"I'm telling you, Hannibal. That thing is haunted!"
"Murdock, what makes you think that there's a ghost in there?" Hannibal asked, motioning towards the van.
"I've seen things! I've heard things! I've sensed..."
"Just get in, fool!" BA interjected as he climbed into the driver's seat.
Hannibal pointed at the vehicle's open door. "Would you please get in the van, Murdock. We have a long way to go."
The pilot looked at the GMC and pursed his lips. "Faceman, you still got that bible under your seat?"
The blonde blushed. "In case of emergencies, yeah."
"Can I sit there?"
"Uh, yeah, sure," he said. "Whatever it takes to get us on the road.
Murdock took a deep breath and stepped into the van, sliding into the seat behind BA and reaching underneath it. His hand found the Book and he pulled it out, placing it on his lap and sighing. He closed his eyes and listened as Face and Hannibal climbed in and the doors were shut.
The engine started. They were on their way from LA to Fayetteville, North Carolina for a friend's wedding, and it was going to take several days to get there. To save on expenses, it had been decided that they would not stay in hotels, but sleep in the van. It was after that revelation that Murdock decided to tell the team about his fears regarding the GMC.
"I'm telling you guys," he said as they pulled onto the highway, "BA's baby here is out to get me."
"Just shut up!" the sergeant yelled. "You're always seeing things that ain't there. Hearing voices..."
"Hey!" Murdock protested. "I'll have you know that Joan of Arc heard voices, too."
"She was also burned at the stake," Face said under his breath.
Murdock shot him a look that was best interpreted as irate. "Fine! Make fun of me. You just wait, you'll see. This thing is evil! It's out to get me! I'm gonna wake up tomorrow with my head in the glove compartment and my feet on the roof!"
A growl emanated from the driver's seat - the distinct sound of an angered BA.
"You know, maybe it's your bad attitude that's doin' it," Murdock went on. "Maybe you're projecting it out into the metal and plastic and pretty tinted windows..."
"If you don't shut your mouth, you'll have me to worry about, too," BA snapped. "And I guarantee that I could do you ten times the hurt that any figment of your imagination could do!"
"I'm not imagining it!" Murdock said, on the verge of panic. "You ever considered getting an exorcist? They can do amazing things, you know? I heard of one once that chased the evil spirits right out of a house, and boom... no more footprints on the ceiling. Got rid of them goblins in the plumbing and everything."
BA's fingers tightened on his steering wheel.
"Uh, Murdock," Hannibal said quietly. "You might want to quit while you're ahead."
"Yeah, fine. You just wait until tonight."
"What happens tonight?" Face asked, immediately regretting the question.
"That's when... they come out."
"They... them. The evil things. The ghosts..."
"Murdock," Hannibal looked over his shoulder. "How could there possibly be a ghost in here? Doesn't someone have to die for there to be a ghost?"
Murdock shook his head vigorously. "That's a common misconception, Colonel. You know what Longfellow said?"
"Can't say that I do." Hannibal faced forward again.
"He said 'All houses wherein man has lived or dies are haunted houses'. What do you say to that?"
"I say that this ain't no stupid house," BA grumbled. "It's a van. It's my van. And it's a van that you're going to be flying out of in about thirty seconds."
"Take it easy, BA," Hannibal said, placing a hand on the driver's shoulder. "You have to admit, Murdock, that BA has pointed out the one tiny flaw in your argument."
"And besides," Face said. "You haven't given us one single piece of evidence. What proof do you have?"
"Proof? You want proof? Now, if I could prove it then I'd be able to get into National Geographic, wouldn't I?" Murdock said. "Sometimes you just gotta accept things that you can't explain or prove."
"Well, I have to admit that there's a certain scary logic to that," Face said.
"There ain't no logic. This guy is just nuts!" BA raised his voice.
"Haven't you ever seen Poltergeist?" Murdock pressed. "With that Jell-o stuff and the skeletons in the swimming pool and the crawling steak and peeling skin and..."
BA slammed on the brakes and all the men lurched forward. The bible flew off of Murdock's lap and slid neatly under the driver's seat. At the end of the lengthy skid, all the men sat themselves back up, straight in their seats. BA scowled at the windshield in lieu of turning around and glaring at Murdock.
"If you don't shut up..."
"Okay," Hannibal said, listening to the blaring of horns and watching the cars swerve around them. "Let's all just settle down and try to figure something out that'll make Murdock feel a little better about the van. BA, pull off to the side of the road."
BA growled, but then complied, driving the GMC over to the shoulder and putting it into park. "There. Now what?"
Hannibal and BA turned around, facing the two men in the back seat.
"Now," Hannibal said. "Murdock, what, exactly, would give you some sense of security here?"
"You should've brought Billy," Face said, grinning. "He's a good watchdog, right?"
The pilot shook his head and wrinkled his nose. "You go ahead and doubt me... you'll see. I bet when you wake up in the morning and find your little buddy Murdock blathering like an infant..."
"How'd we be able to tell the difference?" BA snapped.
Murdock froze, his eyes darting back and forth at the interior of the vehicle. "Did you hear that?"
The rest of the men imitated the captain's wandering-eyed expression.
"Hear what?" Hannibal whispered despite himself.
"Okay! That's it!" BA yelled, turning around and grabbing Murdock by the collar and hauling him out of the seat. Then he looked around the inside of the vehicle. "If there's any ghosts in here, say so!" he yelled to the pilot's supposed spirits. "You hear me? Any ghosts in this van?"
The men sat still for a few seconds, almost expecting some kind of reply. None came, and BA released Murdock's collar, tossing the man back into the seat.
"There!" BA yelled, turning back around towards his steering wheel. "They had their chance to show themselves. There ain't no ghosts in here... never were, never will be!"
Murdock puckered up his lips and sat back, his arms folded across his chest.
Face rubbed the center of his forehead. "Can we please get back on the road now?"
BA, still fuming, started the van and began watching out the side mirror for a break in the traffic.
"Yes, let's," Hannibal said, feeling his pockets. He looked over to the young lieutenant. "You have a spare cigar? I forgot to pack some."
Face shook his head. "Check the glove compartment, I think there might be one in there."
"Emergency stash, huh?" the colonel opened the latch and the compartment fell open. He stared at it for a few moments, then reached inside, pulling out a battered brown book. "Face, is this yours?"
Faceman reached for the bible, but Murdock's hand was already on it. "No no no no no... this..." he pointed the book towards BA's seat. "It was under there! I saw it go under... there!"
Murdock tossed the bible onto Face's lap, then got down on his knees, reaching under the driver's seat.
"Man, what you doin under there?" BA demanded, still waiting for traffic to thin enough to get the van on the highway.
A moment later Murdock let out a squeak and stood straight up in the van, hitting his head on the ceiling light. He didn't say a word, but scrambled past Face, opening the door and running into the high corn that was growing beside the road. They heard his frantic yelling dim as the pilot put more distance between himself and the dreaded GMC.
After a few moments of incredulity, the three other men leaned over, looking for whatever it had been that had sent Murdock running. Six eyes widened. On the floorboard, just barely visible where he had pulled it out from under the seat, lay Murdock's old Ouija board - the clear center of the cheap plastic planchette situated directly over the word YES.