Fiction Friday - Biggs and Wedge Occult Occurrences: This Ain't a Ghost Story, Part 1
Here's the seventh installment in this story series, the first of another two-parter. This is definitely the longest I've stuck with a writing project in probably forever, so you know I'm really enjoying it and I hope you are too. The stories are getting a little longer as I get deeper into the mythology and meat of it all; this two-parter in particular marks a turning point into slightly darker subject matter, although as you can see by the first half the fun is still there. Read it and let me know what you think, please!
Biggs and Wedge Occult Occurrences:
This Ain’t a Ghost Story, Part 1
“She kissed you? That’s definitely a big deal! Why the hell didn’t you tell me about it before?”
I sighed and looked at the shot glass full of Jameson in front of my partner Wedge. I knew he was stalling, but he had a point. It had been a week since Lexy kissed me, and this was the first I had mentioned it to him. I guess all the shots drew it out of me. “I don’t know, buddy,” I said, tilting my head back in my desk chair and staring at the ceiling of our office in the basement of our bar, The Haunted Hops. “I guess I was just trying to figure out what it meant.” My gaze drifted back to him. “Now stop stalling. It’s ‘R’ to you. Go.”
“Oh, right.” He thought for a minute. “The rapist who was killed by one of his victims.” Without waiting to see if I agreed or not, he smiled smugly and said, “Your turn, Biggsy.”
We were playing our own version of the Alphabet drinking game, the one where normal people went through the alphabet listing cities or state capitols or whatever; we listed spirits we had banished instead. The shots were of Jameson, and we each had bottles of Heineken to use as chasers or drinks between shots.
Clearly, we aimed to get drunk tonight.
It was my turn, the letter S. “Skywalker Ranch,” I said without taking time to think about it.
“Nope!” Wedge laughed and slid the shot glass over to me. “Skywalker Ranch is banned because it’s too easy, remember?”
“Damn.” He was right. I grabbed the shot glass and downed the shot, feeling the brown liquid burn its way down my throat. I made the same sour face everyone makes when they do a shot of Jameson and swigged some Heineken to wash it down as Wedge refilled the shot glass.
“Alright, T.” Wedge’s face lit up. “The topography expert!”
“You mean the guy at the planetary mapmaking company?” He nodded and I laughed. “Dude, he was just a typist temp!”
“But he worked at a mapmaking company!”
I kept laughing. “That doesn’t make him a topographer! Drink, bitch!”
He grumbled another second and then drank, making the same face I had made. As I refilled the shot, I decided to be a bit of a dick and went speed round on him. “Understudy,” I said.
“Violinist,” he shot back.
I hadn’t expected him to come back that fast, and I was the one caught flat-footed instead of him with W. “Woman…” I said, trailing off when I realized I had no idea how to finish that thought.
It was our second time threw the alphabet now, and I might have had a few shots already.
“Woman? Just woman?” Now he was the one laughing. “The French judge says no on that one, Biggsy. Drink up!”
I did the shot and looked up at him. “Fine. Let’s see what you got for X, jackass.”
He leaned back in his chair across the desk from me and grinned. “Xylophonist.”
I stared, dumbstruck. I wasn’t sure if I had expected him to think it started with a Z and not an X, or if I had gotten drunk enough that I thought it was Z and not X, but either way, I hadn’t expected that one.
“So what do you think the kiss meant?”
I blinked at him, not sure what he was talking about, but then I remembered. Lexy. “Shit, I don’t know. I think she was just trying to comfort me after that mess in the church, that’s all. We talked for awhile after that, but nothing else happened, just that one kiss.” My mind drifted back to that moment, to the feel of her soft lips against mine, and how I started to miss that feeling the minute it faded. I shook my head and tried to force my thoughts back to the game. It was my turn. Y. “Oh, I got it!” My face lit up. “The kid who choked on the yellow snow!”
Wedge looked at me, his face screwed up in confusion, and then he exploded in laughter, the kind of deep belly laugh that shakes your whole body. Once he finally caught his breath he said, “You mean the kid who got mauled to death in the snow by a dog?” I nodded and he laughed again. “Pretty sure that one gets filed under M, buddy.” He reached over and pushed the shot glass toward me again.
I took the shot, made the face again, and needed a slightly longer swig of Heineken to recover this time.
“Z’s an easy one,” Wedge said as I put my drink down. “Zoologist.”
I shook my head instantly. “Nope, that guy was a cryptozoologist.”
He frowned at me. “The fuck is the difference? He studied animals.”
“Man, a guy who tries to prove the Loch Ness Monster is real is not the same thing as the guy studies how pandas mate or something.” It was my turn to slide the shot glass across the desk. “Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug,” I taunted.
