“Don’t forget, we’re meeting at 4pm today. You remember what you said, right?” asks Aubrey as she and Boone walk out of the apartment.
Boone is a little annoyed. This isn’t the first or second time Aubrey has reminded him since he agreed to a trip to the amusement park the night before. “I remember.”
“Don’t be late!”
“I won’t be late,” he tells her and walks off, leaving her all smiles.
At 4pm, after spending the day trying to decide how she’ll wear her hair, Aubrey is standing outside the gate to the amusement park. She’s practically giddy as she waits.
Boone is leaving college for the day when someone shouts his name, “Boone!” He stops walking as Cameron walks over to meet him.
“Did you just finish your exam?” she asks.
Boone nods his head, “I did. And didn’t you have one today too?”
Cameron nods her head, “Liberal arts. You look like you’re in a hurry.”
“I’m off to meet someone,” he explains. “I don’t want to be late, so if you’ll excuse me.”
She smiles at him, nodding her head, “Of course. Have fun.”
Boone starts to walk off when a bicyclist drives behind him, and as he goes around the corner, he crashes right into Cameron, who screams as she falls to the ground. Boone spins around and rushes over to her side. She’s got a nice scrape on her elbow but mostly appears to be shaken up.
“Are you okay?” Boone asks as he kneels at her side.
Meanwhile, Aubrey continues to wait at the gate of the amusement park. She glances over at the clock and sees that it’s about fifteen after four. Her giddy has faded a little, but she stands there waiting stoically, certain that Boone would never break a promise to her.
“Maybe his exam ran a little later,” she tries to justify his tardiness. She glances both ways down the street and perks up when she sees him coming her way, but then as the guy glances up, she sees that it only looked like Boone.
Boone rides next to Cameron in an Uber. She holds her arm close to her, and bruising is starting to develop around the elbow. Cameron is whimpering a little, trying not to cry, but Boone can tell she’s in a lot of pain. He hopes she didn’t break anything as he leans forward, “Can you drive a little faster?” he asks.
Aubrey continues to wait, though it’s apparent she’s come to the realization that he’s not going to show. But just in case, she remains there with just a sliver of hope that it’s just something keeping him.
At the emergency room, Boone is waiting in the hallway. He knows he’s late. He also knows that he has no way to reach Aubrey. It’s not like a ghost carries around a cell phone. He glances at his watch impatiently.
She’ll understand, he rationalizes to himself.
Darkness has fallen, yet Aubrey continues to wait. Completely heartbroken, she stands there and watches as people start to leave the park. Even if he showed up now, how long would the park remain open anyway?
“Now we have a problem,” Ilias says as she slowly turns to look at Marja, whose eyes widen when she realizes it.
“You can see me?”
Ilias begins to stalk Marja, walking towards her, and with each step, Marja steps backward. “What should I do with a meddling ghost like you?” Ilias asks then suddenly, reaches out to grab Marja by the throat.
Just like she did with Kimberly, Ilias begins to squeeze Marja’s throat. The sounds of crunching are heard as Marja gasps for air. “Tell me what you saw in here,” Ilias demands of the ghost.
“Aubrey. I saw Aubrey’s ID card,” Marja manages to gasp out.
“Pity. I saw the two of you together at the bus stop,” Ilias says to Marja. “I’m afraid you’ll have to go. I can’t have a dimwitted ghost like you interfering with my plans.” Suddenly, Ilias fades into Saili the demon, black smoke swirling all around her. With another squeeze of Marja’s throat, Saili snaps the ghost’s neck, and Marja begins to disintegrate into smoke and fire.
As Marja disappears into the unknown, the smoke fades away, and Ilias returns, sighing deeply with a grin across her face. She turns and reaches into the desk drawer, pulls out Aubrey’s college ID card, and stares at it.
“It’s all coming together,” she says under her breath.
“Cameron, are you all right?” Boone asks as he sees her coming from the exam room, arm in a sling.
She nods her head, “It’s nothing serious. I need to keep it in this sling for a month, they told me. Thanks for bringing me here,” she tells him.
Boone nods his head, “No need to thank me. It was the right thing to do,” he explains, but glances at his watch again, “I just wanted to make sure you were alright, but I really need to go.”
Cameron nods her head, “Sure. I hope you didn’t miss your appointment because of me.”
Boone knows she has but isn’t going to say that to her, “I’ll see you at school.” With that, he hurries out of the hospital.
As the worker comes to lock the gate to the amusement park, Aubrey realizes that he’s not coming. She slowly starts to walk away from the park. No sooner has she disappeared, Boone runs up as fast as he can. He looks around and even calls out for her.
He turns to the worker who just locked the gate, “I think my friend is inside,” he explains, but the worker shakes his head.
“The last customers just walked out. The park is empty now.”
“Maybe you’ve seen her? She’s about…” he starts to describe her but then realizes that he’s the only one who can see her. He shakes his head, “Thank you. I’ll go see if I can find her somewhere else.”
He turns and runs off. Sometime later, he’s running up the sidewalk to his apartment complex. As he hurries into his apartment, it’s still dark inside. He turns on the hallway light, “Aubrey? Are you here?” he calls out.
He turns on the lights in the dining room and then checks the bathroom and his bedroom.
“Where is she?” he asks himself and then hurries out of the apartment.
A few moments later, he runs onto the roof, where he finds Aubrey looking out at the city, arms crossed in front of her.
“Aubrey!” he says, and she turns around to look at him. He walks over to her, “I looked all over for you,” he explains, but she doesn’t answer him. She’s obviously pissed. “I’m sorry I didn’t make it to the park.”
His words seem sincere to her, “What happened?” she finally asks.
Boone knows if he tells her he helped Cameron to the hospital, she’ll be even madder. “Something came up at school,” he tells her instead. “I promise we will go to the amusement park. I am really sorry. I came as fast as I could, but it was too late.”
Aubrey shrugs her shoulders, “It’s fine.” Which is code for ‘it’s not really fine.’
