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The World's Worst Detective Paranormal Mysteries 1 & 2 Ebook Bundle

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Witches, ghosts, and suspense run rampant in Artie Kowalski's world. At the same time, people are referring to him as the World's Worst Detective. Eerie secrets and hidden dangers soon have Artie wondering if things can get any worse.


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I glanced over at my girlfriend, Tory, and shook my head to clear my thoughts. I guess she’s only the second non-stripper I ever dated. She’s a cop, or she was until she was sacked, and I hoped I’d found myself a normal woman.

As for the strippers, even the girl I took to my senior prom turned out to be a stripper. I met Mandi during spring break at Panama City Beach. Walking along the shore and staring at the girls, I hadn’t even noticed her head laying there. I mean literally. Her head was sitting there in the sand.

Her three friends, I don’t recall their names now, had covered her in sand and some klutz, which would be me, stumbled on her buried body and landed flat on his face.

Instead of yelling at me or calling me names, she’d rolled out of the sand and kept rolling until she was sprawling face to face with me.

“Want to go swimming?” she asked.

Too embarrassed to speak, I nodded. She jumped up, I jumped up, and she grasped my hand, and into the water we went.

She told me she was nineteen and a first-year student at Florida State University. I told her I was nineteen and worked for my father. We spent the next three days inseparable and enjoying each other’s company. Then, it was time for her to leave. That’s when I broke down, admitted I was a high school senior, and asked her to go to my prom.

A frown crept over her face, and I waited for the “no.” I’d been lying to her for our entire relationship, short as it was. To my surprise, she nodded. “I’d love to go with you, Artie, but there’s something I need to tell you first.”

That’s when she broke the news to me, she was twenty-two, had dropped out of college after her first year, and that she was making too much money at a local strip club to give it up and go back to school.

“Besides,” she added, “I love dancing. So, if you still want me to go with you, I will.” We had an enjoyable time at the prom, but I never saw her again.

I’m relating this story because over the years I learned that strippers are not the most stable women to be in a relationship with. But a cop? Pretty stable if you ask me, right? At least I thought so until Tory told me she was a witch.

I thought she was joking, at least I hoped she was. I didn’t need more crazy in my life right then, and I couldn’t think of a thing she could tell me that was crazier than her being a witch.

“I love your sense of humor, Tory,” I said.

Tory stood and moved around the table, dragging her chair along with her. Once she sat next to me, she let out a deep sigh. Reaching over, she used the first two fingers of her right hand to nudge my mouth shut. “It’s not a joke, Kowalski, and that wide eyed, open mouth look doesn’t become you.”

“Are you suggesting that you believe you’re a witch?” I asked.

“I wouldn’t kid about this, Artie, not after what you’ve been through and what you’re about to go through. I’m a witch. When I said a card carrying, cauldron owning, potion making witch, I may have been exaggerating a little. I mean, the only cards I carry are Blue Cross and Visa. There’s no such thing as a witch’s union. At least not that I’m aware of.”

“You know how crazy all this sounds, right?”

“You mean crazier than you sleeping with the ghost of your dead wife?”

“Okay, you have me there, but what does it mean to be a witch? Do you dance naked during the summer solstice? Turn princesses into sleeping beauties? Lure children to your gingerbread cabin in the woods? I mean I could get into the naked dancing, not so much the gingerbread cabin.”

“You’re being an ass, Kowalski.”

“Sorry, Tory. I guess I’d like to know how one becomes a witch.”

“It runs in the family. My mother’s a witch. My grandmother’s a witch. Fact is that my mother has traced our family tree all the way back to the Salem Witches. Now, do you still want my help to guide Angela into the light, or do you want to sit here and play the skeptic?”

Angela was my wife, or at least she had been until they murdered her. Still shell-shocked, I sat there looking at Tory, not sure how to answer her question. I was having a hell of a problem deciding which was scarier, the ghost of my dead wife hanging around the house or admitting that my girlfriend was a witch. The decision boiled down to a dead wife on the one hand, live girlfriend on the other.

I nodded and said, “All right, let’s do this.”

“You realize that if she goes off into the light, she’s gone for good. That means no more midnight rendezvous.”

When I nodded again, she reached across the table, grabbed her purse, and dragged it over to where she was sitting. She opened it, dug around for a moment, and brought out a lighter. She set it on the table next to the purse, then she stuck her hand back into the bag and pulled out an ashtray and a baggie of something I didn’t recognize. “Sage smudge sticks,” she said as she removed them from the bag and piled them in the ashtray.

