I’m not one to really care about what other people think, and definitely not about me. But I am starting to wonder if they might think I’m crazy, or at least a little bit weird. Because I’ve been doing this one thing over and over, and the locals are definitely starting to notice.
It’s the Welcome to Superstition sign. Well, more accurately, it’s the sentence beneath it: WHERE ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. I keep coming out here to read those words because so much has happened. And it all started with a key to a mysterious motel room, and then a lot of driving. A fucking lot of driving.
And then the whole Kate Millay thing and the cops saying she wasn’t really missing, but she really was, and then I found her, and got stabbed, and she saved my ass, and then Izzy got us out alive, and then before I knew it the Jack St. James Detective Agency wasn’t just a jumble of words that came out of my mouth but a real place. A real thing. And I’m, like, a real private detective now, I guess. I mean, Izzy got me the hat. So I’m legit now.
And it’s all so fucking unbelievable.
So that’s why I keep driving out to that town sign to read those words.
Also… because of what happened to me before I even took my first case at the Jack St. James Detective Agency.
Weird things happen in Superstition. Weird things that aren’t possible elsewhere. The walls between believable and unbelievable are thin here, and sometimes there’s crossover, whether you admit it’s happening or not.
There are those that deny it, and try to keep on having normal lives.
There are those that admit this shit is happening and try to deal with it.
And then there are those that cause it. Like Simon Millay, who didn’t really understand what he was doing, but thought he was doing it for the right reasons, and then something crossed over from the other side.
[Monster sound effects from Season 1]
Simon made that happen.
And sometimes things just cross over.
Like Monica did.
Okay. This is a new one. I’m in a town called Superstition. In the blistering sate of Arizona. It looks to be around early twenty-first century. But the place has a feel about it. There’s history here. Like centuries of it. It’s worn into the fabric of this town. It’s buildings just . . . Exude it. Time’s taken it’s toll here, but there’s still a lot of life. Plenty of fucking vitality.
I can definitely see how someone could grow to like it here.
There’s a harshness, but also charm.
So what can I get out of it? What does the quaint town of Superstition have to offer Monica Chase?
The name is definitely weird, even for a town in the States. But it’s definitely making me curious. What’s behind it all? Is it a cool name because some white dude way back when thought it would be a good name, or did it get this name because weird shit happens here?
With how I’ve described the town already, my money’s on the latter.
What with how . . .
Wait! What the fuck was that?
Damn, it’s gone now.
Oh, there’s another one.
Is that . . . A fucking ghost?
Shit! It is! And it just looked at me. And kept on moving. Okay, good. That’s good. I’m still not over all that banshee business, so keep going incorporeal spirits. Nothing to see here.
What is up with Superstition?
Oh shit. That gal saw me. Did I say the word ghost out loud? I don’t remember. Maybe?
And now she’s coming over . . . Just fucking fabulous.
JACK: Are you . . . Okay?
MONICA [terse]: Yeah. Why?
JACK: You just yelled “a fucking ghost.”
MONICA: Ahh. Okay. I can see why you thought I might need help.
JACK [sincere]: Because you saw a ghost.
MONICA: I did . . . Did . . . Did I? [Fast] I’m not sure. I saw something. I guess it could’ve been a ghost. Or maybe just a figment of my imagination. Or . . . Fog?
JACK: It’s just after noon. This is Arizona. That’s not how fog works. You saw a ghost, didn’t you?
MONICA [acceptance]: Yeah, I guess I did. It looked right at me and then kept on going down the street. Which was fine by me. So you . . . Believe me?
JACK: Damn right I do. This is Superstition after all. This is the one place where weird can be an everyday thing.
MONICA: I can think of another place, actually.
JACK: You’re not from here, are you? I haven’t seen you around.This isn’t a very big town and new faces are kind of hard to miss. Especially yours.
MONICA: You got me. I’m from . . . Far away from here.
JACK: Far? How far is far?
MONICA: You know what, I’m gonna level with you. You believe in ghosts. You say Superstition is weird, so I’m guessing you’ve seen some serious shit. Shit that can’t be easily explained. So I’m going to give you my back story.
JACK: (CAN’T BE THE WEIRDEST THING SHE’S HEARD TODAY) Hit me.
MONICA: I’m a time traveler of sorts, passing through doors to other worlds in space and time. I’m trying to find . . . My guy, Jake Fisher. He’s also a time traveler but screwed up and now he’s kinda lost in time traveling from place to place. And I’m trying to find him, so we can get back to the place where this all started. A strange town called Ostium.
JACK: That’s what you meant by “another place.”
JACK: Okay . . . Well, the good news is, it’s after noon. Wanna get a drink?
MONICA: That sounds fucking fantastic.
