Skulls, Crosses, and Bones
The Hit part II
You Only Live Twice
Joey awoke with a start. He sat up in his bed, left hand on his forehead, right hand on a beautiful flintlock pistol, carefully searching the blurry darkness. Joey could have sworn something conked him in the head to wake hime up, but he had also been having strange nightmares as of late, so he was skeptical. Long had visions of dark tunnels and legions of the dead haunted his sleep, and at the end there was always a key. Some times the dreams were violent and filled with desparate battles with both the corporeal and ephemeral deceased, but sometimes it was just seemingly aimless wandering through endless rocky depths.
As Joey felt the lump on his head though, he became increasingly certain something had hit him in his sleep. With his left hand, Joey reached for the lamp, while his right waved the pistol out of existance. The bedroom was empty. Well, empty of other sentience. Joseph Cogniti’s bedroom was modestly decorated with some bland pictures someone told him was art, and some dressers and a bed that his more fashionable relatives wouldn’t bother to complain about, much as the rest of his apartment was. He was fortunate enough to have an apartment that overlooked the park, but that was another of the Cogniti perks.
Joey rose from the bed in his skull covered boxers curiously eyballing the empty glass that had hit the floor after bouncing off his head. Joey felt another impact on the back of his skull as he smelled stale cigar ash. Joey spun around in time to see his nightstand ashtry drop the remnants of its cargo on the bed. This time Joey was awake though. This time, he felt that tingle on the left side of his face that meant there was a ghost doing ghostly things around. Joey scanned the room in time to see a familiar form drift into the room through the closed door.
“God damnit! I knew I played the mystery man thing too hard with you, " Joey sat back down on the bed and grabbed for his phone. Before he reached it, the figured waved his hands and the phone flew off the nightstand and against the wall. Joey sighed, “Yeah, I shoulda seen that coming.”
The strange ephemeral creature stood nearly motionless as Joey bent down to get the phone. The being looked like a man, save for the gaping bullet wound stretching through the middle of his head. Most people would have been terrified by the sight, but Joey had put the wound there earlier that night. To be more specific, he had put it in the apparition’s real body. Joey had wondered if the kill would anchor Vincent Sun Hu’s soul to to Joey, but not until he was leaving an old cell phone and a note in his uncle’s very private office, and by then the kill had been done for over an hour.
Joey texted his krewemate Andrew Ward, seeking help with the problem. Joey knew Andrew could do something with spirits’ anchors, but couldn’t remember the details at the moment. As Joey hit send, the ashtray from the bed rose and struck Joey again, this time at the base of the skull.
“You already used that,” Joey said as he poured a drink. While Joey swatted the cd player remote away from hitting him in the face, Joey could see tounges of flame flickering up from under the door.
His anger was strong, though his will is weak.
The Creeping Inferno was right, of course. Vincent was mighty angry to have been punked out by such a seemingly cheep trick, he didn’t have the willpower to retain much sentience, or a face. The angry ghost would continue the weak assault through the night untill too much energy had been expended, then retreat for a while. Joey finished his glass, sighed and poured another drink. It would be a long night.
The next morning came with little relief. Joey had finally dozed off after Vincent’s soul had retreated, but now the spirit had come back to torment Joey further. Joey cursed and rolled out of bed to grab the lamp that had just struck him, off the floor. “Need to get in public,” Joey thought whie ducking a coat hanger. “Oh, now that’s sad, a coathanger, really?” Joey said to the silent specter as he glanced at his phone and noted that Andrew hadn’t yet replied. Joey got dressed, dodged a few more household items, and left to get an early lunch.
At Luigi’s, Joey sat in a quiet booth in the back, played on his laptop, and awaited his breakfast/lunch. It was 10 in the morning, and Luigi’s had just opened, not they’d have turned Joey away. Fortunately, the lunch rush was starting early and the restaurant was filling up. For some reason, it seemed that with the more witnesses around, the harder time a ghost has manifesting, and Joey desparately needed respit.
After Joey’s meal and third glass of wine arrived at the table, Joey finalled called Andrew’s cell phone. “Yeah?” Andrew asked distractedly.
“Hey, I got a ghost problem-”
“Ha! Don’t we all!”
“Well, yeah, but I think this one is in your realm of expertise.” Joey heard a loud sound through the phone, but wasn’t sure if it was gunfire or explosions. Neither would have suprised him. “You a little occupied at the moment?”
“Naw, just getting away.”
“Jesus, it’s not even ten thirty yet.”
“It’s only early if you slept. Ok, listen meet me at-” another loud sound penetrated the phone, “Oh, think you’re pretty smart huh? well outsmart this!” A sound that cannot be described more specifically than “violent” burst from Joey’s handset. “Yeah, I gotta go, don’t wait up!” The phone call ended and Joey slugged the rest of his wine. He was going to have to handle this on his own, but he got a feeling the Inferno wouldn’t be pleased if Joey just scarfed down the dead gangster.
“I’ll just have to put him in storage then.” Joey finished his meal and called his uncle Sal.