Chapter 2: Chilly Nights
Peter had changed from his sweat drenched clothes to a pair of jeans and a sweater. After being in an overly hot firehouse all week, the windy air outside seemed colder then it really was.
"I hope you live close by" Peter said shoving his hands into his pockets. Jo smiled and led him a few more blocks away from the firehouse.
"This is it" Joline said finally. They stood outside of her building for a minute. The building was made from some kind of stone, like many New York buildings. Near the entrance the year 1842 was engraved into a block, along with the name Watson.
"1842, what a good year" Peter said before following Joline inside. Joline moved to the antiquated elevator and pressed the button pointing up. "So you said this ghost haunts the whole building?"
"Supposedly. I haven't heard of anyone ever having problems though" Joline replied. "The super doesn't want anyone to get rid of the ghost, but its really becoming a problem."
The elevator creaked open and they stepped inside. Peter leaned against the side as they rode up to the fourth floor.
"Well, we don't want you getting in trouble" Peter said. "We'll just call this a consultation."
"Dr. Venkman, I just want this ghost to leave me alone" Joline replied. He smiled.
"Please, call me Peter" Peter replied. The elevator came to a jerking halt and the door opened. They both stepped out and Peter followed Jo down the hall to the far apartment.
"Oh no" Jo said once she had her door open and her lights turned on. Her bed was stripped clean and the sheets were hanging from the ceiling fan. "Great."
"Sheek" Peter said. He walked over and pulled the sheets down. "I'm guessing that this wasn't your usual decorating style."
"Far from it" Jo said grumpily. She took the sheets and tossed them into the laundry basket. She talked as she pulled out more bedding. "This is what I usually come home to, only lately it's been happening with my clothes and bedding and curtains."
"Have you ever seen this ghost?" Peter asked. He pulled a small device from his pocket that beeped when it got close to the fan and the laundry basket. "Looks like you have some ectoplasm residue in here."
"Isn't that nice? The ghost left something behind" Jo said sarcastically. She tucked in a corner. "I saw the ghost. It was purplish, had no eyes, and it screamed at me. That was a few months ago."
"You haven't seen it since?" Peter asked. He poked at a honey stained shirt.
"Nope. Just that one time. It always does stuff when I'm not here" Jo said.
"What do you do?" Peter asked. He pulled a small screw cap vial from his pocket and scooped up a little honey and goo from the shirt. Egon would have his hide if he didn't bring something back.
"What're you doing?" Jo asked. Peter looked up at her. "I'm the floor director for the Kay Simon Show."
"Is she the lady on daytime tv who hates men, yet always seems to have a man on her show?" Peter asked.
"Yeah, that'd be her" Jo said. She changed the pillowcases and pulled a comforter from a shelf to put on her bed. Peter stood up, putting the vial and his gadget in his coat pocket.
"Here's what I need to do" Peter said. "I need to analyze the sample I took from one of your shirts to see what comes up. I also need to retrieve some equipment if I want to take any serious readings. Does anything ever happen at night?"
"Sometimes I wake up to the fridge being open or the television will be on" Jo said. She sighed and sat on the edge of her freshly made bed.
"I think setting up a hidden camera would be wise" Peter said. "Just for a night and a day. 24 hours. We'll see if we catch anything and we'll see if there's any sort of pattern."
"When do you want to do that?" Jo asked. Peter shrugged and ran a hand through his hair.
"When you have time" Peter said. "The ghostbusters work 24-7."
"What's the price for 24 hour surveillance?" Jo asked.
"We generally work out a price after we catch a ghost" Peter said. Jo raised her eyebrow and Peter smirked. "For surveillance, $100. That includes a ghostbuster being here, us providing you a room for the night at our station, or you can decline and be by yourself."
"A hundred dollars?!" Jo said. She stood up and walked into her kitchen, which was only separated from the rest of the apartment by a strip of counter. "I could borrow a camera from the studio—"
"We have other equipment that we set up" Peter interjected. "Believe me, if it was just video surveillance, we wouldn't be needed." Peter moved to sit on a stool that was at the counter. "Look, Jo, I think it would be best if you came back to the station with me for the night. I can send Ray over with some equipment. We'll get it all set up nicely. You can come back in twenty-four hours."
Jo held up a pitcher of water and Peter nodded. "Why do I get the feeling that you have a double meaning behind your words?" She handed him a glass of water and poured one for herself.
"You think this is how I get my dates?" Peter asked. "I'm crushed."
"Right" Jo said under her breath. Peter sucked down his water. "I guess the station is going to be just as hot as it was earlier?"
"Probably" Peter said. Jo finished her water and moved to collect a bag full of things.
Somewhere in Central Park, the strange little faery-man found himself watching a bunch of caged animals roam to and fro at the Central Park Zoo. He shook his head at the strange ways of the world. The sky had turned dark and there weren't so many people in the park as there were before.
Floating gently amongst the tree branches, the small faery lit his pipe and followed a couple, who looked to be fighting over something. They yelled and would look embarrassed if they thought someone was around. The faery groaned and floated to them.
"Oh my god!" The girl shrieked. The faery man hovered before them.
"Have no fear, lass" He said with a smile. "Ye two shou' remember why it twas tha' ye fell in love in tha firs' place." As the faery spoke, the two looked at each other. They almost seemed to be in a daze. The faery hovered closer to them and moved them so they were hand in hand. "Be good an' go be in love."
The couple walked away, as if in a daze. The red headed fae just smiled and laughed as they walked away.
"…And this is our living quarters" Peter said finishing up his tour of the station. Jo looked around appreciating the space. The station was still overly hot, but it didn't seem too bad. Peter led her into the bunk room, which they had finally divided up into small rooms. "This is our bunk room. We have two spare rooms at the end of the hall."
