Saturday, June 20, 2009

Excerpt #2

If you haven't read yesterday's post yet, read it first. Then come back to this one.

Here's where we left off:

Three men, wearing jumpsuits with the letters WSP followed by four numbers, pushed aside a washing machine and crawled into the wall behind it. They didn’t look up when I appeared in the doorway. It was as if I was the spirit intruding on their lives.

I wondered if they were residual spirits. That was something I would likely have known if our director allowed us to interview people who had reported ghost sightings in the prison before, but the Pittsburgh Investigators had a rule: We go in uninformed. We don’t care if Annie Atwood saw a floating woman wearing a white gown, or if Joey Jenkins came face to face with a Civil War soldier. Prior knowledge could taint the investigation. Instead, we go in blind. We record our findings and then compare them to other reports made over the years.

I would have loved to know something about these men, to garner some way to communicate with them. In my three short years of investigating hauntings, I’d never seen an actual apparition before, let alone three at once.

And they looked so real.

Let’s get this straight. I don’t scare easily. Or at all. Under normal circumstances. But seeing three apparitions so clearly they could be human – that’s not normal. It brought on symptoms I rarely experienced: heart beating fast, breath coming short and quick, knees weakening.

If there was a possibility to get more of this on film, I was so in. I unstrapped a walkie-talkie from my belt. “Hey, guys, this is Leia in the basement. Can anyone hear me?”

I tapped my toes and counted to five.

“Anyone up there? Zito? Connor? Monica? Something pretty crazy is happening down here. Anyone?”

All I got was static.

“Forget this.” I set the walkie-talkie on top of the washing machine while I shifted two motion detectors from my backpack to my belt. Monica would want to know about something like this, but if she didn’t answer, what was I supposed to do? I was already a few seconds behind the spirits, if they were even still around. Use your best judgment, Monica would say. I took a deep breath, made the sign of the cross, squeezed my small frame behind the washer and crawled into the wall.

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