Pleas of the Poltergeist

Molly Fitz
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Аннотация: My name is Mags McAllister, and I really need to stop being surprised when new ghosts show up at my door. Thanks to my special spectral feline Shadow, I have a largely unwanted link to the spirit realm--and word is starting to spread that I'm a good person to haunt for those who wish to button up their unfinished business. This time, my new ghost has a voice of her own, and she is definitely not afraid to use it--to make demands, complain, and even to criticize my choice of clothing. Frankly, I'm eager to help her just, so that I can be rid of this 1950s era loudmouth. Once she's taken care of, maybe I can finally start getting my own life in order... and finally choose between the two men who each hold a piece of my fractured heart.

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Pleas of the Poltergeist

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PLEAS OF THE POLTERGEIST THE MEOWING MEDIUM

MOLLY FITZ L.A. BORUFF

© 2022, Molly Fitz & L.A. Boruff.

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Editor: Jasmine Jordan

Cover & Graphics Designer: Mallory Rock, Rock Solid Book Design

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

No part of this work may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher.

CONTENTS

About this Book

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Epilogue

More Molly

More L.A.

More Books Like This

ABOUT THIS BOOK

My name is Mags McAllister, and I really need to stop being surprised when new ghosts show up at my door.

Thanks to my special spectral feline Shadow, I have a largely unwanted link to the spirit realm—and word is starting to spread that I’m a good person to haunt for those who wish to button up their unfinished business.

This time, my new ghost has a voice of her own, and she is definitely not afraid to use it—to make demands, complain, and even to criticize my choice of clothing. Frankly, I’m eager to help her just, so that I can be rid of this 1950s era loudmouth.

Once she’s taken care of, maybe I can finally start getting my own life in order… and finally choose between the two men who each hold a piece of my fractured heart.

1

“Good morning.”

My eyes popped open, searching the room, hoping I hadn’t been woken by a break-in or an arsonist. Instead, I found a ghost lurking at the foot of my bed.

“Not again,” I groaned. Of course. Why would I think I could get through Grand Re-Opening without a ghost? My life could stand to be less eventful already, but I didn’t figure it likely. Why didn’t the departed show up on TikTok videos? Meeting the dead would drive all kinds of traffic to my profile… and maybe even net me more sleep.

“Are you awake?” asked the specter as she peered over me.

She had perfectly coiffed hair and was attired in a fifties style polka dot dress, complete with the apron over the top, that made me think of a housewife from the fifties. Almost like the ghost of the fictional Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days had come to visit.

Her accent, from the little I heard, was unmistakably pure Yonkers, New York.

Shadow reacted oddly, arching her back and hissing, instead of her normal friendly behavior since she showed up with my previously murdered namesake. Shadow and ghosts went together, but this time… Well, this time, it’s like Shadow wanted nothing to do with this new ghost and her perkiness.

“Who are you?” I sat up, focused on her.

“I’m Janice. Who are you?”

Confused, I gave the translucent woman a funny look. After all, she was the one who woke me up. I hadn’t summoned her, so why would she have summoned a stranger?

“Well, I’m Maggie or Mags McAllister,” I explained as I got up and went to the kitchen to start making coffee. It would be better to kill two birds with one stone because I had places to be later, and it wouldn’t do to be late, not today.

Coffee was probably the only thing that would help me process talking with another ghost this early in the morning. Laura’s coffee shop, Jitterbug, was going to be my first stop, the minute I got out of here. By the time I got there, my cup would be drained. Janice glanced at me with a dubious look on her face.

I gestured toward myself as I made my way to the homemade caffeine. “I’m the last in a long line of McAllisters, and I work at our family’s shop—Colonial Candles. It’s owned by my Aunt Linda. She raised me after the death of my parents in a car accident many years ago.”

Janice’s brow furrowed as she listened, observing with great interest how I made coffee at home. It probably looked way different than it had in 1950s-whenever she’d come from.

