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Ghosts of January

Ghosts of January

 

Quintin Fortune

 

Published by Quintin Fortune at Shakespir

 

Copyright 2017 Quintin Fortune

 

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to buy their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

 

Jan Summers spent another restless night in bed. Her sweat-soaked sheets made it unbearable. Her dreams were the same as they were every night for the past twenty years. “No,” she groaned meekly. “No no no no.” She shot up, eyes wide with fear. “No,” she screamed.

She clutched her knees to her chest and started to quietly weep. “Please, leave me alone,” she softly begged.

 

Deadguy awoke to a loud banging on his apartment door. It was cold and dark, which was to be expected since he hasn’t paid the electric bill in a few months. “Ugh,” he groaned as he felt around for a flashlight. He found something cylinder-shaped, flicked the switch, and the area barely lit up as a famous sci-fi saber replica hummed to life. “Close enough,” he mumbled.

He cracked the door open to see the hooded Lilith frantically beating on his door. “What took you so long,” she demanded,

“I was asleep,” he offered.

“Why?”

Our Hero glared. “Because it’s Two-forty in the morning and I have a full day of sulking to do tomorrow,” he explained.

The necromancer suddenly noticed Deadguy’s light source. “What’s that?”

“Pop culture reference.” He pulled the door open a little more. “Better question. Why are you banging on my door at Two-forty in the morning?”

“I need your help,” she pleaded. “There’s a young girl being haunted by ghosts.”

“That sounds like purely your territory,” Our Hero remarked. “I don’t do well against ghosts. It’s kind of hard to punch incorporeal beings.”

“True, but you are good with people,” she replied. “Far better than I.”

Deadguy blinked, then gave a huge smile. “Was that a complement,” he asked with a bit of surprised shock.

The necromancer glared from under her hood. “Grab your coat and let’s go.”

 

Lilith dragged Deadguy through the snowy streets on New Tao and into the nearly empty diner. A few drunk patrons sat at the bar, finding themselves regretfully sobering up as they ate their drunk-ordered three course meals. In the far booth sat a young woman with short sandy blonde hair, slowly stirring her soup. The necromancer shoved Our Hero into the booth and slid in next to him.

The woman looked up at them, her tired eyes screaming for just one night’s rest. “What,” she snipped.

“Hi,” Lilith greeted, trying to sound cheerful. Deadguy glanced over as if he didn’t know the woman sitting next to him. “We’re here to help with your ghost problem,” she continued.

“Excuse me,” the woman growled.

DG covered his eyes. “Lilith, you can’t just walk up to people and say that,” he commented.

“Why,” she questioned. “It’s true.”

“Look Wednesday and Pugsly, I don’t know what you two are up to, but leave me alone.” The woman slid out of the booth, slammed her money on the table, and stormed off.

“We need to work on your people skills,” Deadgu remarked. Lilith bolted out of the booth and chased after the woman. “Or I can just sit here and talk to the reader. Hi, how are you? How’s the new year treating you so far?”

“Deadguy,” Lilith called out. “Let’s go!”

 

Jan walked out into the piercing cold, snow flurries whipping around her. The weird goth girl stumbled out of the door behind h. “Jan, wait,” she cried out.

Jan jumped back. “How do you know my name,” she yelled. “Are you stalking me?”

The woman put her hands up in defense. “No. It’s…let’s try this again. I’m Lilith.” The man she was with sauntered outside. “and this is Deadguy.”

“G’Day,” he greeted.

“What do you want with me,” she asked warily.

“You have been tormented by ghosts for a very long time,” Lilith said. Jan felt a chill run up her spine.

“No! They’re not real,” she defended. “They say they’re just a mental manifestation of childhood trauma…”

“No dear,” Lilith said, taking Jan’s hands into her own gloved ones. “The ghosts are real.”

 

  1. # #

 

The three returned to the booth in the diner. Jan was staring at her hands, absentmindedly messing with her nails. Deadguy was sipping his second cup of coffee while Lilith sat patiently for her to speak.

“The nightmares, they…it…started when I was seven,” Jan started. “when my dad was killed in front of me.”

