Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nine Lives and Counting

by Zeke Drummond, from A Portrait of Crime Mysteries by Sharon Pape
Until Rory McCain moved into this house, I was stuck here, ghost and prisoner for nigh onto one hundred and fifty years. Of course there’d been other residents during that time, but I never had what you could rightly call a “relationship” with any of them. Somehow or other it was different with Rory. After she got over the shock of my presence, she decided to stay. We had our ups and downs, but over time our relationship evolved into something much more than peaceful coexistence. I still haven’t figured out why I’ve been able to accompany her out into the world and even travel anywhere to reach her, but an old book her parents discovered in their attic recently has shed some interestin’ light on the matter. There’ll be more about that down the road a piece. For now I want to tell you a little tale about a ghost cat who went by the name of Purrsey.
It was Purrsey who first showed Rory and me that other ghosts aren’t as restricted in their movements as I’ve been. A couple of weeks ago he showed up in our backyard, with the apparent goal of drivin’ our dog, Hobo, crazy. Purrsey didn’t materialize at first, but we knew somethin’ was out there by the way that big, old hairy mutt was behavin’. He’d run flat out like he was chasin’ down a squirrel or a bunny, but there was nothin’ to see. He was so intent on followin’ his nose instead of his eyes that he kept runnin’ into trees and fences. Rory had to take him to the vet for stitches when he cut his snout open on a jagged slat in the fence. After a couple weeks of that nonsense, Hobo was battered and bruised, and we were no closer to the cause or the solution. Then Purrsey must have tired of that game, because he changed tactics, and suddenly Hobo was whirlin’ madly in circles, bellowin’ like a banshee and shakin’ like he’d just had a much-hated bath. Before we could reach him, Purrsey popped into view, sittin’ on the dog’s back as if he was ridin’ a bull at a rodeo. That cat looked straight at us and his little tiger face came as close to grinnin’ as any cat I’ve ever seen. But Hobo didn’t see any humor in the situation. Dead or alive, there was still a cat on his back.  
We did what we could to remove Purrsey, but there weren’t many options. Tempting him with food wouldn’t work any better than it would with me, seein’ as how we were no longer what you’d call “corporeal beings.” At Rory’s suggestion, I tried to scare him off, but when you’re dead, threats don’t hold much of a wallop. In the end, Hobo solved the problem himself. Exhausted and past caring, he plopped onto the ground for a snooze. After a couple of minutes, Purrsey jumped off, possibly to find a better source of entertainment. That’s when Rory and I set out to follow him.
Hope you’ll check back here on March 3rd to find out where Purrsey led us. 
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