Minerva dragged one of the benches over against the basement wall and sat down out of the shot. The Ghost Examiners had only been shooting for an hour and she was already exhausted. She closed her eyes and leaned back against the wall as the Examiners traipsed up and down the stairs doing multiple takes of their intro to the supposed spirits that resided here. All the overhead lights were off and the crew were only lighting the Examiners.
“Almost forty years ago a prisoner hung himself while awaiting trial,” the lead Examiner said for the eighth time as he tried to look suave coming down the stairs.
Minerva sighed. There was no corroboration of that story in the records. Hell, there wasn’t even any mention of it in the records. It was just an old rumor probably made up by a long dead museum tour guide for the purpose of terrifying fourth-graders.
“Is that a real coffin?”
Minerva opened her eyes. One of the Examiners—physically largest but clearly least intimidating— was pointing at an object to Minerva’s left.
“Uh huh.” Minerva stuck her hand in the pocket of her jacket. “They used it to transport the bodies.” Her voice dropped slightly. “Sometimes you can still hear the scratching of the ones who weren’t quite dead.” She dragged her closed pocket knife against the metal chain behind her.
The Examiner jumped back with an unmanly squeak and Minerva bust up laughing.
“That’s not funny!” He recovered quickly and shifted his beefy arms out to take up more space. “This is serious business. This is a scientific inquiry!”
“No.” Minerva rose to her feet and poked the man in the chest. “This is storytelling with all the plot left out. You guys are like short fiction from the New Yorker turned into a reality show.”
The man took a step back and bumped into the smallest Examiner— the one with the napoleonic issue. Tiny t-shirt Napoleon put a hand on Minerva’s shoulder. She straightened to her full height forcing the little man to look up slightly, wrapped her hand around his wrist and removed his hand from her person.
“Go film your show,” she said and pointed into the darkness of the basement. “The Jail is that way.”