Friday, February 13, 2015 | By: Angela Brown


STOP #4: Angela Brown


"There are things that go bump in the night, Mr. MacMillian.  It's my job to bump back."
Private investigator Jesper MacMillian was sure he'd seen it all.  After all, in a city like San Francisco, strange is what's for breakfast.  Following a long  recovery after a horrific accident, his life is finally the way he wants it- or at least, close enough.  The only monsters on his radar are the ones that keep him awake at night.
All that changes the day he meets Lena Alan.
Before MacMillian has a chance to brace for impact, Lena drags him into a world where monsters aren't just real, they're hiding in plain sight.  Suddenly, everything he knows is suspect, starting with his current case.  For Lena, a medium since childhood, it's just another day at the office.
For MacMillian, it's the beginning of the end of everything he thinks he knows.



Lena sighed and set the cup back down.  "Yeah.  Hate to break it to you, but you've got that about right." She paused.  Why did this spirit seem so familiar?  She narrowed her eyes.  A second later, it came to her.  Her eyes shot wide.  "Oh my god- Jimmy?  What the- what happened?"
The man had been dancing from one foot to the other.  He froze, peered closer at her face.  "Lena?  For real?  I felt something pulling me here, but I didn't realize you were a- is this some kind of trick?"
Lena winced. She hadn't known Jimmy long --he'd only started working odd jobs at the shop about a month earlier-- but already she'd come to like him.  "Sorry.  No trick."
The agitated look returned to his face.  "Then I really am dead.  Fuck, I was hoping all that shit was a dream.  He cracked my fucking chest open, and I... I felt it.  Hell, I watched."
Lena's stomach soured.  "I'm sorry."
He shook his head.  "That's not why I'm here.  Look, my mamío, she was always telling us about souls and good and evil and what happens when you die, and all that shit.  I always thought she was just a crazy old bat who'd had too much plum brandy back in the old country, but she was right.  About all of it.  Something's wrong.  I don't know how I can tell, but I can.  It's like... confused.  Everything's all confused, and something bad's going down, and I-"
Lena held up both hands.  "Hold up.  You lost me.  What's a mamío?  What was she right about?  What's wrong?"
Jimmy blew out a frustrated breath.  "My grandmother.  She's... I'm... shit.  I'm not really supposed to tell you any of this, you being a raklí and all, but... you've heard of the Roma?"
Lena nodded slowly.  "Gypsies."
Jimmy jerked his head in the affirmative.  "Right, well, I'm Rom.  Or I was.  My mamío's a fortune teller.  Most of our women are, but she's the real deal.  At least, she's good at palms and tea leaves and shit.  The rest of it- damn.  I should've fucking listened to her." He raked a hand through his hair, pulled it back and shot it a puzzled look.
Lena cleared her throat.  "You don't have a physical body anymore.  Everything probably feels... different."
Jimmy wheezed out a half-hearted laugh.  "Yeah.  Different." He shook himself, and looked back up at her.  "Anyway, Mamío was always going on about the 'cosmic harmony, and all that.  According to our beliefs, the universe needs a balance of both good and evil."
Lena furrowed her brow.  "You don't sound convinced."
Jimmy shrugged.  "I always was a pretty shitty tsigani.  The kris -that's our, I dunno, internal court system, I guess- kicked me out of the community about a year ago.  Been on my own ever since."
If that bothered him, he gave no sign of it.  Lena swallowed the sympathetic murmur that sprang to her lips.  "Okay, so what about this balance?"
Jimmy started to pace.  "Well, apparently, when something throws it off, things get all kinds of crazy.  So crazy, people say the ancestors will give you signs to warn you about it."
His ethereal form shimmered as he drew a deep breath.  "I wasn't supposed to, but I stayed in touch with my family. Lately, Mamío's been saying her sister keeps waking her up in the middle of the night, telling her something's wrong.  Only her sister died during O Porajmos, back in the forties."
Lena's head pounded.  Three in the morning was too early to be dealing with ghosts, fortune tellers, and the Gypsy Holocaust.  She pressed the pads of her fingers to her eyes.  "Okay.  I agree, that sounds bad."
Jimmy shook his head.  "If I'd just listened... but I thought she was crazy.  I mean, I never told her, but she knew.  She's like that." He stared off into the fake ficus in the corner.  "I should have listened."


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This is a blog train, and there are more excerpts to read!

7th Stop: The Darker Side
8th Stop: Write Bitches

Hit all the stops to read A World Apart up through Chapter 2!


Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like a great book. Congrats to L.J,K! And have a great weekend.

Laura Oliva said...

Thanks, Natalie! Hope you have a great weekend, too!

Laura Oliva said...

Hey Angela! Thank you again for hosting this for me! Next time we get together, I owe you SO much moonshine ;-)

DMS said...

What a fun way to reveal part of a story! Thanks for sharing. :)

alexia said...

Sounds fun! I love that opening quote :)

Have an awesome weekend, Angela!

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