Thursday, February 27, 2014

Portland in Black 7

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"You don't know anything about the afterlife?"  Ellie's eyes darted around.

"Sorry, I'm just a guy with a talent for the dead.  Philosophy isn't really my gig."  Noir shrugged.

Jesha took another sniff of the air around Ellie.  She still couldn't sense the dead girl, and looked imploringly at Noir.  Noir looked around, noting the odd looks from the cops stuck watching them interact with the corpse.

"Why is she...?"  Ellie paused.  "Did she just try to smell me?  Can you smell ghosts?"

"She's... well..."  Noir shrugged again.  "Jesha hold on a second.  Close your eyes and let me..."

Jesha blinked at him.  "Let you what?"

"Just hold still, okay?  You want to see her or not?"

"Humph."  Jesha closed her eyes shut.  Noir placed her hand over them, a brief sparkle of purple flame passing over them.  He then took his hand off of Jesha's eyes.

"Open them."  Noir said.

Jesha blinked.  She then looked up at the ghost floating above Ellie's body.

"Better?"  Noir asked.

"Yeah."  Jesha smirked at Ellie's ghost.  "Jesha.  Who killed you?"

Ellie blinked.  "Killed?  What?"

Noir sighed.  "I like to try and... be a bit more subtle than that Jesha."

"And she wants us to find them, right?"

Ellie blinked at them again.  "I was killed...?"

Noir waved a hand at the bloody windows.  "Those familiar?"

Ellie shook her head.  "No... I..."

"You don't remember what happened?"  Jesha asked, this time more gentle in tone.  "I'd thought that you'd... uh..."

"Its all sort of blurry."  Ellie said.

"You can't remember exact details about your death."  Noir explained.  "The material that held those memories have deteriorated.  You can't expect to recall it perfectly.  Its rare for a victim to remember details right away."

Jesha nodded.  "Ok... my mistake then."

"I... remember faces.  Some customers... that's all.  Then it goes black."  Ellie said.  "And I don't feel anything about it.  Shouldn't I... be sad or something?"

"Things... are distant now."  Noir waved a hand in the air.  "You aren't entirely the same any more.  some emotions are harder to sense for you now.  Others are easy.  Sadness, fear... these aren't as easy for you to sense.  But for your memories, that's all I need to find them.  Would you like me to find who did this and solve it for you?"

Ellie gave a nod. "That seems... right."

"Good."  Noir closed his eyes.  He reached through his bond with Ellie.  He tugged on the energy between them, drawing forth the memory into his own mind.

Another twenty minutes and I can go.  Good. Ellie thought to herself.

Tonight Ellie was going to finally get her time down to a minute fifty on the track.  Her late night practices had been working, and soon she'd be ready for the next season of sports.  She ached to get back out there, even if this job paid the bills for her car and her cellphone.  It bored her to be stuck standing still all day.

A pair of young men dressed in old hoodies sweatshirts approached her till.

The first thing she noted was their smell.  It made her want to gag.  They stank of something, and she didn't like the smell of it all.

Noir blinked, rubbing tears out of his eyes from the memory.  He had a good look at the two men's faces, but not much more.  That the smell, he remembered that distinctly.

"Everything alright?"  Jesha asked, her face masked with concern.

"I'm... okay.  Just... a memory is all..."