Who is Crystal Payne – July 12, 2014

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Kelly Sands

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Kelly Sands

Who is Crystal Payne?

Crystal Payne was born during one of the worst storms in history. Strangely enough her oversized black cat Caesar was born the same day, they’ve been partners ever since.

She discovered early in life that she and Caesar had a special mind link. She also discovered that she had a knack for solving problems of … let’s say a supernatural nature. Some would say, she’s a witch … but of a different sort.

She read everything possible on the subject of her particular “gift”, then chose Dirk Gently’s path opening : Crystal Payne’s Spirit Investigations.

These are her stories …

I’ve written this as an introduction to my summer project – A series dedicated to Crystal Payne which I began writing this week!  The stories I’ve published this week are:

The Case of the Pigspittal Ghosts 

The Case of the Silent Bell

The Phantom of the Rap Opera

Now … let’s go read the great stories that have been created and written for the weekly prompt: Friday Fictioneers July 12, 2114!   Have a great week!  Ciao Bastet.

The Phantom of the Rap Opera – June 8, 2014

My name is Payne, Crystal Payne and I’m a private investigator.

I was sitting on my easy chair with Caesar sleeping on my lap one morning when the phone rang.  I was 11:58, and I thought, wouldn’t you just know someone would call at lunch time!

“Hello! Crystal Payne’s Spirit Investigations, Crystal Payne speaking.”

“AAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!” I had to pull the phone away from my ear and Caesar jumped down from my lap looking rather irritated.

Very expressive I thought, but said laconically: ” To whom am I speaking please?”

“I’m Sinthea Bratwurst!  I need your assistance at one!” a woman’s voice said imperiously.

“Yes ma’am, if you tell me what your problem is, perhaps I can see if I can fit you in my schedule.”  I said this simply because that’s how I react to imperious voices.

“I’m at the Ovaltine Theatre and there’s a being here who is ruining our rehearsals!  You must come at once … we open in just a week and we’ve already lost one actor!”

“Rather distracted on your part, do you often lose actors?”

“What???” she sputtered.

“Sorry I was joking.  Ok, It’s 12:03 now, I’ll be by after lunch at 1:00.”

“No, no, no!  You don’t understand, this is really urgent! I’m afraid that the being has, well, inhabited our lead actress.  She’s standing on the railing of one of the balcony seats reciting Lady Macbeth’s ‘blood on my hands scene’!  I’m so afraid she’s going to fall.  Of course we’ve put down some mattresses but…”

I had to admit that the situation did seem rather urgent so I said I’d come right away. Grabbing Caesar I ran down the stairs and got into my parked car ( a Primus) in front of my office-home.

At 12:28 we arrived at the Ovaltine Theatre where I saw a rather dishevelled young man standing at the entrance, obviously waiting for me, puffing away at an electronic cigarette.

As I opened the car door, Caesar jumped out and went up to the man, rubbing his legs.  Of course he immediately calmed down, that’s one of Caesar’s powers.  In the meantime I got my bag out from the trunk of my car.  Lit one of my stock of camomile candles then followed Caesar.

“Oh thank heavens you’re here!” I’d been mistaken, this was Sinthea Bratwurst.

We went into the dark theatre and I noticed the young lady on the balcony railing wringing her hands.  I went up the stairs to the balcony seats, Caesar with his bottle-brushed tail right behind me.

“Hello there, uhm madame.” I said as the actress turned to face me.  I was not a little worried that she might go over backwards.  I needn’t have worried though. I noticed that she was floating about 2 inches above the railing.

“Ah! So they’ve sent for help at last, the demons!” the actress said in stentorian tones.

Caesar meowed emphatically and I agreed with him saying: “Yes, do come into the box please.”

She complied as she couldn’t resist Caesar, but then began to whine:

“That I, the great Liliane Craptree, should have to be tortured daily by these clods!  They’re destroying Shakespeare!”

