Harper realized that the foreman wasn’t going to be cooperative. She changed her approach. “Can I go inside?” she asked Gretz. “Maybe I can get some color for my story.”
Gretz waved her on dismissively. “Be my guest,” he told her. “We start the tear-down in twenty minutes. You’ll hear a siren go once with five minutes left, and then twice with one minute left.”
Harper nodded, then adjusted her glasses and marched up to the front door of the store.
The ghost saw Harper enter the building. She waited until the reporter was fully inside to trigger her trap. To start, the door swung shut and locked tight. Then the ghost chilled the air in the room and projected a knife at Harper’s head. The woman managed to dodge the blade. She dove to the floor, where she was left curled up in a shivering heap.
“It’s ok,” the woman called out from the ground. “I know you exist. I’m trying to help you.”
The ghost was startled. She hadn’t counted on an ally.
“What’s your name?” Harper asked the apparently empty room. “Mine’s Shannon.” Gathering her courage, she stood up slowly. “Hello?”
The ghost considered her options. When was the last time somebody had tried to talk to her? Was this person telling the truth? The ghost decided that there was no harm in responding. If need be, she could always murder the human later. She gathered herself, and tried to remember how to speak to the living, again.
“I was called Ruby Florence,” said the ghost.
Harper’s jaw dropped. “Ruby, you’re real!” She paused, and frowned. “I can’t see you.” Then her reporter’s instincts kicked in and she fished in her pocket for her notebook and pen. If she could break this story, she’d be set for life. She took a deep breath to begin asking questions.
A wailing scream interrupted the thought. It was the warning siren. Harper checked her watch and cursed. “He was supposed to give me fifteen minutes!”