Chapter 7 Shook Me All Night Long
She had the sightless eyes Telling me no lies
Knockin' me out with those American thighs
Taking more than her share Had me fighting for air
She told me to come but I was already there
I sat down across the hotel table from Brandon later that night, after doing research most of the day. I set a picture of the platinum blond woman in front of him.
"Nancy Kaye," I said. "She was a starlet back in the early seventies. She was with a movie director. He used her up, blacklisted her, and left her destitute and angry. In revenge, she stabs herself in the stomach, seppuku style, and falls from the rafters, right into a scene he was shooting. Dead before she even hits the ground."
"Great way to get back at someone," Sara said sarcastically.
"It's been, what? Almost thirty years since Nancy died. And only know she gets violent...." said Brandon. "So what do we do?"
"We salt and burn her remains," I said simply. I went into my bag and pulled out an old oil container full of rock salt and a bottle of lighter fluid. I noticed everyone but Sara and Brandon (Who had helped me with something like this before) was staring. "What?"
"How is that gonna help?" La'Ray asked.
"The salt purifies the body and the fire removes any physical attachment that the spirit has to this world," I said. "It's a ritual of my tribe to calm a restless spirit."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Brandon, Sara and I were soon walking through a Hollywood grave yard, shovels in hand. "Hey, Houchin," Brandon said nodding towards a tombstone as he held up a piece of paper. It was shaped like an abstract piece of art more than a grave marker. I cocked my eyebrow. "Ha! This map is totally worth the five bucks! Hey, we gotta go check out Randy Rhoads's grave when we're done here."
"You wanna dig him up too?" I asked, knowing it would get under his skin. I wasn't disappointed.
"Bite your tongue, heathen!"
"That's cool," said Sara absently, pointing to a grave in the shape of a giant bat.
We soon found Nancy's grave.. After almost an hour of digging, we reached the casket and pried it open. I poured the salt around the bones as Brandon sprayed the lighter fluid. I struck a match against the tombstone and dropped it into the crypt.
As we were reburying the casket, Brandon looked up at the tombstone. "Hey hang on a sec. See this pattern here?" He pointed to a symbol carved into the urn next to headstone. It looked like a lower case x with a dot at the point of each line and one in center. Like a five spot on a die. "That's a quincunx, it's a five spot."
"That's used for Hoodoo spell work, ain't it?" I asked. (And no I didn't mean to put voodoo.)
"Yeah. You fill this thing blood weed, you've got a powerful charm to ward off enemies,"
"Except, I don't see any blood weed," said Sara.
"Don't you think this place is a little......" I clicked my tongue as I thought of how to put this. "White meat for Hoodoo?"
"Maybe someone was being careful," said Sara.
"Not careful enough," said Brandon. "John told me Nancy has one living relative in the entire state. Her mother, Rose. Maybe she was trying to bring her daughter back." The three of us mulled these findings over for a few minutes. Then....
"Alright," I said, shouldering my shovel. "Let's get back to the hotel."
Back in our room we found Drew sitting in a chair, passed out with a glass tumbler half full of clear liquid. I grumbled to myself, lifting him up and putting him in his bed. Drunken bastard....
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Everyone but Drew got up early for breakfast the next morning. We talked about the show after we finished eating before heading back upstairs. We came back into the room to find Drew with his head in the toilet.
"How ya feelin', Drew?" cackled La'Ray. "I guess mixing whiskey and Jaeger wasn't such a gangbuster idea after all. I bet you don't remember a thing from last night."
"I can still taste the tequila," Drew groaned.
"Y'know there's a great hangover remedy," I said smugly. "It's a greasy pork sandwich served up in a dirty ashtray."
"Oh, I hate you!"
"I know you do," I chuckled. "I do have some news though. Turns out when Rose was a tyke, she had a Creole nanny who wore a Hoodoo necklace. Ugh." I groaned as I passed the bathroom door, catching the smell.
"So you think she taught Rose Hoodoo?" Brandon asked.
"Yes, I do."
"Alright." Drew grunted as he stood up, coming out of the bathroom. "I think it's about time we talk Rose, then."
"Ugh," said Jonathon in disgust. "You need to brush your teeth first."
"Brandon, Sara, and I will take care of this," I said. "Y'all get the stuff set up for tonight."