Deadguy stopped in mid-sip. “That sucks. Did the police do anything?”

“Yes,” she grimaced. “They were the ones that killed him.”

Our Hero looked out the window, taking another long sip of coffee. “Really coming down out there,” he muttered.

Lilith elbowed him in the side. “Please continue,” she requested.

“It started about twenty years ago,” Jan began. “After my father was gunned down in our apartment. I was taken to an orphanage, and was moved from home to home until the system kicked me out at age Eighteen.” She shrugged. “Guess no one wanted a little girl who’s dad was killed by the cops.”

Deadguy’s lips squished to the side of his face, trying to think of what to say next.

“And the ghosts,” Lilith urged.

Jan looked at the necromancer, annoyance on her face. “They started haunting me a few nights after my dad was killed. Every psychiatrist and psychologist I was sent to told me it was just PTSD from it. I was prescribed ever drug you can think of, but none of them worked. Then, I started taking illegal drugs. Those didn’t work either.”

She deeply sighed. “My first suicide attempt was at Fourteen.”

Deadguy almost chocked on a drink of coffee. “Suicide,” he questioned.

“Don’t start,” she shot back. “You’re not the one haunted by ghosts every night.”

“Fair enough,” he agreed. “But…”

“That’s where we come in,” Lilith finished. “I want to help you exorcise these ghosts.”

“Why,” Jan questioned. “You get off on it or something?”

“Yeah, why are we doing this,” Our Hero repeated.

“The ghosts that are haunting you were meant to be sent away years ago,” the necromancer explained. “The fact that they haven’t has caused an unbalance.”

Jan and Deadguy exchanged looks. “News to me,” he responded.

Jan sighed deeply. “Fine,” she said finally. “I’ve tried everything else. Might as well let you two try your little mojo jojo magic or whatever.” She got up to leave. “But it’s going to have to wait until tomorrow night. I have a few hours to try and get something resembling sleep before work.” She wrote down her address on a napkin and gave it to Lilith. “Eight o’ clock work, or does there have to be a certain time of night when the stars are aligned and the moon’s somewhere in the sky?”

“It’s necromancy, not magic,” the necromancer explained. “The dead don’t have a time frame.”

They watched her leave, then conversed with each other. “Okay, what the hell are you getting me into,” Deadguy questioned.

“Ghosts exorcism,” she answered.

“And what does this have to do with me?”

“I need your help. Something about this sounds like we might have a fight on our hands.”

“Pretty sure I can’t punch ghosts,” he responded.

“That won’t be a problem,” she replied. “Let’s head back to your apartment and sort things out.”

They went back to Deadguy’s apartment, shaking snow off of their outer clothing. “It’s getting wild out there,” Our Hero remarked. “If I didn’t know any better, I would say it’s alive.”

“Snow isn’t alive,” Lilith replied, then paused to think. “Oh, I need to get a few things from home.”

“And I need sleep,” Deadguy added. He fished his keys out of his long coat and handed them to the necromancer. “Try not to make too much of a ruckus.”

 

Our Hero stumbled out of his bedroom to find his living room littered with old dusty books and frail ancient scrolls. Lilith sat in the middle of a circle that had a faint indigo glow, open books floating around her. She appeared deep in meditation.

“Since when did ‘I need to get a few things’ become ‘moving in’,” he questioned. He reached out to Lilith. “Hey, Lil-” was all he said before getting shot across the living room and slammed into the wall.

Lilith’s eyes snapped open. “Idiot,” she yelled. The books crashed to the floor as she jumped up. She stood over Deadguy, hand outstretched and a look of angry disapproval. “What in Hades’ name were you thinking,” she scolded.

“Me,” he defended. “Why does my living room look like a book lover’s wet dream?” He tried to stand, but couldn’t move. “Okay, what the hell?”

“It’s an astral lock,” she explained, hand still out. “It holds a person in place until they are touched by the lock’s creator.”

“Is that why you’re offering to help me up,” DG asked.

She stood, silent and stern.

