"Alana, it's Jack. I need your help."
"What can I do for you?"
"We've been doing an investigation and we've hit a wall. I was wondering if you and your team would like to try your hand at it?" Jack asked hopefully.
"Since when do you ask for help?" Alana asked suspiciously.
"Since now." Jack answered a little too quickly.
"Before I agree, what type of thing are we looking at?"
"Alana, this one's got me scared. You know me. I can handle things that go bump in the night and the occasional jump scare. But what we're dealing with here is on a whole other level."
"How do you mean?" Alana asked cautiously.
"I don't want to take the chance of influencing your investigation with our mistaken assumptions. But if you decide to take over the case... Be careful, okay? This one's nasty." Jack said with concern.
"Everyone's supposed to meet here at six. Can you be here to fill us in?" Alana asked carefully.
"I'll bring the case file with the accumulated evidence. But... Kyla and I won't be going with you. We can't go back there." Jack finished regretfully.
"It's okay, Jack. I understand." Alana assured him.
"I'll see you at six." Jack said anxiously before hanging up the phone.
* * * * *
"I brought Max with me, I hope that's okay." Charity said as she walked into the office.
"Of course. But it looks like we may have a case." Alana said frankly.
"Oh? I thought tonight was just to review case files and plan for next week." Charity said honestly, then smiled when her boyfriend walked into the room.
"That was my original plan, but then Jack called and asked if we would take over a case for him." Alana said seriously.
"He wants us to take one of his cases? What's up with that?" Charity asked in wonder.
"Who's Jack?" Max asked timidly.
"He runs another paranormal team... well, you can hardly call it a team. It's him and his wife, Kyla." Charity explained.
"Jack is a physicist and an author. He does paranormal investigations in his spare time. Kyla claims to be 'sensitive' to spiritual energies." Alana added.
"Why does Jack want us to take one of his cases?" Charity asked again.
"It must be too big for a two-man team." Alana answered simply.
"Is it okay if Max comes along? If this is a big job, you might need a psychic." Charity asked seriously.
"I'm not a medium. I can just sense things, sometimes." Max cautioned.
Alana smiled at the exchange and couldn't help but comment, "I can remember when, not too long ago, you nearly had a kicking screaming fit at the thought of calling in a psychic."
"Yeah. Well, since then I've figured out that psychics aren't all hucksters and charlatans. Some of them are really good people who get flashes of insight." Charity said as she looked lovingly at her boyfriend.
"Max! I didn't expect to see you, tonight. How are you doing?" A voice intruded.
"I'm doing fine. How have you been, Derek?" Max asked with a genuine smile.
"Classes have been kicking my butt this semester, but I think I'm finally getting on top of it." Derek said frankly.
"Let me know if you need any help. I don't remember everything from my college days, but I can at least help you reason things out or help you do research." Max said sincerely.
"Thanks, Max. I think I'm alright at the moment, but if things get too crazy, I may give you a call." Derek said gratefully.
"Am I late?" A voice called before a man walked into the room.
Alana glanced at the clock, then smiled as she said, "You made it with five minutes to spare. And I understand that you're driving over here right after a full day of work. There's no way I'd be upset if you were late."
"Do we want to go ahead and start?" Derek asked as he looked around.
"We're waiting on Jack. He's got a case for us." Charity told him quietly.
"Why's Jack giving us a case?" Derek asked cautiously.
"If you'll wait for just a few minutes, you can ask him yourself. He should be on his way here." Alana said as she walked into the conference room and took her usual seat.
"Kerry, how are the wife and kids?" Derek asked as they followed.
"They're fine... except that Lorra and Toni are driving me crazy, trying to talk me into letting them do investigations." Kerry said with a grin.
"If they can keep their enthusiasm, I'm sure that they'll get their chance eventually." Derek assured him.
"Hello?" A voice called from the office.
"We're in the conference room." Charity called in return.
Alana smiled at her, then walked to the reception area to greet their guest.
