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A Sleepwalker's Nightmare

Chapter One


___Marty Hopkirk was bored. He was always bored; especially at night, when his partner and chosen one was fast asleep in bed. He glared at Jeff Randall and shook his head.
___"Jeff, can't you find a case for us to work on?"
___His partner moaned and rolled over, covering his head with his duvet. When he did that, Marty couldn't help wondering whether he was really asleep at all. Eventually, he tired of pacing the floor of Jeff's bedroom. He considered visiting the cocktail bar in Limbo, but changed his mind; it was dead up there. In the end, he decided to try a skill that he had picked up from another ghost - sleepwalking.
___Marty concentrated on his sleeping partner and sucked a little of his soul into him. For a moment he felt a bit disorientated as he got used to having part of Jeff within him. He looked around, feeling as if Wyvern might be about to turn up wagging a finger at him or something. When nothing untoward happened, he grinned and disappeared into the night.

___The night was cold and misty but, being a ghost, it didn't bother Marty at all. He wandered through town, looking for something to do. The shops and pubs were closed, of course, but the clubs would all be in full swing. He was just about to enter the first club he came to and try stirring things up a bit, when he noticed a woman sitting on the bonnet of a small car which was parked on the other side of the road. She looked cold and bored, as if she'd been there all night. Marty sat beside her.
___"You look how I feel," he remarked. "Bit boring out here alone, isn't it?"
___The woman sighed and checked her watch. "Any moment now," she muttered to herself.
___"Your bloke's in there, is he?" the ghost asked, nodding toward the club. "You're waiting for him to notice the time and come hurrying out, I'll bet. Bet he'll be in trouble, eh? Why is it women are so..." he trailed off as she pulled a hand gun from her pocket and checked that it was loaded. "Looks like he's in more trouble than he'd have ever dreamed of," he remarked with dry humour. He tried to think of something he could do to stop her; some plan that he could carry out. If only he knew why she was there, or what she might have been planning; he'd have more chance of thwarting her if he only knew what was going on.
___Suddenly, the woman was on her feet, pointing the gun at a figure who was just emerging from a taxi outside the club. Marty tried blowing the weapon from her hand as she raised it to fire.
___Pandemonium broke out, as bouncers came running from the doorway of the club and the taxi sped away in a cloud of smoke. Marty went to the bouncers as they looked for the assailant.
___"She's over there," he shouted at them, pointing to the woman who was now sitting in the driver's seat of the car and pulling away. "You're going to lose her, you morons! Come on! Stop her!"

___Jeff awoke yelling himself hoarse as he jerked himself from his sleep. He sat up, wiping sweat from his face as he looked around him.
___"Thanks a lot," Marty's voice said as he appeared in the room by the bed. "Why did you have to go and wake up? Now I've lost her!"
___"Marty, will you just shut up and get out?" Jeff moaned as he tried to wake himself up. "I've just had a really weird nightmare, and I could do without you turning up and being daft, alright?"
___"I don't care. Just get your lazy backside out of bed and get dressed. We've finally got a case to work on."
___"Marty..." Randall stared at the clock beside his bed in disbelief. "But it's the middle of the night!"
___"No, it's early morning. Getting up early is very good for you."
___Jeff groaned and pulled himself out of bed. "Well, I can't see myself getting much kip with you going on at me, anyway..."
___"You got that right, pal!" Hopkirk grinned at him. "Come on, hurry up!"


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