“What’s your name again?”
“Sheila.” I said as I got into the car, Michael’s grey eyes scrutinised me before nodding and he got in too. He paused not starting the car.
“This is ridiculous.”
“How is it ridiculous.”
“I’m a genie, here to grant your wishes, you called for me.” He turned around in his seat looking at me, those same stormy eyes in disbelief, “This shit shouldn’t exist. This is the twenty first century.”
“Oh is it?” I asked, wow, it’s been a long time then. He muttered something to himself starting the car, “Alright where to go.”
“You said you knew.”
“I do but I haven’t been here or anything, I can find him but I don’t know the roads or the name or if he is even in the same country but I am pretty sure he is because I haven’t left the country. We are still in Australia right?”
Michael looked at me like I was crazy, I probably was, he nodded.
“Okay well just follow the bird and you’ll be fine.”
I nodded out the window at the dove sitting on the car, “That’ll lead you to him.”
He looked between me and the dove, I looked at the dove, piercing my gaze at it and it started to move, “It will lead you to his doorstep.” granted Cameron was still in the country. Michael just stared at me, “Go on, the dove’s way ahead of you now.”
Michael looked out the window realising I was right and he lurched the car forward trying to keep up with my dove.
* * *
“Camie!” I didn’t give the old man any time to turn around before I threw my arm around him and gave him a massive hug, while he was half facing me and half not. He relaxed under me recognising me.
“My lord Sheila, is that really you?” I let go and he turned around pushing the glasses further up his nose and staring at me top to bottom, “My my,you’ve changed.”
“So have you.” old age was getting to him, his hair used to be stunningly blonde and now not a trace, it was all white and the wrinkles from smiling showed, an attractive feature. His eyes flickered behind me where no doubt Michael was standing confused and with a million questions. He sort of freaked out when the dove just flew back into my chest once we found this small shop hidden.
“It’s been a long time.” he patted my shoulder, “Who’s the man.”
I shrugged, “He rubbed me.”
“I did no such thing.” Michael quickly pointed out.
“She means you called for her.” Cameron said laughing and I looked confused, “Isn’t that what I said.”
I stepped aside letting them two look at each other, “I’m Detective Parker and I have a few questions for you.”
Cameron’s smile faded, his eyes narrowing, “I am not saying anything.”
“You don’t even know what I going to ask you.” Michael said.
“Cameron, this man needs your help.” I said frowning at the old man, “You know we need to help.”
Cameron grumbled turning around and walking to the counter in aslow shaky way, old age wasn’t doing him many favours, “Fine.” he said. He grabbed a bell ringing it and a petite girl came out of the room looking far too happy.
“Caroline help Sheila get....appropriate will you.”
“What do you mean?” I took a step back as she reached for me.
“Honey, you need a haircut and new clothes, no ones worn something like that since 1904.”
I looked down at my dress, “What’s wrong with it.” I looked at Michael who just blank stared back at me, I sub consciously touched my hair.
“You hair is going to be touching the ground if you don’t cut it. Caroline.”
“But I want to hear the case!” Who cares how long my hair was. After another two wishes I was going back in the bottle.
“No, this will be between me and the man.” I frowned, not if I can help it. I shrugged letting Caroline drag me away, not before I touched Cameron on the shoulder leaving a little hearing device imprinted into his cloak. He should know me better.
I followed Caroline into a darker smaller room with candles lit, “You’re not going to cut a lot away are you?”
“Just make it up to your collarbones.”
“No! That’s so short!” I bunched my hair together holding it, I was not going to let this evil woman touch me. She may look small but with that hidden smile of hers she looked quite deadly. I inched away from her as her fingers touched my shoulders pushing me into the chair.
“Alright I’ll just trim it, cut the edges off.” I met her gaze in the mirror and frowned, “Promise?”
She nodded and I let her take my hair since the conversation in my ear started.
“So Cameron, I have a feeling you know why I am here right now.” I heard Michael’s voice say, it was almost like a whisper, speak louder, scream god damn it.
“Then why did you say you ’re not going to say something the very minute you knew who I was. Let’s cut the games Leila said you’ll help.”
“Sheila, her name is SHE-LA.”
Yeah you tell him Camie.
“Right, important things,” I could hear ruffling and something being placed on the counter, “No I do not give you permission to record me.”
“All interviews must be recorded, they aren’t going to be used court without your knowledge, it’s just so we have a recorded report. It’s for internal reference” I heard Camie groan and mutter something under his breathe, and whilst Michael might not know what he said I had a feeling it was cursing him. Oh Camie, centuries don’t change you.
“Where were you on the night of 22nd April 2016”
“Here, at my shop, alone and just because I had an alibi didn’t mean I killed him!” Camie’s voice rose, almost shakily.
There was a short pause, “How do you know who I’m talking about without me asking you?”
“I’m not stupid, it was all over the news and he was at my shop the day before, maybe me the last person he saw that was recorded.”
Who are they talking about?
There was another noise, writing on paper? “Well at least we’re on the same page. Did he have any enemies?”
Cameron scoffed, “Are you kidding me, the entire town hated him. He wasn’t a nice man detective. And you should all know that he would be in your records.”
“In the police records yes, we are following up on that, there were a lot of allegations but not much evidence.”
