Lauren checks her reflection in the rear-view mirror of the old Honda pickup and turns to Callie, who is busy typing away on the computer.
"Do you think this outfit is right for the gig?" Lauren asks the busy Callie. "Or do you think I look too Patricia Arquette in this?"
Callie barely looks up and nods, "Well, that's the persona we want them to see."
"Why are you so sure that they think their place is haunted?"
"Oh, they don't," Callie answers, finally closing her laptop. She cocks up her one eyebrow and gives Lauren her signature smirk, "But they will soon."
"I like that look on you Cal," Lauren comments before getting out of the car, "Makes you look young and dangerous."
They both reach the doorbell and Lauren riches forward to ring the doorbell, but nothing happens. She looks at Callie and shrugs; Callie simply rolls her eyes and knocks on the heavy ocean blue door, a sunshine door hanger shakes at her roughness.
Lauren sticks her tongue out at Callie and automatically withdraws it when the door opens, revealing a frazzled looking woman in her mid-forties. Her blond hair is in a messy bun and deep, dark bags lie under her eyes. There are lines of wear and tear around her somber mouth; she had once been pretty, but this had possibly been a long time ago.
"Can I help you?" Her voice is quiet; her mouth is tired from even having to pronounce the sentence.
"Hi, Mrs. Gibson?" Callie asks, but the woman shakes her head, denying the name.
"I'm Ms. Gibson now," without much adieu, the woman begins to tremble and cry in soft hiccups.
Lauren and Callie share a quick glance and silently help the woman calm down.
Cookies are placed forgotten on a pastel place with daisies that run along the edges, and two cups of black coffee sit beside the lonesome plate on a brown coffee table.
"He was sitting in the family room," Ms. Gibson points to a room to their left, where pictures can be seen on the mantel of a worn fireplace. The kitchen is on the other side of the family room, small but adequate. "He was devastated by the death of Emily, our oldest, and he had been in a stupor for the following week after her funeral."
Callie looks at a picture of a pretty girl that wore her hair in pigtails and had a pearly smile plastered on her face. "This was Emily?" Callie points at the picture, cautiously.
"Yes, that was my Emily, quite the beauty wasn't she?"
Lauren and Callie nod and suggest that maybe Emily had not been truthful about her emotional state.
"Oh no," Ms. Gibson announces, "My Emily was the happiest girl you could ever imagine. Perfect grades, loyal friends, popularity; looks, she was what a lot of parents wished for!"
Lauren nods and asks what Mr. Gibson was like.
"He had a temper. Hank was always a man of his own, even when we had children he was always hard to satisfy. But he loved his kids, despite any aggression he might have..." she pauses for a second, "...shown them."
"Such as?" Callie presses.
"Well, Hank never laid a hand on the kids if that's what you're insinuating."
"No ma'am, I meant nothing by my comment, just a simple question." Callie reassures the dignified Ms. Gibson.
"All right, but may I ask," she retorts, "why does the Investigation Team of Ghosts from the New York branch need to speak to me about this situation?"
Lauren and Callie exchange a look that says, here it goes, and Callie begins the speech of how unexplained deaths sometimes take place after a supernatural event has occurred, and that furthermore, they believe the house to be haunted.
"That's ridiculous!" Ms. Gibson states, now her voice is rising in anger."This isn't a joke! My husband and child have just died and I don't take well to pranks!"
She rushes the two girls out of her house. Before she can close the door Lauren breaks from her grasp and turns to face her. "Ms. Gibson, please, you may be in danger, if anything happens—"
"—nothing will happen so please get out, this is a small community, we don't take well to the likes of you!" Ms. Gibson threatens.
"Okay, just theorize with us for one minute here," Lauren replies, throwing a calling card into the house just before Ms. Gibson shuts the door, "In case something does happen, you can reach us here: we will come and help you!"
The door closes and Lauren and Callie are left staring at a sun door hanger stating, "Have a sunny day!"