The white light shimmered and lengthened until it was the size and shape of a person.

It flashed bright, and Lena ducked her head.  When she looked up again, a familiar figure was standing next to the bed.

Her jaw dropped.  “Jimmy?”

Jimmy blinked and looked around.  His gaze settled on her, and his brow furrowed.  “Lena?  What are you doing in my room?” His eyes shot to MacMillian.  “And who’s he?”

Lena took a careful step forward.  “We came here looking for you.” Something in his tone disturbed her.  “What do you remember?”

Jimmy started to shake his head.  Then he froze.  “Oh, shit, I was supposed to take a look at your stand mixer!  Tiburcio’s going to kill me.”

“My stand…” It took her a moment to catch up.  Lena pinched the spot between her eyes.  “Damn it, I don’t care about my stand mixer!” She ignored MacMillian’s arched eyebrow.  “Jimmy, you’re dead.”

Jimmy raised his hands.  “Look, I’ll be over first thing, I promise.  Please just… don’t fire me.  I need this job, all right?  I got a girl—”

“Jimmy.” This was worse than she’d expected.  What the hell had happened to him?  “I need you to stop for a second and listen to me.  You’re dead.  You’ve been dead for two days, maybe longer.  Somebody killed you.”

Jimmy stared at her, jaw slack.  Slowly, his lips lifted into a smile.  “I get it.  You’re fucking with me.  Haha, okay, very funny.  Now when do you want me to check out your—”

Jimmy.” For the first time in her career, she wished spirits were corporeal.  She was itching to grab Jimmy by the shoulders and shake him.  “Look at my face.  I’m not kidding.”

Jimmy’s eyebrows went up, then down again.  His expression turned black.  “Get out of here.”

“Damn it—”

“You’re fucking crazy.” He pointed a shaky finger at the door.  “Get the fuck out of here.  And take your goon squad with you.”  He squinted at MacMillian.  “Some good squad.  Doesn’t even have the balls to look at me.”

Lena looked at MacMillian too.  He stiffened.  “What?”

“The fuck do you mean, ‘what’?  You got some kind of problem?” Jimmy took a step forward.  Blotches of color marked his cheeks.  “Look at this tough guy.  Something wrong with your hearing, you son of a bitch?”

Lena stealthily turned her palms outward.  Threads of energy littered the room.  Slowly, carefully, she started gathering them to her.  “He can’t see you, Jimmy.  He can’t hear you, either.  Only I can.” She took a deep breath.  “I’m a medium.  I communicate with the dead.”

“Stop saying that!” Jimmy dug his fingers into his hair.  He jerked his hands back and stared at them, his face a mask of confused horror.  “What the…”

Lena’s palms began to tingle.  She kept her arms at her sides and her voice calm.  “Like I explained to you before, you don’t have a physical body anymore.  Things probably don’t feel the same.”

Shut up!” Jimmy’s entire face went purple.  The dishes next to the sink started to rattle.

MacMillian’s hand firmed on his gun.  “Lena.”

Lena didn’t answer.  White fire streaked down her fingertips.  Just a little more.  She just needed a little more…

A plate crashed to the ground.  The sound was barely audible behind the roaring in her ears.  “Jimmy, you need to calm down.  You’re going to hurt someone.”

“Think so?” A second plate crashed after the first.  “Seems to me there’s no one in this room I’d mind hurting.”  Three more plates followed the first two.  Crash, crash, crash.

Lena.” MacMillian had his gun in hand, the barrel aimed at the floor.  “Tell me what’s going on.”

The roar in her ears grew louder.  She struggled to talk above it.  “He’s unstable.  It happens sometimes with new spirits who haven’t had a chance to adjust.” Damn it, she should have realized something about Jimmy was different this time, shouldn’t have hit him with the reality of his death so soon.  “His emotions are forming a poltergeist.  You should get out of here.”



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