* * * * *
"Jack, you already know Charity and Derek. I'd like for you to meet Max and Kerry." Alana said professionally.
"I didn't realize that your team had grown so much." Jack said honestly as he placed his briefcase on the conference room table.
"Max and Kerry are part-time investigators. They join us when they have the spare time." Alana explained simply, then continued, "So, what brings you here?"
"About a month ago we were contacted by the Osmani family to investigate some supernatural occurrences in their home." Jack said darkly.
"What type of occurrences?" Derek asked curiously.
"Let me go ahead and present the evidence that we've collected. We've hit a dead end, so I want to be really careful not to lead you down the same path that we took." Jack said frankly.
"Thank you. I appreciate you thinking of that." Alana said sincerely.
"If I may use your computer for a moment, I'll present the evidence that we've collected so far." Jack said carefully.
"Of course. Derek, would you mind?" Alana asked seriously.
"Yeah. Give me just a minute." Derek said as he went to his work computer to boot it up.
"While he's doing that, can you tell us about the family?" Alana asked curiously.
"Mr. and Mrs. Osmani are naturalized citizens who immigrated here from Pakistan several years ago. I only bring this up because they seem to be a little uncomfortable about it. I'm sure that they're completely justified in their reasons." Jack said thoughtfully, then quickly added, "They have two children. Van is fifteen and Malika is thirteen."
"I'm ready for you, Jack." Derek said as he backed away from the computer.
"Thanks." Jack muttered, then inserted a thumb drive into the USB port.
Everyone waited silently as Jack prepared his presentation.
"The family has been living in their house since 2007. Although they've been experiencing paranormal incidents all along, up to now they've been mostly minor things that could be easily dismissed." Jack said distractedly as he brought the presentation up on the big screen.
Jack turned to face the group as he said, "About two months ago, things began to escalate."
"Do you have any theories as to why?" Alana asked seriously.
Jack froze in thought for a moment, then quietly said, "After our initial investigation and some historical research, we thought that we were dealing with a displaced spirit from the revolutionary war. We were misled. All the conclusions that we reached were wrong. I'll give you our research, in case it has some bearing, but don't make our mistake and give it too much credence."
"We'll keep that in mind." Alana said supportively, then cautiously asked, "So, what evidence were you able to collect?"
"Before you can say it, I'll admit that most of this could have natural explanations. But when you consider all of this at once, I think you'll get an idea of the scale of what we're looking at." Jack said gravely as he advanced to the first slide.
Everyone around the table silently studied the image of an infected wound, about an inch long, on someone's arm.
"Mrs. Osmani claims that she doesn't know where this injury came from and wasn't aware of it until it had reached this highly septic state." Jack said seriously.
Looks went around the table, and their expressions clearly said that none of them could imagine how this could be seen as supernatural in any way.
Without further exposition, Jack advanced to the next slide.
The slideshow that followed was one grotesque example of infection after another. Some were cuts, others were festering boils.
The last of that set of slides was of a foot so badly deformed by infection that it was nearly unrecognizable.
"These people don't need paranormal researchers, they need medical attention." Alana finally declared.
"Mrs. Osmani is a doctor. Trust me, they've been receiving the best medical care that there is, but the wounds and infections just keep happening. Her treatments are minimally effective, at best." Jack said gravely.
"That might mean that it's something in the home. That place must be like a giant petri dish." Charity said frankly.
"We've taken numerous swabs and haven't been able to identify any harmful bacterium in the home." Jack said seriously.
After a long, silent moment, Alana quietly asked what they all were wondering, "Even if you can't find the source of infection, what makes you think that this... event... has a supernatural origin?"
"This." Jack said, then brought up the next slide.
The picture on the screen was of a crudely made antique dagger.
They all looked at the picture for a moment, then Kerry hesitantly asked, "What about it?"
Rather than answer, Jack began to show slide after slide of different bladed weapons. There was a knife stabbed into a mattress, a broken pair of scissors embedded into a door facing, and other less flamboyant examples.