About an hour later, we found ourselves in front of a rundown Victorian styled house. Sitting in a rocking chair was an old woman. We went up to her, trying to seem as non-threatening as possible, but she still seemed rather scared of the three of us.
"Uh, hi, Rose," said Sara. "It's okay. We're not gonna hurt you."
"Can you tell us about Nancy?" I asked as gently as I could. She merely stared at us, her eyes wide with fear. "Rose?"
Brandon frowned and jerked his head, indicating Sara and I follow. When we were about a dozen feet away, he whispered, "This woman's had a stroke."
My eyebrows shot up then furrowed. "But Hoodoo's hands on. You gotta gather herbs, chant, and build an altar..."
"So, it can't be Rose. Hell, it might not even be Hoodoo."
"Y'know, she could be faking," I said, showing my cynical side.
"What do you wanna do, poke her with a stick?" Brandon asked sarcastically. I shrugged. "Dude, you're not gonna poke her with a stick!" he snapped.
Sara poked Rose with a stick. "What?" she asked when Brandon glared at her. "You said Houchin couldn't poke her with a stick." I smirked.
"All right, Miss Loophole," Brandon ground out. "Let's get back to the stage."
As we got back to the stage, Sara, in all her graceful glory, tripped getting out of Brandon's truck.
"FUCK! FUCK FUCKITY FUCK-FUCK SHIT FUCK!" she yelled. I slapped a hand over my face in exasperation. Brandon was too busy laughing like a hyena to care. Sara quickly got up after her fuck rant and tried to regain what little composure she possessed. She absently brushed her hair away, revealing the left side of her face. Brandon looked at her in surprise when he saw the black patch over her left eye. She spotted this and quickly hid it again behind the curtain of her hair.
"You weren't supposed to see that..."
"Is something-?" he started.
"No!" Sara snapped vehemently. "You have to swear you won't tell anyone else." Brandon nodded. "Alright....." she swallowed. "Sorry. I just hate having to explain why I have an eye patch to every single person I meet. There's nothing wrong with my left eye. I have what's called a senro or 'tracker' eye. To put it simply, it's an extension of my sense of smell. My eye detects the path a particular person took. While I can see out of it normally, I also see a bunch of different colored paths left by different people. The color depends on how I feel about the person and they're overall condition. I usually see blue, red, and purple paths. Blue are my friends, red are my enemies, and purple are people I don't know. The lighter the color the more mental stress they're under, the darker, the more injured and if it's a normal shade, they're fine. The only real problem is, I always see a ton of paths. I can focus in on one, but it gives me a major headache when it takes a long time."
"So, why don't you use it just to see?" Brandon asked.
"The colors annoy me," she grumbled. Brandon blinked.
"Dude, Houchin, I think you're rubbing off on her." We both stared at him with our eyebrows twitching. "Oooooooooooookaaaaaaaay.... please don't do that again. You looked like you wanted to eat me."
"Then shut up..." Sara growled, before spinning around on her heel and stomping back to the stage. "I'm PMSing," she added over her shoulder.
"What's your excuse?" Brandon asked me.
I followed Sara after slugging Brandon in the shoulder. "How's that boot taste?" I asked him as we walked.
"Like leather and dirt, Einstein," he shot back.
"Oh, that hurts, coming from the genius who managed to punch himself in the nuts."
"This from the guy who ran down my street, screaming, 'get my shoes out of the mail box!'"
"That's my insult, asshole!" The two of us continued to spew good natured insults until we got back into the studio.
"Overgrown lap dog..." I growled after him as he went back up on stage
"Flea-bitten pup..." he grumbled, picking up his guitar. Suddenly, a shock went through his hand as he touched the strings. He dropped the guitar reflexively. "Sonuva bitch! Mother fuck!" he swore up and down while I switched to my reaper eyes. A tall, dark haired man was glaring at Brandon as he bitched about his guitar zapping him. I snarled, and the man turned his empty gaze on me. He vanished, even from my vision.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Brandon sat in a chair back at the hotel as Sara worked on wrapping his hand in gauze. She had cooled the burns with a small rain cloud she'd created over his hand. I guess I forgot to mention that Sara has a bit of control over the weather. She can create things as small as a cool breeze to as large as an F-5 tornado. Things got reeeeeeeal interesting when she was PMSing. I've had to run away from more than one dust devil.
