Previously on Heaven Can Wait – Part 6
My lids still felt too heavy to open, but I could hear Dori weeping. She blamed herself for Ghost Guy sending Charley to Hell. Dad was on the phone with a lawyer. They were suing the Ghost Guy production as Ghost Guy had opened more than one portal, unleashing spirits and demons into our once peaceful home. Mom was on the phone with a realtor asking whether she had to disclose to possible buyers that the house had open portals and a demon in the attic.
Hearing all this made me want to sleep forever. I didn’t want to face the future. We were moving! I couldn’t take my attic office with me. Not even Charley’s huge desk with lots of nooks and crannies. It came with my office. Actually, it came with the house. It’s too big to get through the door without chopping to pieces. Mom once told me our home had been built around an older house that refused to be torn down. At the time, I had thought that was pretty cool, but now I knew that older house and the huge desk had belonged to Charley Feeble, a 1940’s private detective whom I admired more than my hero, Sherlock Holmes.
Something wet and cold touch my nose. My eyes flew open to see Candy kneeling beside me on the couch. “I think I know a way to save Charley,” she whispurred just as someone in the kitchen shouted, “I’ll pay whatever you want for this house!”
“We want two million,” I heard Dad say, and Ghost Guy bellowed, “SOLD!”
I exchanged horrified looks with Candy. “We’re really moving. We’ve got to save Charley before Mom packs us into the pet carriers and takes us away. What do you have in mind? Can Charley be un-exorcized?”
Candy’s green eyes turned bright. “I want to do a séance. But we need to hurry. While Ghost Guy has been busy overacting for his fans and the cameras, Pete has been running around with smoking sage, closing the portals. We’ve got to get to Charley before all the portals are closed. Otherwise, he’s doomed to spend eternity in Hell.”
And now the Conclusion
Collectively shaking with fear and disbelief, my fursibs and I gathered in my attic office. Downstairs we heard the moving company packing boxes. Beside me Dori sobbed into her paws while the others growled at her. It had been Dori’s idea to call Ghost Guy without first running it past me. I was just as hissed off as the others, but I knew she’d meant well. She always does.
“I would have thought to bring in Ghost Guy if Dori hadn’t thought of it first,” I told them, but I was fibbing just to make Dori feel better.
After opening demonic portals that sucked our friend Charley into Hell, Ghost Guy had been unable to close them. With our home now infested with demonic entities, my pawrents had put our home up for sale and Ghost Guy bought it.
“Why do you want our house?” I’d asked him.
“Because it’s a hotbed for paranormal activity.”
“It is now that you opened a dozen portals.” I’d wanted to add ‘dumb ass’ but my mom raised me to be a nice kitty.
After securing the house deal with my dad, Ghost Guy had then turned to the TV cameras and his fans gathered in our living room and said, “I’m turning this house into Ghost Guy presents…The World’s Most Haunted House.”
While the fans cheered, I growled, “You need to bring Charley back.”
Ghost Guy laughed. “It was Chuckie’s time to go—” He whirled dramatically to shout into the cameras, “to HELL!”
The director then shouted “Cut!” because someone could be heard off-camera calling Ghost Guy a melodramatic dumb ass. (Thank you, Daddy.)
That’s when I called a meeting in my office. My newest sisfur, Candy, had an idea and I wanted to run it past the others. I didn’t want to leave my home and attic office, but most of all I wanted Charley un-exorcized. No matter what else happened, I wanted Charley saved from Hell.
“Candy wants to do a séance to bring back Charley,” I told Opie and Jack, and the others.
“No!” Peaches growled. She’s our Alpha Queen and pretty much rules the Wonderpurr Gang. “I’ve had enough of the ooky-spooky stuff in this house. I should never have let you play detective, Herman.”
I blinked with surprise. “What?”
“Everything was normal around here until you decided to play detective. Then you ordered Opie and Jack to invent weirdy stuff, like turning Mosey into a time traveling machine. I say, no séance. No more ooky-spooky stuff in this house.” The couch monster chose that moment to growl, spurring Peaches to leap with fright into Jack’s lap.
