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Every Death You Take

Adventures in Ghostsitting, Book 3

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: No Rating
Word Count: 18,695
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They’ve faced a crazy ghost and a madwoman, gained new friends, and sent foes to their final resting place, but Mel Hargrove and her boyfriend Becker are not sure what to do with this new situation.

Every year Mel takes a reliable (and portable) ghost to do a routine bad-mojo cleaning for a lovely woman who lives in town, and all goes well until she comes out to the car and finds a new, unknown ghost sitting in her back seat. How can she be just roaming around unattached to any object, unlike any ghosts Mel knows? Is she a brand-new ghost? Where did she come from? And why is she singing a theme song from an ’80s television show? Mel and Becker will have to find the answers — and the dead girl’s body — before it’s too late to help this lost maiden-ghost in distress.

Excerpt

Dougal shot through and held up six fingers.

He was fast, he was awesome, and if they could get out of there soon, before Mrs. F tried to dig into any other pockets that Mel wasn’t ready to examine, she might just survive the afternoon.

“But silly me,” Mrs. F went on. “You asked about the family.” She placed a finger sandwich on her own plate, then poured herself a cup of tea from the silver tea service. “It was fine. I don’t think they want to come around anymore, since I seem to be taking too long to die.”

“Oh, Mrs. F, don’t say that.”

“No, dear, don’t worry about it. I’ve known it for years, but I kept hoping I might be wrong. However, some things were said this time that I just can’t ignore. I don’t believe I’ll be inviting them back. I do hope you’ll still come to visit me, though. The only time I see you in my house is right after they leave. Your attempt to make me feel better after they go is much appreciated, but I hope your visits won’t stop just because the relatives don’t come around anymore.”

“No, of course not. I love to spend time with you.” And surprisingly enough, that was true. Plus, Mel might ask her some questions about this whole thing with Becker. Not today, of course, because she wasn’t ready. Another time, though, and at least she knew she had someone alive in town who cared.

Dougal swooped through and flashed a thirteen at her—ten, then three. That was more than normal. And he was moving fast. Soon she’d be leaving. No matter how she’d felt earlier, now she wasn’t sure she wanted to.

“Your dog is handsome,” Mrs. F said between bites. “I heard he came to you through that lovely Becker.”

Mel launched into the revised version of the story, since she couldn’t tell her about the evil woman turning to dust and the crossing that they’d had to do once she was dead. But she’d become adept at telling only the fringes of stories, and that was just fine with her.

Dougal flashed through again and made a zero with his hands. So they were done, quicker than they ever had been before. He was good, really good. So good that she didn’t feel any negative energy left in the place at all. Nice. She’d known bringing him was the right thing. Originally, it had been just to see how he would do on his own on a relatively easy cleaning. Now, she was extremely pleased that he’d passed with flying colors.

Time to make her excuses and her exit.

“Mrs. F, I’d better get back. It’s time for doggie treats for Mumford, and he usually takes a nap in the afternoon.”

Mrs. F smiled, and it crinkled her blue eyes. “What a cutie he is and, really, so well-behaved. Aren’t you, sweetie?” She bent over to give him a scratch behind his ears. “I admit I was nervous when you first arrived, but now, I must say, I feel so much better. Perhaps I should think about getting myself a dog. They certainly do brighten a place up.”

Or destroy a home, if she didn’t get a good one. Mel couldn’t imagine all this refinished furniture surviving a brute of a dog, but she’d leave that to Mrs. F. And maybe the local vet, who had a heart of gold. “Let Becker know if you’re looking. He could help you out.”

“I’ll certainly keep that in mind. And you remember that if you need anything, I’m right here. I won’t have many people coming around anymore, so I’d welcome the company.”

Mel waved on her way out, then was pleased to see Dougal already in the car. What she wasn’t pleased about was seeing someone—or something—in the back seat with him.