleeps, Karen goes to the police department with Shauna's case on her mind. She floats through the front doors and the hallways of the Pittsburgh precinct and continues as she normally does to their computer main frame to search for Shauna's file. It lists the time reported, which was two days ago, all the missing person's identifying traits which were: blonde white female, age fifteen, one hundred and ten pounds, five foot four inches tall, usually wore a jeans, hair down to her shoulders, a white gold charm bracelet with hearts on her left wrist and a white gold necklace with a locket with her parent's picture inside that was probably a gift from some occasion.
"You poor thing. I hope you didn't go through what I did," Karen moans to herself in the quiet police station. There were a few officers walking around the facility at this time of morning. Karen looks around and then see's a clock. It's almost three a.m.. It's time for her to get back to the apartment where it is safe. She reads the rest of Shauna's file quickly to find all the information she needs before heading back.
Quite often known as the witching hour or even the devil's hour. Three a.m. is not a safe time for a soul to be roaming. There are many demons who search for lost souls who are still earth bound in order to send them to their rightful resting place. Some of them are the devil's right hand men themselves who made a deal to not spend eternity in the depths of the earth while others are just out to torment or eat lost souls to make them stronger. By rights, they can do what they want with lost souls as long as they still roam the earth. If they do not proceed to heaven shortly after death they've broken a rule of the after life. Souls are not supposed to interact with the living. They must go on to their fated path.
As Karen flies back to Ben's place she hears the same dark laughter Ben had heard. She's been followed by demons before but particular one has been after her a lot recently.
"Karen," she hears his voice as a loud whisper ruffled in the wind. She looks back worried but continues flying.
"Karen," this time it's as if he is taunting her.
"Karen!" The voice gets deeper with a bit of anger.
"Stay away!" She screams and the voice stops. She stops for a moment to look around.
Breakfast for oneMATURE
He wakes up to the smell of pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs and scrapple wafting together and sifting into his bedroom. Still half asleep, he stumbles to his feet and proceeds to the bathroom to do the 'three S's' as he refers to them: Shower, shave, and relieve himself.
After he is finished and dressed he comes to the kitchen to sit down at his small wooden table. He says hello to all of his friends as they wade around the room making jokes at each other as usual. Karen serves him his breakfast and he begins to eat. They all stop bantering and stare at him.
"Do you have to do that every time I eat here!? It's not my fault you don't have stomachs anymore!" Ben says as he wipes syrup from his mouth. "Damn, it's sticky, i got syrup on my sleeves."
"You know, if you were dead, too, you wouldn't have to worry about sticky syrup sleeves. You think you're problems are so bad. Well, I'm dead you jack ass!! And, to add to it I fought for your freedom! If it wasn't for me you'd be out picking cotton!" Says Sarge. A ghost of a man who lost his life in the civil war. His real name was Sam Walden. He is a little bitter still over the war and has come to Ben because he doesn't have any other living beings to talk to.
"First of all, I'm white. Okay? But, thank you. Second of all, I don't even know why we call you Sarge. You were a front line grunt. You didn't even see battle! You died from a cannon malfunction! By your own hand!"
"Forget you, ya yankee..." Sarge rolls his eyes.
"You were also on a yankee. You fought for the north," Ben said quickly as he resumed eating.
"Chill man, I'm grateful. Haha, like the grateful dead, ya? They're a great band," Kahlil chimed in. He was an ex drug runner who operated in the streets of Pittsburgh. Often trafficking from there to Philly and New York City.
"Be quiet Kahlil. Why don't you go smoke your ashes?" Sarge laughed.
"I can't. My peeps already did that. I watched them at the party. I always told them if I ever died that's what i wanted. Who would want to just go spread ashes that fine in quality in the ocean, you know?" Needless to say how Kahlil died.
Everyone in the room laughed.
"Kahlil, man. Out of all of you here, you're the only one I would not call the ghost busters on. " An old man ghost walked through the front door and over heard the conversation. He was Ben's old man Jack. He died two years ago from a heart attack during work. But, even after death he is still around to give Ben a hard time.
"Hey! What about me!?" Karen retorts.
"Remember that time you had Ben out all night in ninth grade? He got sick and he ended up puking all over my tux. They were brand new work clothes!"
"You old prick. Still holding that grudge, huh?" Karen smiles as she washes the dishes.
"Nice to see you, dad. Where have you been?"