“I didn’t order Jack and Opie to invent weirdy— Wait. Who’s Mosey?” That’s when my Gen7Pets stroller rolled from the corner to my side. Panting like an endearing puppy, it rubbed against my shin, bruising it. “Your name is Mosey? Why didn’t you tell me?”
The face on the control panel popped up and said, “You never asked!”
Suffice to say, I felt ashamed. I patted Mosey on his hood, then addressed the Wonderpurr Gang. “I’ve asked my Anipal furends for advice about what to do.” I pulled out the print-outs of their emails.
“This one is from Da Tabbies O Trout Towne: ‘Guys…furst off…in de wee hourz oh de morn tell lassie’—They mean you, Frank, cuz you’ve been rescuing Dori a lot lately—Um, where was I? Oh! ‘Tell lassie ta go out side N take down de For Sale sign…then hold de seance in yur FRONT YARD just in case sum one doez knot see yur houz iz noe longer for sale, then when they drive bye they will be like…whoa….thanx but noe thanx.’ They also mentioned something about having a really wild and loud pawty, but I think our neighbors would call the cops.
“Next, this is from Bionic Basil & Company: ‘Herms dude, like OMC what the flip are mew going to do now? OMC OMC OMC DUDE we’ve just had a brilliant, pawesome and totally amazing idea – We could loan mew our time-travelling telephone box tardis tingyummybob and mew could go back in time and stop all of this before it started and save Charley before he needs saving, why didn’t we think of it before? Oh that’s right Humphrey only fixed it today, but anyway dude mew’re more than welcome to borrow it!’ They also suggested using holy water in squirt guns, and asking the couch monster to go after Loud Lady. Anyone here know anything about using a tardis tingyummybob?”
I gazed at the blank faces of my fursibs. “I guess we need to start watching Doctor Who, huh? But, I like their idea of the holy water squirt guns.” As everyone nodded, I read the next email from Dezi and Raena.
“Dezi and Raena from Deziz World say pretty much we’re on our own, but send love and big hugs for everypawdy. Awww.
“This last email is from Erin the Cat Princess: Erin writes, ‘Oh heck, this is all so desperate, it seems! Home to be sold from underneath you, Charley lost and on the verge of being forever interned in Hell with that Loud Lady. And as for that horrid TV man, he deserves to swap with Charley for all the chaos upset and damage he’s done. Money or not, your house should be yours for ever, as it is very special. Maybe Pete can work a little extra magic for you, and maybe the stroller could help too.’”
I put the emails aside. “I like Princess Erin’s idea of calling in Pete to help. I like Basil’s squirt guns filled with holy water, and I love da Trout Tabbies idea of Lassie…I mean, Frank…grabbing the For Sale sign, and also holding a séance on the front lawn.”
“But we are mostly house cats,” Peaches told me. “Only Frank, Nikolas and Jesse, and that doofus Noah, who lives on the back porch, can roam outside of the fenced yard.”
“We can do it in the living room,” Candy said. “We will just need to perform a cleansing of the group, and call in our Spirit Guides to protect us, as we will be using the Ouija Board.”
The fur on my neck stood up. “That board is an open portal. It’s dangerous! You have no idea what it’s like inside that board.”
Candy didn’t answer. She just stared at me. Finally, I asked, “Do you think a séance will bring back Charley?”
“If he’s invited. It’s worth a try. We don’t have another choice.”
“Did you all not hear me?” Peaches hissed. “No more ooky-spooky stuff. I’m Alpha Queen and I say no more!”
I could hear the movers banging around in the next room, boxing stuff. “Peaches, we value your opinion as our Alpha Queen, but as the oldest, I’m overriding your authority. Let’s do it.”
Dori began to sob. “I messed up! I should never have called Ghost Guy. He’s ruined evfurrything. Now yoo will probably fire me from the Wonderpurr Detective Agency. What will I do without a job? I’ll have to file for unemployment. I’ll have to cut corners. No more … *Gasp!* No more tweats!”
