“What do you think?” he asked at the weekly meeting in the boardroom where the new guy was obviously not invited to. Flores glanced back at him, pursed her thin lips, temporary resetting her worry lines.

“It looks like he’s a good bet,” the Columbus office’s manager said, one side of her mouth lifting slightly. She’d worn red this Thursday.  She always wore that color when she decided things were a go.  Even her rimless glasses seemed to have a red tint to them today. “I wasn’t certain after his testing, but given how he’s responded to the directory, he clearly subconsciously is still being at least unconsciously directed the event that brought him to our world.”

“So what do we do now?” Nora wanted to know. “Do we tell him? I think we should tell him, at least something. It might be better if he had preparation. He clearly has no conscious memory of what happened to him. And I think he’s the type to want to help find a missing girl.  He’s kind.”

Flores shook her head sending short brunette curls shaking.

“We continue with the plan as written,” she stated. “The approach needs to be natural, fluid. We upset the balance last time and it cost us, our anchor, as well as the little boy we were charged to find.”

“Emily, she had a name,” Benny replied. “And it’s not like we lost her, not exactly.”

No, Frank remembered. She quit. Had gone to the police.  And when that didn’t work out, had then sued.

“I disagree,” Nora insisted. “I think we let it go to late that time. She wasn’t ready and couldn’t handle it. I think we need to try it differently, in the other direction this time.”

Frank glanced over at her. Nora was acting like it was hotter than it was in here, with the top button on her shirt undone, and her cheeks a little pinker than normal. And she’d shown up five minutes late to the meeting. What was she up to with that ghost of hers? Didn’t she remember the last time she got too involved with a spook?

“It’s his life we’re playing with, not to mention his sanity,” Frank argued. “Minds are fragile things. And given how he tested, I’d say that caution is the best way to go with Gary. He thinks reality is more concrete than we know it is. Even so, I don’t we could have prepared Emily without scaring her off. You certainly almost did three times.”

“I think I have a good idea about what reality is,” she told him. “She was from a different planet.”

This was a bit unlike Nora. She wasn’t usually so argumentative. He wondered if she was being ‘swayed’ again.

“Someone whispering in your ear?” he replied. “We all know how ghosts tend to stretch the truth. And Harold…”

Nora’s eyes widened in indignation. One of her hands fisted.

“I know the difference between fact and fiction Frank,” she said. “And no, Harold isn’t doing anything. He’s a ghost not a poltergeist!  I can still tell the difference!”

He raised his hands to call off her outburst.

“I’m having not trouble with him at all. And even he knows Bigfoot isn’t real and Kennedy wasn’t assassinated by a bullet blessed by the archangel Michael.”

“That was an early draft, not to mention children’s fiction” he protested. “Candace and I have gone over it three times. Michael is barely even in the story at this point. And, hey, are you having your friends spy on me.”

“As if I can control them,” she retorted. “I thought they stretched the truth. Why’d you change it anyways. I thought it was kind of cool, Michael I mean, for the story.”

“Candace didn’t like it,” he told her. “She thought Michael would go after him with his flaming sword, or at the very least have Raquel do it, not rely on Bigfoot’s dodgy aim. But, you know, that then would have shown up in the autopsy, she decided. Apparently, they can detect angel-guided bullets down at the CSI. She’s getting pretty good at framing an argument.”

“How old is she again,” Benny asked.

“Seven,” Frank said proudly.

“Just wait till she’s fifteen,” he replied

Go to Chapter Thirteen

Go to Chapter Fifteen

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