He ran and this time it was a little aimless. He entered the next field scanned it with his eyes quickly and then moved on to the next. He lost counts of the amount of fields his adrenalin pumped body had guided him through. He rounded a corner and a large mansion came into view. At first it looked massive, this was its first deception. Like a drawing done by a child at first glance it looks huge, but when you look around the edges you realise you are just seeing the front. The mansion was similar. Five rooms by Five rooms top and bottom, but it only dropped back one level, one room. So in simple terms twenty rooms. Not small by any means but far smaller than its initial imposing suggested. The windows and door were all wonky with age, rotted frames and age complimenting each other to almost give it the look of the crooked man’s house. The roof was red, bright red with only two chimneys either side. They did not look like they would have been big enough for the whole house but obviously were. The short white path that lead up to the front door was curving like a snake its white gravel almost pristine next to the green grass and small trees that were on either side of it. The houses second deception was inside but we shall get to that shortly.
There was a man outside on an old mobile phone, it was massive. He was dressed in what looked like a black shell suit. It was quite comical. He had a box under one arm, the phone in the other hand and was trying to kick the old transit vans door closed with one foot. He had just about managed it when he started to drop the box. He was saved between having to sacrifice his phone or the box by the man. It was a close run thing but the box was quickly grabbed from his arms. “Thanks, almost lost it then” he had grabbed the box half thinking it would be the lighter of the two, he was wrong. This guy must have some strength he thought. Standing at around six feet tall that stupid shell suit was either very deceptive or his upper body strength was very impressive. He quickly wrapped his other arm around the box so he had a better hold. “Do you mind just dumping it in there?” he gestured towards the open doorway. He took the box over and placed it down and turned to leave. “Michael” he said and offered his hand. The man took it. Shook and introduced himself. “David”
“Well thanks David, if you had not come along when you did we would have lost that box. I could have done without that”. The human mind and body is capable of wonderful things. David was a heavy smoker. Usually running up the stairs would cause him to cough. Heck anything strenuous would cause it. Yet here he was having ran through to many fields to remember, witnessed a murder and helped a strange young man with a box. He started coughing when he started to think ‘why am I not coughing’. Behold the great law of sod still in action for all to see. “You should give that shit up” Michael asks while patting him lightly on the back. “Tell me about it” David replies. Finally it clears but he gives it a moment just to be sure. “Look, I was chasing someone. He must have come through here. Have you seen anyone?”.
“Nobody has come through here mate. I have been outside on the phone for quite a while I would have seen someone. You are the first person I have seen”. Impossible! David thought. He had used the only exits from every field. He started thinking trying to put things together. Could he have missed an exit? No, he was sure of that. Could the man have doubled back or hidden? It was possible but the priest must have seen something and called the police by now. Was Michael lying? He could see no reason as to why he would. “I chased someone, someone who” a pause “well killed someone, I chased him from the church to here”
“Holy shit, quick come inside. Call the police”
“But what…” Michael was already a step ahead, he had just shouted out for Chris. Chris emerged from the doorway wearing a leather jacket, he looked up at the sky and upon seeing the rain backed back into the doorway. “Chris its fine, you can stay there but I need you to keep an eye out for someone, Dave can you help? What did the dude look like?”
“Just a bloke a man in a white shirt, black tie and black hat”
With eyes that could haunt the very soul of Satan himself
“Heh, shouldn’t be to hard to spot” Chris said. David and Michael rushed inside and that was when the second deception became apparent.
The house inside was like a T.A.R.D.I.S. Bigger, far bigger on the inside. That was impossible he thought, but deceptions and illusions can have that effect. He remembered a church in Gozo that from the inside it had a huge domed roof. Outside the roof was flat. Once you knew it was like all good illusions the magic was spoilt. Just enough distance a clever enough painter and you have a dome inside, but flat outside. Disappointing really, spectacular, amazingly well done but once you knew it was all you ever saw. This place though he had no idea. It felt so much bigger. It had to be a similar trick of the light and decoration. Falling in a certain way, it was going to annoy him now. Like not being able to look away he also had to know how things were done and with this one he had no idea. “Phones over there” Michael said pointing to the corner of the room “Its a little funky but I am sure you’ll work it out”. David walked over to the side of the room and saw what he had meant by funky. It was an old, very old, vintage black phone. Long necked with the ring radial dial built into the base. The microphone was at the top of the neck with the earpiece the only part that detached. He lifted the earpiece and listened, he had a dial tone. He dialled the police and waited. Finally he got an answer. “Hello, I’d like to report a crime”. A crime he thought, what a very British way of dealing with it. He would have said the same think had he had his pocket picked at the local fair. There has to be some word, something that can slip in between a crime and a murder by a wide eyed staring, smiling nutter.
“Okay Sir, can you tell me what the crime is that you want to report?”