I patted her back as I told the Wonderpurr Gang to divide into groups. “Round up Pete, squirt guns, holy water and séance stuff. Frank, grab the For Sale sign. Everyone meet in the living room at midnight. The movers should be gone by then, and Mom and Dad in bed.”
As the mantel clock chimed twelve, we gathered around the coffee table set with lit candles, bread and soup to attract the spirits, along with the Ouija Board. Only Jack and Frank did not sit at the table as they were in charge of the holy water squirt guns, and responsible for burning sage and throwing salt to close the demon portal. Ghost Guy, the director and child-sized cameramen had left for their hotel an hour ago. I’d heard Pete tell them he had a hot date, and drove off in his rental car, only to circle the block and return for the séance.
With Candy acting as our medium, we waited for her say a protective prayer over us. She then told us to join paws…and hands…close our eyes and visualize a silver rain of positive vibrations to cleanse our group. “Fill your bodies with white light, and imagine the light to similarly fill the entire room. Call upon your spirit guides and angels to protect you. Ask them to help you contact positive entities. No one is to break paws or hands until the séance is over. No one is to touch the Ouija board. It is here for Charley to pass through into this world. Now everyone, visualize Charley Feeble.”
“I don’t know what Charley looks like,” Pete whispered.
“White hair, balding, with wire framed glasses and squinty, happy eyes,” I told him. “A little Albus Dumbledore mixed with a little George Burns.”
“Charley Feeble,” Candy said, “we gather here tonight to welcome you back from wherever you are, to join us in the safety of our protective circle. Please feel welcome within our circle and join us when you’re ready.”
We waited in silence. Please, Charley, I thought. Come back to me.
He needs help. I heard Charley’s voice as clear as if he was sitting right next to me. In fact, I opened my eyes to see if he had materialized beside me. Instead I saw Pete, staring at something on the table.
He needs help. The voice inside my head definitely belonged to Charley.
Who needs help? I asked Charley inside my head.
Charley, is that really you?
I need more than a yes. Tell me something that proves you’re really Charley Feeble.
The first time you met me, you were seated at a table with Sammy ‘The Squid’ Calamari, and you wondered who the glowing man was seated at the next table. It was me. When Sammy threatened to stab you with his cocktail fork, I said, ‘You’re doing fine, Herman. You aren’t in danger.’
Relief washed through me. It really was Charley! Are you in Hell?
Not exactly. Ghost Guy didn’t perform the exorcism right. I’m caught between worlds, but it’s not pleasant here. Candy’s right. If you invite me, I can cross over to join you.
Thank Cod! You’re invited, Charley. I can go fetch the Welcome mat if you want.
Not necessary. However, before I cross, Pete needs help. A demon is trying to attach itself to him.
Is it Loud Lady?
No. It’s a Screecher. Pete needs to scream it out before it takes a firm hold. Get him to scream.
I looked at Pete. He didn’t look all that good. “Scream, Pete. There’s a demon trying to attach itself to you.” Everyone in the circle opened their eyes to look first at me, then at Pete. “I just heard from Charley,” I told them. “He’s caught in between worlds. He says if we invite him, he can cross over to join us. But first, we must help Pete. He’s got to scream.”
We all looked at Pete. He really didn’t look very good. “Scream, Pete,” I told him. “Scream out the demon.”
Pete made faces, but without sound. I asked, “Anyone got an idea on how to make Pete scream?”
We all sat silently thinking, when suddenly Dori leaned over to whisper in his ear. We couldn’t hear what she was saying, but his expression changed from kinda dopey to angry. Then…
“Squirt him!” Candy yowled, and Jack and Frank pulled out their holy water squirt guns to blast the demon. He dissolved before our very eyes.
“Invite Charley!” Candy now told us. “Invite him now.”
In unison we cried, “Red Rover, Red Rover! Let Charley come over!”
And just like that, Charley popped out of the Ouija Board, smiling his squinty smile.
“Now let’s close this portal.” Candy gave Jack and Frank the nod, and they struck fire to the sage and incense, and walked around us sprinkling salt on the board. “Away, demons!” Candy yowled. “I command you to leave this home. I command you to close the portal and never return.” After a minute she nodded, and we all blew out the candles.
