Chapter 10: Let's Talk about Joey
“So first, it’s a flipping parasite. Now we’re dealing with… a genie?!” Ian asked incredulously, rubbing his face as he realized how sore it was from smiling so much the past few days.
“Not a real genie-that’s just what Joey calls it.” Roderick explained.
The five of them were sitting in ‘Jordyn’s’ living room, even though she kept swearing up and down that she never bought anything while she was here-let alone a house.
“So what does this thing look like?” Brian asked. “Has everyone seen it but me?” At this, Roderick, Ian, and Jordyn strained to remember as Joey folded her arms.
“I think I remember… it being blue?” Ian struggled. “I remember being out, and turning around… and seeing… blue…”
“I think he also had swirls on him.” Jordyn added. “But I don’t remember much else.”
Roderick closed his eyes, starting to remember more fully the meeting he had with him.
“His-his name is Shahwah.” he said finally.
“And he’s a real jerk.” Joey growled. The others turned to her, a bit confused.
“Uh… Well obviously Joey. He’s kind of done something to the whole town…” Brian commented. Joey shook her head.
“No. You don’t get it. He’s-.”
“I’m what now?” a deep voice echoed.
They all froze as suddenly, the very spirit they were talking about came up out of the floor in the middle of their conversation. They all jumped back in surprise as the wispy spirit looked around at all of them with his blank glowing blue eyes.
“What are are doing here?” Joey demanded.
“What do you want from us?” Brian squeaked, shrinking back. The spirit laughed.
“Well, I heard my name and I wanted to join the party! This is a party isn’t it?”
Joey scowled at him while the others exchanged glances of confusion.
“Um… What?” Jordyn finally said, taking a slight step back.
The blue spirit laughed, snapped his fingers, and they were all suddenly donning party hats, including him.
“See? A party!” Shahwah laughed. Ian savagely tore off his hat, and Jordyn stomped on hers. Joey tore hers in half, and Brian and Roderick secretly kept theirs for later.
“Um… For some reason I imagined him to be more… uh…” Brian mumbled to Roderick, trying to find the right words. The last spirit they had dealt with had been an extremely creepy parasite, with black goop that fed off of murder. This new spirit just seemed… a little weird now?
“What? Did you imagine I’d be… scarier?” the spirit asked, the lights flickering and his face turning to shadow as his cloudy beard darkened like a storm. Brian stepped behind Roderick.
“Nevermind.” he squeaked.
“Alright Shahwah. Cut the crap and tell us why you’re really here.” Joey said curtly, folding her arms. The spirit genie eyed all of them with its glowing bright blue eyes.
“I know you all hope to… restore the town to its former… drudginess, so I’ve come to propose a deal.”
Ian narrowed his eyes.
“What kind of deal?”
“Absolutely not!!” Roderick spat. “I made a deal with you last time, and that was complete crap!!”
The spirit licked his blue lips.
“Joey, just let me make your wishes come true…” he said in his deep bass voice.
“I already told you. NO. Don’t make me swear. I haven’t done that in a long time.” she growled.
“Yeah… please don’t swear.” Ian whispered. “I really am not that fond of swearing.” Jordyn smirked as she overheard this.
“But Joey…” the spirit lulled, circling around her, parts of him coming off in little wisps. “Don’t you want to see them again?”
“See… who again?” Jordyn asked a little curiously.
“Ooooh… Do they not even know? How you’ve been hiding things? How you’ve hurt people? You consider them friends… But do they even consider you as a friend? I don’t think you have any friends… You’ve never had friends. I can change that you know.”
“H-Hey! Leave her alone!” Brian piped up, still hiding slightly behind Roderick. “I consider her a friend!”
“Me too!” Roderick nodded.
Jordyn folded her arms and glared at the spirit.
“She’s definitely my friend. And besides-her past is her business. So do us a favor and get the hell out of here.”
At that point, Ian shifted a little uncomfortably as they all kind of looked at him expectantly.
“Ok, I’m just going to be honest here-I kind of just see her as more of an acquaintance… But-she is a pleasant person to be around-I just-don’t really see the need for a lot of friends sometimes…”
Jordyn rolled her eyes.
“Well way to ruin everything Ian.”
Ian scowled, but Joey put a hand up.
“No no. Acquaintance is just fine. After all, I haven’t really had much time to get to know you that well anyway Ian.”
“Precisely my point.”
