The Vendeleer Brothers Book 2: Serenity Hill

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Chapter 15: Goodbye Joey

The six visitors of Serenity Hill all felt deeply unsettled that night, the genie’s song replaying over and over again in their heads. Even Cameron wasn’t able to be himself as they all sat crowded around Jordyn’s small kitchen table, trying to eat some spaghetti.

“So… what now?” Brian suddenly asked, watching as a noodle fell from his fork.

“We need to find out who Elizabeth is. We may have been focusing on the wrong person this entire time…” Ian answered quietly.

“You don’t think that… there’s any possession business going on do you?” Roderick asked a little fearfully. He couldn’t help but think about Kishnu, and the idea of something like that happening again terrified him.

“Oh that’s right! Didn’t you like-almost die or something?” Cameron asked, completely insensitive. Brian, Ian, and Roderick gave him small glares in response.

Jordyn glanced over at Joey, who seemed even more quiet than usual. She couldn’t help but notice that the spiritual expert wasn’t even touching her food, and rather, kept her hands hidden under the table. She looked extremely pale. Jordyn leaned back in her chair so she could inconspicuously look under the table, and was surprised to find that Joey’s hands were shaking.

“Hey Joey-can I talk to you for a minute?” she asked, pushing her plate away and standing up. Joey silently nodded and slowly started to stand as well.

“Hey-where ya going? If you have something to talk about, let the rest of us hear!” Cameron protested. Roderick, Ian, and Brian exchanged glances. This guy obviously did not know how to deal with Jordyn, and even though they were curious about what Jordyn wanted to say to Joey, they were smarter than that.

“Oh you guys don’t want to hear it.” Jordyn shrugged off, turning her back to them.

“Uh-yes I do. And if it’s something about the investigation, then you’re obligated to share.”

Jordyn slowly turned around, her eyes narrowed, and then blinked and broke out into a smile.

“Well I didn’t know you wanted to listen to my period troubles, but if you insist-.”

“N-never mind!!!” Cameron said quickly, his face reddening. The others snickered. Joey looked over at Jordyn curiously, and then followed her into the back room.

“This isn’t about periods is it?” Joey asked bluntly as soon as they were alone. Jordyn folded her arms.

“No. You don’t seem ok. What’s wrong?” she asked.

Joey swallowed and clenched her jaw.

“I’m. Fine.” she said slowly. The detective rolled her eyes.

“Joey. I can tell when someone’s lying. I’m a hand picked detective-remember?”

In response, Joey looked away awkwardly, her face flushing. Jordyn sighed.

“Is this about what Shahwah was saying earlier when he was insulting you? Cause you know that-.”

“No. That’s not it.” Joey said quietly, wringing her hands. “It’s-well… I don’t think… Elizabeth is… a person…”

Jordyn stared at her.

“Then what-.”

“I think she’s another spirit.”

“Then why didn’t you say so sooner? The others should probably know about this.”

Joey took a deep breath.

“Cause I don’t know if it’s an actual hunch, or if it’s my own paranoia.”

Jordyn stood there confused, her eyebrows furrowing forward.

“Go on.”

Joey swallowed again.

“The truth is Jordyn-I’m scared. I’m really scared. If this is what I think it is, then I don’t know if I can do this.”

“Wait-so you want to-.”

“You guys are going to have to do this without me. I can’t stay here.”

Jordyn took a moment to process this, trying to figure out what emotion was going to surface. She could feel herself getting a bit angry, but it was a bit different than when she usually got angry at people. She ended up taking a moment to compose herself and think, something she rarely did.

“Joey. You are the only one here who really knows what they’re doing when it comes to spirits. Not to put that pressure on you, but… there kind of is some pressure on you to help us.”

Joey looked down at the floor and Jordyn sighed.

“Look. I don’t know why you’re so afraid, and I figure that even if I ask, you probably won’t tell me. But I saw you stand up against that spirit parasite multiple times in Pinnacle Gulch without even batting an eye. You’ve already saved our butts more times than we can count. We need you.”

Joey nodded, and then closed her eyes.

“I think it might be something called an imaginary friend. I’ll leave my journal here with you guys so you can look over it, but I need to take a little break out of town for a few days.”

At this, Jordyn gave a sad little sigh as the spiritual expert started to gather some of her things.

“All right. Come back soon ya hear? I’ll drown in testosterone if you’re gone for too long.”

Joey smirked, throwing a bag over her shoulder.

“I’m sure you’ll manage.”

Jordyn then silently watched as Joey walked out the door.

The guys were a bit surprised to find out that Joey was leaving, and probably would have asked a billion questions if it weren’t for the death glares given by Jordyn. So instead, they all watched as Joey drove off into the night.

Now, the five of them were huddled around the table, looking at a page in Joey’s journal titled, “Imaginary Friends.”

“Imaginary friends are malevolent spirits who used to be people…” Jordyn began reading out loud. “They take great joy in twisting the lives of others, and can even come off as friendly. They choose a person, usually a child who is going through hardship, and befriend them in their greatest time of need. Do not be fooled however, because their ultimate goal is to make their victim exactly like them…”

Roderick felt a shiver roll down his spine.

“So… Elizabeth is probably one of these… Imaginary Friends? But then what about the genie? How does he play into all of this?”

Jordyn bit her lip, running a finger through some more of Joey’s notes.

“I… I don’t know… Our department hasn’t even heard of a spirit like this…”

Cameron scratched his head, his eyebrows furrowed forward, and then he yawned.

“Well, I’m going to go sleep on this. Night.”

And with that, the others watched as he waltzed into one of the back rooms.

“Do we have to keep him with us?” Brian asked flatly, unamused by Jordyn’s coworker. Jordyn sighed.

“Unfortunately yes. After all-he was the one who was able to really talk with Devin in the first place.”

Brian groaned and then put his head on the table.

“I don’t understand how we’re supposed to do this without Joey. I mean-she’s really the only reason why we were able to get rid of the spirit parasite back in Pinnacle Gulch.”

Ian glanced over at his brother, who seemed to pale a little at the sound of that. He wasn’t sure how Roderick was doing at the moment with everything that had been going because things had been moving so fast, but he was sure that he wasn’t entirely ok yet. He probably needed a break from all of this anyways.

“Hey Roderick-why don’t we go out and do something? Out of town?” Ian asked, straightening up. His younger brother’s eyes lit up at this.

“Y-yeah! That actually-sounds great!” he exclaimed, jumping up from the table. Jordyn scowled.

“What-so you boys are just going to pack up and leave too?”

“No!” Ian retorted with a roll of his eyes, offended that she would think that. “We’re just going to go find a Denny’s or something and eat some pancakes. Chill!”

Jordyn growled and watched as the two brothers grabbed their coats and headed out the door, leaving her alone with Brian, who looked extremely uncomfortable.

“Well uh… I guess I’ll just…” Brian began, hoping to sneak out after them.

“Oh no you don’t!” she exclaimed, grabbing him by the arm. “We are going to go investigate this little Elizabeth thing.”

“But-but it’s like-midnight!” Brian squeaked, not liking the idea of going into a creepy town in the dark. “Everyone’s probably asleep!” At this, Jordyn smiled.

“That’s exactly what I’m banking on…”

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