Character Interview: Time to meet Jimi and Nica
Jimi and Nica Gill
Today, I’m excited to talk to Jimi Gill, who is five years of age, and his sister Nica. She just turned eight.
The children’s mother was murdered at St. Michael’s and the two kids are still in bereavement. They’re currently living with Abbie Grimshaw, their guardian. Abbie’s asked that I not bring up this painful subject with the children during the interview.
Since paranormal activities are rumored to be occurring around St. Michael’s, avoiding the subject will make this little chat a bit awkward, but we shall soldier on, as his lordship might say.
[Note: All animals, persons, and newspaper businesses mentioned in this blog post are works of fiction created by Shereen Vedam]
My mum advised me to chat the kids up first before asking difficult questions. Also, not to interrupt, even if a silence grows uncomfortable. She’s good with kids, so I plan to follow her advice.
Now, let’s delve into the mysterious unknown.
Due to COVID protocols, this interview is being held remotely.
GP: Good morning! My name is Godfrey Plowright. Would you please introduce yourselves?
JIMI: [the little boy flashes a wide friendly smile] I’m Jimi. Who’s that with you?
GP: [following Jimi’s glance, looks behind him, sees nothing but a bookcase with his collection of paranormal research texts that range from The Wiser Field Guide to his favorite book, Monsters Among Us. Turns back to face the kids.] There’s no one behind me, Jimi.
NICA: He means the angel statue.
GP: [reaches behind to grab the white marble hand-size statue and holds it up in front of the camera] This thing? Do you like it? I found it at Oxfam a month ago. It’s become one of my favorite pieces.
JIMI: [playing with a yellow sports car on the table] Her name’s Amelia.
NICA: Shhh! [Looks at Godfrey and sighs] He talks to imaginary people.
GP: [nods] Of course. [turns the statue around and speaks to it] Nice to meet you, Amelia. [Places the statue on the table in front of him] And who are you, young lady?
NICA: I’m Nica. [a short pause before pointing to Jimi] His sister.
GP: [noticing Jimi’s gaze returning to the statue, Godfrey gently slides it out of camera range] Why don’t we chat about what you have seen that might be classified as unusual or weird?
NICA: No. [stares at Godfrey in silence.]
JIMI: Weird, weird, weird. [laughs and jumping off his chair, races around the table with his car making vroom-vroom sounds]
GP: [opens his mouth to ask a follow-up question and then shuts his mouth and waits. After a few moments, absently taps his fingers on the table as the pause in the interview lengthens and Jimi is still running in and out of camera range making race car noises.]
[Jimi then screeches to a stop beside his sister and leans over to whisper to her and then takes his seat].
NICA: [faces Godfrey.] I guess it’s okay to say our amma talked to imaginary people, too. She’s gone now so she can’t get into trouble if I say that.
GP: [frowns] Who is your amma?
NICA: Our mother.
GP: [stops tapping his fingers and types: This is technically not the subject of their mother’s murder so I should be able to ask a follow-up question] What imaginary people did your amma talk to?
NICA: [stares at Godfrey, who stares back at her] Gods.
GP: [looking gobsmacked] Oh? Fascinating.
NICA: No, really. She talked to gods.
GP: [types fast: Wowzer! Have I hit the jackpot?] What kind of [GP air quotes] “gods” did your amma talk to? Did they appear at St. Michael’s?
NICA: [slouches back in her chair] I don’t want to talk about this anymore.
GP: [sighs] What would you like to talk about?
“Why do you like the scary ones? Don’t they frighten you?”
NICA: [looks around the room and then reaches for something on the table out of camera range. She pulls a magazine closer to her] This is called Paranormal Walk. Abbie says you write some of the stories in here.
GP: [nods] Yes. Do you know what paranormal means?
NICA: Yes. [sounding excited, meets his gaze directly] It means ghosts and talking to people without speaking, and making things move without touching. And doors slamming shut when no one’s in the room. It’s about spooky stuff like that. I like your magazine. I read it and showed it to my friends at school. Some of the stories are lame and some scary. I like the scary ones.
GP: [ignores the slight] Why do you like the scary ones? Don’t they frighten you?
NICA: [shakes her head] No. I’ve seen someone who’s way scarier than what you write about.
GP: Really? [getting excited, leans forward] Who’s that?
NICA: [slaps her hand across her mouth and giggles behind her hand. Then lowers her hand but looks around the room, avoiding his eyes.] No one.
JIMI: Amelia says she wants to talk to us, too. That she has something to tell you, Goofy.
GP: Godfrey [He tries to catch Nica’s gaze but she’s now engrossed with the magazine. With resignation, he glances at the statue and slides it back into camera range]. What does Amelia want to say to me, Jimi?
GP: Oh. [frowns at the statue] What did she hear?
JIMI: Amelia says you asked God to give you a girlfriend and one’s coming.
GP: [blushes] Quite the imagination, young man.
NICA: [looks up] Oh, so you want a boyfriend?
GP: [speaking in a growl] Let’s get back to this ability to talk to imaginary friends. Nica, do you share your brother’s skill?
NICA: No. [flashes a mischievous smile] Mine aren’t imaginary.
JIMI: I’m hungry. Let’s go ask Abbie for something to eat. [races off-screen screaming] ABBIE!
[Nica runs after her brother]
GP: I guess that’s the end of this interview. Should have insisted they eat first. [puts the statue back on the shelf, hesitates, then gently pats it, before shutting off the screen.]
The next installment of Paranormal Walk will be available in August 2021 when I interview Judith Chan, a 23-year-old British constable who is rumored to be a Chinese Taoist witch. She was also the first emergency responder to arrive at St. Michael’s after the murder there.
I have a special reader question to ask her.
Until then, cheerio, Godfrey
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