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She is Gone

Hunting GhostsFrom Hunting Ghosts: Thrilling Tales of the Paranormal edited by Buck Weiss. Story by Cynthia D. Witherspoon

I DIDN’T WANT TO GO BACK THERE.

Not after what happened last time. At first, I refused. Told Connor Garrison flat out he was crazy. To count me out. But as usual, he wouldn’t listen. He was the boss. The producer. His concerns revolved around ratings, not my adamant refusals.

“Zoey, honey. You know we can’t do the show without you.” He looked up at me with his sleazy salesman’s smile. “It just wouldn’t be the same.”

I don’t care.” I shook my head, tossing the folder back onto his desk without looking inside. I knew all too well where he wanted us to do the show and what was documented in that folder labeled Viola. “I’m not going. Let Elliot do it alone this time. I need a vacation anyways.”

“You do realize that I can fire you if you don’t do this assignment.” Connor tapped his fingers against the top of the folder as if he were contemplating doing just that. “And you know how word gets around.”

“But you just said you couldn’t do the show without me.” I stomped my foot against the carpet covering his office. I knew exactly what he was threatening me with. If I got fired, it would become very difficult to find another hosting job on TV. I was too new, and my resume was too short. “And I’m not doing this out of spite. You of all people know what happened last time! It’s been over a year and I’m still in therapy over it.”

“Contracts, Zoey.” Connor shrugged as if there was nothing more he could do. “We got ‘em, you signed ‘em. Ones that say you’ll go to any location we send you to.”

For a minute, I hated him. He could have sent us anywhere else in the world. An abandoned mine. A psych ward. Anywhere but that farm house in Kansas. It was evil. Amityville-evil. I didn’t respond to him, letting the air grow heavy between us until Connor glanced at his watch and tapped the folder again.

“What’ll it be, Miss Wells? A few hours ghost hunting or the unemployment line?”

I wanted to say no. Turn around, walk out of his office, and never see him again. But I needed this job, and the longer I stared at him, the more I understood just why they were sending me back there in the first place.

The show needed the ratings my inevitable freak-out would bring. Rumor had it we were on the network’s chopping block. And ultimately, it was the show that mattered. The advertising dollars. Not me.

I snatched up the folder and left his office, ignoring the smug smile that had erupted across his face.

What happens next? Read Hunting Ghosts: Thrilling Tales of the Paranormal to find out.

Copyright 2013 Black Oak Media, Inc. You do not have permission to copy this post.

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