Mayhem at the Manor

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
There is trouble at the old Manor and a witch like woman named Beatrice Fly is a person of interest. --- Oh, did I mention that there is a game afoot?
Note - This storyline and characters are taken from my rhyming story-poem called, "The Smiling Crone-Rev-2015".

Submitted: August 09, 2017

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Submitted: August 09, 2017

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"That move is going to cost you, old boy," stated Private Kramer to Professor La Putt. The good Sergeant is going to put you in Check for sure."

"Pardon Me, Monsieur, I was under the impression that you do not play Chess, yet you are pre---."

"Check," said Sergeant Stow as he butted into their conversation, "and I do believe I shall Check-Mate you in three additional moves, Professor."

Just at that moment the telephone rang, ring-ring, --- ring-ring.

"That is for us," Private Kramer stated, "one ring and a hesitation for the fire department, two rings and a hesitation for the police."

"Yes, yes, we know, now go answer it!" Sergeant Stow growled at his deputy, Private Kramer.

 

"What's that Betty? There is trouble at the old manor house! Yes, alright, I will tell Sergeant Stow straight away; much obliged."

"What is going on at the manor house this time?"  Sergeant Stow questioned as he watched the Professor make his next move. "I will bet it has something to do with Beatrice Fly, that old dame has been troubling me scenes she moved into Katie Callahan's cottage; I think it was last November.

The cottage is across the road from a portion of the manor house grounds."

Private Kramer replied, "You are right as far as Beatrice Fly is concerned, Serge, she is the one who called Betty, the telephone operator. She claims that she saw a severed body part being blown about by the blustery conditions tonight."

"There is just something not right about that old hag, I do not know what it is, but I would not trust her with a butter knife while standing behind me," said Sergeant Stow.

Then he continued, "I have already caught her telling me lies on two occasions, both times were in an effort to get me out to that property after dark. But my red-flags kept going up and I made excuses so I did not have to go until the next day.

Then when I did go during the day, the problems either mysteriously disappeared, or had worked themselves out on their own."

"This kind of skepticism is not part of your nature, Monsieur," Professor La Putt replied.

"I know, maybe it is because she looks like what witches are supposed to look like, hunched-back old hags with warts on their noses," said Sergeant Stow.

And here is one for the mystery books, the first time that I met her I would swear that she had a big black wart on the right side of her nose, now it's brown and on the left."

"Jeepers," remarked Private Kramer, "I thought that it was dark gray and on her upper lip."

The Sergeant shook his head and continued, "Maybe it is because of the way Beatrice Fly's so called cousin died; a very suspicious situation.

I have known Katie Callahan for years and although she was an odd sort of duck, I kind of liked her because she was a Tuff old gal. But the way she died, falling into that wood-chipper, well, I had to look long and hard at that one."

"Are you saying murder, Monsieur?" asked La Putt.

The Sergeant replied with an odd look on his face, "I would be if there was any way anyone could have pushed Katie from that platform.

But Katie was a stout girl to say the least; about five foot, four inches, and 250 pounds would be my guess.

It was a wonder that she could get her own body up on that little platform, near the chipper, let alone anyone else being up there too.

I tested how much weight that the platform could handle and it buckled at 312 pounds.

No, the only way anyone could have pushed her into that chipper would be by flying up there and knocking her off."

"So it was an accident, right Serge?" Kramer questioned.

"I guess," Stow replied. Then he questioned, "Now what does Beatrice Fly want me to do about these so called body parts?"

The Private replied, "She wants both of us to come out and investigate the mystery of the Missing Manor's Master. She says that she fears that there is a --- Game afoot."

Sergeant Stow laughed and stated, "A Game is afoot, is that what she said? The old gal has been reading too many Sherlock Holmes novels.

Check Mate Professor!"

The Professor looked surprised and then just shrugged his shoulders. That is when he said, "Tell me, Monsieur, are you going to the Manor House tonight?"

The Sergeant scratched his head and replied, "I guess we will have to, this is a formal request so I doubt I have any alternatives. Why do you ask?"

"The couple who recently bought the Manor is friends of mine and I am concerned for their safety. Perhaps I could come along?" La Putt asked.

