He lay haunted by the shapes that lurked in the dark, calling him over to the other side. The shadows marched a cadence around him, cackling at his fear. He receded farther and farther in his closet embracing the skeletons that shared his fears, till he could take it no longer. He reached for the revolver in the silver box – the one handed down to him by his father who died in the war. Placing it at his temples, he held in a breath as he pulled the trigger.
Marian wiped a tear from her cheek as she stood over a dark coffin that was being lowered into the ground. She took a handful of the mud and spread it over the casket – her other hand tightly gripping tulips that she knew he loved. She dropped them and turned away – shoulders shuddering with sorrow. Someone placed an arm around her and led her away.
Marian had gone to the basement two weeks ago, but never came up again . The lawn was overgrown, the chipped paint began to fall and the mail collected in the abandoned mailbox. The familiar mailman, out of curiosity, walks up the door and gives it a good rap.
“Marian?? Anyone home??”
He lodges a missing persons complaint with the police.
Detective Arthur Mead looks at the weakened wooden door.
“Piece of cake” he grimaces at the constable by his side.
“On three…” he whispered. “1… 2…”
And with a mighty shove, he brought down the door.
Marian was rolled up in a fetal position, hidden in a dark corner behind a closet. Detective Arthur steps in and reaches out a reassuring hand toward her.
“Don’t…” a voice straggles out.
Constable Harris flashes a light at her face and is shocked to see the red capillaries pulsing across her eyes. She puts up a hand defensively and the Detective looks at the heavy closet.
Chalked tallies marked up to 14 lined the sides of the dark closet. Shining the light around the room, Harris notices the various scraggly drawings of some creature with glasses.
“Apparently, this thing – whatever it is – has been haunting her, and I’d say for 14 days judging by those tallies.” The detective stooped over broken pieces of chalk that lined the ground, as Constable Harris shone a light for him. A sudden movement catches Arthur’s attention and he flipped his head toward Marian.
Marian arched over them, revolver in hand. The Detective’s sharp eyes notice that it was the same Colt army revolver that was also used by the man who had shot himself two weeks ago. But this was no time for detections or associations. Marian had the revolver propped boldly against the Constable’s forehead.
“Don’t do it, Marian. You know you’re better than that,” said the Detective in a calm voice. Marian merely shook her head and looked down.
When she looked up again, she wore a smug grin. She looked directly into the Detective’s eyes and as quick as ever, pulled the trigger – over her own temple.
Blood and gore splashed across the pale cream wall. The forensics looked at the revolting sight with disgust.
“This isn’t a soap opera. Get to cleaning,” boomed the voice of the detective.
23 year old Adrien swallowed the wave of nausea that struck him. This was his first major assignment and the bloody gore triggered a nauseating wave of repulse that he never faced in five years of lab examinations. He looked away from the gory scene and his eyes picked out a thick book embedded in the junk that flowed around the closet.
“June 24 – Elliot seemed really disturbed at work today. I tried to talk to him but he just pushed me away. I wonder what’s on his mind? I should probably pay him a visit.
“June 26 – I stopped over at Elliot’s and I’m really worried for him. I heard a lot of crashing and banging. Should I go to the police?? But what if…? I don’t know. Maybe I should just give him some time.
“July 1- I can’t take it in. How could Elliot do this to himself??? If only I would have informed the cops that day! If only I could have been there for him. I’ll never forgive myself!
“July 3 – I was silly to be afraid. Elliot visits me everyday. He’s closer to me now than he has ever been. He taunts me constantly but he dotes over me. He doesn’t want me to leave the basement. I’m satisfied here. I’ll stay for as long as he wants me here.
“July 4 – Elliot asked me to light a candle and he would speak over it. I did, and he told me that his father’s spirit had been visiting him very often. His father had died in the war but his spirit wouldn’t rest after the violence and chaos he had seen. Elliot says that his father’s spirit violently roams his mansion seeking to avenge the young blood that soiled his country’s battlegrounds. Elliot’s speech was too abstract for me to understand but I do feel that spirit of violence around me, knocking around the books on the shelves.”
Adrien looked up from reading the diary. No one was in the room. The muffled conversation of the Inspector with the Detective sounded, from outside the basement door. Adrien was uneasy being alone with the corpse of the poor woman. A shiver ran down his spine and he took a step over the body towards the door when he stumbled over apparent nothingness and was tossed to the ground. His head struck the edge of the closet and he lay for a moment on the floor waiting for the delirium to pass. It felt like all the objects on the shelves swam over his head.
He blinked twice but the objects wouldn’t move away. He suddenly felt the cold steel of the silver revolver over his temple. He tried to speak but choked. He felt paralyzed. Unable to move his hands, he tried to turn his head from side to side. A powerful force locked his jaw, and he heard the rattling of the cans in the distance. Suddenly, the trigger pulled.