The Case book of Abee Normal, Paranormal Investigations (Volume 1) came out in April 2018. It's already received rave reviews.
"Dead or alive, everyone loves Abee."
For the next four weeks, I'll share a portion of the first story on Friday. If you get anxious and wish to read the entire chapter, you can do so at Wattpad. The book is available in eBook or paperback at Apple books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and anywhere you purchase books.
The Case Book of Abee Normal, Paranormal Investigations (Volume 1)
The Case of:
Something goes bump in the night, not otherwise explained
“A lot of folks have rented cars here for the journey to the Glosip mansion,” the attendant said. “There’s something not right there. You know what I think . . .”
The attendant looked from Abee to Ma’am and back to Abee. Not getting an answer, he pressed on.
“I think there’s something wrong with them,” the attendant said. “You know — the Dawsons.”
“Oh?” Ma’am asked as she put her bag into the trunk of the vehicle.
“They aren’t from Louisiana,” the attendant said. “Read some novel about the romance of the bayou.”
“Where’s their money from?” Ma’am asked as if it was important to their investigation. Abee shot Ma’am a look in response to Ma’am’s nosiness.
“Inherited, I think,” the attendant said. “I always ask people what they think it is before they go. What do you think it is?”
“It’s something that goes bump in the dark, not otherwise explained,” Abee said.
“Well, I guess that’s true,” the attendant said. “See you in a few days. Can’t wait to hear all about it.”
Abee got into the driver’s seat. She gave Ma’am the map to their destination and started the car with a roar. They waved to the attendant on their way out of the lot. Abee turned left, and they started toward the Glosip mansion.
“Did you watch those videos I asked you to watch?” Ma’am asked.
Abee nodded. Ma’am had encouraged her to search the Internet for videos of other paranormal investigators’ interventions at the Glosip mansion.
“What did you learn?” Ma’am asked.
“There’s a lot of scam artists out there,” Abee said.
“That’s not new knowledge,” Ma’am said. “What did you learn?”
Abee fell silent as she thought it through.
“I learned that a lot of genuinely nice people have tried to get inside the mind of this thing,” Abee said. “Psychics, paranormal scientists, priests, even UFO folks.”
“And . . .?”
“There’s a kind of stubbornness to this thing,” Abee said. “An unwillingness to share or give in. It’s almost as if the mansion would rather be burned to the ground than have to give up its secrets.”
“Any idea what its secrets are?” Ma’am asked.
“Uh . . .” Abee said.
They drove in silence for about a half hour before Abee cleared her throat to respond.
“In order of easiest to hardest,” Abee said. “Easiest is . . .”
“Buried bodies in the basement,” Ma’am said.
“Exactly,” Abee said. “One of the paranormal investigators and a couple of psychics suggested this, but the Dawsons didn’t want to tear up their spa pools to remove the bodies. Plus . . .”
“The house doesn’t want to bodies removed,” Ma’am said.
“I think so, too,” Abee said. “I think it will fall down if they are removed.”
“Probably so,” Ma’am said with a nod. “The hardest?”
“The house gave up on itself,” Abee said. “You know, when the flood came. I saw pictures of it. There was at least ten feet of mud in the house before the Dawsons bought it.”
“The house is depressed,” Ma’am said.
“Can that happen?” Abee asked.
“We’ll find out,” Ma’am said.
They drove the rest of the way with the silent company of their own thoughts. They pulled into the driveway of the “Historic Glosip Hotel and Spa.”
The house rose like a monolith off the perfectly manicured grass. It had a distinctly feminine look with long white Doric columns decorated with white ribbons draped around the pedestal at the top and the bottom. The roof peaks had ornaments on the edges. The second and third floor had long porches in front of the windows and doors. Every window and door had been refurbished with double pained glass. Everything had been painstakingly redone, most likely by hand. Abee parked near the entrance so that Ma’am wouldn’t have far to walk. Ma’am sat looking at the house for a moment.
“Well . . .” Ma’am said.
“‘Well’?” Abee asked.
“I may as well tell you now,” Ma’am said.
“Tell me what?” Abee asked.
“I’ve been here before,” Ma’am said.
“Then you know what thing goes bump in the night,” Abee said.
Ma’am shook her head.
“When I was here last, the house was being lost to the river,” Ma’am said with a nod. “It broke my heart to see it.”
Ma’am jumped out of the car.
“Did Ma’am just tell me that she was here during the flood of 1927?” Abee thought. She squinted in her great-grandmother’s direction. Out loud, she said, “That’s impossible, right?”
She got out of the car and met Ma’am at the entrance.
“One other thing,” Ma’am said.
Abee raised her eyebrows in the woman’s direction.
“Some people call me ‘Miriam,’” Ma’am said.
“Why?” Abee asked.
“It’s a long story,” Ma’am said. “You can either go inside to deal with this thing, or you can stand out here listening to me flap my jaw.”
“But . . .” Abee started.
Ma’am raised her eyebrows, which stopped Abee from speaking.
“Fine,” Abee said.
Walking behind Ma’am, she stomped her way up the three steps to the front door. Ma’am stopped short, and Abee ran into her. Ma’am turned around and hugged Abee.
“I love you, Abee,” Ma’am said. “There are things on heaven and earth for you to know. Let the knowledge happen in its own time.”
“What if you die before that?” Abee spoke her greatest fear.
“Like that’s going to happen.” Ma’am snorted a laugh.
Ma’am turned around to knock on the door. Abee scowled at her back. The moment the door moved, Abee nudged Ma’am aside and put a bright smile on her face. The door opened to a slightly bent, elderly dark-skinned man. He looked at Abee and gave Ma’am the once over.
“’S’ about time,” the doorman said in a rich baritone. He nodded at them and stepped back.