I pressed the brew button and turned back to her. “Our shop was recently badly burned by someone who we thought was a trusted employee and friend, Kim but she only wanted to get close to us to hurt us.” I sighed at the thought.

Janice hadn’t said anything.

So, I turned to the fridge, took out some eggs and an English muffin, and busied myself with making breakfast. Before the glum reminder of Kim’s betrayal could sour my mood, I reminded myself that today was the Grand Re-Opening.

We’d spent the entire week working and trying to make the shop look perfect for this special day. There had been tons of arranging and rearranging to get things situated just right. Staging displays sounded easy, but to get the right look, it had to be re-done several times to get the right effect to attract customers, welcome them into the shop, and encourage them to make a purchase. It was an exacting art, like a money-based feng shui.

New scents had been added to our original stock and then there were the pre-orders that continued to come in because of my TikTok videos.

It was one of the most time-consuming yet rewarding jobs I could have ever imagined. A cardinal darted by the window, a red slash against the bright blue sky.

“Do you know why you’re here?” I shook myself out of my wandering thoughts and focused back on Janice, who still watched me as I fixed breakfast. “Anything at all?”

“Are you one of those gross medium psychic people?” She huffed at me. “I have people to haunt and other things to do. It’s not like I’m trying to cross over or something. No, thank you, not when I look this great in my body.” Her high-pitched nasally laugh echoed through the room.

I blinked. “Um, I don’t think I’m a medium. Though there have been a lot of ghosts around here lately.” I shrugged, unsure if that answered her question.

Shadow wandered into the room with a purr and rubbed herself against my legs. There was no trace of the earlier unusual reaction towards Janice’s ghost. I bent and scratched the soft fur on her back, her curious bicolor eyes staring up at me intently.

“Look, I have to get ready for today. It’s a big day for me and my aunt. There’s a lot going on, but you’re welcome to hang out and maybe I can help you later?” I offered, trying to be gracious at her intrusion into my hectic day.

Janice crossed her arms and made a face.

“Sound good?” I pressed.

“I have family members to haunt. I’ll see you around.” Janice disappeared without so much as a by your leave.

Completely unaffected by both her sudden appearance and disappearance, I went to my room to get dressed. Misplaced in time ghosts were kind of my thing, at least since Shadow started hanging around.

A quick video needed to be posted on TikTok about life as a candle shop owner. It was all ready to go and exactly what I needed to help keep the algorithms up. I showed my grand opening outfit, as well as promised a grand opening video later in the day.

Ready to face the busy day ahead, I climbed into my car and headed toward the shop to get all the shipments ready to be dropped off at the post office before the grand reopening.

Loading and unloading five hundred packages took a few minutes and left me slightly out of breath. If I was going to make it through the day, I would definitely need more caffeine.

Since The Jitterbug and Laura were on the top of my list of places to visit before we opened, I hopped in my car and scooted to Jitterbug. A bell jingled as I entered the cozy coffee shop and she glanced up with a smile. The aroma inside made my nose tingle and mouth water.

“Give me just a sec, Mags. I’ll make your cup of coffee to go and grab the urn for making more at the opening,” Laura yelled over her shoulder before she disappeared into the back room.

I just chuckled as she bounced out of the room. The place had a handful of customers inside, sipping on coffees and reading on their phones. The young woman in the corner watched something with a laugh track. One of our Colonial Candles sat on the counter with one of our new business cards leaned against it. There was also a flyer with our Grand Opening information on it.

I waited patiently for Laura to return.

As it was, Laura rarely stopped moving, and her constant need to keep going was something of a joke among all of the shop owners.

“Here you go, hun.” She came back into the room with a large urn. “Can you get the doors for me?”

After the coffee urn was safely buckled into the passenger seat to keep from tilting over, I followed her back inside to get my cup of coffee and one for Aunt Linda.

