October 23rd, 2010
Jen typed away on her laptop at the Shelby Times newspaper. She had to get
her story in before seven pm or it wouldn’t make it to print. And she wouldn’t get
paid this week. It had been slow. Fall always was. As she finished, her eyes widened
as they caught the sight of the time on the right corner of the taskbar on the laptop.
“Oh my, is that time?” she questioned.
She finished the story she worked on about KCI corporation for her boss, Michael
Turner. She printed the document and tapped her fingers on her desk impatiently. Jen
never had very good patience. The printer finished printing and she grabbed the stack
of paper. She left her office and jogged to Michael’s office that was adjacent to hers.
She hurried the door open, smiled to him, and tossed the papers down to him. He
picked them up and glanced over them.
“KCI Corporation Jen? Really? You’re still on them?” Michael asked.
“Well, yeah. I mean there’s something sinister going on there Mike.”
“And you think it’s up to you to find out?”
“Yeah! I am the best investigative reporter you got.”
“Jen, I like you, I really do. But I truly don’t think there’s a story here.”
“Just read it and let me know. I have to go. My mom’s coming home and so is my
“Oh yeah it’s your birthday. Happy birthday.”
“Thanks. Please, just read it and print it for me.”
“I’ll let you know when we go to print.”
Jen hurried home. Today was going to be a totally amazing day. Not only was she
going to get to see her husband, but her mom as well. Both were the most important
relationships in her life next to her best friends, Karen Logan and FBI Special Agent,
Her husband, Brian Long, had been away out of state at a Realtor conference tour
for the past couple months. Her mom had been on a long term assignment out of the
country for the company she worked for, KCI Corporation.
KCI Corporation was the largest Jeep door panel maker in the world. They were
stationed here in Shelby, MI but had offices overseas. Her mom was in Japan for half
the year. So, Jen just focused on her job.
Being a reporter for the Shelby Times gave her the action she had so desperately
craved. She was an action movie junkie. Action movies always had the best
soundtracks as well. She played one of her favorites, the soundtrack from the Last
Action Hero, starring her favorite actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in her four door
Jeep as she headed home from the paper.
The party was to start at around eight pm. Of course she wasn’t supposed to know
about this but Zander spilled the beans. But Jen was glad he did. It had been lonely for
As she arrived home, she ran through the ranch style home to her room. As she
checked the time, she realized she was running later than expected. She decided to
call Karen to let her know.
“Hey Karen, I’m running late. Work ran late. Anyone there yet?” Jen asked.
“We are all at your mom’s house per her orders. Funny, this was supposed to be a
surprise!” Karen snickered.
“Don’t blame me. Blame Z. He spilled the beans. Anyone picked my mom or Bri
“Yeah, Z is supposed to.”
“Damn it. Okay, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
“Hopefully Rene and Brian get here before you. Thankfully, neither of them
know you know.”
Jen laughed. “You and Z are truly my best friends! I love you guys!”
“Love you too. See you in a bit!”
Jen hurried in the shower. She was finished fifteen minutes later. Always a ton
boy, that was all she did to get ready. She threw on her good blue jeans and wore her
favorite KISS t-shirt and her brown knee-high, leather boots.
She drove the short drive to her mother’s house. Her stomach danced with
excitement. But she knew how to calm herself. In a few minutes, she arrived. She saw
Zander’s truck in the driveway. They were all here. She knew to act surprised because
not only would her mother be disappointed Zander spilled the beans but so would
As she made her way to the front door, she knocked. Karen opened the door.
They wrapped each other in a warm embrace. Karen smiled wide to her best friend.
“Everyone’s outside!” Karen squeaked.
They walked through the home and went out to the back patio. Karen went first to
alert everyone Jen had arrived. When Jen stepped out onto the patio, everyone yelled
in excitement to her.
Jen’s eyes widened at seeing Brian first. Then her mother. They both hugged her
“Glad you are surprised!” Brian and Rene said.
“Thank you guys! I’ve missed you both so much! This is the best birthday ever!”
“Come on inside. We have everything in there!” Rene said.
“I can’t believe you both did this and you’re both finally home!” Jen stated
“We’ve missed you!”
They went inside and had dinner. After everyone finished, Rene and Brian got out
her birthday cake. And they all sang happy birthday to her. Turning thirty was a big
deal in this world. Her mother made sure she’d have the best birthday.
After Jen opened her presents, she was still shocked at how they were able to
throw this together on such short notice. It truly made her birthday that much more
special. One she’d never forget.
“I’m so excited to see everyone! It had been a lonely couple months,” Jen said.
“But I had Karen, Z, and Max, and the two boys and Devon. It’s been hard but now
that you’re both home, I’m just so happy!”
“We’re glad you’re happy. You got a ton of cool gifts!” Brian smiled.
“Thank you all. I love you all so much!”
She finished unwrapping the presents. Brian helped clean up the wrapping paper
mess. Jen stacked all her presents neatly in a pile. Her mom began to clean up. And
she knew she better help her.
