Previously on Heaven Can Wait-Part 3
Watching the paranormal investigators and TV crew take over our house, I felt things could quickly get out of control. I went to introduce myself. “I’m Sherlock Herms, a hardboiled detective with grit in my blood.”
Ghost Guy ignored me. “Who’s next? You cutie? Which body part do you want me to sign?”
My jaw dropped as Chauncie Marie exposed her belly and Ghost Guy signed right over the fourth nipple.
A choir of screams drew our attention to the front lawn. “My fans!” Ghost Guy grabbed his jacket and slung it over his shoulder as he bound out the front door. The screams hurt my ears .
The bearded guy whose batteries died rolled his eyes. “This is getting old.” He grabbed the director’s arm. “I get paid regardless if we’re shooting or not, right?”
“Get out there Pete, and meet the fans while we set up,” the director told him.
Pete shot a dirty look at the crowd trampling our front lawn. “They aren’t here to meet me.” He headed for our kitchen. I followed.
“You got anything stronger than bottled water and almond milk?” he asked, his head inside our refrigerator.
“I think there’s beer in the lettuce crisper.” I watched while he drank one of Dad’s brewski’s and ate a cold leg of fried chicken. “Dori called Ghost Guy because of the problem in our attic.”
“What kind of problem?” Pete finished the leg and tossed it onto the counter where one of my fursibs could get it.
I jumped onto the counter to paw it into the sink and cover it with a dish cloth. “Well, there’s a bottom rung demon behind the bookcase, and some kind of monster with bad indigestion lurking under the couch. My friend Charley is missing; he’s a ghost. I was hoping you could find him. Oh! And my calico sisfur has been possessed by a thick mist that turned her fur black.”
Pete stared at me. “Come again?”
“There’s a demon behind the book—”
Pete flew from the kitchen, up the stairs to my mom’s author office at the top. “Where’s the attic?” I heard him ask Mom as I arrived.
She had the police on the phone, but hung up when she saw me. “What’s going on, Herms? Who are these people?”
“Ghost hunters,” I told her. “Pete. In there.” As he closed my office door behind him, I said to Mom, “Dori thought we needed help finding Charley.”
She sighed. “I hope they find him before your dad gets home from work.”
My office door abruptly opened and Pete stepped out, his face a bit whiter behind his beard. “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” He flew down the stairs, his voice reaching a new octave while calling for Ghost Guy.
And now…Part 4
An hour later the TV crew and paranormal investigators had set up camp in my office. With heat-emitting cameras, tape recorders, electromagnetic field meters, infrared motion detectors and other professional ghost hunting equipment, along with too many bodies crammed into such a small space, the high temperature made my floof limp with sweat. Beside me Dori had panted to the point of drooling all over Ghost Guy’s autograph on her chest, turning it into a runny blur.
Because I was the one who alerted Pete to the extensive paranormal activity in my office, Ghost Guy had stopped ignoring me and wanted to interview me for his TV show. We sat on my couch with Candy who didn’t look like her usual bright and sunny self. Whatever the black mist was, it had not only robbed her of her autumn calico colors, but also her kitten energy.
“Can you get her to burp smoke?” the director asked. “And why isn’t the bookcase shaking? Pete! I thought you said you saw it shake and smoke.”
“I did,” Pete told him. “Tell your network big shots that demons aren’t performing dogs. They make woo-woo when they damn well feel like it.”
Ghost Guy stuck a microphone in my face. “Tell me what happened to the kitty, Sherman.”
“It’s Herman. Well, something dark and smoky came out of the floor and swirled around her. Then it went inside her. And turned her calico fur to black.”
“Cut!” Everyone looked at the director. “Not of general interest. A recent survey said our audience is made up of more dog people than cat people. Get to the bookcase. And would someone put the tabby cat outside? She’s sticking her face in camera range.”
I only then noticed Dori was lying on the back of the couch right over my shoulder. Pete picked her up and held her like a baby. She seemed to like that. Her purrs filled the room.
Ghost Guy again stuck his microphone in my face. “Tell me what you saw in this room, Sherman.”
“Again. It’s Herman. Well, I saw a demon behind the bookcase. She tried to reach through the books to get out. That’s why we pushed the couch up against it. To block the third shelf. That’s where—”
Guy jumped up to shove the couch away from the bookcase, knocking me and Candy to the floor. While Candy slunk off into a corner, I watched Pete and a couple of the child-size cameramen help him move it. The director didn’t like how it made Ghost Guy look like a weenie (Pete’s phrasing not mine) so they shot Guy kicking my couch a second time with Pete and two of the cameramen moving it out of camera range.