“All you have to do is plug it in. I’ve already put the coffee in, so you’ll just need to add water.” Laura held out a container. “This has enough fresh grounds in it for another batch. We don’t want you running out during the big opening.”

“Thank you for being such a tremendous help with this. If we’d had to do all of this on our own, I don’t think we’d have been able to open in time,” I raved. “Don’t forget to run by later for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.”

“I’ll be there,” she promised.

A glance at my watch had me hurrying again.

“Shoot, I’ve only got thirty minutes until we have to have it all ready and open the doors,” I muttered aloud as I hurried next door to Otto’s Deli. Grand Re-Opening waits for no one.

That was one of the great things about our small town. Everything was bunched up together, and we all helped each other out when needed.

“Hey, there Mags. All ready for the big day?” Otto called in greeting as I came through the door of his sandwich shop. He didn’t usually cater, but he made great party food.

“Almost. I just need to pick up the meat trays from you.” More and more excitement built up in me as it slowly dawned on me that we were about to be back in business. An arsonist, a trial, and a bunch of ghostly visitors couldn’t keep Colonial Candles down, and it sent a special kind of hum through me.

I grinned at Otto behind the counter. “I hadn’t realized just how much I missed having customers come into the shop, but it will be a nice change of pace.”

“Good luck,” he said, tossing a small piece of meat to his new shop dog on the other side of the counter.

My smile widened. “You got a pooch?”

He shrugged. “Adopted him from the Chihuahua rescue. You aren’t the only one interested in a change of pace.”

“Can’t wait to meet poochie.”

“We’ll make sure to come by when we go for his walk this afternoon.”

“Great. I’m sure you can pick up these trays by then. They’ll be empty because everyone loves everything from your deli.” It was one of my favorite places to grab a bite to eat when I didn’t feel like cooking, and Otto made it easy to be his customer.

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.” He waved with a smile as another customer came into the room. “Good luck!”

I took a breath, tamping down the thrill swirling in my belly. It was time to head back and finish setting things up.

Colonial Candles Grand Re-Opening was bound to be a smashing success, both on TikTok and off.

2

Carrying our two coffees from our car toward the front door, I stopped. The shop had come a long way after we’d nearly lost it in the fire.

On the outside, Colonial Candles appeared ready to open, but if anyone had looked inside and seen Aunt Linda racing around frantically, they’d have known the truth.

I peered in through the window and observed for a minute as she ran from one side of the room, moving three items before racing over to straighten a sign and turning to the register to be sure we had enough cash on hand. Aunt Linda was fit to be tied.

She caught sight of me, raced to the front door, and pushed it open. “Get in here, girl.”

“Here.” I handed her one of the coffees I’d gotten. “Take a deep breath. It’s decaf, but it will help a little.”

We carried in the meat trays, followed by the coffee urn. Then we both double-checked all of the packaging and bags, but there really wasn’t much else we could do before we opened for business.

I checked my watch again. Only a few minutes to spare.

Shadow jumped on the counter in front of Aunt Linda and we both let out a startled laugh.

“Guess this is it.” She glanced out the window to see a line forming on the sidewalk. “It’s going to be something for sure.” She turned and fluttered her fingers at me. “Are you going to TikTok it?”

“Of course.” I winked. “Now, do you want a distraction?” I glanced at her as I finished setting up the coffee urn to begin making over 100 cups of coffee for our guests.

“Absolutely.” She took a deep breath and then a sip of coffee. “Fire away.”

We chuckled at the pun, but we were thankful that there wasn’t even a trace of the fire left behind after the cleanup. Even the faint odor of smoke had finally dissipated.

She took another sip, and her hand trembled.

I jumped into my story before Aunt Linda could be overwhelmed by jitters. “This morning, I had a surprise guest in my bedroom. Her name was… or is Janice. She doesn’t want to move on, but she was at a loss as to why she was at my house.”