“Did you wait long?” he asks, feeling guilty.
“Fuck, no,” she tells him, also lying. “As soon as you didn’t show up on time, I left. I wasn’t going to wait around all night for you.”
Boone breathes out a sigh of relief, “I was worried you waited all night for me.”
Aubrey scoffs, “As if I would wait all night for you.” She turns and walks towards the stairs, and Boone watches her leave.
Tetzuka is at a police station, leaning against the counter. “Have you seen this person before?” he asks the officer behind the desk. “Bradley Banks. Lives over in the old neighborhood area. He’s been missing for several days now.”
The officer is looking at the picture on the phone. She shakes her head, “We don’t get too many incidents here. It’s a quiet little town away from everything, to be honest. Wild raccoon is about as exciting as it gets around here. This guy? I don’t think I’ve seen him around, though. Which means he probably just keeps to himself.” She hands the phone back to Tetzuka.
“I’d like to file a missing persons. More than 48 hours, right? His neighbor says that he ran into the mountains. I went up there and found a rock covered in what could be blood! I feel like something bad has happened to him.”
“Sir, we don’t have the manpower for a search party. It’s just the sheriff and me working out of this department and the sheriff is out on a fishing trip.” The officer can tell that Tetzuka isn’t going to let this go, “But, if it makes you feel better, please fill out this missing person report, and as soon as the sheriff gets back, he’ll look into the matter.”
She slides some paperwork across the desk.
“I found blood on the mountain, and you want me to fill out a goddamned report? Are you kidding me?” Tetzuka is getting rather excited about not getting anywhere with this deputy.
“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to lower your voice, and if you’d like us to help you, fill out the report.”
Tetzuka just stares at the unhelpful law enforcement officer. Finally, he picks up the pen and asks, “How do you fill this out?”
Ilias is sitting at her desk at the clinic with that desk drawer open. She looks down at Aubrey’s college ID and Boone’s father’s phone. She remembers that night, after years of searching for him. That bastard thought he could just hide from her.
Bradley Banks lies on the mountain, his head on a rock. His blood painted over it underneath his head. He coughs as he lies there, unable to move from that spot.
Ilias is standing over him. She seems more annoyed by all of this than anything as she kneels at his side and asks, “Where is it?”
Bradley doesn’t even look at him as he stares straight up, not saying a word.
“Where is the fucking package?” Ilias asks again.
Again, Bradley refuses to speak, so Ilias grabs him around the throat, “Tell me,” she demands.
Finally, Bradley tells her, “I’m not telling you shit.”
Ilias begins to squeeze on his throat, the bones beginning to crunch. “That girl died because of you. Did you know that? Because you wouldn’t tell me what I wanted to know, she died. If you don’t, your son will die next.”
Bradley’s eyes widen at that threat, and he struggles, though it does him no good.
“I’ll give you one last chance to tell me what I want to know. Where is the fucking package?” she yells at him as black smoke begins to swirl around her. She changes into Saili the demon, and with an almost euphoric expression on her face, she squeezes hard and snaps his neck.
He dies instantly.
With the kill, Saili is gone, and Ilias is back.
The look that crosses her face is more of annoyance. She had hoped getting the information would be easy, but now it’s going to take a little longer.
As Ilias is brought back to the present, she closes the drawer. She must find that package.
Boone walks out of his bedroom the next morning, ready for school. Aubrey is still stewing on the couch, still angry about the night before.
When Boone looks at her, she snaps her head to intentionally not look at him.
“Are you coming?” he asks.
Feigning ignorance, Aubrey responds, “Where?”
Aubrey shakes her head, “No. I’m not going. I’m staying home today.”
Boone does feel bad, “That’s surprising. You usually follow me everywhere,” he says.
Aubrey glares at him, “Well, not anymore. I don’t need to follow you everywhere.”
Boone nods his head, “Okay. I’m heading out then.” He turns and walks out of the apartment.
Aubrey yells after him, “I said I’m staying home. All by myself!” All that greets her afterward is silence. Silence makes her uncomfortable. She throws down the couch pillow and stands up, “Goddammit! I’m not good at this ‘playing hard to get’ shit,” she mutters and takes a few steps before poofing.
Boone is obviously looking to see if Aubrey follows him as he rounds the corner to the bus stop. He takes a seat and mutters to himself. “It’s not like I’ve asked her to follow me around. She’s the one who’s always tagging along. Ungrateful.” He takes in a deep breath, “You know what?” he says aloud. “It’s kind of nice not having her around.”
Little does he know that she’s sitting right next to him at the bus stop and heard every word. He finds out fairly quickly as he turns his head and nearly jumps off the bench, “Holy shit! You scared me!”
Aubrey just glares at him.
“How long have you been sitting there?” he asks nervously.
Aubrey answers very quickly, “I just got here. Why are you talking to yourself?”
Boone shrugs, “No reason. Why are you following me? I thought you were staying home?”
“I’m not following you. Perhaps I just want to go. Did you ever think about that?” she asks him.
Boone nods his head, “Sure. Run with that.” Sincerely, Boone is happy to have her tagging along, and Aubrey is happy to tag along.
Jersey is looking at the photo. The one he thinks has his angel in it. He’s got a big goofy grin on his face as he stares at it, unaware that Bennie has been watching him. She silently rises to her feet and walks up behind him, and snatches the photo from him. “Why are you grinning like that? Just who are you looking at?”
She takes a seat and holds out the photo. “It’s just a picture of the retreat, so which person in this photo is making you smile so sickening sweet like that?” Jersey tries to snatch it back, but she holds it out of his reach. “Tell me it’s not Cameron. You know she already has a crush, and besides, Boone will kill you if he finds out. I don’t need you becoming a crush over a love that will never be.”
“What in the fuck are you talking about?” asks Jersey. “Why are you dumb? I would never have feelings for Cameron. She’s not even remotely attractive to me.”
Bennie eyes him for a moment and takes another look at the picture, “Then who? Is it me?”