Looking a little shook up, and very damp from the squirt guns, Pete picked up the Ouija board and planchette. “There’s a wood chipper with this board’s name on it. Thanks, guys. You all did an amazing job. I’d be happy to work a haunting again with you some time, but for now, I just want to lie down.”
The hour was late, more dawn than night, but I couldn’t sleep. Instead, I sat in my attic office talking to Charley. Dori lay asleep with her head in my lap. Before she’d conked out, I’d asked her what she whispered into Pete’s ear to get him to scream.
“I told him, even though he was a real paranormal investigator, and Ghost Guy was a phony baloney, Ghost Guy would always get the fame, and he would always be his sidekick.”
Yeah. That would’ve made me scream, too.
“I’m so glad you’re back,” I now said to Charley. “I want to learn more about Selective Looking, and how it can help me be a better detective.”
Charley smiled at me, but I saw a glint of sadness in his eyes. “Herman, you don’t need me any more. You and Dori, and your Wonderpurr Gang, possess the natural instincts to be phenomenal detectives. You will be a great success.”
“You’re leaving? For Heaven?”
“By allowing myself to risk Hell so you and Dori could rescue me, I was rewarded. I’m so very proud of your bravery, Herman. Because of you, I got a promotion.”
It was then I saw Charley’s halo and angel wings. “You mean a lot to me,” I told him, blinking back hot tears. “It wasn’t bravery. It was love!”
Charley smiled so big, his squinty eyes disappeared. He reached out to touch Dori’s protection charm attached to her collar. “Consider me your Guardian Angel. Whenever you need me, touch this and I will protect you.”
I now noticed Charley looked a little transparent. “You’re leaving. Now.”
As he nodded, I nudged Dori awake. “Charley is an angel,” I told her. “He has to leave for Heaven.”
She rubbed her eyes sleepily. “Have a nice twip, Chawley. Do yoo need me to pack yoo a lunch?”
He grinned, and opened his arms. “Come give me a hug, both of you.”
We ran to him and threw our paws around him just as light more brighter than any star light up my office, blinding us.
A moment later, it was gone…and so was Charley. With our paws wrapped around each other, Dori and I indulged in a good cry. We would miss our friend, but he was no longer a ghost. Now Charley Feeble was an angel, and he deserved his heavenly rewards.
As I pulled Dori onto my lap she continued to sob, blaming herself for everything that led to us losing our home.
“Dori, listen to me.” I dried her tears with my floofy tail. “Thanks to you, Charley is now an angel. He sacrificed himself so we could believe in ourselves enough to save him. That’s why Charley wanted more time. Now he’s angel—thanks to you. You’re responsible for Charley getting his halo and wings.”
“But we still lost our home. No more Wonderpurr Detective Agency in the attic. No more huge desk too big to get through the door. No more tweat-eating couch monster. I’m so sowry I did stuff without first asking yoor purrmission. I don’t blame yoo for firing me as your partner.”
Below stairs we heard the sound of the moving truck and men loading boxes. “Dori, what I love about you is your willingness to do something while others, including me, stand around over-thinking about what to do. You don’t think. You do. And that makes you the purrrfect partner for me. You balance my caution by being impulsive. You… You complete me.”
Hiccupping on my shoulder, Dori wiped her eyes, and I held a hanky for her to blow her nose. That’s when I saw a fresh box of Smittens slide out from under the couch. “The couch monster sent you a going-away pawsent.” She squealed, and grabbed the box. I expected her to rip it open and nom every treat—it had been hours since her last meal—but she surprised me by dumping half the box into my paws.
“I’m scared to move,” she said as she swallowed the last bite.
“Don’t be. I’ve moved several times and the new house is always better than the last.”
“But… Will there be a Wonderpurr Detective Agency in the attic? Will Chawley be there?”
“I don’t know about the attic, but Charley said to touch your collar charm whenever we need him, and he will come to us. Don’t be afraid. Change is good, even for cats.”
