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 4 - Act 2 - "Spells and Conjures"

Philip and I continue searching the house, trying to find Harlan. No one has seen him since the first ghost attack.

"I'm sure he's fine," Philip says when, suddenly, we hear a noise coming from upstairs.

It sounds like footsteps, and I look over at Philip, "Think that's Harlan?"

"I hope so," Philip says.

We hear a loud thud, and Philip starts yelling at the ceiling, "HARLAN? IS THAT YOU UP THERE?"

We strain our ears, but hear only silence.

Philip starts shouting again, but I stop him. "Hey, what are you doing?" I ask.

"I'm checking to see if it's Harlan."

"No, I mean, why are you yelling?" I wave the 2-way radio at him. "We have these!"

"Oh, yeah. I forgot."

Philip then shouts into the radio, "COME IN, HARLAN! DO YOU READ ME? OVER!"

I put my face in my palm and shake my head.

"HARLAN, IF YOU ARE ON THE THIRD FLOOR, PLEASE RESPOND! OVER!"

No response.

Philip and I stare at each other in the silence. Moments later, a voice calls out from behind us, "Hey, yous guys! I tawt dat was you!"

My heart leaps into my throat. Philip spins around and nearly trips over himself,"YOU SON-OF-A... You scared the shit out of me!!"

"Hey, Phil, sorry 'bout dat. I heard you yelling, so I came down fast as I could."

"What was that loud banging noise?" I ask.

"Oh, dat was me. I tripped over this damn book some yambag left in da middle of da floor, up dere. Figured it was important, so I brought it wit' me."

"A book?" I ask. "How is that important?"

"Little lady, dis book might just hold a clue as to how to get rid'da da ghost dat's been hauntin' dis place," Harlan remarks, and I suddenly realize how much I hate the term "little lady."

Harlan starts flipping through the book. "Seems to be some kinda journal. Lots'a weird symbols and udder stuff," Harlan tells us. "Words in some kinda language I don't recognize."

"Spells and conjures, no doubt," Philip says.

"No doubt about it. Accordin' ta what I dug up on dis place, 'bout a hunert years ago, couple two tree warlocks used to congregate 'round here -- holdin' black masses, castin' spells, conjurin' demons... human sacrifices. Real bunch-a party animals!" Harlan laughs, but the effect is chilling.

"Eh... Anyway, legend has it, deir final victim is still trapped in da house, here. Da head was imbued wit some kin'a power dey used to unlock doors to udda dimensions. Weird shit, heyna? And get dis... da body wouldn't die, so dey hadda lock it away, some place. I'll lay any money, dis is da very spell book dey used to make it happen. Da only ting I wanna know is, why'd dey leave it behind?"

"Maybe they conjured up something they couldn't put down?" Philip asks.

"That ghost skull... you think?" I ask.

"It's the only thing that makes sense. If the head was powerful enough to open rifts in time and space, maybe it was powerful enough to gain control of itself and turn on the warlocks?"

"In dat case... we need ta find da room where da body is."

"I'm a little confused," I say. "What does any of this have to do with a key?"

Philip shrugs. "Let's get Howie up here and fill him in."

Notes:

  • This space for rent.