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Dream Collective: Are You Out There?

January 17, 2009

(A Lux Shimshi Story)

Waking up in a hospital is never pleasant. The light was blinding and it hurt my eyes. My head hurt, in the back that was never good. Something caught my attention. My reflexes were slow, I actually had time to think as my head moved. It betrayed me and lulled. Luckily for me, it was Kyle.

“Hey there Princess,” Kyle said with a smile warm as honey.


I was in trouble.
“What happened?” I asked, my voice sounded like tin. Kyle opened his mouth, we heard a sound by the door and turned our attention towards it. We did our best to look like good children trying not to get in trouble.

“I believe I can answer that,” we kept staring at the voice that seemed to come from nowhere for a second. The doctor just looked at us for a second longer, registering that he had our full listening attention.
“You had a seizure while you were in an altercation with a,” he paused to look at his clip board “Mister Ryhs.”


I remembered.

* * * * *


I was up in the DJ booth, spinning, playing a final cut hand mashed by myself. It was Britney vs. Madness. The crowd was really digging it.

I was feeding off them, their energy. It was like this thing, this beautiful blue and orange thing. It was why Mickey Rhys had to tap me on the shoulder to get my attention.
Once he had it, I turned to face him and he handed me my $80 fee for the night. The money was coated with Mickey’s nervous energy. I looked at it for a second then looked at him.
“Is there something wrong?”

Mickey looked at me considering it, “No…” he said shakily as he rubed the back of his neck. He paused for a moment, obviously thinking better, “Yes, I, I believe I have a…ghost problem.”

“Well, I can help,” I said, nodding.

“You don’t think I’m crazy?”

“Nope. I’m a member of Oracle.”

Mickey just stood there looking at me for a moment, gauging my words. People usually were surprised at that revelation, but then again, I was always full of contradictions. I was a DJ and a ghost hunter. As if that wasn’t enough, I was also a medium.

Mickey just smiled at me, and I couldn’t help but smile back at him. He was cute and could elicit that response.

“I knew you were rad,” he said as he reached into his back pocket, fishing out a card to hand to me. He smiled once more before turning to leave.

I packed up my gear and quickly left the booth. I dug out my phone and dialed Stephan.

“Hello Miss Lux.” Stephen seemed to purr as he talked.

“Stephen, I have a client,” I said trying to keep the schoolgirl cadence out of my voice.

“So? What am I, your spiritual pimp?” Stephen and I chuckled. We had this joke going since I was pretty much Oracle. “Who is it?”

“Mickey Rhys,” I said with a smile.

“Swank. Tomorrow?”


“Perhaps,” I said with a sigh. “I am going to call him in the morning.”

“Hot date?” Stephen said sounding a little curious.

“Yes. My comfy couch and a bag of Grand Marnier chocolates.”

Stephen laughed deeply. “You sure know how to party, Luxie.” I hung up and headed home.

* * * * *

The next morning, I woke up. It was already well past noon by the light. I reached for my cellphone and checked. It was 1:30. I had missed a call. Checking the number, I saw that it was Daniel, my twin. I’d call him back later, and sat the phone down on the table and headed for the kitchen.

The fridge was stocked with cherry coke. Kyle was my hero. I cracked a can and headed back to the living room. The lovely caffeine filled my senses and I sighed.

I fished around my pocket and pulled out the wad of bills and Mickey’s card. I looked at it for a moment. I looked at it for a second, set it down, and looked at it again. It was a simple card and that read: “Mickey Rhys. Expert.”

I dialed the number.

“Hello?” Mickey breathed, yawning as he talked.

“It’s Lux, erm. uh, DJ Marina.”

“Oh, hello.”

“My associate and I are free tonight. We can go ahead and check out your situation”

“That’s great.” We talked for a bit. he gave me an address in Brooklyn. I told him we’d be there at ten.

I hung up and speed-dialed Stephen, leaving a quick voicemail. I then headed to the bathroom to grab a nice, long shower. My day was looking pretty great. I was going to meet up with Stephen for early dinner, go to Mickey’s at ten and I’d get a go at it.

The water fell on me, it seemed to flow slower and coat me. Crap. Soon, I was seeing a young woman. She was being choked. I was still there, but I was stuck watching.

It could have been worse.
A lot worse. I shook it off and hurried to dress, putting on some makeup before leaving. I stopped to dash off a quick note to Kyle.

I loved sleeping at Stephan and Kyle’s. It was a great location on 15th Street, right by a subway stop. I took the A line down to 33rd to meet Stephen at Lindy’s. I certainly couldn’t afford it, but Stephen could, so I went. They knew me there so my waitress Corrine sat us at our usual booth. She was absolutely gorgeous and, even better, always remembered that I like cherry coke.

“Here you go doll,” Corrine said, placing a glass in front of me.

