Ghosts, Part Eight

Some advice; if you ever want to expose a murderer, please don’t do it the way I do. I am lucky; you may not be.

I yank the baggie out of my pocket; I don’t want to subtly lead Duane on. He could catch on, and this would go bad. I’d rather shock him into a confession. It seems to work for a moment; he isn’t the brightest bulb I’ve ever seen. “What’s that?” he snaps.

“I found it in the bathroom,” I reply.

Miss Klane gasps and her hands cover her mouth. Mrs. O’Glory just sits there, her mouth as slack as a fish. “D-Duane. What is the meaning of this?” she asks.

He waves his hands about. “Mom, it’s nothing. It’s just a prank!” he cries.

“I doubt Holly would agree with you,” I say.

He turns towards me. “What the hell did you just say?” he demands.

“Holly. Holly Linkletter. Or are you so stupid that you can’t even remember the name of the girl you killed in cold blood ten years ago?” I ask.

Miss Klane lets out a small shriek. “Jay, are you sure? This could be a misunderstanding!” she cries.  

I shake my head. “Miss Klane, I’d love it if this were a misunderstanding. But it isn’t.”

Duane’s fists are clenching, and his face is white. Oh my God, he’s gonna hit me! “I dunno what you’re talking about, kid,” he snarls. 

“How many brain cells did you break trying to think of that excuse, Duane? Also, if you’re so innocent, why does it look like you may hit me?” I ask.

“Shut your trap! You’re upsetting my mom!” he yells.

“Good! I’d be worried about a mother who doesn’t care if her son’s a drug dealer and a killer!” I shout.

“Shut up!” Now his fist swings to me. Finally. The bait worked. I knew someone this stupid would mess up easily. 

“Duane!” Mrs. O’Glory is hanging onto her son’s wrist before he hits me. “Please, sweetie. Please, tell me this isn’t true. I can’t bear it!” He doesn’t respond, and her eyes become misty. “Oh God. That’s why you renovated the old shed,” she breathes.

“What?” Miss Klane cries. 

Mrs. O’Glory nearly howls. “Ten years ago, he fixed up the old shed that was nearly fallen apart! I thought it was because of that horrid storm that broke the roof of it, but no! What was in that shed, Duane?” 

Duane is panicking now. “Let go of me, mom! Please!”

“I refuse, until you tell me the bloody truth! What was in the shed, Duane?!” 

He’s losing it now, and I can see whatever thin and obviously flawed mask he’s built over the years shatter. “Blood! Holly’s blood, mom, okay? Now be quiet!” He’s not thinking clearly, he’s too mad to think. He throws Mrs. O’Glory away from him, and she smacks her head against the edge of the table. 

I jump away from him just as Miss Klane throws herself at him. “Stop it, Duane! You’ve confessed already! It’s over!” she shrieks. 

He punches her in the face and she falls over. “You know nothing!” he yells.

I pick up Socks, who’s been meowing worriedly on the floor. That’s another ability I have; on occasion, I can touch the ghosts. “Duane! Let’s play ‘catch the cat’!” I yell.

“What the hell-” I throw Socks directly at his face. “Sorry, Socks!” I cry. 

They both  scream as Socks lands on his face. “Arg!” Duane shouts, and he suddenly begins to sneeze and cough. Quite quickly, I can see redness on his skin. “What was that?” he demands.

He doesn’t get his answer, because, from behind him, I see a flash of something gold smack him in the back of the head. Duane crumples. Socks leaps off his face and dashes back to my feet, meows at me indignantly, and vanishes, probably to escape further throwing.

I look at the person who knocked Duane out. She’s tiny and breathing heavily, her thick gray hair matted with blood. “Oh, I think I tweaked my back,” Mrs. O’Glory groans, one hand on a football trophy, and the other on the base of her spine.

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