"Apparently there's more than one ghost haunting this place," I said. "Greg Carter. Serial killer extraordinaire in the early 90's. His M.O. was to electrocute his victims with a car battery when they were drenched in water."
"Damn..." said La'Ray.
"And guess where he was killed?" I went on. Everyone groaned. "Sniped through the window by a S.W.A.T. sharpshooter."
"So we go burn him, too?" Sara asked.
"No. Carter was cremated," I said.
"So.... what happens know?" Brandon demanded.
"The show goes on as planned," said Mary quietly. "Unless something really bad happens."
"Sara, I hate to ask, but can you use your senro to track our witch doctor?" I asked.
"Alright, but you have to get a decent trail of him.. or her."
"If you can locate a scent you don't recognize, I'll do most of the tracking."
Before dawn the next morning, when filming hadn't even started, Sara, Brandon and I had gone down to the stage. Sara removed the patch from her eye. After getting used to the vision for a few minutes she began looking around the building. "There." she pointed to a window along the catwalk above the stage. "It's fresh." She climbed on my back (She's Sloth,
remember? She's lazy.) and I jumped up to the catwalk, Brandon just behind us. With Sara still on my back, I transformed into my wolf body and Brandon did the same with his. I sniffed the ground Sara had indicated, quickly picking up the scent. Brandon did the same, even though my sense of smell was stronger than his, he would see him (For the scent was distinctly male) first if he was in a shadowed corner.
We quickly followed the scent through the large area, making many twists and turns. This guy either really knew what he was doing or he was on some serious drugs. The scent eventually led us to a brand new studio with a balcony above the entrance. Standing on the balcony was without a doubt, the gayest guy I've ever seen. And I'm not being homophobic, either. He wore a light purple shirt under an open red jacket. His jeans were flooded out hippy-style as well. Poking out of his hair was a pair of mouse ears and a mouse tail was wrapped around his leg.
And to top it off, he had pink hair and he was carrying a baton. What else could you call him if not flamin'?
"Uh, not that there's anything wrong with being homosexual...." Sara started. "In fact I encourage it.... but why is a gay mouse following Houchin and Brandon and sending ghosts after them?"
"Oh, come on, sweetheart!" said the young man. "You hang around those cute wolves enough to know why."
Brandon and I almost fell over. <Tell me he didn't just say that!> I barked, a pulse mark throbbing on my right temple.
<I'm gonna kill him! First he sends dead people after us and now he calls us cute?!> Brandon shouted. <Who does he think he is?!>
The teen laughed as he heard our shouts of anger. "The name's Satou Momiji." He leapt off the balcony and took off running down the alley. Sara climbed off my back so Brandon and myself could go tearing after Satou.
"Oh, don't hurt him too bad," she complained.
<No promises> I growled as I chased the ballsy mouse.
The pavement, slick with rain from the night before, had very little traction. As it was, we had trouble keeping up with Satou as he weaved through the buildings.
As we came around a sharp turn, Brandon skidded into a trash bin. <Hey, there's a garbage can there> I told him as I continued to chase Satou.
I eventually cornered Satou in between two buildings. Brandon and Sara eventually caught up.
"Uh, Brandon... you have a banana peel on you head," Sara told him. Brandon shook it off with an agitated growl.
"Okay," I said changing back to my demon form. "Why in fuck's name are you sending ghosts after us?"
"What, you can't take a joke?" said Satou.
Brandon and I almost face planted. "WHAT?!" Brandon exclaimed. "This was a JOKE?! "
"Yep!" Satou giggled effeminately.
This time, we did fall over.
I was the first to get up. "So, let me get this straight; we dug up a grave, salted and burned the corpse, possibly gave an old woman another stroke, AND to top it all off, we got up before the sun rose to chase around a gay pink-haired mouse so he could tell us this was all a joke?"
"Beautiful," said Brandon. "Houchin, Sara." He looked at Satou. "Homosexual stalker. I'm gonna go back to bed."
"Oooh, can I come?" Satou asked.
"NO!" Brandon shouted. "What the-? What is wrong with you? I'm not gay!"
"Are you sure?"
"No!" I barked.
AN: I feel i should put this in. Satou was not my idea. The idea came from a friend in highschool that I hung out with frequently. She thought it would be funny to have a hard right turn and have the 'witch doctor' be a flamboyant homosexual mouse that would flirt with myself and Brandon.