Just Starting Broken Nights 2

Well, we’ve started work on the still untitled sequel to our adventure novel, Broken Nights.

As a special sneak-peek, we thought we’d upload the still UNEDITED first chapter for your reading pleasure.

By we, I mean me. I totally didn’t ask Mike about this, but he’s cool. Tell him he’s cool by picking up the first book here.

Without further ado, the first chapter!

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Broken Night Audio Book is Now Available!

Broken Nights AudiobookBroken Nights is now available on Audible.com!

If you don’t have an Audible.com account, the first book with them is free, so sign up for audible and download the newest title from Davenport Writes and listen to the great narration by Carson Beck!

Already have an Audible.com account? Send an email to support@davenportwrites.com and we’ll get you a free download code for the book.

We need reviews, so if you listen or read Broken Nights, please leave a review!

Ghostbusters: Des Moines- Ep 6: Blast from the Past

Episode 6: “Blast from the Past”

The TV cut to an ad for the Ghostbusters that had just began making waves in Des Moines.

Daniel Carter grimaced as Cynthia Palmer stepped into the screen holding a cell phone while wearing her Ghostbuster uniform. She pointed at the screen.

“If you go into your application store, you can search ‘Ghostbuster Neighborhood Watch.’ Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll be helping us to locate spiritual dangers throughout the city.” She pocketed the phone and added. “We’re on the hunt for major spikes in spiritual activity and your help will give us the edge we need to find what we’re looking for.”

A Ghostbuster with a nametag that read “Ross” pointed at the screen and energetically said, “Only you can save the city! Be a Ghostbuster and download our app today!”

Dan clicked the remote to change the channel. After everything that he had been through, he couldn’t stand Cynthia Palmer and liked the idea of making her disappear with a click.

Instead, the remote clicked, but the channel didn’t change. He hit the button again a few times, but nothing happened. He sighed, trying to think of where he had last seen AAA batteries in his small apartment.

That’s when he also noticed that Cynthia’s face was expanding on the screen as if she was about to climb out and ruin his life all over again. Growing to fill the entire thing. Dan leaned forward and reached toward the screen as if he could reach out and strangle his old friend.

A knock at the door reminded him that his television wasn’t going to start ejecting people from it. Hell, it was a console television from the early nineties.

Dan grabbed his crutches and used them to hop with his one foot to the door. When he answered the door, Daniel found a white bearded gentleman dressed in a business suit.

“Hello, Daniel,” the man stuck out his hand. Dan glared at it, but didn’t accept the handshake. “I’m here about an urgent matter. Might I come in?”

“Who are you?”

“I think that I’m someone who can help you get what you desire.”

Dan’s glare turned into a frown. “How does what I want become an urgent matter?”

The older man smiled a toothy grin. “Urgent to me, fortuitous for yourself.”

“And you seem to know what I want?”

“I do,” he answered. “Would you let me in if I told you that I could help you rain Hell down on Cynthia Palmer?”

For the first time in a long time, Dan felt the edges of his mouth curl up. He hopped out of the way of the door and allowed the older gentleman to enter.

“My name,” he said as he took Dan’s seat in front of the console television, “is Martin Murray.”

“Tell me Martin,” Dan sat on the console tv and left his crutches leaning against the nearby wall, “what can you do about Cynthia Palmer?”

“Absolutely nothing,” Martin frowned. “Unfortunately, my efforts against her have been met with resistance.” His frown was replaced with a smile that made Dan feel uneasy. “But I can help you do what I couldn’t.”

“How’s that?”

Martin reached into his suit jacket and pulled out a pill bottle and a flask.

“Take both of these and you’ll be able to ruin her life.” He handed them to Dan who proceeded to look them over.

“And these are?”

Martin raised an eyebrow. “A pill to kill you and an elixir to revive you.”

“How is my dying supposed to hurt Cynthia Palmer?”

Martin shook his head. “The flask will bring you back. Bigger and stronger. You’ll be able to destroy her and everything she’s built.”

“And then what?”

“Whatever you want. I’m building a new world and people with the gifts I’m giving you will rule it.” Martin stood and walked to the door. “Drink the flask first, it won’t taste good. Negatively charged slime never does. Then take the pill. The effects should be quick, so get comfortable.” He opened the door and stood half in the apartment as he said. “Then hunt down and destroy Cynthia Palmer.”

Martin Murray shut the door behind himself, and Dan set the pill bottle down. He twisted the cap and sniffed. The smell wasn’t bad or good, but the something about the smell reminded him of that day in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Palmer was asked to assign patrol detail and had chosen Private First Class Daniel Carter to accompany her on the morning rounds. He had only been a few days from his tour ending, and was looking forward to the flight to Germany before heading home.

When their truck had been hit by the IED, Dan was surprised that he had come out of it unscathed. He got out of the vehicle and was immediately ducking enemy fire. Diving back into the truck, he saw that the Sergeant hadn’t moved. Shaking her a few times, she was alive, but unconscious.

He pulled her from the truck on the side with the least amount of gunfire hitting the truck. The whole time he was radioing in their position and the attack. Looking around the truck, he couldn’t see where the gunfire was coming from, but he knew he wasn’t getting anywhere if he had to drag Sergeant.

When she started to wake up, he told her as much. “I can get back on foot, I’ll get help.”

“No,” she sat up and grunted. Her eyes told him that Palmer was concussed. “Return fire. Keep them back.”

Dan shook his head. “I can get there. Stay here.”

“Private, that’s an order. Do not leave.”

He ignored her and ran away from the truck. Gunfire peppered the ground around him as he ran. Dan pulled his pistol and returned fire, but the movement slowed him down.

He made it about thirty yards when he saw another truck that must have been sent to answer his radio call. Dan started waving his arms in between shots over his shoulder at the invisible combatants.

Then he stepped on another IED. His layover in Germany didn’t happen.

If Cynthia Palmer hadn’t assigned him, if she hadn’t been injured, and if she hadn’t been right, he would still have his leg.

He drank the flask. While the taste was about as subdued as the smell, the effect was immediate. Dan’s rage only seemed to grown inside him. As he finished the flask, all he could think about was destroying Cynthia Palmer. It was the reason that he was still alive.

Alive? Through his rage, he remembered the pill. The flask would revive him, but the pill would kill him. Whatever transformation these tools were going to do to Dan’s body he just didn’t care. That Murray fellow told him this is how he would get his revenge on Cynthia.

Without thinking about it, he popped the lid on the pill bottle and swallowed the only pill that was inside.

Nothing happened immediately. Dan hadn’t expected it to. Even with his rage, he knew pills still had to dissolve to be of any use. So he waited and thought on ways to destroy his old Sergeant.

He didn’t have to wait long, and after about three minutes his chest suddenly felt too small for his heart. The beating of his heart grew louder and he could feel the pressure throughout his whole body as his ticker struggled to keep beating.

