Chapter 54

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The police ask Zandra to come down to the station to make a statement outlining what she saw. Diana died within moments of the collision, presumably still wearing that smile, albeit a crooked one. With plenty of witnesses to back her up and little left to lose at this point, as well as a need to process the violence, she didn't worry about heading into the station.

Until Fred showed up.

Still chewing on a peppermint candy, I see.

"She walked right out of Sneak Peek and killed herself. Just like that, huh?" Fred says as Zandra finishes up with the statement.

This might not be the first time exactly that happened at Sneak Peek. Might. It's hard keep tabs on all her clients, especially if they aren't the damnable type. One despondent college student, anxious about introducing his girlfriend of another race to his family, wondered whether this was all a dream he could wake up from by killing himself. Whether he also dreamt up the girlfriend Zandra never did determine, because the student never returned after a quick $5 palm reading. Five dollars was well below her regular rates, but she'd come up short on the rent. Posters soon showed up on campus bulletin boards announcing the "$5 handjobs" at Sneak Peek.

The police didn't find the humor in the advertisement then, just as they fail to find the sarcasm in Zandra's statement amusing. She doesn't veer from the truth, because there's nothing to pin her with anyway, but that doesn't prevent her from having a little fun at the SPPD's expense. Letting the attending sergeant know the lingering stench of death coming from the station's bathroom is actually the product of demonic haunting cheers her up, even if it's lazy by Zandra's standards.

"Right said Fred," Zandra says.

"Excuse me?" Fred says.

He must not be a fan of '80s music.

"You're correct, captain. This woman came to me for comfort and reassurance about a highly personal matter. She seemed in good spirits when she left. Why she decided to end her life is as mysterious as it is tragic," Zandra says.

"A mystery? Aren't you a psychic?"

"I am, and I'll make contact with her spirit when the time is right. Crossing over to the other side can be traumatic, especially for troubled souls," Zandra says.

Fred slips another peppermint out of his pocket and unwraps its cellophane. He sucks hard on the candy while he rolls his eyes. "What, ah, what exactly were you two talking about?"

Zandra fakes a smile. "Come on, you know I can't say. That would violate psychic-client privilege."

"So now you're a lawyer?"

"No, but I'll get one if we keep going with this conversation," Zandra says, still smiling.

Fred chuckles under his minty fresh breath. "It may be while. Your lawyer still Herman the Hermit? We picked him up earlier today. Disorderly conduct."

Of course it's disorderly conduct. I have my trapdoors. The police have theirs.

"How unfortunate," Zandra says.

"It's only a fine, but I figured he needed some time to cool off, walking around with a hammer in the middle of the street dressed in a bathrobe. Speaking of which, he told me the hammer should be returned to you," Fred says. He calls over an officer.

A moment later Zandra is reunited with her hammer. It still bears the sigil Herman drew on it, but there's something extra on its head. It isn't much, but it's noticeable.

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