After grunting something I couldn’t quite make out but that sounded suspiciously like “fuck off,” he downed the shot and wiped his mouth. Foregoing a chaser, he stared straight at me and said, “So, was the kiss good enough to wake you up and make you realize you’re in love with our little Alexa upstairs?”
“I… wait… but… I… what…” Stammering incoherently was the only response I could come up with that completely out of nowhere yet frightfully near the mark question.
He shook his head and grinned. “Alright, something easier then. We’re starting over. A. Go.”
Still flustered, I groped for an answer, eventually saying, “Ape ghost.”
Wedge laughed again. “One day you’ll get this one right, Biggsy. It was a gorilla, not an ape.”
“Oh, come on. Same thing!”
I was then confronted with a pair of very sarcastically arched eyebrows. “You mean like how zoologist and cryptozoologist is the same thing?”
I sighed, knowing I’d never win this battle, and took the shot. Wedge reached down and opened the back-up bottle we had brought down with us and refilled the shot glass and, without looking up, said, “The boxer.”
The memory of that case came to me and I couldn’t stifle a grimace. I’d had a black eye for a week after that one. “Church poltergeist,” I answered, thinking of the case from a week ago, the one that had led to that kiss right here in the basement, in the very chair I was sitting in now… a kiss I had been both waiting for and dreading for what seemed like ever. My thoughts, becoming more and more overwhelmed with whiskey, began to wander again to the sweet feeling of Lexy’s lips…
The tone in Wedge’s voice brought my mind slowly, reluctantly back. “Huh?”
“Drowned boy, I said. It’s your turn. E!”
“Elegocuted guy,” I said, m mind not quite focused yet.
“Elegocuted?” Wedge cackled. “You mean electrocuted? Jesus, Biggsy. Maybe you’re done for the night.” Nevertheless, he pushed the shot glass back to me and watched me drink it before he gave his answer for the next letter. “Our first poltergeist.”
I’d have argued that one, but we long ago decided to let that one stand for F because we had nothing else that fit. I forced my mind to focus a bit more, if only because I really didn’t want any more shots, but I couldn’t say that; the loser of the game had to drink a triple shot, and a quitter had to do a dreaded quadruple. “Gunslinger.”
I was about to follow with my answer for K, but Wedge kept talking. “Maybe you don’t want to admit how you feel first, but I’m pretty sure Lexy is in love with you,” he said casually.
“Killed by…” I started my answer talking over him, but trailed off as what he said penetrated my booze-fogged mind.
He made a sound like a buzzer. “Sorry, that’s not right.” He thrust another shot towards me. As I drank it, he said, “I meant what I said, though.” I drunkenly couldn’t decide if he was trying to help me with Lexy or just trying to get me drunk off my ass. “Anyway,” he continued as I clumsily put the shot glass down, knocking it over in the process, “L. Leashed prostitute.”
“It doesn’t matter if she loves me or not,” I slurred as he filled the shot glass again, “or even if I love her. Nothing is going to come out of it.” A thought struck me, and I felt a shit-eating grin spread across my face. “Mauled by dog!”
Wedge shook his head. “No way, buddy, that one was said out loud already.” He directed my gaze to the shot glass.
“I hate you,” I mumbled before doing the shot.
“Why would nothing happen if you both love each other? Nudist colony leader, by the way.”
“Because getting involved with me will just get her hurt,” I answered, sadness in my voice, “just like in the church; or worse, even killed. So even if I do love her… I stopped talking and ran my hands down my face. “Oh, um… old lady?”
Wedge shook his head again, and I did another shot. “Biggs, you know I love you,” he said, “but that’s the dumbest thing I ever heard. If you’re both crazy about each other, just go for it. I mean, she could get hit by a bus coming to work tomorrow. Me and you know better than anybody, death is always around.”
“Boy, you get poetic when you drink sometimes, you know that?” I slurred.
He laughed and said, “Uh huh. P. The penguin fucker.”
I looked at him. He looked at me. “Freak,” we said simultaneously as we both remembered that guy.
“At least if she got hit by a bus, it wouldn’t be my fault,” I told him before I remembered it was again my turn. The best I could manage for Q was, “Queer guy.”
Not even bothering to wait for Wedge to react, I did another shot. “Doesn’t Lexy deserve to make that choice herself?” he asked.
“Lexy,” I answered, the slur in my voice making it sound more like “Leshy,” “Lexy deserves…” My wandering eyes reached the doorway and I stopped talking.
“Lexy what?” Wedge prodded.
“Lexy is right behind you,” I said, trying to sound much more sober than I was. “Hello, beautiful,” I said, surprising myself with that greeting.
