Chapter 3:

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 147

 

‘We were too late’, said the man in the jacket as he gripped the ‘Experiences’ journal tightly. Indeed they had missed the event altogether but there were no bodies here. Except for his driver, leaning back casually against the windowsill of the smashed living room window. He’d helped himself to a tattered pillow for comfort’s sake. He was used to visiting the aftermath of terrible incidents in his line of work. He lit up his rolled cigarette and put on his blue beret, sniggering ‘Too late for what? The bloody shootout? This place is a mess. I don’t know why any of the gangs would bother coming this far out into the countryside. There’s far more convenient places to meet up, Mr. Monroe. Although, it looks to me that your late arrival saved your life’. The damn driver didn’t understand and Mr. Monroe remained insistent that he didn’t need to. After all, he wasn’t about to recruit a short fat Welshman from the criminal underground into the covenant. He’d always had his uses though and keeping him in the dark ensured that he stayed that way.

Mr. Monroe stared into the scratched television screen defiantly trying to stop himself shaking with fear. This was his job and he’d learned not to let fear overwhelm the senses, but this night was the exception and it worried him no end. He only ever had to deal with a spirit this strong once and the covenant was still recovering from it. Breaking his sight away from the terrifying evidence, he turned and looked at his driver, only bothering to respond with ‘C’mon we’re leaving’. Trudging through the broken glass, the two men left as silently as they had arrived. Mr. Monroe opened the passenger side door of the black car and looked back at the scarred house one last time, as if expecting a last minute clue. Stepping awkwardly back over the puddle, he climbed back into the car. ‘Mr. Jones’, Mr. Monroe said whilst punching in an address on the GPS, ‘we need to head here next, OK?’. Dafydd Jones obediently nodded and began to reverse back down the country lane and onto the main road. ‘You know what, sir? I could ask you a whole load of questions right now but I don’t think you’d answer any of them without riddles. So... I just won’t bother asking them’. Mr. Monroe smiled as he knew the Welshman was finally starting to learn, ‘Smart move’, he said.

*

Returning to city of London, Mr. Monroe had arrived at his destination and Mr. Jones pulled up and parked next to a key cutters shop on the suburbs. ‘A key-cutters, Sir?’. Mr. Monroe woke up and removed his sunglasses, looking to his driver with intent ‘It doesn’t matter how long I’m in there for, understand? You stay here and you wait.’ Dafydd nodded and instantly reached for his phone for diversion. Stepping out of the car and through the ringing front door of the shop, he was welcomed in by its owner. ‘Ah, Mr. Monroe. Haven’t seen you in a while, I thought you’d been to the depths of oblivion by now.’ Mr. Monroe always enjoyed this brief encounter in transit to where he was going. ‘No, not quite. Just America. Had to complete a few international assignments. When I got back I was instantly given one right out in the sticks. It’s been a long haul’. The store owner reached for an incomprehensibly large bunch of keys and his walking stick, escorting Mr. Monroe to the back warehouse, containing many ominous crates. ‘I see, Sir. Nothing unusual in this country, I hope?’. There was no point worrying the man by being honest at this point. ‘Nope. Same old run of the mill haunting. Nothing I couldn’t handle.’ The old man nodded, pleased. He approached a particularly large set of crates and inserted one of his many keys into a hidden slat on their side. Turning the key in its lock, the crates slid slowly and arduously to one side, revealing an ornate and intricate lapis lazuli door. ‘Well, young man. It’s good to see you back here alive’, the old man proclaimed, gesturing Mr. Monroe to head through the door.

Walking down the red carpeted hallway, softly lit by its lamps, Mr. Monroe passed the many portraits of the accomplished ghost hunters before him, with the oldest at the end, dated 1864. The first true ghost hunter of the Covenant, Thomas Mc. Tavish. Mr. Monroe stepped into the stainless steel elevator and descended into the Covenant Headquarters. It was a vast underground organisation, resembling a cathedral, with high ceilings and stone gargoyles mounted atop each of the foundation pillars, ever watching over the inhabitants of the place. Mr. Monroe sailed past men in suits bustling over paperwork and computer images. He strutted past high tech holograms displaying the globe and its supernatural hotspots. Casually, as if completely used to it, he strolled past sympathetic spirits, willing to help the living. Of course they were all given a set of clothes and nametags adorning their shoulders as there was no physical form to them. These colleagues of Mr. Monroe’s were simply animated sets of clothing with tight face masks, strolling around the establishment going from A to B. At the very end of the great hall, Mr. Monroe looked up at the great edifice, representing what humanity yet clung to; religion. He stared up at the great stone carving of Christ on the cross, wondering the same as he ever did. Wondering if there was ever any point to religion and whether it was necessary in men’s lives. He spared only a moment and continued into one of the many corridors that broke off from the main hall.

Eventually, after confidently navigating the Covenant’s hallways for the hundredth time, he had arrived at Joseph Denneley’s office, checking the name plaque next to the door just to be sure in this labyrinthine place. Denneley was a soldier in the second world war and had found purpose in purgatory by working for the Covenant. He was a very clear cut ghost with few morals getting in the way of his line of work. Putting down disobedient sprits, he believed, was never a moral grey area for him. All they had to do to not get hunted down was behave themselves. He’d been told time and time again that the emotion they died with was the emotion they’d be stuck with in purgatory but he believed that was an excuse. Easily said as he died on the battlefield with a forcibly clear mind. Such was the kind of spirit he was. Despite these values of his, he maintained what many of his colleges jokingly called, a good spirit. This was why many of the spirits of the Covenant demanded respect for being able to die with such a clear mind. The only sound pollution in that room was the moth barrelling into the light bulb over and over, casting annoying flickers of amplified shadow across the room.

