Click to read Chapter One
Click to read Chapter Two
Click to read Chapter Three
Click to read Chapter Four
Click to read Chapter Five
Rattling the keys and moving to the back of the house, “let’s get this done, I’ll check out the suite, yell if you find anything.”
The basement suite was accessed from outside, stepping out of the back door and looking around the lights from the kitchen showed a narrow path along the side of the house, leading to the back yard. A quick look revealed a snow-covered space, a dilapidated shed against the back fence, a rope swing hanging from a tree branch. The whole area seemed sad and forgotten, combined with the sorry state of the main house why would a young woman have chosen to live here?
A slight struggle with the lock and the suite door swung open, reaching in and patting the interior wall to locate and flip the light switch. A stairwell then another door, again a struggle with the lock – wondering – why two locking doors? And another pat along the inside wall looking for the lights.
The suite was typical, a living room dining combo with the bare minimum of furniture, leading into a small galley style kitchen, the bathroom showing its age with peeling linoleum and rust stains around the bathtub drain. The bedroom was the only room that looked cared for, the furniture appeared to be antique and had obviously been cherished, the bed was carefully made and the bedding looked expensive. A bedside table with a single drawer held a digital clock and an empty glass. A check of the closet showed that Rose Lancer was very organized and although there weren’t a lot of clothes they also looked expensive.
Looking around and wondering again why someone would choose to live here, a dark dismal space with a faint smell of damp.
Muttering “okay then, Miss Rose, what’s your story,” while opening the bedside table drawer and flipping quickly through the contents. A notepad, the kind that realtors left in the mail box, couple of pens, a pack of tissues and an envelope containing some photos.
“You done? Find anything?” the voice called down the stairs.
“Nah, I’m coming up,” slipping the envelope into a pocket.
Driving away from the house a glance in the rear-view mirror showed a light flicker in an upstairs window, slamming on the brakes and struggling to turn around in the tightened seatbelt, “did you see that? someone’s in the house, upstairs, the front bedroom.”
“I looked up there, there’s no one in that house, maybe a trick of the light?”
“What light?” The moon was shadowed by the clouds and the streetlight in front of the house was out. “We’re going back.”
A quick U-turn brought them back and they once again entered the dark house. Flipping on the lights as they moved silently from room to room downstairs, hands on their holsters, and then slowly up to the second level.
“Can you feel that?” a whisper.
“Yeah, it’s colder, a lot colder, and there’s a smell, like um…I’m not sure, it’s familiar but more as a taste.”
They reached the top of the stairs and in unspoken agreement slid along the hallway to either side of the master bedroom doorway. The door was slightly open and they could see the light was on.
“This is the police, come out with your hands up!” a shout through the door, as they leaned against the wall, breathing evenly and calmly, guns ready.
Nothing, no sound, no movement from in the room, just the continued chill and vaguely familiar smell.
“This is the police, move towards the door with your hands up, identify yourself.”
Still nothing. No footsteps, no shuffling of feet, no breathing.
With a slight backwards nod to indicate ‘ready’ they entered the room. The empty room.
The light faded and shadows emerged from the corners, slipping and sliding movements, so graceful, moving closer, each one a shimmer of pale blacks and golds, vague impressions of shape, beautiful, reaching out to touch. Teeth. Moving teeth, biting teeth, a faint sound of chewing, of teeth clicking together, masticating, the sound of dripping, drip, drip, drip. No longer graceful, no longer beautiful, the colours had changed, red, dark reds and whites, dirty with fingerprint smudges. The figures became clearer, the shapes of women, delicate hands caressing, cruelly pinching a face, a familiar face, someone who shouldn’t be there, not with these creatures, creatures with demonic teeth, the dripping sound, it was coming from the face. The taste of blood, no, no, no, stop!
“It was you, it was you and they were eating you, your face, and I…I…I could taste it, I could taste it…” sobbing, wiping at the tears, at a mouth that still had the taste of blood, “I could taste it.”
“It’s okay, you’re okay, it wasn’t real, no one else is here,” crouched down, leaning over the figure curled up on the floor, “it wasn’t real, you’re okay, shhhhh.”
Looking around the room wondering what just happened, the lights had flicked, gone out for barely two seconds but during that time, madness, screaming, thrashing, but there was no one else there, just the two of them. One of whom is seeing and feeling things connected to the crimes; one of whom might be the only way to find out and stop whatever’s happening.
But at what cost?
“Come on, let me help you up and I’ll take you home, that’s enough for tonight, we can figure this out in the morning.”
Fear shone in deep brown eyes, “I think I’m scared,” the barest whisper.
The slow trek along the hallway, and back down the stairs, “Careful on the stairs, you’re still a bit shaky.”
Holding the front door open and fumbling for the keys, a glance in a mirror next to a wooden coat rack “what is that?” wiping something from the chin, something wet and slightly sticky, absently wiping fingers on faded jeans then locking the door.