HIS OWN PRIVATE CHICKEN
Filed by Mike Devicente, GBWC Reservist
GBI Case File No. GBWC-2009-27/402
Mike walked down to the main part of the office still dressed in his pajamas and robe. As he passed by Rose's desk. Rose shook her head and passively advised. "Mike, put some clothes on..."
"I need coffee." Mike groaned and continued his way to where the sweet reviving Elixir was brewing. Jason Knetge was already there, enjoying his own cup. Mike passively disregarded him and began searching for the coffee mugs in the cabinets above.
"Wow, you look like hell." Jason commented.
"I feel like hell," Mike responded, happily prying a "Happy Mother's Day" mug from the cabinet and pouring himself a cup of coffee. "I was up all night listening to that incessant clucking..."
Jason looked back and fourth. "Clucking?"
"There was this ghost chicken sitting on my chest and clucking all night long..."
"Are you sure? I mean, if even the smallest ghost got in here Fritz's alarms could have detected it."
"It was there, I know it was." Mike groaned.
"Mike, I checked the alarms this morning," Jeremy said as he joined the two at the counter. "Aside from the special exceptions we put in place for Rachel, the device is tuned to pick up on any PKE signature that comes through the building. There was nothing there last night. It was all in your head."
"...I wish that made me feel better." Mike raised his cup of coffee to his lips. As he lowered it, he spit out the coffee he was sipping and thrust his finger outward. "There! On the kitchen table! There it is! That's the chicken!" Sure enough, perched atop the kitchen counter was the chicken, quirking its head back and fourth and clucking lightly.
"Mike, there's nothing there." Jeremy snapped back.
"But there is! There's a ch-" Mike paused as he looked from Jeremy to the kitchen table. The chicken was gone. Mike's lower lip gave a twitch as he stood, shoulders slumped forward and shaking all over.
"I'm getting a little tired of this, Mike." Jeremy face-faulted. "If this is your idea of a prank it's gotta stop." And with that, Jeremy and Jason left Mike alone in the kitchen. Mike looked back at the table where the chicken had appeared, his face contorted with a mixture of fatigue and rage.
"Ohkay." Mike began to talk to himself "I've got an interview with Grace Adler in a couple days, I have a lot of scientific data to peruse, and I'm being haunted by a spectral chicken that only I can see. This...is not a problem. I'm a Ghostbuster now. I've been in far more harrowing situations than this one. I just have to suck it up, and go about my business as if this is perfectly normal. I...won't...let....it...break...me."
"ShutupshutupshutupshutupshutupSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!" Mike screamed as he covered his ears, which were already covered by a pair of earmuffs. The ghost chicken simply stood at the edge of his desk clucking and walking back and fourth staring indifferently back at Mike. "Can you stop clucking for 5 miserable seconds!? I got important work to do!" Mike slammed his fist on the table, causing a stack of papers to come down around him in an avalanche. "Ah, son of a..." Mike bent down on all fours and began scooping up all the papers.
From a distance Mick and Fritz looked at him scurry across the floor and both shook their heads.
Mick turned to Fritz. "Can we have him committed yet?"
"He's just under a lot of stress," Fritz assured. "As soon as this whole Grace Adler thing blows over, I'm sure he'll be back to normal."
"Normal, or what passes for it when it comes to that kid." Mick shook his head. Mike walked past the two of them, holding an overstuffed file under his arm, murmuring. "I just gotta go to a place where I can concentrate, get some fresh air, then I can finish this...Yeah...I can do this...Yeah...."
Mike stepped out of the front doors of Cluckers carrying another full bucket of fried chicken. He pulled loose a drumstick an held it up to his lips when he heard a cluck. He looked down at this feet where the Ghost chicken began staring up at him. Angrily he snarled. "You see this!" He thrust the drumstick into the ghost chicken's face. "This is probably one of your distant relatives, fried up and served to me! I am not your friend, you are my food product, so please JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!!"
Mike went into a strange contorting dance in the middle of the street, hopping up and down and twisting about in a mad dance. From a nearby alleyway, the lens of a camera focused in on him.
"Did you get that?" Grace Adler asked as she looked over her cameraman's burly shoulder.
"Every second of it. You were pretty smart to know eventually he was gonna come back to that chicken restaurant."
Grace grinned with her arms crossed and her nose in the air. "Thanks to that little weirdo, we're going to get the best ratings on our show ever, and the higher government behind the Ghostbusters are going to be wrapped around my little finger..."
Mick took a seat on the couch and turned on the TV. He put his hand to his mouth and shouted. "All aboard those of you who want to see Mike look like an ass on national TV!" In a couple of seconds, everyone in the building crowded around the TV. "I got the popcorn!" Rose added as she rounded her desk, sitting next to Mick, Mick took a handful of popcorn.