"At your mother's, pranking the hell out of her and her new boyfriend. She's probably going to call you for some detective work. It wasn't me," Jack adds. He pulls out a chair and sits down. "Is that scrapple?"
"Dad? I'm sorry that you aren't around to be with mom but you have to stop scaring her boyfriends away. She is still alive and you can't be there for her," Ben explains.
"Well, I still say she did me in with her cooking," He stares at Karen as she stares back. She stops whats she is doing for a short moment and continues sheepishly putting the frying pan she just washed into the cupboard.
"Please? For her well being?" Ben asks with a strong undertone.
"Fine! I guess i could tone it down a bit but I'm not stopping. You know, lights flickering, a few moving dish plates. I won't make anyone hit themselves anymore, I promise," Jack says with a bit of a smirk.
"You didn't," Karen shook her head.
"It was a blast. I mean, how can you blame me. She's hooking up with-"
"Enough, dad. I got a proton pack and I'm not afraid to use it," Ben said bluffing.
Jack gave him a blank look. "Fine."
"So, you about ready? We've gotta get cracking," Karen asks.
"Can i help this time?" Kahkil asks.
"No. I saw you snorting carpet freshener this morning. Besides, you never really try when you come with us," Karen replies.
"Well, you never let me get the good stuff..."
"Quit whining, you hooligan. You still have most of your face!" Sarge yells.
"I think I'm done. I can never eat in peace. It was very good, though." Ben got up from the table and proceeded to the door as he grabbed his jacket.
"When you get a chance tell mom Jerry is a douche bag!" Jack yells as Ben and Karen leave.
A Sense of HumorMATURE
Waiting in the precinct lobby is always a pain. They already have the information to go seek the missing teenage girl, Shauna Warren, but the problem is Ben would have to explain how he got the lead already. Frank Di Angelo already knows Ben's secrets but there is no way Ben could allow the entire police force of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania nor the media in on his secret weapon. So there Ben sits, waiting while feeling quite awkward sitting on the wooden chair across from the one way mirror that blocks the view of the secretary's room. Ben keeps reminding himself not to peer into the mirror and stare in wonder but he can't help think the secretary probably makes weird faces at him.
"Mr. Waverly?" The precinct secretary speaks from a phone and speaker system.
"Mr. Di Angelo will see you now in his office," she says with voice that sounds like it's stuck in her nose.
"Okay, thank you," Ben gets up and walks through the doors leading to the office rooms and kiosks as he thinks she's totally mocking me, I know it.
"How goes it, Waverly?" Di Angelo was kicking back in his leather chair with his polyester shoes on the desk being careful enough not to knock over a stack of papers.
"Probably not as smooth as it is in this room," Ben jokes. "I got your message yesterday. Tell me more about this missing teen. Has anyone heard or seen anything new?"
"No. Not yet. But, I bet your ghost dogs are hot on the trail!" Just after he says this Franky Di's eyes light up as a sensation like he is being smacked rather hard comes across his face. He does a barrel roll out of his chair and onto the floor.
"Well, she must of found something just now. Karen! I'm joking! I'm so joking!" Ben steps back. Ben is the only one who can see Karen. Obviously, Frank only knows about her from brute force.
"Sorry, gosh. She can hit! Anyways, Shauna was last seen at Frick Park last Tuesday when she was with her friend Ashley after school walking Shauna's dog," he says while looking around the room. "Shauna's mother called Ashley after she realized she hasn't come home for about an hour past curfew and yesterday is when the report was sent out after a twenty four hours with no signs of Shauna."
"Give me Ashley's info. Phone and address. I'm going to need to know exactly the last spot she saw Shauna at the park," Ben replies.
"Can do," Frank writes the information down. "Let me know what you find out so I can tie up the lose ends as usual. And, please, no more violence. I can't keep finding ways to explain to my wife I'm still getting bruises at work when I'm a paper pusher now," he sighs.
"Well, be nice, then," Ben laughs as he takes the paper with Ashley's home address.
"It was just a little joke. Sheesh. Try having a sense of humor! Oh, wait, don't hit me, don't hit me!" Frank shields himself but there was no further attacks.
"Catch you later, Franky Di'" Ben chuckles as he walks out of the room.
A few seconds pass by after and Frank says to himself, "I bet the sex is good. I bet they even have a pottery wheel and everything."
A minute later: Smack.
