I am a writer, a writer of fiction

by
“Alright, Mewes,” the old man said with a harrumph. He had small, piercing eyes and thin white hair. “Welcome to upper management. Now that you’ve signed all the appropriate paperwork, you’re ready to know the main operational secret of the Seattle Paranormal Investigation Squad.”
“I’m eager to start, Mister Humphries, sir,” Mewes replied. He was a pudgy young man with an open face and a trusting smile. It was all he could do not to gawk at Humphries’ luxurious office with its massive fireplace and many awards.
“Then I’m sorry that I’ll have to quash that enthusiasm so soon,” Humphries growled. “The first thing you should know about the SPIES is that there is no such thing as ghosts.”
Mewes’ jaw dropped. “I’m sorry sir, but– what?”
Humphries stood up from his desk and shook his head. “Very little that our operation does has to do with anything that could actually be classified as ‘paranormal.’ No ghosts, clairvoyance, no precognition, no spirits, no etheric energies.”
Mewes found his voice. “Sir! The entire operation is based on the use of paranormal techniques to uncover evidence that could be discovered in no other fashion! Through our operations, countless names have been cleared, countless criminals discovered and brought to justice through the techniques YOU pioneered, sir!”
Humphries grunted. “And that, young man, is where you are mistaken. This entire operation is based on a principle that my partners and I discovered before you were a twinkle in your father’s eye. Let me explain what it is we do.
“When a person lives in a place, interacts with people, and lives his or her life, or she he makes an imprint.”
Mewes’ face brightened. “Yes! A psychic imprint on space, something indefinable! It’s the first thing we learn in the field!”
Humphries shook his head. “No, son. You’d best learn to listen, and not to interrupt your elders. As I was saying, lives create unique imprints. These imprints, however, have nothing to do with any scientifically inexplicable processes. They have to do with the million little things we do in our daily lives. What sort of pipe a man smokes, what brand of socks a woman wears, what someone’s favorite color is, what neuroses dictated the organization of their things. Everything they touch will be impressed with this imprint– how they arrange their furniture, how often they take out their garbage, even how they park their damn car.
“All these things add up to a very clear picture of a person. The gestalt they create can survive significant contamination and disruption. And someone like, say, Doyle’s famous detective Holmes would have no problem in absorbing and processing the entire thing in a few moments. We poor, real people, though, have no such luck.”
Mewes was silent, and stared at his hands. “I’ve worked so hard to get to this point, Mister Humphries. I could swear I have seen and spoken to the dead. And now you’re telling me that the SPIES are just a bunch of very clever frauds?”
Humphries’ dark expression went suddenly gleeful. “Not at all, my boy! Because, you see, here is the clever bit.
“The human mind is completely capable of absorbing the cornucopia of information with which it is commonly presented, but not in a conscious manner. Human intuition is an incredibly powerful tool, young man; but access to the subconscious’ vaults is commonly restricted to times of extreme duress or fear. And therein lies the secret!
“We send our agents into the field with the full expectation they will not act rationally, they will not think rationally, and they will put themselves into situations in which they feel quite completely that they are in the presence of, well, a presence of some kind, be it ghost, demon, or angel. The “sixth sense” many people report in these cases is nothing paranormal in any way– it is simply the mind’s way of dealing with a frightening situation by drawing on all its sources of perception as completely as possible.
“This is why we trained you to be a ghost hunter, Mister Mewes. You were hunting ghosts, attempting to communicate with the dead. You reported which items made you most strongly sense a ‘presence,’ anything that sent chills down your spine, anything you perceived to be somehow wrong or out of place.
“Your reports were closely analyzed. Your pareidolia, overall emotional state, your dreams for the weeks following, were all catalogued, organized, cross-referenced, and statistically analyzed. Your intuition was flayed open for our equipment to digest, and from this process– the process which, when first invented, took reams of paper and countless man-days at the slide rule, yet now takes only one specialist per case with a properly equipped computer cube– murderous intent, fear, motive, opportunity, all revealed themselves like the title of a dusty book when breathed upon.
“You are now at the reins of your own team. Welcome to the upper echelon, Agent Mewes. We’ll give you your team their first assignment Monday.”

And I have written a shitty story about the ghostbusters wing of the Seattle Police Department.

Click on along to read.