Hunkered down by the third shelf, Ghost Guy asked me, “Can you tell me how you felt when the demon possessed you?”
“I didn’t say it possessed me.”
“When was the last time you felt like killing someone, Sherman?”
As I was thinking, Right Now, the bookcase began to tremble. Everyone jumped, with Ghost Guy bruising my ear drums with his high-pitched scream.
“Look at the book!” one of the cameramen shouted, which made the director yell ‘Cut!’ so he could have Pete shout ‘look at the book’ on camera.
The camera zeroed in on the third shelf as Evil Paranormal Stuff fell to the floor. I tried to paw it back into place, but Ghost Guy shoved me to the side. “OH MY GOD!” he shouted into the camera. “DID YOU SEE?”
Pete knelt beside him with his EMF detector buzzing like angry bees. As the buzz gradually changed to a higher and higher pitch, he murmured, more to me than to Ghost Guy, “Something scary bad is behind that bookcase.”
“You ain’t seen nuffin’ yet,” I whispered back.
No sooner did the words leave my mouth than Demon Loud Lady let out a pants-wetting scream, and shoved her arm through the books to grab Ghost Guy by the throat.
While Guy emoted with the most authentic terror he’d ever displayed on national teevee, Pete calmly took an EMF reading. “Impressive!”
When the demon roared, “Give me back my house, or Charley will burn in hell!” Ghost Guy passed out. Or maybe fainted on purpose for the cameras; I don’t know for sure.
“Get your facts straight, Vivian. You’ve already admitted you don’t have Charley.” I pawed the book back onto the shelf, forcing her to release Ghost Guy.
Pete grinned at me. “Damn! You’re impressive.” He flicked a look of disgust at his partner lying on the floor, then said to me, “Who’s Charley?”
“Charley Feeble was a private detective back in the 1940’s.” While I told Pete the story about how I met Charley and how Vivian Shallowford made Charley dead, the director yelled “Cut!” and Ghost Guy stopped acting faint.
“So you don’t know what happened to Charley’s spirit?” Pete asked as we moved to sit on the couch. “Maybe he went into the light.”
“He wouldn’t do that without telling me,” I said as Dori crawled into Pete’s lap. “He’s giving me detective lessons. I’m worried. If the demon doesn’t have Charley, then where is he?”
“That’s why I called Ghost Guy,” Dori told Pete. “To find Chawley.”
“This house is sitting on top of an INDIAN BURIAL GROUND!” We turned to where Ghost Guy was performing for the cameras. Despite the attic heat and weak light from the window as twilight set in, the ghost hunter still wore his sunglasses and leather jacket. “Behind this bookcase is a VORTEX! A whirling mass of DEMONIC ENERGY trying to KILL ME!”
He fell to his knees, groaning. “I feel dizzy. I feel nauseous. I feel the demon trying to POSSESS ME!”
I glared at the director. “If he barfs, you clean it up.”
Ghost Guy abruptly lurched to his feet. “That’s what you’re trying to do, isn’t it?” he shouted at the bookcase. “Make me dizzy. Make me PUKE! You’re FEEDING on the people in this house. You’re feeding on their WEAKNESSES.”
A growl curled around my vocal cords. “Who you calling weak, buster?”
Ghost Guy shook his fist at the bookcase. “EXPOSE YOURSELF!”
“Oh my GOD! Did you HEAR THAT?”
I rolled my eyes so far back into my head, I saw my brain. The fearless ghost hunter had stepped on one of Dori’s cat toys.
Pete nudged my shoulder. “Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” He pointed to the black mist rolling from Candy into the air. For a moment it swirled around her like smoke, then gathered mass until it grew to the size of an elephant directly behind Ghost Guy.
“You’ve activated something, dude,” Pete called to his partner.
“What do you mean?” Guy looked everywhere around him, except behind him.
Meanwhile the director and cameramen were huddled together with their jaws dropped. Clearly the cameras weren’t recording what the black mist was about to do to their star.
What is once seen cannot be unseen. I closed my eyes to protect myself.
Some hoomons in this world need a full time keeper. I’m thinking Dori’s hero, Ghost Guy, is a big fat phony. What do you think? At least the black mist left my little sisfur, Candy, although what it plans to do with the phony baloney ghost hunter is anyone’s guess. I can’t bear to look!
Be sure to come back Friday for Part 5 of Heaven Can Wait.
Need to catch up with my Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries? The links to Season 1 Case Notes are listed on the Archive Page (see upper tab on far right). If you missed Part 1 of Heaven Can Wait, click here.
Until next Friday…Have a Wonderpurr Week.
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