It took all his strength just to reach up and touch her fingers. She grabbed his hand and pulled him to his feet. “Ah. That’s-”

Then, she slapped him.

“Never cross a sacred circle,” she warned. “Stop and think next time.”

“Fine,” Deadguy huffed, rubbing his cheek. “What’s with the mess?”

The necromancer looked around. “What mess?”

“You said a few things, not the entire Sanctum Sanctorum.”

“Why? What did you think I meant by a few things?”

“Toothbrush. Change of clothes. Naughty lingerie.”

She gave him a confused look.

“Nevermind,” he sighed. “Why have you turned my living room into an occult shop?”

“Research and preparation,” she explained. “I need to know what I’ll need to face off against whoever or whatever is haunting Jan.”

“Did you have to do it here,” Deadguy asked. “Couldn’t you have done this at…where do you live, anyway?”

“No, I couldn’t,” she replied. “Because, since you’re helping me in this, you might need to some…enchantments.”

“Why do I not like the sound of that?”

 

The sun was slowly sinking into the horizon as Deadguy and Lilith arrived at Jan’s apartment building. The necromancer carried a small black bag that resembled a doctor’s bag. “What’s in the bag,” Our Hero questioned as they began to walk to Jan’s apartment.

“Objects that a necromancer needs to communicate with the dead,” she replied. “And Gregory.”

“Hope he’s comfortable in there.”

,” came a muffled grumble from the bag.

They knocked on Jan’s door and she left them in. “I don’t know what you’re planing on doing, but try not to make a mess of the apartment,” she said. “I would like to get my deposit back.”

“Where’s the fridge,” Deadguy asked as Lilith began pulling things out of her bag.

“Don’t drink all my beer,” she warned as she thumbed over at the kitchen.

Within minutes, Lilith and Jan sat within a rune-decorated light purple sacred circle. Various necromancer paraphernalia sat between them and the ring’s inner edge. An ancient skull sat in Lilith’s lap. She muttered an incantation, then lifted the skull to shoulder level to face Jan.

Two little crimson lights flickered on inside the eye sockets. “This is Gregory,” Lilith introduced.

,” a voice from somewhere in the skull questioned.

“He speaks Gaelic,” she added.

“What is, um…he,” Jan wondered fearfully.

“He is my ancestor and my connection across The Veil,” the necromancer answered.

Jan looked over to Deadguy, relaxing on her couch and thumbing through one of her books. “Waiting Room of the Dead,” he remarked.

“Don’t loose my place,” she stated. “I still need to finish it before my next book club meeting.”

“Deadguy, I need you to keep guard of us on this side,” Lilith instructed.

“Yep. Sure. Like a lot’s going to happen on this end,” he grumbled.

The necromancer turned back to Jan. “Are you ready?”

Jan shrugged. “Not like I have choice.”

Lilith held her hands out. “Take my hands and close your eyes.”

Jan closed her eyes. When she opened them, they were still sitting in her apartment. Deadguy was nowhere to be seen. “Nothing happened,” she stated.

“This is your psyche,” Lilith explained, looking around. “This is your mind.”

“That’s kind of depressing,” Jan sighed.

There was a knock at the front door. The women looked over. There came another knock, this one louder. “This is my mind,” Jan questioned.

The necromancer nodded, not taking her eyes off the door.

“Then who’s at the door?”

 

Our Hero still sat on the sofa, bored out of his mind as he casually observed Lilith and Jan deep in their trance. He started to hear something. It was faint, like a whispering breeze. It grew louder, filling up the room. “That’s not the normal voices I hear,” he commented.

He stood up and started to look around. Ghostly figures started to seep into the room. They moved slowly towards the circle. “Great. They’re coming out of the walls,” he complained.

He tried his best to chase the ghosts away, but they passed through his fists like mist.

 

Jan stood up and began to slowly walk towards the door. The knocking became louder. “Jan,” Lilith warned. “Be careful.”

Her hand shook as it rested on the handle. “If it’s in my head, it can’t be that bad. Right?” She slowly opened the door. She only got the door a quarter way open before someone broke through. It was a man that looked like a ragged version of someone’s father. He gripped her shoulders like a madman.

