A Terrible Truth Part 2 By Patrick G Moloney.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Concluding instalment of A Terrible truth, A Jack Burke noir detective mystery.

Submitted: March 15, 2017

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Submitted: March 15, 2017

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A terrifying screeching sound awoken him from a disturbing dream, whatever the dream images had been, they fled immediately he opened his eyes. It had been something dark and distressing that had inhabited his dream world, but now he was awake he could not remember what it had been. For some reason he was finding it hard to focus on his surroundings, his eyes were sore and felt gritty. It was then the cold hit him and he began to tremble, a wave of nausea swept over him. He rolled with difficulty onto his side and began to vomit; the retching was sending waves of pain through his battered body. Nothing solid came from inside him, only bile that seared his throat, and caused tears to pour from his eyes. The carpet beneath him felt wet, but it wasn’t even carpet, a part of his mind determined. Eventually the retching subsided and he closed his eyes and lay trembling on the ground, he had a feeling that he was near to death. He must have passed out again only to be awoken by the same terrifying screeches, rolling onto his back a leaden grey sky came into focus. Another burst of screeching and the sea gulls came into view, he was outside and the wet carpet he lay on was grass.

A cold clammy sweat engulfed his body like a shroud, by the time he had managed to make it to a kneeling position. He was forced to remain kneeling for quite a while until the nausea and dizziness passed, he found his walking cane lying in the grass and eventually managed to get to his feet by leaning heavily on it. He was on the cliff top overlooking the rocky beach, Jack had no recollection of how he gotten here, the empty whisky bottle by his feet testified to the fact he had been drunk. He felt weak and disorientate and something at the back of his mind gave him a feeling of foreboding, but whatever it was he could not bring it into focus. As a matter of fact his mind refused to focus on anything except the overwhelming feeling of being ill; he needed to get out of here as the Atlantic wind caused his core temperature to drop even more. The journey back down the steep path was a nightmare as every muscle in his body ached and cramped, he was aware that he was badly dehydrated. He tried desperately to recall how he had come to be in this state, but his memory appeared to have been wiped.

The first couple of mouthfuls of water were immediately rejected by his tortured stomach, and came up quicker than they went down. But eventually he managed to get some badly needed liquids to stay down, Jack eventually managed to get the top of the pill bottle and swallowed two of the diazepam. Then he crept beneath the covers on the bed, here he lay in a foetal position trembling until the pills kicked in. It was his own screams that eventually woke him; it was dark outside and blowing a gale. Jack’s heart was pounding in his chest and his breathing was ragged, he had been dreaming that someone he knew was trying to plunge a knife into his chest. The dream had been so vivid he sat up and stared into the shadowy corners of the room, half expecting someone to be lurking there. The would-be assassin in his dream had been familiar to him, but once again his mind had refused to hold on to the image. He was naked and covered in a clammy sheen of sweat; he staggered to the shower and stood beneath it for a long while. Once he was dried he ventured a look in the mirror, he could scarcely recognise the image that stared back at him. A three or four day growth of salt and pepper stubble covered his lower face, his cheeks appeared sunken and his eyes were surrounded by black circles. Broken veins crossed the whites of his eyes, and that yellowish tint had begun to creep from the edges even further into the whites.

He did not need any medical expertise to tell him that his liver was coming under pressure, sooner or later he would have to abandon the bottle before it killed him. But even as he thought this, his mind craved for the calming numbness of the fiery amber liquid. But even Jack Burke knew that he badly needed to remain sober this time, he filled a jug with a mixture of orange juice and water and got a glass before heading to the kitchen table. The small kitchen was littered with empty whisky bottles; he wondered despairingly how long he had been on this bender. Jack was beginning to feel shaky again and he reached for the pill bottle, when the narcotic calmness settled over him he began to try and work out what had gone on. He had somehow managed to lose three or four days of his life, and this was a terrifying experience. He had a faint recollection of going to see someone, but when this was or who he had seen he could not recall. He needed to find something to jog his memory, but nothing he could find in the cottage pointed towards the missing days. Jack decided to put his coat on and walk to the village to ring the collector; surely he had some idea where Jack had been. He put his hand in his coat pocket and his fingers brushed the envelope, when he took it out a feeling of unnatural dread settled over him.

The fear was slowly but surely being overtaken by a different emotion, he sat at the table staring at the photograph and the rage continued to build. At first it came back to him as disjointed images, but it was not long before he had a pretty good idea why he had climbed into the bottle. The rage inside him had at first grown to a tempest that he felt would surely consume him, but now it had settled to a cold calculated thing that settled somewhere at the back of his mind. Everything else had settled into a background noise and even the alcohol effects disappeared into the background. Jack Burke’s mind was calmer than it had been for a very long time, it was totally focused on the task ahead and nothing else in the world mattered now. A part of him wondered at how cool he now felt about this situation, that part of him was amazed how such a thing could bring this calmness. But he was aware that sometimes in life people are faced with such a terrible truth, that there is no room for anything else inside them. This is how it was for Jack at this time, so he calmly went about servicing his pistol and preparing for what lay ahead. At first light he would leave Bell Harbour and there was a good chance he might never return. Jack was going to kill someone whom he had always trusted, whatever happened after that he did not care.

Jack was not sure what reaction he had been expecting, fear, anger, desperation or denial, or even a combination of all these emotions. However the eyes that looked back at him showed only a deep sadness, tempered with what Jack could only describe as disappointment. The hand that held the damning photograph was rock steady, those sad eyes flitted between the photograph and the barrel of the gun Jack pointed in the persons face. Jack waited for the pleading or lies that would surely come, but instead the calm words baffled Jack. “Yes Jack that is me, it was taken way back in 1936”. The rage was building in jack again and the trigger moved slightly as the pressure of his finger grew, he had so badly wanted to hear pleading or denial. It would have made it all much easier, however he come here to kill and kill he would. A slight movement behind him alerted him to the presence, however he was too late. A hand reached out and twisted his wrist causing the gun to fall, then his arm was locked behind him and the cold steel of a gun barrel was under his chin. “Easy Jack, calm down”, her heavily accented voice whispered in his ear. Suddenly all resistance evaporated from Jack and he slumped to the chair, her gun remained in contact with his throat.

The collector spoke softly again, “Yes Jack as I said that is me and I believe the missing portion of this photograph would have been a man by the name of Jake Callanan. As far back as the mid-thirties our government knew that war with the Nazi’s was inevitable. One of our agents informed us of a group high ranking party members. That had managed to get their hands on powerful occult knowledge. This was believed to be the real thing and capable of being used against us, when this knowledge was copied and brought here. I and a number of others including Jake were tasked to decipher it. Before long I became aware that certain members of the group intended to use this knowledge for their own dark intentions. This was when I parted company with them; I have been hunting them since”. The pressure of the gun relaxed from his throat and Anna stood into view, “It’s all true Jack”. She retrieved Jack’s gun and handed it to him, he meekly returned it to his shoulder holster. All he wanted to do now was leave here and go back to the cottage. He was at the door when the collector spoke again. “Jake Callanan sacrificed his two sons for their dark beliefs, however when it came to his little blonde daughter he defied them. You see Jack he was heavily involved in what went on in White Peak, he was Mabel’s father”. Jack left the office to the sound of Anna calling his name, he needed to go to the cliff top and think. There was so much that had been hidden from him, he wondered whether he could work with these people again.

  • crime
  • paranormal
  • Darkfiction


© Copyright 2018 Patrick G Moloney. All rights reserved.

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