Outcasts - D1

Outcasts – CH9

The bulldozers worked brushing what remained of the house and its contents to one side like a child’s toybox’s contents. Everything lay upon something else. The houses long tale now a wreck of wood, plaster, plastic and metals. The dust that rose from the debris sticking to the morning dew and covering everything. “Keep the basement clear”, one of the drivers shouted as another almost pushed a selection of walls and ceilings into the hole. “Yeah yeah”, he shouted back as he reversed the dozer and repositioned it. He pushed the pile in with the other, and by lunchtime, their work was done.

The grounds had been cleared, and just the hole and the well remained. The rubble that was once the house stacked to one side. The trees along the drive had been cut back, allowing the dozers access. Looking from above. The road with the drive and the criss-cross. Drom above the well now really looked like the dot atop the letter ‘i’. The dark unknown at the top of the crucifixion Christmas tree. The grounds were still wrong. It still felt like something crawling over your skin. A bug tickling you at night, but when you look, there is nothing to be seen. The drivers in the dozers had felt it as they worked. It had been what had caused the lapse in concentration that almost filled the basement. The feeling that you know something is coming. The anxiety of anticipation.

“I want to try and reach the girl”, Crystal said. They knew she meant the sacrificial lamb, the woman who had died. “I am not sure that’s a good idea”, Martin said. Martin knew that you needed a name to reach out and touch someone. You needed to know about them before speaking to them. Trying without a name is grasping in the darkness, and you could never know what you would grab ahold of. Or, what could grab hold of you. “I think she is the key, I think she can help. She reached out to you Daniel. You told us about that”.

“She”, Daniel paused for a moment. “If it was her, then all she did was scare the shit out of me”. Crystal rolled her eyes and looked at him. “Don’t you get it”, she said. “She was showing you where she was burried. Under the well. She showed you what happened to her!”.

“I’d rather she emailed”, Daniel said jokingly, trying to make the matter into a joke rather than admit the truth, that she was right. He knew she had a point, but he didn’t want to tangle again with that skeletal mess. “Okay, but play it safe”, Lisa said. Deciding it for them, she had put on her stern school teachers voice. “No messing with the unknown, step lightly”. Daniel and Martin knew, and Crystal was now learning, that when Lisa spoke that way, the point of arguing was over. The battle, or indeed the war, was lost.


David put the phone down and lit a cigarette. Why at night? He thought to himself. He’d done what he could. The generators had been provided to power the spots, and the area was secured. That had been tricky, convincing the station to cordon off the area. He’d settled in the end on a science experiment arranged by the Institute. Careful to leave the ‘of Paranormal Affairs’ from the end of the request. The stage was set, the actors nearly in place. Now they just needed the luck of the gods, both old and new.


The sun was setting, and dusk began to settle, the five of them waited. Lisa and Martin busied themselves with arranging the lights and area, ensuring it was secured. The house was burnt to the ground, the area cleared, and now the area’s spotlights and cordoning had drawn a crowd. Gawkers, looky-loos and nosey parkers had all come to visit at once. Mobile phones pointed, and videos were recorded digitally. They were expecting a show; they just had no idea what was going to happen.


“I think we should get going”, Daniel said. “There is a evening mist in the air. The last thing we want is it raining”. Crystal rubbed her hands together and smiled, “let’s go”, she said as she made her way towards what was the basement with a hop and a skip. “She’s crazy”, Martin said.

“I am”, Crystal called back. Lisa laughed at this, Daniel smiled, and David just shook his head. “This whole thing is crazy”, David said. “But, maybe crazy is what we need”.


They settled with one on each corner of the square basement. Daniel had climbed down into the basement itself. “Remind me again why we have to do this at night?” He asked as he switched the light that was attached to his hard hat on. “I will guide you. I need to do this at night as the fabric between worlds is thinner then, you need me to guide you”, Crystal said matter of factly. “If we find her, I will guide her on if needed and then that will be that”. Daniel muttered something that none of them heard. David had an idea of what it might have been but kept quiet. Daniel walked to the well and checked the spike that had been planted. It seemed secure and well-grounded. He threw the rucksack he had on the floor and emptied it on the ground. He rummaged through what fell from it and pulled out another spike and a hammer. “Why do you need that, we got them to plant one”, Martin shouted.

