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Lara | Maddy
Blithe Spirits
Mon Feb 6, 2006 12:20

[You have reached the Holmes residence. Neither James nor Bennett are available. Please leave a message after the beep. Thank you. *BEEP*]

Bennett! I'm going to be on Oprah's live holiday show. Sorry I haven't called, this past week has been absolutely monsterous. I think she comes on around four, on channel seven. Mom's taping it for me, even though I'll be performing. Ah ... talk to you later, I guess. Bye!

She'd left that bloody message at six in the morning, already in the air and heading towards Chicago. Nerves had hit hard enough to the poin that it didn't matter if she woke the college lad up, Lara wanted to hear his voice. Everytime she did, things calmed down. Well, internally anyway. Sort of. Except at ten o'clock in the morning.

The green room was aptly named; pale lime walls that tried to close in on a person. Or persons, because she was crowded in with a handful of other guests; an actor, a holiday decorator, a tornado survivor. Each of them had a little cadre of people around, though the actor had his own dressing room and was in the public area for reasons only he knew. So far, only the the little blonde from Oklahoma had been interviewed. The decorator was next in line, he was busily putting the finishing touches on a miniature version of the Oprah set, complete with a custom doll. The hostess would gush over it, and then give away another round of presents to the audience.

Then Lara would perform.

She'd never done this on national television; at least, not on a program with such a wide audience. Was Bennett going to watch? Had he even listened to her message? It had been so tempting to drive by his father's house and perform a routine kidnapping, but she'd no claim on him aside from two or three or four meetings. Ok, maybe five at the most. Ugh! Lara flopped down on one of the loveseats, burying her face in a pillow. Why couldn't she be as cool under pressure as Jay.

"And now I'd like to introduce a young lady who has been quietly making some headway in the club scene. My producer saw this performer at a gig in Tennessee last year, and has been pestering me to let her on. So, without further ado, Laramie Sorensen!"

The lights came up on the small stage portion, bathing Lara in bright heat. She wore one of her trademark outfits; this time black leather pants, the turquoise boots and a sleeveless bodice of scarlet. Very chic. Very sexy. No doubt she'd have more fans by the time the song was over.

All around my hat, I will wear the green willow
All around my hat, for a twelvemonth and a day
And if anyone should ask me the reason why I'm wearing it,
It's all for my true love, who is far, far away.

Ya acapella! And then the music began in earnest.

Fare thee well, cold winter and fare thee well, cold frost
Nothing have I gained, but my own true love I've lost
I'll sing and I'll be merry when occasion I do see,
He's a false, deluding young man, let him go, farewell he.

There were toes tapping in tandem by the time Lara finished, sweat glistening against bare shoulders. A single moment of what might have been stunned silence before the audience exploded into applause. Lara had to blink against the enthusiasm, wearing a slightly befuddled expression. However, professional ethics kicked in, propelling her to introduce the band behind her and then head over to the overstuffed couch for a nice, brief chat with the reigning queen of daytime talk shows.

The little girl was back.

Madeline Sinclair felt the brief suggestion of a hand touch her face, awakening her from a fitfull night of sleep. Eyes remained closed until the sensation happened again, prompting the brunette's head to rise from pillow, green eyes to stare bleerily at an apparition hovering right next to her bed.

Maddy, you must call them today.

"Why must I?"

Of course she would call. Maybe. The FBI's field office here in New Orleans had given her a real run-around, both agents passing off her pleas to listen as the ravings of a mad woman. Yeah, they'd checked out the caller and found story on story about her vaunted 'ability' to speak with the dead. Voodoo nonsense didn't hold with logical folks. That had been the last denial given just two weeks before, and honestly, she'd given up. Calling a governtment department everyday for over a week had just resulted in a threat to get a restraining order.

Because they will help you. Agatha said so. She said they were gonna help me, too, and find Mama.

Agatha was her resident spook. An old ex-slave who'd died just before the turn of the century, who'd seen her descendents go on to make something of themselves. She'd died in the building that Maddy now occupied, and had downright refused to leave when the new owner had done a cleansing, at least of the bottom floor. The other two flights belonged to other people. In fact, Maddy could see another whisp of white from the corner of her eye, meaning Agatha was floating about and showing some support.

"What makes you think another office will listen to me?"

The beautiful girl's face lit up, a rather macabre vision since her throat had been slashed.

Ghostbusters. The New Yorkers have to listen.

The unshakeable faith of a child. Maddy wanted to crawl back under her blankets and ignore everything until life sorted itself out and became normal. That hadn't happened in almost two decades, though, so her own conscience prodded inwardly until the lanky woman finally gave up and threw back the covers. Perhaps lanky wasn' the right word. Lithe. Tall and curvy without losing the aura of a willow tree.

The clock read 7:29 local time when she made her call, switched around between departments until finally being jacked into the Missing Persons section. It was all routine by now, reciting the girl's name, circumstances of her death and why the police should be looking in New Orleans for a long-time friend of the family. Specifically of the still-missing mother. It took about an hour and a half, meaning by ten Maddy was at her computer, quietly checking to see what books had sold overnight and which had been paid for.

There would be a trip to the post office in the morning. For now, because the phone call to the FBI had disrupted her routine, the pychic chose to spend the afternoon meditating instead of working on her abilities. Several hours of deep concentration might dispell the nagging sense that something wasn't right. Maybe. Her gut was aching, which signaled another disruption.

Just before the dinner hour, when a dark, unmarked sedan pulled up the curb outside her apartment, Maddy was still involved in quieting her shattered nerves. Too high-strung these days. The images that little Glory had made her see mentally were violent. Disgusting. They made her retch after every series of visions, especially today after the trauma of banging her head against the proverbial wall. The feds wouldn't come all the way from New York for a little missing oriental girl.

Knock, knock. Knock.

Maddy answered the door absently, her thoughts still reeling from the violent murder, nostrils could detect the faint odor of blood; her frame clad in dark blue pantaloons and a gray shirt that emphasized the current pallor of her skin. "Yes?"

"Florence Sinclair? We'd like to speak with you about the murder of Morning Glory Lee, aged nine."

[ooc: Lyrics by Steeleye Span. Lara is just borrowing them.]

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