Good morning and Happy Wednesday! Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Briefs! This week, besides the picture prompts, we had the following written prompts: "You make a better door than a window" or use: spice, intense, cargo or "Falling in love again is like.." or use: secret, balance, radiation or "Look into my eyes..."
Last week, as you'll recall, in Stan and Ollie, a mysterious young woman in a bedraggled wedding dress shows up, and they call in Stan's sister, Gwin, to mind the store for them. Enjoy! And don't forget to visit the other Wednesday Briefers, whose links follow my tale.
Stan and Ollie #4
“What do we know so far?”
Ollie quickly swallows, gesturing with his fork toward the bride. “Her name’s Consuelo. Talk to her, Stan.”
In other words, interact with the client. If one can refer to someone in her condition as a client. Doesn’t that entail payment of some sort? Good thing we don’t rely on this as our main source of income. No sense in bringing that up, though, as Ollie would simply remind me that we don’t do this for the money, so why waste my breath?
I take the seat he just vacated. The bride eyes me warily—I half expect her to bolt, but she looks at Ollie, then back at me, and seems to settle down. At least for the moment.
“Hello Consuelo, I’m Stan.”
“Hello Stan.” Her voice is soft and shy and slightly resonates with an otherworldly quality. Not surprising, considering she’s dead. They all are. Spirits of the deceased who’ve lost their way, or who have unfinished business in this world. Somehow they find their way to Ollie, seeking to have some sort of balance restored in their life. Or death, I should say. Sometimes I wonder if he gives off some sort of radiation that’s only visible to those who’ve passed?
She shifts her weight in the chair. She’s dark haired and dark eyed. Big wide eyes, filled with apprehension, and sorrow, like two deep dark pools. Her long ruffled wedding gown seems much the worse for wear. I have the feeling that her death was of the violent variety.
Where to begin? At the beginning is usually the best place. But not all of the dearly departed are thinking in a rational manner, so sometimes linear logic is hard to come by.
I glance at Ollie, just long enough to be sure he’s still eating, then return my attention to the bride. The important thing is to focus on her life before we get to the unpleasant subject of her death. It’ll make things go much smoother, trust me on this one. “That’s a lovely dress,” I comment, seeing past the stains and the rips to what it must have been like when she first wore it. “I bet it was a beautiful wedding.”
Apparently I just said the wrong thing. She begins to wail like a fucking banshee, a siren-like caterwauling that slices through me. It’s no secret that I don’t have the same touch for this as Ollie does. He’s the sensitive one, I’m the boor.
Good thing this office is soundproofed for just such eventualities.
Ollie hastens around the desk and pulls up a chair on the other side of the howling ghost. He lays his hand upon her arm and just that suddenly she stills, her cries subdued to mere sniffles and trembles.
Thank God. I’d hate to have to kill her again.
“My wedding,” she says at last, staring up at Ollie with those big doe eyes. “I’m late for my wedding. Can you help me, please?”
“Of course we’ll help you,” Ollie assures her.
That’s all well and good, but unless we get some concrete facts, we’re not going anywhere. And while I’d be more than happy to stay here with Ollie and take care of the diner, obviously that’s not in the cards. Knowing my significant other as I do, he won’t rest until she does. Literally.
The trouble is that these spirits don’t all come through intact, if you know what I mean. Memories and all. Their grip on the reality of their death isn’t always the strongest. Might have to do a bit of investigating before we can figure out who exactly she is and where she comes from and the circumstances of her demise. That’s not always as easy as it sounds. Some of the clients we’ve dealt with hadn’t even had their remains discovered yet, so no newspaper stories, unless they were lucky enough to warrant mention of the missing person variety.
Maybe we’ll get lucky with this one.
Yeah, right. I’m not holding my breath either.
“Do you have a last name, Consuelo?” I lean forward in my chair, careful not to brush against her. She may not be corporeal in the strictest sense of the world, but there is a chill about her that is a bit disconcerting.
“Of course I have a last name.” She turns indignant eyes to me. “What do you take me for, a bastard?”
Jesus, ask a simple question…
“Stan, do you think I could get a milk shake, please?”
Ollie’s look is guileless, but I know better. He’s trying to diffuse the situation by momentarily removing me from it so he can get the information we need to do our job. Plus he’s partial to milk shakes. They don’t have them where he came from. He’s become addicted to them, so I’ve become somewhat of an expert at making them. It’s amazing he hasn’t blown up like a blimp, the way he consumes them. Damn alien metabolism.
“What kind?” I can check on the kitchen while I’m at it, although I’m sure if there were a problem, Gwin would come and get me.
“Chocolate mocha, please?”
“Sure.” Whatever he wants.
As I pass by him, he pulls me down for a kiss and my irritation melts. Damn smooth alien.
The dining room is doing well, although there’s no sign of the Princess, but Lorenzo has things well in hand.
“So where you off to?” Gwin asks while I blend the shake.
“Don’t know yet. Hopefully someplace without snow. I’ll let you know.”
Returning to the office, I knock again. Ollie opens the door, but before I can set foot inside, a small furry shape slips past me and inside. Just fucking great.
I kick the door shut and glare at the intruder. Like she cares.
“Stan.” Ollie distracts me with his touch. “Come see what I’ve found.” He leads me to my desk and my laptop.
Now this is interesting…
to be continued
Now go see what the rest are up to!
Michael Mandrake m/m
Cia Nordwell m/m
Michael Barnette m/m flash virgin!!!!!!
Elyzabeth VaLey m/f
MA Church m/m
Be sure to come back next week to see what we've cooked up for Halloween!
Until next time, take care!