The Night Docket
Beware of the dead.
When you have the so-called “gift” of speaking through the veil, you open yourself up to a world of hurt when you dare to listen instead of talk.
I was listening to the girl apologizing to me in the groovy bedroom of death. And she was leading me down the rabbit hole to my own destruction.
The fact she felt bad about it didn’t make the danger any less.
I was a street lawyer, Nicole Farmer, Esq., no-holds-barred fighter for the down and out. That didn’t mean I was a shill for my clients. It just meant I was willing to listen to them.
Even the dead ones.
I took another look around. The room didn’t evaporate under my scrutiny…just like in waking life, the details got sharper the more I focused on them. The bloody handprints on the walls glowed in the weird light of the lava lamp, still erupting by the wrecked murder-scene of a bed. The sickly-sweet smell of death lingered in the air, like a satanic perfume.
“Forget it,” I told her. “You don’t have to apologize.”
The girl visibly relaxed.
“What’s your name?” I asked. “And how old are you, and where is this place? You’re obviously a grown woman, but I keep thinking you’re a girl. And that’s just freaking weird.”
“Well, I am a girl. I’m only, like, twenty-three years old.” She hesitated, for effect. “And my name is Evangeline.”
The name didn’t sound real, it sounded like a dream name. I wanted to believe all of this was nothing more than a sliver in my brain, a crazy dream. Because if she was real, I was going to be chasing her problems in my dreams for months.
Her voice carried a slight Southern drawl, which surprised me, because I knew I was still in the shithole town of Amistad, Connecticut. I just knew it.
“This apartment is near my office, right?” I asked. “This place must be just down the street…the slant of the light through the window…”
I suddenly realized that it was daylight on the dream plane, and sunshine was streaming from behind the cracked venetian blinds. When it was day in the dream plane, it was night back in my ordinary world.
Looked like noontime here at the murder scene…I guessed it was something like midnight back in my own bed. The girl in black was flooded in light, backlit, and it was hard for me to make out her features.
“I better explain,” Evangeline said. “It’s the least I can do. Yes, this is Amistad, Connecticut. This is my place. The blood is mine. I mean…I didn’t splash it around or anything. I mean…”
I squinted, trying to look into her eyes. Trying to get to the bottom of her little speech.
“You were murdered in this room,” I said. “In 1973.”
She hesitated. “Well, it was almost 1973—really it was late 1972. But close.”
I sighed. Here I went again. “This is one of my serial killer dreams, isn’t it, Evangeline?”
“Well, yeah. But your dreams aren’t dreams.”