It was a struggle that it wouldn’t win.

Daniel Carter died.

A minute later, his soul, charged by the negatively charged slime, tore itself from his corpse and looked down on to his body.

Rage filled him as he realized that the only way he would get his vengeance on Cynthia Palmer, a Ghostbuster, was to become a ghost. She had cost him his leg, and now she had cost him his life.

With a roar of fury that shattered the windows, Dan’s ghost launched himself out of the apartment and into the city.

 

“I think that went well,” Regina said as they left the studio.

Jordan nodded. “Especially for our first televised appearance. We should think about doing a commercial,” he shrugged. “Might get us more calls.”

“If this app takes off,” Simon said, “than we won’t need to do any advertising. It’ll be assigning us jobs on a regular basis.”

They were unloading their equipment into the van, handing it off to Simon to load into the appropriate cages.

Cynthia had unloaded most of her equipment when she noticed that her PKE Meter wasn’t anywhere in sight.

“Shoot,” she said. “Hey guys, I’ll be right back.” She hooked her thumb over her shoulder. I left my PKE Meter at the coffee table.”

Jordan shook his head. “One little tv-spot and suddenly our little warrior is forgetting her equipment. I thought it would take longer for the spotlight to blind you.”

Cynthia hit him in the arm. “You’re hilarious. I’ll be right back.”

Running back into the building, she hopped into the elevator for the ride to the television station’s floor.

Once she was back in the studio and had explained her predicament to the receptionist, he waved her back.

The PKE Meter was right where she thought it would be, sitting on the edge of table where the coffee was served. As she reached for it, Cynthia jumped as it suddenly came to life, the antennae on it lighting up as they spread out.

“What the hell?”

She grabbed it off of the table and grabbed her Ghost Mace from her belt at the same time.

“You won’t need that,” a familiar voice said from behind her.

Cynthia spun around, bringing the Ghost Mace up as she did, but she never got a chance to use it. A spectral hand grabbed her wrist while another grabbed her throat.

Recognition lit Cynthia’s eyes up. “Private?”

“Hey Sarge,” he smiled, but it was bitter. “Saw your news spot. Great work, but I think I can do better.”

As he said it, Cynthia realized that her wrist wasn’t being held anymore, so much as Private Carter’s spectral blue wrist had begun to merge with her own. Within seconds, his spiritual presence had slid into her physical form. Cynthia couldn’t move at all as Dan started taking control of her body.

“You know what they say,” he said with a mix of her voice and his own, “possession is 9/10ths of the law.”

 

Back at the van, Simon waited patiently for Cynthia to return so he could close of the grating over where the PKE Meters hung.

When she finally made it back to the van, she looked up at him, leaned a bit to see his entire chest, and then handed him the PKE Meter. The screen was broken on it.

“What happened to it?”

Cynthia shrugged. “I don’t know. Got up there and they seemed to be having some sort of celebration. I think it got bounced around during that.” She leaned again, and Simon looked down at his chest to see if he had something on it. Just the nametag on his jumpsuit.

“Is there something on me?”

Cynthia shook her head, “Nah, Franco. I thought I saw something, but just the light playing tricks.”

“Franco? Since when do you call me Franco?”

She shrugged. “I was thinking while I was in the elevator, that if we’re going to take this to the next level we need to be working on our branding. The people see our nametags, we should use them to address each other.”

Simon frowned, but it made sense. “Ok…Palmer.”

For some reason that was outside of Simon’s understanding, Cynthia cringed when he said her name, as if she had been physically hurt by it.

He locked the cage and hopped down from the van, “Are you alright?”

“Yeah,” she paused as if struggling to remember, “Simon. I think the elevator might have messed with my head.”

“Or something like that,” he added skeptically. “Are you driving?”

Cynthia reached into her jumpsuit pocket and fished out the keys, “Sure.”

The ride back to their headquarters on wasn’t a long one. The office building where they hung their jumpsuits was only a mile from the television station, but Cynthia took her time, every now and then she seemed confused by a turn, but when Jordan asked her about it, she smiled and said, “Don’t worry about it, Ross, I’m just lost in thought.”

“Just don’t be lost in Des Moines,” he chuckled. “Some of us have things to do.”

When they pulled in, Cynthia tossed him the keys and said, “I’m not feeling the best. Think I’ll head home for the rest of the day.”

Jordan nodded. “Sure thing. If we need you, we’ll call.”

Climbing into her pickup truck, Cynthia angled the mirror down to look into her eyes.

“Stop trying to block your memories from me,” Dan growled into the mirror. “If I get discovered, I will kill your friends.”

“Listen to me, Dan,” Cynthia was looking back at her own face in the mirror, but she wasn’t seeing herself, she was seeing the spectral former Private First Class. “I don’t know why you’re doing this, or why you’re so,” she gasped as she felt the emotions radiating off of his soul, “angry, but this can’t end well for you. The best case scenario is you ending up inside our containment unit, while worst case has me screaming inside of my own body and annoying the hell out of you until you finally leave.”

“Or,” Dan countered. “Me listening to your agonizing screams as I dismantle your life piece by piece before a distraught Cynthia Palmer, former Ghostbuster, is found hanging in her apartment.” He shrugged, “Besides, can’t you feel the exchange taking place?” In the mirror, Dan’s spectral image glowed a brighter blue and shimmered. “The longer I am in your body, the more I take from you.” He smiled menacingly. “I’m absorbing your soul. You’ll be around long enough to watch your life fall apart, and then you won’t exist anymore.”

“You’re an idiot, they won’t believe you’re me.”

“They already bought it.” He paused for a minute. “Wait a second, one of your thoughts just drifted into my mind.” Dan took the keys out of the ignition and got out of the car.

“What are you doing?” Cynthia demanded from inside her own head. Shock hit her as she saw what he was planning to do. “No, you can’t.”

Dan walked back into the office.

“Forget something?” Regina asked.

“Yup,” he punched her across face and kicked Simon in the gut as he stood up.

“Cynthia, what are you doing?” Jordan came running forward. Dan threw a stapler at him forcing him to duck.

“Ross,” Dan was trying to find something in Cynthia’s memory to use against him. He was coming up empty. Cynthia had respect for this friend. Hurting him would hurt her. “It’s time you became what you hunt.”

Cynthia’s body walked to the caged lockers and, with strength that surprised the rest of the Ghostbusters, tore the lock off of her own. She put on the pack and wasted no time drawing the neutrino wand and launching a stream at Jordan.

He only barely was able to step out of the way in time and dove toward Simon.

Simon grabbed his arm, “She’s possessed.”

A proton stream blasted the desk and they each grabbed Regina’s arms and tugged her toward the back office.

“No shit, Sherlock,” Regina replied.

“We are leading her toward the Containment Unit,” Simon continued, ignoring Regina.

