Slowly he made his way down the
stairs, one step at a time. When he reached the last step he saw
some shadows against the wall at the end of the stairs. He froze.
At first the shadows seemed to be coming closer, but after a
moment they stopped and moved away. The music was getting louder.
Its enchanting beat was seductive. He was ready now: ready to
look around the corner and see what all this was about. Without
moving off the step, he edged his way closer to the end of the
wall. Slowly he moved his head up to the edge. It was dark, and
there were lights along the wall that resembled the kind of
torches you would expect to see in a cave, but these were
electric and gave off little light.
Phillip moved his head
further around the wall, slowly, so his eyes could adjust to the
darkness. People were standing in a group with their backs to
him. The room looked like it was as big as both homes together.
The ceiling, which was at least ten feet high, was painted dark
like the night sky with little white stars in the shapes of
various constellations. The stars had small lights in the center
of them so they glowed in the darkness that surrounded them. The
room was long too, as long as the house was deep. The walls were
a dark shade of gray and torches hung from them every ten feet or
so. The light reflected off the marble floor.
Speakers hanging from
the ceiling in the corners of the room thatwere bellowing out very eerie music
and background chanting. Philliplooked over the people as they stood
with their backs to him. There mustbe sixty or more he thought. How
could it be? He looked again. Yes sixtyor more, yet there had been only
around twenty guests at dinner. He didn'tremember hearing the doorbell all
evening, and that was the only way heknew to get in. So where had all of
these people come from?
Phillip stepped off the
last step onto the floor and stood still waiting to see if
someone saw him. No one did. He started towards the crowd slowly.
He couldn't see any of their faces because they had their hoods
pulled up over their heads. So they didn't see him come up behind
They were chanting along
with the background music. Phillip moved in behind them, hung his
head down, put his hands in his sleeves, and pretended to be
chanting along with the music. A moment or two went by then the
music became louder. The light at the end of the room became
brighter. A small light in the center of the group came
The group moved in and
started to close up. Phillip moved in with them. He could see
something in the center of the group, but couldn't make it out.
The beat of the music picked up and the chanting became more
intense. Phillip tried to position himself to see what was going
on, but he didn't want anyone to see him moving around for fear
of drawing attention to himself.
He could see that
someone was dancing but couldn't quite make out who it was. He
tried to focus in closer. It was Ellen. He remembered her. She
had been sitting at the dinner table with one of the older
guests, a man who looked like he could have been her father, a
real old guy. Ellen was dancing to the music and almost running
back and forth in the circle as she moved from one end to the
Phillip looked at the
people as they bobbed their heads up and down to the music and
Ellen's dancing. Then the chanting picked up as the people became
more excited. Phillip looked out into the middle of the crowd.
Ellen was throwing her clothes in the air as she danced. As the
beat of the music became faster and faster, the crowd got more
and more into the dancing. Then Ellen was dancing in the circle
nude as the people in the crowd chanted louder and louder, faster
The music stopped and
the chanting gradually slowed down. Phillip looked for Ellen but
couldn't see her. He looked through the crowd, slowly moving his
head from side to side trying to find Ellen. Finally he saw her.
She was lying on the floor in the center of a black circle with a
large, white five-pointed star. Her legs and arms were spread out
wide touching each point of the star with her head at the top.
Her head was moving from side to side and she was saying
something as she looked into the empty space in front of her.
Phillip tried to listen to what she was saying but couldn't quite
make it out.
He listened harder,
then, yes he could hear her, "My god, my master and my creator, I
offer my soul to thee. I offer my mind to thee, and I offer my
body for thy use. I am yours, my master. I offer my soul to thee,
I offer my mind to thee, and I offer my body for thy use."
watched and listened as she repeated the words over and over. "I
offer my soul to thee, I offer my mind to thee, and I offer my
body for thy use." The chanting continued and Phillip could feel
himself getting caught up in the excitement. Then the lights went
very low and out of the darkness from the end of the room came a
figure. It was tall and in the form of a man, and in the shadow
of darkness you could see the suggestion of horns.