“Baby girl,” he breathed.

Jan screamed. Lilith jumped up and pulled her away from the madman. She said an incantation and the two disappeared.

 

Lilith and Jan snapped back to the real world just as Deadguy was attempting a last-ditch effort to keep the ghosts away.

“Put that lamp down,” Jan screamed.

“It’s the only thing that’s working,” he yelled back, swinging the lamp at the floating head and torso of a murder victim. It dipped away, then lazily floated towards the circle again.

Lilith called out a spell in her necromantic language, causing all the ghost to flee the apartment.

“Took ya long enough,” Our Hero huffed.

“We have a more important situation on our hands,” the necromancer shot back.

“What now?”

Lilith pointed an accusing finger at Jan. “She is the daughter of January James.”

Deadguy raised an eyebrow. “Who?”

 

  1. # #

Deadguy and Jan sat on the couch as Lilith paced the apartment’s tiny living room. Jan hung her head like a child that was in trouble while Deadguy watched. “Are we going to get an explanation or are you just going to pace like an upset mother,” he asked.

“You don’t know who January James is,” Lilith questioned.

He shrugged. “I wasn’t here at the time.”

The necromancer stopped. “Twenty years ago, there was a series of murders that were committed during the month of January. Every day, to be exact. It was a mad race with the police, the FBI, and the NecroShip trying to find out who was causing these atrocities.”

“The who,” Jan asked.

“It’s the group she belongs to,” DG answered. “So how was he stopped?”

Lilith knelt down, bringing her eyes level with Jan. She took her hands into her own. “Jan,” she said softly. “What happened?”

Jan gave a heavy sigh. “It was the last day of January when there was a load banging at the door. My dad rushed me into my bedroom and hid me in the closet. He grabbed the knife under my pillow that I had for protection just as the police stormed into the room. He charged at them and they gunned him down. I…I charged out of the closet and held his hand as he passed away.” She tried to hold back the tears. “I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye before the cops were dragging me away from him.”

There was a long silence after she finished. “That’s fucked up,” Our Hero declared. Both women glared at him. “Well it is,” he defended.

“I do agree,” Lilith stated. “but I would not have said it so bluntly.”

“What does my dad’s death have to do anything,” Jan asked.

“When your father grabbed your hand, a bit of his spirit stayed with you,” the necromancer explained. “That bit hasn’t passed through The Veil, which means all of James’ victims can’t rest until he’s completely on the other side.”

Jan gave Lilith a confused look. “What does that have to do with me?”

“As long as a part of your father resides in you, his victims are going to continue to haunt you until either that part leaves you…or they kill you,” the necromancer explained.

“So let’s get that piece out and call it a day,” Deadguy suggested.

“Not as easy as it sounds,” Lilith replied. Trying to find a part of someone’s essence in someone else is, at best, like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

“Then we get a magnet and start looking,” DG remarked.

The necromancer began to say something, but stopped. She thought for a moment. “That is a thought,” she said slowly. “If we had something of her father’s, we could pull the piece out of Jan.”

“Holy crap, I actually had a good idea for once,” Our Hero said. He turned to Jan. “Got anything of your dad’s?”

Jan shook her head. “Anything of my dad’s was either taken in for evidence or left back in the apartment.”

“Which has probably already been thrown out by whoever cleaned it,” Deadguy said.

“No. No one’s cleaned it out,” she explained. “The apartment was boarded up and no one wants to live in the apartment of January James. Well, a few copycats tried.”

“Bless their pointy little heads,” DG sighed.

“I’ll check and see if the NecroShip might have something that belonged to him,” Lilith stated. “If they do, we can use that as our ‘magnet’.”

Deadguy got up from the couch. “It’s been fun, Jan, but next time, have some snacks handy.”

“There won’t be a next time,” Jan snipped.

 

“Are you sure she’s going to be okay,” Lilith questioned as they stepped out into the late winter night.

“She’ll be fine,” DG replied.

An explosion erupted above them. They looked up to see fire belching from Jan’s apartment.