“Thanks kitten,” I said, winking.

“Is Mr. Magic coming along?” Corrine asked me. Stephan told her he was a stage magician once.

“Yeah.” I said softly.

Corrine just smiled at me and left. Stephen came up behind me. I could sense his energy.

“Hey Luxie,” he purred at me again.

“Hey Mysterio,” I sad as he slid into the booth opposite of me. Seeing Stephen definitely made me smile. Stephen gave me a quizzical stare. He knew. He always knew.
“It was a girl. She was being choked.” I said trying to sound bored.

“Nice,” he said as he adjusted his seat in the booth.

We spent the next two hours eating and talking. We plotted and planned. After we finished Corrine gave me her number on the back of the check with a wink.

“Aww, she likes you,” Stephen joked once we were outside.

“Shut up,” I said, only getting cut off by my cellphone. Without looking, I answered it, clearing my throat before addressing the caller on the line, “Ghost Girl here.”

“What?” Daniel’s voice broke in to laughter.

“What’s shaking Daniel?”

“Nothing.” He said trying to sound innocent I began to wonder what exactly he was doing.

“Need help?” I asked.

“No, just checking on you.” he said calmly.

“I’m doing good. I got a hot waitress’s phone number.” I said grinning across at Stephan.


“Listen. I’ve got a case tonight.”

“Cool, call you in the morning,” he said as we both hung up.

Stephen had a goofy grin plastered on his face. “You and your brother.”

“Again, shut up,” I said with a smirk before walking away from the table.

* * * * *

We showed up at Mickey’s place a little before 10pm. He let us inside. I walked through the house while Stephen talked to MIckey. When I came to the living room, I closed my eyes. Aria came to me first.

“Lux, there’s a ghost here,” she said very matter–of-factly.

“Can you tell me anything else?”

I felt Aria sigh and uncurl from me. It was like she was uncovering me, leaving me alone in the cold.

Stephen came in with Mickey interrupting me. They stood in front of me.
“Find anything?”

“Of course I did. I’m the best.”

“What?” Mickey asked.

“Aria’s checking on it.”

“Who’s Aria. There were only two of you,” Mickey blurted out in confusion.

“Aria’s my spirit guide.” I said with a smile. It was always hard to explain guides. Aria was even harder. She was trapped in hell, as the sin of lust. She was able to come up and see me somehow. When I was 16 my brother and I bound her to a Yen coin I kept around my neck.
Technically I broke her out of hell, so I was public enemy number one. Maybe that’s why a lot of Oni come to Jersey to bother me.

“Oh.” He said softly, but I was lost in thought.

We sat there waiting for Aria. I felt her struggling but I couldn’t feel with who. It was like a feral animal I could only feel her rage, nothing else.

“What’s wrong?” Stephen asked.

“Aria is…” I choked and coughed. Stephen grabbed my hand. I felt a new energy slam into my body. I felt the spirit take over. I couldn’t stop her once again, I found myself stuck in watching mode.

I watched my body lunge forward, towards Mickey. At least, the spirit possessing my body was, but that was semantics at that point.

Words came out of my mouth, heavily accented in Russian, “You Bastard!”

I could feel Mickey’s flesh under my nails. I felt her anger. I wanted to rip him to pieces. Mickey tried to choke me. My body dodged him. Mickey was pushed over and I was on top of him.

I felt Aria, and I pulled out to her. Aria knew and she went to find Stephen. I was trying to focus on my invader’s attack, but watching Aria try to talk to Stephen was almost funny.

Aria finally got her point across. Stephen was pulling me off Mickey. As he pulled, I saw a blinding light, as I was pulled back so I could see what made her so mad.

“I manni mortis,” Stephen cried out. The spirit left me and Aria dashed right in. She was back again, and I was happy.

“You killed her,” I said shakily, Rhys’s smile dropped. It was almost a sad look.


I shook my head. The doctor in front of me as staring. “Ms. Shimshi?” A new voice was in the room. I snapped my attention from the doctor to the uniformed cop.

“Yes?” I asked swallowing hurt my dry mouth. I would kill for a cherry Coke.

“I am here to ask if Mr. Stone’s statement was true,” he said as he handed me a report. I read over it. Of course it was true. The only thing was, that there was more to the story than what was in the report.

“Stephen Stone found a body in the crawl space after subduing Mr. Rhys.”

“Yes, it’s all true,” I said shakily. The cop took it and nodded.
“Rhys killed his mail order bride. Such a shame.”Said Stephan after the cop left us alone.
I looked at Kyle.
“Can I stay with you?” I managed to ask sounding quasi normal.

“I should say so, on a permanent basis?” Kyle asked, he lived with Stephan but surely two men wouldn’t mind a girl for a pet. I’d be safe they’re practically married after all

“Sounds like a plan.” Stephan said with a nod.

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