The figure moved into
the light. As it came closer, Phillip could see that it was a man
wearing a long black robe and what looked like a ram's skull and
skin that covered his head and the upper portion of his body. He
walked slowly towards Ellen, who was still repeating herself over
and over and rolling her head from side to side. He stopped and
stood over her as the beat of the music and chanting pick up
louder and louder. Then, as he held his arms out to the sides of
his body, he held his robe open and the music slowed down to a
Two men appeared from
behind the figure with long dark robes wrapped tight around them
and hoods pulled over their heads so as not to expose their
Out of the darkness they
came up and held the devil figure's robe as he opened it wide
enough to expose himself. The music's beat and chanting picked up
again. Ellen stopped and opened her legs wider as she lay
quietly. The devil figure kneeled down into Ellen's legs as the
two men took his robe and pulled it around over Ellen's head,
covering them both.
Slowly, the chanting
picked up as the movement under the robeincreased. The movement became
faster and the chanting became faster.On and on, faster and faster the
waving motion from under the robecontinued as the chanting became
more and more intense. Then the ram'shead burst up from under the robe
and the man from within let out witha loud, long, deep yell that carried
throughout the entire room and shookPhillip as he watched and
The music stopped, then
started up again but much softer. The chanting stopped and the
crowd began humming a beating sound as the figure rose to his
feet. He wrapped the robe around his body and stepped
The two men moved in
front of him. Then one opened his robe and knelt down into
Ellen's legs and penetrated her as he held himself up over her
with his hands. Phillip looked and could clearly see him, but did
not recognize him. He had not seen this man before.
Ellen wrapped her legs
around the man and helped pull him in, then pushed him out as he
continued to push himself up and down like he was doing push-ups.
Then he stopped and held himself up over her body as his head
shook from side to side. He pulled from her and the other man
moved over Ellen and dropped to his knees, continuing with the
same intensity as the others. Phillip watched as the crowd moved
forward then back with the movement of the two on the
The tall figure with the
ram's head stood back in the shadows as Ellen and the man on top
of her moved faster and faster until he too stopped, and he held
himself over her as he shook his head back and forth. He rose up
and stood over Ellen as he wrapped his robe around himself. Then
he moved to Ellen's side and bent over to pull her up. The other
man came over to help him.
Phillip looked through
the crowd at Ellen. Her eyes were closed and she was mumbling
something incoherent as she was being picked up from the floor.
They carried her past the tall figure and into the darkness.
Phillip looked to see where they were going, but couldn't see the
end of the room.
While the men were
carrying Ellen from the room, the crowd started to move and
spread out across the room. As this was going on, Phillip could
hear a sound from behind him, but he did not want to turn because
he was afraid someone would notice him. The sound was familiar.
He had heard it before but couldn't remember where. He listened
as the sound traveled around the room, from behind him, to his
side, then in front of him. He wasn't sure but he thought it
sounded like, but no, it couldn't be what he thought. It must be
something else. He heard the sound again off in front of the
crowd in the darkness, and he was sure it sounded like, like a
But it couldn't be. What
would a baby be doing here?
Phillip tried to move
into the crowd to see, but he didn't want to get in too far
because he was afraid someone might turn and notice him. He
couldn't see, as it was too dark. The music started to pick up
again and the crowd followed with the chanting. The lights from
the back of the room came up enough for him to see the tall
figure standing in front of the crowd of people. The figure held
his hands up high. Phillip could see past him. There was a
smaller room at the end of the large room that had a long white
marble table in it. And beyond it was a bookcase and off to the
side of it, was a door of some kind that opened into the
Phillip had a hard time
seeing through the crowd because they were all moving closer to
the figure standing in front of them, trying to get a better
view. The music slowed down almost to a soft still sound. The
tall figure of a man stood before the crowd and held his hands
out to the people. "Ooooh Astaroth . . . Oooh Asmodeus, Princes'
of love and lust, I invoke thee to accept graciously my
sacrifice." He turned and walked towards the table. "I offer to
thee for things I ask of thee," then he held his arms up high and
he was holding a long silver dagger in his hands. "They are that
the friendship and love of the king may be assured me, that I may
be honored by the prince of the court, that the king may deny me
nothing I ask, whether it be for my person, my relatives or for
my household or friends."
Phillip heard the sound
again, he thought it was the sound of a baby but he wasn't sure.
It sounded like a muffled gurgling sound, but he wasn't sure what
it was. The music's beat got faster and louder, the crowd started
to chant with the beat.
"Oooh Astsroth . . . Ooh
Asmodeus, I ask you to accept graciously my sacrifice."
