23. Jul, 2019

Extract 3 of Ghost of Me

“How long will he be gone?” His eyes darted around, reminding me of the stickers I used to get at the dentist, usually an animal of some sort with wobbly eyes. I wasn’t sure if he felt nervous about Tim returning, or the chance of someone noticing him standing in the street talking to himself.

“I’m a ghost, not a psychic,” I pointed out, then passed through the locked door.

It took me a few attempts to unlock it for Steve, but I managed.

“Did you bring gloves?” I asked.

“Do I really need these?” he complained, putting on a pair of disposable gloves – like the ones you get when you buy a box of hair dye.

“The last thing we need is for you to get your fingerprints on anything,” I told him. “Don’t you watch crime thrillers?”

“I prefer comedies. My life is more of a rom-com, without the rom…or the com.” Steve replied. He walked through me in his haste to get the breaking and entering over with. “Where do you want me to start?”

It occurred to me that Tim might have taken his driving license with him in his wallet. Although, it’s possible he was wary of anyone getting hold of it after losing it once already. His use of false names proved he didn’t want anyone to know his true identity. He may have planned to do something long before he killed me, even if it wasn’t murder.

“Well?” Steve persisted.

“Ssh, I’m trying to think like a sick creep with a fetish for hurting women.”

“And, how’s that going?”

“Well, obviously I’m not a sick creep, so it’s a work-in-progress.” I paused before saying, “If I was him, I wouldn’t take anything with me that could identify me to potential victims. I wouldn’t throw everything away though. People always need I.D for all kinds of reasons. Instead, I would hide it.”

“That’s all very interesting Inspector Casper, but where would you hide it?”

I ignored his new sarcastic name for me. People probably called me worse things when I was alive, despite me never realising it at the time.

I walked up the stairs. Steve followed until we reached Tim’s bedroom. He stopped to stare at the newspaper on Tim’s bed. The image of me smiling (obviously during happier times) was unrecognisable because of the mess Tim had made.

“What’s that?” Steve asked, reaching down to pick up the paper.

I assumed he meant the stains obscuring most of the article.

“You don’t want to touch that,” I warned.

Steve looked at me as if waiting for an explanation, before screwing up his face.

“Eugh!” He pulled his hand back and leapt away as if it might launch itself off the newspaper and physically attack him. That in itself would be a front-page news story.