Part 1 here
Wal was torn; if he kept the camera working and got enough footage Sean might let them all go, but he wanted to protect Lea, he felt he needed to be beside her.
Paulo crouched near his surviving equipment, oblivious to everything but the shrieking noise that had started shortly after things started flying. He held his hands over his ears wondering how long he could stand the sound. The shrieks and wailing sometimes seemed to be coming from every direction at once.
Lea fell straight to the ground; one second on her feet, the next a crumpled heap on the floor. Some of the orbs settled around her prone form. Blue & purple lights clustered behind her head to the left side, and orbs with a silvery glow flickered near her eyes & brow.
Sean’s greed blinded him to all but the ratings bonanza that could make his career. Even his fiancé’s fall couldn’t distract him. He yelled at the guys to keep filming ‘no matter what’. They stared at him in disbelief and then in fear; as a tear of blood, no two, rolled down his cheek. Sean’s right eye had turned red, the white was a bright scarlet, the iris a dirty stained brown. Soon blood red tears flowed from both eyes joining a line of blood streaming from his nostrils. Blood flecks flew from his mouth when he spoke.
“Mike check the spare cameras! Now! Stop staring at me like a moron!” screamed Sean.
Sean must have felt something on his cheek because he wiped at his face, his sleeve turned red, but he was oblivious. He was becoming pale and the flecks of blood had become wads that flew from his mouth as he maniacally shouted orders and spoke to camera.
Mike was the next to fall. Before the men had roused themselves sufficiently to warn Sean, Mike had just tipped backwards & lay motionless on the floor. Jerry straightened his camera despite his doubts. This wasn’t him, he wasn’t the kind of jerk to not worry about people, he wasn’t Sean. But it was if he was possessed; he had to finish this shoot, finishing was all that mattered.
Jerry didn’t even notice which of his colleagues fell next. Wal had collapsed near Lea. From the way his body lay he must have been reaching out to grasp her hand; checking her pulse maybe, and had just toppled forward. Paulo lay crumpled next to the window, his boom forgotten behind him. His mobile was still clasped to his right ear, had he been trying to get a signal, to call for help?
Sean probably wouldn’t have even noticed if they were all dead if he hadn’t needed to keep the equipment rolling. The ratings were going to go through the roof if he could get even half this footage back to the studio. This was his big chance, his once in a lifetime opportunity. He didn’t have time to waste on details, like his colleagues survival. Nothing & no one was getting in his way.
Jerry felt sick, he didn’t want to be like Sean, but he couldn’t drag himself away from his camera. He had to finish shooting! He noticed the orbs were gathering around each of his fallen workmates. Still a beautiful pageantry of white & pastels the orbs grew to become the size of an adult human. Dozens of them huddled close to each stricken man with more around Lea’s body. Were they protecting them? Jerry panned the camera getting footage of the crew and the lights.
Sean groaned and Jerry moved the camera just in time to film his collapse. The rumble had changed to a growl, a primordial snarl that just kept on. Blood still dripped from Sean’s eyes, nose and mouth, a stream started running from his left ear. The lights rose from the bodies and drew back into the small orbs they had originally appeared as. They bobbed in the direction of the wall with the windows; opposite the hall doorway. Suddenly Jerry heard a loud crashing sound, like a wrecking ball demolishing a building.
Jerry woke up, he looked around. The room was full of strangers 7 or 8 seemed busy in the room and there was a stream of people running through from the hallway door to… Oh my God! The outside wall had just disappeared jagged pieces of masonry hung from the ceiling. Along with whatever the hell took that wall out there must have been an almighty fire; ash filled the air and the smell of smoke and something else was getting stronger. Jerry couldn’t see any smoke though. But the loud crackle & crashing of burning wood was unmistakable and the space where the wall had been was glowing brighter with every passing moment. It was soon too bright for Jerry to look at and he had to turn away. This didn’t seem to deter the people that kept moving through the room and out into the dazzling light. Jerry was dazed at first but as the fog in his brain cleared he noticed that the strangers who remained in the room seemed to be helping his friends, paramedics maybe, the others must be firefighters; rushing through to fight the enormous blaze.
Sean was fine, naturally. What’s the saying “Only the good die young”? He was just standing in the corner talking to some network suit. Dressed all in black with devilish good looks, short black hair and modern goatee the guy sure looked slick. Maybe slick enough to handle that worm Sean.
“Lea, is she, are they, gone?” Sean asked the guy.
“Leanora Gaskill, Michael Peris, Paulo Rodrigues, Richard Wallace; all gone,” replied the suit in the kind of matter of fact voice you use to read a shopping list.
Lea was good, we’ll have to get a new psychic,” Sean barely drew breath between acknowledging the death of the woman he planned to marry and making plans for his brilliant new career. Someone sexy of course! I mean Lea had that little girl lost quality that appeals along a lot of demographics, but after this they ain’t gonna wanna see the girl next door going head to head with the bogeyman. Some kick-ass bitch ‘d be hot, or a sultry older woman that looked like she could take care of herself. You know what I mean? Or a guy, I’d be fine workin’ with a guy! But women are so much easier to handle. You know what I mean!” Sean nudged the guy in the ribs in a way he probably mistook for friendly. “But the publicity, we have got to cash in on all this publicity. I mean everyone will be talking about this! You couldn’t buy publicity like this. Ghostbuster & 3 crew die! By Ghost! On camera!”
Jerry had to look away. He had never liked Sean but he never dreamed anyone could be that callous, the depth of that snake’s self-absorption was incomprehensible. For God’s sake they were human beings; men he had worked with and Lea; he was going to spend the rest of his life with her, and yet nothing.
Part 8 The Last Installment