She followed her mother in the kitchen and helped her clean up. It had been a
warm day for once in October on her birthday. Rene had all the windows open in the
house, even the big bay one in the kitchen. Her favorite heavy metal music was
playing loud through Rene’s four hundred watt sound system from the living room.
“Mom, I really can’t believe you did this while you were in Japan!” Jen cried.
“Well, Brian helped me. You know, I know it’s been hard not having your dad
around. And I know all the stuff that went down with Eric was hard on both of us. But
Jen, I never believed his lies.”
Jen’s eyes widened. How dare she bring that horrible excuse of a man, Eric
Lenshoff, up. That just brought up two horrible years of flashbacks. Those who knew
Jen, knew she never liked to talk about those years. But her mother had been away for
“I’m sorry,” Rene began.
“Why did you have to bring that up!?” Jen snapped.
Jen closed her eyes and desperately tried to shove those nightmarish memories
away. She screamed when she felt a warm touch on her shoulders.
“It’s just me, your mom,” Rene said. “Still after all these years?”
“Yeah. Every now and then.”
“Is June helping you?”
“Yeah I know what to do when flashbacks happen mom.”
“That’s good. She’s been amazing. I tried to get her to come but she can’t because
of the relationship she has with you.”
“Oh yeah doctor patient thing right?”
“Yeah something like that. Are you okay now?” Rene asked.
“I’m okay now.”
“I love you Jen. Even though I might have always been away, and being your
only parent, I’ve always loved you. I know sometimes you’ve hated me.”
“Well, yeah. I mean one thing I really wanna know. You still have never told
“What is it?”
“You never told me exactly when my father died. I know it was just before I was
born. How come we never go visit his grave?”
“I, just can’t okay. I loved your father more than anything. And I’ve never been
one for cemeteries.”
“Really mom? That’s an excuse.”
“Please don’t! It’s bad enough to lose him the way I did. I just can’t!”
“I’m sorry mom.”
“It’s okay. Why do you want to dig on this?”
“Well, I need to know. I think I have a right to know how and when my own
“Jen, don’t go digging around this.”
Jen smiled wide. “You just gave me my next story mom!”
“No! You can’t go digging around that!”
“I forbid you.”
“I’m a thirty year woman old mom. You can’t control me!”
“Wait a minute. Dad was in the military right? Please, tell me, how did he die?”
“Jen, now is not the time.”
“Why, why can’t you tell me!?”
“Just know he died a hero. He was a veteran. He served. He was a good man.”
“Mom! Really, why can’t you tell me?”
“Jen, you need to stop. This could lead you down a very dangerous road!”
“But mom. I’m gonna need a new story for next week.”
“Find somewhere else then. I need to finish those dishes.”
Jen got a phone call. She checked her smart phone and it was her boss calling.
She knew that perhaps he would finally submit her suspicion on KCI Corporation and
something about the paranormal world.
“I gotta take this mom.”
Jen answered. “Hey Mike, what’s up?”
“Sorry Jen, I can’t use your story. There’s nothing there.”
“What? Come on Mike, I need this!”
“I’m sorry, you need to lay off KCI. Find something else. That’s an order!”
“Really, dang. I really need this to be submitted Mike!”
“Sorry, no can do.”
He ended the call. Jen shook her head in frustration. She knew something had
been brewing there but could never get proof. Perhaps that was why Mike rejected her
“Bad news?” her mom asked.
“Yeah, want a beer?”
As she went to the fridge and opened it, her eyes widened. Her mother had her
favorite Kroger dip hidden behind her favorite beer. She moved about eight bottles of
beer aside to get to the dip. She grabbed it and two beers.
When she finally pulled herself out of the fridge, she placed the dip on the island
next to the bowl of chips she had been snacking on. She set the two beers down as
well. After she twisted off the caps, she realized her mother wasn’t in front of the sink
like she left her. And she heard what might have been an eerie, almost ghostly like
voice maybe? Or the wind whipping in from the window being open. Whatever it was
Jen couldn’t put her finger on it.
“Mom!?” she yelled.
Jen walked around the left side of the island. Her eyes widened. Her mouth hung
slightly open. There lay her mother, lifeless, slouched against the island. She tried to
scream but no sounds came out. Her chest seized. She grabbed her chest and placed
her hand on the island. Then she finally screamed for help.
“Help! Someone help me!” she cried.
Jen bent down and pulled her mother into her arms. But Rene lay limp and Jen
held her tight. The tears streamed down her face.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no! Come on mum! Come on, wake up!”
Of course Jen didn’t see the black residue on Rene’s forehead just yet. Not until
everyone met her there.
“No!” Jen cried. “Come on mom, wake up!”
Jen tapped her mother’s cheeks and there was still no sign from her. Zander bent
down to her on one side and Brian bent down on the other.
Zander inspected Rene’s forehead. He noticed the strange, black residue. Before
he put his finger on it, Karen stopped him.