We start with tequila shots, which I was surprised at for like half a second. Then we clinked glasses and down the hatch it went, and man that was some good shit. I can’t remember the last time I’ve taken a shot, but it’s been too fucking long that’s for sure. I join Jack in a round of crown and cokes after, though I also take a look at the menu and order an enchilada. All this alcohol and the little amount of food I’ve had since this wild ride started means I’ll have trouble even finding the next Ostium door, let alone going through it.
I know I’m feeling the buzz, because I feed her a really shitty line:
MONICA: So do you prefer [ice clinking sound], or are you also partial to . . . A Jack and coke?
JACK: (A COME-ON AS A JOKE, THAT TURNS INTO GENTLE TEASING) I’m really not picky. Take what I can get, usually. In fact, some people have said I’m… experimental. But, I’m assuming you’re just talking about how I like to drink my booze, right?
MONICA: Jesus, I really need to eat something. My mouth is just running itself. Sorry Jack. That was fucking terrible. How about we talk more about Superstition? How did you end up in this . . . Weird fucking town?
JACK: A fifteen-year-old scavenger hunt clue led me here, and then my private eye smarts helped me find that girl.
Jack points to a poster pinned to a board behind the bar. It’s then I really take it in: the whole board is full of missing persons posters. What the fuck is with this town? The poster that Jack is pointing to is at one end and separate from the rest. The girl is Kate Millay. Above the poster someone has written FOUND in big letters with permanent marker.
MONICA: Judging by the rest of the posters, you did something special?
JACK [laughing]: Yeah. I’m kind of the town hero right now [snork]. All it cost me was a knife to the stomach.
JACK: I survived.
IZZY: And you have your own detective agency because of it.
This comes from the person behind the bar who’s watching Jack with a smile on her face, while Jack has her own smirk and look in her eye.
Are these two dating?
MONICA: I take it you know each other.
IZZY: Jack is one of my regulars.
JACK: (I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I) You’re regular. Uh.
IZZY: I can’t get rid of her. JACK: [laughing, snork]
MONICA: So I really saw a ghost earlier?
IZZY: Aaaaand that’s my cue. I’m on the clock. I’ll leave you guys to your… ghost hunting.
JACK: That’s Izzy. She’s, um. She’s busy! And yes. That was a ghost. Or something of the supernatural persuasion.
MONICA: So that sort of thing happens a lot in this town?
JACK: Sorta. There’s a lot of . . . Unexplained stuff that goes on here. Why, is anyone’s guess. Maybe they’re the ghosts of the people that once lived here? That’s been known to happen. Or – you ended up here! Are they maybe something that’s slipped through from another realm?
MONICA: Could they be from other worlds? Possibly from somewhere or somewhen I’ve visited?
JACK: If you find out, let me know. I’m just trying to help the living. My focus is on helping the living of Superstition. My job is to find those people, I guess.
Jack’s pointing at all the missing posters.
JACK: In Superstition, people disappear, sometimes for a short time, sometimes for a long time. And sometimes they don’t come back. I’m trying to change that and help those that need help.
MONICA: Which is . . . Fucking awesome. And that’s not just the booze talking. I’m being serious here. The fact that there’s someone like you doing good.
JACK: Trying to at least.
MONICA: No. You are. It gives me hope, which I can really use right now. If I’m ever going to make it back to Ostium. And find Jake. But after meeting you, it’s given me confidence that I will.
JACK: Thank you. You know,you got some chutzpah, Monica.
MONICA: I . . . think that’s a compliment? It’s too bad I have to go. I’m not sure about living in Superstition, but I’m sure we would have some good times.
JACK: Yeah, we would. You have time to eat, right?
MONICA: Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere before I destroy that enchilada.
JACK: And another drink?
MONICA: Why not. One for the road.
We have that last drink. And Monica does destroy her meal. That girl can sure eat. But after hearing her story, it sounds like it’s been a while since she ate. She says she needs a memento from this world she’s visiting. My world. Something small but significant. I can’t think of anything, and then I look at the counter. I hand her a Lady in White bar coaster. It’s a creepy ghost in a white dress, holding a tankard of ale or lager or something. The name of the bar curves around her head. Beneath her it says: Superstition, AZ.
MONICA: That’s perfect. Thank you. Time to go through another door.
JACK: We say our goodbyes and I follow her over to the bar’s nasty back bathroom. I’m wondering what the hell she’s up to, but no, it’s the door she’s chosen. She says she knows it’s this one. Then she gives me a quick hug, which I gladly return.
Not looking back, she opens the door and steps through.
For just a second I see something on the other side that definitely wasn’t a restroom.
I think I need another drink.
Before I can start to feel sad about losing Monica I see Izzy looking at me across the room in her certain way.
I can’t help smiling as I walk back over to the bar.