"I'm trying to keep my professional detachment, but this..." Jack said as he advanced to the next slide to show a straight razor sitting before a mutilated photograph. "Kyla and I came home from the Osmani house to find this waiting for us."
"It followed you home?" Derek asked with concern.
"Not only that." Jack responded, then started rolling up his shirt sleeve to reveal a bandage.
As he started to unwrap the bandage, more than one person brought up a hand to their nose to try and evade the putrid odor.
Alana gasped at the sight of the deep, infected gash on Jack's forearm as others turned away.
"Just as the family had stated, I never felt myself being injured. And when I discovered this, it was already massively infected." Jack said as he looked at his arm with fear and disgust vying for control of his expression.
"Jack, you really need to go to a doctor..." Alana began to say when a movement drew her attention.
Everyone in attendance looked on with horror as a maggot wriggled out of the infected wound on Jack's arm and dropped to the table. Jack quickly picked up the maggot with the soiled bandages and crushed it.
"As soon as I'm done here, Kyla's going to try a cleansing ceremony on me, then she's going to drive me to the hospital." Jack said frankly.
"How is she?" Charity asked with concern.
"Terrified." Jack answered simply, then continued, "From the first moment that we walked into the Osmani house, she felt that she was under psychic attack. She's had to keep herself completely closed off through the entire investigation."
"Is there anything else that you need to tell us? You really need to get to the hospital." Alana said seriously.
"Let me give you their case file..." Jack began to say as he reached into his briefcase, but then suddenly stopped and withdrew his hand.
"What's wrong?" Alana asked cautiously.
"Just another example of what's been happening." Jack said frankly, then carefully took the hook-like implement from his briefcase.
From the construction, it appeared that the small sickle might be two to three hundred years old.
"It doesn't look like it's torn anything too important." Jack said as he set the repeatedly slashed manilla folder on the conference room table.ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½
"Is that everything?" Alana asked to confirm.
"Yes. I hope that you can find some answers and help this family. But, whatever you do, don't take any unnecessary risks. This thing, whatever it is, it's vicious." Jack said seriously.
"Jack, your neck." Alana said in horror.
Right before their eyes, the skin seemed to split open, as though it had been cut with a razor.
"I need to go." Jack said as he took out his handkerchief and held it to the fresh wound.
"You can't go by yourself, not like this." Charity said firmly.
"She's right, Jack. You're in no condition." Alana agreed.
"If you like, you can drive him home, and I can follow you." Max timidly suggested to Charity.
"How does that sound to you, Jack?" Charity asked cautiously.
"Yes. Thank you. I really appreciate that." Jack said with relief.
"Let me help you rebandage that arm, before we go." Charity said decisively.
"I'll get you something for your neck." Kerry added before dashing away to get the first aid kit.
"When you've finished with your blessing and hospital visit, call us and let us know how you're doing." Alana said seriously.
"I will." Jack assured her.
"Here." Kerry said as he handed Charity a fresh roll of gauze.
"We'll be right back as soon as we've dropped him off." Charity said to Alana while carefully beginning to wrap Jack's forearm.
"We'll be waiting for you." Alana said as she picked up the partially shredded case file.
* * * * *
"So, how do you want to tackle this?" Derek asked as soon as they were alone.
After a moment to consider, Alana quietly said, "Kerry, I think that maybe you should sit this one out."
"I know that I haven't had much training, but the only way I'm going to learn is to go on investigations with you." Kerry said frankly.
"It's not that. It looks like we're going to need all the help that we can get on this one, I'm just concerned that you may end up taking something home with you and I wouldn't want to take the chance of hurting you or your family." Alana said honestly.
"If we're careful to do a cleansing and a blessing when we leave, we should be able to minimize the possibility." Derek interjected.
"We can't be sure of how effective that will be. And, of course, there's always the chance that this isn't anything paranormal at all. This could be some kind of super contagion and the paranormal events might not be related." Alana said seriously.
"Thank you for worrying about me, but I remember what it's like to be helpless in the face of something paranormal. There's no way that I'm going to walk away from a family going through something like this." Kerry said firmly.