“You ready for this, Kowalski?”

Her words dragged me back to reality. “Let’s hold off on Angela for a minute. About this witch thing. I’m damn sure there’s no such thing as a witch.”

“Seems to me it wasn’t too long ago, when I first met you, you said that same thing about ghosts.”

“That’s different,” I said, but as soon as the words passed my lips, I realized that I was in denial.

“How so?” she asked.

I opened my mouth, then snapped it shut. How so, I thought. Reaching up, I dug the palms of my hands into my eyes and tried to rub away the truth. She was right. A few months ago, I would have sworn that ghosts didn’t exist. That was before the ghost of my mother-in-law saved my life, and before my wife’s ghost began visiting me at night in what had been our bedroom. Before I discovered that, in fact, some psychics could communicate with the dead. If ghosts and psychics were real, why not witches? Either ghosts existed, or I was going insane.

I dropped my hands to the table and let myself get lost in Tory’s deep green eyes. It seemed that whenever our eyes met, it was almost impossible to look away from those beautiful orbs. Now I wondered if that wasn’t some kind of witchy thing she did. I was tempted to question her about that, but decided I’d save that question for later. Instead, I asked, “So what you’re telling me is not only is my dead wife haunting me, but my new girlfriend wants to use her witchy powers to get rid of said wife?”

“Not get rid of her,” Tory corrected me. “I’d like to help you, help her. She needs to find the light so she can leave this plane and find peace. Right now, she’s a lost wandering soul.”

“I don’t doubt your good intentions, Tory. What I don’t understand is why is this happening to me? Am I like a paranormal magnet now? I mean ghosts and witches, what’s next, demons?”

Tory lowered her head, picked up the lighter, and began playing with it, refusing to meet my eyes. “Maybe.”

“Maybe?” My voice boomed out a little louder than I’d planned. “You’re not telling me there are demons out there too?”

Tory made a brief movement with her shoulders. “I’ve never seen a demon.”

“But you’re not saying they don’t exist?” I asked.

“Oh, they exist, Kowalski, but I’ve never seen one. It’s unlikely you’ll ever see one either. But the truth is Artie, the more you’re drawn into the supernatural, the more aware you are that those things that go bump in the night are real. Since you know they exist, you’re more open to seeing them. Before all this happened, you could have been standing next to a demon in the grocery store, or a witch, and noticed nothing different about them. Now you may notice that some things don’t seem right about the person. Then again, you may not notice a thing. We have to wait and see about that.”

I took a deep breath and let it out. “So let me get this straight. You’re saying I might see demons? How is that possible? I mean, I’m willing to concede that ghosts exist, I’ve seen them. I’ll even take your word for it you’re a witch, but demons? Come on Tory, you’re pulling my leg, right?”

“Sorry, Kowalski, but I’ve never been more serious. Now if you still want me to spend the night, you need to make a decision. I can put wards up around the bedroom so Angela cannot enter the room, which might piss her off, or you can do the right thing for her and help send her into the light. Oh, and if my being a witch freaks you out too much, I can leave. I’d understand. It’s all up to you.”

“I want you to stay,” I said without hesitation. Tory seemed to relax a little, and I realized she’d been unsure if her revelation would send me running. But hell, I’d been sleeping with the ghost of my wife for long enough, why would I let a witch scare me off. And don’t get the wrong idea. Like I said earlier, Angela and I weren’t having sex. As far as I can tell it’s impossible to have sex with a ghost. We were just friends who slept together now.

“And what about Angela?” she asked, as if reading my mind.

Now that was a tougher question. I’d only recently been able to communicate with my wife’s ghost. There was no doubt in my mind that I’d miss her if I sent her away. I’d feel a little guilty too. But Tory was right, it would be better for Angela if she could find peace in the afterlife. I had noticed she was growing increasingly restless. If I wanted to be truthful with myself, it would be better for me, too. I realized I had to let her go for both our sakes.

Leaning back in my chair I looked up at the ceiling and half expected Angela to appear, but it was only a little before nine and if she were going to show up, it would be after midnight. I looked back over at Tory and said, “Let’s do it. Honest, Tory, I’ll miss her, but I agree it’s what’s best for her.”

Tory stood and pulled the sage-filled ashtray back in front of her. As she raised the lighter, I stopped her.

“If you don’t mind,” I said, “I have a few questions for you before we start. You know, about you being a witch and all.”

“Go ahead, Kowalski. I just told you my biggest secret, so ask away. I’ll tell you anything you want to know about my being a witch.”

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