Then with a fast lunge
he pulled the dagger down to the table in front of him and there
was a thump, and a small, small what seemed like a small whimper.
A whimper like you'd hear from a baby. Almost like a cry. Then
The crowd let out a
loud, "Oohhh yes my master, yes my master," over and over again.
"Oohhh yes my master, yes my master." Phillip's eyes were wide
open. What did he just witness? What did he just see?
The crowd continued,
"Oohhh yes my master, yes my master." Phillip's body began to
shake. A thousand thoughts ran through his mind. What did he just
see? He wasn't sure.
He pulled back then
looked around to see if anybody was watching him. No, no one even
noticed him. They were all involved in their chanting and in what
just went on at the table. What was it? Phillip didn't know. He
tried to look through the crowd as he moved backwards. What did
he just see? What was it? He didn't know.
He was moving further
away from the crowd, his whole body shaking.
Phillip backed into the
wall and stopped, looked again to see if anyone was watching him.
No, it was all right. He backed around the wall and onto the
stairway, all the time watching to see if anyone saw him. His
hands were shaking as he grabbed the railing. He turned and
looked up the stairs. No one was there.
He ran quietly to the
top of the stairs to the doorway and stopped. He looked back down
to the bottom of the stairs. No one was there. He stuck his head
out slowly into the hallway, checked back down to the bottom of
the stairs again, and then stepped into the hallway. He looked
over towards the kitchen, then up the hallway towards the front
door. No one. He grabbed the banister and poked his head around
it looking up to the top of the stairs. "It's all clear." He
looked back down the hallway, and then ran up the stairs as fast
as he could, all the while asking himself, "What did I just see?
No, I didn't see anything." He said to himself, "I didn't see
anything; I don't think I saw anything."
He reached the top of
the stairs. He slowly moved up the last few steps as he peaked
down the hallway. It was clear.
He ran down to their
room and grabbed the doorknob. He held his ear to the door.
Phillip turned the knob
slowly, and pushed the door open. He stuckhis head in and looked over towards
Phillip stepped inside
the room and closed the door as fast as he could move. He leaned
against the door, his eyes open wide and his breathing
Thoughts ran through his
mind. "What just happened, what the fuck just happened?" he asked
himself over and over. "I don't know, I don't know. What did I
just see, or think I saw?"
He looked over at
Elizabeth again. "Sound asleep, good."
"I've got to think," he
thought to himself, "I've got to think." He walked into the
bathroom and threw some water on his face. Phillip looked up into
the mirror at his eyes, then rubbed them and splashed his face
again. He picked up a towel from the rack and walked back into
the bedroom, where he wiped the water from his face and held the
towel against his eyes.
"Oh god, I couldn't have
seen what I thought I saw, I couldn't have." Phillip walked over
to the dresser and looked into the mirror. He noticed that he
still had the robe on so he took it off, went over to the closet,
and hung it up. He walked back into the bedroom thinking to
himself, trying to make sense of what he just witnessed, or did
he witness anything?
"Maybe I imagined it,
maybe I thought I saw, saw them kill a baby. A child, a
Phillip walked over to
the chair in front of the TV and sat down. He put his head down
into his hands, he was sweating. He ran his fingers through his
hair. "There's something wrong here. There's something terribly
wrong here," he thought.
His eyes opened and his
head snapped up as he began to piece his memories together. "The
child-the child was in the room across the hall. Yeah, across the
hall was where I heard the noise." He stood up. "Yeah. I heard
the, the, the baby noise coming from the room across the hall."
Phillip walked over to the door and he looked at it. His eyes
were open wide as he thought of what he was going to do. He put
his hand on the knob, and then put his ear to the door. It was
"Everyone is still
downstairs," he thought. "I'll go over to the
roomand see if
there's a baby."
He looked back to
Elizabeth. She was still out like a light.
Phillip opened the door
slowly, stuck his head out, and looked into the hallway. "All
clear." He eased himself out of the door and closed it behind
him, very slowly and quietly. He looked down the hall, and then
quickly dashed over to the door of the room where he thought he
heard the baby noises. Phillip leaned into the door and put his
ear on it. It was quiet, No sound. He reached down, put his hand
on the knob, and slowly turned it. As the door opened he looked
inside. It was dark, to dark for him to see anything. He slipped
into the room and closed the door quickly. He fumbled along the
wall until he found a light switch. He stood there for a second.