"Okay, Kerry. If you're sure." Alana finally relented.
"I am." Kerry said definitely.
"But, if at any point you feel like you need to back out to protect yourself or your family, I want you to do it. I want to help this family as much as you do, but not at the expense of your family's wellbeing." Alana said seriously.
"Yes. I'll do that." Kerry assured her.
"What do you want me to do with this?" Derek asked as he gestured toward the sickle that Jack had left on the conference room table.
"Run the standard tests on it, then lock it up in the storeroom. I doubt that it's being used as a conduit, but I'd rather not take the chance." Alana said seriously.
"I can do that, if you'd like." Kerry quickly offered.
"Go ahead and I'll follow behind you." Derek encouraged him.
* * * * *
"So, did we miss anything?" Charity asked as she and Max walked into the conference room.
"No. Kerry and Derek have just been conducting tests on the sickle and I've been reviewing Jack's case notes." Alana said frankly.
"Have you found any indication of what we'll be dealing with?" Charity asked cautiously.
"No. Given the evidence that Jack was able to collect, I probably would have drawn the same conclusions that he did. We'll need to go in there, keeping in mind that we might be dealing with something that's actively trying to deceive us." Alana said seriously as Kerry and Derek walked back into the room.
"How do you want to handle it, going in?" Charity asked thoughtfully.
"I was thinking that, assuming that the family gives permission for us to investigate, that Derek can set up tech, Charity can do an environmental sweep, Max can walk around and try to get a sense of the place and identify areas of interest, while I interview the parents and Kerry interviews the children." Alana said professionally.
"Are you sure that you want me to do interviews?" Kerry asked cautiously.
"Yes. I think you're ready. Besides, you already have experience talking with teenagers about this sort of thing." Alana said decisively.
"Kerry, can you help me get everything packed into the van?" Derek asked hopefully.
"I'll help, too." Max said quickly.
Alana looked at her team with pride, then said, "Let's do this."
* * * * *
Alana knocked on the door and waited.
Jack hadn't mentioned if he had told the family that Alana and her group might be stopping by.
"Yes?" A woman asked cautiously as she opened the door, just a crack.
"Dr. Osmani?" Alana ventured hesitantly.
"Yes. Who are you?" The woman asked anxiously.
"I'm Doctor Alana Travago from Fallwell Paranormal Research. Jack Kane contacted my team and asked that we stop by to see if we can help your family." Alana said professionally.
"Oh, yes, he said that he might request the aid of another group. How are he and his wife?" Dr. Osmani asked with concern.
"Jack was planning to go to the hospital after his meeting with us. He said that he'd call later to let us know how he's doing." Alana said seriously.
"Please, come in. I'm at my wit's end. I don't know what else to do." Dr. Osmani said as she stepped back and opened the door wider.
"Do you mind if my team sets up some equipment and takes some readings so that we can try to determine what's happening to your family?" Alana asked cautiously.
"Yes. Please, do whatever you have to. Just make it stop." Dr. Osmani said quickly.
"Thank you. We'll do our best." Alana said seriously, then thought to ask, "Is there an out of the way place where we can set up our equipment?"
"Yes. You may use the dining room, if you like." Dr. Osmani said as she led the way into the house.
Alana was suddenly assaulted by a putrid, rotting odor and reflexively brought her hand up to her nose.
"I can't do this." A voice said from behind her.
Alana turned and saw Max, standing stiff as a board in the doorway and it looked as though every bit of color had washed out of his face.
"I'm sorry, Charity, but I can't go in there." Max said as he stiffly started backing away.
"Go ahead and take the car. I'll ride back with the others in the van." Charity assured him.
"I'm really sorry. I thought I could do it, but I can't." Max said regretfully.
"Thanks for trying. I'll see you when I get home." Charity told him quietly.
"The dining room is just over here." Dr. Osmani said, drawing Alana's attention.
"Sorry about that. Thank you." Alana said, then started walking again.
