In the silence that stretched between us the clicking of the golden cat in the window continued. Its arm swinging to and fro, a decorative metronome, brightening the otherwise drabe interior of the young woman’s home. I glanced at the Reaper, he and I had heard her correctly. If Claire knew who her killer was it would be all the more difficult to get her to leave.
“You know who did this?” Percy asked.
“Yes, his name is Mark, he lives two doors down.”
“Why would this Mark kill you?”
“Because I got him arrested for selling drugs.”
We glanced at each other, so if she knew why, she knew who, maybe she would just go. “Well we are sorry that this happened to you.” I said, patting her hand again, I was afraid she was starting to get irritated by it.
“I need to make sure he pays.” Claire snapped, she pulled her hand away from me and glared at us. She stood and went to the door.
“Claire there is nothing that you can do, you cannot interact with the world around you.” Percy called to her as she made her way over to the door.
“I will figure it out.” She roared, she was angry, the clicking stopped for a moment before starting up again. I looked from her to the golden cat in the window. She had stopped it, her rage had transferred.
“This isn’t good.” I glanced at Percy, he had felt it too. She was angry, her rage was allowing her to become more than just a new spirit. He went to the counter and looked at the hourglass.
“It’s speeding up.” He said.
“Claire, you have to calm down.” I went to her by the door, she was crying again, crying was better than screaming.
“If you let the rage and hate take over, you will be lost to Percy quicker.”
“But it made me feel better.”
“It makes you a poltergeist.” Percy snapped from beside his hourglass.
“I could do things with the living world if I’m a poltergeist.” She said, we glanced at each other. “So, I just need to get angry when I see Mark.”
“Don’t do this.” I grabbed her hands, she pulled away from me and walked through the door. We followed her. She was already running down the alleyway between the apartment buildings, she disappeared through the door of the apartment with the brass four on the door.
When walked through the door and I saw her standing in the center of a similar living room to her own. This apartment was more lavishly furnished, there was a lounge recliner and a leather couch. Drug pipes, paper, plastic wrap, and a scale on a glass coffee table. She went to the bedroom, we followed. Inside were lamps and plants, no bed or anything that would indicate someone actually slept there.
“Where is he?” She growled, the lamps flickered.
“He isn’t here.” Percy said, he looked at the hourglass again. “The police will put together that you reported him and take him in. Let them handle this.” We froze as we heard the door open. We went back to the living room.
A short stocky man stood just inside the apartment. He was wearing a blue ball cap, and a dark jacket over a blood spattered white shirt. He hadn’t even changed yet. He had probably been disposing of the gun.
“Bastard!” Claire roared, she rushed at him. The lamps in the bedroom flickered, and the curtains in the kitchen windows blew back. The man’s eyes widened and he fell against the door, a scream splitting the air. He had seen her. “You did this to me!” She went to the coffee table and flipped it. The pipes and drugs went flying across the room as the table shattered. She screamed again, the paint on the walls began to split. The bulbs in the grow lamps snapped.
“Stop her.” Percy cried over Claire and Mark’s screams. He held up the hour glass, the once full top well was now only a quarter of the way full.
“Claire, you’re going to get stuck.” I called to her.
“You did this to me.” She roared again. The windows shattered.
“Apalis, you will get stuck here too.” Percy called over the screaming.
I dived forward and grabbed Claire by the shoulders. I made her face me, her eyes were filled with tears, as she screamed. “Claire stop now. You have shown him, he will be afraid for the rest of his life.” I said. She stopped screaming, the room settled, as silence fell over the apartment. The only sound was the wet sobs of Mark huddled by the door.
“One more thing.” Claire left the apartment. We didn’t follow, a moment later, the sound of clicking came from the other side of the door, then a knock. Mark rose shaking to his feet, his trembling hands reached for the door knob and pulled it open slowly. Outside was the golden cat its arm swinging back and forth.
“I will go now.” Claire said from beside me, as we watched Mark collapse to the ground, unconscious.
“You were really close to being out of time.” Percy said, holding up the hourglass, maybe two minutes of sand left. “I’m glad you were able to save her.” He said looking at me. I just nodded to him as he took Claire’s hand and they vanished.
I glanced back at the open door and the unconscious man. The golden cat stared at me as its arm swung, click, click, click.