Lance Barrett - San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge - 5PM February the 11th
The sun was setting into the Pacific Ocean as Lance strolled out to the first pillar of the bridge a sea breeze gently ruffling his hair as he leaned back against it, far below surfers were paddling lazily back to the shore. "It's a wonderful day to be alive," he grinned as a figure began a stately walk out of nowhere towards him. "I'm sure it is," answered Norton without enthusiasm. "How’re you keeping?” Lance asked amiable to be rewarded with the spectre answering gloomily, “My body rotted nearly a century ago, they didn’t even try to preserve it.” The tiniest hint that he was at all glad to see the medium snuck into his voice as he inquired, “You making the arrangements on your side?”
“Yup,” Lance rocked forward onto the balls of his feet stretching enormously until he was nearly twice as tall as he was wide, “Meeting up with four of them tonight at Hoy’s chinkie about seven,” the only reply this elicited was a “Hmm.” “What?” asked Lance with irritation. “No, it’s nothing,” Norton shrugged making his uniform clink. “Bullshit. Tell me what you’re thinking.” After a pause Norton said, “Well…” then paused again, “It’s just funny how that’s round the corner from Cameron house,” he looked up with a hint of a smile, “You plan on breaking them in the hard way?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” muttered Lance turning away to face the cars racing past. “Yes, just a coincidence no doubt, just like the date coming up.”
Lance changed the subject, “Invited the Montgomery girl for one. One of a handful of mediums I’ve met with a heritage of the gift. What do you think? I won’t be around forever, she good enough to take over the chore of talking to you?” “I agree with you there,” said Norton. “That’s good then.” “I agree that you won’t be around forever,” completed Norton. Lance ignored him, and made to walk off. “Wait,” called Norton, “Go on, I won’t interrupt again.” Lance stopped and carried on, “Well we also have Professor Klein.” “You mean mad Sam?” interrupted Norton. Lance glared, “And we’ve got Jaeque and a rich girl called Serena who I’m getting paid enough to mentor to cover all expenses involved,” he garbled out without pause for Norton to interrupt. “Okay, why did you invite Jaeque? What use is he going to be exactly?” “Well for starters he’s picking Serena up from the airport.” “That’s not an answer.” Lance looked out over the bay and bit his lip, “I worry.” Norton looked like he might speak so Lance carried on, “I worry that ghosts aren’t the only things we’ll have to contend with.”
They were both silent for a second the sanctity of which was violated by someone yelling out of a passing convertible, “Don’t jump fatso! We can’t afford a tsunami!” Norton snorted, “I wish I got the jumpers, they all go to Golden Gate.” He started pacing and his voice took on the kind of petulant irritation seen in biblical kings about to order the killing of the first born, “I mean sure I get the depressed but never anyone interesting. No pacts and no thrill seekers and no tourists, the best I get are the odd inve…” “Norton! Calm down.” Norton scratched behind his ear and looked about him a little confused. “How’re things on your side?” asked Lance politely. “Awful, they all know something’s happening, Pleasant has seized half the graveyards in the city half everyone’s up in arms about it a few gone poltergeist which just makes it harder to work out who’re these new ones and whose just in a bad mood.” Lance glanced at his watch, “I’m sorry got to be getting off, back to the land of the living and all.” “Oh, well goodbye then,” said Norton miserably watching Lance already strolling off of the bridge. Norton didn’t agree really, Lance might not be on this earth much longer but he wouldn’t leave this city for the world.