“Hi, my name is Abee, Abee Normal — well really, it’s Abeegail, two ‘e’s. I know it’s crazy, but my mom, well, it’s kind of a funny story . . .” She stopped chattering when Ma’am put her hand on Abee’s arm. She turned her head to look at Ma’am.
“You agoin’ fix it?” the doorman asked.
“She will do what I cannot,” Ma’am said.
“There’s something you can’t do?” the doorman asked with a laugh. Ma’am rolled her eyes at him. “This way.”
“I know the way,” Ma’am said.
“These folk turned the whole place around,” the doorman said. “Not a soul knows where to go now. Even I need a map sometimes.”
They followed the doorman through a sunny open room and into an office in the back. He tapped on the door, and they heard a hearty “Come in!”
“Miriam Normal and her female relation, Abeegail Normal,” the doorman said.
“Thank you, Norman,” the woman behind the desk said.
The doorman nodded to Abee, and she went into the room. He gave Ma’am a fast kiss on the cheek, and she touched his face. He nodded to them both. Turning, he left the room and closed the door.
“I see you’ve met our Norman,” the woman behind the desk said as she stood.
Ma’am’s eyebrows worked out the “our” in the statement. Abee cleared her throat.
“I’m Abee,” she said. “This is my great-grandmother . . .”
“Miriam,” Ma’am introjected.
“The Miriam?” the woman asked.
“Yes, ma’am,” Ma’am said.
“Well, I’ll be,” the woman said. “No wonder you know Norman.”
Abee gave her great-grandmother a worried look. Ma’am’s face was like obsidian as the woman gave her a deep, searching look.
“Did you get our email?” Abee asked.
“I’m sorry?” the woman said.
“Our email,” Abee said. She stood up straight. “I’m a paranormal investigator.”
The woman pointed to Abee and then to Miriam. She gave a little shake of her head.
“Is this a joke?” the woman asked.
“Is it a . . .” Abee looked confused.
“She thinks I put a curse on this house,” Ma’am said.
“Did you?” the woman asked.
“No,” Ma’am said with finality. “I did not. That was a lie.”
“You sure?” the woman asked. “I’ve had more than a few psychics tell me that it was fact.”
“I’m sure you know that more than a few psychics are con artists,” Ma’am said.
The woman snorted in agreement.
“Don’t you know when anything weird happens, they always find a woman to blame?” Ma’am asked.
“Yes, I do know that,” the woman said with a slight nod. Her bright red lips spread open across her blanch-white face to show a white-toothed grin. “What do you think?”
“About what?” Abee asked. She had no idea what was going on, but she didn’t like it. “Maybe we should go.”
“No, no,” the woman said. “If you are, in fact, Miriam, then we will take any help you can give us.”
“I can’t help you,” Ma’am said. “But she can.”
The woman assessed Abee for a moment. The woman stuck out her hand.
“I’m Cora Lee, uh, Dawson,” the woman said as she shook Abee’s hand. “You may call me, ‘Cora Lee.’”
“Abee,” she said.
“Nice to meet you, dear,” Cora Lee said. She looked at Ma’am and Ma’am nodded.
“If you don’t mind, I wonder if we might be able to see our room,” Abee said. “My great-grandmother is tired, and we’ve come a long way. We would like to rest a bit, maybe eat a bit, and then get started.”
“Of course, of course,” Cora Lee said. She rang a bell and the doorman, Norman, opened the door. “Please take them to their suite.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Norman said.
They left the office and moved through the building. While they walked, Norman and Ma’am argued out of the sides of their mouths. They weren’t loud enough for Abee to hear, so she focused her attention on the hotel.
On first glance, every detail shone with perfection. The staff stood attentively in uniforms that matched the ghost staff standing by their side. As if to remind her of why she was there, the roof gave a hearty pop. The ghosts startled, the living staff scurried away, and Ma’am shot the roof the evil eye. Norman pointed at Ma’am, and they continued their arguing. They stopped walking mid-argument.
“Your suite,” Norman said.
He opened the door. With one last dark look at Ma’am, he stalked away. Abee helped Ma’am into the suite. When Ma’am was settled, she started to go for their bags. As if on cue, Norman arrived with their bags. Abee opened her bag and took out the bottle of celebration bourbon. She poured a stiff glass for her great-grandmother. Ma’am drank it down without a word.
“You want to tell me about this?” Abee asked.
“No,” Ma’am said. “I do not.”
Abee kept looking at her great-grandmother until Ma’am shook her head and looked up at the ceiling.
“There are things . . .”
“Yes, ‘heaven, hell,’ — we’ve been through that,” Abee said. “Who is Norman?”
“He’s my relation,” Ma’am said.
“So he’s my relation?” Abee asked. “Are you goin’ to introduce me?”
Not saying a word, Ma’am looked at Abee for so long that Abee wondered if she had something on her shirt. Abee shook her head. She got out her computer, plugged it in, and picked up the information booklet for the hotel.
“It says here that, and I quote, ‘An angry slave named Miriam put a curse on the house,’” Abee said. Ma’am looked up at her. “Anything to say?”
Ma’am gave a stiff shake of her head and looked away.
“Is this you?” Abee asked.
Ma’am looked up at Abee.
“Did you put a curse on this place?” Abee asked.
Ma’am kept looking at Abee.
“And anyway, everyone knows that a thing that goes bump isn’t a curse,” Abee said. “How stupid are these people?”
“Pretty stupid,” Ma’am said.
The case of: Something goes bump in the night, not otherwise explained, will continue next Friday...
For the next four weeks, I'll share a portion of the first story on Friday (Part one) If you'd like to read the entire chapter, you can do so at Wattpad. The book is available in eBook or paperback at Apple books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and anywhere you purchase books.