"Well of course, the more the merrier!" Stow bellowed, and out the door they went.

 

It was a very blustery night, to be sure, and the full moon seemed to be without enough sky to hold it all. By the time they arrived at the Callahan cottage sundown had occurred. 

Beatrice Fly was standing just inside the cove of the front door entrance, her bleached-white skin reflecting the moon’s eerie light like a mirror in the night.

Then the old crone pointed toward the Manor House and cried out, "Over there, look under the branches of the Willow Tree!"

And as the three men glanced in that direction a terrible gust of wind arose and the head of the Manor's Master rolled out from under the draping limbs.

The three men rushed over there and when they came to the severed head Sergeant Stow asked the Professor, "Is that your friend?"

"Wee Monsieur, I am afraid so," replied La Putt. "But now my concern is for his wife and their servants. Let us search the Manor House, if you would be so kind."

The three men search the Manor House, all 14 bedrooms as well as the rest.

By the time they had finished every light in the house had been turned on and every room examined, but there was no sign of violence anywhere, nor was there any residence of the Manor found.

All the rooms were clean as a whistle, nothing out of place, and not a body part to be seen. So as they left the house the Sergeant locked the front door, as he had done to the rest, and closed it.

The Sergeant saw a boy on his bicycle peddling down the street towards the town square, about a two mile ride, and called him over.

"Where are you going, son?"

"My mother sent me to the market to fetch bread and milk for dinner, Sergeant Stow. I wasn't doing anything wrong, really!"

Stow replied, "Oh, I am sure of that.

Here, here is a coin for your pocket, do me a service and stop at the church. Tell Father Flanagan that I said to fetch the mortician and for both of them to come to the manor house with a wagon. Can you do that?"

The boy beamed at the sight of the coin and replied, "Oh yes sir, Sergeant. Stop at the church. Tell Father Flanagan that you want him to fetch the mortician and for both of them to come to the manor house with a wagon.

"Good, now be off with you," the Sergeant said as he gave the boy a push on the bike.

The men crossed the road and headed to the cottage to question Beatrice Fly.

"Did you see the head?" Screeched Beatrice. "Did you see it, did you?

It is the curse of the Blue-Moon, that's what it is!

Hell has opened its doors during this time of the dead and all the demons of the night will join with the tormented souls from below. They are lonely and want company," the old woman screeched, and then she laughed with a cackle and a snort.

"Enough of such talks, old woman, now tell me what you saw and I want no lies woven in!" replied Sergeant Stow.

"I was sitting down to supper when a horrendous scream I heard. It didn't come from the house, maybe it came from below. I went to the door and saw a strange looking shadow cross the Manor lawn and disappear under the house; (to where?), I do not know."

"You mean someone went into the cellar?" asked the Sergeant.

"Maybe," Beatrice replied with the look of a naughty little girl in her eyes.

La Putt pulled the Sergeant aside to speak to him in private, and said, "That is odd, Sergeant, my friend told me that after inspecting the lower levels he locked them so they could not be accessed any longer, he said that the former owner had done the same for safety reasons.

Only during the inspection of the house were the gates and doors unlocked down there; and that was only during the inspection."

Sergeant Stow rubbed his chin with a thumb and forefinger of his right hand, and then he asked, "How long ago was that?"

"Oh, ho-ho, that is an easy question to answer because he told me all these things during a birthday dinner at my home. It was the first week of November.

It was then that he confided in me, what is beneath the house is not a cellar at all, but is a series of catacombs that are very old and very dangerous to navigate.

I was told that there are stairways that go down and 'round, 'round and down, and long vermin infested hallways. Hidden rooms and trap-gates are down there, they were used to stop pursuing invaders, or to trap unsuspecting thieves."

Sergeant Stow returned to Beatrice Fly and asked, "How do you know that the scream came from under the Manor House?"

The old woman looked at Stow with those bloodshot eyes and replied, "If you heard it, Constable, then you would know why I say that. I cannot explain it in any other way but to say that the scream was like the muffled sound from a grave."

Stow felt a shiver run down the small of his back and could feel beads of sweat trickling from his forehead.

The Sergeant then thought to himself, "How does this old woman know what a scream would sound like when coming from a buried coffin?"