“Oh my god, just stop.”
“Is it Boone?”
Jersey would never hit a girl, but he’s getting there. “You’re so stupid.”
“Is it Boone, what?” asks Boone as he walks into the clubhouse with Aubrey right next to him.
Bennie leaps from her chair with the photo, “There’s something in this photo that has Jersey swooning, and I’m just trying to figure out who it is.”
Jersey leaps up and snatches the photo, “It’s not Boone! God damn!”
Bennie is doubtful, “Who then?”
With a heavy sigh, Jersey slaps the photo down on the table and points. “Just look,” he says.
All four lean over and take a good look at the photo.
“What is that?” Bennie asks. “Is it a ghost?”
“Oh! It’s me!” Aubrey finally sees it. “They actually got me on camera!”
Boone looks again.
“My sweet angel,” Jersey swoons.
Bennie looks again, “Wait. That angel that you claimed to have seen at the retreat? We’re talking about that again?”
“Yes, that angel,” Jersey says. “She’s right there in the photo.”
Aubrey beams, “He called me his angel. How cute,” she looks from Jersey to Boone.
“Angel, my ass,” he mutters under his breath.
Jersey claps his hands together, “That day I fell down those stairs, if it wasn’t for my angel, I probably would have died.” He’s very dramatic about it. “She looked down at me lying on those stairs and asked, ‘Are you okay?’” He clutches his hand to his chest, “With those words, she saved my life and stole my heart.”
Aubrey turns to Boone, “Oh my God. He’s totally fallen in love with me.”
Bennie spins Jersey around and smacks the back of his head, “I think all you got was a second-grade concussion, you idiot. She didn’t steal your heart. She stole your damned brain.”
Jersey picks up the photo and points, “You can see her right there.” It really is more of just a glare on the photo. “Look how cute she is!”
Aubrey beams at Boone.
Bennie takes the photo and tries to look closely, “She’s cute? It’s like a spot….”
“It was love at first sight,” Aubrey actually does a little spin as they’re leaving the clubhouse. “I must be absolutely stunning.”
Boone doesn’t seem happy or impressed.
“What’s wrong with you? Someone fell in love with me. Can’t you be happy for me?” she asks him.
“That guy is a kook. A grade-A nutcase,” Boone tells her. “I mean, Bennie is kinda weird too, but that Jersey really is super weird.”
Aubrey shakes her head, “He seems very normal to me. His response is a completely natural reaction after looking at me. I think you’re weird. Maybe a little jealous.”
Boone scoffs, “Wow. Aren’t you rather conceited today?”
Aubrey smirks at him and skips off ahead as Boone watches her create some distance between them. He’s starting to see her in a different light, actually.
“Why did you stop? Let’s go!” she calls out and continues on.
Boone snaps out of it. Nothing good would come from getting involved with a ghost, and he knows that.
Boone has settled at his desk, and Aubrey sits next to him when Cameron walks in with her arm in a sling. “What happened to her arm?” Aubrey asks.
“Boone!” Cameron says and walks towards them. “I never really got to say thanks to you for yesterday. I would have had a hard time getting to the hospital if it weren’t for you.”
The pieces are falling into place now for Aubrey.
“I know you had something important to do last night. Were you late because of me?” Cameron asks.
Boone shrugs his shoulders as Aubrey looks at him. “It was fine,” he says.
“Well, at least I know now why you were late,” Aubrey mutters under her breath. “This girl ruins everything.” She’s upset.
“I’d like to treat you to lunch if you’re free,” Cameron says.
Boone glances at Aubrey and can see she’s pissed off. He shakes his head at Cameron, “It’s fine. There’s no need.”
“I just want you to know that I’m grateful for your help,” Cameron says.
Boone finally nods his head, “Sure.”
Aubrey gets up out of her chair and takes a few steps, and poofs. Boone watches her disappear. He knows he fucked up.
Aubrey poofs outside of the classroom and storms down the hall, walking right past Ilias.
Ilias pauses for a moment, recognizing Aubrey immediately. She turns around and watches the girl ghost storm out of the building. It can’t be a mere coincidence that Aubrey is at this college. Ilias wonders exactly what Aubrey remembers about what happened to her. After a moment, Ilias turns and heads into the classroom.
She walks up to the podium, “Before we begin class, I feel like I should make this announcement. Some of you may have already heard, but Kimberly was involved in an unfortunate accident.”
There’s some murmuring in the classroom.
“I’ve gone ahead and posted the funeral information on the class Facebook group for those who would like to attend,” the professor continues and then begins to take role call.
Aubrey is back at the apartment, flipping pages through her textbook probably a little more violently than she needs to when she comes to the pages that hold the photos of the retreat. The one she drew herself into, and the one she desecrated Cameron’s face that had her next to Boone. She focuses on that picture. She knows that Boone is in love with Cameron, even if it is one-sided. As a tear runs down her face, she mutters to the picture of Cameron, “I supposed you’re lucky. You get to be alive.” She heaves a heavy sigh as she reaches up and wipes the tear from her cheek. “And he likes you.”
“That’s all for today. Thank you for your participation,” Ilias says as she wraps up her lecture. “Have a great day.”
Boone starts putting his things into his backpack when he looks to his side and sees the empty chair where Aubrey usually sits.
Cameron walks up, “Where would you like to eat?” she asks.
Boone shakes his head, “I appreciate the offer, but I do need to get going. Let’s just call it even.”
“Oh,” Cameron says, seemingly surprised.
Boone grabs his backpack and moves past Cameron, heading out of the classroom as Cameron watches him leave, confused.
Ilias gets into her car and is about to buckle up when there’s a knock on her window. She glances up, surprised to find Detectives Pike and Barnes looking at her.
There’s a brief glance of annoyance that crosses her face before she smiles at them and then rolls down the window. “Officers.”
“Afternoon, professor,” Pike says. “Heading somewhere?”
Ilias nods her head, “I have a seminar. Can I help you?”