Jordan’s face blanched. “That’s bad. Very bad.”

Simon nodded.

“We need to stop her.”

Simon joined Regina this time as they looked at Jordan with dumbfounded expressions.

Another proton stream almost took off Regina’s head.

“Come on back, guys,” Not-Cynthia’s voice sing-songed to them. “I only want to kill you and undo everything you’ve built.”

“We have no choice,” Jordan said. “If we don’t go to the back room, we’re going to know what it’s like to be busted.”

Simon nodded and led the way through the secured door and into the room workshop where he stored all of his prototypes and the containment unit.

“Is there anything in here that we can use?” Regina asked.

Simon shook his head. “No, nothing in here is complete.”

“And we don’t want to hurt Cynthia,” Jordan added. “We need slime.”

Regina suddenly remembered her Ghost Mace.

“I’ve got an idea.” She pointed at the door. “When she…it…whatever comes in here, distract her.”

As if her words commanded it, a proton stream blew the door to splinters. They all ducked as Cynthia walked in.

“Um,” Regina waved in Cynthia’s direction, “I said I need a distraction…”

Jordan’s eyes went wide, “But she has a nuclear accelerator attached to her back.”

Simon rolled his eyes, stood up and grabbed some parts off of the work bench and shrugged. “Hey, you’re using that proton pack all wrong.”

He raised the parts up in a gesture that made it look like he was going to use them to shoot at her.

Cynthia spun the wand toward him and shouted, “Is this better?” before launching a proton stream at him.

He only barely jumped out of the way, but it was enough of a distraction for Regina to sneak up behind Cynthia switch off her proton pack and soak the back of her head in the mace slime.

Cynthia roared in pain as the positively charged slime tried to overwhelm Dan’s spectral energy.

He roared again and turned to flee but was halted as Jordan and Regina held onto the proton pack.

Cynthia’s head turned around unnaturally to face them both and in it they didn’t see Cynthia anymore. Her face had morphed into that of a man. She slipped out of the pack before her head twisted forward again and she flew back the way she had come and out of the building.

“Well,” Simon said, “that was new.”

 

Cynthia hid inside her own mind while the wounded Dan flew through the air. When he finally came to a stop, gripping her head and howling into the air, they were in a small one bedroom apartment.

On the floor next to a large console television was a body laying face down. It had only one leg.

“So,” Cynthia asked, “this is your apartment then?”

A demon like roar escaped from her mouth again, and Cynthia noticed something.

“Do you feel that?” She asked Dan. “That slime you were hit with is giving me back my strength.”

Using her will, she confronted Dan.

They were still in her mind, but to each of them it looked like they were in the desert, facing each other on a long dirt road.

Afghanistan.

Cynthia looked down at herself to see she was wearing her Army fatigues.

“Well, that’s different.” She looked across at Dan to see that he was in his fatigues, too. On closer examination, she could tell that he was hurt. It wasn’t his injury from when he was last in Afghanistan, instead he had burn marks all over his head, mostly toward the back where the slime had hit. As for his actual injury, his leg was still there. In spectral form his wound was nonexistent.

“I had years of rehab!” Dan shouted at her. “All because you ordered me along on that patrol!”

From seemingly nowhere, he drew a pistol and aimed it at her.

“You were injured, Private, because you can’t follow a simple order.” Suddenly Cynthia realized that she was holding a proton pack wand. She flipped a switch on it. “If you had spent the last decade focusing on building a life instead of hating me, you might have been happy.” She spun a dial on the side. “I’m sorry that your life went to shit, but I’m done letting you ruin mine.”

“No more talking!” Dan shouted, and began firing at her.

Cynthia flinched before realizing that the gun wasn’t actually firing. It clicked, over and over, but no bullets fired from the gun.

Dan looked at the pistol with rage before throwing it to the side and charging Cynthia.

“I don’t think so,” Cynthia shouted and then flipped the final switch.

A boson dart launched from her proton pack and hit Dan square in the chest.

Instantly, Cynthia was laying on the apartment floor coughing as blue spectral energy leapt from her chest. She climbed to her feet and saw that she was standing across the room from Dan’s ghost.

“I’m sorry that you were wounded,” Cynthia said softly, “but the wound didn’t ruin your life and neither did I. You ruined your life by focusing on hate and revenge instead of moving on.”

Dan’s face was contorted by the rage, and Cynthia could see her words weren’t having much effect.

“You can move on now, though,” she continued. “Let go of your hate and go find something for yourself in this new existence.”

“NO!” he flew at her.

Cynthia flinched and threw up her arms.

A crash made her open her eyes and she looked around to see that Simon, Regina, and Jordan had kicked in the door.

Proton streams wrangled Dan as a trap slid underneath him. Within seconds, Dan was in the trap and Jordan was looking over Cynthia.

“We need to make sure you’re healthy,” he explained. “Kinda saw your neck do some weird stuff that it shouldn’t do.”

“Holy crap!” Regina was exclaiming. “What happened?”

Cynthia pointed at the body on the floor and explained who he was and what had happened.

“He’s still fresh,” Simon observed. “He shouldn’t have been able to create a spiritual form yet. It takes time and the collection of energies.”

“He needed to culminate more emotional energy,” Jordan agreed.

“More slime?” Regina asked.

Jordan nodded.

“How did you guys find me?” Cynthia asked. “I didn’t even know Dan lived here.”

Regina smiled, “The app is working. Enough people have downloaded it that Simon was able to track you as you flew across the city.”

Regina’s watch buzzed and she took a look at it. “There’s something in here giving off a reading.”

Jordan drew his PKE Meter, but Cynthia snatched it out of his hand. She followed it to the console television where she found an unmarked pill bottle and a flask. The PKE Meter spiked when she waved it near the flask.

Picking it up, she overturned it until a blue slime dripped from it.

“Is that what I think it is?”

Jordan looked over her shoulder at the PKE Meter and then at the flask. “Looks like he chugged slime.”

Simon raised an eyebrow. “If he drank negatively charged slime, it might give his spirit enough power to coalesce at the sooner after death.”

“Where did he get it?” Regina asked.

Cynthia frowned. “Where do you think?” She crouched and inspected her former friend’s body. “He fell away from the television.” She eyed the chair. “Someone else was here. I’m willing to bet it was the Chairman.”

“But…why?” Regina asked.

“To distract us?” Jordan supplied. “Or take us out.”

Cynthia stood up and looked to her friends. “This is great news.”

“Why?” Simon asked.

Jordan smiled. “Because the night that we released the PKE App to the public is the same night that they sent a hitman after us.”

Regina caught on. “They’re scared of us?”

Cynthia nodded. “They’re scared of us.”

