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“Just whistle.” She smiled at him and wondered if he knew that he’d been buried with a whistle. She decided not to bring up the subject of his funeral services.

Instead, she got to her feet. “I’m going to bed,” she told Bogie. But before she could move, she heard a loud mewl of protest. The sound startled her so much that she jumped, and then realized she’d ignored poor Ichabod. “Correction! I’m going to feed Ichabod, and then go to bed!”

The cat followed her into the kitchen, and she stroked his sleek fur as she gave him treats and filled his bowl. “Poor Ichabod! I forgot you. What is this world coming to?” she asked. The cat eyed her soulfully. “Finish up, use the litter box and come cuddle when you’re ready,” she told him.

Back in the living room, she saw that Bogie was no longer watching the television, which was still on. He stood thoughtfully by the window, staring out into the darkness.

“Good night,” she said softly.

He glanced back at her. “Sleep tight, kid.”

“Thanks. If you want to continue watching Lucy, please keep the volume low, okay?”

He nodded, and gave her his rueful, self-mocking grin. “Want a good old quote? ‘Here’s looking at you, kid.’ And I like what I see. Go on now, and get some sleep.” She saw a worried frown creasing his brow as she went to her room.

Bogie had become a true legend, she reflected, and it wasn’t just the roles he played—the cynical tough guy with a heart of gold and courage to match. He was a brilliant actor, but she thought she was privy to something more. Bogie had been far more fascinating than even his greatest characters. More fascinating than any legend. Yes, he’d been flawed—who wasn’t?—but underneath it all, he was deeply moral and unfailingly kind.

She paused at her bedroom door and turned back. “I’m okay, Bogie, honestly. I want to do whatever I can to help Alistair and Eddie.”

“So you should. And all is well. I’m looking out for you, kid.”

She wasn’t sure what he could do for her, but she smiled and said, “Thanks.”

Thirty minutes later she’d had a bath and was ready for bed. The lights were out and she was curled comfortably under her sheets. But tired as she was, sleep eluded her.

She found herself thinking about Alistair, and then Sean Cameron. Eddie had chosen her specifically, but it wasn’t because she knew special effects better than anyone else.

It was because he’d been with her in the cemetery one day.

She didn’t see ghosts every time she was in a cemetery. She’d come to understand that those not ready to move on usually didn’t inhabit places where they hadn’t been happy; it wasn’t that they were unhappy at a cemetery—they were just dead when they got there. The ghosts she’d seen and communicated with tended to frequent places they’d loved. For some, it was an old home, for others, maybe a bar or a dance hall. Once she’d even met a young boy, who’d died tragically in an auto accident, at a baseball field.

She didn’t always know—unless she reached out to touch and she just didn’t touch that many strangers—whether the people she met were alive or dead. Such had been the case with Bogie. She’d been convinced that he was an actor. A damned good look-alike, but surely not the real thing.

But, of course, he was. Like the man she’d talked to in Peace Cemetery, the graveyard that abutted the studio. It was one of the oldest in the city, only a few years behind Evergreen Cemetery, receiving its first burials in 1879. These included the faithful of St. Bartholomew’s, which was now just a chapel but had been a small, functioning church. St. Bartholomew’s and its parishioners had moved on to a new location in the 1920s and the cemetery had become the property of the county. It was a beautiful place, where late-Victorian funerary art mingled with modern black marble slabs and off-kilter art. The one-time owner of all the land in the area—including the studio and the Black Box Cinema—Lucas Claymore, was buried there, like the rest of his family. It was Lucas she met one day while walking with Eddie to sketch tombstones he liked. She had begun to chat with Lucas, and he’d told her about the property. She hadn’t understood that he wasn’t real until she saw the way Eddie was staring at her. She’d tried to explain it away, but obviously Eddie hadn’t forgotten. A few years later, when one of his old employees died—a master of masks—she had seen him at his funeral. He’d died at the age of ninety-something, and he was pleasantly surprised and gratified by all the people who’d attended. She’d thought she’d been unnoticed, assuring the old man that he’d been adored, but Eddie had slipped an arm around her shoulders and whispered, “Tell him goodbye for me.”

Maybe she’d believed she could walk into the tunnel and emerge with an instant answer. But life wasn’t like that. Apparently, neither was death.

