I realized it’s been a while since you guys had a snippet of the new stuff. So here’s a bit of the Pendragon Casefiles #1, which is the ghost story novella I’m writing. Mac and Javy are two police detectives, and the others – well, they’ll introduce themselves.
“What is going on?” Mac asked, looking at the odd van parked in the Reynolds’ driveway, where he was accustomed to seeing Carmen’s little blue Toyota. The house was dark, except for the kitchen – not really surprising, considering it was about nine-thirty at night, but something felt…off.
They had been driving by to tell her that they were still looking at leads. It wasn’t what she wanted to hear, and Mac knew that, but he couldn’t just call. The poor woman deserved better, he thought.
“Maybe she’s watching TV in the kitchen,” Javy said, breaking into his thoughts.
“There wasn’t a TV in the kitchen four days ago,” Mac reminded him.
“People do buy new things,” Javy said.
“Not when they’re waiting for their daughter to return after 3 years, they don’t.”
Javy didn’t have an answer for that. “So, we going in?”
“Yes.” Mac unfastened his seatbelt and slid out from behind the wheel, making sure his gun was loose in its holster. Just in case, he told himself. Something didn’t feel right.
The weird feeling got even stronger as they came up to the door and knocked. Mac heard muffled talking and then a stranger opened the door.
“Can we help you?” The young woman was dark haired, but definitely not Carmen Reynolds. Or her missing daughter.
“We’re looking for Carmen Reynolds,” Mac said, showing her his credentials. “Is she here?”
“She’s at her sister’s for the night.” A young man had come up behind the girl. “What’s going on? Is there a problem?”
“Only if you don’t identify yourselves,” Javy said, his voice pleasant but firm.
“Dark Knight Paranormal,” the boy said, handing over a business card. “Mrs. Reynolds asked us to investigate her house. She thinks her daughter’s ghost may be haunting her.”
Mac blinked. Of all the things he’d been expecting to hear, ghost hunters were not even in the same ballpark. “Ghost hunters,” he said flatly. “Really?”
“I guess she really has given up,” Javy murmured from behind him. “Can’t blame her.”
“Yes, really. I’m Lance Robinett.” The boy extended a hand. If he was over twenty-two, Mac would eat his own badge. “This is Amari Nguyen, my case manager.”
There were two other people behind him, and Mac noticed they didn’t come forward or introduce themselves. He squinted down at the card in his hand. Dark Knight Paranormal, with Lance Robinett as the owner and Amari Nguyen as the case manager, as he had said. “And you have permission to be here,” he said finally.
“Absolutely,” Lance said, as Amari slipped back into the kitchen. “She left her sister’s number – I believe Amari is just going to get it.”
Amari came back with a slip of paper with a phone number written on it. She and Lance waited while Javy called.
“Mrs. Reynolds? Detective Spenser. We just stopped by and found-” Javy paused as she said something in the phone. “No, I’m sorry, Mrs. Reynolds. We haven’t found anything. We were just checking in.” He listened again. “Yes, we were concerned when your car wasn’t in the driveway.” More listening. “As long as they have your permission to be here, Mrs. Reynolds, that’s all we need to know. Yes, we’ll keep you updated. Have a good night and I’m sorry to disturb you, ma’am.”
He hung up the phone and looked over at Mac. “They’re on the level.”
Mac looked at them. “Sorry to disturb you,” he said, putting the card in his pocket. “How late are you planning on staying?”
Lance shrugged. “Depends on the activity level,” he said noncommittally. “We’ll play it by ear. She said to lock up on the way out.”
Mac fished one of his own cards out and handed it to him. “Let me know if you get anything,” he said.
“We don’t normally give evidence to anyone but our client,” Lance said.
“Even if that evidence could help solve a crime?”
They locked gazes for a minute, and then Lance looked away. “I don’t promise anything,” he said, putting Mac’s card in his jeans’ pocket. “We don’t always get evidence.”
Javy waited until they were back in the car. “Evidence in a crime? What the heck was that about?”
“A feeling,” Mac said finally. “I can’t explain it, Javy, but I had a feeling that whatever they’re doing in there is going to break open this case.” He looked back up at the kitchen windows. Another young woman stood there, her baseball cap obscuring her face, a mug of something in her hands. “My gut says so.”
“I think your gut is saying the cheeseburgers we had for dinner were bad,” Javy said, but that was it, and it lacked venom. Mac wondered if he’d felt it too.
I guess we’ll see if he calls, he thought, starting the car. I guess we’ll just have to see.