Private & Paranormal


  Brody rubs his eyes wearily, the glare of the monitor unblinking before him. Ria paces back and forth behind his desk, reading from a small, weather-beaten journal that rests comfortably in her right hand, whilst the other one, entangled in her hair, is curling the locks around her fingers absently. The client is sitting in the chair across from them, a sweet looking girl who is growing increasingly nervous with her surroundings.
  “There’s a case,” Brody says, the fatigue thick on his voice, “perhaps.” The client’s face brightens a little, looking up from the desk she has until now been scrutinizing with incredible determination.
  “But there’s not much history to the place,” Ria chips in without looking up.
  “Is that a bad thing??” the girl asks, a tremble to her voice.
  “Well,” Ria continues, still poring over the book, “with things like this-“
  “It’s location, location, location,” finishes Brody, “if there’s nothing about the house itself, there’s no telling what we’re walking into.”
  “-ghoul, poltergeist, warlock, voodoo witch, spirit, undead, reborn, existentialist-“
  “What we’re trying to say,” Brody says, failing to suppress a smile, “is that without any clues from the background of the house itself, we could be dealing with anything.”
and that is a bad thing,” Ria finishes, closing the book shut between her thumb and fingers with a satisfying slap.
  “It’s gonna run you an extra hundred bucks,” Brody says, turning off the monitor and leaning back in his chair, pressing the palms of his hands into his forehead hard, trying to force the migraine out. The aspirin hadn’t even taken the edge off. The room pauses for a moment. Ria looks down at his scrunched up face, a brief shadow of concern passing over her own – an instance wholly unnoticed by the client who is too busy looking devastated at this news.
  “But it was hard enough for me to scrape together the four hundred-“
  “Don’t worry, sweetheart,” Brody interrupts, “We’ve got payment plans.”
  Ria notices Brody isn’t reaching into the drawer as he usually does at times like these, so she takes initiative and does so instead, picking out and handing a small flyer featuring their rates to the girl.
  “It’s a three month extension on the surcharge,” Ria states, “no interest.”
  “And if the three months pass?” the girl asks anxiously, looking up from the colourful piece of paper depicting a cartoon version of Ria and Brody in full ghostbuster attire, giving a wink and thumbs up respectively.
  “We put it back.”
  “You put it back?”
  “The… whatever it is,” Ria states simply, a smile playing at the edge of her lips, “we find it’s a pretty effective deadline. We’ve only had to do it once.”
  The girl looks shocked and appalled at once. Brody is silent, asleep perhaps. They’d only got in from the Seattle case a half hour ago, a case whose fee they’d decided not to dip into to spring for a motel last night. Ria always dealt with an exorcism hangover far better than her partner, although she was nursing a pretty sickly looking bruise to the gut from an errant kick she’d failed to avoid.
  “So,” Brody says, surprising the both of them, “do we have a deal, Miss Eleanor?” He stretches a hand across the desk towards her.
  The anxious girl bites her lip, thinking of the alternative, no doubt. She obviously doesn’t like what she envisions and, hastily taking Brody’s hand and shaking it with some amount of vigour, agrees.

The awesome header is from the Abara manga series by the incredibly talented Tsutomu Nihei.


~ by Joseph Blame on August 10, 2010.

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