Lexy simultaneously blushed and looked like she smelled something long-dead and rotting. “Having fun, boys?”
She sounded very uncomfortable, and my stomach grew queasy from more than just all the whiskey as I wondered just how long she had been standing there.
“You know us, always a party,” Wedge laughed as he turned his chair around so he could see her. “What’s up, Tiny?”
“There’s a man upstairs who would like to see you,” she answered unsurely. “Should I tell him to come back tomorrow?”
“Nah,” I said, trying to sound controlled. “We can see him now. What does he want?” I wondered if my voice sounded as strong and clear as I thought it did; from the look on her face, I doubted it.
“He said him and his wife think their ten-year-old son is haunted.”
Wedge laughed. “They must be drunker than we are. People don’t get haunted, just places and things. Right, Biggsy?”
I could feel him looking at me, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of Lexy. She looked so beautiful, as always. “Never heard of a haunted person before,” I agreed, “but then again, I had never heard of two spirits haunting the same thing, or a gorilla ghost either, so who knows?”
I pulled myself up from the desk and walked across the room, concentrating very hard on trying not to stagger too much. “C’mon, man. Let’s go see him.”
Lexy put her hand on my arm to stop me when I reached the door. “Are you sure about this, Hank? You’re really drunk.”
“So’s your face,” I answered playfully.
She screwed her face up. “That doesn’t even make sense.”
“Think about it and it does,” I said as I started climbing the stairs up to the bar. I could hear Wedge and Lexy talking as I climbed.
“Don’t worry, Lexy, I’ll keep an eye on him,” I heard him say.
And then I heard him trip on the first step, quickly righting himself and following me up.
I vaguely heard Lexy sigh. “Why doesn’t that fill me with confidence?”
* * * * *
Somehow I made it through talking to the man waiting for us, Mr. Reisling, without convincing him I was a complete drunk lunatic and got the basics of the case. He and his wife had noticed weird things happening to their son, little things at first, like him saying weird things or staring off into space talking to himself. Then he started saying mean things, speaking in a different language, things around him started flying through the air, things like that. A lot of the earmarks of the presence of a spirit in the house. The last straw had come earlier that night when they saw the kid, Dennis, floating in his sleep.
Wedge and I told Mr. Reisling we could handle this and followed him back to the house. I told him to take his wife and wait outside for us while we took care of the kid. Wedge carried a bucket of chicken blood in from the truck for the double pentagram we’d need for the banishing, his sword strapped to his back and the matching dagger slipped into his belt.
While he did that, I stood in the living room, drunkenly swaying on my feet while I reached out with my sixth sense to get the feel of the place. At first all I felt was love and happiness, what you’d expect to feel in the home of a happy family. Then I started feeling darkness, a malevolence. I’d been waiting for it; from how Mr. Reisling had described things, I figured it was a poltergeist waiting for us and not Casper the Friendly Ghost or anything.
I extended my senses, homed in on that darkness to try to track it to its source. My face drifted upwards to the second floor, to where the kid’s bedroom was. I kept reaching out in that direction until I could feel Dennis, and I realized with shock that he could feel me back. The malevolence I felt now felt like someone was staring daggers into my soul, and I was hit with a wave of what I can only describe as giddy evil, a feeling so strong I was almost knocked off of my feet.
If I wasn’t so dirty stinking drunk, I’d have gotten my ass out of that house and never returned.
Instead, my inebriated ego shrugged it off, thinking there was no such thing as a poltergeist I couldn’t handle, no matter how angry it was.
“You really think this kid is haunted?” Wedge asked from behind me as he closed the front door.
I shrugged. “Beats me. Maybe it’s a haunted object or something just manifesting around him. Whatever it is, it’s definitely coming from his room.”
“Then let’s go kick its ass and get back to the bar,” Wedge said as he headed for the stairs to the second floor. “You’ve got a triple shot to do for losing the game.”
“Wait a minute, what do you mean, I lost the game?” I staggered after him. “Lexy interrupted us, but the game wasn’t over. I could still go!”
He turned to face me as we both walked upstairs, watching the way my knees buckled a little. “Trust me, Biggsy, you were done. Are you sure you can handle this?”
I sidled past him on the stairs, nearly upending both of us in the process. “Absolutely,” I slurred. I walked to the closed door that had a wooden plaque on it that said “Dennis” and knocked softly before opening.
The kid was sitting cross-legged on the bed, staring right at me.
“Hey, Dennis,” I said, more than a little creeped out as I walked into the room, Wedge right behind me, “my name is Biggs, and this is my friend Wedge. Don’t be afraid, your parents brought us here to help you.
“I don’t need any help, fucktards,” the kid said, smiling wickedly. He spoke with a swarthy Arabic voice that had no business coming out of the mouth of a little white kid.