The doors each had a metal plaque that had names displayed.
"I didn't realize that you all slept here" Jo said. Peter nodded.
"It saves our paychecks" Peter replied. He pointed to the door at the end of the hall. "The bathroom is down there."
Joline moved to look into room one, which was next to Peter's room. It had a small single bed, a chair, and a coat hook. There was a small bedside table that only served to hold a lamp and digital clock. Jo put her stuff in the room.
"Would you mind if I changed into something a little lighter?" Jo asked. Peter shook his head no and went to do the same. Peter found Jo in the room that served as a living room, a game room, a mini-bar, and a dining room. She was looking through a bookcase of books.
"Did you eat?" Peter asked. They were both in baggy lounge pants and tank tops.
"No" Joline replied. She pulled a rubber band from her pocket and mindlessly put her hair into a loose bun. Peter picked up the phone.
"How does pizza sound?" Peter asked. Joline smiled. Winston and Ray came into the room looking tired and overheated. "Hey boys. This is Joline Bateman, a client. I need someone to go to her place and set up surveillance." Peter dialed the number for the pizza place he usually ordered from and walked to lean against the bar.
"Hi. I'm Dr. Ray Stanz, this is my associate, Winston Zeddemore" Ray said shaking Joline's hand.
"Call me Jo" Jo said with a smile. "You two look tired."
"Yeah, we just got the heater fixed" Winston said. "I think I probably lost twenty pounds just from all the sweating."
"I can imagine" Jo said.
"If you'll excuse us for a minute. We should change and shower" Ray said.
"Pepperoni okay?" Peter asked. Joline nodded. "Hey, you two want some pizza?"
"Sure" Ray and Winston said at the same time. Peter finished putting in the order and put the phone back into its receiver. He jumped over the back of the couch and turned on the television.
"So, care to watch the tube while waiting for pizza?" Peter asked.
"Shouldn't we be concerned about getting your surveillance equipment set up in my apartment?" Jo asked. She moved to sit at the far edge of the couch. Peter scoffed and flipped through the channels.
"I'll get Ray to go" Peter said. "He can get it all set up in about fifteen minutes. It takes me about thirty."
"Oh" Jo said. It didn't take long for Ray and Winston to emerge from the bunk room clean and dressed in more relaxed attire. The pizza had been delivered and they were all enjoying pepperoni pizza.
"So, Ray, Jo here needs some surveillance equipment set up at her place" Peter said between bites. He wiped at his mouth with a napkin.
"Aw Pete" Ray groaned. "You should have taken the equipment over there yourself."
"Hey, I was being a host for our guest" Peter said. Ray nodded and glanced at the television, which was set to some sitcom.
"Thanks for the slice of pizza, Peter" Winston said. He had only eaten one slice while drinking almost a liter of water. "I'm pooped man. I'm going to bed. Don't wake me unless it's an emergency and, even then, give me enough time to hit the snooze."
"Night, Winston" Ray called. Peter nodded and chewed his mouth full of pizza. "So, Joline, what do you do?"
"I'm the floor director for the Kay Simon Show" Jo said. She wiped her mouth and shivered. The temperature had drastically dropped from the upper 90s down to somewhere in the 60s. "Ever watch the show?"
"Sometimes, but I'm usually in the middle of something" Ray said. "Sorry."
"It's okay" Joline said with a smile. She pulled herself tighter together in her chair. "Our target demographic would pretty much consist of women from twenty-five to sixty-five, so no problems."
"So what kind of ghost problem do you have?" Ray asked. Jo recounted her story for Ray, who seemed to grow more interested. By the time Jo was done, Ray was making mental notes about the kind of surveillance equipment to take over to her place. Ray left with the equipment, Jo's keys, and with the excitement that a new case always brought to his face.
The couch was surrounded by darkness, except for the light that emanated from the television. Peter and Jo had both pulled on sweaters and were in the midst of watching a late night horror movie. The door, near the bar, opened up with a minute creak. On the television screen, the killer slowly stalked up towards the unsuspecting girl and –
"Peter? Why are the lights off?" Egon asked. Jo gasped and turned around to see who was in the room. Peter coughed, trying not to spit out the sip he had just taken from his drink.
"Egon!" Peter said. Beyond Egon a tired green ghost hovered.
"Oh my god, there's something behind you!" Jo said. Egon looked and shook his head.
"That would be our resident ghost, Slimer" Egon replied. "He won't cause you any harm, though I apologize for him if you happen to touch him."
"You guys have a resident ghost?" Jo asked Peter. He nodded and smirked.
"Since it looks like Peter isn't going to do it, I'll make the introductions" Egon said. He turned on a lamp and held out his hand. "I'm Dr. Egon Spengler."
"I'm Joline Bateman" Jo said.
"Friend of Peter?" Egon asked.
"Client" Peter said. Egon smiled. "Her place is haunted and we're doing a 24-hour surveillance. Ray set up the equipment a few hours ago."
"I'll let you tell me about it in the morning" Egon said. Peter picked up a vial from the coffee table. He had waited for Egon to finally come upstairs so he could give him the sample from Jo's place.
"I have something for you, Spengs" Peter said holding up the sample. "A mixture of honey and ectoplasm from her apartment."
Egon took the sample and held it towards the lamp. The honey made the sample glow an amber color. Egon rubbed his face.
"I'll look at it first thing in the morning" Egon replied. He stood there for a moment. "I guess Ray and Winston fixed the heater. It feels like it's about 50 degrees in here."
"Hence our sweaters" Peter said.
"Just take care. I think it's going to be one chilly night" Egon replied. He disappeared into the bunk room with Slimer trailing after him, leaving Peter and Jo to finish their horror movie.