Ghostbusters: Des Moines- Episode 5 Slimed! Part 2

Slimed! Part 2:

The newly minted Ghostbuster Van had sirens that Regina could see herself learning to enjoy, but at that moment, the shrill whine was only a hum in the back of her mind as she prepared herself for taking on the Possessor.

The van pulled into the parking lot at the Wallace Building and Simon was suddenly unlocking the metal grating lining the walls.

From the front, Cynthia called out to him, “Jordan and I will carry the proton packs and the traps. I want you and Regina to have the slime packs.”

“Will it work against the things he summons?” Regina asked as Simon helped her into her slime pack.

“Yes, but not like the proton packs.” He straightened his glasses as Jordan helped him into his slime pack. “The slime is positively charged, so it should neutralize the negatively charged entities.”

“What does ‘neutralize’ mean?”

“The force that mobilizes them, either the Possessor or a soul that he has enlisted, will lose its physical form. It won’t be easy for it to build a new one. As far as you’re concerned, it’ll be long gone.”

That was good enough for Regina. She helped Jordan into his proton pack and they all climbed out of the back of the van.

Simon showed Regina how to use the slime pack. “Just pull this lever up here. You’ll get more distance the farther back you pull it. It only has about 30 yards of pressure.”

“What happens when I run out of slime?”

Simon shook his head. “This is just like your Ghost Mace. The slime is duplicates itself. If you find that your streams are weak, just give it a minute.” Simon was suddenly worried. “Oh, and think happy thoughts.”

“Really?” She smirked, thinking Simon was joking.

Simon nodded. “Yes. The slime is generated by emotions. It might self-replicate, but that doesn’t mean that it inherits the same mood. It absorbs the moods around it, but if there are strong enough emotions that are contradictory to what is in the rest of the tank, the slime could…turn.”

“That’s bad?”

Jordan joined them. “The baddest. Instead of hurting Bluto, you’re feeding spinach to Popeye.”

“Happy thoughts,” Regina gave a thumbs up to them. “Got it.”

Cynthia came around from the front, and Regina helped her into her proton pack.

“So,” Jordan said, “what’s the plan?”

“That,” Cynthia pointed down the street where police cars were racing toward them. Their lights and sirens on. None of them had noticed the new sirens, as they had already grown accustomed to the sound in their new van.

“As it turns out,” Cynthia continued, “we have city contracts, and I was able to leverage that to get local law enforcement to help us with our situation.”

“You’re a goddess,” Jordan said through a wide grin.

“Don’t go malevolent, or we might have to slime you next.” Simon added without a hint of mirth.

Cynthia smirked. “You can try.”

The police cars pulled in next to the van, and the first officer stepped out and walked up to meet the Ghostbusters.

“What do you need from us?”

Cynthia pointed at the Wallace Building. “We need Brent Allen out of that building. We’d prefer it if you could bring him to the back of our van, but if he struggles at all leave him to us.”

“While the city might have signed off on this, it doesn’t change the fact that I can’t arrest someone without probable cause.”

Jordan stepped up. “You’re only bringing him out here for questioning. Besides, he’s impersonating a state official. That’s very illegal, last I checked.”

The officer nodded. “I can work with that. We’ll get him out here.” He turned and started up the sidewalk and toward the building with his men.

Simon added quickly. “He’s dangerous. Try not to…spook him.”

Cynthia rolled her eyes.

To all of their surprise, the police were in the building for less than a minute before they were walking out with Brent Allen between them. He wasn’t handcuffed or resisting, he was only walking with the police as they directed him toward the Ghostbusters.

“What can I do for the Ghostbusters?”

Cynthia stepped forward. “You can exit the man you’re currently possessing and allow us to detain you for questioning.” Her hands gripped her neutrino wand with white knuckles.

“I don’t know about possessions, but I do know that I won’t let you detain me.” Before the Ghostbusters could argue, he added, “You can ask me anything you like, though.”

“Where’s my brother?” Regina demanded.

“Excuse me?” Brent looked confused.

Cynthia waved Regina back and stepped forward. “If you’re not what we think you are, would you mind taking a painless and simple test?”

Before he could answer, Regina stepped forward again and shot the Ghost Mace into his face.

It came out of the can much like normal Mace would. Spraying in an arc and hitting his face in a steady stream. Except this wasn’t mace, it was positively charged slime.

Cynthia would have reprimanded Regina, but she didn’t have time.

Brent’s face stretched, his jaw reaching down to his chest as his eyes swelled and a scream of paranormal proportions echoed across the city.

As one, the police officers all drew their guns and aimed it at the possessed Brent Allen.

“Put your guns down,” Simon yelled. “They wouldn’t do anything anyway.”

None of the officers lowered their guns, but they also didn’t start shooting. The Ghostbusters all accepted that as a sign of restraint.

“Well,” Cynthia said, “what are you waiting for.” She pushed Regina forward. “Soak him!”

Regina raised her hose and pulled the lever. Slime shot in a solid stream directly at the possessed man. Like he was attached to wires that they couldn’t see, he shot into the sky in a high arc and came back down closer to the boarded up glass doors of the Wallace Building. The maneuver put about thirty yards between the Ghostbusters and the spirit.

As one they started running toward him until he let out another howl. His jaw stretched again, going further down his chest, and energy rolled from him in waves. As it did, it carried with it two more spirits.

The ghosts were both corpulent men beyond realistic measures and were wearing torn business suits. They glowed a faint blue hue. Their presence stopped the Ghostbusters’ charge, but only for a moment.

“We’ve got this,” Jordan said with a wink. He shot up at the nearest former politician, and the spirit dove out of the way of the proton stream. “Incredibly nimble for his size,” he mumbled before adding, “Slime the possessor and these guys should disappear.”

Simon and Regina ran at Brent the Possessor and pulled on the large slime levers again. He lifted off of the ground again and spiraled out of the path of the streams.

“Widen your stream,” Simon pointed at a dial on the side of the hose and Regina did as he said.

The result was immediate and similar to turning a shower head from jet to wide. The stream panned horizontally and made it harder for Brent to avoid the pink mess.

To her surprise, Regina got the first hit as the Possessor twisted to avoid Simon’s wide spray and went through Regina’s, which she had turned vertical. Going through it, he collapsed to the ground and shuddered, the pavement cracking underneath him as he fought to hold onto his position in Brent’s body.

“I need to get to the truck,” Simon called. “You got this?”

Regina nodded and turned the dial and the slime being projected returned to the jet setting again. She focused all of her attention on getting the Possessor soaked. Fueled by her need for information about her brother, she was aiming to drown the ghost in the good vibes the slime was permeated with.

As his body continued to convulse, suddenly the possessor was making barking noises as his mouth stretched open again. With a final shudder, Brent Allen vomited the possessor up and into the sky where it floated, looking like a large bat-winged demon in a bright yellow hue. Horns curled behind its ears, and its fangs dripped menacingly.

Giving one last roar at the Ghostbusters and Police, it turned and launched into the sky.

