Since Randolph got back with me, he is always figuring ways to make up for our missed time together. He knows I love to hike and camp out; and my attraction for the ghost towns of Modoc. So we head up there: a few good miles south and west of Newell, in Modoc's National Forest.
The town saloon--long abandoned and ramshackle--is in better repair than the other rotting structures, so we set up lodging on the second floor, in the least-dilapidated guest quarters. And bunk down for our first night ever, in a bona fide ghost town!
Now, what you don't know is that both Randolph and I are psychic detectives...thus we can often play together in the "dream world". He always falls asleep immediately, with his silly snoring. I, on the other hand, take as long as an entire hour before nodding off...insomniac that I am. I'm not saying I don't feel totally relaxed and happy, in the arms of this bodacious Marine...even if I do miss my sleep.
But I do, finally, doze off and into dream land...where my ghost and Randolph's stand together, over our physical bodies (decked out in camouflage jammies for the night, and tucked warmly in army-navy sleeping bags; we're both in deep slumber, our eyelids flicker but never really open). From our two windows we see various ghostly folks tending to their businesses or coming and going by foot, by horse or by stagecoach.
"Well Zekey-deeky, does this look interesting to you, or should we just explore some fantasy world?" Randolph winks at me.
"I think this could prove very interesting," I respond. "I feel a chill mystery in the air, that should overtake us and bring us into their world the moment we step through that door."
Upon saying that, gun shots are heard on the street just below, then the gallop of a horse that quickly grows fainter and silent. A man is shot, and lay there in a small pool of blood, as town folk quickly gather around him, to offer help.
"He's gonna be alright, Sheriff," hollers a deputy kneeling by the wounded cowboy. Surprisingly, he's looking straight up at our window, as if addressing someone there. Randolph responds in a booming voice: "Good job, deputy! Me an' my buddy will be downstairs pronto!"
That's when I realize the adventure has already started...and I'm now wearing a deputy badge myself, along with holster, loaded gun, and bandolier. I saunter over to the large dresser mirror (no longer cracked and 2/3 missing), to admire my new macho look: a jet black handlebar moustache no less, and 10-gallon hat. I'm a hottie!
And so is the semi-conscious cowboy I help carry to our spare room back of the Sheriff's office. (He's a robust lad, who'll heal quickly from this bullet wound.) I eagerly tend to his every need, while Randolph fills out forms in the office. He later joins me in ministering relief to the comely buck.
Later along in the plot, we discover a killer who has somehow gained access to the spirit world, while still alive...through some sort of black art he pilfered from the local natives. But he only kills other ghosts, not real flesh-and-blood folks like myself and Randy. Nonetheless, we have to find a way to stop this evil cur...for ghosts are people too, in their own way, and do not deserve to live in terror any more than we do.
But it gets trickier from here on: somehow, this ghost killer also holds (unknowingly) the keys to bringing chaos and eternal hell to the real world...and that is why we must stop him dead in his tracks, for once and for all! This challenge is well beyond my skills as a detective (albeit psychic), but I know that my man Randolph has the ectoplasmic balls to take on such a courageous mission.
In fact, we are already packed and ready to visit Scotland Yard for some evidence gathering and interviews of certain known criminals from that time period, and place. "Come along now Watson," he mutters.
At precisely this moment, I wake up.