Then with both hands he flicked the switch on. He looked at his
hands; they were shaking. Then he looked at the wallpaper. Red
velvet? His eyes were getting adjusted to the light as he looked
down the wall to the end of the room. There were black curtains
hanging from the ceiling.
Phillip turned and
stared for a second, then walked over to them. Slowly, with both
hands he opened the curtains. He stood back and looked. It was a
baby's bassinet, but there was no baby in it. The sheets were
disarrayed. He spotted a baby's bottle, but nothing else. Phillip
looked around. There was a chair at the end of the bassinet and
an empty coffee cup sitting on the floor.
He stood back and closed
the curtains, then looked around the room.
It was just like
Elizabeth's and his room. There was a bathroom, a window that
overlooked the back of the house, and a desk against the wall
near the door.
He heard a noise.
Someone was coming up the stairs.
Phillip hurried to the
door and put his ear against it. He could hear people talking. It
sounded like they were going up to the third floor.
Yes, that must be it.
Elizabeth said something about them going to the third floor and
partying until the early hours of the morning. He knew that he
had to return to his room before someone walked in on him, or
Marlie came looking for him.
He listened until he
couldn't hear anyone and he knew it was safe to cross the hall.
It was quiet. He started to open the door, slowly. He looked over
at the desk near the door. There was a book lying open on it.
He'd seen that book before. He leaned over and looked at it. Yes,
he remembered seeing it in Marlie's room. He lifted the cover to
open the book. There was a letter addressed to Jimmy Tower/
Shame's Open Door. It was postmarked from Saigon in 1965, and was
from a Sergeant Thomas Kirkland. Phillip picked it up and looked
at it for a second then set it back in the book. Then he turned
over the first page of the book to "The Diary of Catherine
Rhodes, Year 1854, Twenty-Two Ten Saint Charles Street, Baltimore
Phillip riffled through
the papers he found next to the book. He tried to make out the
names. One was Samuel Cross, Snow Hill hand-written on the top of
one of the sheets. Phillip looked back at the door, then over to
the papers again. He read the words, "Delivery as promised,
eight-day-old baby girl"
He heard someone laugh.
Phillip quickly stood up to the door and looked out into the
hallway. All clear. The noise came from downstairs. He wanted to
look through the letter and book, but realized he had better get
back to his room before someone saw him. He opened the door and
dashed across the hallway and into his room, closing the door
behind him just as someone came up the stairs.
Phillip looked at his
hands. They were still shaking. What did that letter say? What
was in that book?
He looked over at
Elizabeth, still sleeping.
He was breathing fast
and felt his heart pounding a hundred miles an hour. He walked
into the bathroom and closed the door. He leaned against the back
of the door and ran his hands across his face. "Shit, what's this
He walked back and forth
in the bathroom. "I've got to find out if that was a baby that I
think I saw, heard or whatever downstairs. And I've got to find
out if they were keeping it in that room."
He looked in the mirror
and splashed some water on his face. "Later, when everyone is
asleep, that's when I'll do it," he looked at his watch. It was
1:15. "Yeah around 3:00. That should be just about right. Then
I'll go across the hall and see if the baby is in the
Phillip walked back out
into the bedroom, sat down in front of the TV, and closed his
eyes. Thoughts were running through his mind a hundred miles a
Someone knocked, and
then opened the door. Marlie stuck her headin. "Hi," she said softly. "She's
still sleeping I see," she said as she walked in the room and
over to the end of the bed.
"Uh, huh, yeah, yeah she
is. Uh, right, she is," Phillip said. "She's still
Marlie turned and looked
at Phillip. "You know you don't look too good yourself." She
walked over and stood in front of him. "Maybe all that food
didn't agree with you either," she said.
Phillip thought for a
second. Then he put his hand on his stomach. "Yeah, yeah I don't
think I feel too good either. I think I'll lie down and take it
easy. Try to get some sleep."
"Okay," Marlie said.
"Just call downstairs if you need anything. There's a phone next
to the bed stand. That line's to the kitchen, and they will bring
up anything you need."
She turned and walked
towards the door. "Phillip," she said as she turned back,
"there's going to be a lot of activity going on. People going up
and down the stairs from the basement to the third floor." She
smiled, "This is a very special occasion for us tonight, so don't
let it disturb you."
