Deceased divorcee’s dastardly plan—approved!

Redevelopment news

Photo By F. Stop Fitzsimian with photo illustration by Jayne Sez

Last week, patrons at Dreamer’s Coffee House on Virginia Street ran screaming from the tranquil restaurant. Witnesses say a woman sitting near the restaurant’s window had shrieked like a wounded banshee before falling unconscious to the floor.

The woman who set off the mad dash, Suzie Quinlan, spoke to the police once she was revived.

“I noticed a strange glow emanating from beneath the bridge, and then I saw a ghostly woman. Her hair was luminous,” said Quinlan, trying to catch her breath. “Her fingernails—they were long and sharp, like ice picks.” She hastily mopped her brow with a napkin and then followed the rest of the restaurant’s patrons out the door.

The focus of the activity, the Virginia Street Bridge, is not fully functional, and the west side has been partially cordoned off from public use since the New Year’s Eve flood.

Occult experts from around the city gathered to share in the otherworldly experience. One psychic ventured nearer the bridge via the Riverwalk ramp. “She’s definitely a spirit,” called the psychic, Wanda Earthmum. “She says she lives in the Riverside Artist Lofts.”

As Earthmum got more information from the wraith, she began to relate the story to the crowd. “Mrs. Smith … she says her name’s Mrs. Smith. She came here in ‘43 to get a divorce from her abusive husband. He refused to grant her the divorce and continued to mistreat her, and she wanted to kill him.”

According to a police report Earthmum filed later that day, Mrs. Smith’s vengeance on her husband went unfulfilled when he died suddenly, and her hatred for him blossomed into a hatred of all men. And with that, her motive for coming back from the dead was revealed: Ms. Smith was undermining the bridge, hoping for its collapse. Her dearest desire was to maim any man who might chance across the bridge.

In perhaps one of the most astonishing moments in Reno’s paranormal history, city and county officials agreed that the specter should not be disturbed. Members of the press corps expressed perplexity at the cooperation of the jurisdictions on anything, let alone the spook’s employment.

Jessica Sferrazza said Mrs. Smith’s obsession could be a win-win, and by allowing her to destroy the bridge, the cities and county would eliminate the need to fund its demolition. Only the reconstruction would require funding, which could be obtained by an eighth-cent sales tax increase. Unfortunately, no traffic would be able to use the bridge, and no temporary improvements or warning signs would be installed until the Army Corps of Engineers did a cost/benefit analysis. After all, unless people were injured by the old bridge, the need for a new bridge couldn’t be demonstrated.

“If we build parts of what we think a new bridge might look like, and build something that actually provides protection to motorists and pedestrians, we end up having a project that no longer is justified, according to Corps policy,” said the vivacious councilwoman, who is also the chair of the Flood Project Coordinating Committee.

The matter settled, the phantasm was allowed to continue her scratching and digging, ever intent on her vengeance against men and with utter disregard for the suffering of innocents.

“You think she’d get an afterlife,” said one psychic.

April Fools’ content