I tried to push past the overwhelming aura of death surrounding Amanda, but it wasn’t easy. All I could do is remind myself that without knowing the how, the when, or the where, I was powerless to prevent the harm that would befall her. I suppose I could try to warn her, but she’d just think I’m crazy. When there are people out there who can lift cars, fly, or shoot laser beams out of their eyes, powers like mine aren’t taken very seriously. So, it’s best just to move along like nothing is happening.
Ugh. One hint of potential tragedy and I start sounding like Shakespeare. Seriously, who says ‘befall’ anymore?
I waited until she left the building before I did anything. Without needing to look, I knew as soon as she stepped outside. It felt like a weight had been lifted from my chest. Before I could get back into my feelings regarding the aura of death she emanated, I remembered that she told me her father’s name was Robert. “Robert,” I called out, soon realizing my mistake. Dozens of men showed up. ”Robert McKenzie,” I clarified.
Soon only a middle-aged man in business attire stood before me. If this was Amanda’s father, she luckily got her looks from her mother. Although, as someone who looks like a walking corpse, I don’t really have the right to judge anyone on their appearance.
“You’re Robert McKenzie,” I asked. “The man who owned this restaurant?”
“Is the girl right outside your daughter?”
Robert disappeared to take a look. I always asked the ghosts to verify that the people I’m working for are actually relatives. It wouldn’t be good for me to take people’s words for it. If spirits started thinking that I helped swindlers get their hands on things they wanted to go to their families, they wouldn’t talk to me anymore.
“Yeah,” he confirmed when he came back. “That’s my Amanda.”
“Ok, good. She’s asked me to help her find some things of yours.”
“She said you never kept anything on the computer, so she wants me to find all of the documents about the restaurant. Recipes and suppliers, she said.”
“She wants to take over my business? No! I won’t allow it!”
“She seems like a smart girl. I’m sure she’ll be able to handle…”
“No! She’s never going to get it!”
Once again, Robert disappeared, but I wasn’t expecting him to come back this time. Of course, I wasn’t expecting the reaction he gave me either. This was a pretty tame request compared to some of the things I get asked to find. I was tempted to talk to her about it out of curiosity, but it would probably be better to just walk away from this one.
I made a show of searching the office for the remainder of the time I asked her to give me. When she came back inside, I met her out in the dining area. “As I said over the phone,” I began explaining, “I won’t take your case unless I am 100% sure that I’ll be able to help you. Unfortunately, I don’t think that I can help you.”
“Then why did you come down here,” she angrily accused. “To waste my time?”
“No. I always visit with potential clients because I am not able to determine if I can help them without meeting them first. I’m sorry that I can’t help you. I really am. I want to, but I don’t think I’m able to.”
Her expression softened a little. “I’m sure you can find your way out.”
Something told me she wasn’t used to not getting what she wanted. Regardless, that feeling of her imminent death was starting to overwhelm me again, so I gave her a slight nod and turned towards the door. I had only taken two steps towards it when the door flew inward, coming off of its hinges. A second later, a man wearing all black, and carrying a fair number of guns walked in. As he turned towards us, I saw a skull painted on the front of his shirt.
Well, at least I know how she’s going to die now, I thought. The Punisher is after her.