“ Murder” He explained everything that had happened leaving out only the things he had heard in his head. He blurted it out and like a balloon with a pin hole once it started to come out it was not stopping. Michael stood in the corner of the room listening taking everything in. “Sir, can you confirm your address please? I am having rouble pulling the details on this number” he stopped, he had no idea. He turned to Michael “What is the address here?”. Michael grabbed a pen from the bookcase and started writing. He handed the note to David. He read the note.
“1 Guilty Lane,
He stood looking at the note, he was just about to ask what the hell this meant when he blinked. The split second in between blinks and the note changed. That was it confirmed, he was going mad. It was the only way to explain it. The note now read.
“1 Curchview Lane,
He relayed the address and he was told to stay put and that they’d get someone out to both him and the scene as soon as possible. He needed a smoke. “Do you mind?” he asked Michael.
“Sorry mate, not in the house I’m afraid. Old building and all that, fire hazards” They made their way outside. Chris was still there waiting and watching. “Seen anything?” Michael asked. “Not a sausage” he replied “Mind if I go in?”
“Sure, start setting up” Chris went inside. His leather jacket and goth makeup not even damp. “What’s wrong with him?” David asked.
“Probably afraid he’ll smudge his mascara” David lit his smoke and took a long hard drag of it. “Those things will kill you” Michael said.
“I’ll die happy” He’d it all before, all smokers had. It was true of course but that did not make a difference to him, He had nothing to live for anyway. Still he was in no mood to be lectured about it. “So what are you doing here?” a quick change of subject usually worked, he took another puff. “Well I guess you could say we are all having similar days, we are chasing evil too.”
“Chasing evil?” So he explained.
Michael, Chris, Milly and Molly (No Relation).
They were ghost hunters, hunting evil. Some ghost hunters went after anything supernatural they only went after the worse of the worse. They had reason to believe the target they were after would be here this evening. Divining, Ouija, Tarot all pointed to the same thing that tonight was their one chance. On any normal day David would have laughed, but this was not a normal day. He had buried his son, he had witnessed a murder and if nothing else this Michael had been kind enough to help when he had needed it. Besides if people can believe in a God who creates all and a Fallen angel who destroys, then who is to say maybe things that go bump in the night exist too. Michael and Chris he had met, Milly and Molly he was yet to. They are ‘strange’ he explained. This whole thing is ‘strange’ David thought, keeping it to himself once again. They had been doing this the longest he explained. Experts in all the spiritual means and methods. However, he warned, they were also very difficult to predict. They had two moods the either liked you or disliked you. If it was the latter then they would have no qualms in showing it, if it was the former then once again no qualms. He joked that he was unsure what option was better sometimes. It was easier to be hated than fawned over sometimes. They have a psychic connection so what one sees or feels the other one gets the same. I would advise you not to test it. As amusing as it is poking one in the leg to see what the other does well after having it done for most of your existence it can start to grate a little.
The police arrived shortly afterwards. David was sitting on the steps undercover chain smoking. Michael had gone to join Chris inside. So once again he found himself telling his story. Starting with the going for a smoke and ending with him arriving here. He again left out the stranger details, feeling a little foolish now that he had done before. They were ghost hunters, surely they would have heard stranger. They asked lots of follow up questions, it was not that they did not believe him. He had no doubt about that they were deadly serious. It was just as they said “part of the job”.
“Could you ID this man if you saw him again?”. David closed his eyes. Could he? Sure, would he want to think of that face again? Of that he was not to sure. Reluctantly he said “Yes, I think so”
“Are you sure he headed this way, could he have gone another way?”
“As sure as I can be. I only saw one way in and one out in the fields. Its possible he could have doubled back I suppose”. They both scribbled notes in their notebooks. “But, had he doubled back I am sure the priest would have seen him”
“You are two steps ahead of us sir, that was our next question. So you think if he had hid and ran back he would have been spotted?” He gave it some thought, weighing up the options. Would he have been spotted? He closed his eyes tying to recreate the run through the fields. He just could not see any other option. He had to have doubled back, well unless he was a ghost.
No, No push that thought out of your mind.
He did not believe in that, forget that nonsense. “If he did not come this way then he must have doubled back. If he did that then yes they must have seen him. Its all I can think of that makes sense”.
“Okay sir that's perfectly fine. Could you ask Mr...” shuffling through the notepad to look for the name. “Michael?” David offered.
“Yes, Yes please”. David called out and Michael appeared as quick as a flash, had he been listening? Or was it just coincidental. The police asked if it would be okay for David to stay a while. They said they needed to close of the area to search for this man, and as the house only has one entrance it would be of a great help to them if he could stay put here. It was also vital that during the first few hours things are kept local. Michael protested at this, he was not happy with the idea. In the end he relented on the understanding that if it was needed the police would escort David home. David stood a little dumbfounded, did he not get a say in all this? As the police officers and David performed their back and forth he just stood waiting for one of them to ask his opinion. Once it was over before he even managed to get a word in the officers were off and he was left standing with Michael. “Look mate that was not about you, its just this place is dangerous to us all, let alone someone who does not believe.”