“Excuse me, but weren’t you one of the great experimenters who put Shakespeare into music?”  I remembered that back in the 30s there had been a troupe led by a certain Liliane Craptree.  They’d had a certain success until she’d fallen off the balcony in one of her more dramatic recitals.

“Of course!  But these people are rapping Shakespeare.  Rapping!” she howled.

There’s nothing like a revolutionary who’s been outclassed I thought.  This looked like it might be a little difficult.  I had a telepathic consultation with Caesar.

“Ah, but it’s not the rap is that correct ma’am?” I asked.

“No!  It’s that’ every other word is an F-bomb.”  She said that it was the only thing she regretted. I too felt that an F-bombed Shakespeare was a bit much.  I asked her to leave the actress so we could consult with Sinthea Bratwurst.

“It’s like this,” I said, “you won’t be able to put the show on unless you remove all the vulgarities from the play.  Ms Craptree was a great artist and creator in her day and she can help you make this show a success.  All she has to do is “inhabit” you for a couple of hours so you can consult together and clean up the verses.”

By 5:36 my job was finished and I went to have an early dinner.

“Macbeth Yo” was a huge success, hope you got your tickets before they sold out!

Other Crystal Payne stories:

The Case of the Silent Bell – June 6, 2014

The Case of the Pigspittle Ghosts – July 7, 2014






The Case of the Pigspittle Ghosts – July 7, 2014

The Case of the Pigspittle Ghosts

My name is Payne, Crystal Payne and I’m a private investigator.

One late November afternoon I was sitting at my desk watching as the rain poured down the window barey being able to see the garden beyond. The phone rang, it was 4:27, I always take note of the hour.

“Crystal Payne’s Spirit Investigations, Crystal Payne speaking.” I learnt long ago that a simple clear answer on the phone saved a lot of time. As my number wasn’t in the book, in fact it was nonexistent the caller could only be a friend or a client.  Clients could always find me when they needed me.

“Oh my God!  Thank heaven’s I’ve found you!  I’m in a terrible bind!  There is blood everywhere!” a woman’s ragged voice came over the line.

“First of all ma’am, to whom am I speaking.”

“Oh! Mary Pigspittle, from the Ohio Pigspittles!  You must come at once. I live near Cape Sod down near Mulberry Hill.  It’s really urgent!  I’m up to my arms in blood!”

“Excuse me ma’am, but don’t you think this may be a job for the police?”

“Of course not!  You must have realized that this isn’t any ordinary blood!  This is the blood of the ghosts that live here!  My house guest is a medium and she wanted to exorcise them … and well now it’s raining blood!”

“Yes ma’am, ok I’m leaving now, I’ll be there is less than half an hour.”

I got my jacket on and called Caesar my partner..  He’s always useful when I’m investigating haunted houses.  A big over-sized black cat with a 7th sense for the occult is really  handy to have on hand  in my line of work.

The rain had stopped and the sun streamed through the clouds like a picture postcard of heaven.  Didn’t seem like the proper scenario for a haunted house case. Midnight would have been better, at least in books.  However, this was the real world and ghosts seem to turn a blind eye on what should and shouldn’t be proper. After an hour I drove into the gloaming as lights began to twinkle on down the roadside..

I reached the house at 10:02. The house was all I could ask for, it looked straight out of Psycho.  Caesar meowed his approval and as I opened the door, he jumped out with his tail straight up like a flag pole.  I got my bag from the trunk, where I always kept it and walked up the sidewalk to the rickety wooden porch. Then rang the bell.

A plump silver-grey haired lady opened the door.  She wore a green chenille calf-length house dress over a clashing orange sweater and blue metallic trousers. Her hair was done up in a brittle purple bouffant with a black bow in it.  The image that came to mind was that of a spoiled over-aged over-indulged child.

“Oh! I’m so glad you could come so soon!  Please, quickly, my friend Marie Ange is in the drawing-room!”