Barnes clears her throat, “We thought of another question that we forgot to ask you the other day, so we figured we’d come by and ask.”
“Oh, sure. Go ahead,” Ilias says.
“Where were you on the day that Kimberly Johnson was murdered?” Pike asks bluntly, then adds, “Don’t worry too much about it. It’s just protocol to ask.”
Ilias reaches for her phone and pulls up her calendar, “It looks like I was at the clinic that day.”
“The vet clinic? That makes sense,” Barnes responds and writes that information down. “We apologize for delaying you. Just wanted to make sure we had everything we need for our investigation.”
Ilias nods with a smile, “It’s not a problem at all.” She rolls up her window and drives out of the parking space. Her eyes dart to the rearview mirror, where the two detectives are watching her drive away.
Boone walks into the apartment, and Aubrey quickly closes the textbook, hiding the pictures inside.
Boone sneakily slides a shopping bag underneath the table but then places a grocery bag on the table. Seems he made a couple of stops on the way home.
“You’re home early,” Aubrey says with a bit of snark in her voice. “Did she cancel lunch?”
Boone shakes his head, “Why would I eat with her?”
“Because she probably would have brought you something delicious,” Aubrey mutters.
Boone shrugs, “I would rather eat at home.”
Aubrey can’t help but smile at that answer.
Boone starts to unpack the groceries and pulls out some bacon, and Aubrey is about to make a comment but decides to play it cool. “I see you bought bacon.”
“I was in the mood for bacon,” Boone explains. “I thought you liked bacon?”
“Not really in the mood,” Aubrey says back, still trying to look pissed off. “But, maybe since you went through all the trouble to buy some, I’ll have a taste.”
A bit later, they are having a meal on the rooftop of the apartment building. Boone had started up the grill and cooking some meat on it, and Aubrey is stuffing her face with some, definitely more than a taste.
Boone has been hanging out with Aubrey for a while, and it still shocks him how much she can truly eat. “I thought you said you were only going to have a taste?” he asks with a grin.
Aubrey nods her head seriously, “I haven’t tasted anything yet,” she answers, then shoves her mouth full of food.
“Slow down,” Boone advises, “It’s not going to run away.”
Aubrey is just so happy when she’s eating.
Boone clears his throat, “About what happened with the amusement park. Can we go tomorrow?”
Aubrey’s eyes light up, “For real?”
Boone nods his head, “Yeah.”
Pumping her fist, Aubrey grabs some more food to celebrate.
A little while later, after the food is gone, Boone reaches for the other shopping bag and hands it over with a simple, “Here.”
Aubrey seems surprised, “What is this?”
“We’re partners, right? It’s just a little something to wear when we work,” Boone says, trying not to make a big deal out of it.
“What?” Aubrey asks and then gets all happy again as she reaches inside and pulls out a suit of her very own. She holds it out, “It’s perfect!” Aubrey hugs the suit to her for a moment, then sets her hand down on the bench, it accidentally brushes Boone’s hand.
Then it becomes a little awkward.
It’s dark when a construction crew pulls up to an apartment house. The foreman hops out of one of the vehicles and yells, “Let’s get this done with. We don’t have much time.”
As the men grab some equipment, they enter the hallway. The foreman urges them on, “Let’s go!”
Another worker seems a little spooked, “It’s a bit scary in here at night.” The workers begin hanging lights in the hallway.
Another worker starts up the generator, and the lights brighten up the hallway.
“You’re getting paid twice your rate for this gig, so let’s get this over with and get home,” the foreman yells and begins to direct workers on where to go when his phone rings.
He answers it, but because of the generator, he can’t hear very well. He walks to a quieter part of the building, “What is it? Well, what do you want us to do then? This building has to come down tonight,” he yells into the phone. “Ghosts? Look, ghosts can fuck off. We’re just trying to make a living here.” Suddenly, static comes across his phone, and he pulls it away from his ear to look at it.
“Hello?” he yells into the phone.
The lights begin to flicker in the hallway and then go all the way out. “The fuck?” he says as he puts his phone away and yells, “Who turned off the goddamned generator?”
Someone yells back, “It just stopped all of a sudden. We’re trying to get it back on.”
“Does nothing ever go as planned? Fuck!” he snaps. He reaches for his flashlight and turns it on but stops when he hears a voice.
“Who is crazy? Me?”
“Who’s in here?” he asks.
“I’m not crazy! Why would I be crazy? Why? Why?” Then the voice begins to laugh and laugh.
He walks to the door where the voice is coming from, slowly pushes the door open, and flashes the light inside. He sees a woman sitting on the floor, scratching at the wall. She’s scratched it for so long that her bloody fingers are leaving smears of her blood all over the wall. As the light shines on her, she turns immediately and screams at the foreman, crawling across the floor and trying to reach him.
As we look at the building from the outside, screaming is heard from the inside.
Boone walks out of his room, wearing his working suit, and he sees Aubrey, who spins around in a matching black suit of her own. She has a big smile on her face. She gives him a face that says, “I look damn good in this suit.”
Boone’s expression seems to agree with that statement.
“What do you think?” she finally asks.
Boone watches as she walks towards him. “It fits you well,” he says.
Aubrey will take that compliment, then she remembers, “What about the amusement park? We were supposed to go today.”
Boone shrugs, “We’ll go after work. Let’s get this gig over with so we have more time to spend there.”
“What the fuck are we waiting for then?” Aubrey says.
A few moments later, with some dramatic music playing in the background, the two walk down the sidewalk from the apartment building. They hit the street just as Jersey and Bennie pull up in the van.
After everyone is loaded, Boone asks, “What’s the gig?”
Jersey glances into the rearview, “We are going to the scariest place on Earth.”
“The Samil Mental Institute,” Bennie announces. She turns around in her seat, “Have you heard of this place before?”
Boone shakes his head, “No.”
Jersey sighs, “Boone is great at fighting ghosts, but he doesn’t know very much about the paranormal. Bennie, please explain.”