“Better safe than sorry”, Daniel called back as he hammered a spike into the side of the well. With the spike in place, he grabbed the rope. Semi-static and twenty metres in length. The well was ten metres at most, he was told, but he wanted to be safe. Why take unnecessary risks? He ran the rope around the first spike, double looping it, and then did the same with the second. He pulled on the rope with all the strength he had, and neither spike moved. Sighing to himself, he then went and got the harness he would be using. “I just want it on record that this is a shit idea”, he called up as he strapped and tightened the harness. “Daniel, we can stop if you don’t want to do this”, Lisa shouted back. The wind was picking up, but he heard the genuine concern in her voice. “It’s fine”, he called back. It wasn’t. “I’ll be okay, I’d rather be down there than up here is that weather breaks”, he lied.


Daniel checked all the equipment and safety aspects before threading the rope through the carabiner and dropping it down the shaft. He felt a little spit of rain as he did so, no time like the present, he thought as he climbed up on the edge of the well. “If I die, tell them I died saving the world”, Daniel shouted, and then leant over the hole and started to lower himself. He looked up at the sky as he lowered; the evening mist was thickening.


The crowd looked on as the four people stood around the basement. “What’s going on?” One of them asked.

“No idea”, another replied as they held their phone aloft. None of the crowd noticed the cloud and mist circling above. They were fascinated by the unknown event that was happening on the grounds of the old house. “Used to be haunted that house. Maybe its an exorcism”, someone piped up from the back.

“You need sage and Priests for that, besides how do you exorcise a house?” Another answered.


“I need you all to close your eyes and listen to my voice”, Crystal said. Her voice seemed to change dependent on the situation. One moment she could be bubbly and cheerful, as she had been when she skipped to the basement. This was her work, though, and she was deadly serious when she spoke. A strict voice that would have made Lisa proud. “I am going to take us into the darkness to search for this girl. It may be dangerous, it may not be. Until we get there, I can not say. I just want you to listen to my voice and block everything else out”. Her voice had a rhythm as she spoke, it was a finely practised art, and she spoke as if with the ticking of a metronome. “Clear your mind as you breathe in, and then out”, she said. “I want you to clear your mind and focus on your breathing. In”, she paused. “And out. In, and out. Imagine you are in the darkness. You are not worried, and you are not scared. You are just waiting. Waiting for us to arrive”.


Daniel could hear Crystal in his head. How she did it, he did not know, but he heard her soothing him as she spoke, encouraging him. “Just stick with it, I am here with you”, she said. Daniel pushed his feet against the wall of the well and descended further. He looked down and could see the light reflected back at him; he was about halfway. He looked up, and he could see the moon in the small circle above.


The mist split and headed in two directions. Half headed for the rubble that had once been the house and the other for the crowd of people. The crowd did not notice the mist. They breathed it in willingly as they stood and gawked. Once it was inside, they just stood staring, no expression or emotion in their eyes or faces. Unblinking dead eyes gazed at the centre of the grounds. Their hands dropped beside them. The phones that many of them had held dropped to the floor.


The rubble shifted, it was at first just a tiny minute movement, but two pieces seemed to join together. This was followed by a third and then a fourth. Like magnets with metal, piece by piece moved into place, joining the one next to it. The old child’s toy that had used shards of metal and a magnet only now was plaster, wood, and other pieces of a house joined together. But, slowly. They crept together to avoid being spotted. It needn’t have bothered. Daniel was in the well shaft. The others were in the darkness.


Crystal stood alone in the dark, alone in the nothingness of space. The other three emerged, stepping forward from nothing to become something. Martin looked around and then said, “where are we?”

“I call this the dream scape”, Crystal answered. “I have no idea what it is in technical terms”.

“I’ve never heard of anything like this”, Lisa said, awestruck. “How long have you been able to…” David interrupted her. He had a note of tension in his voice like a guitar string pulled tight and then snapped back. “I think we have a job to do, can we leave the sightseeing and explanations until later?”

“We have to search for the girl”, Crystal said. “She is here somewhere, we have to find her”.

“Can’t you, I dunno, turn on the lights?” Martin said.

“You think it is only the girl here?” Crystal answered, “if we can’t see them, then they cant see us”. Martin gulped, and in the silent darkness, the other three heard it clearly.


