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!
The Case of the Silent Bell – June 6, 2014
The Case of the Pigspittle Ghosts – July 7, 2014