“Then again, I’ve been wrong before,” he added. He bolted back into the building, Lilith a few steps behind. They made their way to Jan’s apartment just as a fireball belched out of the apartment next to her.

“Help,” someone called out from the burning apartment.

“Grab Jan,” Deadguy yelled. “I’ll help this guy.” Our Hero charged through the flames and into the apartment. He found a middle-aged balding man laying on the floor. He appeared covered in soot. “You alright,” he asked.

“My lighter collection exploded,” the man replied. He sounded dazed.

Deadguy paused for a moment, trying to figure out what to comment on first, but shook it off and pulled the man up. “We’ll stop by a convenience store and help you build a new one,” he said as he began to carry the man out the door. Lilith and Jan were waiting for him in the hallway. “Is she…?”

“Knocked out,” the necromancer responded. “but still with us.”

A section of ceiling came crashing down behind Deadguy. “Walking and talking! Walking and talking,” he said frantically as he motioned for Lilith to move. The two managed to escape the burning building just as the fire department showed up. Our Hero dropped the man and went over to help Lilith try to bring Jan back to consciousness.

The necromancer was lightly smacking her cheeks. “Jan? Jan. Can you hear me?”

Jan winced as she pulled her head away from Lilith’s smacking. “I’m fine. What…” She stopped once her eyes opened to see the inferno that once was her apartment building. “Oh my GOD! My apartment!”

“That’s what happens when you live next to a lighter enthusiast,” DG remarked.

“Do you have anywhere else to stay for the night,” Lilith asked. “Friend’s house? Boyfriend? Girlfriend?”

Jan sadly shook her head. “All of my friends have families, and who’s going to date the girl who has nightmares all the time?”

“Then you can stay with Deadguy and me,” she offered.

Our Hero looked at Lilith as if she had just lost her mind. “I’m sorry. When did you move in,” he questioned.

“It’s only for the night,” Lilith reassured. “Besides, having her there will help me observe her nightmares and try to get a better fix on her father.”

Jan glared at Deadguy. “Have some snacks handy,” she remarked.

 

  1. # #

 

Deadguy rolled over, and fell off his couch as a result. “I need a bigger couch,” he grumbled into the floor. He pushed himself up off the floor and walked into his bedroom. Jan laid on his bed, sheets soaked from sweat. Lilith sat on the floor, deep in a meditative state. “I’ll just go make some coffee,” he said with a yawn.

As the pot began to brew, the necromancer walked out of the bedroom.

“How goes the hunt,” Our Hero asked.

“Hm,” she managed to reply before letting out a huge yawn.

“Find Jan’s dad yet?”

“Nm mm.”

“Does the Queen of the Night need her morning coffee?”

Lilith glared at him.

“Hold on. I might have a mug shaped like a coffin. Or a tombstone.”

The necromancer snorted.

“What’s with all the noise,” Jan asked as she emerged from the bedroom.

Deadguy pointed at Lilith. “Take it up with her. She’s been talking all morning.”

Lilith smacked his hand down.

“Whatever, I need to get to work.” She dug some clothes out of a duffel bag on Deadguy’s recliner chair. “Feel like I spent all night in a sauna.” She walked off to the bathroom to shower.

“Hope I have some spare sheets,” DG remarked.

“It wasn’t a sauna,” Lilith said softly. “Her father is…somewhere bad.”

“Wait, Hell is real?”

“When it comes to the Afterlife, everyone’s right and everyone’s wrong,” the necromancer explained. “You go where you believe you are meant to go. If you believe you are going to ‘Heaven’, you go to Heaven. If you believe you’re going to ‘Hell’, then Hell you will go. Those that believe in reincarnation are reincarnated. And so on.”

“What about the atheists and agnostics?”

“They actually make our jobs easier. They believe that nothing happens, so poof.”

“Poof?”

Lilith shrugged.

“If her dad’s in Hell, then why is Jan being haunted by his victims?”

“He’s…what’s the saying…one foot in the grave?”

“Doubt it, but we’ll go with it for this explanation.”

“The piece in her is what’s keeping him half on this side.” Lilith squinted in thought. “Wait, what’s today?”