Daniel was almost at the bottom. As he looked down, he could see the cold hard rocks that awaited him. Crystal was still in his head. How is she doing this, he thought. “You must tell us if you find anything”, she said. “Anything at all, we need guidance”. Yeah, sure. Daniel thought I’ll just grab my mobile, although I doubt I’ll get a signal. “No need”, the voice of Crystal said in his head. Oh, that is very reassuring, he thought as his feet arrived and made contact with the cold, damp stone at the base of the shaft.


From the centre of the rubble, something pushed its way through. What had once been wooden beams, wiring, and copper piping now pushed up through the middle. Sticking up in the air like a splint for a tree or a hand rising from a grave. It stood erect and still at six foot for a moment and then bent in the middle. The top half fell forward and lowered itself to the ground to create a triangle shape. The remains that it had emerged from twitched and shivered as it did so. The crowd paid no attention. They just continued to stare at the hole that had once been a basement.


“He is at the bottom”, Crystal said. Lisa opened her mouth and was about to ask how Crystal could know but then thought better of it. Did it matter? If she was right, she was right, if she was wrong? It made no difference to the task they faced. “Spread out, we have to find this girl”, Crytal ordered. She took the voice of an officer this time, stern, strict, and direct. David, Lisa, and Martin started to walk forward. Each of them holding their arms out before them and waving them slowly from side to side. They can see nothing in this darkness, so how can they expect to find anything? Crystal closed her eyes and stepped forward. She had done this many times before, so she knew to trust her instinct. Were the others needed? Possibly not, but there is safety in numbers, and when you are looking for the unknown, what harm can it do?


A second and third spike pushed through from the middle of the debris. Like the first, they extended into the air, then bent in the middle and placed themselves on the ground. A fourth, fifth, and finally sixth did the same. A strange triangular miniature, Stonehenge being formed from the ruins of the house. The mist, the fog, the cloud seemed to twist and twirl between the sections as it held them all together. The vapourless haze tangling together with the thing that once caged it.


Daniel looked around. He shined the light from side to side and up and down. Daniel looked for anything that seemed important, anything that would give him some insight. He saw nothing. He turned around and saw an opening, and he headed for it. The bottom of the well was larger than he had expected. It was more of a cavern. The hollowed-out hole from years of water that had long dried up or been blocked elsewhere. Roots from trees and plants in the world above had bore through in places. They held together with the mud and stone protecting him, he hoped. Daniel scanned left and right as he made his way to the opening, the tunnel that had been mentioned. He saw something white wrapped in a section of roots and grabbed it. It was a piece of paper. It should have long been swallowed by the earth. Biodegraded and gone forever, but this piece was in pristine condition. He flipped it and looked at it for any writing, but it was blank.


Lisa threw her hands forward and grasped at nothing. She stepped forwards again and tried to push the thought that this was pointless from her mind. Lisa thought of Daniel down at the bottom of the well’s shaft. At least she knew where she was, sort of. She was not down a long, dark, and wet shaft. Lisa felt something, not physically but mentally. She saw it in her mind, a sheet of paper. Blank and without any blemishes, she could feel it, could feel the friction of her fingers rubbing on the paper. Lisa looked down and was shocked to find the page in her hand. The piece of paper that she had imagined was now a reality, and she was holding it. As authentic as anything in this world. She looked at the page, and this time it had writing on it, she read it aloud. “Her name was Mary Watkins”, Lisa said. Her voice seemed to come from the four corners of the darkness. The four of them all turned at once. In the centre of them stood a woman, a girl.


Daniel shoved the page down into his pocket. He had no idea if it was important or not, but he kept it anyway. The opening that he had seen was what held his interest. He approached it and saw that it was smaller than he had first imagined. There was a clawing around the hole, finger marks where dirt and mud had been dragged out. It only took a second to link the scratchings to the creature he had first encountered at the house. She had somehow, impossibly, tried to tunnel her way out. He looked into the tunnel, the light shining up, and could see the discoloured yellowing bone above. How had this been missed? Had it been here before? He could only see a little, but it was enough to confirm his suspicions. He heard a voice in his head; this time, it was not Crystal. It was Lisa. “Mary Watkins”, she said aloud. The body, the remains, in the tunnel shivered slightly and then started to fall. Daniel stepped back to try and avoid them, and he tripped on a rock. Falling backwards onto his backside as the bones clattered to the ground beside him.


