Challenge #01181-C086: An Alternate Re-union

I don't even know where I was going with this but have a comic -- Gallifreya

"This is a very bad idea," said Arthur.

"I heard you the first time you said it," said Vivi. She was rummaging around in the back of the van. "This is our job. We find restless spirits and we help them leave the mortal realm."

"This one isn't just restless, Vivi. He's homicidally enraged!"

Vivi wasn't listening. All that was visible of her were her legs and shapely bottom as she rummaged through the chest. "Nope... Necrotellecomnicon, no... Vulgare Urbana Umbras, nooo... HA! Evictionis Ad Notitiam Mortuis[1]. Now where the heck did I leave that darned bell?"

Arthur sighed in resignation and pulled an object out of the glove box. It was a lighter that was shaped like a cross, and attached to it, via a bead chain, was the kind of bell used to irritate kittens. He shook it.


Vivi surfaced with what she thought of as the Essential Kit. This included an assortment of religious paraphernalia from all over the world and the Salt Circle Launcher, because salt shakers were never fast enough in emergencies. And, as it turned out, the circle needed to be around the ghost and not the one wanting protection.

Finding that one out had been a fun experience, Arthur remembered. For extremely eccentric definitions of "fun".

Vivi snatched the bell-candle combo and left the van through the rear doors. "Right! Let's get this party started!"

"I'd rather party in the next continent," Arthur murmured. He knew he wouldn't be heard, because right now, Vivi was using the sights to calculate vectors.

{BOOM} a missile arced across to a space somewhere above the advancing skeleton. Where it, too, exploded with a softer {paf!}. Sanctified salt rained down in a perfect circle around the skeleton spectre.

Vivi was using the lighter to illuminate the dusty tome pages as she flicked through the erratic notations of both a true spiritual genius and lover of funny mushroom experiences. There was no index, but Arthur was working on an app for that.

"Self-illuminated... no... Um. Not a shambling corpse... Spectral skeleton spectre... where the hell is spectral skeleton spectre?" Flip flip flip flip, tingleingleingleingle.

A finely-made boot stamped solidly onto the salt with a faint hiss. The ghost growled, "AaaarrrrrthuuuuuuuUUUUUURRR..."

"Viviiiii..." Arthur whined. He tried to pull her away.

Vivi was deep in Analysis mode and it would take a tow truck to shift her. "Incredible! The salt didn't even phase him."

He was getting closer. Arthur knew he didn't have the strength to physically lift Vivi, but that didn't stop him trying. "Vivi, we gotta go now!"

Now his hands were on fire.


"I know! Hold your horses!" she dug through the small pile of religious debris. "A-ha! Holy water should do the trick..."

"We are literally about to die!"

Vivi lunged, spraying the phantom with water. All it did was put his hair out. An event that made him pause and glare at the two of them.

Then his hair re-ignited and he looked not only angry, but also offended that they'd even try.

"Well, that didn't work," muttered Vivi.

"No Really? You THINK?" raged Arthur. "What ever tipped you off?"

Vivi's next weapon was an exorcism slip from asia. Scribed either by a lama in a monastery or a monk in a lamasery. What mattered was that it could be relied upon.

What this one did was suck the fire hair off the angry skull.

Which only pissed him off more. "Will you stop doing that?" he roared.

"Fascinating," murmured Vivi. "Is the hair a separate ghost entirely?"

"Now is not the TIME," Arthur seized the book and flipped to the last page, which should have been the first, but the author only jotted things down as he thought of them. And thinking was difficult in the valley of the mushrooms. Arthur read the incantation to hold any earthly spirit from doing harm. He read very quickly because the spirit in question was mere yards away from adding to the choir invisible.

The ghost grunted as his corporeal visitation froze solid. "Grk," he said. "Goddamn it..." there was a string of curses and then, "Fucking Partecelsus!"

"I keep telling you," breathed Arthur, "It's the only incantation we need."

"Wait," said Vivi. "How do you know about the author of this book?"

"Because we used it every other week," raged the ghost. "And then we had to calm the ghost down afterwards. DAMNIT ARTHUR, WHAT THE HELL?"

Which was what he had screamed when they had the extra work of calming down a pissed-off ghost, every other week, when he was still alive.

"...lewis?" squeaked Vivi.

[1] All Latin here is care of Google Translate. Except for Necrotellecomnicon, which is stolen from the late, great, Sir Terry Pratchett.

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