The small group of fortune seeking ghost hunters crowded into the dark and narrow hallway, their uneasy footsteps bringing sharp cracks from the dusty floorboards. To the left were the three eggheads, more commonly known as 'paranormal investigators'. Doc Winters, whose experience far exceeded that of both Northrup and Frugle combined, had been unofficially elected leader of the scientific trio, and now led his compatriots with a pulsing Spectro-meter outstretched in his hand. On the right side were the three loonies, or if you will, the 'genuine psychics', who chose every possible instant to stand before the camera and showboat their individual skills, and therefore, did not necessitate having a leader. At this moment, John Edwards, host of the popular television show, 'Crossing Over', came first, followed closely by the renowned psychic hotline guru, Miss Cleo, and the Advisor to the Stars, Jean Dixon. The final member's of the bunch consisted of the host of the tabloid show, 'A Current Affair', named Kellie Sloan, her cameraman, referred to simply as Gus, and the sullen and quiet Tate Fielder, an unemployed janitor who'd been thrown in to add color and relativity, a tactic which had failed completely and utterly. Partly to break the silence, and partly to ease her own jitters, Kellie spoke into the microphone. "This second floor passageway is reportedly where Herman Bates strangled his mother, with his own gym socks, right after she scolded him for bringing home a less than spectacular report card." "I sense movement." John Edwards announced, waiting until the camera was aimed in his direction before he continued. "There, towards the end of the hallway." "My instruments read nothing unusual." Doc Winters refuted, a move to recapture the camera's attention. "But I will recalibrate my device just in case." "The only movement you're sensing is a bowel movement." Miss Cleo berated. "Take my word for it, I know. Do not stand downwind of this man." Gus the cameraman snickered. "Perhaps you're right." Edwards replied. "I shouldn't have had that second chiliburger earlier." "Damn right, you shouldn't have." Cleo reiterated. "Psychic, my ass." "Be polite, dear." Jean Dixon requested. "We're being broadcast live, remember?" "Mister Winters," Northrup interrupted. "I'm detecting an anomaly, some ten feet above our heads." Frugle's flashlight shone up to that area, where sure enough, a transparent phantasm flew through the beam. A second later, the flashlight bounced on the floor, and Frugle's footsteps could be heard bounding through the hall and down the staircase. "It seems we've lost Frugle." Winters sighed. "Northrup, you're in charge of the flashlight now." Soon, the beam of light scanned through the entire hallway, coming to rest on the materializing phantom on the opposite wall. "Look, its a little boy!" Miss Cleo started, shoving Edwards aside. "Why, its the ghost of little Herman Bates, come back to make amends for choking his dear mother!" "I wouldn't touch that thing if I were you." Tate Fielder, the biggest oddball of them all, warned. "Well, you ain't me!" Cleo ignored him, bustling her large frame forward until she almost ran into the apparition. "Come here, little Herman!" She reached out as if to pat the specter's shoulder, and when her hand came into contact with the ghost, she screamed, her hair stood on end, and then she bolted down the hall at a pace which would undoubtedly put her ahead of Frugle within seconds. "Excuse me." Edwards dismissed himself. "I must go also. I've wet my pants." Quickly, Kellie took up the story. "And so, confronted by this ghostly terror, our numbers are rapidly dwindling." "Its not a terror." Jean Dixon denied. "Its a child, reaching out for sympathy." "It is a terror." The ex-janitor contradicted. "Wait and see." "How would you know?" Winters disagreed, almost fuming. "Just how did you manage to get on this show, anyway?" "I'm possessed." Fielder revealed. "After I showed the producer, I was okayed." "Possessed by the bottle, maybe." Winters insulted. "I saw you dipping into the sauce earlier, along with the cameraman." The cameraman hiccuped in response. "No, really. I'm possessed by a demon." "Balderdash!" Winters growled. Before things got out of hand, Kellie stepped between the two men. "One question our viewers have been asking, Mr. Fielder, is just what are you planning to do with that bag of sand you've been carrying with you?" "I'll show you." He ambled towards the ghost. "This should be interesting." Winters harrumped. "Leave that poor child alone!" Jean Dixon pleaded. "Its not a child, lady." Fielder corrected. "Its a demon!" Sarcastically, Winters said, "We are about to witness demonic wrestle-mania." The child-ghost transfigured into a huge, horned beast. Northrup abandoned ship, and a few moments later, Winters recovered the flashlight. "Blasted juniors!" He cursed. "And damned apparitions!" When Fielder continued to approach, the demon began to dematerialize. "Uh-uh-uh!" The ex-janitor shook his finger. "Don't make me chase you." "What exactly are you doing now?" Kellie asked. "I'm gonna win myself that one million dollar grand prize." Fielder replied. "You wanted proof of the supernatural. Well, here it is!" With that, he grabbed hold of the demon's throat, then dumped the bag of sand into its mouth. Instantly, the sand began to cling to the demon's innards, and become, in a matter of speaking, flesh. It writhed and squirmed and screeched, but Fielder's grip held firm. "By Jove!" Winters exclaimed, aghast. Kellie fainted in a heap, but her cameraman simply hiccuped, and continued rolling. "It should stay that way until it spits out all the sand." Fielder turned to leave. "Where're you going?" Gus asked. "Back to the trailer. I still have some liquor left." Gus shoved his camera into Doc Winter's surprised arms. "I'm coming too! That stuff was good!" "It better be." Fielder replied. "That brew's been fermenting for eons. It's the Devil's Own." Jean Dixon followed closely at their heels. "After all this, I think I need a drink of that stuff, too!"
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