GONE WITH THE WIND
Jeff was sitting at his desk just waiting for something to happen. Marty had been noticeably absent during the last few days and yes, it was true there wasn't much in the way of excitement around at the moment - the last case had involved the loss of a pair of sheepskin gloves - but even so. Jeff was beginning to think Marty was using him to get vicarious thrills. From what he'd heard of Limbo it sounded really dull.
"Marty, where are you mate?" he said out loud; quietly because Jeannie might come in at any moment.
Marty failed to appear. It occurred to Jeff that maybe he should try doing something embarrassing - these were the moments his dead friend usually chose to materialise. The trouble was - embarrassing things were, well, embarrassing.
"Marty? I'm so bored - where the hell are you..." Jeff broke off. Maybe mentioning hell wasn't the best thing to do when you were trying to talk to someone dead.
The office door opened and Jeannie entered. Jeff sat up and tried to look busy.
"Jeannie. I didn't expect you in today."
Jeannie smiled a strange, lopsided grin and walked determinedly towards him.
"Missed you," she said, before kissing the startled private detective.
She broke away. Jeff's eyes were wide open.
"You not going to kiss back?" she asked.
"Um... er... it's not that I don't find you very attractive Jeannie, but... I mean Marty's only been dead a few months. You don't want to rush into anything... I..."
"Jeff... mate... Marty wouldn't mind." Jeannie smiled again.
Suddenly Jeff realised it wasn't Jeannie's smile. But it was familiar.
"Good isn't it?" Jeannie smiled.
"But Marty, you can't go around possessing people like that. It's dangerous... and... my god Marty you
"Yeah. Always wanted to do that."
"What's happened to Jeannie?"
Jeannie suddenly jumped forward, crashing into Jeff's arms. She looked startled and confused. Marty appeared behind her, giggling.
"Jeff? What's happening? Why am I here?" she asked.
"She was cooking toast when I went into her." Marty said, " I thought I'd surprise you - hadn't seen you for a while, I thought you might appreciate something a bit different."
"Will you just be quiet," Jeff said irritably.
"Jeff! There's no need to be nasty," Jeannie protested, "I think something funny's going on. I'm not supposed to be here. Did I just kiss you?"
"Yes Jeannie, you just kissed me. But it wasn't your fault."
Jeff started pacing. His hand massaging his temple.
"What on earth were you thinking?"
"I.. " Jeannie began, before running out of words.
"I'm sorry Jeff, I just wanted to see what would happen. I tried seducing her as you and it just seemed like a good idea to try it the other way round as well." Marty looked contrite.
"What?" Jeff spluttered.
"I'm sorry Jeff. I'm really sorry. I think I must be going mad." Jeannie was on the verge of tears.
"Now look what you've done!" Jeff shouted.
"Jeff stop. I said I'm sorry?" Jeannie shrieked.
"Marty you've gone too far this time. You can't go round messing up people's lives," Jeff said.
"Marty? Jeff - what's happening?" Jeannie was weeping uncontrollably now.
"Jeff... I think I'd better go," Marty said.
"You're going nowhere!" Jeff said. Jeannie slumped into a chair. "Jeannie. Maybe you should go back home. I'll call a cab."
"But you said.."
"Jeannie, I'm really sorry. Just pretend this never happened," Jeff said softly.
"But what did happen?" Jeannie asked.
The cab arrived and Jeannie got in it, dazed and bewildered.
"Jeannie - maybe you should take a few days off. Rest a while," Jeff said. Jeannie nodded sadly. The cab drove away and Jeff turned angrily to Marty.
"You've got a lot to make up for Marty," he said sternly. Marty attempted a puppy-dog-lost look.
"That won't work," Jeff said.
"It always did before; you're a sucker for my charms," Marty smiled.
"Watch it!" Jeff said.
"Seriously though - you did like that kiss a little bit didn't you?"
"She was your fiancé Marty. Have you no shame? Anyway I thought you didn't want me touching her."
"Well it wasn't really her was it Jeff?" Marty said softly.
Jeff felt a strange sigh escaping from his mouth. Marty smiled.
We could always do it again sometime," Marty said.
"Ssh..." Marty said, slowly blowing on Jeff's lips.