Monday, December 22, 2008

Dormtergeist: Act 2

The dorm was unusually loud. As Greg climbed the stairs, his footsteps were no longer the only audible residents of the building; rioutous laughter and the distant slap of high-fives joined in from an unknown source. The source didn't stay unknown for long. He walked down the hallway, his gait slowing to a stop as he realized that the noise was getting louder. Greg glanced at each other in turn, desperately hoping that the loud bangs were coming from any of them, but it was futile. He stepped towards his door, and could hear shouts and buzzing inside. The keys jingled, the door unlocked, and he peeked through hesitantly. Matt was sitting on the couch, seemingly unmoved from his position hours earlier, discounting the mountain of discarded soda cans erected at his feet. This was as Greg had expected. What did surprise him, however, was that two unknown boys were now sitting on the couch as well. They stared directly ahead, transfixed by the football game showing on the television, and didn't seem to notice Greg's entrance at all. They too had stacks of cans before them, though these monuments towered far above Matt's. Greg stood, mouth agape, searching for words.

"Yo, Greg!" smiled Matt, "This is Trevor and Rocko. One of the rooms down the hall was built on an ancient burial ground and these fellas were just hanging around, so I thought I'd invite them over to watch the game."

"Sup," muttered Trevor, though he was still facing the TV.

Greg was just as dumbstruck as when he had returned home the day before, but was now slightly more ready to deal with unexpected houseguests. "I didn't realize that there were so many ghosts haunting this dorm," he said as he tossed his backpack onto the bed.

"Oh, they're not ghosts," said Matt, ominously. "Trevor's a phantom, and Rocko is a specter"

Rocko turned, a stern look spread across his face: "Big difference, man. Don't you forget it."

Greg apologized, and Rocko turned back to the game, satisfied. Greg spoke up again: "Okay, so guys, or ghosts, or whatever you are, can you go hang out somewhere else? I really need to get some work done."

Matt chuckled: "Ha, sorry buddy. I'm kind of stuck here--this is the place where I died, so it's my job to spook people who come near, you know what I mean. We'll try to keep it down though."

Trevor turned around: "Ah, don't worry, bro. Rocko and I were just about to leave anyway. The banshees at the sorority across the street are throwing some big party tonight, so we've got to go pre-game."

The specter and the phantom stood up and stretched, sending their can-made works of art crashing to the floor. They stumbled out, each playfully slapping Greg on the back as they left. Greg was irritated: "So Matt, how long do you think you're going to be haunting my room?"

"Heh, I don't know," Matt laughed. "I'd forgotten how great this place was. You might have a new roommate, dude!"

He raised his hand, offering a high five. Greg didn't reciprocate.

The next afternoon, Greg found himself sitting with Stacy in a coffee shop. She had bought an advertisement in the local newspaper, and had been surprised to receive a response only hours later. The caller had asked to meet in a public space in broad day light, and she had suggested a coffee shop. After assuring the man that the meeting place sold muffins, Stacy called Greg and told him about the ghostbuster. He was unconvinced, but showed up because he had no better ideas of his own.

"He should be here any minute now," said Stacy, noticing that Greg was already fidgeting and checking the time. "This guy is the best paranormal investigator in the entire state. He told me so on the phone!"

Greg took a sip of his coffee. "You don't think this is sketchy at all? Some guy who thinks that he's a professional ghostbuster and responds to random want-ads in the back of newspapers?"

"Nope," said Stacy. And that was that. Greg considered asking follow-up questions, but was interrupted by the large man in the trenchcoat and sunglasses who sat down next to them, muffin in hand. If he wasn't actually a ghostbuster, he at least looked the part.

"You two the ones havin' the..." He shifted in his seat and lowered his voice. "...ghost problem?"

"That's us," said Greg. He took another sip.

"Alright," muttered the man in the trenchcoat. "The name's Reid McCoy, Professional Phantom Exterminator Extraordinaire, MD."

"Was that 'Phantom Exterminator?' Do you cover ghosts too?" asked Greg, worried about whether he would need three seperate exterminators to handle Matt and his friends.

"Sure," grunted McCoy. "Ghosts, phantoms, I do it all. So what seems to be your problem? Kids wearing burlap sacks? Pale Japanese girls with really long black hair? Evil clowns?" He shuttered a bit. "...You don't have twins, do you?"

"No, this ghost sits on my couch."

"And he's trying to kill you?'

"No... He just irritates me."

McCoy took his sunglasses off and his mustache twitched. His sunken eyes widened, as if he had never dealt with something like this before. After a second of consideration, he bit a large chunk out of his muffin and belched: "Alright, I'll see what I can do. Lead the way, chief."

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