An artist is his own fault.
– John O’Hara
The lights went out and the painting started vibrating in the Thurston Library board room just as PC Joseph Oliver was showing some information to Dana Bowman. Now, one minute later, the lights go back on and the painting is still. But there is a different character sitting at the board room table. All characters except Cory Swan are from short stories in Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012)
Dana, looking around and almost jumping up at the woman sitting in the chair beside her. Susan Stuart? No, it can’t be. You’re dead. I mean…
Susan’s ghost: True, but I did mention that I do get around in spirit. Sometimes I can manifest myself to a few people.
Dana: And that’s why the lights went out – while you were er, manifesting?
PC Oliver: It’s gone.
Dana, turning to Oliver on her left: What’s gone? The paper you were showing me?
Oliver: Yes. I had it right in front of me.
Dana, glaring at Susan’s ghost: You took it. What did you do with it?
Susan: No, I didn’t.
Dana: Well, no one else was here.
Susan: Are you sure. The lights went out.
Dana: But that was you.
Susan: No. I don’t need lights turning out to manifest myself. Just people to believe I am real.
Oliver: Then who took the paper? Who was in here? I didn’t see anyone. Dana, did you?
Dana: No, but it was dark.
Susan: I might be able to answer that. I’m not the only spirit involved.
Dana: Right. So now we have multitudes of spirits running around and interfering.
Susan: No, just one other besides me.
Susan: Can’t you guess? Who is also dead?
Dana: Roger Stuart?
Oliver: Okay, I’ll bite. What interest would Roger Stuart have in all this?
Susan: If you will remember, when Dad was still alive, just before he disappeared, he was involved in a sort of blackmail scheme with Cory Swan.
Dana: And I suppose you know what that all involves?
Oliver (interrupting): I think I do. The paper I was just going to show you was a document. It was a marriage certificate between Roger Stuart and his secretary.
Dana: But he was still married to Susan and Robbie’s mother.
Oliver: Yes, but the marriage certificate was issued in Mexico.
Dana: But it wouldn’t be valid in Canada? I mean with Roger still married to your mother. (Dana nods at Susan).
Oliver: No, not valid in Canada or the US for that matter.
Dana: How did they get it in Mexico?
Susan: By not giving any info about prior marriages.
Oliver: You could get away with that there.
Dana: So, Roger Stuart was a bigamist and he didn’t want his second marriage known.
Oliver: Or the fact that he had two so-called marriages with no divorce for the first one.
Susan: Exactly, to both. And Cory Swan wheedled this out of Dad and I believe threatened to tell all if Dad didn’t pay him. Which he did, for awhile, until he decided to disappear with the wicked secretary of the well, south.
Dana: And you know this how?
Susan: I just do.
Dana: You’ve connected with your father’s spirit.
Susan: Oh, all right. I’ve been talking to Dad.
Oliver: If this is so, then it has to be his spirit that took the document.
Susan: Actually not. Dad can’t get around like me. He’s stuck in our old house. I have to go to him.
Dana and Oliver: Then it was you. You lied.
Susan: Yup. A girl has to protect herself.
Susan then disappears.
Dana: What was that all about? She’s obviously got her own hidden agenda? Now we don’t have that document.
Oliver: Yes we do. There’s an electronic copy on the police computer and a photocopy at police headquarters. But I better call Fielding to let him know that Susan is not to be trusted.
Dana’s cell phone rings. She picks it up.
Voice on the phone: Dana, it’s Bast. I’m okay. But we need to talk. You and a few others are in danger.
Sharon A. Crawford
You can read more about the characters and their stories in from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to Sharon A. Crawford’s profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book go to http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy. Spread the word.
Also see more of See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs, workshops, guest blog posts, etc. at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html