“That’s really strange. We just got over having Maggie pop up whenever and now this one. Do you think it’s going to be a regular occurrence?” Aunt Linda asked as she drank the last bit of her coffee.

“I have no idea. She asked if I was a medium. Her term was ‘one of those gross medium people,’ I believe.” I shrugged and put the meat trays in place. “When she said her name, I had no clue who she was. She just wanted to go back to haunting her family.”

Aunt Linda’s phone chimed. “It’s time.”

I grabbed her hand, squeezed, and we walked to the door together.

People started cheering as we opened the door, and I couldn’t stop the grin as it took over my whole face. We’d done it, we were here, and we’d made it! Plus, our friends had all shown up for the momentous occasion.

The night before, I’d set up a few cameras around the shop to get some shots of the grand opening, and then I would use my phone on the tripod to go live with all of the opening day action. It would give me enough footage to make videos for the next couple of weeks. It’d be TikTok gold.

The mayor of Larkhaven, Bob Sherman, moved to the small cordoned-off area that had been set up for speeches at the event. He cleared his throat and my aunt took her place beside him in front of the crowd.

My phone was ready to go live, but Kira, the librarian, took it from me.

“Here, I’ll start it for you because you need to be there in the front with your aunt. This day is about both of you. Shoo, now!” She pried it from my hands and pushed me toward the front of the crowd.

I frowned back at her. “Do you know how?”

“Yes. Now go on,” she repeated.

With a sheepish look on my face, I slunk toward the front of the crowd and settled beside Aunt Linda. The collected crowd beamed at us both.

“These two women have been pillars in our quaint town for many years. We’ve had the opportunity to watch them grow up and make their family business something to be proud of,” Mayor Sherman proclaimed.

“Their tenacity and willingness to fight against people bent on revenge is a testament to how hard they have worked. When an employee decided they would sabotage this family-owned business by setting a fire, they bounced back. After that type of betrayal by someone they trusted, most businesses would have claimed a fire of that magnitude was too hard to recover from. Not these ladies, though; they took the blow and remodeled until it looks completely new. There isn’t a trace of the fire left behind today, but hopefully you’ll find a wonderful scent to take home with you.” He turned to smile at us. “Congratulations on the Grand Re-Opening of Colonial Candles. Let the shopping begin.” He leaned forward with a huge pair of scissors and cut the ribbon that had been placed across the door.

The crowd erupted in cheers and hurrahs with whoops, squeals, and clapping throughout. At the back, Kira, the librarian, still videoed. Aunt Linda shook Mayor Sherman’s hand, and I did the same before cutting through the crowd and hurrying inside.

Kira stopped the live video as she came inside and slid the phone to me. “Had some comments. Might check those later.”

“Thank you,” I mouthed as customers hurried inside and things got hectic.

Most people came in to look at the new layout and scents, but nearly all left with a bag full of goodies. Many of the younger customers mentioned seeing my wax pours on TikTok and asked about in-person classes. I handed out more business cards than I’d anticipated.

All day I continued to meet people that had seen one of my videos and loved them. Many had come from out of town just to support us and check out the shop on opening day.

Don, one of the cops who had investigated the fire, came in just after noon with a big bouquet of flowers for me. He had a big smile on his face.

When I caught sight of his broad shoulders, my heart jumped a beat, but I was disappointed that it wasn’t Wes. How long had it been since I’d seen Wes?

Was I doing the wrong thing by not discouraging Don from trying to date me when I couldn’t get Wes out of my mind? I’d been so busy working to get to reopening, I hadn’t spent much time thinking about dissuading Don.

“Would you like to have lunch?” he asked. “Have to take a break sometime. Maybe today?”

I glanced around and noticed that the first rush of customers from the line had diminished quite a bit. “I can if it’s quick.”

“That’s what I was hoping for. I knew you wouldn’t be able to get away easily, so I brought it with me.” He beamed and held out some subs from Otto’s.

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