The Vendeleer Brothers

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Chapter 10: Suspects

Author's Note: Hey, so the names that are in Italics are supposed to be "crossed out", but Inkitt doesn't have a strike-through option, so just keep that in mind as you read this chapter!


“I got us all walkie talkies.” Brian said cheerfully as Roderick munched on his Honey Bunches of Oats. The three of them were in the motel room, papers laid out across one of the beds once again. Ian rolled his eyes and looked over a handwritten list of suspects that one of the detectives before them had written down.

Sheriff Barry Glendale

Douglas Smalls

Jordyn Hastings

Cohen Massey

Dolly Barnes

Vera Hogarth

Deputy Jonah Ledford

Ramona Kingsley

Kirsten Mahagoney

Mayor Bill Cottam

Reverend Jonathan Passey

Nathan Price

Warner Beverly

Wade Bentley

Marvin Attwood

Wally Jennings

Patrick Stoddard

Ian wasn’t entirely sure why certain names were crossed out, but he guessed that those were the people who had been cleared. He had actually crossed out Jordyn’s name himself, due to her interactions the last couple of times they had encountered things. He couldn’t see her being behind anything malicious. After all, her stubbornness had almost gotten her into some deep water.

Or deep black goop.

As he looked over the list, he started to wonder why some of these people were on the list. He figured that some of them might have been on there just due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time-like the Reverend and his church group. But then again, the Reverend had been acting awfully suspicious at the park. Not to mention that it was also weird for the ghost girls to show up to his church activity since he was on the list.

In fact, why wasn’t there more information on these suspects in the files? Were there things missing from it? Maybe he should ask the Mayor…

His thoughts were interrupted by the annoying sound of Brian and Roderick testing their new walkie talkies.

“Roger that. Over.”

“Roger Roger.”

“We have a 1040 over.”

“Copy that.”

“Can you two please do that somewhere else? I’m trying to actually work here.” Ian told them, rather annoyed. “If you want to do something useful, pay a visit to some of these suspects. I’m going to stay here and do some searching on the internet. I’m sure Jordyn and Joey would love to go with you and try those out.”

Roderick gave a bit of a mischievous smile.

“Alright! We’ll catch ya later bro!”

Ian waved off the annoyance and pulled up his computer.

Time to do some research…


Even though there were names crossed out, Roderick didn’t want to completely count them out. Better safe than sorry.

Especially since he had seen the name Douglas Smalls come up quite a few times already. After meeting with the others, they had all decided to pick names and go see what those people were like. Jordyn seemed a little hesitant at first to send out Brian and Joey, since they normally didn’t do detective work, but she eventually agreed to let them go see some people.

After all, they had both dealt with ghost like things and would recognize if there was something off.

Roderick immediately knew that he wanted to visit Douglas Smalls first. He wasn’t sure why, but for some reason, he felt drawn to him. He looked down at the address written on the little sticky note in his hand to double check. Jordyn had just dropped him off, so he was standing on what appeared to be an abandoned dirt road alone.

Of course, Joey had made sure to give them all a little spray bottle of vinegar just in case they ran into the ghost girls again. He didn’t know if it would help much, but he decided to trust her. After all, she had just saved them in their previous encounter.

He looked up to see a larger house up on the hill. It seemed like at one point, it could have belonged to someone richer, but it looked a little dilapidated now and fallen in miscare.

Alright Douglas Smalls. Time to find out who you are.

Roderick started to walk up the dirt road, a wind slightly blowing through the desert hills. As he approached the house, he could see someone outside chopping wood.

It was an older man with an unruly graying beard and large crazy eyebrows. He had a cap of some California football team on, but Roderick wouldn’t have known which one, since he wasn’t all that into football.

“Hello! Good evening my fine sir!” Roderick said cheerfully as the guy spit on the dirt and chucked his ax into another log.

“What’s it?” he asked, squinting at the young man coming up his driveway.

“I don’t want what you’re selling and I’ve already found Jesus.” the man said roughly, glaring rather menacingly.

Roderick was unfazed. If he could handle drug busts and bomb threats, he could handle an old man with an ax.

“I’m not here for either of those.” Roderick replied, suddenly wondering where in the world this man got firewood in the middle of the desert. “I’m one of the new private investigators in town.”

“Oh. Well I’ll tell ya what I told the others-as long as ya promise to keep quiet.”

“Ok…. Sure.”

“Fine.”

The old man looked around, as if someone in the desert was going to randomly jump out from behind a juniper and arrest him or something.

“I aint behind the attacks or nothin. I just dabble a bit in uh… some recreational activities.”

