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Edition 19: The Meet by Geoffrey Collins

flag Ausralia

This is the place where it will go down. Where back-up is not a precaution; it’s a requirement. Lines are drawn in the sand, in the face of oncoming darkness and despair. SY


In every evening there is a time when the city takes a stops to take a breath. The five o’clock exodus is over and the workers are home deciding what to be instead. Shop doors are closed and locked, streetlights blink on. As the tide of the day runs out, in the ebb of its last waves, you can find things that are always there but usually hidden.

I had found a neon sign with a name in Bauhaus script that pulsed red in the puddles on the sidewalk below. The sign fronted a bar, a sub-street level affair with a grey-stone office block squatting on top of it, a narrow courtyard in front with dwarf hemlocks in terracotta pots and some wrought iron settings with the sunshades dropped, chairs resting against the tables.

For a week I had been watching the place like a hunter in a blind, subsisting on coffee and bagels from the kosher delicatessen on the corner, skulking back to a bolt-hole hotel room before dawn. People came, people went; I watched. After a few days I had called for back-up, hoping I wouldn’t be thought overly cautious. When I saw who had been sent, I knew I needn’t have worried.

“You’ve become soft,” said a voice in my ear. “I could never have come up on you before.”

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Edition 17: Results by Denise Robarge Tanaka

flag USLara Clarke offers another service that stays off her business cards. Not everyone is ready to have the darkness of their past stirred up. But for those special customers, Lara has a special skill, and sometimes they come looking for her help. The touch of the seedy underside of Hollywood in this paranormal psychic adventure leaves you feeling like a dirty deal has been done. SY


“So how does it work?” the client asked, not even taking off his sunglasses.

I get that question every time. People expect lots of chanting gibberish, incense that smells like burning a hippie’s sandals, furniture thumping, lights going out…You know, all that poltergeist crap. My specialty services are not listed in my front office brochure. Lara Diane Clarke, clinical physical therapist, can get you back on the team after that sports injury or back to work after that fender bender.

Not many people know about my paranormal services. He only found me by word of mouth, and even through his sunglasses, I could tell he didn’t believe.

I told him, “You just need to sign the waiver and I’ll prick your finger with a sterile needle. That’s it.”

“That’s it?” he asked skeptically.

“Yep.”

He scanned around the room like he was searching for the hidden camera. I couldn’t blame him for being suspicious. What I do is pretty strange.

“Shouldn’t I fill out a questionnaire or tell you something about my—”

“No,” I said. “That’s what you pay me for. I don’t do interviews. I get results.”

I deliberately used that word, interview, knowing the impact it would have on an actor.

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