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A Sleepwalker's Nightmare

Chapter Seven


___Jeff had to admit that it was times such as these when he really was glad that Marty was still around, even if he did become rather annoying at times. It was always reassuring to have your best mate watching over you; and what with their line of work, it was often a bonus that he was invisible to most. He was content following Mrs. McReady as discreetly as he was able to a point, but he wanted to get closer.
___"Marty, do you think you could sit in her car with her, if I stayed close?"
___"How should I know?" his partner asked. "It's not exactly something we've tried before, is it?"
___Jeff tried to keep the aggravation from his tone as he replied. "Well, let's put it to the test now then."
___Marty shrugged indifferently. "If you want."
___"Thanks, Marty."
___"I don't know if it'll work though," he pointed out. "So I don't want any stupid comments from you if I can't do it. I'm stuck with you no matter what, remember?"
___Jeff nodded quietly, determined not to get into another slanging match. "I can't blame you if you try, can I?"
___"Makes a change! Are you feeling alright, Jeff?"
___"Yes, Marty, I'm fine. Could you please get a move on before we lose her, or something?"
___ Hopkirk glared at him and vanished. Sometimes, he felt as if Jeff didn't appreciate having him around at all! If he wasn't shouting at him, he was ignoring him.

___Mrs McReady switched on her mobile phone and dialed a number, holding the device to her ear with one hand while she drove with the other.
___"Hello, darling," a voice greeted her at the other end.
___Marty appeared in the back seat just in time to hear her say: "Oh, James! I can't go through with it - I just can't!"
___Hopkirk leaned forward, listening with interest. He couldn't make out what was being said at the other end, but the voice sounded sharp and angry.
___"I know! I know it was my idea," she said. "But... Oh, this is going to sound silly, but..." she took a deep breath. "Gareth's haunting me. He was playing horrible tricks on me, back at the house..."
___The voice began to snap at her again.
___"I never believed in ghosts, either!" she wailed. "But how else do you explain clocks... chiming every two minutes and... stuff!"
___she was at a loss now. Marty could tell by the way she was screaming into her phone. He smirked to himself. Good, he thought. Serves her right, anyway. Murderers deserve whatever they get!
___The voice at the other end seemed calmer now. Mrs. McReady took a few deep breaths as she listened to what he had to say. "You're right, of course. It's just my imagination running away with me." She paused a moment. "Yes, I'll be alright. I'll go back to the house and wait for the police to call me. I just hope they didn't phone while I've been out..." she paused again. "No, I know. I just want all this to be over as soon as possible. The sooner they come to the conclusion that it was just gang crime or something, the sooner I can marry you. Just think, darling - the two of us together, with all that money to share..." she sighed in a dreamy manner.
___"Oh, please," Marty groaned. "It's enough to make a ghost puke!"

___As McReady ended her call, Marty decided to go back to Jeff. He knew that she was going to go back home and wait for the police to contact her, so there was no point in following her further.
___Randall jumped slightly as the ghost reappeared beside him. "That was quick," he remarked.
___"No point in sticking around where I'm not needed," was the reply. "Anyway, she was making me nauseous."
___Jeff frowned. "Can a ghost feel nauseous?"
___"They can if a woman like her is getting all romantic with an accomplice!" he shouted.
___"Sorry I asked, Marty. What did you find out?"
___"Her accomplice's name is James. She didn't mention a last name, so don't ask."
___"That's it?" Randall asked.
___"No, short arse, it isn't. She killed Mr. McReady because she wanted his money and a new lover; only now she regrets killing him and thinks he's haunting her..."
___"I wonder why..."
___"Serves her right for being greedy and vicious! Anyway, he's talked her into going back to the house and waiting for the call from the police, so there's no point in following her any further."
___"Thanks, Marty," Jeff smiled and turned the car in the direction of the office.


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