Or at least tried to.

Jordan had been correct. The animating spirit behind the ghosts that he and Cynthia had been wrestling with had been the Possessor. When he was gone, they had vanished, allowing the other two Ghostbusters to join them with the Possessor.

Two proton streams shot into the sky and wrapped around the feet of the demon-looking Possessor. Together, they dragged the spirit towards the back of the Ghostbusters’ new van.

“Don’t look at the van,” he yelled as they entered the range of the still-untested giant trap. Remembering the Police, he yelled it again in their direction.

The spirit pulled and jerked in the grasp of the proton streams, but Cynthia and Jordan were working like a well-oiled machine. As one would get pulled, the other would pull harder. They worked like that, back and forth, until Jordan was standing almost at the van.

“Now?” He asked through gritted teeth.

Simon nodded and pulled a lever that was built into the outside wall of the van.

A loud hum began to build up as whatever machinations that Simon had modded the van with began to spin up. The inside of the van grew incredibly bright and the Ghostbusters all did their best to not look at the light. Jordan and Cynthia shortened their streams until the demon Possessor was bathed in the light.

They held him there until Simon shouted, “Release!”

They cut their streams and the Possessor was yanked into the back of the van. Simultaneously, Simon pressed the lever into the other direction and the doors slammed shut.

“Holy shit,” Jordan said. “Did that actually work?”

Simon raised an eyebrow. “Of course it worked.”

The van shuddered and then rocked as the ghost crashed around inside.

The Ghostbusters thanked the Police and Cynthia quickly explained how they would be containing the creature, as to assure the local PD that it wouldn’t be released again.

When she was done, she walked up to the Ghostbusters and smiled. “Well,” she looked at Regina. “I think you’ve got a few questions for that thing?”

Smiling, Regina led her way to the front of the van and climbed into the cab.

In the cab of the van, the Ghostbusters crammed in to get a good look through the faraday cage.

The ghost was starting to mellow out and shrank down from his demon form. When his size was back to something at least slightly more normal, he took on the shape of Regina’s brother, Blake.

“Oh, look. I found your brother.” He let out a long cackle.

“Who are you?” Jordan asked.

The ghost grinned and razor sharp teeth replaced Blake’s normal smile. “Is this what we’re doing now? Conversation?” He sighed. “I tried that earlier, remember? You sprayed me with Mace.”

“Well, this is what we’re doing, so, answer the damn question.” Regina barked.

The ghost took on Blake’s voice, “Hey sis, thanks for leaving me to burn in Hell.”

Regina slammed her hands against the faraday cage and Simon pulled her back while Jordan continued talking to the ghost.

“Answer the question, please.”

The ghost’s voice returned to its eerie echo. “You’re no fun.” He smiled a toothy smile again, “She’s fun, but you’re not.” He let out a long sigh. “There is no translation for my name in your language.”

“Try,” Cynthia growled.

“The closest that I can offer is ‘A Raging Lion.’”

Cynthia looked at Jordan and he nodded a confirmation. This ghost was one of the seven.

“Well, I think you’re our first, so we’ll call you ‘One,’” Jordan said.

One laughed. It was long and over the top. When he finally stopped and saw that the four Ghostbusters looked confused, he asked, “Are you being serious?”

“About what?” Cynthia asked.

“I’m not the first of the Seven that you’ve dispatched.”

“What?”

He folded Blake’s arms. “You have taking out the…um…’Fearful Storm,’ would be the translation, and our soul-eater, ‘The Predator with the Open Mouth.” He leaned back on an invisible chair. “The Fearful Storm attacked you near where we were summoned. His job was to protect our discovery.” He waved his hands about. “The Soul-Eater has always been difficult to control. He had no purpose other than his own.”

“Why are you telling us this?” Cynthia demanded.

She was right to ask, the other Ghostbusters realized. He had no reason to help them. He was already captured and wasn’t going anywhere.

“Because there’s nothing you can do about it,” One answered. “The wheels have been turned.”

“Why were you in Brent Allen?” Cynthia continued questioning.

One smiled, “Wheels needed to be turned.”

“And where are the rest of the Seven?”

One shrugged. “I have not been informed. The Seven are agents of chaos. We stir the spiritual energies in preparation for the Rise of Erra.”

“I thought Erra was here already,” Cynthia stated.

One nodded. “Yes, but he has yet to make his,” he waved jazz hands, “entrance. He can’t do that until he has more power.”

“Where’s Erra?”

One shook his head. “That isn’t your question to ask.” He smirked, obviously excited for what was coming next.

Cynthia touched Jordan’s arm, and they left the cab of the van and joined Regina and Simon.

“We won’t get too much more out of him,” Cynthia said before facing Regina. “There’s only one question left to ask. Are you ready for it?”

Regina didn’t answer and stomped back to the van. Climbing into the cab, she shut the door behind her.

“Hey sis,” One said in Blake’s voice. “Welcome back.”

“Where is Blake?”

“Right here, silly.”

“Where is my brother?”

“I told you the first time,” One leaned forward. “He’s burning in what your small fleshy existence would refer to as Hell.”

Regina smiled. “You’re forgetting that I was there. Somebody possessed him. Where did he go?”

Blake’s face stopped smiling. “Erra used him as a doorway. Many spirits left through your brother, but only the final one wears his flesh.”

“Erra has him?”

“This sense of identity that you attach to his flesh is silly. Erra is in possession of your brother’s body, but it is very likely that his spirit has been devoured or released during the Great Exodus.”

Regina gulped. “Great Exodus?”

One pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation. “When your brother puked up spirits.” He sighed and leaned back against his invisible chair again. “Either way, your best chance of getting your brother back is to find Erra.” One snickered. “Good luck. He’s a god with a penchant for destruction. Your brother is likely batting for my team.”

“Where is Erra?”

One furrowed Blake’s brow. “I can feel him. He is close. That is all I know.”

Regina leaned toward the passenger side door and rolled down the window. “Hey Simon, is the portable containment unit installed?”

“Yes,” Simon called back. “Purple button.”

“Thanks,” she immediately located the purple button and slammed her hand down on it.

One of the sides of the faraday cage popped open and a bright light emitted from a piece of the machinery there. The machine was larger and looked like a series of three red-painted lockers welded together. The bright light was arrived with a pop in Regina’s ears as the air pressure in the van changed. Much as with the van previously, the bright light pulled at the ghost. One howled, fighting it, but was more resigned this time than he had been when the van had collected him.

 

The Ghostbusters all sat around their ‘conference room’ table, which was more of a small table in their break room, but it served their purposes.

“So, we’ve caught three of the Seven?” Jordan asked.

Regina nodded. “If we can trust an ancient and evil entity.”

Simon nodded. “I do. He’s powerful and cocky. I trust everything he said because he thinks we can’t do anything about it.”