"Yeah, sure," Phillip
said. "Don't worry. I-I'm going to go right to bed anyway, and
try to get some sleep. I don't feel too good."
"Good," Marlie said.
"Then I'll see you in the morning and we'll all have breakfast
together." She reached for the door and stopped. She turned back
and looked at Elizabeth, then at Phillip. She smiled and blew
Phillip a kiss. "See you in the morning," she said and walked out
of the room.
Phillip leaned back in
the chair, "Oh boy," he thought.
He sat up and looked
over at the door. "What was that?" He got up from the chair and
quickly walked over to the door, and tried to turn the doorknob.
He tried again. Nothing. It was locked. He turned and looked at
Elizabeth, then back at the door. "What the hell is going on
here?" he thought to himself. He tried the door again.
"She locked me in. Shit,
I guess she wants to make sure I stay in the room tonight. What
am I going to do? I've got to get into that room and see if
there's a baby over there."
Phillip started to pace
back and forth from the bed to the window that overlooked the
back of the house. He looked at Elizabeth sleeping like a rock in
bed and wondered if she knew anything about what went on during
these Halloween rituals, or if she was really as naive as she
appeared. Maybe Marlie taking advantage of her like she was of
him. What kind of advantage? He stared at Elizabeth as she lay
sound asleep. He didn't know; he just didn't know. He turned,
shaking his head as he scratched it, and looked at the window
across from the bed. He stopped and thought for a second, then
walked over to the window. He opened it and stuck his head out.
No, no way to get out here. He looked out across the wall to the
baby's room. "So close yet so far away," he thought.
He looked over to his
bathroom window. "What's that?" He went into the bathroom, opened
the window, and stuck his head out. "A drain pipe." Phillip
looked down then followed it up the outside wall. It went from
the first floor to the roof.
"Yeah," he thought.
"This is an old house and the plumbing is all on the outside
wall, and it's made of heavy cast iron pipe." He reached out and
pulled against it. It was fastened tight against the wall.
He looked down then back
up again. Then he leaned over and looked up to the floor above
him. He saw a window but it seemed to have the curtain pulled. He
looked over to the baby's room. "Yeah, she's got the same set up
we do. Everything's the same in her room as in ours." He stuck
his head out further to see if the plumbing was the same. Yeah,
the same thing."
He followed the pipe up
to the roof, and looked across the roof and down to his side. He
could climb up the pipe to the roof and then go across the roof
to the pipe on the other side, and down to the baby's bathroom.
He looked back over to the other side. Then he could get in
through her bathroom window and see if she's in there. Hell, no
one would know, no one would see me."
He followed the pipe up
the wall, across the roof and down to his bathroom window again
to assure himself that he could do it. He pulled himself from the
window, closed it, and walked back into the bedroom. He looked at
Elizabeth, and then laughed to himself. "She's out cold. I'm sure
she won't even move until morning."
He looked at his watch,
1:35. "Okay, I'll do it around 3:00 or 3:15. Yeah, that should be
just about right. By then the party would be over." He looked at
his watch again.
It was digital and had
an alarm setting. So he set it to go off at
down in the chair in front of the TV to wait it out and rest
When the alarm went off
Phillip jumped up, his eyes opened wide. He looked down at his
watch as it continued to buzz. He hit the button. "Okay already.
Okay I'm up, I'm up," he said to himself. He looked over at
Elizabeth, then down to his watch, 2:51. "Oh okay, okay," he
thought. Then he looked back at Elizabeth. She was lying in
another position, but still sleeping soundly. He looked back down
at his watch, "Yeah, okay I'm up, I'm up." He got up and walked
over to the door and put his ear against it. Nothing, no sound at
all. "Good," he though. "Everyone must be asleep by now.
He walked quietly over
to the dresser, got a sweater, then went over to the closet and
grabbed his sneakers. He looked at Elizabeth one more time as he
walked into the bathroom. "Christ, I hope she doesn't wake up,"
then he closed the door. He sat on the toilet and put on his
sneakers, then his sweater. He looked into the mirror and threw
some water on his face. As he stared into the mirror, he thought
about what he was about to attempt. "This is all crazy," he
thought, shaking his head, "fuckin' crazy. But I've got to know
if that was a child I think I saw get sacrificed for the bullshit
farce these people put on."