Lisa looked at the girl in the darkness and repeated her name, “Mary?”. The four of them had gathered together. They no longer needed to search as they had found what they were looking for. “You must go”, Mary said. Her voice whispered and distant. It seemed to float towards them. “It is not safe here”.

“We came to help”, Martin told her.

“I know”, she said. “But you must go”. Crystal stepped forward. “How can we help?” She asked. Mary looked back at Crystal; a sadness filled her eyes. “You have to occupy it. You need to keep it busy”.

“What?” Martin said, “how?” He added. Mary looked at the sky, smiled at them and then spoke for the final time. “I want to speak to Daniel”, She said. She then clicked her fingers and vanished.


The four of them opened their eyes at the same time. They were stood in the same place and now were mildly damp. They were stunned for a moment. Taking a second to get their bearings back, having been in Crystal’s dream state. “What did she mean, keep it occupied?” Martin asked, then he heard the noise from behind. Martin turned and looked; the other’s eyes followed his. The noise had come from the remains of the house.


The six triangular struts lifted the centre, pulling more remains with them as they did so. The centre lifted, small parts fell away as it does so, but it remained together. “Jesus Christ”, David said as he looked at it. His new curse words now becoming the most repeated thing in his life. The spider-like shape had risen, and it turned towards them. Its six legs lifted one by one, shyly at first, but it seemed to gain confidence as it turned. This mishmash spider-creature turning to ‘face’ them. The furniture, plaster, wood, and everything else combining as one with the cloud running through it all. “Run!”, David shouted, and so they did.


Daniel sat with the bones around him, his backside wet from the floor. He no longer cared. “So you were Mary”, he said to the bones. “I am so sorry it took me so long”.

“It was not your fault”, a voice said behind him. It was the voice of Mary. Daniel jumped to his feet and span around. She was standing moonlit in the centre of the shaft. “You did what you could, and I thank you”, she said. Daniel looked at the girl. He felt nothing but sorrow for her. She had been put through Hell when alive and then stuck after her death. How could she be so peaceful? How could she be so calm? As if reading his mind, she answered the unspoken questions. “I am free, after all these years I am free”, she said this as if it was the most crucial thing in the world to her. Like she did not know she would be sent on, she could not stay here. 


David, Lisa, Crystal, and Martin ran. They ran down towards the driveway, towards the head of the crucifix. They could hear the spider-house moving toward them. The crunch and clattering as each leg eked forwards. They saw the crowd that had gathered marching in unison up the drive toward the house. The eyes on the members of the crowd dead as their feet moved in the zombie-like march. “Jes”, David started, then stopped himself and corrected the curse to something else. “Shit”, he exclaimed, “we’re going to have to fight”. 

David stormed forward and punched the first person he came to. It was a middle-aged man, and he went down without a fight. “Come on!” David shouted back to the other three. Lisa marched on, Crystal and Martin followed behind her. Lisa pushed into the crowd, hitting some, slapping many and kicking others. David would have admired her gumption had he the time to look. David punched and kicked, Lisa punched and kicked. Martin pushed where he could, and Crystal hid behind Martin. She was a lover, not a fighter, as the song had said.


The house spiders wooden splinted feet crashed into the ground just behind them. It knocked the gawkers who were in the way to one side. One was unlucky enough to get caught under its foot. The wood and metal just splintered through the body like it was ice-cream on a hot day. Blood shot out from the body and covered the house spiders leg. The body hung for a few seconds as the leg lifted once again. Finally, it fell into the mess of its haunted allies that had been either knocked aside or fell behind. 

David pushed the crowd back so the others could get through, Lisa tried to do the same on the other side, but it was hopeless with her more petite frame. She could hold her own in most situations, but with these numbers, it was hopeless. “Run”, David screamed and pushed Martin and Crystal through. He stood arms outstretched, trying to keep the zombified crowd from getting through. Lisa turned her head, “what about you?” she shouted.

“Just fucking run!” he yelled at her. She did not need telling twice. Lisa ran, Martin ran, and Crystal ran. They ran to Lisa’s car that was parked at the crossroads.


