Authors: Naomi Kramer
Tags: #ghost story, #mystery, #revenge
Smashwords Edition of
DEAD(ish) by Naomi Kramer – published 2009
Copyright to this ebook
and the content therein is held by Naomi Kramer.
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License - Attribution and Non-Commercial Use
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welcome to copy the file and pass it on to friends, family,
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weird Aussie spelling if you really want. But you're not permitted
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If you'd like to use
this ebook in ways not permitted by the license, get in contact
with me. I'm generally fair and reasonable. My email address is
The cover art was
kindly provided by the talented artist, PJ Lyon. Check out his
other artwork, and his fiction, at
"LOOK," he said, cutting across yet another
plea, "You're dead. You need to accept that."
"No. Stop pretending to be alive. It's
stupid. It's creepy. Now GO. THE. HELL. AWAY."
She crossed her arms and stared at him.
He rolled his eyes and stomped away.
Women! Can't live with 'em, can't escape even
by killing 'em.
"You're like a priest, right? You aren't
allowed to testify against me and shit? Not quite? Oh, fuck it. I
don't care anymore. Help me out, I pay you, and then if you want
you can dob me in. I'm too tired to give a shit, I just wanna get
rid of the bitch.
"So, I killed my girlfriend. Weirdly, it was
accidental. I say weirdly, because - but that's a whole 'nother
cricket game. Let's not go there, eh?
"We were arguing because I saw her fucking
the next door neighbours – gay guys, go figure! - on their back
veranda. Both of them. High noon, bright daylight, but then the
backyard is only visible from one place – ours. And we were never
that interested in watching the naked, oil-slicked adventures that
went on there. Well I weren't. Wasn't. Obviously Linda was a bit
more interested than I'd thought. Guess they did make me look
bloody boring. Kama Sutra and oil and moans of ecstasy. Linda and I
went for good old missionary position and I came every time and she
never complained. That seemed good enough. Well, fuck me. I was
"Damn, I've lost track. Right. I killed
Linda. But like I say, it was accidental. I know all murderers say
that, except the freakazoids who eat people's faces while they're
alive and tied up, then fry their fingers and make haggis – shit.
Off topic again.
"It was accidental. Just believe me. We were
arguing, she told me I fuck like a jellyfish (what the fuck?), and
I slapped her. One of those girly i'm-so-pissed-off-you-arsehole
slaps. I'd be embarrassed about that if there was anyone still
alive who saw it. Except me. But it knocked her off her stilettos
-the only things she was wearing except for a coating of oil –
stinking like a whorehouse in summer – and a smug smirk. It was the
smirk that did for me, but it was the high heels what did for
Linda. She went sideways and lost her balance on those tall, stupid
spiky things and went down, smacking her head on the 'occasional
table' with a nasty-sounding thump.
"She died 12 or so hours later. In her sleep.
We'd called a truce and gone to bed and fucked (yeah, missionary
position) and slept. I woke up clutching a dead-cold cadaver that
wouldn't move so I could take a pulse.
"Fuck. Reliving that has me crying like a
little girl. I'm off to get a beer. See you later."
"Oh, fuck. You're back? How much did I drink
last night? And what the
is playing on my sound system?
Oh fuck, girly stalker music, just what I fucking need right now.
The tide is high but I'm holding on
I'm gonna be your number one
"Fuck. My head is pounding in time to the
island beat, like someone's ramming a red-hot poker through it each
time. And I need to chuck. Fuck off for a bit while I surf the
porcelain bus. And turn off that bloody music on your way out. If
she'll let you."
"So, I was sounding like a utter psycho last
time you were here. But you've gotta understand, mate – I'm living
in a little piece of hell. In fact, I reckon demons sticking
pitchforks in my arse while I stand on hot coals sounds easy-peasy
right now. Because this silly bitch has more imagination than any
demon. Anyone'd think she'd been studying up on interrogation
techniques – minoring in Breaking The Bastard Down.
"So far I've had feminist crap music being
played full-bore in the early morning (like, 3am), my TV switching
channels every time I relax, the fridge and freezer being
unplugged, my BBQ's exploded... I'm a man on the edge. Coffee
doesn't help anymore. Besides, I have to go to the cafe to get one
because she'll switch the sugar with salt just for a laugh. And you
don't wanna drink coffee with salt in it. Ever tried? It's the
nastiest thing I've ever tasted, and I've tasted some nasty shit.
"Lemme give you an idea of one of my days,
OK? Yesterday. I woke up, and there was no music playing. Thank
God, I think, she's gotten the hint and buggered off. So I sit up,
and my foot lands in a slime of cat vomit. Don't wanna know where
the hell she got
from. So I swear and wipe off my foot
and she pinches me on the bum while I'm doing it and I fall on my
arse and set off my sciatica, like she knew it would. I hobble to
the bathroom to piss, and then take a look in the mirror. My hair's
blue, and my eyebrows are orange, and my skin's green. I look like
a smurf, a munchkin and an oompa loompa had an orgy and I was their
love-child. Shit. I get into the shower and scrub and scrub. I get
out and check the mirror, and discover that it's changed... not a
bit. Fuck fuck fuck. So I give up, and I go to the cafe anyway.
Everyone's staring and laughing the whole way there, and then the
staff are goggling and trying not to be rude.
"Psycho ex," I explain and grin disarmingly,
and shit if it doesn't work – they all smile sympathetically and
the bloke at the coffee machine makes me a free extra-large iced
coffee thing with extra cream. Then, because he's a smart-arse,
puts green, blue and orange sprinkles on top. Whatever. Caffeine.
