Phyllis Esposito: Interdimensional Private-Eye #56

Phyllis Logo“But we don’t have to talk about that now,” said Eddie. “I know that, if you promise to owe me a favor, that you mean it.”

“Of course,” I said. Honestly, Eddie could be such an old lady sometimes.

“And we both know what happens when people don’t repay favors.”

“Uh, yeah,” I replied, laughing. “And I do not… want… that!”

“Good,” she said. “Then let’s begin.” She placed her hands flat on the table, one on either side of Ms. Moon’s shoe. I placed my hands on the table too, which wasn’t strictly necessary, but it was fun. Eddie smiled at me, and then closed her eyes.

I closed mine too, ready to bask in the reflected magic.

Now I wouldn’t see everything that Eddie did, not even a tenth of it. Maybe less than that.

But with a little help from the alien sponge working its way across my synapses, I could pick up some of the echos. If Eddie was a submarine, I could dip my toes in the water and feel the splashing.

At first, it was so subtle that I couldn’t be completely sure it wasn’t just my own imagination firing up in anticipation. Then I smelled leather, and horses, and fresh air. There were voices in the air, but muffled, like through a wall. It was a sunny day. An important day. The important day! And then the flash of a face. Pretty, young, but… handsome. A male elf, smiling, but this was sad because…

It was gone, and I was in my own head again.

The next one was a bit clearer. More recent? A closer slice?

I was standing with my arm around a shorter man, while we watched someone being beaten. A tiny figure stood off to the side, watching with arms folded, stern. I was… afraid? Angry? This wasn’t what was supposed to happen, but I had to pretend it was okay. For now… Only for now.

Then I stared into the void, and looked down at a man, hanging by his hands. This time I recognized Gemmy! That son of a bitch. That snake. If only he could have… done… something. It felt great when I kicked him in the face, sending him tumbling off into chaos.

The police station walls were around me then, and then they weren’t. They melted away before my eyes, and handcuffs around my wrists crumbled into powder. I ran, but it was hard in my heels. There it was. There he was. The face I knew, there beside the van, it was him and he was okay! But then I saw that he wasn’t okay. His smile was wrong, and then things went black…

…and I fell out of my chair.

Stunned, I lay there without moving, blinking away flashing colors.

From the floor, I looked up what seemed like a skyscraper, to see Avonaco’s face scowling down at me from seven feet away, give or take thirty floors.

“Avo!” I cheered.

“Shut up,” he hissed. “Eddie’s still scrying. You were moving around too much. I had to pull you out.”

I cocked my head, trying to turn his face right-side-up. “I’m really sorry about your arm, Avo, but it really was your fault, but I’m really sorry.”

He raised a massive eyebrow. “Not as sorry as you’re gonna be once that sponge wears off.”

I rolled my eyes and grinned. Then, still laying on my back, I scooted a few inches closer to his feet and placed a hand by my mouth, whispering conspiratorially. “I think you’re not so scary.”

“Think whatever you want,” he said. “But do it quietly. In fact…”

He grabbed a towel from somewhere and lay it across my face, blocking out my vision. “Why don’t you just go to sleep while she finishes.”

It was a good idea, so I did.


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