Deadguy checked his phone. “January Thirty-first. Why?”

Her eyes grew wide. “Today’s the anniversary of January James’s death,” she announced. “Not to mention, it’s the Twentieth anniversary.”

“And that’s a…bad thing?”

“It explains a lot. These things become stronger on certain anniversaries.” Lilith headed for the front door, grabbing her black cloak on the way out. “I’m heading back to the NecroShip to see if I can find anything that belonged to James.”

“And what am I suppose to do?”

She paused. “Get ready for tonight,” she warned as she left.

Jan came out of the bathroom, changed and ready for work. “Where’s Wednesday,” she asked.

“Between Tuesday and Thursday, same as always” Our Hero remarked.

“No, I mean where did your spooky girlfriend go?”

“She’s not my girlfriend,” he sighed. “And her name’s Lilith. She went to do necromancer things. You going to be okay to work?”

“I’ve lived through worse.” She grabbed her duffel bag and walked out the door.

Deadguy took a sip of coffee. “I’ve had more engaging conversations with Valk during my morning coffee,” he commented.

 

Deadguy, Lilith and Jan walked up to the boarded up entrance of Jan’s childhood apartment as night began to fall. Jan was shaking slightly while Our Hero took a crowbar to the plywood covered door. “You okay,” he asked her.

“Sure. Fine,” she quickly replied. “Just going back into the place where my dad was killed. Peachy keen.”

“I know this can be a trying ordeal,” Lilith said. “but I assure you, this will help you in the long run.”

“Great. Let’s just get it over with.”

The three entered the apartment. It was like stepping back in time. The newspaper sitting on the recliner. The older television. The beer can with the older label. It was quite in the apartment, as if time itself and stopped. The smell of dust and dry wood filled their noses. “Alright,” Deadguy said finally, breaking the silence. “Let’s set everything up and get this show on the road.”

“Jan, you said your father was killed in your room,” Lilith asked. “Where is it?”

Jan simply motioned for them to follow her. They walked back to the decaying remains of her room. It looked very much like a little girl’s room save the remains of a pool of dried blood near the closet.

“What I’m going to ask you to do next may seem difficult for you, but you need to trust me,” Lilith instructed. “I need you to stand where the stain of dried blood is.”

“What,” Jan and Deadguy said at the same time.

“Why,” he questioned.

“That is the place he died,” she explained. “Sitting her there will make the connection stronger and I will be able to pull the piece of her father out easier. Now Deadguy, go to James’s room and grab an article of clothing. A shirt, a sock, whatever.”

“Not underwear,” Jan added as she stood in the blood stain.

“I am surrounded by party poopers,” he complained from the other room. He returned with a white, sleeveless under shirt and handed it to Jan. “This was his, right?”

“Yep.” She grabbed the shirt and briefly smelled it. “It doesn’t smell like him thought.”

Lilith pulled a stick of chalk out of her bag and began to draw a circle around Jan. Outside of the circle, she drew several swirling runes of necromancy, then drew another circle around that. “I need you to stay in this circle until I release it, understood?”

“You…you’re not going to sacrifice me, are you?”

“Lilith, what’s with the dagger in your bag,” DG teased.

The necromancer shot him a dirty look. “Ignore him,” she offered. “And don’t worry. You’re not going to die tonight. In fact, you’re going to be alive for a very long time.” She grabbed Gregory out of her bag and sat behind Jan outside the circle. She began chanting, low and soft at first, but growing in sound and speed as she continued saying it over and over.

The energy in the room began to intensify. It felt like something was starting to pull everything into the closet. Deadguy reached out for Lilith with one hand and the door frame with the other. Energy began to build and swirl around the closet entrance, then a small vortex appeared in the middle. It began to grow, causing more of a suction.

Something deep within Jan began to glow as well. It began to float out of her body, but stopped. The vortex increased in size and strength, pulling on the little ball of energy within Jan. Finally, the glow popped out and flew into the vortex. The energy was still being pulled in as Lilith stopped chanting and sprang up to grab Deadguy’s hand as he clung to the door.