"I thought you left!!! Ow!! %$i"
Ben leaves the precinct and drives to the given address. It was one of the nicer apartments in the area not too far away from Frick park. He goes to talk to Ashley's parents for a while for it's only just after noon and she doesn't get home from school until about three. There wasn't a whole bunch of talking going on after the initial shock convo of how worried Ashley's mother his worried about her daughter's close friend. So Ben sits waiting on their couch for Ash to come through the door.
"Welcome home, honey. How was school?" Ashley's mother greets her as she walks in.
"It was fine," Ash replies with a melancholy expression.
"Ashley, this is Detective Waverly. He is here to ask you a few questions," her mother adds as she gives her a hug.
"Am I in trouble?" Ashley asks.
"No, kiddo. I'm here to help find your friend. But, I'm going to need your help. You think you can do that?" Ben asks.
"Yeah, sure," she answers in a sad tone.
"I'm going to do my best to make sure I find Shauna. Let's have faith, ok?" Ben holds out his hand to shake Ashley's.
Ash stands there and sheepishly shakes his after she sets down her back pack.
"Ma'am. If you don't mind, I need your daughter to show me where the Warren's live and where at the park she last saw Shauna," Ben states.
"Sure," She nods.
"Okay. Let's go miss Ashley. We can't waste any time. I really need your help, okay?"
"Yes, sir," she says as she follows Ben out the door. They get in his car and she leads him to the park a few city blocks away. Ben and Ashley get out of the car once they're at the park and she leads them to a trail going through the park. It goes past a playground a little ways to an area with trees and bushes.
"This is where we talked last. It was getting dark and we both had to get home. She had her beagle Zeus with her. I guess her dog is missing, too,"
"Okay. I'm going to try my best, Ashley. Thank you very much for your help. I need you to show me where the Warren's live so I can investigate her home route and see if there are any clues and then I'll get you back home to your mother, alright?"
"Okay," Ashley says as they walk back to Ben's car.
Before Ben got into the driver's seat he hears a dog barking. It sounds as if the dog is close by but as he looks around he can't see anything. He didn't think anything of it at the time and got in and started driving.
As he drove to the Warren's with Ashley's aid Ashley asks: "Detective, where do you think people go when they die?"
"Well, now, uh.. Ashley, I want you to stay positive. I'm going to find your friend. Don't start thinking like that. It's going to be alright, I promise," Ben says a little nervously.
"Sir, you don't need to sugar coat anything. Shauna has a phone and I know she would have called someone if she has the chance. I hope she is okay, but I am ready for the worst. I'm not a child, anymore. I know there are a lot of evil people in this world," She explains.
"You're right, Ash. But, for your friend's sake and yours, I need you to promise me that you'll have faith. Bad things happen and I've been affected by them myself. I've lost someone very close to me. But, if that's the case, heaven forbid, it's okay to keep loved ones alive in your heart. I don't believe anyone is ever truly gone," Ben tells her.
Ashley looks to Ben and smiles. "I hope she's okay."
"Me too, kiddo," Ben drives to the Warren's and tries to get an understand of the route she may have walked home with her dog. She talks briefly to the Warren family to get a better description of Shauna and her dog Zeus. After dropping Ashley off at her home about an hour later from when they left her house he goes back to the park.
"I can't find anything, Karen. I don't know what to do!" Ben says worried.
"We will find something. Just keep looking," she says as she helps look around the park. They checked for size six shoes prints with the nike logo imprinted in the snow. They looked around the playground and the trail leading through. Suddenly, something finally turned up.
Faintly with the sound of vehicles driving through the streets just outside the park they could hear a dog barking. It slowly became louder.
"Huh? I wonder..." Ben says to himself and looks at Karen.
"Zeus?" Karen mutters.
"Could be," Ben replies.
"Zeus!!" Karen calls out. A short moment after you could hear the pat-pat-pat of little feet in the snow getting louder as it came closer until they could finally see what seemed to be the ghost of a small dog. It fit the description of Shauna's beagle.
"Zeus, come here, boy!" Karen calls out again the dog runs over to them.
I won't forget youMATURE
Ben and Karen looks at each other for a moment and then back to the dog. "I bet this is Zeus. It has to be. He answered to the name," Karen says.
"Yeah, I wonder if he will take us to Shauna," says Ben.
"Zeus! Where's Shauna? Show me where Shauna is!" Karen exclaims to the dog.