David felt the horde behind him; they grabbed at his arms and legs. He held his arms outstretched and expected the swarm to rush past him; they did not. They grabbed his arms and pulled them backwards. Yanking and pulling, he felt the tendons rip, then the muscle weakened, and finally, the skin tore. His arm was ripped and discarded, and the other followed straight after. Blood swam from him and into the crowd. He was pushed forwards to the floor, and the feet of the pack started stamping on him. He felt his ribs crumble as he was repeatedly kicked, stamped upon, and booted. When he saw the spider creature’s foot heading towards his head, it was a blessed relief, and he welcomed it. His head was crushed under what was once a part of the hallway radiator, and Davids tale had ended.

“All of this is a game to her”, Mary said to Daniel. “That is what she does, she plays games”.

“I don’t understand”, Daniel said.

“You are all just toys to her”, Mary replied, as if that was an answer. “I have nothing to do with her!” Daniel protested.

“She gave you life”, Mary said. “She bought you back to play”. Daniel was unsure of what to say. 


Lisa pushed the accelerator to the ground, and the Cosworth’s engine thundered to life. The tires squealed as he slammed the car into second, and it roared down the road. The spider-house smashed through the gate at the end of the drive and gave chase. The gate fell apart like it was a small toy, its metal bones splintering to the floor. “Faster”, Martin screamed. Crystal kept quiet as she still remembered the look. “She told us to keep it occupied”, Lisa spat back at Martin. The spider was hitting cars as it ran, knocking them aside. The wooden legs breaking and then mending with the misty cloud that loomed over and between its parts.


“She bored of Faustus, so when you died she bought you back. She thought it would be fun”, Mary said.

“Fun? Fun!” People have died, Daniel shouted back. He stopped himself before he said more. This was not the girl’s fault. She had, after all, died as well. “She cares not about that. Daniel felt a tinge, something drilled at his mind. A thought popped into his head. He did not know if it was right, but it was there, none the less. “Who are you?” He asked. 

“I am Mary”, she replied.

“I don’t beleive you”, Daniel said, now sure of himself.


The spider-creature stopped suddenly. Lisa saw it in the rearview mirror and slammed on the brakes. “It knows”, Crystal said. It knows something is wrong. The pieces of the house started to crumble and fall away as the mist drifted from it. Wood falling to the floor to be joined by the other shrapnel and debris. The cloud darted back towards the house. Lisa span the steering wheel and gave chase. The chased, becoming the chaser. Lisa closed her eyes as she smashed through the pile of rubble; the car screamed as it hit it. “I’m so sorry”, Lisa said to the car. A piece of piping had got stuck in the front grill. It had cut a water pipe, and the car squealed as she tried to accelerate. The engine overheated, and oil blew from the motor causing the bonnet to lift and painting it with a dark black steaming shine. The car slammed to a stop; the engine had seized. “We’ll get it fixed sis”, Martin said to Lisa as he opened the door and stepped out. The three of them ran back towards the house’s grounds and saw the cloud escaping from the people who remained in the crowd. It joined up with the other half and hovered momentarily. Still and waiting like it was considering its next move.


The girl smiled. “Would it make you feel any better if I said I was impressed?” she asked Daniel. “It usually takes longer, if they get there at all”. Daniel stood his ground. He had nowhere to go anyway. He asked once more, “Who are you?”

“Who do you think?” The girl asked.

“Lilith”, Daniel replied. The girl stood for a moment and then clapped. A joyous clap that matched her smile.


Everything stopped. Lisa, Martin and Crystal could still see everything, they could feel everything, but they could not move. The crowd was under the same spell, and they just stood motionless. The cloud, too, just hovered like the unnatural thing that it was. Raindrops started to fall, and birds chirped as they flew through the sky. Everything else around the grounds of the house was still and quiet. “What the hell is going on”, Martin asked, relieved that he could talk. “I have no idea”, Crystal replied.

Daniel found himself unable to move. He did not know what was going up with the others. He could only hope that they were okay. Crystal had long stopped replying to him in his head. “What have you done”, he asked.

“Given us time”, came the reply. The girl morphed from an innocent-looking young lady into something else. Black boots with a black skirt. A black shirt on top with hair draping over the shoulders. The hair was bleach blonde and tied in pigtails. The cavern at the bottom of the shaft also changed. The stone walls seemed to expand like a rubber balloon being stretched. The six-foot hole became a twenty-foot room. The floor flattened, and large pillars of rock shrunk until everything was smooth. The walls opened up in places letting in a burst of impossible sunshine. 


She looked at Daniel and leant against the wall beside her. “Do you like?” Lilith asked him.