Cholesterol. Sugar. Heaven. Temporarily, of course. Cos then Linda
turns up, right in public. She sits opposite me and one of the
staff come over to take her order. She asks for a double espresso,
black, hot. I frown at her but can hardly say, "Bugger off, you're
a ghost!" in front of everyone, can I? So I sweat it out, and her
double espresso arrives. She throws it in my face and
"The staff are all gaping. Well hell, they
did just see a woman disappear into thin air. I count my options
and quickly look as confused as anybody else. To help matters, I
squeeze out a tear or two. Not too hard considering I just had
scalding liquid all over my face.
"So there you have it. You're the exorcist –
how the hell do we get rid of this chick?"
I sit in the chair, listening to this pale
shadow of a man pour out his crappy black heart to me, and I do my
best to look sympathetic. MUSTN'T smirk! We don't want to put the
wind up him. Professional pride aside, Linda would kill me if I
stuff this up.
My name's Trent. I'm a private detective,
hired by the late Linda Stevens. Obviously, I believe in ghosts. I
never used to, but Linda is a pretty determined bird with some very
convincing tricks. Cripes, I don't want to start thinking about it.
mad if I dwell on it. Let me just say this –
don't ever let a ghost like Linda near your pants.
She told me about herself, and insisted that
I write it down. Why? I asked. I knew I'd remember every detail –
it's my job. Besides, she could always be on hand to remind me of
anything that slipped my prodigious memory.
"For posterity," she said. Well, can't argue
with that. Besides, arguing with a ghost is one of those exercises
in futility, like chasing rainbows or trying to ride the wind. At
least it is if the ghost's Linda. I'd never tried arguing with a
My name's Linda. I'm dead. It sucks, OK? Especially
because I'm dead for no good reason. I'm dead because my dumbarse
boyfriend smacked me one and then something else smacked me one and
it hurt like hell and that's all I remember, to be honest. Until I
woke up without a body. Now I know from books and movies that
that's not the way it's supposed to happen. Well, in a way it is,
right. But the ghost is always anchored by their bod, and they
can't move too far away from it. Which implies that they know WHERE
THE HELL IT IS. Whereas, me? I don't know where my body is, and I'm
not limited to any location. And for some reason, this is really
important to me. I need to find my body. Maybe I need closure, or
some shit. I don't know. I just need to. So I hired Trent. He'll
find my body for me. I hope. If he doesn't, I'll fire his arse and
haunt him in between haunting my ex-beloved and hiring someone with
I think that last bit's a threat.
I wander around the outside of the house,
'feeling the vibes'. Mike walks beside me, and I can almost feel
him shaking. This guy is seriously on the edge. I pause in about
every location I can think of, watching him out of the corner of my
eye. I can't feel 'cold spots' for shit, but I can read people.
They tense up when you're close to something they desperately don't
want you to find. Although this guy is so stressed I'm not sure
he'd tense up if I held a knife to his throat and threatened to
I keep wandering, over the obvious bits –
shed, garage, vegie garden – nothing.
"Did Linda have anything – a treasure of some
sort, like a journal – buried out here?" I ask, spreading my hands
above the vegie garden in what I hope is a cold spot sensing kinda
He shrugs, looking puzzled and vaguely
"No bloody idea, mate – can we go back inside
now? I need to sit down."
He really does look wrecked. His skin's still
orange, although he's managed to bleach the colour out of his hair
and eyebrows. But Linda's been having fun with nail polish, and his
fingernails and toenails are a very pretty bright pink. So now he
just looks like the victim of a deranged beautician. He scratches
at his skull absent-mindedly.
"How'd you get the colour out of your
"I just used the stuff in the cupboard," he
says and shrugs, still scratching.
Bleached his hair with household bleach? No
wonder he's scratching. His head must be one big blister.
"You do know there are different kinds of
He looks at me blankly.
Stuff it, I think. Let the neckless wonder
I shot the sheriff
But I did not shoot the deputy
Music is blaring. I wake up and groan. I'd
been dreaming about fucking Anna Kornikova. I wake up to the same
old nightmare. Except different, because she's an imaginative
bitch. New Rule #1 – Don't date women who paint. Arty-farty doesn't
just equal freaky in the sack, it also equals nasty genius revenge.
I don't like genius when it's happening to me.
I shamble out of bed and don't fall over.
Huh. She's slipping, if Bob Marley's all she can do to me. I get to
the sound system and turn it way down so I can hear myself think. I
hear a loud banging on the front door. Fuck. Some of the neighbours
have finally gotten sick of the noise. Fine. I paste a shit-eating
grin on my face, thread my way through the plant pots to the front
door, and open it.
They're looking shocked, which scares me a
I look down. Fly's unbuttoned, for a start.
My dick's waving hello in the breeze.
"God, sorry!" I say, putting him away and
straightening myself up. "Rough night. Umm... can I help you?"
One of them tears his eyes away from my pants
and looks at my face, trying not to look fascinated by the fact
that I'm bright orange still, I guess. My fingernails are still
bright pink, so I must look like a freakshow even with my clothes
"We're responding to a noise pollution
complaint, sir – may we come in?"
The other guy's still looking shell-shocked,
but he's staring at my lounge room. I motion them in, and turn to
look at whatever's got the bastard enthralled.
is written all over the walls
The-Shining-style in red paint. Fuck.
At least the plants are hiding some of