“And he might be right,” Cynthia added. “We only found One because Regina was walking around blindly following PKE readings.”

Regina nodded. “Isn’t there a way that we all can do that?”

Cynthia folded her arms. “Four people covering all of the Des Moines Metro? We’ll never find him. That’s not being pessimistic, that’s being factual.”

“Why only four of us?” Simon asked raising an eyebrow.

“What?” Cynthia was confused.

“Well, why can’t the whole city search for us as well?”

Jordan’s eyes lit up. “I just read about this in a book.” He ran to his cubicle and then came directly back, tossing a worn copy of a book on the table. The name was Broken Nights, by Matthew Davenport, and the cover was a mix of blacks and purples with some sort of vigilante standing on a car with rage in his eyes.

“It’s a novel about a superhero. He designs an application so that anyone who downloads it can use it to report crimes.”

Simon nodded. “That’s exactly where I was going with this. We take the PKE app that I made for Regina to KCWI and do a special on Great Day. Once we tell everyone in the city that they can be Junior Ghostbusters just by downloaded the application, we’ll have the entire city helping us.”

Regina shook her head. “It won’t work. The app needs the case attachment.”

Simon shook his head. “We’ll do a scaled down version of the app. It’ll scan wireless, carrier signals, and every other sensor on the phones. It won’t be anywhere near as powerful as your app, but with the whole city running it…”

“We’ll know every PKE spike in the entire city,” Cynthia mumbled.

Simon nodded and high-fived Jordan who was waiting patiently with his hand out.

“We’re the only Ghostbusters in the Midwest,” Cynthia said louder. “If we get the everyone using this application, we’ll be busier than we ever could have hoped.”

“Well,” Simon slowly stood up, “then I had better get to work.”

Challenge Accepted!

In my post before my last post, I described what I think will be the most motivational competition that I could think of and begged for competitors.

In response, Author Kathryn Daugherty has accepted my challenge.

Day 1 is today. The goal is 25k words before August 31.

Day one results show me behind…we’ll see how long that lasts.

Competition

Day 1 is hers…tomorrow will be mine!!!!!!

GB:DM Episode 4-Slimed! Part 1

Episode 4: Slimed! Part 1

 

Regina was wearing a grey hoodie that had the “No Ghosts” logo over the left side of her chest. With an almost obsessive ferocity, she was regularly checking her watch as she walked east on Locust Avenue in Downtown Des Moines.

“Oh,” Simon had said, “almost like it’s undercover?”

Regina shrugged. “Undercover, or convenience, but can you do it?”

Simon tilted his head to the side as he ran through the possibilities. “Yeah, I could do it, but it wouldn’t have a lot of the functionality of the original P.K.E. Meters.”

“Such as?”

“It wouldn’t work with the goggles and you wouldn’t have the directional functionality.” He took off his glasses and started cleaning them. “The type of P.K.E. signature wouldn’t be measured either. You also wouldn’t be able to record the data.”

“Yeah, but it would still measure P.K.E. wherever I’m standing?”

Simon nodded. “That’s all it would do.”

That was a week ago, and today was the third day that Regina had been using her new phone case. It attached to the back of her phone as a flat black case except for the half of an orb that projected off of the back over where the camera was. The orb was clear, showing the internal antenna and LED’s wrapped and against the case. The case ran off of the battery from the phone and used the phone’s Near Field Communication technology to report to the phone numerical data on the nearby P.K.E. readings.

It reported all of those readings to a simple application that Simon made. The application also tied to Google Maps, putting a pin into any readings that were abnormal.

The final half of the smaller P.K.E. was entirely Regina’s doing. The watch she was wearing was a Pebble Smartwatch. Notifications that Regina wanted would be reported to the watch over Bluetooth. She had asked Simon to add a notification feature to his P.K.E. application. When the numerical P.K.E. data rises above whatever level Regina sets it at, her watch gives her notification.

All Regina has to do is walk around with her phone case turned on. The application will send any P.K.E. spikes as an alert to her watch. No more carrying around the bulky P.K.E. meter unless she needed it. Instead, Regina could walk around all of Des Moines with her hands in her pockets just waiting for it to vibrate that she had found something.

She could locate the Seven Sons of Sibitti. She could locate Erra.

Maybe she could even find her brother.

It was the entire reason that she was on the streets of Des Moines with her newly designed, and highly mobile, P.K.E. meter.

When Locust ended, directly in front of the Capital building, Regina turned north toward Grand. Once she crossed the block she paused in front of the Wallace Building to look at the Capital building. It was beautiful. A large golden dome on top of …

Bzzt!

Regina pulled her hands out of her pockets and took a look at her watch.

She turned around to face the golden-mirrored windows that covered the southern side of the Wallace Building. She began walking toward it.

Beneath the large windows was a set of doors. Regina walked in and another vibration came to the watch. She looked at the notification and read it.

PKE Reading: 151 Units.

She walked to the right toward a set of doors that were opened onto a large auditorium and the watch vibrated again.

PKE Reading: 110 Units.

The number had gone down and that meant that she was getting further away.

She turned around and walked to the set of doors that would have been on her left as she had entered. Another vibration let her know that she was going the right direction.

As she went through those doors, she found a long lobby with a view of the capital building to her left and on her right were historical moments and facts in Iowa agriculture, including an antique plow and a biofuel display showing an older gas pump filled with corn. The lobby was huge, but there was almost no one in it aside from two women sitting and talking on some of the chairs that were lined up along the windows.

It only took one more vibration before Regina pulled out her phone and looked at it directly. Walking forward, she saw that she was walking toward the Department of Agriculture. Regina cast another glance at her phone and watched the numbers on the P.K.E. app climb higher as she continued toward the office. She almost crashed right into several state employees as they stared at their own phones.

“Oh,” said the shorter woman. “Sorry,” she gestured toward Regina’s phone. “Pokemon Go? Are you Team Valor?”

“Huh?” Regina asked, genuinely confused. “What?”

The man she was with wore a grey flat cap and smiled pleasantly at both women. “My wife is talking about Pokemon Go. It looked like you were playing,” he held up his phone. “Like us.”

“Oh, no,” Regina showed the Ghostbusters symbol on the shoulder of her hoodie. “I’m a Ghostbusters, hunting ghosts.” She held up her own phone as if the P.K.E. meter application explained everything. “Have you seen anything strange or unusual?”

“You mean like a woman hunting ghosts?” the man in the flat cap replied with a wry smile. “No, nothing unusual. Good luck in your hunt.” His wife and he started off toward the glass doors.

Regina called over her shoulder. “Good luck with yours,” and continued following the strange readings she was getting.

As she came to the front of the Department of Agriculture office, a group of older gentlemen came out and started to walk past her.

The meter let out a shrill cry that made Regina and the men jump.