At the studio, Mike paced the green room, wringing his hands and giggling lightly to himself. "I've got you now, I know how I'm going to get through this NOW!" From his briefcase he pulled a box of bread crumbs and sprinkled a small mound of them in the middle of the green room carpet. The ghost chicken left Mike's side to walk over and begin pecking at the breadcrumbs.
"YES! It worked! Hah-hah, I, Mike Devicente, have outsmarted the chicken! Now...wait right here, while I go on the air and make myself immortal! Buwahhehah!" Mike scampered off. At a distance Grace's cameraman shut off his camera with a grin. "Too easy."
"I certainly hope us letting him do this isn't going to come back to haunt us." Jason said as he took a handful of popcorn.
"Are you kidding? Nobody in their right mind actually watches this show." Mick gave a shrug. "Why do you think laughing boy watches it so much?"
"Shh, guys it's about to start." Rose said between bites of popcorn.
"Welcome to the Grace Adler Report," An announcer came on TV "And here is your host, Grace Adler."
"Good evening," Grace said with a wicked smile towards the television audience. "Tonight we have a special expose' entitled Ghostbusters: National scam artists or simply public menaces?"
"We don't get a third choice?" Rachel said crossing her arms.
"Shh!" Replied Rose.
"I'm here with Paranormal Researcher and reservist member of Ghostbusters West Cost, Mike Devicente. Mike, welcome to the show."
"Thank you very much Grace. I'd like to talk to all of you about a re-manifestation of a major ghost during the Ghostbusters' 22nd year of operation, now this entity is well know by us by the name of Gozer, an ancient Mesopotamian God who-"
"Yeah, yeah, Mike...Listen, I was kind of hoping that we'd speak on a slightly different subject."
"...What did you have in mind?" Mike asked nervously.
"Oh boy, here it comes..." Rose said in a giddy tone of voice.
"This book was recovered from an attempted assailing of myself at one of my book signings in L.A.," She raised up the book Mike handled during the signing three days ago. "It is covered in a mysterious ooze, most likely one of the many trademark plants that you leave at the sites of alleged ghost activity."
"That's a lie!" Mike defended. "I-I was just trying to get your autograph...I USED to be an enormous fan."
"Okay, fine, but how do you explain this clip of yourself outside of a nearby fried chicken restaurant?"
"I-" Mike was cut off by the clip of him shouting and waving a drumstick wildly in the air outside of the Cluckers. The whole group around the couch gave a simultaneous wince. "That one had to hurt." Mick commented.
"Can you even explain this clip which happened just mere moments ago inside of our very own studio?"
Mike was shown on the screen pouring out the breadcrumbs in the middle of the green room.
"Listen, Grace. I understand that all this looks a little dodgy, but I assure you that there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for all of this..."
Jeremy covered his face with his hands out of frustration and chanted. "Please don't mention the chicken...Please don't mention the chicken...Please don't mention the chicken..."
"I am currently being followed by a small spectral chicken which only I can see, and has been keeping me up at night for 2 days with its constant clucking. I attempted to threaten it with a drumstick while outside of the fast food restaurant, and I poured breadcrumbs all over the green room floor to keep it from following me into your studio..."
"I see," Grace said drolly. "Do you actually expect the viewing public to believe this? Or is this one of your company's usual attempts to bamboozle American citizens into paying for your fallacious services?"
"But, there really is a chicken!" Mike sputtered. "Here, let me see that camera!" Mike hopped over he desk and wrestled a camera away from one of the studio camera man, focusing in on the green room. "See? There! There's the chicken! I can't be the only one out of millions of people who can see it! You gotta believe me!" The camera twisted back to capture Mike being hauled away by two large security guards. "It's the truth, I tell you! There really is a ghost chicken in the green room!"
The camera went back to Grace, who couldn't seem to be happier about the turn-out. "Well, folks, there you have it. Mike Devicente, an average employee of the Ghostbusters, and an obvious dangerous schizophrenic threat to the personal safety of the American public. When we return from commercial, we'll speak with New York EPA adviser Walter Peck about what you can do to abolish Ghostbusting practices in your area."
The TV snapped off.
"Can we commit him now?" Mick said tilting his head up towards Fritz.
"We're going to have to take some measure, that's for certain..." Fritz agreed.
"When he comes back, I'm going to talk to him. Let him down easy." Jeremy assured and stood up from the couch walking away. He paused, walked back, and asked the assembled group. "...Does anyone want to rock-paper-scissors for it?"
Everyone shook their head.
