Young Spirits

1955, Dayton, Ohio:

12 year old Laura Gainer ran, laughing happily, around her room. Her sister, Francine, 20, was trying to study in the next room. Francine got up and went next door.

"Will you be quiet?" she said in a harsh tone.

Laura stopped running.

"You can't tell me what to do!" she protested.

"Yes I can, and until Bobby gets back from the store, I'm in charge".

Laura pouted and sat on her bed.

The door opened downstairs and Bobby, 15, clambered in with bags of groceries.

"Can someone give me a hand!" he yelled up the stairs.

Francine was proceeding downstairs but not before stopping in Laura's room.

"You stay here" she said in that same tone.

She went downstairs to help her brother.

When Laura was sure they were out of earshot, she opened her bedroom window and climbed onto the big branch of the nearby Oak Tree. Down the tree she went, and she ran away once again.

2005, Grandview, New York:

Construction workers stopped their drilling and proceeded towards the hole which their commissioner had dug. They looked down.

"I'll call 911" one of them said.

The Grandview police arrived and started asking questions.

The construction workers led them to the hole in the ground. There, was the body of a 12 year old girl named Laura Gainer. Her face looked like someone or something had bashed it in. The rest of her body was starting to disassemble. Her eyes were wide open and she was wearing a pink dress. In her hand, the police found a locket with a picture of her and a young man, about 18 years old.

They filed a report to the best Homicide squad in the country, Philadelphia.

2005, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

Det. Lilly Rush sat at her big desk and sighed. Her headache was back again, worse now than last night. She was rubbing her forehead when her partner, Det. Scotty Valens poked his head over the divider between their desks.

"What's shakin', Rush?" he asked.

"This damn headache. It's back again".

"Are you okay?" Valens asked.

"Yeah. So what did Boss say?" Lilly asked, changing the subject to work matters.

"1955 homicide in Dayton, Ohio. 12 year old girl. Body was found in the city of Grandview, New York a day ago" Valens said.

"Who found it?" Lilly asked.

"A group of construction workers who were rebuilding a park".

"Any living relatives of the dead girl?" Rush asked.

"Yeah. One Francine Gainer, and Robert Gainer. Older sister and brother".

"Let's get them in here for questioning as soon as possible".

"You got it" said Valens.

2005, Grandview, New York:

Melinda Gordon opened her antique shop "Same As It Never Was" that morning and breathed in a heap of air. She was happy, as usual. She said hello to her friend and business partner Delia Banks who said hi back.

The Grandview Gazette was on the counter. Delia had been reading the front page article. She caught Melinda's attention, who was opening the register for business that day, and said

"Did you hear about the body those construction workers found the other day?"

"Yeah. The girl was 12 wasn't she?" Melinda inquired.

"Got that right. It says here that the Philadelphia Homicide squad will be touring Grandview this week to ask questions".

"Questions. What could we possibly know?" Melinda asked.

"Maybe they think one of us knows how it got here" Delia suggested.

"Maybe".

Melinda drifted off into her thoughts about the dead girl. Maybe she could find her ghost and ask her what happened. Melinda, being able to communicate with the dearly –departed, could offer some assistance in this case. That is, if they believed her.

She re-entered the real world when her door bell jingled as the door to the shop opened. A older woman, about 60, entered the store. She had a scar on her left cheek and on her forehead.

"Can we help you, ma'm?" Melinda asked nicely.

The woman looked at Melinda, at Delia, then at Melinda again. "Please" she said, "You have to help me find my friend's killer".

Melinda stepped towards her in a calm manner. She looked at the newspaper on the counter then asked, "Was your friend's name Laura Gainer?"

"Yes. Please! I have to know who killed her. Please".

"My name is Rose Mitchell. I saw who killed her that night".