“Alright, Mewes,” the old man said with a harrumph. He had small, piercing eyes and thin white hair. “Welcome to upper management. Now that you’ve signed all the appropriate paperwork, you’re ready to know the main operational secret of the Seattle Paranormal Investigation Squad.”

“I’m eager to start, Mister Humphries, sir,” Mewes replied. He was a pudgy young man with an open face and a trusting smile. It was all he could do not to gawk at Humphries’ luxurious office with its massive fireplace and many awards.

“Then I’m sorry that I’ll have to quash that enthusiasm so soon,” Humphries growled. “The first thing you should know about the SPIES is that there is no such thing as ghosts.”

Mewes’ jaw dropped. “I’m sorry sir, but– what?”

Humphries stood up from his desk and shook his head. “Very little that our operation does has to do with anything that could actually be classified as ‘paranormal.’ No ghosts, clairvoyance, no precognition, no spirits, no etheric energies.”

Mewes found his voice. “Sir! The entire operation is based on the use of paranormal techniques to uncover evidence that could be discovered in no other fashion! Through our operations, countless names have been cleared, countless criminals discovered and brought to justice through the techniques YOU pioneered, sir!”

Humphries grunted. “And that, young man, is where you are mistaken. This entire operation is based on a principle that my partners and I discovered before you were a twinkle in your father’s eye. Let me explain what it is we do.

“When a person lives in a place, interacts with people, and lives his or her life, or she he makes an imprint.”

Mewes’ face brightened. “Yes! A psychic imprint on space, something indefinable! It’s the first thing we learn in the field!”

Humphries shook his head. “No, son. You’d best learn to listen, and not to interrupt your elders. As I was saying, lives create unique imprints. These imprints, however, have nothing to do with any scientifically inexplicable processes. They have to do with the million little things we do in our daily lives. What sort of pipe a man smokes, what brand of socks a woman wears, what someone’s favorite color is, what neuroses dictated the organization of their things. Everything they touch will be impressed with this imprint– how they arrange their furniture, how often they take out their garbage, even how they park their damn car.

“All these things add up to a very clear picture of a person. The gestalt they create can survive significant contamination and disruption. And someone like, say, Doyle’s famous detective Holmes would have no problem in absorbing and processing the entire thing in a few moments. We poor, real people, though, have no such luck.”

Mewes was silent, and stared at his hands. “I’ve worked so hard to get to this point, Mister Humphries. I could swear I have seen and spoken to the dead. And now you’re telling me that the SPIES are just a bunch of very clever frauds?”

Humphries’ dark expression went suddenly gleeful. “Not at all, my boy! Because, you see, here is the clever bit.

“The human mind is completely capable of absorbing the cornucopia of information with which it is commonly presented, but not in a conscious manner. Human intuition is an incredibly powerful tool, young man; but access to the subconscious’ vaults is commonly restricted to times of extreme duress or fear. And therein lies the secret!

“We send our agents into the field with the full expectation they will not act rationally, they will not think rationally, and they will put themselves into situations in which they feel quite completely that they are in the presence of, well, a presence of some kind, be it ghost, demon, or angel. The “sixth sense” many people report in these cases is nothing paranormal in any way– it is simply the mind’s way of dealing with a frightening situation by drawing on all its sources of perception as completely as possible.

“This is why we trained you to be a ghost hunter, Mister Mewes. You were hunting ghosts, attempting to communicate with the dead. You reported which items made you most strongly sense a ‘presence,’ anything that sent chills down your spine, anything you perceived to be somehow wrong or out of place.

“Your reports were closely analyzed. Your pareidolia, overall emotional state, your dreams for the weeks following, were all catalogued, organized, cross-referenced, and statistically analyzed. Your intuition was flayed open for our equipment to digest, and from this process– the process which, when first invented, took reams of paper and countless man-days at the slide rule, yet now takes only one specialist per case with a properly equipped computer cube– murderous intent, fear, motive, opportunity, all revealed themselves like the title of a dusty book when breathed upon.

“You are now at the reins of your own team. Welcome to the upper echelon, Agent Mewes. We’ll give you your team their first assignment Monday.”

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One Response to “I am a writer, a writer of fiction”

  1. Sebatinsky Says:

    That’s a pretty cool concept.

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