Chapter 7: The Spirit Fix Pt 1

The gold locket was gone.

I awoke one morning and some son of a bitch had taken it. My door was wide open, the spring sunshine creating malevolent shadows from the trees in the front yard.

I was feeling lonely, wanting the touch of Maggie. I hadn’t seen her ghost in a week. Before, I just felt sad for her being dead, and every time I would open the gold locket, her ghost would come to me. It depressed the hell out of me.

I missed her something fierce. I had no one to turn to with my problems. So, I just left things as they were. Big mistake. You may get through the days anyway you can, asking forgiveness from yourself. Other people are not so forgiving. I have learned the hard way.

I left the next morning to do a job for some people I really should had avoided.

When I got home, the door to the bungalow I was staying at, was wide open. The lights were off, but I could see the outline of two men. One sitting on my sofa, the other standing beside him. I closed the front door slowly as I stepped inside, looking over my right shoulder cautiously.

“I see your home,” I said. I turned the lamp on and placed my keys next to it on the night table it sat on.  “I was beginning to think you didn’t like your own home.”

Connolly was home. Slipped in without any fanfare. Slipped in like an oiled snake. He was a tall, an exquisitely dressed man with white hair and perfect white teeth. His aqua blue Italian suit was crisp, clean, no wrinkles, no lines, even with his legs crossed. He was smoking a Camel cigarette through a long filter and the ash had to be three fingers long. Pieces of it kept falling on my couch, singing the leather armrest.

His driver and bodyguard, Kurtis, was with him. A black, muscle-bound man dressed in the latest gangsta fashion, had no pupils in his eyes, and that always freaked me out the few times I’d seen him. Whenever he spoke, his eyes glowed red.

“It’s nice to know that I have been missed,” Connolly said.

“Missed? They’ve been looking for you,” I walked past them to the kitchen. I returned with a can of Dr. Pepper. “Our finest in blue really want to speak with you.”

“Oh,” Connolly chuckled. “That matter has been taken care of, Chambers. FYI, I didn’t kill Maggie. Sure, she was my wife, sleeping with you. But we lived not as husband and wife anymore. I didn’t care she was sleeping with a turd.”

I smiled at Kurtis. He snarled, his eyes glared red.

“You need to have more respect for the master, Cuz,” Kurtis said.

“He’s your master, eh? I don’t know if you know this, Kurtis….but slavery ended a while ago.”

Kurtis growled, extended his hands, and closed them slowly. I felt this horrible pain in my left arm, shortness of breath. He kept squeezing at the air, straining as if he held a stress relief rubber ball. I fell to my knees, fighting for air, nearly passing out.

I could see darkness invading. Then, suddenly, just as fast, my eyes refocused. The pain in my chest was gone, the tightness was gone. My breathing became normal again.

“What the fuck was that?” I stood, wobbly, trying to catch my breath.

“That, bra,” Kurtis said, grinning widely. “What you get when you fuck with Mr. Connolly. Bitch.”

Connolly stood, chuckled. “I know you would like to know why I am here.” He buttoned his suit jacket. “I would like you to find out who set me up. I did not kill my wife.”

“I saw you—”

“Mr. Chambers, I am a little confused by your denial of the oddities that occur in your life. You’ve witnessed too much to keep thinking the supernatural doesn’t exist. Spells can be spoken to change appearances. I also wish for you to find her soul. It is wandering aimlessly. She needs to find peace. I…..owe her that much. I did…love her at one time.”

“Why?” I said. “Why do you care? The cops don’t even care about the murder charge.”

Connolly swallowed hard. “I can’t go home. I cannot enter my own house and hang my hat, so to speak. As long as my master believes I am guilty of using my power frivolously such as a tedious murder for no gain, I am doomed to wander.

“I am…tired, Mr. Chambers. I want to go home.”

“I don’t want to do this, Connolly. I need to get out of this damned town. Get away from the weird. Lead a normal life.”

Connolly made a face, cleared his throat. “If you don’t do this,” He nodded to Kurtis to walk ahead of him. “Kurtis will use that trick again. Two more times, Chambers, and you’re dead.”

I know who set Connolly up. Maggie did. Now how do I keep from knowing this?

 I went to G’nal for my problem.

There was Little Jimmy, hawking those newspapers, walking up and down the sidewalk. He saw me and laughed. A guy in a green and white coat handed Jimmy a buck and Jimmy handed him a paper.

“Chambers, how does it go?” He said.

I took another long drag from my cigarette, blew smoke in the opposite direction from me. “Connolly is back in town,” I said dryly.

“So what?”  Jimmy handed a woman a paper and took her dollar with the other hand, placing it in the pocket of his blue jeans.

“Look, it’s not a good thing he’s back. He has me doing a task for him.”

“No way,” Jimmy grinned. “I would think he’d try to kill your ass.”

“He did that, too,” I told him.

Jimmy laughed again, slapped his knee.

“I’m glad you find my problem so hilarious.”

“Oh, Chambers, your life is always a comedy of errors.”

I sighed, flicked the cigarette from my fingers. “Ain’t that a fact?”  I looked away, rubbed my left eye. “I need to speak with G’nal.”

“You think that’s a good idea?”  Jimmy said. “You owe him a few souls, Chambers. He’s real fuckin’ mad at you.”

“I will get him some, okay. Just bring him to me.”

“Oh, man. He heard you were running with those Donaldson boys. He don’t like that affiliation.”

“The Donaldson boys are dead,” I said.

“Come on, Chambers. G’nal ain’t dumb.”

  “Just bring him, will ya?” I demanded.

In an instant, I was caught up in a cloud of black smoke. G’nal was staring at me with those burnt umber eyes. All I could do was fight the urge to piss my pants staring him down nowadays.

“What is it you want, Peter Chambers?” His booming voice still gave me a headache.

“G’nal, old friend…”

“The souls you owe me, per our agreement, give them to me.”

“I will, I swear, but I need help. Information, maybe?”

“Get me the souls—”

“Wait. I can do that. Uh, can you take redistributed souls?”

“I’m listening,” G’nal said.

“I know you don’t like the Donaldson boys… I can get them for you.”

There was a moment of silence. I was afraid he was going to strike me down or something. Maybe turn me into a statue or twist my head backward.

“I want another as well,” He said. “I want Connolly.”

“You’re kidding?”

“I want him badly, Chambers. Give him to me, and I will let you out of our contract. Along with the Donaldson family.”

“What did he do?”  I was taking pleasure in knowing about Connolly’s hardships.

“He broke our contract. In order to get out of it, he was to find a replacement—”

“Me,” I said coldly.

  “But he never brought me the Grimoir. The book that was stolen from me by the Nightshade syndicate.”

“Yeah. I’ll bring you Connolly,” And that prick Kurtis, I thought. “Now I need you to show me where that gold necklace is, and who stole it. I need to get Maggie’s soul back.”

“Go to Lexington and Dim. You’ll be surprised.” G’nal said.

“Pleasantly or….?”

“Hmmm…That depends on your way of looking at things.”

The black smoke cleared.

I was back on the street hearing Little Jimmy call out to potential customers to buy papers.

New Hellspeak Every Tuesday!

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