Authors: Rose Pressey
He waved his hand. “Whatever. I know what it is. I’m a ghost, but I can still see what’s going on around me.”
“Sorry,” I said.
My best friend, Mindy Winters’, name was displayed on the screen. I had a photo of her that popped up every time she called. It was the one from our trip to the state fair. She had cotton candy on her face like a pink mustache. Her long, blonde hair had been streaked by the summer sun and her brown eyes sparkled.
“I hope you’re finished with the investigation,” she said. “I didn’t want to disturb you.”
I glanced over at Roger. He was smirking at me.
“I just wrapped it up.” I looked away from Roger.
“Can you come by my house? I have something I want to show you,” Mindy said.
“Sure, what is it?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s a surprise, but I think you’ll love it,” she said with enthusiasm in her voice.
“Okay, now you have me intrigued. I’ll be there soon.”
Mindy lived a short distance away, so I made it to her house in only a few minutes. Her pole fitness studio had really taken off and she’d added some new classes and she’d just purchased a new place. I pulled up to her house which was a combination brick and stone façade with cute white window boxes with bright red and yellow flowers spilling over the sides. She even had a new swimming pool in back.
I recognized Mindy’s dad’s blue Ford truck in the driveway. I hoped everything was okay. She’d acted as if everything was fine. She’d sounded upbeat.
“Roger, you wait here for me,” I said to the ghost as I got out of the car.
As I walked up the path toward the front door, I felt a presence behind me. When I glanced back, I realized Roger was right on my heels.
“I thought I told you to stay in the car,” I said over my shoulder.
“I don’t want to,” he said.
I suppose there was nothing I could do to get him to stay. I could have threatened him with a sage cleansing, but I doubted it would be effective on him. When Mindy answered the door, I almost fainted. I hadn’t expected to see the ghost of Marilyn Monroe standing behind her.
I stood there speechless. In fact, I didn’t know what to do next. It wasn’t like seeing a ghost shocked me, but I hadn’t expected Marilyn Monroe, for heaven’s sake. Why did this keep happening to me? Word must have gotten out that I was the psychic medium to the stars. Marilyn was just as glamorous in the afterlife as she had been when she was living. Her chin-length blonde hair bounced with curls. Her lips were covered in bright red lipstick. She wore the iconic white halter dressed she’d worn in the film
The Seven Year Itch
where she’d stood over the subway grate and the skirt had floated up toward the sky. Her appearance was exactly as I would have pictured her.
“Wow. This is far out. I can’t believe it’s Marilyn Monroe.” Roger said as he walked right through Mindy and into her house.
Mindy frowned as if she’d felt him pass through her. Now, Roger stood next to Marilyn, staring with star-struck eyes.
A wicked smile curved his lips. “This is turning out to be a
Marilyn glanced at him and frowned. Roger needed to back off and learn what personal space meant. I couldn’t believe he’d just walked right into Mindy’s house without being invited in. Where were his manners? Just because he was a ghost didn’t mean he should be rude.
“Is there something wrong?” Mindy asked.
I didn’t want to tell her just yet that Marilyn Monroe was standing behind her and that I had also brought a now infatuated teenage ghost into her home. I especially didn’t want to tell her with her dad there. He would think his daughter’s best friend was a burger short of a combo meal.
Mindy was wearing her workout gear of black yoga pants and a blue and black sports bra. She’d probably just left her studio. I had to find out what this exciting news of hers was.
“Okay, now that you’re here, get inside.” She motioned for me to enter.
As I stepped into the foyer, I kept my eyes on Marilyn. On the left was the large living room and just beyond that was the dining room. Mindy had hired a decorator who had used light colors of cream and beige around the space.
Mindy’s dad, Mark, popped out from the kitchen. His head was crowned with a thick layer of short-cropped gray hair. He had been gray for as long as I could remember. Her father had always been fit so that must have been where Mindy got her love of fitness.
“Hello, Larue. It’s nice to see you again. You’ve been hiding from me, haven’t you?” Lines wrinkled around his blue eyes when he smiled.
I laughed and gave him a hug. “It’s good to see you again, too, Mr. Winters. So, what is the exciting news?” I asked glancing from Mr. Winters to Mindy.
Marilyn and Roger were standing right next to Mark and he had no clue. This was particularly funny because Mindy’s dad was a huge Marilyn Monroe fan. He would probably die if he knew.
