Today's teaser come from the eighth story from Passing Time, Land of the Free.
As the infernal noise continued, I tried to distract myself by searching out the extensive sound system Mr. McManus must have hidden somewhere in the room. I reasoned no dead thing could make that much noise. At that moment I spotted the books, hundreds of them arranged on floor to ceiling bookshelves, with the spines turned inward, so a casual glance would not reveal their content. What kind of person hid the spines of books?
The voices stopped, and the silence that followed seemed just as deafening.
“Should I sing now?” asked a handless Mr. McManus.
“No? I thought you said—”
“I’m leaving now, Mr. McManus.”
“I don’t know what set-up you have here, but one should never lie about a spiritual haunting. I am serious about my work, and my profession is not one to be mocked.” I could feel my cheeks reddening and my blood pressure elevating. I was either about to be exposed as a con artist or sent to spiritual hell via a handless book man, and I was not waiting for the autopsy.
Mr. McManus threw himself into the doorway and blocked my exit path. “Now, wait just a moment, Mr. Swift. Just who is mocking whom? Did you not proclaim yourself as the exohealer? Did you not promise to rid this house of the unwanted entity as you have done for hundreds of satisfied clients?” The stump of his left arm pushed against my chest.
“Thousands,” I replied, before realising the stupidity of my statement.“Then what is the problem? More money? Is that it?”
“The fee I quote is always the fee I charge, Mr. McManus. I pride myself on my word.” It was a ridiculous statement when I stopped to consider it. I prided myself on a string of lies.
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Weekend Writing Warriors entry. Have a great weekend.