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Case One-The Deceit -excerpt

Grabbing Jason’s hand that still grasped her forearm, she pulled him with her as she walked out the door to search out Leslie and Patrick. They weren’t out front, so she quickly led Jason around the house to the side porch and could smell the marijuana before she found Leslie and Patrick passing a joint between them.

“What are you two delinquents doing?” Trudy couldn’t disguise the amusement in her voice.

“Fuck you.” Leslie offered the joint up to her.

Trudy brushed it aside and sat down next to Leslie. “Are you all right?” She wrapped her arm around Leslie, holding her free hand.

Leslie closed her eyes and shuddered a little. “I’m still here, aren’t I?” She took another hit of the joint before handing it to Patrick. Abruptly, she stood so she could pace and threw her hands in the air. “I mean, what am I supposed to say to that? No, I am not all right!” she shouted to the darkness. “Everything I thought I knew changed in there,” she said, pointing to the house. “I’m changed.” She glared at Trudy. “You didn’t prepare me,” she said, jabbing a finger into Trudy’s shoulder.

“What?” Trudy stood. “How could I prepare you for that, when I wasn’t prepared for that?”

“Exactly!” She bristled and looked Trudy dead in the eye. “You’re in over your head, Trudy Hicks.” Leslie took a deep breath. “You can’t fix that,” she said, once again pointing toward the house.

“Maybe not, but I can get to the truth as to why these souls are still lingering here.” Trudy remained calm while Leslie worked herself into a tizzy.

“Do you want to know why they’re here?” Leslie spun toward her, fully agitated now. “I can tell you why they’re still here. Because they are pissed! How do I know they’re pissed?” she asked the night air, her voice a few decibels below a scream.

The silence was deafening as they all waited for Leslie to finish.

“They’re pissed because happy ghosts wouldn’t go around slamming doors, or pulling hair, and they certainly wouldn’t be knocking people to the ground. That’s how I know they’re pissed. Goddamn it!” She rubbed her forehead. “I’m done for the night, and I’m sleeping in the van.” She brushed past Jason to head across the lawn.

“Leslie, wait.” Trudy leaped forward.

“Let her go. She’s going to have to do a lot of soul-searching over what she witnessed tonight,” Jason said, pulling Trudy back.

Sighing, Trudy shook her head as Leslie climbed into the van and slammed the door.

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