Zeus runs in a circle and then runs in the opposite direction.
"Oh, wow. Karen!" Ben yells.
"I'm on it!" Karen starts to follow Zeus out of the park as the dog leads her north. It runs through the streets of Pittsburgh as Karen follows him for a few hours. Then, it's as if the dog realizes it can fly and it takes off continuing north.
"Come on dog, I hope you're not wasting my time," She says. They're flying faster now as the sun goes down and it begins to snow. They get closer and closer to the north west part of the state.
Zeus slows down and lands at a dock at a large lake. It was lake Erie.
"Why did you come here, Zeus?" Karen asks.
The beagle sits on the edge of the dock and begins barking and wagging it's tail. Then, the sound of crying was heard as a girl rises from the water about four hundred yards out.
"Shauna? Oh, no. Shauna!" Karen calls out.
"Who are you?" The girl stops crying and walks across the lake towards the dock.
"I've been helping your family try to find you. Are you okay?"
"I'm confused. I don't understand. Why can I walk on water? Why can't I feel anything?"
"Something very bad happened, Shauna. I'm sorry," Karen says.
"Wait, you're not scared of me? I tried talking to some fisherman and they freaked out. I don't understand. What happened to me?"
"What is the last thing you remember?" Karen asks.
"I was walking Zeus. We were at the park and some man came up behind me and hit me. He threw me down and then I blacked out. I heard cars when I awoke in a dark place but I couldn't see anything. Then, when there was light, he hit me again. Now, I woke up and I saw my body down in this lake. I'm so scared!" Shauna cries.
Karen gives Shauna a hug as she looks down into the water and wonders to herself if this is the same man that got her as well eight years ago. It's not likely. But, anytime she find another life lost to a twisted man such as this it really hits home. Karen stands there and cries a little with the girl.
"It's going to be okay. I promise. I'm sorry this happened. I'm going to get revenge on the man who did this. I want you to find forgiveness for him for your sake. Who ever did this, has a big problem," Karen explains still crying a little.
"But, my family!" Shauna cries.
"You will see them again someday, okay? You have to trust me," Karen holds her tighter.
Just then a tunnel of swirling light bursts down from the sky. It was there for Shauna.
"What is that?"
"It's time, Shauna. I'm sorry," Karen rubs the tears off Shauna's face.
"But, I have so much I want to do here!"
"I know, I'm sorry. But, this is the way things are. It's much better for you to go than to stay here," Karen explains.
"But, I want to see my mom!"
"It's dangerous for you to stay here. You must go. Please, it's the only way you can speak to your loved ones again. You will be safe there," Karen looks into Shauna's eyes as she grabs her shoulders.
"Promise?" Shauna asks as a tear runs down her cheek.
"I promise," Karen gives Shauna one more hug.
Zeus runs up to Shauna and barks as he jumps on onto her leg. "Oh, Zeus. You're a good dog!" Shauna pets her dog one last time. "Zeus, I want you to stay here and look after mom. Make sure she is safe, okay?"
Shauna reaches down and gives her dog a hug and pets him and then looks at the tunnel of light beaming down from the sky into the water.
"You better go before it's too late. I'm going to find that man. I will take care of him. I promise," Karen says to her.
Shauna nods and gives a half smile and looks down at the ground. She then turns around and floats to the light. Before she leaves she looks to Karen and Zeus. "What is your name, ma'am?"
"Karen," she replies.
"I won't forget you," she says back.
"Same to you."
Chapter Three: hardest part of the jobMATURE
Shauna's mother had been impatiently waiting; feeling powerless as any mother would as she paces the living room of her home in suburban Pittsburgh. With Christmas just a day away, all she can think of is all the times she watched her little girl walk down the stairs to see her light up at the sight of the Christmas decor, the smell of turkey roasting in the kitchen, and numerous wrapped presents beneath the tree. Her Father sits, staring at the ground. He had called off work to keep his wife company and also await any further information.
Shauna was a good teenage girl. Geeky, scared of most insects, loved to play lacrosse; she was a typical all-american who had good grades and stayed out of trouble. The only problems she had in school were caused by boys who couldn't leave her alone. She had no real enemies and she tried to get along even with the less fortunate kids. Her parents, as they are silent, think so themselves what they could have done differently. A horrid empty feeling embeds into their hearts and stomachs. They just want to have her home for the holiday and give their little girl her presents.