“I can explain, if you’ll let me, but it’s a long story I’m afraid,” said Ruby
I shrugged my shoulders, calculating where my next drink was coming from and more importantly, when.
“I was contacted by the police about a case where a two year old boy had gone missing. The parents said he had been abducted the police thought the parents had murdered him. Because there was no body, they couldn’t prove anything and were desperate to solve the case because the media had been getting on theirs. An order came from the top that they had to do something to crack it to stop the bad publicity – you’ve probably read about it yourself. Colin Anderson was the boys name. No? Anyway, as a last resort, they contacted me to see if I could find the body. You know how it is.”
I did indeed. Psychics like Ruby and I were grudgingly contacted by the pigs when they were desperate and had nowhere else to go. Bearing in mind these were often the toughest cases, even if you got results, they would be explained away as coincidence and you were shunted to the side in their frenzy to ditch you as though you had an infectious disease.
“So anyway, they gave me a teddy of Colin’s to get a sense of him and see if I could track him. I always hope I can’t because that means the child’s still alive. Holding the teddy I got the usual stuff, you know what toddlers are like, images of puppies, footballs, that sort of thing. A happy, normal, little boy like any other.”
I had no idea what either toddlers or normality were like and no inclination to change that any time soon.
“They also gave me a picture of him which I didn’t need but took anyway. I suddenly received a signal that was so strong I just about blacked out from the force of it. That’s how it is with me. Once I tune into the spirit of the person that owned the object, if that spirit is no longer encumbered by its physical body, the sense of them is very strong. Like they are an unadulterated version of the thing they used to be when they were alive. Once the spirit has cast off its flesh overcoat there is a period of time just after, when for a short while anyway, it’s very powerful. Like a match that flares into life and then goes out.
“Except usually the going out part is where the spirit moves on. But the period of power is when the spirit can manifest itself to those with any sensitivity and there’s lots of reports of folk talking to their nearest and dearest just after they’ve died. Sorry, of course you know all that. I just wanted to explain how my ability works because as you also know, its different for everyone.
I was beginning to drift off here. If she didn’t get to the point soon, all the whisky in the world wouldn’t keep me awake and focussed.
“Well Colin was dead alright but that was just the beginning of the bad news. Once I get the signal, it’s like I tune into the station, just like a radio. Because the spirit still has a strong connection with its physical body, that means I can always pinpoint where it is. The physical location I mean. That can be tricky to actually find though, because it’s often in the countryside, or in a lake or canal and one tree or body of water looks pretty much like every other, I can tell you.
“But not in this case. The signal I got took me to a house. A little boy’s bedroom to be exact with Thomas the Tank Engine posters and a bed shaped like a racing car. Then I was propelled into the living room and then kitchen as though someone was carrying me. When I was in the kitchen, I saw two people, a man and a woman, eating at the table. This couple weren’t Colin’s parent’s and I had no idea why I been brought here: after all it didn’t seem likely Colin’s corpse was here.
Suddenly I was seeing inside the fridge and something was pulling out the contents and throwing them around the room. The couple started screaming and tried to run out of the room, but whatever was carrying me slammed the door shut and continued smashing the place up. A feeling of what I can only describe as the purest pleasure, so acute it was almost sexual came over me.
“I don’t need to tell you the feeling wasn’t coming from me. The thing was though that it seemed to be fuelled by the fear and hysteria of the couple. The more upset they became, the better whatever it was I was inside liked it. The more violent things got, the higher the buzz. There was one point when a plate was smashed on top of the woman’s head and the pieces gashed her face, blood everywhere. The man at this point was scrabbling at the window, trying to get it open. My host shot across the room to stop him and something caught its attention on the wall. A mirror to be exact. My host looked at itself in the mirror, with great satisfaction I can tell you, and I got a fleeting impression of a dwarf floating in mid air with red eyes and a mouthful of black, razor-sharp teeth looked back. But when I looked again it wasn’t a dwarf. It was-
“Kylie Minogue?” I said.