He stared at himself for
a long time then said, "Its time." He turned the bathroom light
out, then opened the window, and stuck his head out to listen if
there was any sound coming from the third floor. "Nothing." He
looked up and down the back alley, "All clear." He looked down.
"All clear there, too." Then he looked up to the roof.
He pulled himself out on
the window ledge, reached over and grabbed the frame of the
window, then pulled his legs out and sat on the windowsill
looking out over the back. The pipe was only a few feet away. He
would reach over and grab it," he thought.
"Ooohhh," Phillip almost
yelled out. I thought it was closer than that."
He steadied himself as
he held on tight, then he pulled up to where he was standing on
the windowsill. His back to the window, one hand on the window
edge and the other on the pipe, he stopped for a second and
stared straight out. Then he looked down. "What am I doing," he
thought. "I'm going to break my fuckin' neck."
He looked over to the
pipe. If he brought his hand around fast, he could probably grab
the pipe up there."
He looked up. "Then I'll
swing my foot over to the hub on the pipe at the same time." He
looked down to where there was a piece of pipe going through the
wall. "Yeah, then I'll be holding on to the pipe."
His eyes were wide open.
"Yeah, right, then I'll be holding onto the pipe. A lot of good
that's going to do me."
He looked down again.
"Well, I've got to know what happened tonight, I've got to
Phillip looked back over
to the pipe. "One, two, three."
He let go of the window
edge and threw his hand over to the pipe, swinging his foot
around at the same time. He held on tight with both hands, knees
pressed in tight, holding on, and his feet just caught the edge
of the hub of the pipe. He pulled his body out a little and
rocked back and forth to test the strength of the pipe. "It'll
do," he thought.
He looked up. "Its old
cast iron pipe and it's installed in five foot sections with a
hub at every section that I can grab on to pull up." He reached
up and grabbed the first section and shimmied up the pipe.
Phillip repeated the same thing again and again until he was up
even with the third floor window. The curtains were pulled, but
they were split open enough for Phillip to see under the shade.
He stretched over from the pipe, grabbed the windowsill, and
pulled himself over to the window. His foot was shaking and it
started to slip on the pipe hub. He steadied himself and eased
his head over to the window. As he searched for movement his eyes
gradually adjusted to the dark. Everyone appeared to be asleep,
sprawled all over on the floor. He didn't see anyone
Phillip pulled himself
back over to the pipe and held on for a second. He looked up and
thought, "Only a few more feet." He shimmied up to the last
section of pipe just a foot or two from the rooftop. Phillip
reached up and planted his hand firmly on the roof and began to
pull himself up. As his eyes passed the last strap that held the
pipe to the wall, he noticed that it was broken, and that the
pipe was beginning to pull away from the wall as he climbed up.
He pulled his body close to the wall searching for something to
grab hold of. He grabbed handfuls of gravel until he was able to
sink his fingernails into the tar that covers the roof.
It was cold out, about
twenty-five or thirty degrees, but Phillip had sweat running down
his forehead. Phillip pulled his other hand up to the roof and
used all his strength to pull himself up. He rolled over on his
back and looked up to the stars while he caught his breath. He
blew hot air from his mouth and watched it change to mist as it
left his lips and disappeared into the clear black sky. He looked
over and noticed a skylight. He rolled over on his hands and
knees. Crawling, he eased his way up to the edge of the skylight
and looked down to the room below.
It was dark. He moved
his head up further to see better. He saw people lying on the
floor. All over the floor. No one had any clothes on. There were
men on top of women, and women on top of men. Phillip's eyes
squinted as he looked closer. He recognized a football player guy
he noticed at dinner lying with a man, the guy he was sitting
next to at dinner. Phillip eyes widened as he looked around the
room. He slid down the glass and sat on the roof, leaning against
the edge of the skylight. "This is a strange crowd," he thought.
"What am I going to do if I find out that what I suspect is
Phillip looked up at the
clear sky and the stars. "First I've got to find out if it's
true." He moved quietly away from the skylight to the other side
of the roof where the pipe went down to the baby's room. He
looked down the pipe. He checked to see if it was fastened tight
to the wall. "It's okay," he thought. "I'm ready." He pulled
himself around and over the edge of the roof as he held on to the
pipe, and then climbed down to the second floor. He was okay.
