Challenge #01322-C227: Jinkies!

Scoobydoo-esque mystery but with real murder. Murderer goes for Lewis as next victim, gets spectral surprise. "Oh look, I'm dead. Are you happy?" -- Gallifreya

[AN: And proper credit should go to Blazichu who came up with the idea]

They said he haunted an abandoned town, and murdered people who came through it thanks to misdirections from their GPS. They said he was a survivalist that could eat whatever he hunted. And since skulls and human body parts had been washing downriver, something had to be done.

Rumours abounded of sending the army in, but that wasn't very important right now, as the Mystery Skulls van had both got lost and broken down right in the middle of the aforementioned abandoned town.

Their first warning had been howls in the dark and hollow shells that had once been markers of a bustling economy.

The second had been the "decorations" in what had once been a park. This killer made art out of his victims, once he was done stripping their bodies of any useful flesh.

The third had been the arrow that narrowly missed Vivi's head.

The group scattered. Arthur had become so used to his metal arm that he used it as a shield. Mystery, being a secret Kitsune, went into full Trick Mode and just made chaos everywhere. And Vivi... well... you don't survive long in the paranormal investigation industry without learning more than a few tricks.

Lewis ducked around the nearest corner and discorporated. Once invisible, he floated above the chaos to find the killer. There. The bush that was moving. This guy was pretty smart. He had himself a gilly suit that could be mistaken for the local shrubbery. He moved like a hunter.

Lewis came up from behind him as he was studying tracks. Made himself in his usual mortal seeming.

"...(curse cursing anatomical improbability) tourists. Come up in my town. Mess up my ecology. I'll show 'em. I'll show 'em all... Teach 'em good th' (cursing cursers)."

"Hey mister," said Lewis. He wanted to ask why he was doing this, but never got that far. The killer had lightning reflexes and an olympic-grade compound bow.

Lewis looked down at the arrow sticking out of his chest. "Nice try," he said, letting his mortal guise fall away and revealing his flame-skull ghostly self. "But I'm already dead."

He didn't give up, quick. Three more arrows sailed through Lewis' non-corporeal chest.


Nobody in the next town could ever figure out how a group of kids and their dog managed to catch, hog-tie, and tape a confession from the survivalist killer.

All that the man would ever say about it was, "Don't let them get me again!" over and over and over.

"We have special methods," grinned Vivi.

(Muse food remaining: 22. Submit a Prompt! Ask a question! Buy my stories! Or comment below!)