Friday, December 29, 2017

Book of the Week: HERO BLUES


Kicking off, she floated up over the McCreedy boys' heads and snatched three shovels, two picks and a bag of blasting caps from outstretched hands. The items turned invisible the moment she pulled them inside her Ghost field. Jane snorted, muffling laughter as the McCreedys just stood there, hands grasping at empty air, their mouths dropping open. She didn't pause to hover in mid-air and enjoy the moment, but darted away to the crumbling face of the reservoir. A little extra oomph to her Ghost field, and she parted the cement molecules enough to shove the tools into the center of the reservoir's retention wall. There they would stay until the Ghost came to retrieve them, or the sub-standard construction finally eroded. Without the pressure of the scummy lake behind it, Jane estimated the wall would last another four or five years. More's the pity.

She flew back and found the McCreedy boys stumbling around, trying to find their tools. Did they actually think they had dropped their stolen booty and couldn't find anything in the open gravel yard, in the light of the nearly full moon? What kind of idiots was she dealing with tonight?

"That's a rhetorical question if I ever heard one," she said, and didn't bother to keep her voice down.

"Who's there?" Slick, the oldest McCreedy boy bellowed.

"Who do you think?" she shouted back.

Coming through the Ghost field, her voice dropped nearly two octaves. One of these days, she considered doing something to the field so it would sound like her own voice. Until then, the residents of Fendersburg would continue to believe the Ghost was a man.

"Hey, Ghost, long time no see," Jeff, the third boy said with a vacuous grin.

"Idiot," Clint, the fourth, snarled. He tried to elbow his older brother, but misjudged the distance and nearly fell off his feet. "Nobody can see the Ghost."

Jane didn't wait for the usual fight to break out among the McCreedy boys. She swooped down among them and picked up the rest of their demolition tools. Spray-paint cans, two hoes, charcoal lighter fluid and three boxes of matches. Those joined the other tools in the center of the retaining wall.

When she came back to the truck, she found the boys had scattered, running along the edges of the reservoir. Ten IQ points higher, and they might have had the sense to jump back in their truck and get out of there. But no, the McCreedy boys were intent on doing damage. It was hard to decide if they considered it their right, or their duty. Jane flew over the stinking water of the reservoir, trying to ignore the smell of pea soup algae gone out of control, and listened to the boys shouting directions to each other.

Some people seemed to think that if they couldn't see the Ghost, then the Ghost couldn't hear them.

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