"This was easier than climbing up," he thought to himself. "Now,
I'll just reach over and grab the window edge and pull myself
He pulled over and
looked at the window. "It's closed." He looked back at the pipe
and firmed his grip on it, using his hand and both knees, as he
leaned over and tried pushing the window open with his other
hand. It wouldn't move. He tried again. It still wouldn't move.
He pulled back over to the pipe. "Shit, all this way, and the
damn window won't open." He tried again. This time he pushed it
open from the middle. He made sure his feet were tight on the
pipe and he had a firm grip. Then he leaned back over to the
window and put his fingers under the center and gave it a firm
shove. It wouldn't budge. He tried again, but nothing gave. He
gave it one more shove, and then another. Again shove. This time
it opened about an inch.
Phillip put his hand
under the window and pulled it up. He pulled and pushed against
his feet as he pulled the window up. His sneakers were slipping
on the hub of the pipe as he adjusted his weight from one foot to
the other. One last pull and the window was up enough to get his
arm under and push it up. He moved his head over to the window
and opened the curtains enough to see inside. He couldn't see
He reached over and put
the weight of his body on the windowsill. Then he pulled himself
in through the window. After looking around the bathroom, he let
his hands reach down to the floor to support his weight as he
continued to listen and look. Then he let his feet fall to the
floor. He was in. He crawled over to the door, which was open a
He peered through the
opening, but could see nothing at first. When his eyes adjusted
to the dark, he could see then room was empty. Empty, nothing.
Then he pulled the door open more, stuck his head out and looked
around. No one was here. He stood up and walked into the room.
Slowly and quietly he moved, looking all around as he inched
towards the bassinet. He reached over and pulled the curtains
open and poked his head inside to look. He walked over to the
bassinet to look inside. It was empty. The sheets, the bottle,
everything-gone. Phillip looked under the bassinet, moving it to
the side, searching to find some sign of the baby being there.
Nothing, nothing at all!
He turned and walked out
into the bedroom, looking all around as he walked. He looked
back. The chair was gone, the coffee cup was gone. He looked
around the room. The chair was against the wall. His head moved
from side to side as his eyes searched the room for any evidence
that the baby had been there. The desk, yeah the desk, the books
and papers he had found. Phillip moved quickly over to the desk.
Nothing. It had been cleared off. There was nothing there at all.
He opened the drawers and looked in them. Nothing. He turned and
walked into the center of the room, looking from side to side
trying to find something.
"Hee, hee," he heard
someone in the hall'
"Hee, hee," again. It
was getting closer. He could hear someone talking. He ran into
the bathroom and closed the door just as the bedroom door opened.
Phillip stood behind the bathroom door with his ear against it.
"Who is it?" he wondered. He recognized one of the voices. He
cracked the door and peeked out. It was Magie, and she was with a
man. Phillip looked to see if he could recognize him, but it was
too dark. They came in, closed the door, and moved to the center
of the room. As they came closer, Phillip could see that they had
no clothes on. Now he could see the man. He didn't recognize him
and he didn't remember seeing him at dinner or anytime
They lay on the floor
and the man started to make love to Magie, but she rolled away
from the man. "No, not in here," she said.
The man laughed, "Why
"Because we're not
supposed to be in here, that's why. If Marlie catches us, all
hell will break out." Magie got up and reached down for the man's
hand. "Come on, we'll go over to your room-and I might be able to
spend the night, too." She giggled again. "Come on," she helped
pull the man to his feet.
"You know I'm staying
until Monday, don't you?" said the man.
"Yeah," Magie said as
she put her arms around him. "Do you think that we'll have time
to go shopping before you leave?"
"Sure," he said.
"Anything for you, hah hah. That is, if you're a good little
girl." Then they kissed.
"Come on; let's get out
of here," Magie said as she pulled the man towards the door. She
opened it, stuck her head out, and looked up and down the
hallway. She pulled him out the door and they both
Phillip closed the
bathroom door and leaned against it. "Whew, that was
He didn't remember
seeing the man at any time before, and what did Magie mean by "go
over to your room"? He wasn't staying here.
