“Bill, are you sure it’ll be okay with the university if you head straight here?” Kim asked. “I don’t want you to lose your job.”
“No, it’s fine. I worked it all out. Right now, let’s just focus on finding the killer before anyone else is hurt. Anyway, I’m dying to find out what happened at the morgue so let’s have it, Jilly. How did it go?”
Gillian groaned. Her evening had been complete chaos and she hated the thought of rehashing it, especially since the feelings of dread hadn’t dissipated since she left the morgue. Knowing Kim would hear all about it anyway, Gillian told her friends everything. She had expected laughing or even a few good natured jokes at her expense but Kim, Angela, and Bill remained silent until she ended her story with sloshing to her car and cranking up the heat. For a few seconds, the silence hung heavy in the air, each waiting for someone else to speak. Then they all spoke at once, words jumbling together in confusion.
“Oh my God! Is Kenj okay?” Kim gasped.
“Wait, you took your hands off the planchette before saying goodbye?” Bill asked.
“So who touched your shoulder if it wasn’t Marie or Kenj?” Angela wondered.
Nervous giggles rippled through the group when they all blurted their questions out at the same time. Gillian wasted no time allaying Kim’s fears. Kenj would be fine after a few stitches. It was the other questions that made her squirm.
“Honestly,” Gillian said, “I have no clue who touched me. I was nowhere near the door so it wasn’t one of the firemen, either. I’ve been trying to convince myself that it was just stress and I imagined it but …”
Gillian paused as she stared out the window. A shadowy figure had caught her eye and the feeling of being watched made her skin crawl. It wasn’t until Kim and Angela turned to look out the window that she redirected.
“Bill, what were you asking me about the planchette?” She said, trying to cover up her concerns.
“You said you pulled your hands off but you said goodbye first, right?” Bill’s voice was thick with concern. “You didn’t just pull away, did you?”
“Um, yeah … I was a little thrown off when he said the devil and my hands came up. That’s when the planchette flew out and hit Detective McDonald. What do you mean say goodbye? What’s that all about?”
“There’s a spot at the bottom of the board that says goodbye. It’s just good manners to say goodbye to the spirit,” he replied but Bill’s voice changed pitch as he attempted to lighten his tone. “Don’t worry, Jilly. We both know Seth was never the type to stand on ceremony. Look, I need to get a few things then I’ll be on the road so I’ll see you all soon.”
Kim took her phone off speaker to say goodbye but Bill urged her to go into another room before hanging up the phone.
“Kim, listen, you need to keep an eye on Gillian. Make sure she stays close. She might not be safe.”
“Oh my God! Why?”