I don’t get to hang with Guy as much as I would like. He’s usually busy doing whatever it is an elite State Police Sergeant does. He’s talked about it once or twice before. It was a cryptic explanation of what was beyond his normal scope of duty, and somewhere in there was a hint of paranormal and supernatural investigations.
That’s probably why he wasn’t surprised to learn Ghoul’s actual state of being.
“I figured as much,” he said as we sipped beers in the cozy ice shack atop Knowlton Lake. “I mean, it doesn’t take an untrained eye to see that he is dead.”
“I’m undead, and you just used a double negative,” Ghoul corrected.
His head was revealed above the frigid water and he slid a fat largemouth bass from the jagged tip of his harpoon, dropping it to our feet before disappearing back under.
“Nice pull,” I said.
Bruce, Ghoul’s beagle, stirred from his plaid bedding by the space heater and yipped with approval when Guy measured it.
“Bigger than the last one. He’s pretty good at that, huh?”
“I guess. This is my first time going ice fishing with him, so I don’t have anything to judge by.”
“So, I gotta ask: How did you two meet?”
“Long story,” I grabbed another beer and passed it to Guy, who popped the top open with his teeth. “I’d say we have time, though.”
“Just give me a minute, I gotta take my meds,” said Guy.
I always forget that Guy Stone is severely unstable. He has more mental issues in that oversized head of his than the State Mental Institute’s census combined. Guy reached into his backpack and sifted through the numerous bottles of medication until he found the right one.
“Adderall, man. I can’t focus without it.”
He popped two in his mouth and chased with his beer. Then, he did a handstand, and performed more pushups in a two-minute span than I ever could during my time in the Army.
“That seems a little intense,” I said.
“It gets the blood pumping right to the brain, which will kick in the medication faster. One-hundred and two, one-hundred and three.”
Guy stopped at one-hundred and fifty, stretched his arms, and joined me.
“Alright, I’m sharp as a tack. Hit me with it, Sam.”
And I did just that. I told him that I was working at the morgue around a year ago, on his then fresh body. I was harvesting the organs when he suddenly awoke. Guy thought it was extremely hilarious to know that Ghoul was offended that I was stealing his innards, and nearly fell out of his seat when I told him we ended up getting into a fight right then and there.
“Which I whooped your ass, if I remember correctly,” Ghoul was above the ice again with another largemouth. “Throw me a beer, will ya?”
I handed Ghoul another beer, he chugged it, and went back under.
“Yeah… he was pretty wiry and I think the adrenaline was pumping pretty hard in his body. He’s pretty strong when he wants to be.”
“Seems to be. Ghoul has lived with you ever since then?”
“I try to keep his secret safe as best I can. I think I do a good job, but Ghoul can’t be stopped sometimes when he gets something stuck into his head,” I paused and looked to Guy, who was grinding his teeth and scowling for no apparent reason. “You alright, man? You look pissed all of the sudden.”
“Huh? Oh, not at all. Just processing this. I am not in anyways freaked out or anything like that. This answers a lot of questions I have had recently about a case I have been working on. There has been talk around the department of a zombie walking around, and I now know that it points to Ghoul.”
“What does this mean then, that you know the truth?”
Guy chuckled, then said, “It means I will call the case closed. That is if I can convince my superiors. They’re adamant on getting a resolution as the complaints are continuing to pile in. I just need something from you two.”
“Yeah, anything you need, I’ll try,” I said.
“You just need to keep Ghoul on a tighter leash. I’ll do my best to keep the rest of the department at bay, but I can’t stop my superiors from going after him.”
“I’d like to see them try,” said Ghoul.
He hoisted his body up from the sub-zero temperature and shook himself dry like a dog. Flecks of frozen, putrefied flesh sprayed over us and some landed in my mouth. I spat it out and washed the disgusting taste away with a fresh beer. Then I broke into the whiskey to forget this affront on my taste buds. Ghoul had a set of flippers attached to his decayed stubs and he waddled close.
“I’ll be honest with you, Ghoul, not even I could take on my bosses in a fight. We spar on the weekends and I haven’t come close in years. Just be careful, please.”
© Copyright John Potts Jr 2016 – 2017