Mindy motioned over her shoulder. “Come into the kitchen. There’s something my dad wants to show you.”
This must be huge with the way they were acting. I followed Mindy and her dad into the kitchen. Marilyn was right behind me and Roger was standing entirely too close to her. Based on the downward curve of her lips, I knew she wanted me to get rid of him. There was little I could do about that right now. Mr. Winters hurried over to the table and picked up the object in a glass case. The smile on his face went from ear to ear. He held the case close to his chest as if it was fragile.
“Do you have to stand so close?” Marilyn asked Roger.
This was the first time she’d spoken. Her sweet voice didn’t hide her irritation with him. I gave Roger a stare that said, “Back off, buddy.” He held his hands up and eased a couple steps away.
“Thank you,” I mouthed.
Mindy frowned. I thought she’d caught me talking to Roger. She probably had suspicions that something was going on with a paranormal nature. I knew she’d freak out to discover ghosts were in her house. The last time that had happened she’d wanted her home exorcised immediately. For all I knew, that could have been why she’d bought a new place. Mindy didn’t have to worry though. I had every intention of taking the ghosts with me when I left.
“This is so cool. You know you were my favorite actress. I loved you in
Some Like It Hot,
” Roger chatted away.
Surprisingly, his comment had gotten a smile out of Marilyn.
“Thank you,” she said in her sexy whisper.
Her acknowledgement had almost made Roger faint. What was I going to do with these two? The same thing I did with all the other ghosts, I guess. I would have to put up with them and hope they moved on soon. However, I had to admit it wasn’t the worst thing to have to hang out with celebrity ghosts. I was kind of excited to get a chance to speak with Marilyn. I wasn’t even sure what I would ask.
Mindy grabbed my arm, breaking my attention away from the ghosts. “Look what my father bought.”
“What is it?” I stepped closer.
It had better not be some kind of creepy bug in that container. As I peered in, I spotted the sparkling earrings. Why was Mr. Winters so excited about earrings?
“Your dad bought you those?” I asked.
Mindy shook her head. “No, the earrings were Marilyn Monroe’s. My dad bought them at an auction.”
Well now, that explained everything. I glanced over at Marilyn and she flashed a sweet grin. I would have to tell Mindy she was here. Her dad would never believe it though, so that wasn’t a detail I was ready to share with him.
“Wow, they are beautiful,” I said.
Mr. Winters smiled with excitement. “I was lucky I got them. I thought you would appreciate seeing them.”
Little did they know this event had now led me to Marilyn’s ghost.
“I think that’s wonderful, Mr. Winters. They will look great with your collection.”
He had other items he’d collected over the years on display in his basement. Mostly, he had posters and other movie memorabilia. This item, though, would be the highlight of his collection.
At least now I knew why Marilyn was in Mindy’s house, but I was curious as to why she was with the earrings. Did they have some kind of special meaning to her? Obviously that had to be the case, otherwise why would she be here? Mr. Winters wrapped the glass case in a black velvet cloth.
“Well, I’d better get going.” He hugged Mindy and then me. “Ladies, you’ll have to come over to the house and see these once I get the case for them.”
“We will, Dad.” She peered at me and shook her head.
Mr. Winters carried his valuable collector’s item out secured in both his hands. Once he was out the door and it had closed behind him, Mindy turned to me. I knew she was suspicious.
I had fully expected Marilyn to leave with Mr. Winters. After all, he had the earrings and that was the reason she was here in the first place. Right? But, she didn’t go with him. She watched him walk out the door and then stared me right in the eyes. I had to ask her why she hadn’t gone with him. First, I would have to tell Mindy about the ghosts.
I suppose I had to tell her the truth. She was my best friend and I didn’t want to hide anything from her. I just hoped she was understanding. I was responsible for bringing Roger to her house, but was Marilyn my fault, too? She would have been there whether I showed up or not.
Mindy turned to me and placed her hands on her hips. “What’s going on?”
I cringed and rushed toward the door.
She stepped in front of me. “Oh, no you don’t. You’re not leaving until you tell me.”
I thought I’d be honest with her, but now I was having second thoughts. Mindy was blocking my exit.
“Tell her she has the biggest sex symbol in history in her living room.” Roger wiggled his eyebrows at Marilyn.
Marilyn inched further away from him.
I released a deep breath and said, “Okay, I guess I can’t hide it from you.”
“No, you can’t,” Mindy said. “There are ghosts with you, aren’t there?”