As Stow backed away from the woman he said to the others, "I think that we should look around the Manor house some more, we need to check the gate on the entrance to the cellar."

As the three men crossed the road they heard the sound of large flapping wings and supposed that it was a Great Horned Owl looking for its supper.

There were many Owls living in and around the Manor House grounds, so they thought nothing of it.

As the three men approached the gate to the entrance of the cellar door they couldn't help but notice that the gate was ripped from all but one of its hinges; it hung precariously at about a 30 degree angle from the very top hinge, and it was wide open.

"What is this?" Questioned Private Kramer. "I would say that there is something afoot here, that is for sure"

"To be sure," replied the Professor. "This iron is bent and in a tangled state. Without a doubt, this gate was ripped from its hinge and whatever did this had to be of great strength and size.

Only a bear has the strength to do such a thing, and there are no bears in this valley."

Sergeant Stow pointed his flashlight at the entrance door to the cellar, it too was broken and open.

"Something wanted in there, that is for sure," said Private Kramer.

"Or they wanted out, Monsieur," replied the Professor.

 

With oil lamps and flashlights in hand, the three reluctant souls began their downward journey into the darkness of the spiraling staircases.

Rats were encountered at almost every turn. This fact prompted a question from the always vigilant Professor, "I do not understand, if this place has been sealed off for so long. Then where is the food source for the rats coming from? There are far too many for them to just be feeding off of one another. Maybe there is another entrance, or entrances."

After what seemed like forever the stairs led into a long hallway, and as they ventured along they all felt a little breeze.

"I think I see a door ahead," said Stow.

Sure enough there was a door, a big massive Oak door with cast-iron hinges and a massive Bolt-lock.

The Bolt-lock had dried blood all over it and there were streams of dried blood trailing down the surface of the wood.

"Come on then," said Stow, "let's get her opened and have a look on the other side. Shall we?"

But the massive bolt would not budge; the blood seemed to have acted as a rust enabler and bonded the two together.

"I have an idea," the professor stated, and then he poured a little oil from his lamp onto the bolt.

Looking around he found a loose block from one wall and used it to hit the bolt; it broke free.

"Nice work," Stow stated as he pulled on the door to open it. But just as the door opened an iron gate fell from the ceiling behind them. It was a trap and there was no going back now!

In front of them, through the oak doorway, they saw the Mistress of the Manor House huddled in a corner with her servants. And even closer stood a smiling and bloody Beatrice Fly; she was gnawing on someone's thigh bone.

"Welcome gents!" the old hag said as she cackled. Then she stated, "I told you that the Game was afoot and no-one believed me. So now the Game is almost over and I am hungry for man-bones, so come to me!"

As the old hag said that she morphed into a huge ravenous bird with three heads. The bird charged at them as Stow began firing his weapon; he fired until it was empty.

The bullets only caused a short delay in the bird's advance, then Private Kramer began firing, --- still, only a slight delay.

One of the bird’s heads said to the others, "Some sticks and some stones have dire overtones, but the metals of men can't do us in!" Then all three heads cackled with hideous sounds.

Well, it was a dire situation, to be sure.

Just as the bird had managed to corner them at the iron Trap-Gate, the Trap-Gate suddenly rose back into the ceiling.

That is when Father Flanagan stepped out of the shadows.

Without any hesitation he walked up to the bird while extending his right arm; in his right hand was a wooden cross clutched firmly.

The bird's heads reared back and one said to the others, "What in the world is this fool doing with that? Does he think some heavenly spirit will save them from us?" Then all three heads laughed with high-pitched shrills of laughter. 

Father Flanagan, using the wooden cross as a dagger, plunged it into the bird's heart!

A hideous screech was heard and the fiendish bird fell to the floor while trembling violently; --- then it vanished as if it were never there.

Father Flanagan shivered for a moment, and then said, "May the Saint preserve us! There must be a gateway to hell in this county? That is the fourth one of these demoniac Buggers that I have had to send back sense I took over this parish.

It is a good thing that those demons always fall for the knife-cross in the hand trick; it gives me the element of surprise that I need to get the job done.

 

D. Thurmond / JEF  --- 08-08-2017


© Copyright 2017 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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