Bennie clears her throat, “The place was shut down due to human rights violations. The doctors and caretakers illegally held patients there against their will, abused them severely. One patient escaped, and that was how the institute was finally shut down. The police came and found out that seven patients died. After it was shut down, rumors of ghosts spread. The building owner called priests, shamans, and exorcists to try and rid the building of the ghostly occupants. None ever succeeded.”
As the van pulls up in front of the building, Jersey glances at it. “This place is full of ghosts with deep grudges.”
Jersey and Bennie turn to look back at Boone, who doesn’t seem all that scared.
Everyone exits the van, and Boone leads the way into the building. Bennie holds a flashlight while Jersey carries the video camera, and they walk behind Boone and Aubrey.
A cat shrieks and runs by them in the hallway, and Bennie and Jersey scream out in terror.
“They’re a couple of pussies,” Aubrey says. “Why are they in this line of work?”
Boone watches them, practically clinging to each other as they move forward, “They definitely aren’t normal.”
Boone walks past them, and they are more than happy to let him go first. “Hold onto me,” Bennie tells Jersey as they stay several yards behind Boone and Aubrey.
As they walk through, something catches Aubrey’s eye. Medical equipment. She winces as the memory of the lights come back to her. She hadn’t recognized them as lights from medical equipment until just this moment. She reaches up as her head begins to pound.
Boone notices something’s wrong and turns to her, “What’s wrong?”
The moment passes, and Aubrey looks up at him, shaking her head. “I’m okay now.” She now realizes that the last memory she recovered must have been moments before she died. She was in the hospital.
“Boone! Boone! Over here!” Jersey whisper-yells down the hallway.
Boone checks on Aubrey once more before they walk to meet up with the other two. “I think the ghost is in there,” Bennie tells them as she flashes the light on the door of the room that the foreman had found the ghost before.
“In there?” Boone asks.
“That’s what they said.”
Boone follows the sign leading to “hospital admission” but something distracts Jersey and heads off down another hall. Bennie sees him disappear and whispers, “Jersey!” and follows him, leaving Aubrey and Boone alone.
“Look,” Jersey tells Bennie as he flashes the light onto a sign that says “Morgue.”
“Oh, shit. This might be it,” Bennie says. “Start recording!”
Jersey nods and turns on the recorder, “Stay close,” he tells Bennie, and they go into the room.
Meanwhile, Boone and Aubrey are climbing some stairs. As they get to the landing, Boone peers up the next flight of stairs and turns around to ask, “Is this right?”
But Bennie and Jersey are not behind them.
“Where’d those chickenshits go?” asks Aubrey.
“It looks like something is in here,” Jersey says as he leads the way deeper into the morgue. They leap and shine a light into another hallway and prematurely scream!
“There’s nothing there,” Bennie says after they stop screaming.
Suddenly, Jersey realizes, “Where’s Boone?”
“Who?” asks Bennie, still holding her heart. “Oh, shit!” She realizes that Boone isn’t behind them. They don’t see the ghost standing right next to them. “We need to go find him.”
Boone and Aubrey walk through a deserted hallway. There’s a hospital bed on the side and some additional unused equipment scattered about. They find another room and start to go inside.
Bennie and Jersey burst out of the morgue into the hallway, where there’s at least some sunlight peeking through.
“Boone!” Bennie whispers, trying to find their colleague.
They are huddle walking, making sure not to get separated. “Where could he have gone?” asks Jersey.
Bennie’s eyes go wide. “What if he got lost? Call him!”
They hunker down behind a bench, and Jersey pulls out his phone and calls, but all they get is static. “What if a ghost got him?” asks Jersey.
Boone opens the door that leads to what could be a doctor’s office. There’s some abandoned medical diplomas on the wall and a shelf with some old books.
Aubrey reaches for one and flips through it when Boone tells her, “Hey. Don’t touch things in here.”
Aubrey makes a face at him and sets the book back on the shelf. As she walks away from it, the shelf starts to tip towards her, and Boone sees it and springs into action, using his body to shield her as the book lands on his back instead.
He uses his elbow to hold it up as he gets out from underneath, allowing it to crash on the floor. Boone glares at Aubrey, “I told you not to touch anything.”
Aubrey is both touched that Boone saved her from getting hurt and annoyed at his attitude. “Sorry,” she says. But immediately spots a file on the floor, and despite Boone’s warning, she walks over, picks it up, and begins to flip through it.
“Boone. Didn’t they say seven people died here?”
Boone turns to her, “Yeah. Why?”
“Look at this,” she says as she walks over and shows him the folder and counts down, “See? Eight. Eight people died here, not seven.”
Boone looks at the document, “Margo Stiller died of an infected leg fracture.”
Speaking of Margo Stiller, Bennie and Jersey have found Margo’s room. It’s got her name on the wall placard. “Boone,” Jersey whispers as he slowly pushes the door open, hoping to find their companion.
They see the blood on the walls, “Nope. Not staying in here,” Bennie says, and as soon as she turns around, the ghost of Margo Stiller is right there. She’s standing on one leg since her other was broken, but she screams out at the two intruders, who both begin to scream loud, high-pitched screams and run like hell out of that room.
Margo takes a couple of hops and then falls over and crawls after them, shrieking herself.
Wherever Boone and Aubrey are, they hear the screaming. They drop the document and runs out of the room to go find the others.
Bennie and Jersey are running down the hall when another ghost appears out of a room. Jersey falls on his ass while Bennie slips on the tile floor, trying to turn around and run the other way.
As the ghost closes in on them, they continue to scream until Aubrey poofs into the hallway and flips the ghost away from them.
Jersey sees Aubrey and points, “There’s my angel!”
Aubrey grins and waves at him.
Somehow, Bennie doesn’t seem to see her, “Angel, my ass.”
The two get up and start to run off, and when Aubrey starts to follow, Margo reaches out and grabs her by the ankle.
Aubrey struggles to free herself but then realizes that Margo isn’t trying to hurt her. Margo is crying. She points to the wall behind her where, in her own blood, she’s written, “Please help me! I want to get out of here!”
