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 4 - "A Rather Hairy Subject"

We take a moment to study the... er... skeleton key, wondering where it could possibly fit.

"Probie, turn on the camera and don't stop recording for anything. From here on out, it's important that we get as much of this documented as possible."

I nod my head and start shooting.

"I suggest we head to the attic," Philip says, at last. "All the readings indicate that the source of the P.K.E. is up there, somewhere." To demonstrate, he holds the P.K.E. meter at level and slowly points it upwards, where the needle pegs to the extreme reading. "You getting all this?"

I nod my head, again. "Got it. Looks good."

"Den we go up. Dat's all dere is to it," Harlan agrees.

"What about him?" I ask, pointing at Howard.

"You ok, buddy?" Philip asks Howard. "You don't have to go if you don't feel up to it."

"This badass monster basher is good to go," Howard responds.

"Hell yeah, man!" Philip says, and they perform their weird, secret handshake once again.

"Well, if he's in, I'm in," I say. And with that, it's agreed. We've got everything we need to blow this case wide open; it's time to solve this mystery.

We climb up the remaining floors without stopping to investigate what might be on any of them, and eventually open the door to the freezing attic. I half-expected it to be locked, requiring the key we found, but, clearly, the key must fit to something within the attic.

Inside, we can see our breath with each sweep of the flashlights. The space is huge, with random pieces of furniture strewn about. Off in one area is a bunch of junk left behind by some transients who were unfortunate enough to choose this building as a squat. Otherwise, the attic is empty and lifeless.

"Psst. Newbie!" Philip whispers at me. "Cut that camera a second."

"What's up?" I wonder, as I press the Pause button

"It's uh... I didn't want to say it on camera, but your hair is... crooked."

"What's 'at?" I ask.

Philip checks to make sure Howard and Harlan are out of ear shot, and then discretely points at his head. "Your hair," he says.

"Oh, my god! Thank you," I say as I adjust my wig. I let out a nervous laugh, "Heh... this is kind of embarrassing..."

"I get why you wear the wig out in public, but next time you come on an investigation, why not just wear a hat or something?"

"Well, yeah. I guess," I say, and try to look away from Philip. I'm really not comfortable with this conversation; it's hard coping with the hair I lost to male pattern baldness before I started hormones.

"We won't mind; we're not very judgemental. But, uh... just a head's up. FYI, for next time."

"So... there's going to be a next time? I mean, you want to keep me on the team?"

"Well, we'll see... if we survive tonight."

"What about calling me by first name? If I come along on another investigation, are you still going to address me as, you know, probie, newbie, all that? It's kind of annoying."

"Uh, yeah. Of course I am, greenhorn. Hazing is part of the initiation."

I'm not elated about the idea of being hazed, but whatever. "I guess I can handle that," I say. Philip smiles, and we continue searching for clues.

"I don't think we're going to find anything, up here," I say, after nearly tripping over a bunch of junk. "Check the meter, again. Maybe we missed something?"

"Nope," Philip says. "The meter says it's up here. Hey, are you recording?"

"What? Oh, right! The camera. I forgot to put it back on Record."

Philip looks directly towards the camera. "What we're getting here is that the needle drops in every direction but this way, towards this back wall."

I scan the wall with a flashlight, but I can't find anything. I'm ready to quit in frustration when Howard shrieks from across the room.

"The ghost!" Howard screams. "It's back!"

Notes:

  • In all honesty, wigs are kinda neat. Being able to switch colors, lengths and styles at a moment's notice is nice, but I'd still rather have my own hair. I mean, at the very least, I don't have to worry about it coming off when I ride roller coasters and junk.