Pain. Throbbing. Cold. I put a hand to my head, felt the ice bag, and removed it. I swiveled my legs to the floor and opened my eyes. I’m cross eyed.
It looked like I was in the paranormal office, on the couch. My right eye wandered independently of my left. I closed my eyes and put the ice bag back.
Lisa* ran down the hall and into the room. I decided to try one eye at a time. She wore her short coveralls, a tee shirt, and rubber kitchen gloves. Her hair was tied back in a bandana. “Slow down. Don’t get up too fast.”
“Not a problem. What happened?”
“I don’t know completely. I finished my shoot with Sean Harrington, and came home. The cabin was a mess, and you turned into a giant snail.”
“Remember that bronze bust of me?”
“My head feels like that.”
“Odd, I thought it would feel more like calcite because of your shell and all.”
“What? – Nevermind. My eyes are going every which way.”
“She said that would happen for a while.”
“Well, I tried to reach Jinx, but you left her in 1906 at the end of Panama.” Lisa spread her hands apart. “Jinx doesn’t have email. Then I tried Patty Hall, but she’s back in school. She told me to use the spindle in her desk because it does spirit writing.”
“She told me how to contact her ancestor. Remember the ghost in Will O’ the Wisp?”
“The French one?”
“Yeah, her. She came, but I had to download the entire French language to talk to her. After she got you back to normal, you screamed escargot, ran in here and whacked your head on the bottom of the giant hippo head. You’ve been here ever since.”
I concentrated on making my eyes obey me, and worked my way to the enchanted window for some air. Today it was the image of the French ghost waving back at me. I spotted the biplane on the runway. “What’s with the plane?”
“It’s a prop from my photo shoot. I got to keep the outfit too. Do you want to see the poster for your book?”
“Yes, absolutely. Then I need to respond to all my email, arrange some reviews, and try to do something with my blog sidebar.”
“Oh, I’ve already done all that.” She unrolled the poster to promote my Notebook.
“Well, what do you think?”
“It’s beautiful. Kind of has an old Hollywood flavor to it. We need to send it to the folks who are helping promote the book.”
“I’ve already done that too, and cleaned up your mess I might add.”
“Lisa, you’re the best. I don’t know what I’d do without you sometimes.”
She rose up on her toes. “Aww, thanks. Now relax, and I’ll find your iPad. You can catch up on all the blogs you’ve been missing.”
“Thanks. See that thing, hanging in the fireplace?”
“That’s the Soup Ladle of Destiny. Do you think you could scoop me out a bowl of soup. Oh, and don’t put any salt in it. For some reason, salt scares the crap out of me right now.”
“Should I put the poster in the break room?”
“I say we hang it right in the front office. What are you going to do with the plane?”
“I’ll use the elevator to put it in the basement. We’re pretty far out here, and catalog shopping isn’t as much fun as trying things on. I can go to Rodeo Drive now.”
“It has machine guns. The FAA might not like it too much.”
“Uh huh. In that flight jacket, they might be checking out my guns, but not the plane’s.” She snorted, then laughed at the snort.
I put the ice bag back on my head, and stretched out on the couch.
*Lisa Burton is my robotic personal assistant. She’s also the official spokesmodel for this blog.
The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack is available for pre-order on Amazon right now. It’s a collection of short stories and micro-fiction, and priced at 99¢ it’s a steal of a deal. Just click on the title, or the linked image in the sidebar. It contains a new Lisa Burton story, one with that biplane, and one called The Soup Ladle of Destiny. (Among other tales.)