Zoinks! by Dale Culp

A WebFiction Published Thrice Weekly

The enthralling, true tale of a trans girl just trying to get by and make the most of her life.

Also, she hunts ghosts and occasionally solves mysteries.

New to Zoinks!? Start at the beginning.

Chapter 1 - Act 6 - "Lots of Synergy"

It's the calm before the storm of Black Friday as we gather to huddle up with Boss Ross. Things are about to take on a psychotic pitch, but all I can think about is me and Valeria.

My brief, albeit mortifying, foray into the world of webcam pornography is over before it even began. My thermostat has been set back to "off" and the switch has been removed. I don't mind, really. It's just a couple more months until Spring, right?

What bothers me is that Valeria won't even talk to me. I mean, I should be the one who's upset — she outed me to a bunch of pervy strangers on the internet! It's just that, I'm over all that. It doesn't bother me like it used to. I've come to terms with myself, and I even take it as a source of pride to be transgender.

Meanwhile, apparently, Val had to shut down her channel on the porn site as most of her regulars left, and the ones who remained won't stop begging her to "bring back the she-male." UGH. I hate that term. I can't help but feel bad for her. She lost a good source of income. If I know Val, though, she'll bounce back. She'll be just fine.

"OK, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN..." Boss Ross shouts above the din of coworker conversation. "Let's huddle up so we can get today kicked off."

All eyes are on Ross as he begins his spiel, "Folks, we have a lot of stuff to go over. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and I hope the tryptophan has worn off because I'm gonna need lots of hustle, today."

"You know, that's a myth, right?" I hear a hushed voice say. I turn and see Philip standing next to me.

"Pardon?" I ask.

"Tryptophan. The human body doesn't naturally produce it, so we ingest it for proper function. Our bodies do use it to create seratonin, which acts as a calming agent in the brain, but you couldn't possibly eat enough turkey to feel the effects."

"Wow, Philip. Thanks for that... banal triviality."

Philip just nods, and his brother, Howard, smiles dimly in agreement.

"Have a good Thanksgiving, fellas?" I ask, and immediately regret.

"Sure did!" Howard says with an idiotic grin.

Philip explains, "We investigated a level 2 spectral presence in the space where the Sterling Hotel previously stood. Even with the building gone, the area is still hot."

"So, you spent Thanksgiving in an abandoned lot on Market Street, walking around in a couple inches of snow?"

"The cold doesn't bother us, Lucy. We're scientists.We can't allow weather to obstruct the pursuit of knowledge." Philip answers.

"Oh, I quite agree," I reply, with just a twinge of sarcasm. You see, the Bumpus brothers are ghost hunters, and while encouraging them could be dangerous, I just love giving them that extra push into full-on insanity.

"Did you get all that, Lucy?" Ross asks, as I suddenly realize I wasn't paying attention to the huddle at all. I just stare back at him, blankly. "I know it's a lot to ask of you, Lucy, but you can handle it. Lots of synergy, ok?"

Shit! What the hell did I miss?!