“Can we help you miss?” The man nearest her asked. He was about six inches taller than her and had a bald head and a goatee that was obviously colored.

He also sent the P.K.E. meter app into fits.

As it continued to beep loudly, he glanced down at the phone and then at Regina’s hoodie.

Regina wasn’t certain about much, but she was sure that this man was related to the Erra incident.

Anger flashed across her eyes as she demanded, “Where’s my brother?”

“A Ghostbuster? Welcome to the Wallace building, but,” he looked over his shoulder at the parking lot and the cars out there, “aren’t you supposed to be outside?”

As if his words had caused it, a car alarm began sounding in time with the P.K.E. meter.

His small smile was only overshadowed by the flash of orange spectral energy behind his eyes.

Regina had no time to pursue her line of questioning and turned and ran back out of the Wallace Building and out to the parking lot.

The couple that had been playing Pokemon Go were running from the only car in the small, street-facing, parking lot. Lights flashed inside of it in an eerie yellow and blue glow that shifted erratically.

As Regina made it to the car, the glowing burst out of the windows, shattering them in the process.

Standing directly in front of Regina were two spectral animations from the couple’s came.

Regina wasn’t sure what the blue one, shaped like a snake with a silver head wreathed in fins, was, but the yellow one was on merchandise and artwork across the world.

Pikachu let out a growl and lunged for Regina.

She suddenly realized that running toward the ghosts had been a horrible idea. Without a proton pack or a trap, there was literally nothing that she could do except run.

Well, and she dialed her phone.

“Get to the Wallace Building! Downtown! Bring an extra pack!” Since no one answered, Regina figured that the team could play the office voicemail at her funeral.

As Regina ran back toward the Wallace Building’s big glass doors, she saw that the group of men, including the one with the orange eyes, were standing outside.

“Oh no,” the possessed man shouted. “They are attacking us!” He raised his arms and the windows, every single window in the Wallace Building, exploded outward, showering glass all over as the men around him dove to the ground.

Regina did the same, dropping to be avoid the glass and the lightning and fire attacks coming from the Pokemon-disguised ghosts.

When she got back up, all of the older men were gone. Most likely they had dove back into the building and took their possessed friend with them. Regina turned away from the building to see how close the Pokemon were and regretted it almost immediately.

Pikachu was only a few feet from her and was charging his energy for his next attack. The blue snake-thing was slithering toward her with its mouth wide open to bite.

A proton stream slammed into the snake-thing, holding it in place as a trap slid on its side directly next to Pikachu.

“Pikachu! I choose you!” Jordan shouted. The trap doors opened and Regina looked away as Pikachu was sucked inside.

Once the yellow bastard had been sucked up. Jordan and Cynthia collected the snake-thing in a similar manner.

A relieved Regina walked over to her teammates. “How did you guys get here so quickly?”

Jordan shrugged and pretended to flip his hair back. “You know, we were, like, in the neighborhood.”

Cynthia rolled her eyes. “He’s an idiot, but kind of right.” She nodded at Regina’s watch. “The app sends up an alert to each of our phones if it picks up a signal over 100 units.” She waved at the car with the shattered windows. “How did they manifest?”

Regina shook her head. “I was following that P.K.E. signal, and it brought me here,” she waved frantically at the Wallace Building. “It led me to a living and breathing man, except his eyes glowed, and I think he made these things appear.” She took a breath and then added, “What the hell is going on?”

Cynthia gestured at the Wallace Building. “Someone in there made these things?” She looked at Jordan whose eyes were wide. “Can people do that?”

He shook his head in reply, “Maybe, but I doubt that’s what this is.” He grinned, “I think we just found our first possessing entity.”

“Like pea-soup and spinning heads?” Regina asked. She couldn’t help but feel a little excited by the prospect.

“Exactly,” Jordan said. “I don’t think this is just any possessor, though.”

Cynthia shook her head. “It’s definitely one of the Seven.”

“Wait,” Regina was confused. “Why?”

Cynthia explained, “The possessing entity is inside a government employee and wanted you,” she pinched the logo on Regina’s hoodie, “a Ghostbuster, to be distracted. He knows who you are and he is positioning himself in a place of power.” She holstered her neutrino wand. “Also, while he could be some other,” Cynthia looked at Jordan with uncertainty as she almost confidently continued, “possessing entity, he revealed himself to you in a very showy fashion. That kind of behavior implies he hasn’t been in that body long.”

Jordan nodded. “My thoughts exactly.”

Regina was incredibly happy. She was looking for anything that would lead her to her brother, and one of the Seven, companions to Erra, would be exactly that.

Success!

“What are you waiting for?” Regina grabbed Cynthia’s arm. “Go get him.”

“We can’t,” Cynthia yanked her arm back.  “We can’t just trap him. We need to interrogate him if we want more information on the Seven and Erra. As far as I know, none of our equipment can do that.”

“Besides,” Jordan added, “this equipment would kill a normal person, and our possessor is wearing a living person.”

“Oh,” Regina’s disappointment was evident, “I hadn’t thought of that.” She was frustrated. “We finally have a clue and we can’t do anything to retrieve it.”

“That’s not true,” Jordan answered. “We can do things, I just don’t know what. Simon will have an idea. We still haven’t opened all of the equipment crates.” He lifted the traps that still smoked at the ends of their cables. “Let’s get these guys in the containment unit and see what Simon has to say.”

 

Back at the Ghostbusters: Des Moines Headquarters, Jordan explained the situation to Simon as Simon dug through crates and packing peanuts with a fervor.

Simon turned and tossed Regina a small, handheld canister.

“First things first, if you’re going to hunt down possessors without a proton pack, carry that with you.”

Regina looked it over. “What is it?”

“Think of it like Ghost Mace,” He handed out identical canisters to Cynthia and Jordan. “One shot of that will make any ghost think twice about coming at you.”

“What’s in it?” Cynthia looked at her canister. It had a no label, only a black and yellow caution stripe across it.

“That’s the next thing.” Simon dug lifted up another pack.

The pack was made up of three tanks. The outer tanks were smaller and silver while the tank in the middle was a military green with more black and yellow caution stickers across them. Where the neutrino wand would be on the proton pack was instead a high-tech looking emitter hose with a lever on top.

“Large concentrations of emotions create slime,” Simon explained. “That’s all ghosts really are, on a scientific level. They are just emotions that have found a way to become visible. The proud owner of a historic home becomes angry that his house is now used for tours. All of that negative emotion combines with other people’s emotions and then slime starts to coalesce. Then the spirit uses that slime to build a form, or to animate furniture.” Simon patted the pack with the tanks. “That slime doesn’t have to be negatively charged.”

“What happens when positive and negative slimes meet?” Regina asked.

“They cancel each other out.” He nodded toward the ‘Ghost Mace.’ “The Ghost Mace and this big pack are filled with regenerating positive slime. Hit a ghost with either of these and it’ll at least send it running.”

