Stories

Ghost Busting

I was plugging away at the budget spreadsheet so I didn’t really notice it was coffee time. My financial trance wasn’t interrupted by the heavy footsteps on the carpet, either. What caught my attention was the click of heavy machinery and the announcement by Maeve, the supervisor of the filing group.

“Light ‘em up, girls!”

The whine-up of electric motors caused me to stand and look. Maeve, along with Janet from marketing and Trudy from accounting, were striding purposefully down the hallway between cubes. They were all dressed in mud-brown coveralls and each sported a large backpack and some kind of tricked-out ray gun. My mind jumped back to the Ghostbusters cartoons I’d watched as a kid.

When they reached my cubicle they turned to face me. Maeve stared me in the eye with a sort of uber-serious expression I’d never seen on her before. All three brought their weapons to bear.

“Maeve, what’s going on?”

“Somebody spotted a ghost. We’re here to bust it.”

“What are you…?”

I was interrupted when the guns started belching brightly-coloured streams in my direction. It was silly string. They hosed down me and my cubicle for a good minute before Trudy threw in a desk-side recycle bin with a sheet of black and yellow paper in it.

I stared in disbelief as Janet reached in and took the framed picture off my desk and dropped it in the bin. Then she tossed a sheet of green paper on top of it.

“The light is green, the trap is clean!”

Janet retrieved the ghost trap and scuttled back up the hall with Trudy, both of them giggling.

My mouth opened and closed a few times as I tried to figure out something to say.

Maeve gave me a lopsided grin and tossed her hair, then handed me a slip of paper. It was an invoice stating that I owed her lunch.

“What just happened here, Maeve?”

“Ghostbusters. Clarissa dumped you six months ago, Tom; it’s time to stop letting her haunt you and go back to having a real life. I’ll see you at 11:45 for lunch.”

I paused to watch her hips sway as she sashayed away down the aisle, then set to cleaning up the silly string in my cube. But not before setting a reminder that I had a lunch date today.