The noise from below stairs sounded louder, with strange men shouting and the moving truck engine rumbling. Opie stuck his head in the door. “Mom told me to round everyone up. There’s only three travel cages so we have to ride four to a cage. I’m riding with Jack, Peaches and Frank. Dori, Candy and Noah are riding with you.”
Despite his bravado, I saw fear in Opie’s eyes. This was the only home he’d ever known. So I told him what I told Dori. “Don’t be afraid. The new house will be better than this one. Better, without demon portals and Ghost Guy.” I then told Dori, “You’d better go pack, and use the litter box. Once Mom loads us into the cages, we have to share one box for the entire trip.”
Alone in my office, I stood for a moment remembering my first day on the job. I’d had so many plans for my office, plans that never materialized.
As I’m my author Mom’s mews, when she told me she wanted to write mysteries, I’d decided I needed to learn about solving capers in order to help her. That’s when I’d set up the kind of office Detectives Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe would envy with traps for criminals and secret places to stash my detecting gadgets. My huge desk, with lots of nooks and crannies, came with my office. Actually, it came with the house as it was too big to get through the door without chopping to pieces. Mom had once told me our home was built around an older house that refused to be torn down.
Happily my desk was next to a window so I could clearly see my suspect’s expression of guilt while I questioned them…except I never got around to interrogating any suspects. I also had a snake-necked lamp I’d intended to shine blindly into their eyes during interrogation, but all that lamp ever did was shine on my business correspondence to Sherlock Holmes (who never bothered to answer me). For a phone I had an old 1940’s black Bakelite with a rotary dial that I’d found inside one of the desk’s cubbyholes. I now realized that phone, along with the huge desk, had belonged to Charley Feeble when he was a detective in the 1940s and lived in the house that refused to be torn down.
I’d never gotten the chance to finish the attic floor or build walls to separate the open space into rooms, nor had I been able to buy a camera and a coffee maker cuz detectives drink a lot of coffee. I read that somewhere. Hearing Mom call my name, I grabbed Charley’s telephone and my smiling piggy bank that contained the huge quarters Dori and I had earned during our cases. I then scanned my office to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything important. That’s when something ran over my foot. As I cried out in pain, my Gen7Pets stroller bumped me again. Oh My Cod! I’d almost forgotten Mosey!
“Of course you’re coming with me,” I purred to him. “I would never leave you behind.” I placed the telephone and piggy bank inside Mosey.
“I want those African violets pitched out, and the butter yellow carpet ripped out.” That obnoxious voice came from my mom’s author office. Ghost Guy! He was now the new owner of our home, and he was doing mean things to my mom’s office. I tugged at my collar with its silver and orange enamel ‘H’ charm, heartsick that I would never again help Mom write novels in her air-conditioned office with sunlight warming her African violets. Never again would I inhale the fragrance of lemony sunlight puddling on the buttery carpet in front of her desk. I loved that sun puddle. So much!
“Change is good,” I muttered under my breath. “Change is good.”
Suddenly, the framed mug shot Dori had given me fell from the wall over my desk to crash on the floor. Dori had meant well when she’d tried to pass off the mug shot as an autographed photo from my hero, Sherlock Holmes. Not wanting to hurt her feelings—again, she meant well—I’d hung it over my desk, but I didn’t want to take it with me. Charley Feeble was my hero, not Sherlock Holmes. Then I noticed something about the photo in the frame. It was glowing! I moved to pick it up, and gasped at what I saw.
My heart felt lighter as I packed the frame in with the telephone and piggy bank. The Wonderpurr Detective Agency wouldn’t end here in this house. We would start up fresh in the new house. A new location. New adventures!
A loud BURP! drew my attention to the couch in time to see the black mist slither out from under it, toward Mosey. The mist had never harmed us, only eaten Dori’s treats. I felt kinda bad about leaving it to the mercy of Ghost Guy, so I said, “If you want to come with me, you can. But you need to behave yourself.” As I unzipped the compartment beneath Mosey, the mist shape shifted from a snake into a bunny rabbit and hopped into it.
