(Just joining us? You may want to start at the beginning.)
The three of them stood in stunned silence for a moment. They were shocked and it showed on their faces clearly.
"Is -- is there anything else I can do for you?"
JD shook his head, trying to clear it of the fog.
"No ... no, thank you very much."
The librarian made a strange face and turned to go back to assisting the younger woman with the growing line of people at the check-out station.
They glanced at each other and turned in unison to go out the door. The cool autumnal breeze helped snap them out of their daze.
"JD ... didn't we talk t'that lady yesterday? I mean, we didn't slip into somethin' funky like in th' yard last night, right? I think it was last night ..."
"Yes," JD said, his voice hardly a whisper. "We did. I was certain it was yesterday." He knit his brows. "Yes, it was absolutely yesterday," he asserted, more sure of himself. "Yesterday we lost ... track of time out in the house's yard, but the day was the day. It WAS yesterday. I'm sure of it."
"It's ... it's Saturday, right?" Wendy was ashen. "You told me on Friday you met with a librarian that gave you all the information you couldn't find on the murder of Robin Brown and some information about his partner."
"That's right. It is Saturday."
JD scanned for a newspaper stand, but didn't see one nearby. He wanted to confirm the day and date, and didn't want to feel foolish by asking someone. He sighed and set his jaw.
"Well. This is certainly ... an unexpected wrinkle."
Wendy laughed mirthlessly. "Yeah, you could say that."
"Dude, you didn't even believe in ghosts, now you're surrounded with 'em. HA! That's funny."
"Why's it funny?"
"'Cause, dude, they can so tell you don't believe in 'em. They're like cats. Cats also wanna snug-up t'people that don' like 'em. Ghosts must be like that too. They wanna be up in your face an' stuff, 'cause you don't think they're real. Or somethin'."
"Hmm. That's genuine comedy, all right."
"Okay, so we can't talk to your librarian friend today, but we can still do the research, right?"
"Uh ... well, I guess so. We can look up Migo and Stanton, see what we find on them, I guess."
"Dude, y'think they're dead too?"
"I ... I don't know. Why?"
"I dunno. The other dudes in the movie are."
"That's true, baby. Maybe EVERYONE involved is dead."
"It doesn't matter. I'm not even sure why I'm doing this anymore. I'm not sure what I'm going to tell the homeowners, I've NO idea what I'm supposed to do about knowing the location of Robin Brown's body, and I have no idea exactly what's going on with this ... mystery. It's a 35-year-old crime."
"Murder doesn't have a statue of limitations, lover."
"I know, but ... what am I supposed to do? I can't go to the police with this information. They'll want to know how I got it, and I have no idea what to tell them that doesn't make me sound insane."
"The conversation we heard implied there were a lot of cops involved in this. I wonder why only Migo and Stanton are the ones we've seen?"
"We probably should have this conversation somewhere else."
"Dude, don'tcha want the townsfolk knowin' you solved their only murder case? You'll be, like, a hero or somethin'."
"Please. I'll be committed."
"Let's ... I don't know. Should we go on to the house and have a look around? Would you rather do that than do the research?" Wendy shrugged helplessly.
JD nodded slowly. "Had I known this earlier I would have just done the research online at home. I can't believe ..." He trailed off and his brows knit again.
"Baby, I know you're confused by all this," Wendy said, cupping his chin with her hand. "But sometimes, when we look for something, we find it. You were trying to find things paranormal, and now you have. I know it's hard to accept, JD, but this is really a supernatural event. You've seen not one, not two, but FIVE ghosts now. And you have no explanation for them. You're going to have to stop hurting yourself trying to dispel the myth of the supernatural and just embrace what's right in front of you."
"Yeah, dude, you ... you gotta ... I dunno. What she said, I guess."
"This is so impossible," JD muttered, rubbing the heel of his hand against his temple. "I just ... this is just so impossible."
"It so ain't, bud."
"I know it's hard for you, JD," Wendy soothed, taking his hand in both of hers and kissing it lightly. "But ... just go on with this as it is and it'll get easier for you to know what to do."
"Easier?" he repeated in disbelief. "Easier, Wen? I don't think so. This is ... this is like believing in Santa Claus. You're asking me to just accept Santa Claus here. I don't ... I don't know if I CAN. It's just ..."