As soon as the show went to commercial, Grace looked lovingly down at the ectoplasm covered book. Her souvenir of a story well spun. "No mercy. That's what I really love about America. Put a story on the air and immediately everyone believes it..." Grace smeared the ectoplasm across the surface of the book, picking up some between her fingers. "Wonder what they make this stuff out of. Corn syrup?" Grace brought it up to her nose and smelled it. "Doesn't smell like corn syrup...smells more like chicken."
Jeremy waited at the front door for Mike to return. He did about a half-hour later, looking haggard and out of breath.
"Mike we gotta talk- There's..."
"You don't have to say anything, Jer. I know...I embarrassed the whole franchise on national TV, and I'm not wanted here anymore. I'm going to go to my bunk and start packing..." Mike plodded to his destination with Jeremy following. "I let a supernatural entity get the better of me, and it wasn't a hell hound, or a Aztec mummy, or a fiendish necromancer. It was a goddamn chicken...."
"Mike," Jeremy sighed again. "There is NO chicken..."
"There is so a chicken! God! Will you people humor me a little?! I mean, yeah I know I dragged you all through the mud, but someone could pretend or something!" Mike contorted and yanked at his hair. "Won't someone, anyone, believe me that there's a chicken!?"
"I believe you, Mike..." Fritz said as he entered the bunk room from behind the two. Jeremy and Mike spun around. Fritz cleared his throat. "I would like to introduce you two to the demon Morganon."
Morganon entered a moment after Fritz and waved a clawed hand. "Hello."
"I've heard of you," Jeremy nodded. "You gave a crazy person in New York the ability to make all the world's chickens disappear."
"Yes, and as a result I've been made into the caretaker of all the chickens in the afterlife." Morganon said regrettably. "I allowed a pair of them to escape back into this plane, only to learn that I'm still responsible, so I've come back for them. Ah, there she is." Morganon shuffled on his cloven feet to the nightstand where Mike's ghost chicken stood preening its feathers. When he lay his hand on it, it became visible to Fritz and Jeremy as well. "I don't understand how it could be seen by a human. It's not actually a ghost, but rather a pure, untainted spirit."
"It musta been all the fried chicken I ate." Mike shrugged.
"Actually, I have a theory," Fritz pushed his glasses up his nose. "I believe that the grease from Mike's fried chicken and the ectoplasmic residue left on his clothes the day of his last capture intermingled, giving Mike the signature ectopresence of another chicken. The lost chicken engaged in a supernatural form of imprinting, making itself present to an entity it believed was the same as it."
Mike said. "Whoo, I'm glad there's a reasonable explanation. For a minute there even I thought I was going bonkers."
"Hey," Morganon said, turning around to the group with the chicken under his arm. "I only see one chicken. I was certain there were two that escaped from the netherworld..."
Mike put his hand to his chin and thought. "Maybe there is, Morganon. I can get it back for you, but I'm going to need your help..."
Morganon's mouth twisted into a wicked grin. "I'm always glad to help..."
Late at night inside of Grace Adler's mansion. Grace sat with her sheets pulled up to her chest,looking over at a ghostly chicken staring back at her. "What...Where did you come from?"
"Buh-Caw." the chicken replied.
"I believe I can answer that, Madam." Morganon walked slowly out of the shadows towards Grace's bedside.
"Who....what are you?"
"Oh, I'm just a demon from the netherworld. That chicken belongs to me. I've come to take it back, but also to give you a warning. 'Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.'"
Grace shivered under her sheets. "I-Is t-that all?"
"Not by a long shot dear. Mark my words if you decide to cross paths with the Ghostbusters ever again, it will mean your end, do you understand?"
"Good. Well, see you soon..." Morganon took the chicken off of her chest and disappeared in a puff of black smoke and brimstone, re-appearing outside her mansion where Mike was waiting.
"Hoho, I bet really got her good! I bet she was scared right out of her pantsuit!" Mike snickered.
"This is no laughing matter. You just asked a favor of a demon Mike Devicente, and you know that all such things come with a price...."
Mike gave a soft gulp.
Mike stuck a trap into the ECU, ejecting its contents into the unit, and pulling the trap loose. "There you go, Morganon. Three-hundred chicken souls are now safely stored into the containment unit."
"A mere drop in the bucket. So, you promise you'll do this for me once a year?"
"Absolutely, if I help you manage the amount of chickens in the netherworld, I can be sure a haunting like the one I had never happens again. So, are we square?"
"We're square. I'll be looking forward to next year." Morganon tipped his hat and then faded from this earthly plane.
Based on Ghostbusters Created by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis
Ghostbusters West Coast Division Created by Andy Harness and Vincent Belmont