I nodded at Roger and Marilyn. “A little bit, yeah.”
Mindy peered around the room. “Who are they?”
“You won’t believe it,” I said.
She quirked an eyebrow. “After Abe Lincoln, Mae West, and Elvis Presley, I think I’d believe anything.”
“I suppose you would. There are two ghosts. One is famous.” I motioned toward Marilyn with a tilt of my head, even though Mindy couldn’t see her.
Marilyn fluffed her hair and checked her red-polished fingernails.
“The other one is a bit of a pain in the butt.” I scowled at Roger.
“Right back at you.” He smirked me.
“Well, who are they?” Mindy motioned for me to tell her.
“Well, you know how your dad had the earrings here?”
“Yeah…” she said.
“Marilyn Monroe was attached to the earrings and she’s here now,” I said, rushing my words.
“I need to sit down.” Mindy walked over to the leather sofa in the living room.
I sat beside her. “Are you okay?”
She pushed the hair out of her eyes and released a deep breath. “Why is she here?”
I turned to Marilyn who had followed us into the room. “Why are you here? I thought you were attached to the earrings?”
attached to the earrings, but now I’m attached to you.” She winked.
I frowned. “Why me?”
“Because you can see and talk to me, darling.”
“Duh,” Roger said.
“Why would I go with the earrings when I can actually communicate with you?”
“Why were you attached to the earrings in the first place?” I asked.
She waved her hand. “That’s a long story I don’t want to talk about right now.”
“What did she say?” Mindy asked.
“She doesn’t want to talk about it,” I said.
Mindy rubbed her temples. “That figures. What about the other ghost?”
I gestured at Roger. “He came from the house I was just investigating. I told him to stay in the car, but he didn’t listen. He’s a teenager and you know how they can be.”
He rolled his eyes. “Hey, don’t think you know everything just because you are older than me.”
“You aren’t going to leave them here are you?” Mindy asked.
“No, of course not.” I tried to sound reassuring.
Roger pointed to Marilyn. “I’m not going if she’s not going.”
“I’m going with her,” Marilyn said, motioning to me.
Well, I guess that solves that problem.
“They’ll both be coming with me,” I said.
“Whew. Thank goodness. I don’t want ghosts in my house. No offense,” Mindy said, gazing around the room.
“None taken,” Marilyn said.
I released a deep breath. Now, I had to figure out what I would do with them. I guess the first thing was to get them out of Mindy’s house.
I pushed to my feet. “I should get to the shop now.” I motioned at the ghosts. “Are you both ready to come with me?”
Marilyn sashayed toward the front door. Roger jumped up and hurried across the room.
“Leave her alone,” I barked out at him. “He likes Marilyn.”
Mindy snorted. “What man wouldn’t?”
I laughed. “True.”
Wait until my boyfriend, Callahan Weiss, found out Marilyn was with me. He’d be jealous he couldn’t see ghosts, too.
Mindy followed me across the room. “Thanks for stopping by, now get the ghosts out of here.”
I stepped outside. “Come on, Marilyn and Roger, Mindy doesn’t want you here.”
She laughed. “You’re right, I don’t.”
“Call me later.” I waved.
Roger motioned toward the car for Marilyn to go first. Sure, he was polite to her. If he could have opened the door for her, he would have. We piled into my car and I backed out of the driveway. I never thought I’d be riding around town with Marilyn Monroe sitting next to me. Since I had so many ghosts popping in and out of my life, I’d had to prepare a sort of “orientation talk” for the spirits. Setting boundaries and letting them know what they could and couldn’t do was essential for my sanity.
“Where are we going? Marilyn asked.
“I have a bookstore in town. I work there during the day.”
“I love books.” She watched out the window, not noticing me as she talked. “I had almost four hundred books.”
“Me too.” Roger leaned forward in the seat.
“Are you just saying that because Marilyn did?” I asked as I made a left turn.
“No, of course not. I didn’t have four hundred books, but I love books,” he said defensively.
Silence filled the car. Marilyn was quiet, so I assumed she didn’t want to talk. I had a bunch of questions for her, but I didn’t know where to start. Of course, there was the whole question as to whether her death had been an accident or suicide, but I wasn’t about to ask that. It was none of my business. However she died, it had been a tragedy. If she wanted to share the information I would be all ears. Since she didn’t want to tell me why she was attached to the earrings that left me at a loss for words.
I pulled up in front of my shop. “Well, here we are.”