Sophie, Hunter and Ian were standing in the middle of the street, blocking traffic. But so was Dr. Merv Spector, a clinical psychologist, and several abandoned cars. Also, all the ghosts milling about screaming at everything.
“Put the spooky gun down, Dr. Specter,” Sophie said. “Nobody else needs to be turned into a ghost.”
“Call me,” Dr. Spector lurched around to face Sophie, “Doctor Spector.”
“Isn’t that what I said?”
“You spelled it wrong.”
“Is it still homicide if the victim turns directly into a ghost?” Hunter accidentally said aloud.
“Well, I mean, they’re still dead, right?” Sophie replied.
“I imagine it would be prosecuted like one,” Ian added.
“Would there be extra charges for causing a public haunting?” Hunter asked.
“I don’t think the justice system is prepared for this,” Sophie said in a mock lament, shaking her head.
“Hey, what did I miss?” Cheryl called running toward them. “I just got your message. Who’s this asshole?” she said into her coffee.
“Dr. Spector,” said Sophie.
“Doctor Specter,” he shouted.
“That’s what I said.”
“Doctor Specter?” Cheryl looked askance.
“Thank you, ma’am,” Doctor Specter called to Cheryl.
“What’s his thing?”
“He’s got a gun that turns people into ghosts,” Sophie reported.
“So he has a gun?” Cheryl looked at Sophie, nonplussed. “Hunter can do maniac-with-a-gun in his pajamas. He does all the time. I was having a really nice chat. Her name was Maggie.”
“No, like no-shit ghosts,” Hunter said pointing to the withered, translucent wraiths that roamed the strip mall parking lot that.
“Dammit,” Cheryl sighed. “Brand new Starbucks and it’s already haunted.”
Cheryl trotted to one of the ghosts, waving her hands in its face. “Are they dangerous?”