Dear readers, tonight with me is a preternatural investigator (a private investigator specialising in the supernatural), and her latest intern.
Hemlock: Hi, I’m Hemlock Connal, Preternatural Investigator.
Morgan: I’m Morgan Burns, Professional Intern.
Hemlock: We first work together in Another Dead Intern, hopefully no spoilers, but also working together in a short Holiday ditty called Little Drummer Boy.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
Hemlock: My mother is Queen Fand, of the Sidhe Shadow Court. So I grew up in the castle, training with the court. That is up until I was thirteen, when I played a trick on an Earl of the Summer Court at a party. I put an enchantment on him to make him fall in love with a pine tree. It was funny at first, until he started cramming pine cones up his rectum. They said he got six, but I counted seven!
Anyway, rather than have me executed, the Queen had mercy and I was banished for 13 years, stripped of most powers, and lost my beautiful voice. They basically made sure I was cursed to sound like I’d been gargling acid and broken glass for a lifetime. After that, I lived with dad. Old Man Connal was the private investigator, but he was an independent practitioner of the magical arts, so he dealt with investigations in the magical community. When he died a year or so ago, I took over the family business.
Morgan: I grew up in an Indiana town, had a good lookin’ mama who never was around. I but I grew up tall, and I grew up right, with them Indiana Girls on them Indiana Nights
Hemlock: Damnit Burns, that’s the lyrics to Mary Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty.
Morgan: … it’s mostly accurate.
Hemlock: Fair enough.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
Hemlock: I had a Curious George doll. Got it from my dad one time when I visited him before I got banished. I kept it with me after, which seemed dumb, but it was a comfort thing. Unfortunately, I had it with me when dad dragged me along on a job. A monastery was having an issue with a yokai that followed some new monks over from Japan. One thing led to another, and he had to trap the spirit in the Curious George doll. I still have it, but now it has a vengeful spirit bound to it. He does help with tasting blood for quick analysis when I need random facts about something.
Morgan: My dad didn’t believe in furthering the capitalist ideals of major toy corporations. So, I had to make the toys I had in his woodshop. I wasn’t really good at making action figures or most things like that, but I did have a knack for furniture. Honestly, the thing I loved most was this one old fashioned wood plane he had in the shop. That thing could take a see through layer of wood off the surface, oh so smooth.
Hemlock: You are a complete and utter dork.
What do you do now?
Hemlock: We are Preternatural Investigators. Well, I am, Burns is just an intern.
Morgan: C’mon, I’m a bit better than that.
Hemlock: That doesn’t mean we go around killing vampires for people or looking for ghosts in resold haunted houses. It just means we do private investigations for the preternatural community. Which means doing a lot of the same stuff a PI would do, a lot of cheating spouse cases, insurance fraud, white collar crime discovery, that sort of stuff. Just, with, y’know, vampires, witches, warlocks, mages, werewolves, sometimes the Sidhe, and other various species and members of the preternatural community of Boston.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
Hemlock: There were stolen memories that led us to the murders, the murders led us to the drugs, and more drugs led us to the nightmares.
Morgan: Ah, don’t forget, it was me taking more drugs that led us to the nightmares.
Hemlock: Semantics, don’t try to be a glory hog, Burns.
What did you first think when you found out nightmares were involved ?
Hemlock: Nasty beasties, I used to have to check the Forest of Nightmares and Decay for them outside the castle grounds.
Morgan: At least you knew what you were up for, I found out when Hemlock and mommy dearest started chatting about the Forest of Nightmares and Decay like it was a spring getaway. Then I had to try to learn more about them from that tiny pocket guide the bartender gave me, “Nightmares in a Nutshell”!
What was the scariest thing in your adventures?
Hemlock: Murderers and constant threat of death?
Morgan: Yeah, especially that guy Jayne. So annoying, but I did think Bob almost got me killed at one point or another too.
What is the worst thing about living in the magical community of Boston?
Hemlock: Navigating the people.
Morgan: Yeah, trying to get a prosecutor to believe that a person is really innocent of murder because they were actually under the influence of a secondary memory psychotropic generated by demonic forces and sold as a narcotic is annoyingly hard.
Hemlock: I meant some of the North End coven are just as big of pricks as you get running an HOA.
Morgan: oh right, that too.
What is the best thing about it?
Hemlock: It’s never dull. Even when we have what looks like a full case, it’s challenging. Like a vampire that’s committing fraud for workman’s comp. You can’t photograph the bastards, so how do you provide proof that their lifting over 800 lbs when their work restrictions day less than 800? Now there’s a challenge.
Morgan: Also, for me,the people. I mean this is freakin’ magic! I get to meet fae, undead bikers that used to be mages and sorcerers and witches. Finding out Paul Revere was a demonologist was a bit mind-blowing, but c’mon, that is cool!
Tell us a little about your friends.
Hemlock: Yamata is a pretty great guy.
Morgan: He’s our bartender at the Fifth Horseman.
Hemlock: So? He’s helpful.
Morgan: He mostly only says “Hai!”
Hemlock: And it’s very helpful. What about Bob?
Morgan: Can you really count a centuries old sorcerer currently in servitude as a rider and guard to your Mother’s court as a friend?
Hemlock: He. Is. Hilarious.
Morgan: He. Nearly. Killed. Me.
Hemlock: Nearly getting you killed is different.
Morgan: What about Dierdre?
Hemlock: Yeah, Deedee’s great,but you’re just keen on her since you’re dating her. What about Jorge or the Druggist?
Morgan: Jorge’s a bit of a wuss, Lenny wasn’t too bad.
Any romantic involvement?
Hemlock: I’m a nun right now, ain’t got none, don’t want none, not looking for none.
Morgan: That makes no sense and it’s full of double negatives.
Morgan: I met a nice witch from the North End Coven, who is also a Medical Examiner. She’s a cutie and we got a date this weekend.
Whom (or what) do you really hate?
Morgan: If I ever see that son of a bitch again, I’ll drown him in his own blood.
Hemlock: Yeah, Jayne.
What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?
Together: Drinks at the Fifth Horseman.
What does the future hold for you?
Morgan: I owe mom some favors.
Hemlock: Yeah, that won’t end well. Also, I need to take you over to meet the rest of the family.
Morgan: The rest?
Hemlock: Yeah, most of them stay over in the Sidhe.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
Morgan: You really ought to come to terms with how your dad died.
Hemlock: I don’t see why.
Hemlock: Burns, I will stab you again….
Joel Spriggs (1982-?) was born and raised in Frankfort, IN. He graduated from Franklin College of Indiana in 2004 with a Bachelors of the Fine Arts in Computer Science and Broadcast Journalism. Joel’s first novel, “Over A God’s Dead Body” was published on the Kindle platform in June 2018 and is the first in a planned series surrounding the same characters and fantasy world. He also writes short stories for both his blog and for Story of the Week, a Medium publication. Joel has successfully defended his beard from being stolen 1873 times out of 1877 attempts by his elder brother. On the five occasions he failed, Joel immediately set about growing a new beard and refining his defenses. He lives with his wife and three children in scenic Lebanon, IN. He maintains a website and blog at joelspriggs.com. He also loves making people laugh @joelspriggs on Twitter.
You can find Hemlock and Morgan on the pages of Another Dead Intern, and the holiday special short Little Drummer Boy.
Join us next week to meet a man on his deathbed, whose only chance of a cure lies in an online computer game. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.
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