“What about Jan,” he yelled over the whooshing sound the vortex was making.

“She’s fine as long as she doesn’t leave the circle,” the necromancer replied, trying to hold onto both the door frame and the skull.

Jan fell to his knees inside the circle. Deadguy and Lilith tried not to get sucked into the spiritual vortex that roared from the closet.

,” Gregory remarked.

“What the hell did he just say,” Our Hero asked.

“Like I said before, tonight’s a more powerful anniversary,” Lilith explained. “He might try to come back.”

A burning shadow shaped like a man walked out. The flames died out to reveal a man in his forties with a chiseled chin and sadistic grin. He almost looked like a warped version of a television sitcom dad.

“Hello January,” he greeted warmly.

“Daddy,” Jan whimpered.

“It’s time for me to come home,” he said, reaching out to her.

“Stay in the circle,” Lilith yelled above the roaring vortex. “He can’t do anything to you as long as you stay in it.”

Jan started to stand, reaching out to her father. “Daddy, please help me.”

“Yes, that’s it,” he encouraged. “Come to daddy.”

Our Hero let go of the door frame and leapt at the ghost of January James. “Justice…PUNCH,” he yelled as he threw a punch. The fist went straight through James’ head and Deadguy almost fell into the vortex. He slammed into the wall next to the closet.

James turned and faced him, his face turning from pleasant to furious. “Who the hell are you,” he yelled.

“Deadguy. Professional Hero Extraordinaire.”

“Never heard of you.”

“Escreh Mecaros,” Lilith announced. The room felt like it dropped in pressure. All the victims of January James flooded the room. They swarmed on him quickly, dragging him back into the vortex. The closet door slammed shut and the room became deathly quiet.

“Did we win,” Our Hero asked after a few moments. “I think we won.”

The sound of Jan’s snoring answered him. They both looked at the blissfully sleeping woman inside the circle.

“I believe we won,” Lilith agreed.

 

Jan awoke in the bedroom of a run down apartment. The room was sparse, outside of various books, comic books, and geeky paraphernalia. She heard talking in the other room. The voices familiar. “Oh, she remarked. “I’m back here.” She got up, and went to see what was going on.

She found Lilith sitting at a table in the mini kitchen while Deadguy was at the stove making something. The necromancer looked over. “Oh,” she said. “Good morning Jan.”

Our Hero turned to look at her. “Ah. There’s Sleeping Beauty,” he mused. “Want some pancakes?”

Jan shook her head. “Just some coffee,” she requested.

Deadguy let out an exaggerated huff. “Does no one eat pancakes anymore?”

“How are you feeling,” Lilith asked.

“Like I’ve just had the best sleep of my life,” she replied with a wonderful smile.

“And you should expect many more nights like that,” the necromancer stated. “With your father’s spirit now complete and locked away in The Veil, you won’t be haunted by his victims anymore.”

With that, Jan’s face fell. “He really did kill all those people, didn’t he,” she questioned mournfully.

Deadguy put a cup of coffee in front of her with an audible KLUNK. “Your dad did some messed up things while he was alive,” he said. “But that doesn’t reflect on you. Those were his crimes, not yours.”

“I need to make amends somehow, right,” she asked. “Just like me, my dad’s victims had families.”

“Oh yeah. That’ll go down well. ‘Hi, I’m the daughter of the guy who killed someone you care about’,” Deadguy mocked. “I’m sorry it happened. Wanna go for a cup of coffee?”

Jan hung her head. “Good point.” She looked up to see Lilith glaring at Deadguy. “So, what do I do?”

“Live your life,” DG answered. “The ghosts of the past are gone, and all you have left is a bright future. Have some fun with it.”

“What about the victims,” she asked.

“We will talk with the families,” Lilith said. “My abilities will be able to help bring closure to the victims. All you have to do is move on. Okay?”

Jan took a sip of coffee. “Okay,” she agreed.

 

END


Ghosts of January

  • ISBN: 9781370176915
  • Author: Quintin Fortune
  • Published: 2017-06-03 16:35:07
  • Words: 5395
Ghosts of January Ghosts of January