Wedge and I both stared for a few seconds. Eventually he nudged me with his elbow and the shock wore off. I motioned towards the kid, indicating Wedge should keep him engaged while I figured this out. Once again, I reached out with my senses.
“This is a pretty nice room you got here, kid,” I heard Wedge say.
“Not as nice as your mother’s twat, but I guess it’ll do,” the kid answered.
“What? What the…” Wedge stammered. “Not cool, kid. Not cool.”
The malevolence I felt downstairs was definitely centered here. In fact, I couldn’t get my attention away from Dennis now. It was all coming from him. I touched him with my senses… and what I felt literally knocked me on my ass. I hit the floor with a loud thud, my head banging against the wall.
Wedge was at my side in an instant. “You alright, Biggsy?”
I pulled myself up to my feet with his help. “Yeah. The things coming off of this kid, I’ve never felt such… evil. That’s the only word for it.”
“You’re too kind,” that Arabic voice said as an eerie smile spread across the kid’s lips.
“But there’s no anger,” I continued, doing my best to ignore him, “it’s an ecstatic kind of evil. Whatever is haunting this kid is happy about its situation.”
Wedge shook his head. “But spirits are never happy.”
The kid started howling with gleeful laughter. “Haunting? Spirit? Wow. I was just guessing before, but you two really are fucktards.”
We both stared at him again before I snapped myself out of it. “Okay, keep an eye on him while I paint the double pentagram.”
“Oh, trust me, I’m not going to do anything,” the kid sneered as he lay back on the bed, getting comfortable. “I want to see this shit.”
Wedge went over and stood by the side of the bed while I began painting. One pentagram was needed to summon the spirit, in this case to literally pull it out of this kid, and the other was needed to bind it inside the pentagrams’ confines so Wedge could banish it was either his sword or dagger anointed with innocent blood.
“You’re a big fucker,” I heard Dennis say casually to Wedge, “You must have torn the hell out of your mother’s pussy on the way out, huh?”
“You need to shut the fuck up,” I heard Wedge shoot back.
I tried to make myself finish the pentagrams faster, to get this over with before Wedge punched this kid in the face, haunted or not, but my drunk hands were being uncooperative.
“What? I’m being serious,” the kid continued, undaunted. “Did your father hate you for the condition you left his kool-aid in, or what?”
I heard Wedge take a deep breath. “Done,” I said before he could respond, just finishing the final line.
“Thank Jesus,” Wedge muttered.
Dennis hissed angrily, shooting Wedge the nastiest look I had ever seen.
“Watch him,” I told Wedge as I knelt in the middle of the double pentagram. “This will be over in another minute.”
“You got that wait, jizzstain,” Dennis sneered.
Ignoring him, I closed my eyes and reached out for the poltergeist that had to be haunting him, but other than the malevolence and evil I felt before, there was nothing. I reached into that evil, expecting to feel the spirit and opened my eyes.
Nothing happened. There was no spirit in the double pentagram with me.
“Biggsy?” Wedge asked, uncertain.
Dennis laughed a deep, mirthful laugh. “I’m sorry,” he said in that creepy Arabic voice, “were you expecting something to happen? Something like this?”
Faster than either Wedge or I could track with our eyes, faster than anything human should ever be able to move, Dennis was out of the bed and inside the double pentagram with me, but he didn’t stop there. He grabbed my shoulders with a strength and force like nothing I had ever felt before and rammed be back against the wall. His hands were around my neck before I even felt them move, choking the life out of me.
Wedge bounded across the room and grabbed the kid by the shoulder, trying with all his might to pull him off me, but he wouldn’t budge. He just kept choking me, grinning wickedly the whole time.
Wedge pulled the dagger out of his belt and pressed the tip to Dennis’ neck. “Let him go now or I’ll stick you with this. It’s anointed. You know what that means.”
If there was a spirit haunting Dennis, controlling him, that would have stopped it in its tracks. Getting pricked with an anointed dagger was an instant banishment.
Dennis just smiled wider. “I do know what that means. That it’s yummy.” He threw his neck sideways, forcing the blade to penetrate his skin.
Wedge cursed in horror, thinking he had just stabbed a kid in the neck.
But the blade turned to dust and crumbled, leaving Wedge holding just the hilt. “What the fuck???”
I watched the hole the dagger had put in the kid’s neck close up instantly, leaving not even a drop of blood behind. “Delicious,” the kid said, his fingers pressing into my neck even harder.
I looked into his eyes, and saw something that chilled me to my soul. I saw fire and pain and pure evil.
This kid wasn’t being possessed by a spirit.
He was death.
To Be Continued…