“Dude, look, it’s alive,” Karen said.
“Look, it looks like it’s suction cupped on her and sucking her life.”
“No! What the heck is it?”
“Paranormal,” Karen replied.
“What? Come on, you expect me to believe that?” Zander laughed.
“This is no joke. Look at it.”
They all looked at the black residue that slithered across Rene’s forehead. Jen
refused to believe it as well. Everyone felt the same devastation for her but knew to
keep that in check, to be strong for her.
“NO! No, no, no, no, no! It’s just a scratch! She fell and maybe slightly cut her
forehead,” Jen cried out.
“Jen, that’s not the case,” Brian said.
Tears fell from his eyes heavily. The tears flowed from everyone else as well. But
they attempted to push them back. The rest of them tried damn hard not to cry to still
be strong for Jen.
Zander proceeded to call 911. He put it on speaker phone.
“911 what’s your emergency?” a female voice asked.
“Um, I’m not sure how to explain this but there’s something black, like a plasma
that’s attacking my friend’s mom.”
“Yeah, send the paramedics over here!” Zander yelled.
“You want me to send someone for attacking plasma?”
“I don’t know what it is but it’s alive and sucking the life force from my friend’s
mom!” Zander screamed.
“Sir, this channel is reserved for emergencies only. If this is some kind of prank
“No prank! Get over here!”
Zander took a photo of Rene’s forehead. But whatever was on Rene’s head did
not show up in the photo. And the 911 operator checked to see if Zander was still
“Look, this is FBI Special agent Zander Cole, send someone over here now!”
Zander ended the call and called his friend Del Maningham from a group known
as the SPA (Supernatural Paranormal Agency) next.
“Who you calling now?” Karen asked.
“Um, who is Del?” Jen questioned.
“A friend. His team deals with this.”
“Whatever it is, we should get the hell out of here!” Karen said.
They all ran out of the home. Jen couldn’t fathom what just happened. What did
just happen? What just killed her mother? She never believed in the supernatural or
Del and his team arrived. They inspected the home and Del found more of the
black residue on the kitchen counter. It seemed like it was seeping in from the
window. He went outside and inspected all around the back. He found more. It
seemed as if this substance was shot from a special weapon.
After he finished, Del and his team met them outside and he introduced everyone.
He had a small sample of the black residue he put inside a sealed glass jar he found.
“Look, I found some of it on the kitchen window,” Del said. “This has to be
paranormal,” Del mentioned. “I found more around the window outside. And it
appears it was shot out of some kind of weapon.”
“Well, I’m the EVP (Electronic voice phenomenon) specialist here. The place has
a ton of it going on. So I for sure agree, it’s definitely paranormal. Did you ever
realize your mom’s house was haunted?” Becky asked.
“No,” Jen replied.
“Look at this guys. I had a heck of a time picking it up. I had to use a toothpick.”
Del explained. “Zander, you said it was slithering across her forehead and was
sucking the life from her?”
“I saw this type of substance before.”
“What?” they all said.
“Yeah in Russia,” he stated.
“Russia, so, what is it?” Mike asked.
“I’m not sure boss.”
“This is what you’ve been working on?” Mike questioned.
“Paranormal? That’s crazy. Why would it suddenly attack my mom?” Jen
“What was your mother into?” Del asked.
“She worked for KCI Corporation.”
“No way. We’ve been investigating them forever!” Chris Thompson stated.
“Seriously?” Jen questioned.
“Yes. What did your mother do for them?” Del asked.
“She was James Roberts secretary.”
“Holy shit!” they all said.
“What’s going on here?” Jen questioned.
“Jen, KCI under the surface has been researching the supernatural-paranormal.
They’ve been looking for a portal,” Del explained.
“A portal?” Zander questioned. “Come on.”
“Look Z, I know you don’t believe in this stuff but it’s real. And KCI may just be
on their way to finally merging the worlds. They use Mediums. Was your mother a
Medium?” Del asked.
“I don’t know.”
“She had to of been. In my research, this new substance only attacks Mediums.
But I haven’t been able to find the source. Every time I get close, the leads shrivel
“I’ve been investigating KCI as well. I always felt there was something sinister
going on there,” Jen said.
“Are you a Medium too?” Del questioned.
“Me? No. I don’t think so. I’m an Investigative Reporter for the Shelby Times.
Every time I do an article on them, my boss, Michael Turner shoots it down.”
“Every time?” Del questioned.
“Jen, we’re so sorry this happened. We’ll investigate this and get back to you,”
Jen’s body trembled. She wanted to know why her mother? Why her, what did
she actually do for James Roberts? She never wanted to believe her mother would
deal in dirty stuff like this.
Brian took her home and Jen just couldn’t sleep or eat. She had to get away. She
didn’t leave Brian a note and just took off. As she drove, she kept seeing that slime
attacking her mother. And she drove for what seemed to be all night long.