In the next room I heard Ghost Guy ordering his crew to demolish every bit of sunshine and happiness my mom had put into her author office. Fearful this memory would forever haunt me, I sadly pushed Mosey toward the door. That’s when I abruptly remembered something the demon Loud Lady had once said to me.
“Hwermie?” Dori stood in the open door with huge tears in her eyes. Behind her I saw the butter yellow carpet had been ripped out, and the pretty walls were being painted a dark ugly color befitting the World’s Most Haunted House. “Mom said we have to leave now.”
I opened my arms and she ran into them, sobbing. “Hush now, Detective Adorapurr. Our job here is done. New adventures await.” I dried her tears. “Take Mosey, and ask Dad to park him in our van. I’ll be right there.”
As Dori wheeled Mosey out of my attic office, I caught Ghost Guy’s eye. For a moment he looked scared, as though he saw something in me he hadn’t seen before. I held his gaze, confidant that I had changed because of the chaos he had brought into my life. Changed and had survived. Clearly he recognized this change in me, and felt apprehensive because of it. He was the first to break our stare-off, unconsciously giving his power to me.
I turned to approach the bookcase in the corner. The shelves are crammed with books about authoring mysteries, books about detecting stuff, and books about ghosts. Behind it is a secret staircase. In 1945 the stairs led down to a yard with a swimmy pool that no longer existed. Seventy some years into the future, the bookcase hid a nether region to hell.
I knelt before the third shelf that contained books on the paranormal to paw a book entitled Evil Paranormal Stuff. “Just wanted to tell you good-bye,” I said to Vivian Shallowford, aka Demon Loud Lady, who stared back at me. I waited for a frisson of fear to shoot through me, but felt nothing. Nothing but pity for her. “I also wanted to tell you… The house is yours.”
As I left my office without a backwards glance, the bookcase exploded. I passed Ghost Guy on the stairs as I made my way to my family waiting in the van. He looked shook up to hear an explosion in the attic.
As I crawled into the travel cage with Dori, Candy and Noah, Mom secured the door and Dad started the engine. I didn’t know where we were moving to, but I knew our new house would be Wonderpurr because we would be all together as a family.
As we pulled out of the driveway, I thought I heard screaming coming from the attic. Couldn’t be sure though. Dori had her paws around me, and was happily singing her favorite song.
Thank you. Thankyouverymuch for enjoying my
Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries.
Well, pals… It’s been truly a Wonderpurr year. I started this year off as an ordinary floofy-tailed cat, and ended it as a pawfessional purranormal investigator. I even helped a shy ghost detective get his halo and wings. Okay, so we lost our home… I’m sad about that, especially losing that pawsome desk with all the nooks and crannies… But as Mom always tells me, ‘Change is Good!’
In case no one has told you, the Holidays are upon us. Lots of pawsents to buy, cards to mail and treats to nom. Therefore, Season One of Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries will be in re-runs to let those of you who have just discovered us to catch up on the entire series.
Thank you to Da Tabbies O Trout Towne, Dezi and Raena, Erin the Cat Princess and Bionic Basil for consistently sending me advice on how to get myself (and Dori) out of trouble. And to Seville at Nerissa’s Life, MarioDaCat, HRMeownessWills, ChazzTheDog and Barley & Mom for your friendship and fan-ship. You all are seriously pawsome!
Be sure to spread the word about my Purranormal Mysteries to all your furends. Also, mark your brand new 2017 calendars for Friday, January 27th when Sherlock Herms Season Two will debut. No idea where we will end up, but I promise you, it will be Wonderpurrly entertaining.
Until January 27th, Happy Thanksgiving, Meowy Chrispmouse and Happy Mew Year to all!
If you enjoy Sherlock Herms Purranormal Mysteries, you might also enjoy KRINGLE.
Tiz the season to read a funny book about a dysfunctional family who also happens to run Kringle Enterprises, a company that puts the ‘Merry’ in Christmas and the ‘Happy’ in Holidays.
Click book to read Chapter One!