Lose Face

“We gotta get out of here,” I told Jacob. I jammed my hand deep into my pocket, hoping that maybe half a pill was lost somewhere down in the seam, that I’d just happened to miss it the first ten times I looked.

“Vic....”

“This is why I never go to parties. There I am, eating Doritos and talking ‘Who’s Who’ on the forceā€”I turn the corner to grab a drink, and bam.”

This “bam” was particularly nasty: a solid, opaque ghost with his flesh melting off, squatting in the back of a utility closet, utterly still. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how he’d died. “Did you bring any Auracel?”

Jacob got a weird look on his face, like he was biting the inside of his cheek. It probably amused him to be my human Pez dispenser.

“Well?” I asked. “Did you?”

“Maybe you want to take another look before you medicate.”

“I’ve seen enough.”

Jacob edged me toward the closet where I’d just gotten up-close and personal with Slippery Face. “Was it threatening you?” he asked. “Chasing you? Did it even make eye contact?”

“Why, you want to solve the Mystery of the Melting Man? Or are you just gonna go beat off in the bathroom from my description of it?”

Jacob pulled open the closet door while his body blocked me from going anywhere. There he was, Puddleguy, in exactly the same position.

“You don’t think it’s peculiar that he’s not moving, and he’s wedged between a stack of Styrofoam tombstones and a light-up reindeer?”

And that Jacob could see him, too. That he was made of plastic. I sighed, and felt the sick lurch in my gut that I got when my adrenaline ebbed suddenly. “So where do they keep the soda around here?”

 

© 2008 Jordan Castillo Price. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may not duplicate, re-post or re-distribute this story without written permission from the author.

 


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