“Why write it all down?” Asked Seth. “We’ve been doing this for years so why now?”
I thought for a second. It’s always hard to put something so undefinable into words. I stopped walking and watched Jackie run ahead a ways. Seth turned, a couple of paces ahead, and looked down at me, concern etched on his face. His shoulder length brown hair wafted in the slight breeze and I watched it for a second as I tried to find the right words. Words that would sound decisive not half formed and limp like the ones threatening to find their way out.
“Amber?” He prompted.
My hand fluttered uselessly, fussed at my short red hair then floated past my face before resting on my stomach. For a while I had been feeling that wriggly, slightly squamous feeling, the one that usually precedes a premonition. It wasn’t quite butterflies, more writhing eels sliding around in the pit of my stomach. There were mornings where I’d wake, sick with the sense of impending doom, afternoons where I could almost see the future devastation that was lying in wait for us, nights made restless by fragmented nightmares.
“Amber?” Sterner this time.
I refocused my eyes, slowly met his and offered a lame, clichéd, “I got a feeling.” Wow. So much for sounding decisive.
To Seth’s credit he kept a straight face. Unlike his brother, Duncan, Seth always knew the right way to behave. A hint of a smirk would most likely earn him, at worst, a fist in the mouth. I hated anything I perceived as making me seem weak and not being able to explain myself counted as being weak. Instead we walked on in a silence broken only by my occasional calls to Jackie as he chased around in the undergrowth. Intent on redeeming myself, not for Seth’s benefit but for my own, I tried to explain.
“I can’t quite put my finger on it but something feels off. It’s like some kind of supernatural storm or some shit brewing. I don’t know but I can’t ignore the overwhelming feeling that I need to keep a record.”
Seth nodded; we’d been hunting so long now he knew to trust my instincts. “When were you thinking of starting? I mean are you going to back date it or start now?”
That was a question I could answer without a seconds thought. “Start with Albuquerque.”
“Because that was weird.” Seth glanced down, eyebrows raised. “Those guys, remember” I lowered my voice and mimicked gruffly; “‘It’s not our thing’.” Seth smirked ever so slightly, it was a good impression. “What the hell was that all about? Plus I got a vibe off them. If something’s coming, they’re a part of it.”
Again, Seth knew better than to question, instead he nodded. “You want me to pull the files when we get back to the RV” I smiled gratefully; glad I had chosen to broach the subject with him rather than his meathead brother.
Talking of meathead brothers, by the time Seth and I got back to the RV, Duncan was up and flicking through the sports channels while digging into a huge bowl of Lucky Charms. He continued shovelling tremendous spoonfuls in, oblivious to our return, until Jackie leapt up on him almost sending spoon, bowl and sugary marshmallowy cereal everywhere. Surprised, his head whipped round as he half rose from his seat. When he clocked us he settled back down again grinning, his mouth still full of cereal. Seth merely raised his eyebrows and went straight to his room to grab his laptop while I dug under the ‘sofa’ for mine.
“Hmm, looking for Tosh. Ideas?” Duncan grinned, cereal bulging out from his cheeks and pointed towards our room. “In there.” He swallowed.
Our room comprised of a space barely big enough to contain a double bed, some overhead cupboards and two tiny bedside cabinets, themselves hardly big enough to put a glass of water and cell phone on. The lack of space meant clothes were piled up on either side of the bed, the under-bed drawers taken up with our weapons, both standard and custom made. Still, at least it wasn’t as small as Seth’s room, with its single cupboard and fold down space-saving bedside table. Seth had to clamber over duffel bags and could only fold the table down once he’d actually got into bed. The RV was certainly convenient but very limited on space, for three people and a dog. I dug through the clothes on my side of the bed, while Jackie snuffed around possibly trying to help; probably hoping I’d find a bone under the mess. It wouldn’t be the first time! Eventually I felt the familiar shape of my laptop and pulled it out with one hand while holding back the impending landslide with the other.
Laptop retrieved, I returned to the lounge/kitchenette, settled myself at the fold-down table and started searching through my emails, searching for those relating to our time in Albuquerque. Miller, our contact, always emailed me anything he had on a case, often more than we’d actually need. The advantage of being a super-hacker nerd meant he could find police files and anything else we needed to work a case. Most of our work came direct from him, although you can find us in the “yellow pages” under Psychic Investigators. Generally, as a rule, the cases from Miller were the real deal, while those from our advert tended to be, if we were really lucky, minor hauntings. However, more often they turned out to be nothing of the supernatural variety whatsoever, instead hysterical housewives or students who’d watched too many John Carpenter/Wes Craven movies or listened to one too many Urban Legends. Still, those cases paid. Miller’s rarely did. In the periphery of my vision, I noticed Seth gingerly emerging from his room and scooted over on the bench so he could come and join me. He also kept track of every hunt we’d been on, along with links to useful websites and any contact details, in a database. In a matter of hours we’d managed to piece together an account of the case.