Chan scanned the foyer with his flashlight. “Are you here? Professor, is that you?
Three small thumps were the only answer.
Chan’s flashlight picked out a wooden door, its paint scraped off, as if by a knife. “Are you inside this closet,” Chan called.
Chan pulled the door knob. “It’s locked.” He searched for a key, but couldn’t find it. “I’ll be back,” he shouted.
“I need your help, Sir,” Chan said running up to Mr. Ross.
“Whatever you need, son” the man said and kissed his wife and daughter. “We’re coming with you,” the mother said.
“Do you have a key to the front hall closet,” Chan asked.
“That door doesn’t have a lock. Let me take a crack at it.” The man turned the knob and pushed at the door. “Something’s stuck behind the door.” He leaned forward and shoved harder.
“Move away from the door,” Mr. Ross shouted. “I can’t,” someone whimpered.
“Is that you, Professor,” Chan asked, his ear pressed against the door.
“I’ll have to take her down,” Mr. Ross said and gripped the door with both huge hands tearing it right off the hinges.
“Oh my God,” Chan exclaimed. “Don’t look,” Dr. Lasker moaned.
Chan blinked in disbelief. Dr. Lasker was stuffed into what looked like a large wire dog crate completely naked. “What the hell happened to you,” he asked. “Where are your clothes?”
The mother pulled her daughter back into the living room.
“Dr. Lasker, where are your clothes,” Chan asked, as Mr. Ross pulled open the dog crate. “Get me something to cover me up, you dolt,” Lasker shouted. “I’ve never been so
humiliated! Someone is going to pay for this!”
“I’ll get something,” Mrs. Ross said and hurried to her bedroom.
“Sir, what happened,” Chan asked, trying not to laugh at the image of his boss locked naked into a dog crate.
“I have no idea. I was searching for Shelly when suddenly something slammed down on my head. The next thing I know I’m in this damn cage in this lamentable position. Now get me the hell out of this cursed house! And find my damn pants!”
Chan couldn’t stop himself from laughing at the remembered sight of his boss trussed up like a featherless turkey in the cage.
“Try these on,” Mrs. Ross said, handing him one of her husband’s shirts and a pair of his
“Thank you,” Dr. Lasker said, grabbing the clothes. “And you’d better stop laughing, you idiot if you want your job?” Dr. Lasker was grumbling furiously as he shoved his legs into the pants and shirt which were so large he looked like he was drowning in them. “Chan, you idiot, find my clothes now or you’re fired! And stop laughing!”
Mr. Ross grabbed him by the shirt collar. “Don’t you yell at that boy! He saved my family. He figured out how to get rid of the demon that was in my daughter and controlling me.
You should thank your lucky stars to have him working for you. If he hadn’t stopped that monster, I expect you’d have ended up on its plate sooner than later.”
Dr. Lasker was shaking with fear. Even not under the demon’s spell this man was gigantic and frightening. “I’m sorry. Chan, I apologize,” he stammered, but shot Chan a dirty look.
\ Mr. Ross released the professor who though sputtering mad and looking like a furious child in the oversized clothing realized he’d better control his temper. “Is this true, Chan? Did you save them?”
Chan nodded, expecting another explosion. “But I had help.”
“Shelly helped you?” Dr. Lasker suddenly was aware the girl was not in the room. “Where is she?”
“No. Not her.” Chan said, wondering if maybe he’d imagined the male voice coming from the girl. How can I explain what I don’t understand? Had he finally heard a real ghost?
“There’s nobody else here,” the doctor was about to blast, but saw Mr. Ross staring at
Chan nodded in agreement. “I know, but there was a man’s voice. He was inside the girl.
It was like he was battling for her soul with some monster also inside her. He told me what to do.”
Dr. Lasker looked anxiously around him. “You say you heard a man’s voice inside the girl? Perhaps you are an Ecto at last? We shall hope.” Lasker wasn’t ready to celebrate yet. It could have been Allen or it could have been another ghost in the house. At any rate, he didn’t want Chan to know about Allen, not yet, not until he figured out exactly what he wanted to do with the girl and her ghost. “You probably imagined it. People who are frightened imagine all kinds of things. Where is Shelly?”
Chan didn’t feel like arguing now. Shelly was his first concern. “I don’t know. She might still be in the basement.” He turned to Mr. Ross. “Where is the basement door, sir?”
“I’ll show you,” the man said.
Dr. Lasker was grumbling as he tied on a pair of Mr. Ross’s huge shoes. “I’ve never been so embarrassed,” he roared now that Mr. Ross was out of the room. “Bloody ghosts! Who needs them?”