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It was angry, this one. Spitting and swearing, throwing whatever it could around the room. He saw the lamp tear free from its cable just in time to duck as it flew towards his head and smashed against the opposite wall.

He set his suitcase down, adjusting his tie as he looked around. “What got you so riled up, hmm?”

The swearing continued as if he hadn’t spoken. It didn’t matter; he knew the answer. Times were hard and, like many clients before her, his current employer had attempted to save money by taking on a cheaper contractor first.

Of course, all the damned amateur had managed to do was make things worse.

He moved calmly around the room, making careful notes as he ducked flying ornaments and light furnishings. Observation, his father had told him. The most valuable tool at his command was diligent observation.

“What is it, then,” he asked conversationally. “Hidden treasure? A desire to accuse your own murderer? Or do you simply nurture a deep seated hatred of the living because we have what you don’t? Hmm? What’s keeping you here?”

The ghost spat abuse at him in Latin. He sighed. He could never understand why it was always Latin. As far as he could tell, this ghost used to be a fat old angry guy whose closest living encounter with Latin had been that it was printed on the money he threw at the gambling tables.

“Gimme a rest, Vinnie,” he said, casually setting a chair upright and sitting down. “You don’t mind if I call you Vinnie, do you?”

The ghost swore some more, this time in English, and threw a cushion at his face.

“Throw whatever you like,” he said calmly. “I’m paid by the hour, and I got all night.”

Sullenly, the energy in the air subsided and things stopped flying around.

“Thank you Vinnie,” he said with a smile. “You’re a true gent. You may have gathered by now, but I haven’t come in here with the old bell, book and candle to exorcise you, so how about we have a friendly chat?”

A grey figure began to coalesce on the bed. Just as he expected, it was the silhouette of a big fat guy. A really big, fat guy.

He smiled in a friendly way as he leaned forward, wondering if the trap in his suitcase would have enough capacity for a ghost that big.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: Three Word Wednesday prompt time again: the words this week are Amateur, Diligent and Nurture.)

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