Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chapter Nine: A Lunar Anomaly and A Spider

I dialed the office, not waiting for Bruce to answer my question about pizza and praying someone other than my boss was there to answer the phone. My prayers were answered, but, as often happens when praying to gods, their sense of humor is not my own.

Hello, you have reached the Fellowship, can I help you?” The voice was chipper and gravely all at the same time, with a genteel Southern drawl that brought up pictures of plantations and the movie Gone With the Wind . I knew that voice.

“Barnaby, what the fuck are you doing answering the phone?”

“Oh, hello, my dear! You are going to be late if you are calling from anywhere but down-town.”

“I'm calling from Joe's. A zombie infested Joe's. Don't change the subject. Are you at my desk?”

“You, my dear, are crabby.” I could hear a drawer being opened. Damn parasite. “Yes, as a matter of fact I am at your desk. It is a mess. I was thinking about cleaning it out for you...”

“Touch anything and you will not live to see your next lunar anomaly you fucking spider.” Like my boss being a life-sucking vampire, that statement was more or less accurate.

“My, my, very crabby!” I heard the drawer being closed. Barnaby sighed, and I heard a bit of a shuffle which probably meant his eight hairy arms were putting things back where I left them rather than where he put them. “All right, sweet thing, I won't touch. Now, zombies you say? How exciting! Not ours I take it?”

“Would I be calling you if they were ours?” My head was killing me, and my foot was definitely bleeding again. “Get your hairy ass away from my desk and put someone on the God Damn phone who can do more than just clean it!”
I heard Bruce clicking his tongue from the other room, and there was silence from the other end of the phone. I sighed and tried to get myself under some semblance of control. It wasn't the fault of a gender confused mutation that I was having a bad day. “Look, Barnaby, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. I'm just.....” I turned away from where Bruce was in the kitchen and spoke more quietly. “Look, Bruce is here, okay, and I don't...I'm not dealing well with things...and I have a hang-over...I'm sorry...”
I heard more shuffling from the other end of the phone line, then a distinctive sniff. “Hmmm, well, apology accepted, but only because of our long standing friendship and because of the completely enjoyable party you threw last night.” Huh. I don't even remember him being there. 

“Gavin is here. Will he do?”

Speaking of lunar anomalies. “Yeah, I suppose. the boss in?” I was hoping for a negative. It was morning after all, and he was more of a night person. But we were all more or less night people, including the ever sunny Barnaby.

“He came in about twenty minutes ago, but seems to be distracted with something else. You want to keep this quiet?”

“I don't want to bother him with it if we don't have to. Might be some new people in town.”

I could actually hear his eight eyes blinking as Barnaby digested this. Probably the layers of mascara I'm sure he had on. “Oh, that is not good, honey.”

“No kidding. Get Gavin.”

I waited on the phone for Gavin, and looked back at Bruce. He was taking what was left of Joe the rest of the way out of the freezer. I felt a little odd admiring his bunching back and shoulder muscles as he moved a corpse that really was too heavy for one guy to be moving so easily. A little odd, but not much. He looked up and caught me looking. Good thing I never blush.

“Hey, I could use that amulet now.” He stood up with that little half smile on his face and sense of humor showing through. Dammit, I wish I didn't look like I know I looked, like some chick with a hang-over who didn't care enough to even take a shower. I had forgotten about the amulet.

“Sure.” I put the phone between my neck and shoulder and fished in my bag for the ebony amulet he had given me. Really should have given me instructions, honestly. He was lucky I had brought it at all. I tossed it at him, and he easily caught it without even breaking eye contact with me. Mental sigh.

I watched, curious as hell as to what that thing did. He carefully put it onto Joe's chest and leaned down to whisper something into a dead man's ear. Wicca stuff. If I had been anybody other than me, I would have been creeped out when Joe opened his frost covered eyes and looked up at Bruce.

“I'm dead.” It wasn't a question, but a statement of fact.

Bruce nodded. “Yeah, man. Sorry bout that, but I have to ask you some questions.”

Gavin got on the phone at that moment, so I didn't get to hear the whole conversation. I should have told Gavin to hush the fuck up so I could listen. It would have made a difference later, but hind-sight, right?

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