Boone finally arrives into the hallway, sees Aubrey with a ghost clutched to her ankle, and goes to help, but the first ghost grabs him. Boone kicks him off and tries to help Aubrey, but the ghost again tries to stop him. Boone flips him over onto the ground and is about to punch his lights out when Aubrey screams out.
Boone, fist in the air ready to strike, glances up at her.
“They aren’t trying to hurt us.”
Boone seems confused, “What?” He glances down at the ghost. The ghost isn’t angry but crying.
“Come here,” Aubrey says.
Boone rises up and walks down to where Aubrey is, and she points to the writing on the wall. “They want us to help them.”
Hours later, the police have arrived and, with Boone’s help, have located the bodies of those who died. They had been buried on the institute grounds and never recovered.
Bennie and Jersey are giving a statement to the police.
“They wanted us to help find them so they could cross over,” Aubrey says as they watch the bodies being recovered. “They were reported as missing persons, but now they can finally rest in peace.”
Boone realizes that if it weren’t for Aubrey, he would have finished off those ghosts. He knows how lucky he is to have her at his side.
He watches as the eight ghosts begin to vanish, finally crossing over.
The van comes to a stop, and Boone gets out of the van.
“Boone, wait a minute,” Jersey says as he also gets out of the van, along with Bennie.
Boone stops to find out what they want. Aubrey poofs next to Boone.
Jersey stammers for a moment before Bennie nudges him, “Just ask him.”
Jersey clears his throat, “Do you, by chance, walk around with an angel? I mean, is she with you right now?”
Aubrey is all flattered to be called an angel and is beaming with pride.
Boone looks uncomfortable answering that question, “Well, you see….”
“It’s just that I saw her earlier at the institute,” Jersey explains. “She rescued us from that deranged ghost.”
“I sure did,” Aubrey boasts.
Bennie finally admits, “I did see her. It was my first time seeing one ghost fight another.”
Jersey nods his head, “So, please answer me honestly. Are you working with that angel?”
“Ghost,” Bennie corrects.
“Angel,” Jersey corrects the correction.
“Yes,” Boone finally admits, “But she’s no angel.”
“Hey!” yells Aubrey.
“Her name is Aubrey.”
“Aubrey,” Jersey repeats. “What a pretty name.”
Aubrey is all happy again.
“Is she here with us right now?” asks Jersey.
Boone points towards where Aubrey is, “Right there.”
Bennie’s eyes go wide, and Jersey turns to face where Boone said Aubrey was and says, “Aubrey. I wanted to personally thank you for saving me, not once, but twice.” He gets a little nervous, “And I wanted to tell you that I think you’re very pretty.”
Bennie rolls her eyes.
Aubrey just beams at the compliment. “It wasn’t a problem at all,” she responds. She turns to Boone, “See that? He said I was pretty.”
Boone turns away from them, “I’m about to be sick, to be honest.”
“Is she still right…” Jersey reaches out towards Aubrey, and Boone’s eyes go wide.
“What in the hell do you think you’re doing?” he demands, causing Jersey to stop.
“I was just wondering if she was still there,” he says as he slowly draws his hand back to him.
Boone clears his throat, “You can’t just go around touching girls like that.”
Aubrey seems confused about what’s going on right now.
“Did I touch her just now?” asks Jersey. He turns to Aubrey, “If I touched you, I didn’t mean to. I mean, I wasn’t trying to do anything inappropriate.”
Aubrey just shakes her head and turns to look at Boone, “What’s wrong with you?”
“I’m leaving,” Boone tells Jersey and Bennie. To Aubrey, “Aren’t we going?”
“Fine. I’m coming,” she snaps at him. She turns and waves to the other, “See you soon!”
Jersey waves, though not anywhere close to the right direction.
“Why’d he get mad all of a sudden like that?” asks Bennie.
By the time they get to the amusement park, it’s dark outside. Boone rushes up to the ticket lady, “Are you still open?” Aubrey poofs in next to him.
“Yes, but you won’t get to ride much before we close. Maybe just one ride.”
Aubrey is fine with that, “Let’s ride the Ferris wheel then.”
Boone turns to the lady, “One ticket.”
As he pays for it, the ticket lady looks at him, “You were here yesterday at about this same time, weren’t you?”
When she says that, Aubrey realizes that Boone did try to make it to the amusement park.
Boone takes his ticket, “Let’s hurry.” He takes her hand, and they run towards the Ferris wheel. They hurry up to the platform and hands his ticket to the attendant, who asks, “You’re riding alone?”
Boone nods his head, “I sure am.”
The door to the buggy is open, and they get inside, sitting across from each other. Aubrey’s eyes are bright with joy as the Ferris wheel begins to move, lifting them off the ground level. She turns to him.
“You did come here yesterday to find me?”
Boone seems uncomfortable answering but does. “I did, but it was too late. You were already gone, and the park was closed.”
There’s a moment of silence before Boone says, “Sorry, you only get to ride one ride tonight.”
“The Ferris wheel is my favorite,” she admits. “It’s completely fine.”
“If you do well on your next exams, I’ll bring you again,” he tells her. “We’ll have to show up earlier.”
“Deal,” she tells him.
As the Ferris wheel goes around, Aubrey looks across from her, “Boone.”
Boone turns his attention back to her, curious. “Hm?”
There’s a moment of silence before Aubrey finally answers, “I think I’m falling for you.”
Moments pass without any sort of answer, and Aubrey starts to get anxious.
Boone finally says, “What?”
Well, that wasn’t what Aubrey wanted to hear, and Boone knows it. “Aubrey…”
“Don’t say anything,” she says, holding up her hand. She lies, “I really didn’t expect to hear an answer or anything.” She’s obviously crushed. “I just wanted to say how I felt.”
Frustrated, she vanishes from the Ferris wheel, leaving Boone to realize what a jerk he was.
Aubrey is walking down the sidewalk, totally bummed out. She’d confessed her feelings and got nothing in return.