The very first time, it had been her friend Billy. A bee sting on a sunny day had killed him when he was only six. As she’d stood near his grave, her hand in her mother’s, she’d seen him across the cemetery. Later, at the reception, he’d come to her and told her he was all right, and to please make sure his mother knew that. He wanted to go along the sunlit path ahead of him; he could hear children playing and the soft voice of a woman who’d watch over him until he saw his own mother again.

But she’d quickly learned that you didn’t tell other people when you saw the dead. Her mother had gone white when Madison talked about Billy; she’d pulled Madison aside and told her she mustn’t say anything, anything at all. Billy’s mother was in enough pain as it was.

Other people, she’d soon figured out, didn’t see or talk to the dead. And they didn’t believe anyone else did or could, either. To them, the very suggestion was crazy.

Her mother wasn’t being cruel; she just didn’t believe in ghosts and she empathized with Billy’s mother. She couldn’t begin to imagine how she would’ve felt if it had been her child who’d died, and she desperately wanted to spare Billy’s family any more agony.

Madison listened to the low hum of voices from the TV in the living room and hoped they would lull her to sleep. She started as she felt the weight of Ichabod leaping up on the bed. She pulled him to her and rubbed his ears.

The worst had been during her last year in high school: Josh Bollyn, the sweetest jock in the universe and, at the time, the love of her life. A night of laughter and camaraderie with friends had been destroyed when someone threw something out of a car. A bottle. An empty liquor bottle. Someone who was just careless—a litterbug, maybe a drunk litterbug—had become a murderer because the bottle had hit Josh in the head as they walked along the street. The next thing she knew, he was in the emergency room because of the way the bottle had hit him.

And Josh was dying.

Nothing the doctors could do could change what the angle of the bottle had done, cracking Josh’s skull and damaging the brain. She sat there and listened until his parents came, and she had to watch them and listen to the flatline….

And then Josh’s words, “Help them, Madison, please, help them. Get my mother out of here, and help her. Just hold her, just stay with her….”

And he’d stood beside her at his own funeral, sad, but saying things to her that he wanted said to others so they could let go. No one had deserved to live more than Josh, and she’d stopped understanding. She had hated herself and withdrawn.

Into work. Dating had to be casual, she’d decided. If she came too close, maybe… No, she hadn’t caused what had happened to Josh. She knew that. But she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was deadly luck for others, and it seemed best to retreat into herself.

And, of course, with Bogie’s regular visits, even casual dates became a challenge!

Eventually, she drifted off to sleep, and her sleep was that of the exhausted, the restless—and filled with dreams that really had no beginning or end.

In her dream she found herself at the studio. The L.A. smog had made its way in; low-lying gray mist pervaded the place and swept around all the creatures. Someone was behind her, chasing her, and when she turned around, she saw the evil Egyptian priest from The Unholy. She ran, and her only escape was through the door that would lead to the tunnel and the tableau of Sam Stone and the Curious Case of the Egyptian Museum.

The door to the tunnel was ajar.

She threw it open.

But when she reached the tunnel, she was slipping and sliding.

In blood.

When she tried to steady herself, another monster stood before her, blocking her escape. But it was actually the same one who’d been chasing her. She stared at what should have been the mannequin of the priest, Amun Mopat—but he wasn’t a mannequin. He was alive and waiting for her, brandishing his curved knife.

And he had no face.

You want to see me? You want to see who I am? he asked her. Come on, keep coming, and rip away my mask. Can’t walk? I’ll come to you.

Madison awoke, heart pounding. She was clammy with sweat and had made a knot of the bedclothing.

But she was safe. Safe in her own room. And tomorrow was going to be a long day.

Ichabod let out a worried meow. He was at the foot of the bed, staring at her. She smiled. “Come here, silly cat. I’m okay now.”

But she wasn’t. The television in the living room wasn’t loud enough. She wanted the reassurance of sound, of a benign presence on the television in her room, so she chose a cartoon channel. But she didn’t lie back down right away; she walked over to her window and looked out. Chills ran down her spine.

She couldn’t see anything. Her street, with its rows of small old bungalows, was quiet and dark. A streetlight flickered, and for a moment, the darkness seemed heavier. There was an unrented house across the street, its foliage growing dense. The area around it looked like a dark hole—no, oddly, it was more like some kind of gaping maw. Her imagination was rampant and she saw an image in the shadows created by the flickering streetlights. It was a face, a black-masked face, with malevolent eyes.