Chapter 1: He's Found Me

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 214
Comments: 1

Chapter 1

Five years ago, I was made redundant. Not a very nice experience, I can tell you. 'Never mind', I told myself, 'you won't be out of work for too long'. How wrong could I have been. The trouble with being forty-seven years old and looking for a job, is there are thirty-seven year olds and twenty-seven year olds, also looking for jobs; the same bloody jobs you are looking for.

I'm what they call an entrepreneur, a go-getter; if a door is closed shut on you, don’t just sit there whinging man, kick another door open. It doesn't matter that you know fuck-all about the job, rules, regulations, or the laws, of what's on the other side of the door, just walk in and wing-it; and that is exactly what I did. I created my own door; metaphorically speaking, kicked it off its hinges and walked in.

I had business cards printed, took out ads in various newspapers, full-page spreads in the appropriate magazines stating that I had been in the 'Paranormal Investigation' business for thirty years, and was, in fact, the number one paranormal investigator in the world; it's amazing what people will swallow. If you believe in yourself, other will too.

I knew there were, are, people out there that believe in ghosts, ghouls, phantoms, spectres, and I also knew I could take those mistaken beliefs and make money out of them. Of course, I knew ghosts, ghouls, phantoms, spectres, didn’t exist, and I believed I could convince the fools that thought they did, that they didn’t, or if that failed that I could get rid of them for them; easy-peasy.

I can read people like a book, always have been able to. My first customer was an elderly woman that was terrified each and every night because she believed her dead husband sat down on the end of her bed to torment her. I only had to look at all the fine artwork on the walls and the antique furniture all over her house to know that this woman had a healthy bank balance; whereas mine, was dwindling fast.

There was one, very slight oversight on my part; equipment, but, this elderly woman was my first foray into the world of silly old women that thought a dead husband, a ghost, a ghoul, a phantom, or a spectre was sitting on their beds at night, and that oversight was, when she said, 'I'll put the kettle on while you set up your equipment'. Shit! I hadn't thought about, equipment, I went to my car to see what equipment I had.

Ten minutes later, I had plugged in a car battery voltage reader and placed it under her bed hoping she would see all the wires but not asked what it did; luckily for me, she didn’t ask.

I could see she was holding something back when I asked her why she thought her husband had returned to torment her. She leaned forward, and asked, 'Is this like going to the doctor? What I tell you stays in this room'? I took out one of my newly printed business cards and read some of the spiel printed on the back of it, 'Full confidentiality assured'. It did the trick.

Her husband had been bedridden for over a year, and she was his carer; he just flat refused to go into a care home; even though they could easily meet the expense of it. She was sick of his constant calling out for this that and the other, twenty-four-seven, every day of the week, so she stopped feeding him and administering his medication. Seventy-two hours later, the miserable old miser was dead (her words), not mine.

The second, the absolute second that she finished telling me that she, more-or-less killed him, I said, 'Ten thousand pounds and I'll get rid of him for you'. She stood up, and as calm as you like, said, 'Cash or cheque?'

I sat there trying to think of ways to get her over the total nonsense that her dead husband sat at the end of her bed at nights; he was no more sitting on the end of her bed at night, than I was. My first suggestion of perhaps selling up and moving home, didn’t wash; she might have been old, but she wasn’t stupid.

She asked me if I wanted another cup of tea, and I jokingly said; out of shear desperation from trying to buy myself some more time to conjure up an idea, that I wouldn’t mind something a bit stronger? She came back with a large whiskey which I downed in one gulp. I asked her if she was having one, and she said, 'I can't drink whiskey, it puts me to sleep in seconds'. And there it was. The answer to getting rid of her husband; again.

I told her that spirits have an aversion to alcohol. It drives them mad. I banged on that the smell was the only smell that the spirit world could smell, but, they didn’t smell it in the same way the living smelt it, no, to them, it smelt of decomposing flesh. She told me that she had never heard of that before, I felt like saying, of course you haven't woman, I'm making this bullshit up as I go along - keep up.

So basically, she now pours two glasses of whiskey each night. She leaves one at the foot of her bed on a small round table to frighten poor old murdered Gerald away; Gerald was her husband, and downs the other one in one gulp. She knocks herself out and sleeps like a baby, so even if he was there; which he isn't, she wouldn’t know it; she's out for the count.

I did get a phone call from her two days later asking how long my equipment had to stay under her bed. It took me a second or two to think what the hell she was talking about. The bloody battery charger. I told her not to touch it as it was still doing important work and I would collect it at the weekend.

Five years I've been doing this now. Five. I have made more money conning mentally ill people; that was how I saw them in the begining, crazy people that heard or saw things in the night, than I ever earned in twenty years in my last job.

I'd look at the house, look at the furniture, look at family photographs on the wall; if they can afford to send their children to be educated at Eton, then they can cough up, ten, fifteen, or twenty thousand for me, thank you very much.

I had stopped taking calls; told them I was far too busy and they should call someone else; I really didn’t need the money. Then a month ago, I had a call from a woman that said her son was possessed by the devil, and they had locked him in the dungeon for their and his safety. I picked her up on her choice of words, namely, the dungeon. Turned out she lived in a castle in Scotland. Greed got the better of me, and I headed up there.

Worse thing I ever did…


Submitted: December 05, 2020

© Copyright 2021 M.T.Higgins. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Celtic-Scribe63

What a loathsome con-artist you have created, lol.
Your story-telling however is great and draws the reader in within the first few lines.
Also, your page set-up is great breaking up the writing into small manageable paragraphs.

You have a very polished and intriguing end product.
I look forward to seeing where you take it.

Sat, December 5th, 2020 2:00pm

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