“Anyways, Shahwah, how do you spell your name? Just curious.” Joey asked nonchalantly.
“Uh… S-h-a-h-w-a-h?” he said slowly, sounding confused. Joey nodded, and then suddenly put her hands out in front of her. Her right hand started forming in symbols as the left one circled around it. Roderick recognized the symbols as sign language. Was she signing Shahwah’s name?
The blue spirit suddenly gave a cry of rage as something seemed to suck him out through the ceiling.
The five of them stood there for a moment, silently surprised.
“Was that… Sign Language?” Roderick asked finally, breaking the silence. Joey looked rather pleased with herself.
“Honestly, I wasn’t sure that would work. I saw that in that sketchbook I got the other day. And yes. That as sign language. It’s supposed to cast a spirit out of a house and make that place a safe haven from them.”
“So… does that mean this house is safe from the genie now?” Brian asked hesitantly, slowly putting the party hat back on his head.
With that, Roderick, Brian, and Ian sat down with an exhausted sigh. Ian eyed the hat Brian was now wearing again.
“Seriously? You kept those? Gross. Throw them away please.”
Roderick stroked his own little party hat.
“But dude-it’s a hat that was conjured by a spirit. A spirit hat. You realize how awesome that is?”
“Besides-you know how much one of these could probably sell for on ebay?” Brian added.
Ian gave his usual scowl and sat back in his chair, arms folded. Joey gave a sigh and leaned against the wall, closing her eyes. Jordyn stood there staring at her.
“Joey, what did he mean when he said that you hurt people?” she asked softly. This really piqued the interest of the guys, and they immediately silenced their argument about the party hats.
Joey did not answer right away. She stood there in one of the dark parts of the living room where the light of the lamp didn’t reach, the moonlight casting odd stripes across her face. She took in a deep breath.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” she said quietly.
“Joey-it’s ok…” Jordyn said with a softness that none of them were used to. “I know what it’s like. In my line of work I’ve had to hurt people. It’s something that is hard to deal with, but I’ve learned how to handle it. I mean-it’s not like you’ve killed anyone.”
At this last part, Joey’s eyes flashed, sending a stiff, awkward silence in the room.
“I’m going to bed.” she said finally, walking past Jordyn without addressing her little speech. “I hope you don’t mind if I stay here Jordyn.”
The four of the watched, dumbfounded as Joey disappeared into the hallway and shut one of the doors behind her.
“Um-What the heck was that?!” Brian whispered, aghast.
“Has-has Joey killed someone?!” Ian said, sounding flustered. Jordyn continued to stand there, staring at where Joey had disappeared into the darkness.
It was hard for Jordyn to keep friends. Especially women. Joey had actually stayed around longer than anyone else.
“I’m going to go talk to her.” she announced, also disappearing into the dark hallway. The three guys silently let her go. Slowly, Jordyn approached the door, knowing that Joey was inside because there was a strip of light at the bottom. Taking a breath, she knocked.
“Joey? It’s Jordyn. I’m coming in.” she told her, cracking the door open.
Joey had one lamp on in the corner, and she was sitting on the bed with her back to her. Jordyn silently closed the door behind her.
“Hey-so… I’m not really great with this kind of stuff, but… uh… I feel like I kind of… hit on something back there.”
“If you came in here to get more information, I’m sorry, but you’ve wasted your time.” Joey said quietly. Jordyn rolled her eyes.
“I could give a flying rat’s butt what might have happened. You could have been a terrorist for all I care. Well, actually, if you were a terrorist, that might be a little bit of an issue, but that’s besides the point.”
Jordyn noticed that Joey was breaking out into a little smile.
“And what is the point you’re trying to make exactly?” she asked. Jordyn sighed, sat down on the bed and folded her arms.
“I mean-I’ve killed people. And I’ve met killers. You don’t peg me as a killer Joey. Whatever happened, I’m sure it wasn’t your standard malicious… whatevers. And I still consider you… my friend. And I don’t make friends easily, so consider yourself lucky.”
Joey looked up with her normal dreamy smile.
“Thanks Jordyn. It’s not easy for me to make friends either.”
Jordyn nodded, and then awkwardly stood up.
“Well, good night then.” she said, leaving the room. Joey sat there silently for a minute, and then pulled out a little picture that she kept folded up in a moleskin pouch around her neck.
It was of a man and a little boy.
With curly brown hair.