I've got to get back to
our bedroom. He went over to the window and pulled himself out to
the ledge, then over to the pipe. It was cold and his hands were
shivering, yet he had sweat running from his brow. He shimmied up
the pipe to the roof then moved quietly across to the other side
and made his way down to his room. Once inside, he sat on the
toilet to rest. Thoughts ran through his mind. "Did I see what I
thought I saw tonight? Did I see a baby get sacrificed for those
rich sons of bitches? Was that a baby in the room across the
hall?" He buried his head in his hands and ran his fingers
through his hair as he rocked back and forth. "Did I, did I, did
I?" Then he stopped asking and started answering his own
questions. "Yes, yes I did, am sure I saw a baby getting
sacrificed tonight. And yes, I am sure that was a baby in the
room across the hall. I've got to find a way to prove it." He ran
his fingers through his hair as he thought. "How, how will I do
He got up and threw
water on his face. It was dark but he could see his refection in
the mirror. He stared. "How," he wondered. He reached over,
grabbed a towel from the rack, then sat back on the toilet and
buried his face in the towel while he thought. "How . . . how?"
Then, slowly, he pulled the towel away from his face as it came
to him. His eyes opened as he raised his head up. "The diary;
I've seen it in Marlie's room. I've seen it in her room before."
He got up and paced the bathroom floor, "Yes, I've seen it in her
room before. Yeah, when she got called downstairs for something.
That's right, that's right, it was in her bookcase."
He stopped and then
turned and looked into the mirror. He stared at himself for a
long time. Then he moved over and put his hands on the sink,
leaning close to the mirror, and never taking his eyes off
himself. "I've got to see the diary again. I've got to see it.
And the only way to see it is to come back to the house and spend
time with Marlie."
He stared deep into the
mirror and thought of Elizabeth. He loved her and knew what he
was doing was wrong, but when he was with Marlie, he just seemed
to lack any self-control. It was almost as if she had total
control of him when they were together. But the only way to see
the diary was to come back and spend time with Marlie. Come back
and continue to let Marlie . . . let Marlie-what? His eyes were
opened wide. He stared closer into the mirror. "Let Marlie make
me make love to her!" He looked past the mirror into deepness.
Thoughts of the past weeks and his visits tothe house filled his
mind. "She has some sort of control over me. When we're together,
she has some kind of control over me. Why, why do I do it? Why do
I continue to come back?"
He searched into his
eyes. All the times he had spent at the house ran through his
mind in a fraction of a second. He knew now. It finally came to
him. He stood back and looked at himself, but now in a different
way. He would come back to the house, and he would continue to
play along with Marlie. But he would do it this time knowing what
was going on. And he would look through the diary and get all the
information he could about the baby. And the papers. He would
find the papers and find out what was going on here.
He would out what was
going on. Yeah, he would continue to come to the house, but now
he knew. Now he knew.
Elizabeth lay in bed
listening to the silence of the morning, but she could detect no
sounds from the streets: no horns, traffic, or people. Neither
could she hear any sounds from birds or airplanes flying
"It has to be early,"
she thought. "I wonder if the sun is up yet." I'll open my eyes
in a moment, just a few more minutes. I'm ready, I'll do it now.
"Just one more minute." One eye cracked open then closed again.
Open again, then the other. The room was dark. Her eyes searched
for light. Over by the window. The curtains and shade were
pulled, but a crack of light had found its way through. "It's
daylight. I wonder what time it is in the morning." She looked
over at Phillip, he lying next to her, asleep.
"I'll get up now; it's
time to get up." She rolled over and her hand searched the night
table next to the bed for her watch. "There it is. Let me look
and see what time it is." She held the watch to her eyes as they
attempted to adjust to the light in the room. "8:55. Oh, it's
time to get up, yeah."
Elizabeth pulled her
feet out from the covers onto the floor, and lifted her body up
from the bed. "Shower, shower. I've got to take a shower."
She got up from the bed
and started to walk in the direction of the bathroom holding her
hands up in front of her. "Shower, shower."
Knock, knock. There was
a soft knock at the door.
Elizabeth had just
finished drying off. She put her robe on and walked to the
"Well, good morning, and
how do you feel today?" said Marlie in soft voice.
"Oh fine," Elizabeth
said in a low voice.
She pointed to Phillip
who was asleep. "He's out like a light," she said as she grabbed
a towel off the chair. "Come on into the bathroom while I dry my
hair." They walked in and she closed the door.
"How'd it go last
night?" asked Elizabeth.
Marlie sat on the edge
of the tub and leaned against the wall. "Oh fine. I'm sorry you
couldn't make it."