'So, what was the plan again?' Simon Holmes asked.
Kana Kobayashi answered, annoyed. 'I just told you. I just told you twice. If I tell you again it will have been a third time. I shouldn't even need to tell you. Yet I have. Twice. Why is that, I wonder?'
Ethan Aldan piped in 'I'm afraid, Kenny, that you're just not a good speaker. I must admit, I kind of zoned out around the middle of your explanation. You lack the special; the charisma required for this task.'
'So you're saying that the fact you two have the attention span of goldfish is my fault?'
'Well, in a way, yes. You see, Simon and I have what some might call a 'selective attention span'. We don't choose however- it depends on what we're listening to. So, if we're listening to someone worthwhile, we'll keep on listening. If it's not, then-'
'So I'm boring?' Kana asked sounding annoyed yet smiling all the same.
'Sorry, Ken.' Simon said. 'It just goes in one ear and out the other. Please explain again.'
Ken sighed, rather theatrically. 'Okay. So, we're walking to a garden shop called 'Valerie's Garden Supplies', where a ghost has taken residence. We have to capture it, or kill it if necessary.' They turned into an empty parking lot, with various closed shops placed in a horseshoe formation.
'This ghost is a low-risk spirit, the kind that literally has nothing else to do and stays on this earth out of pure stubbornness.'
By now they had reached the back alleys of London, the place where skinheads roamed free, toting knives, small firearms and other fairly dangerous weapons. Ethan found them cute.
A small group of them approached, two boys in their late teens dressed in leather vests with curling tattoos wrapped around their bulging arms. They walked towards them, not moving off the footpath. Kana stepped off, and Simon followed suit. But Ethan, being Ethan, stayed where he was.
'If you'll excuse me, I'd like to go through'
The two boys paused, matching smirks growing on their faces. One pulled out a small switchblade knife, the other was content with his fists. The knife guy spoke.
'What's a kid like you doing in a place like this?'
'I should ask you the same- don't gorillas belong in a zoo?'
This was enough for the fists guy to step up and take a swing at Ethan, with a roar that sounded like a gorilla, funnily enough.
He never made contact. Kana stepped up and slapped a small symbol on his back. The fist guy's eyes shone white, then they closed. He fell to the ground like a gorilla-shaped stone.
The knife in the knife guy's hand suddenly turned white-hot, the blade softening in his hands. He shouted and threw it in the air, where the metal liquefied into small globules, which froze and fell to the ground with several small plops. Simon stepped up.
'We're magicians. I melted your blade, and I can do the same to you. That guy' he said, pointing to Ethan 'froze these,' he said, gesturing to the globs of metal lying on the ground. 'He won't have a problem freezing you, too. And he,' Simon pointed to Kana, 'has a shotgun. That should be enough to haunt you for the rest of your life, but let me tell you one more thing. We're the good guys here. However…'
He didn't hear what Simon was going to say next. Kana held another symbol to the poor boy's back and he collapsed.
'… We're mercenaries. We don't play by the rules. You'd do well not to cross us.'
The three walked on in silence. Kana retrieved his symbols from the teens.
'Was that really necessary? It seemed overly violent' Kana asked.
'I needed a little boost before we tackle a ghost.' Simon said, and Ethan nodded.
'We could've just used my symbols on them-'
'Where's the fun in that?' Ethan asked. Kana was silent, but he thought to himself.
'These guys are slightly crazy. But I guess I am too. That's what makes things fun…'
'Ok!' Ethan clapped his hands. 'Now that we've worked that out of our system, how will we get this ghost?'
Kana pulled a small jar out of his pack. 'I've enchanted this- it'll hold a regular ghost for about a week.'
'How does your pack work?' Simon asked. Kana looked at him.
'What do you mean?'
'Well, I've seen you pull a small cooler from it…'
'Simon. I'm an Enchanter. That means I can enchant things.'
'Oh. Righto. Carry on!'
Kana looked at him again, shaking his head slightly.
They turned the corner to find the garden store among a group of stores in a horseshoe shape.
'Well.' Ethan said, looking at the store. 'Should we go in the store, or-'
Then the store exploded.
All three were blown to the ground. Ken got his gun out of his pack, and Ethan pulled his wand out from his jacket pocket, the wand expanding to a fifty-centimetre wooden rod. The smell of manure wafted over, mixed with various other garden smells.
'That's disgusting!' Ken roared over the flames.
'Shut up! We have more important things to deal with!' Ethan yelled back.
Simon just rubbed his hands, and the familiar tingling crept back through his arms, into his hands, and pooled into his palms, manifesting into bright purple flame.
'Get ready!' he called out, his ears ringing.
Eight sharpened stakes flew out; Ethan made a sweeping motion and muttered 'Incindius'. The stakes burst into bright white fire, and were only ash by the time they reached the three.
'Simon!' Ken shouted. 'Do your thing!'
Simon nodded his head and raised his arms, and the fire- which was rapidly spreading- was sucked into his palms. He could feel the warmth spreading through his body, and belched a little flame. His vision was tinted purple.
The ghost suddenly flew out the shop- which was now a charred, roofless shell of its former self- roaring incomprehensible words at the three.
It was like a gust of wind- yet Simon could see it perfectly. It was faintly humanoid, with empty eyes and spiked teeth.
'You won't stop us!' it cackled gleefully, flying towards Simon.
Ken took aim carefully; and the double barrels flashed orange. Iron bullets flew out and struck the ghost, which suddenly materialized into pale blue goo. They were silent for a moment, and then Ken walked forward slowly, and pulled a small jar from his bag. He scooped the remains of the ghost into the jar with lid, and turned towards them, grinning.
'Those bullets were iron?' Ethan asked dubiously. Kana nodded in reply. Iron was poisonous to ghosts, apparently.
'Now, lets give this back to the contact, and we'll eat like kings tonight!' Kana said.
Ethan pumped his fist in the air, and Simon grinned, his vision returning to normal.
Then all the other shops exploded, ghosts flying out of each one.