How quaint I though. I’d nevert heard anyone use the word drawing-room outside of an Agatha Christie book.  I followed her, but before I walked through the drawing-room door, I opened my bag and pulled out and lit a camomile scented candle.  Better to be on the safe side, camomile being a calming agent, it would be better to go in ready for whatever hysterical ghosts I might find.  Caesar had followed in discreetly behind me.  He knew a few things about hysterical women and preferred to keep them at a distance.

The sight that greeted us was extraordinary.  The walls were seeping argentine blood . Marie Ange who was huddled in abject terror, was being harried by two irate ghosts who were oooooooing and awwwwwing and being all together rather rude. My mission here was pretty straight forward.  I took Caesar into the crook of my left arm and held the candle up high with my right, then in my best school marm voice, I said:

“What in the name of all that’s holy is going on here!  You two!  Stop this howling immediately and explain yourselves!”  Caesar punctuated my words with a hissing that would make a dog run for his life.

The ghosts stood stock still in surprise. The blood chilled on the walls and Marie Ange gracefully fainted.

“Ah Ma’am, sorry ma’am.” said one of the ghosts.  He looked like he might have been a butler in life. “”Tis all the fault of this gormless ninny! She gots outta Ouija board and started mumbling and grumbling, what’s a body ta do!”

“Yeah! and she put out a charm and said she wanted to see all the blood we’d shed o’er the years!  Likes we’d shed any blood at all!  Right insulting she got at one point calling us wretched souls and stuff like that!” said the other ghost, who must have been a lovely young teenager when she’d passed on.

I looked at the skinny old lady that was Marie Ange and then at Mrs. Pigspittle:

“Well, what have you two been up to?”

“It’s like this, Marie Ange went to a cloister last year and met this interesting priest.  He taught her all about exorcism and getting rid of unwanted spirits…” the butler and Caesar hissed at her “and well she thought it’d be only proper to send them to where they belong and …”

“And, where would that be you ol’ biddy?” said the teenager. “I suppose you mean hell or somefing like that! We’ve lived here far longer then you have and caused no harm to no one!  Right Jeeves?”

“Tha’s right missy! I’ve always been discreet.  I’ve been in this house since it was built!”

“Is this true Mrs. Pigspittle?”

“Well, yes of course.  I only thought she’d play around a bit, I never imagined she could really call up the spirits!  I am so sorry!  Can you do anything Ms Payne?”

“Of course I can! This is Caesar.” I said pointing to the black cat. “He’ll have everything right in a jiffy.  Now, Mrs. Pigspittle, go to the kitchen, boil some water and put these leaves into it, then bring me a cup of it.”

She scuttled out of the room.  I drew a small pentagram around the table and Marie Ange.  Then put Caesar onto the center of the Ouija board.

He began to circle on himself, his tail twitching and slashing, howling at the top of his voice.  The blood instantly disappeared from the walls and the two ghosts began to smile and finally faded from view. By the time Mrs. Pigspittle returned to the room, everything had gotten more or less back to normal.

I blew out my candle and erased the pentagram from the floor.  Marie Ange was still in a faint, but that was normal, between the camomile tea and Caesar’s hiss, both very potent spells against way-ward exorcists, she’d have been out for a week without my special tea!

I brought the cup to her slack lips and she began to gulp the concoction avidly .  In less than twenty minutes she was herself again.  Except, she’d totally forgotten not only her dreadful experience, but also her visit to the cloister the summer before.  In the meantime, after being paid, I invited Mrs. Pigspittle to have a cuppa as well.

I let myself out.  The ladies could no longer see us of course.  Now they didn’t believe in either ghosts or witches so they could see neither.

It was 8:45.  I got in my car and drove off under the cover of  a clear starry sky.

By the way, the name Pigspittle, come from the name of one of my favorite blogs.. It’s administered by a really great writer whom I think you should all visit … she’s at Pigspittle, Ohio