She happens to pass by Ilias’s vet clinic and hears a dog barking at her. She stops and bends over to peek into the window.
Finally, her frustration boils over, and she stomps her feet, “Why do I do these things! How will I face him again now?” She looks at the puppy in the window, “What do I do now, puppy?” She talks to the puppy when Ilias walks out of her office and sees Aubrey at the window. She stops walking and looks around to see if anyone else is around her.
This might be Ilias’s chance to get rid of that girl once and for all. She was a problem when she was alive and still a problem now that she’s dead. Ilias starts to go for her when a voice is heard.
Boone appears in the window, and Ilias ducks down out of sight.
“Why did you disappear like that?” he asks, obviously a little miffed at her.
Aubrey has no idea what to say, so she turns and disappears.
“Aubrey!” Boone shouts after her.
“Boone?” Ilias has stepped out of her clinic onto the sidewalk.
Boone turns to her, “Oh, Professor.”
“Do you live near here?” Ilias asks, though she already knows the answer.
“I do,” Boone says, “Is this clinic yours? I walk by here all the time. I didn’t know.”
“Ah,” Ilias nods her head. “Were you talking to someone just now?”
Boone looks confused, “Pardon?”
Ilias shakes her head, “I thought I heard you calling out to someone just now. Didn’t you call out for someone named Aubrey?”
Boone realizes how crazy this might seem. “Ah,” he says.
“Is she your girlfriend?”
Boone shakes his head, “No, nothing like that. She’s just someone I know.”
“I see,” Ilias responds.
Boone motions down the sidewalk, “I’ll be on my way home then.”
Ilias smiles at him, “Be safe. It’s getting late.”
As Boone walks away, Ilias’s smile fades.
Aubrey isn’t even sure why she came back to this apartment. She’s nervous as fuck, and waiting for him to show up is causing a great deal of anxiety for her. “What do I tell him when he shows up?” she asks herself.
She hears the key in the lock, decides discretion is the better part of valor, and lies down, feigning sleep.
Boone walks right to the living room and sees her lying down. “Aubrey? Are you asleep?”
She doesn’t answer.
“Fine. Sleep well then,” he tells her and then walks into his bedroom.
When his door closes, her eyes open, and she sits up, completely frustrated.
As Boone leans against his bedroom door, he remembers her words at the top of the Ferris wheel.
“Boone, I think I’m falling for you.”
And then his stupid reaction.
“You’re an idiot, Boone,” he tells himself.
As the morning comes, they’ve apparently, individually, decided not to discuss the events of the prior evening as they eat their breakfast in silence.
Boone reaches for the last pancake just as Aubrey reaches for the last pancake, and they end up touching hands, which of course, makes it even more awkward between them. Boone immediately snatches back his hand, allowing her to take the pancake.
But of course, Aubrey has changed her mind about that pancake, so it sits there uneaten.
“I’m finished,” she mutters.
“Me too,” he responds.
Boone rises up and goes into his bedroom while Aubrey walks into the living room without saying anything else.
Boone admonishes himself in the mirror, “God, you’re a stupid fucker. She has feelings for me, but that’s not a reason to avoid her,” he mutters to himself. He psychs himself up, “Just go out and act natural.”
As he opens the door, Aubrey is standing there. Boone tries to say something, but nothing comes out, so he shuts the door between them again.
“Goddamn it! Why is it so uncomfortable now?!” He slaps his cheeks again as he looks at himself in the mirror again. “Act fucking natural.”
Meanwhile, Aubrey is pacing back and forth in the living room. “Dammit! Maybe I need to find another place to live now! But I have nowhere else to go! Everything is so fucked up now! Why did you have to go and open your stupid, fat mouth!”
Boone finally has mustered the courage to leave his bedroom, startling Aubrey in the process. Before anything can get more awkward, Boone’s phone rings.
“What’s up, Bennie? We’ll be right there.” He manages to look at Aubrey long enough to tell her, “Aubrey, we have a job.”
“Oh? We do? Let’s go,” she manages to respond without fucking anything up.
The loading bay doors to a butcher shop open up, and standing outside of it are Boone and Aubrey, dressed to work. They step into the warehouse and are immediately met by the butcher ghost.
They work well together, and the fight doesn’t last long as it ends with a double punch to the face, followed by a double kick to the stomach, and the ghost is vanquished, disappearing in smoke and fire.
Clapping is heard as Bennie arrives, “Nicely done. That was the quickest exorcism yet. The money will be rolling in from this one.” Bennie turns nowhere near Aubrey, “And Aubrey, thank you for your hard work.”
Boone motions to his other side, “She’s over here.”
Bennie ahs and faces that direction. “Again, nicely done, Aubrey.”
“By the way, where is Jersey?” Boone asks.
Bennie looks behind her, “I thought he was here. He said he’d grab something from the van and be right in.”
“Did I miss it?” Jersey’s voice can be heard as he runs in with a shopping back.
“It’s all over,” Boone tells him.
Jersey looks concerned, “She didn’t get hurt, did she?”
“I’m not hurt,” Aubrey says.
Annoyed, Boone turns to look at her, but she flashes him a smug smile.
“No. She’s not hurt. Just annoying.” Aubrey slaps his arm.
“Oh, thank God,” Jersey says, looking visibly relieved. “She’s still here with us?”
“Yes,” Boone says, wondering where this is going.
Jersey looks from one side of Boone to the other, trying to figure out where she might be when Bennie nudges him and points in the right direction.
Jersey clears his throat and faces Aubrey’s general direction. “Aubrey, I got a gift for you.
“What could it be?” Aubrey asks.
Jersey pulls a box from the bag and opens the lid to reveal…
“Heels!” Aubrey says excitedly.
Bennie glares at Jersey, “You’ve never bought me anything, but you bought heels for a ghost you can’t even see?”
Jersey glares at Bennie, “Quiet.” He turns to Boone, “Does she appear to like them?”
