I rubbed at my eyes and took another swig of coffee. It'd been a long day at the office, with three reports due by close of business wedged between two departmental meetings and a local team happy hour afterwards. Plus, this particular online auction, for a pair of reading glasses (rumored to be cursed of course), was out of Saigon, completely opposite my sleep schedule. But the faux Celtic bracelet wrapped around my left wrist and the actually genuine 14th century Hopi necklace both hummed quietly against my skin in contentment. We'd found another target.
Half an hour later, with money and address exchanged with the seller, I entered the expected delivery dates on my calendar. It was late and I was tired, but I still had an exorcism on the to-do list for today. Some periods were slow, with four or six months between finds. Certainly lets my bank account recover, not to mention me reacquaint myself with sleep. This was not one of those periods and hasn't been for eight months. Luckily this particular find had gone for cheap; the seller hadn't set a minimum price, the initial bid had been low, and it hadn't generated much interest.
The tonight’s exorcism was a first for me actually, an iPhone. I shouldn't be surprised, there's more humans now that an at any point in history. Through sheer numbers, we're going to leave more behind than ever before. It's not like I'm the only one, doing what I do, either in history or right now for that matter. And, eventually, ghosts fade, no matter how strong a personality they'd had in life. I'd never run across someone from earlier than 1720 for instance and that'd been weird. The earliest anyone in the network of folks Sharana, our forum moderator, had wrangled into actually believing we weren't crazy had ever released died in 1682.
The necklace might be authentic 14th century, but the ghost calling it home died in 1937. Some rich white lady who'd enjoyed collecting Hopi artifacts. At least she'd given them back in her will, along with enough money for preservation or a museum, to the tribe. My last job before retirement is going to be to release her and tie myself to the necklace for my successor's apprentice.
The bracelet had made it very clear she was not done yet and would be staying right where she was, thank you.
I wiggled my mind though the spaces between electronics in the iPhone I’d bought two months ago. There wasn't much space in here but I could feel him, somewhere down inside. The phone had been his most constant companion item in life, and he was still clinging to it in death, even after the data and apps had been wiped free of all trace of him. I shudder to think what would have happened to him if the phone had gone to a recycler or something before I or one of my friends got to him.
The number of items destroyed while still inhabited by a ghost over the ages didn't bear thinking about.
Forty-five minutes later, I had the spirit out and headed on to whatever comes next. Thirty minutes after that, I had my notes typed up and posted to the forums. Hopefully whoever has the second exorcism of a phone will have an easier time of it. I was collapsing in bed now. Work tomorrow was going to be difficult. I'd concentrate on something repetitive, like data entry.
That's me, office drone by day, ghost rescuer by night.