Roderick raised a brow.

“What… kind of recreational activities?” he asked curiously.

“I’ll just say this. I don’t sell em. I just do em. Don’t rat me out.”

Roderick suddenly nodded in understanding.

Ah.

Drugs.

That kind of recreational activity.

He could see why this man had been crossed off the list, but he wanted to make completely sure…

“So… you don’t know anything about the ghost girls at all?” he asked.

Chunk.

“Nope.” the man said simply, turning his back to him to throw the wood onto a pile.

“Mmhhm…”

Something was off. And Roderick had a feeling that it wasn’t about the drugs.

“Have you had any run ins with them? Any interactions.”

“Nope. Maybe a couple times, but not really.”

Roderick nodded slowly.

This guy was lying.

“Welp. Thanks anyway.” he said cheerfully, turning on his heel to leave. The man grunted in reply. On his way back down the driveway, Roderick’s mind was racing. He wasn’t really leaving just yet.

There was something else here.

He could feel it.


Brian had pulled up next to the house of a certain Ramona Kingsley.

Before getting out of his van, he decided a couple of gummy worms could help calm his nerves.

He wasn’t necessarily scared but…

Ok that was a lie.

He was a little scared.

But these were real ghosts that they were dealing with!

Cautiously, he got out of the car, swallowing the rest of the gummy worms in his mouth. He was about to open the door, when it suddenly swung open to reveal a crazy wide eyed old lady with large glasses and earrings. Brian jumped back in surprise, holding out his arms in lame karate poses.

“Quick! Come in! Come in!” she exclaimed, looking around wildly. Unsure of exactly what to do, Brian decided to follow her into the house. As soon as he was inside, he turned around to see that she was shoving a cement block in front of the door. Had he just stepped into a crazy person’s house? Was she going to kill him and feed him to her cats or something?!

Brian began to feel slightly ill.

“Come come!” she exclaimed, beckoning him into the living room. “I knew you’d be coming.”

Even more hesitant than before, Brian followed her into the living room.

“Um… I’m Brian…” he began, slowly sitting in an old flower patterned armchair. “Are you… Ramona?”

The old lady simply stared at him unwrapping a butterscotch candy and throwing it into her mouth with a retching crunching sound.

“Ok… Um… So…” Brian started awkwardly.

“You’re here about the ghost girls.” she suddenly said, taking him by surprise.

“Well, actually yes.”

“They’re after me…” she whispered with a twitch. “They don’t like what I done…”

“Wait-what did you do?”

“I done killed em. It’s my fault. And now they’re out for blood.”

Was this lady really confessing to killing these girls?

And was she only telling him this cause he was next?!

Brian swallowed.

“Wha-what did you do to them?” he asked, not sure if he wanted to know the answer. The old lady continued to stare at him.

“Well, the first one, I just got mad at my show so I threw her against the wall.” she began, scratching at a couple of whiskers on her chin. “Then I couldn’t find my glasses and I got frustrated, so I took a hammer to her head. Then I couldn’t reach the sugar, so Debbie had to go next, she just kept starin’ at me.”

Brian’s eyes grew wide.

Holy crap. He was dead. Definitely dead.

“Now all that’s left is Lorelei here.” she cooed, bringing out a porcelain doll from under her chair.

Brian suddenly became very confused.

“Wait. You-you mean you killed-dolls?” he asked.

“They aint just dolls! They’re people like you and me! Isn’t that right Lorelei?”

“Yes Mama.” Ramona said in a little girl voice, moving the doll’s head. She then brought the doll close to her and began stroking it.

Brian simply watched this all go down.

So maybe she wasn’t really murderous, but she was definitely crazy.

“Well uh… I have to go…” he said awkwardly, standing up and backing away towards the door.

“Don’t move the power plug! It keeps the ghosts away!!” the old lady suddenly screamed as he slowly tried to move the cement block.

By this point, Brian was so freaked out, he really didn’t care. He kicked over the cement block and tried the screen door, which for some reason wouldn’t open.

“Lorelei says you think I’m crazy!” the old woman screeched. “People who call me crazy don’t live long-.”

Brian had had enough. Without regards to the poor woman’s door, he finally just pushed through it, probably breaking something in the process.

“OK THANKS NICE TO MEET YOU BYE I WON’T BE COMING BACK AGAIN!” Brian yelled behind him, running to his van.

“Beware the Kishnu!” the old woman yelled out after him, swinging around her porcelain doll. “Beware the Kishnu!”

Brian was soon out of there, stuffing his face with gummy worms as he screeched out of the driveway.

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