“I love them!” Aubrey practically jumps up and down in excitement. “Tell him!”
Boone looks from her to Jersey and puts on a scowl, “She hates them.”
Jersey looks sad.
“Wait, I said that I loved them! Tell him I said I love them! Goddammit, Boone. Tell him I love them!” she repeats.
Bennie covers her mouth.
“She hates them?” asks Jersey.
Boone nods his head, “She doesn’t really like heels, to be honest. Not her style.” He turns to Aubrey, “Right?”
“I do like them. I do like heels! I want those fucking heels, Boone. Don’t you ruin this for me,” she’s starting to get super pissed right now.
“I’ll try something else then,” Jersey says, completely crushed he missed the mark on this gift.
“We’ll go on ahead now,” Boone tells them and walks off.
Aubrey stands there, looking longingly at the shoes. “I want these so bad! Why are you lying?” She looks after Boone, “Boone! Boone! Get back here and accept these heels!”
She runs after him.
Bennie reaches over and pats Jersey on the shoulder. “Sorry, pal.”
“Do you know what I went through to get these shoes?” Jersey asks.
Detectives Pike and Barnes are at the vet clinic.
Rosanna and Bethany are behind the desk. Bethany asks, “Our doctor?”
Pike nods his head, “Yes. We need to know where she was on the first.”
As Rosanna starts to look up the information on the Calendar, Bethany thinks, “I don’t recall anything special going on that day.”
Rosanna finds the date, “She had patients right up until the afternoon.”
“What time in the afternoon?” asks Barnes.
“About seven,” Rosanna says. “Normally, she’s in until nine, but she left early that evening.”
“Did she have a special appointment after seven?” Pike asks.
Bethany turns to Rosanna, “It wasn’t that day, was it? Was that the day she didn’t come back and we had to close the clinic?”
Rosanna thinks, “It might have been that night. I don’t recall the exact date, though.”
“There was a night she didn’t come back to close?” asks Barnes.
“She has a room in the back where she sleeps at night,” Bethany explains.
Rosanna remembers, “Oh, that’s right! She arrived early the next morning!” She turns to Bethany, “Remember? She tracked mud into the store, and you had to mop it.”
This intrigues Pike, “So she came back the next morning with mud on her shoes?”
“That’s right,” Rosanna answers.
Just then, Ilias walks in through the clinic’s front door, surprised to see the detectives there. Bethany is the first to notice, “Oh, Doctor. These police officers were looking for you.”
Pike and Barnes turn around to see the professor, “Getting back late?” asks Pike.
Ilias nods her head, “Correct. I had a seminar. I think I recall mentioning it earlier. Are there more questions?”
Barnes shakes her head, “Just more routine questions.” The two detectives start to walk past Ilias, “We’re finished now. We’ll be seeing you again.” Those last words linger as a threat.
Ilias watches the two leave and then smiles at the nurses, “Everything okay?”
“Yes, doctor,” they respond at the same time.
Ilias nods and walks past them to her office in the back.
Rosanna turns to Bethany and whispers, “What do we do?”
Boone and Aubrey have walked blocks in silence. Aubrey has changed back into her pink dress and has had enough. “Why wouldn’t you accept that gift for me?”
To be honest, Boone doesn’t really have a clue. “Why did I do that?” he asks himself.
“What?” Aubrey can barely hear him.
He doesn’t answer but changes the question. “I see you changed your clothes. Must be pretty convenient being a ghost.”
“Well, you know how it is,” she answers, still upset.
They stand there for a long time until finally, Aubrey lets out a sigh, “I can’t take this anymore.” Boone just starts walking on ahead.
Aubrey gets an idea, “Boone!”
He stops and turns back to her, “What?”
“Let’s play the wish-granting game,” she tells him. “We’ll play rock-paper-scissors, and each time someone wins, they go up a step. The first person to the top gets a wish from the loser.”
Boone isn’t sure where this is going, “Pass.”
“Please?” Aubrey is trying anything she can think of to break this tension between them. “It’s the least you can do for not letting me have those heels.”
Boone glances down at her sneakered feet. He does feel guilty about that. “Fine. Let’s play.”
The game progresses, and Aubrey takes the lead up the steps. Boone catches up, but then Aubrey gets more of a lead until she’s finally at the top of the stairs. She jumps up and down for joy. “I won! I won!”
Boone just chuckles, “You act like such a child. So, what’s your wish?”
When he asks that question, suddenly, Aubrey’s expression turns serious. Tears start to well up in her eyes. “My wish is….”
Boone is waiting for something like heels or another dress. He doesn’t expect what she actually asks for.
“… to take back what I said yesterday.”
Boone’s smile fades.
“I don’t like how things are now after I said it. Can we just forget I said anything?” she asks. “That’s my wish.”
Boone seems uncomfortable still, “First, you’re confessing, and now you want me to forget it? Why are you so confusing?” He’s standing halfway up the stairs, so she can’t hear what he mutters.
Aubrey is waiting. She forces a smile, “So, you’ll grant my wish, right? You made the deal. You have to keep it.”
If Boone were honest, he doesn’t want her to take it back. As they stare at each other from a short distance, suddenly Aubrey doesn’t look well.
A sharp sound pierces her ears as she winces and brings her hands up to her head. She starts to get light-headed and leans against the railing to keep her balance.
Aubrey brings her hands down and watches in shock as they slowly begin to disappear in front of her eyes.
Boone isn’t quite sure what’s going on, “Aubrey?” he says to her.
Her hands come back, but they disappear again.
“Something’s not right,” she tells him.
Boone can tell something is wrong, “Aubrey!” he yells and runs up the stairs towards her.
Aubrey reaches out to him, “Boone!”
But as Boone reaches the top of the stairs, Aubrey disappears from sight. This isn’t the poof, she’s gone type of disappearance. It’s the slowly fade-away type, and Boone hasn’t seen that before.
He looks around for her, “Aubrey!”
She has to be here.
Boone frantically searches for her, yelling out one more time…