Jordan frowned. “What about ghosts charged by positive emotions? If the pack only has positive slime, how would we battle those?”

Cynthia slid her Ghost Mace into her pocket. “You want to be known as the Ghostbuster who killed Casper the Friendly Ghost?”

Jordan’s eyes went wide as he followed the idea out of the quantifiable and into the emotional. “Oh, of course. No, I wouldn’t want to hurt nice ghosts.”

Regina laughed.

Cynthia pointed at the new pack. “How does this help us with our current situation? We handled the animations with the proton packs.”

“But the possessor is still out there.” Simon crossed his arms. “If we soak possessed people with the positive slime, then they’ll eject the possessor.”

Regina was confused. “Why can’t we just use the proton streams? They worked on the goat.”

Simon nodded, “Well, we didn’t know any better at the time, but the streams damage was mitigated by the extra souls the Soul Eater had absorbed. Normal possessors have no means of increasing their powers, and the host takes all of the damage.”

“This is positive slime?” Regina asked while holding up her Ghost Mace.

Simon nodded.

Regina looked again at her Ghost Mace and mumbled, “Pocket exorcism.”

“Almost,” Simon added. “The Mace is more of a deterrent. It probably wouldn’t eject any possessors.”

“Alright,” Cynthia took over. “What’s our game plan? We can eject the possessor, but only if we get close. He can generate animations, and he’s probably going to be pretty powerful if he’s one of the Seven.”

“We also need to interrogate him, and we can’t do that with him in a trap.”

“Regina’s right,” Jordan said. “How do we do that?”

Simon thought on it for only a second. “Being a possessor might not be in his favor. He’s weaker in the body than when he’s out of it.”

“Still,” Cynthia paused before continuing. “How are we supposed to hold him without him escaping on his own?”

“Not to mention,” Regina added, “He’s in a State Building. We won’t be able to bring nuclear accelerators anywhere near them without getting arrested. We’re lucky the police didn’t arrest us today.”

Simon slowly dragged his hands over his face while holding his glasses. “I’ve got an idea of how to hold him, but I’ll need time,” he turned to Jordan and Cynthia, “and funds.”

It was Cynthia’s turn to frown. “We’ll talk.” She turned toward the rest of them, “Jordan, you’re our on-call Ghostbuster. Any calls coming in are yours. If you need help, I’ll join you. Regina,” she turned toward the newest Ghostbuster, “tail this possessor. We don’t even know his name. I want as much information as you can get before Simon is ready for us to make our move. Unless Jordan needs me, I’ll be here putting together our plan of attack.”

***

Regina spent the next few days gathering data on the possessor and the skin suit that he was wearing. She reported it all back to Cynthia, who incorporated the useful bits into her strategy to capture and interrogate the possessor.

The possessed man was Brent Allen and he was in charge of the Department of Natural Resources. Other than his position with the state, Brent didn’t have anything about him that made him seem like a great candidate for possession. Whatever had chosen to possess Brent had either chosen him specifically because he was a higher up official in the local government or it had been a completely random choice.

To be fair, Regina was disappointed. It had been three days of tailing Brent Allen and all she had been able to report of value was information that was already public knowledge.

In contrast, the rest of the team had made a ton of headway.

Those three days had resulted in Simon building his piece of the plan. In exchange for using a proton pack in one of their commercials, Karl’s Dealership in nearby Ankeny gave a used Chevy Express van. In the last few days, he had essentially rebuilt it into their company vehicle. The white van now had the decals sent with the rest of the franchise kit, but also had a bunch of new stuff attached to the roof.

“That’s not the best part,” Simon explained when Regina asked about it. He waved a hand at the opened back doors. Along the inner walls were equipment cages. “Those cages double as a faraday cage. When the van is completed, I’ll be able to remotely trigger a charge that will run through the cages.”

“And that will do…what exactly?”

Simon smiled. “The van will double as a really large trap that we can sit in.”

“Ghost interrogation room.”

“Exactly.”

Ghost sightings had slowed way down with only one call in those three days, so Jordan had spent most of that time helping Simon with the van.

Regina was sitting in the office and reading up on the Seven when Cynthia walked in. She was wearing her jumpsuit.

“The guys say that the van is ready, if you’re up for it, I think it’s time for us to interrogate a possessor.”

Regina suited up and headed toward the parking lot, Cynthia was already in the driver’s seat while Jordan and Simon loaded the last of the equipment into the cages.

“All good to go?” Regina asked as she climbed into the back with the guys.

Jordan smiled, “When I say that this is the most capable ghost catching mobile unit in the world, I’m really saying that if I was a ghost, it would be an honor to be capture by the people driving this vehicle.”

Regina returned his smile. “Well, alright then.”

Cynthia punched something on the dashboard and sirens were suddenly emitting from the top of the van. “Let’s save the city.”

“Or just the Wallace Building…” Simon added.

Excitement filled Regina’s veins as the van peeled out of the office park.

She was finally about to get some answers.

 

To Be Continued in Slimed! Part 2…

Motivation Challenge

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Self-Publishing Podcast, and they mentioned working with an author who wrote 45,000 words in 15 hours.

It made me remember Harlan Ellison writing an entire novel in a day. I’ve always been impressed with Harlan, mostly for his candid lack of a filter, but also because that same lack of a filter should be adopted by most authors as a business plan.

I’m getting distracted by author fandom, so I’ll get back to my point: I don’t know if I could do a novel in a day, but I’ve done a novel in a month on multiple occasions. I just need the same atmosphere to make that happen. And that got me thinking about how I might motivate myself.

Competition.

NaNoWriMo works for me because I see everyone else’s word meters as competition. I tried to join writing groups, but no one was ever about keeping a pace, and that pace is what I am all about. To keep it, I need to know that I’m fighting to keep ahead of someone else.

My point is this, who’s up for a serious competition? When I say serious, I don’t mean money, I mean a no excuses, we’re going to try our hardest, there could be tears, competition?

And honestly, I want this to be more than one competition, I mostly want someone who will keep wanting to challenge me. Fight, brawl, and in the end, we have stories or novels or whatever we’re working on.

The rules are simple, we keep track using meters from this page. I’ll be blue, because I said so. Only typed words count, and believe me, this isn’t to hinder you, it’s to hinder me. I do all of my writing in notebooks first, and then I type it up. ANY words written before the challenge has been accepted by yourself and myself don’t count.

The goal? We’ll start with 25,000 words for the first competition and then we’ll move it up.

The deadline? We’ll discuss that when you challenge me.

I don’t have too many people who read this personal blog yet. Mostly because I just opened it the other day, but I really want someone, anyone, who considers themselves a serious typer to take me on in this. I want us both to come out of this with projects completed and a new pace that we both can keep up with.

Bring it on.

–MD–