She kissed his hand again. "I know. I know this is tough. But you did want to find something beyond yourself. You have. You wanted to find out what was going on in that house, and you have. You wanted to find the answers to this little mystery being played out, and you have. You wanted to know who killed Robin Brown and why, and now you do. If you want to prove the existence of ghosts, I think you've gone a long way toward that too. Whatever it is you were seeking to do, lover, you did it. You shouldn't be having such a hard time with this. You said you were open to ghosts if you had irrefutable evidence. I think you've got it. You're hoping that someone smarter than you will find something different, or hoping that some really obvious natural explanation is going to present itself to help you get a natural, normal, logical explanation out of this -- that's foolish. I think you have the proof you were looking for that there is another plane of existence you don't understand. And now that you have it, you don't seem to want it."
"Yeah, dude, you ... aw, screw it. Why even try after THAT?"
JD couldn't say anything. He couldn't meet her eyes.
"Don't feel bashed, baby. I knew if you ever ran into something like this, it would be really, really hard for you. You've had easy ones up to now, lover. You're too smart for the easy ones. But this? This is the genuine article, JD. You talked to a lady, who helped you in a public building in broad daylight, that's been dead for nearly two weeks. There's no explanation for that. Benjamin Whosit isn't going to be able to come up with anything for that. All he'd say is that you either imagined it or that you're lying. If he'd seen it himself he'd feel differently, I'm sure, but it was you and Dilly. He'd say that was suggestion."
"But ... Dillon spoke to her independently of me."
"I found her in the hallway by the 'puters. She didn't say nuthin' t'me though, 'cept askin' if I needed help. When I asked for you, she pointed to the room."
"But you spoke to her."
"Yeah. She just pointed an' kept goin'. Guess she didn't like me as much."
"You must have spoken to her again when you asked for the microfiche tapes, right?"
"What'd she say then?"
"Nothin'. I said, 'my nerdy friend wants me t'get the microwave tapes from ya,' and she jus' sorta smiled an' handed 'em to me. She never said nothin'."
"That's just weird. It's like they're going out of their way to interact with you."
"Robin Brown interacted with both of you too, Wen -- not just me."
"True. But you're running into them face to face much more than I am."
"That's so true, dude. You're like, a ghost-magnet or somethin'."
JD shook his head.
"So now what do you want to do?" Wendy held his hand between hers and pressed it to her chest. "How do you want to handle this?"
JD sighed again. "I ... well, I don't know. Let's get something to eat and we can talk about ... I don't what the hell we can talk about. Something else. I'm out of ideas on this case."
She giggled. "We'll see how the conversation goes. I know you. You're not going to NOT talk about the case."
"I'm all in fer eatin', though. I heard that part."
JD sighed deeply and they started down the stairs to the car. "Okay, let's get Dillon something to eat. Then we'll ... I don't know. Look at the tapes at the house, I guess. Kill some time before it starts again."
"Dude, how y'know it's gonna start again?"
"So ... why we going back to the house?"
"Because, if it does start, we might learn more about what's going on. This time I'm going to follow the person inside. There are so many questions I have. I don't know if ..."
They looked at him. "What?" Wendy asked, noticing his face.
"You know, I want to find something out. Here," he unlocked the car doors for them. "Go ahead. I'll only be a minute."
"Where you goin', dude? I thought we was gonna eat!"
"We are, we are ... I just want to ask that librarian a question."
He bounded up the stairs, leaving Dillon and Wendy shrugging and getting into the car. They fastened their seatbelts, and waited. People continued to trickle in and out of the busy little library, as the sky became increasingly overcast. A gray slate of heavy clouds rolled under the higher, wispy mare's tails, and soon the light was diffused into a soft, shadowless tone of year's end.
A few seconds later, JD came trotting down the stairs of the library.
He dropped heavily into the car and closed the door behind him, staring at the steering wheel.
Dillon sighed. "You gonna say somethin' or we supposeta guess, Milk Dud?"
"Well. It occurred to me that we really didn't have a common thread for this entire -- thing. It was all being laid out for us, but I didn't really see a ... a cohesiveness to it. I was seeing things from Brown's perspective, from someone I assumed was Darren Jenkins, then this whole Migo/Stanton thing ... it was a jumble."
Dillon yawned hugely. "What'd you ask, JD?" Wendy said.
"I asked the librarian what Bea's last name was. I was just curious, and wondered what ... well, basically, what she had to do with all this. Her maiden name? It was Jenkins."
"Oh my God."
"Holy maiden name, Batman," Dillon said, stretching. "She Jenky's chick?"
JD shook his head. "I don't think so, because when I asked if I could look her up to send her family flowers -- because she'd been so helpful to me when I last saw her -- the librarian said that, for the last several months, she'd been living with her children down state. I would have to look up the last name Migo to find her."
Wendy gasped. JD nodded. Dillon looked blank.
"That, my dearest Dillon, means that she married Migo. One of the men that murdered Robin Brown."