By Falco Rockbert
Today, the NRPD busted a “sweatshop” that employed ghosts to write paranormal teen romance novels around the clock. The NRPD were tipped off by the strange noises coming from the basement of the Stivenson Building on Gerhard Street in Little India.
“It was an unusual sound,” said Officer Laura Carter. “I was parked next to the building, checking my computer when I heard it. The only way I can describe it was unearthly.”
Inside, a trio of necromancers, Lawrence Constatine, Mary Woolen Cloverfield, and Cantor Merlinson the Mighty (real name Jason Dinkleman), magically held over 100 ghosts in front of laptops. They were startled by the NRPD and couldn’t cast a spell quick enough to protect them from the officers’ clubs and pepper spray. When the ghosts were freed, several of them floated away, but the majority remained with the police to explain the situation.
“They forced us to write terrible paranormal teen romance novels,” said the ghost of Larry Stephens, a grocery worker who died in 1965. “I didn’t even know this was a genre until they locked me in here.”
The necromancers supposedly took the novels the ghosts wrote and sold several of them to publishers under the pseudonyms H.M. Marley, J. Georgia Carolina, Paul Pryorman, and Tristram Shandy among others. According to the ghosts, they were responsible for over 30 published novels, including Love Bite, Werewolfopolis, I Heart Zombie, and The Yorkshire Hemophiliacs Society series.The publishing houses that bought the books did not comment.
“I’ve never written anything while I was alive,” said the ghost of Janice McDunnon, a farmer who died in 1943. “In fact, I could barely read and write. Back then, women didn’t always get such a good education like they do these days. But it didn’t matter to them none. They just wanted more books, and it’s not like we need to sleep or eat or nothing.”
Indeed, it appeared that the three necromancers took shifts during the day, and there were at least two more necromancers according to the ghosts. The only breaks the ghosts got were to upload their manuscripts to a main server. “This whole bloody affair was just awful,” said the ghost of Winston Cobblepot, an English hotel owner who died in 1891. “Do you know how many damned vampire romance novels I had to write? Twelve! When did vampires become romantic? Vampires are terrible, awful creatures that ruin your village, decimate your livestock, and tip horribly.”
Despite the enslavement, the necromancers may get off easy in court. Ghosts are not a protected class in the legal system, so technically, no laws were broken. But they could face up to 1-3 years in prison if the publishing houses were to press fraud charges. As for the ghosts themselves, they were free to go complete whatever task they needed so they could finally rest in peace. All left except for one lone ghost who kept typing at his laptop.
“Oh, that’s T.S. Eliot,” said the ghost of Winston Cobblepot. “He was the only one who never complained, but they never took what he wrote. He could never quite do what they wanted, that chap.”