The Diaries of Osmond Finger, Ghost Detective
She either pretends to not hear me or is hard of hearing. This dame sure knows how to play a game, I think to myself.
She sighs. She starts talking about her case, either to me or to herself. I tell her I’ll take it on.
My secretary walks in. She says I’ll take the case.
“But he doesn’t know what the case is yet.”
She tells me she thinks her husband is involved in illegal activity. Gambling. Insider trading. Extortion. A grab bag of devil’s tricks. She thinks her husband’s playing trick or treat at a house of ill repute; the house called sin. Every night’s Halloween for this guy.
Needless to say, I don’t buy her story, but I tell her I’ll buy her a drink. Need to get to know her better. There’s more to this case than would meet my eye if I still possessed one. I follow her to a bar. We go out for a drink. I talk, laugh. She sits in silence. My drinks pour right through me. She wipes the table up like the seductress she is. She’s sexy, a little too sexy. Something’s amiss. I sense she might be cheating on her husband, if she has one. I decide to investigate.
We part ways. I follow her home.
Investigating the Walker case. Marital Infidelity.
Two cars parked in driveway; One Honda Civic, one Pontiac Firefly. Neither belong to Walker, who is at work. Suspicious. Front door is unlocked. Walk through door. House seems empty, but hear noises coming from above. Check fridge for clues and grab a glass of milk to quench thirst. Milk passes through me, spills on floor. Liquor cabinet is empty, perhaps drained by nights of infidelity. Float upstairs. The noises appear to be coming from the bedroom, which is locked. Walk through door.
An unclothed couple are linked affectionately in bed. They do not appear to be engaged in any explicitly sexual act, but something about their embrace suggests they may be more than friends. Get positive I.D. on Mrs. Walker, and a young man who does not appear to be Walker. Move closer to the couple to scrutinize for transgressions. I recognize the young man immediately: he’s made a cuckold of a lot of men out there.
Mrs. Walker complains of sudden draft, and states that she has become very cold. Puts on sweater. Young man also puts on sweater, and picks up a duvet that had been carelessly left on the floor. They resume their possible copulation under the covers. Mrs. Walker states she is too hot. I move closer to the bed, thinking she may be using “hot” in the colloquial sense, which would indeed confirm she is cuckolding her husband and not simply stating her temperature.
Young man throws duvet into the air, landing on me. Can’t see. Wish I had brought scissors to cut eye holes.
I stub my toe on the nightstand. All intimate activity is suddenly halted, for reasons mysterious.
I leave. Sounds from upstairs resume. Evidence inconclusive.
I spot a group of painted young girls, skirts as high as their minds will be after the 8 vodka and energy drinks they plan on drinking tonight. They hail a cab. I float into the back. The girls slide in on top of me. I’m embarrassed at first, but soon I relax. I relax a little too much. The girls don’t seem to mind. They’re singing along to whatever pop idol’s popular this week. Talking about boys they’re meeting. No matter. I’m the only boy with them now.
Downtown. They leave. I stay in the cab a few minutes longer. I float thru the door as we pass my client’s house. Light’s on upstairs. I knock a few times, perhaps a bit timidly because nobody answers. I let myself in.
I’m still excited from the young taxi girls, and my excitement reaches a fever pitch when I enter and find my lovely, lovely client, stripped down, all alone, going to town, as it were, using her fingers to write a first-person story made up entirely of climaxes.
I wonder if she senses that I’m with her, and if I might play a starring role in the picture show currently playing the silver screen of her mind’s eye. Probably not, she’s never even seen me. But I’ve seen her. All of her. A little movie of my own starts to unfold. I sense the end coming all too quickly. My credits roll all over her. She screams. If only my seed was as spectral as the rest of me. I’ll discount her when I compile my expenses. I float away.
8:23 p.m. Jones Residence. More marital infidelity. Women these days.
Ted Jones was a client from last year who called in about a work-related insurance claim, but I’ve been following up on some suspicions I’d had about his wife ever since I found out he had one.
Float upstairs to the now familiar bedroom, where the Jones wife is wrapped up in her evening knitting. She has a face you can trust, but if there is anything you learn in 350 years on the job, it’s that every woman has something to hide. And one of these days, I’m going to uncover her crimes.
The Jones wife looks good when she knits. Focused, determined, even angelic. Maybe she is on the level after all. I watch her weave. Her nipple slips out of her nightgown as she purls. She doesn’t even notice. I wonder what she looks like binding off. I can’t control myself. Her weaving is too seductive. Driven madly by impulse, I float towards her.
Well, If she was clean, she sure isn’t now.
Better mark it as a discount.
9:20 pm Palmer Boulevard. Spectral Haunting Case.
Secretary passed a note onto me about this case. Haunted house case, how ironic. Is it really a ghost, or is it just a cat burglar treating this house like his own personal kitty litter? Hell, I’ll take it. I need the cash.
Arrive at house, float in. Been there for other cases. Guy upstairs in the bedroom. I recognize him right away. He made a cuckold of Mr. Walker. Same guy I caught doing the horizontal tango with Mrs. Walker, the guy who attacked me with the duvet. Sitting there, monogrammed robe, he looks pretty relaxed.
No evidence of haunting yet. But I better stick around just to make sure. According to the report, the ghost only haunts the house when the guy is having sex. What a creep. What a Goddamned pervert. I float into the closet to keep my element of surprise in case the sex-obsessed specter decides to darken this door with his deviant ways.
I hear a knock on the door and in walks my beauty from before, the dame who wanted me to check on her husband. She smiles at the guy. This is looking like it might be a bit of a sticky situation.
I watch these two fornicators start living up to their name and doing what they do best: fornicating. They both look pretty happy.
I’m rushing to conclusions now. She wasn’t suspicious of her husband at all. Her husband’s probably a good guy, probably a guy like me, only guilty of falling for the wrong dames. Falling for dames that’ll use you, cuckold you, and maybe even kill you by battering your head with a candleabra the day you’re about to get your detective’s license. Poor guy.
“See, I told you the house wasn’t haunted”, says the dame.
“The ghost only comes when I’m having sex.”
How right he is. I explode with rage; I explode with something stickier than rage. In a throe of passionate anger I lose my footing, and crash through the closet door, making a thundering racket as I send a lamp to floorsville. The couple screams, and in a frenzy of excitement I’m brought back to our first encounter, only this time it is I who blanket them, with my own duvet — of translucent white.
Hell of a night.