‘Mr. Denneley, Sir.’, Mr. Monroe greeted the spirit and had gotten used to not bothering with a handshake. ‘Ah, Mr. Monroe. I must say, I’d thought America had sucked you into oblivion.’ Mr. Monroe sat down opposite the spirit ‘Funny how people keep saying that to me today.’ The spirit leaned back in his old wooden wheelie chair and the arms of his white shirt seemed to fold themselves. ‘I thought that insane asylum would have gotten the better of you. All those disturbed spirits walking the hallways. I hear the building itself morphed around you, refusing to let you go.’ Mr. Monroe looked up at the spirit and into where his eyes would be. ‘You know Monroe, there is only so much the living mind can handle before it cracks. You don’t want to end up like the very spirits you exorcised now do you?’. Mr. Monroe dismissed the comment with a grin and suspended his hand out in front of Denneley. It was shaking like a leaf ‘That’s fear, Joseph’, he could see Denneley’s worried expression imprinted on the mask, ‘when was the last time you felt that? In the war I imagine. In my line of work there is very little that makes me so scared that my body shakes. I have some very serious information that I think The Head will be happy to hear’. Monroe had had this conversation with Denneley all too many times. Many of his co-workers thought he had some kind of obsessive curiosity over the man. Denneley buried his face in his hands ‘Monroe, mate, we’ve been over this. I’ve told you. No one is granted an audience with The Head. He has his few servants up there and that’s it.’ Mr. Monroe tried to remain calm ‘So what, Denneley? He just sits up there, in the brow of Christ, set in stone on his own all the time. What about the shopping? Or going to stretch his legs or...I don’t bloody know. Am I the only one here who thinks it’s a bit strange’

‘No Monroe, you’re not. You’re the only one here who questions it. You ask no questions, you hear no lies. The deeper you dig, the less likely you’ll get out of the hole etc. Etc. You know all the proverbs, and they all mean don’t be so bloody curious; for your own good.’ Monroe knew he wasn’t going to crack Denneley on this day so he thought he’d change the subject. ‘OK, well with regards to the latest assignment you sent me, I arrived on the site and it was definitely a hotspot. Everything was broken. I got inside and there were lines of salt in the shapes of pentagrams and crosses. I guess, whoever it was wanted to be more thorough.’ Denelley got up from his chair, hands behind his back, and started idly cruising around his office, turning to say ‘Whoever it was, knew what they were doing?’ Monroe scuffled around in his jacket for a moment, pulling out the journal ‘Thats not all. I wasn’t in there long before I found this’ Monroe handed the journal over to Denneley and the war veteran scanned across its pages. Monroe didn’t need to see through the mask to sense his worry. Whilst Denneley observed the contents of the journal, Mr. Monroe continued ‘The girl. The spirit we were following; she’s become exceptionally stronger. Possibly stronger than our spirit colleagues, here, and from what I saw at the site, she is not here to help.’ Denneley threw the journal back to Mr. Monroe and shrugged his shoulders as if to say ‘it’s better off with you’. He sat back down in his ancient chair ‘This is quite disturbing. Anything else I should know?’. Monroe paused for a moment and decided if it was worth mentioning or just think on. But he had decided ‘Yes. Just one little thing. On the way over to the site. Fairly early on in the trip actually, I sensed a strange presence. Couldn’t put my finger on it but it was definitely supernatural...or a trace of it. I don’t know. There’s a chance it could be the boy who wrote the journal, y’know, fleeing from the site or something. But the odds of that are...

‘Extremely slim, Monroe. Extremely.’, Denneley chirped and cut him off. ‘You got anything else on this angry girl?’. Monroe buried his head in his hands at the realisation that this was another cock-up. ‘No, Sir, Mr. Denneley. Thats it. The trails gone cold. I don’t know where to go next.’ Accepting failure of an assignment, for the first time in years, Monroe already got up to leave the office. ‘It’s just as well Monroe. Orders from The Head are that you take a little time out. It’s like I said, the mortal mind can only take so much. Take a well earned break.’ Just before closing the door calmly, Mr. Monroe stated ‘You’ve get rid of that damn moth’.

*

Dafydd sat in the car perfectly occupied by his mobile phone, playing some kind of touch screen racing game. Mr. Monroe climbed back in next to him and observed the man, completely engrossed with his gadget. Dafydd took long enough to respond when Mr. Monroe asked what it was he was doing ‘Tarmac Burner, it’s called’. What followed was a perfectly awkward moment of silence save the inane music and engine sound effect emitting from the phone. Dafydd finally finished playing. ‘Done, Mr. Jones?’. Mr. Jones quickly put the phone away at the sudden realisation of his rudeness ‘Hm? Oh aye’, he said sheepishly, ‘Where to next, boss?’.

‘Well, back the way we came.’

‘To that bloody house again?’

‘No, Dafydd. Not that far. It’s a bit closer than that’


Submitted: March 12, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Nick Banks. All rights reserved.

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