“Do you know why?” Camie’s voice was even softer now that it made it hard for me to hear him, especially when I could hear sniping in the background. “Because he’s not human like Sheila.”
There was a loud clicking sound, “You can’t say that Cameron.” he must have stopped the recording machine.
“Oh and why not, you know its true.” there was another short pause.
“They’ll put you under psychotic or crazy and your information will be invalid.”
“But detective you know it’s true.”
There was another pause, “Yes but-.”
“Then it is perfectly reasonable evidence, there will never be anything on record, he has his ways of making it vanish, maybe you should look into the people working at the police department. And for record you can just say I meant that they were evil and not human.”
“Ouch!” a sharp snip at my ear made me jerk in my chair.
“Sorry you moved!” Caroline grabbed tissues, “Did you cut me?” I asked. She shook her head in the reflection of the mirror but the panic in her eyes told me something else. I sighed leaning into the chair, oh well.
I looked in the mirror at my reflection and jumped out of my seat scaring Caroline, “My hair!”
It was all gone, all my beautiful hair.
I reached up to touch what was left that was brushing my neckline, “It’s not gone now it’s a nice medium length, look how healthy and perfect it looks.”
I frowned, “Look it frames your face, look how pretty your face looks without wild curls brushing in front of your eyes,”
“Wha happened to my curls?” I asked, she had a point.
“I permanently straightened it. I used a bit of you know to make it faster or else you’ll be sitting in this chair for hours”
“But I liked my curls.”
“Yeah they were cute but look at this, you look fierce now, come on let’s go get you some clothes.” I stared at the strange person in the reflection frowning, my curls, my beautiful curls.
“Don’t worry as your hair grows back your hair will be normal again.”
But that’ll take forever! A whole month for it to grow back!
I was still quite upset about it as she dragged me into another room, a brighter room with rows and rows of clothes, “What size are you?”
I shrugged. Her hands reached out bunching the fabric till her fingers touched my skin and I jumped.
“Okay...much smaller than I thought.”
“Are you calling me big?” I frowned. “No your dress was just a lot of fabric, how is that even comfortable. Is that a corset?”
I shrugged, “It’s ok.” if it was up to me I would not wear any of this hideous fabric but apparently I wasn’t allowed to do that. She disappeared into the rows and consciously I reached up touching my hair, it felt so weird. And light. It was almost like I didn’t have any at all.
Caroline jumped back out holding more things than she could dumping it into the chair, “Alright, outfit one.”
She held up something that looked similar to what I had on, but shorter and much less fabric. I reached out to touch it, quite intrigued by the colour.
It was beautiful, like water. “Dressing room is behind that curtain, give it a go.”
By the time I walked back Camie and Michael seemed to be having a deep discussion both of them not realising I was there for a few minutes.
“Ah look at you, easier to fit in. You don’t need questions again.” I nodded sighing, he had point. I just hated how things always changed and I had to keep up.”
I looked at Michael, who was busy staring at all the bags I was holding, “I’m not paying for that am I?”
Camie muttered something under his breathe again wrapping an arm around my shoulder walking me to the exit, “You need to come back another day. I need to cleanse you.”
I nodded, “No one else has seen you right?”
I shook my head, “Keep it that way till I cleanse you.” I nodded. Michael walked out and Cameron stopped talking, “Put them in the boot.”
“The back of the car.” Cameron said and I realised what he meant when something popped up. Oh right. Weird things, no horses and now things just popped open. I put everything in and Cameron closed it for me, “Make sure you come see me again Sheila, and no one else can see you till then.”
“Alright” he opened the car door for me and I waved at him taking off my transparency, “Alright, were are we going now?” I asked looking at Michael, “Do you have another wish?”
He looked at me, “No, I have to go meet my friends,”
And by friends he meant two people, they were already seated waiting in a quite dark and dimmed lighted room. I stood as he went into the curved seating area, that looked extremely comfortable.
Michael looked up at me, “Are you going to sit?”
“Who?” A lighter blonde hair male said.
Before I could tell that they couldn’t see me Michael realised himself, “No one.” I sat down, oh these seats are comfortable. I leaned into the cushion behind me sighing, I could just rest like this forever. Maybe I should take these back with me as well.
“So what happened to the hot chick in your house, is she still there?”
Michael tensed beside me, “Uh what are you talking about.”
“No what? No she’s not there or no you didn’t say that, and for the record we did not hire her.” The other male said.
I sat up, “I didn’t know you had a chicken.”
The corner of Michael’s lips lifted, “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing, are we going to order or not I have other things I have to do.”
“Like sleep off that hangover?”
Michael didn’t anything as they laughed and I leaned back into the cushions to rest. It wasn’t till food arrived that I moved a limb, man that smelled good.
“Do you want me to order you something?” Michael asked softly.
“I did order?” The blonde guy said, “How come you guys got your food first.” Michael ignored him.
“Can’t. It might freak people out if they see random food moving and vanishing. I’ll eat later. Can you restock your fridge again?”
I disappeared once again into my own little world thinking as they chatted and talked, well, this was boring. Can he just ask me the other two wishes so I had no more debt to him.
Then again I was also sort of glad that I was called for, it’s been so long that I had started to even miss these strange humans.
Sorry I was a few days late - I’m sick in bed but finally have some energy to post this chapter. Hope you’re enjoying this story! Make sure to comment, vote and leave a review xx