“It’s different”, Daniel answered, unsure if she meant the room or herself. He tried to force himself to step forwards, but he couldn’t; he was stuck like glue. “I used to think you can never have too much black, but now I think its good to mix it up a little”, she said conversationally as she twirled her fingers in her hair. Daniel was in no mood for this. He worried about his friends. He worried about how he would escape, and he worried about the innocents that had been and would be harmed. “Is there a point to this?” He asked her. Lilith looked at the floor and pretended to sigh; it was a fake one, a child’s loud one. She made as much noise as she could. “It’s called being polite, being conversational. Having a natter, a chin-wag. You get the idea, I am being nice”. She stressed the final four words, her smile no more. “Okay”, Danial said. He was unsure of exactly how he should reply to that. “Okay then, down to business”, Lilith said, smiling once more. “You want Faustus to stop, correct?” She posed it as a statement rather than a question.


“No”, Daniel said. 


Lilith stood stunned at this. She thought she knew what he had wanted. “What do you mean no?” She asked with anger more than curiosity in her voice. The humour and good manners were gone, gone back to whence they had come. Daniel had to think, and he had to think quickly. He had a plan. He did not know if it would work. She liked to play games. That was what she had said. He was about to take a gamble and play a game of his own. It was a high risk, high stakes, perhaps the highest. He rolled the die. “I want you to let Mary go”, He said to her. She pushed away from the wall and considered. “Why?” She asked curiously.


“You’ve had your fun. She was innocent. Sacrificed in your name. Release her and take me instead”. Daniel had not planned on saying the final part. Once he had started, it just oozed free. Running from him like a fully open tap. “What if I say no?” Lilith asked. Daniel had expected this. He had already lined up the answer in his mind. “I think you will do what you want. You like to play, how can I stop you?” He asked. Lilith stared at him. He could see intelligence in those eyes, a cleverness and deviousness. She rolled her tongue in her mouth, pushing it against her teeth. Then she opened her mouth and smiled once again. She continued to run the tongue over her teeth. 

“Oh, that’s clever”, she finally said. Daniel’s heart sank; he had gambled and lost. He had placed it all on black thirteen, and the ball had not even been close. “I free her and then the tie that binds Faustus is gone. Is that the idea?” Lilith asked. 

“Pretty much”, Daniel admitted. If it were possible for his heart to sink to the very tip of his big toe, it would have done so. It was over, and it was done. No extra life this time; he was staring at the game over screen with nothing left to play with. “Sure fuck it, why not”, Lilith said. Daniel’s mouth dropped to where his heart had once been. He looked at her, unsure of if she was serious or not. Lilith held her hand in the air, clicked her fingers and then vanished. Daniel suddenly fell forwards, much as the girl Mary had done when she had fallen from the stake. He was free, and he wanted out. He blinked, and the room was gone. He was back in the hole at the bottom of the shaft. He ran back to the rope, wrapped it through the carabiner and started to climb.


The three of them stood, unable to move and saw it happen. They would have had trouble believing it had they not seen it. Even in the trade that they were in, this was a new one. A bolt of black lightning hit the cloud. It came not from above but from below. The cloud seemed to freeze and then shattered into a million pieces. It scattered the ground below it and then simply vanished. Absorbed into the ground, being sucked downwards perhaps to Hell. The crowd in front of them collapsed and then stood up. They looked at each other with a bewildered look. A collection of zombified drunks who had one too many the night before and now have no idea how they had arrived here. 

Lisa released first and ran straight for the basement. Martin and Crystal followed straight afterwards. Lisa ran down the steps, almost stumbling as she reached the bottom. Daniel was just popping from the well as she got there. She grabbed him as he climbed over, hugging him and kissing him on the cheek. “What happened!” She asked.

“I think I made a deal with a deviless”, Daniel replied. Daniel felt a warmth in his pocket, and he reached down inside. He pulled the paper from the pocket and looked at it. Lisa’s eyes lit up. “That was the paper that told me the name of the girl!” She said excitedly.

“It was all a game to her”, Daniel said as he unruffled the page. “She plays games, it was Lilith all along”.


Daniel looked at the page, and now it had writing on it. It was a simple message, and he suspected it was meant just for him. He showed the others anyway.


Thank you, Daniel, that was fun! We shall have to do it again sometime. Toodle pip. 


It was signed with a single letter. “L”.


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