* * * * *
"Is there anything that you're going to need?" Dr. Osmani asked as she waited just inside the dining room door.
"This will be fine. But is there any way that I can talk to you and your husband about what's been going on? Jack only gave us a general overview and I'd like the opportunity to ask you some questions." Alana asked hopefully.
"Yes. But you will have to go upstairs to speak with him. He is no longer able to walk." Dr. Osmani said gravely.
"That won't be any problem at all." Alana assured her.
* * * * *
As Alana and Dr. Osmani walked out of the dining room, they found the rest of the team standing, waiting for them.
"Dr. Osmani, I'd like to introduce my team. First we have Derek Seaver. He's in charge of our technical equipment." Alana said, then turned to Derek and said more quietly, "You can set up in the dining room."
Derek nodded, then picked up some equipment that he'd already carried in.
"Next, I'd like for you to meet Charity Lessing. She's going to focus mostly on the environmental aspects of your house, trying to rule out any 'natural' explanations for what's been happening." Alana said carefully.
When Dr. Osmani didn't ask for any clarification, Alana continued, "Finally, we have Kerry Hinton. If you wouldn't have any objection, he's going to interview your children."
"Of course. Van is in the living room, just through there, watching television. Malika is probably in her bedroom, talking on her cellphone... Allow me to apologize in advance for her behavior." Dr. Osmani said in a pained voice.
Kerry gave an understanding smile, then said, "Trust me, I have three kids. I know how it is."
Dr. Osmani briefly smiled in response, then looked at Alana anxiously.
"If you'll lead the way, let's get your interview started." Alana said pleasantly, trying to delicately get them on task.
* * * * *
"Do you mind if I talk with you for a few minutes?" Kerry asked cautiously as he walked into the living room.
"Who are you?" The teenage boy asked suspiciously.
"My name is Kerry Hinton. I'm here to try and help to figure out what's going on around here." Kerry said hesitantly.
"Why are you talking to me about it? Do you think I'm the cause of all this?" Van asked defensively.
"I don't think anything. Dr. Travago just asked me to come in here and find out about what's going on from your point of view." Kerry said frankly.
"Oh." Van said with surprise. He raised the remote control and turned off the television, then continued, "The last guy kept asking me questions about black magic and stuff, acting like I made this happen."
"Do you mind if I record our conversation? I'm kind of new at this and I don't want to take the chance of forgetting something important." Kerry asked cautiously.
"No. Go ahead. What did you want to know?" Van asked curiously, sounding to be a lot more at ease.
"Would you just tell me about what's been going on around here? The last guy, his name is Jack, wouldn't tell us much of anything because he didn't want us to make the same mistakes that he did. So I really don't know much except that your family needs help." Kerry said as he took a seat on the far end of the couch.
"You got that part right. All of us have got it some, but my mom and dad got it the worst. Both of them are really sick right now." Van said anxiously.
"How did it start?" Kerry asked with interest.
"We've lived here since I was little. The house has always been kinda haunted..." Van began to say, but was interrupted.
"Kinda haunted? How is that?" Kerry asked curiously.
"You know, the normal stuff. You put something down and a few seconds later it's not where you left it. Every now and then you'll see something out of the corner of your eye. But it was never a really big deal. You'd jump and maybe scream a little, then you'd have a good laugh about it." Van said seriously.
"So, when did it all change?" Kerry asked carefully.
"About two months ago." Van said more quietly.
"Tell me about it." Kerry encouraged.
"The first thing that I heard about was my dad. He woke up one morning and found a knife stabbed through his pillow and into the mattress, right beside his head. He thought that I did it... maybe he still does. I don't know." Van finished quietly.
"Even though being accused of doing such a horrible thing must have been difficult for you, I can imagine that your father not believing you, probably hurt worse." Kerry said sympathetically.
"Yeah. He's always looked at me like I'm a disappointment because I don't get perfect grades. Sometimes he's said stuff, like, him and mom went through hell to give me and Malika all kinds of opportunities and we're wasting them. He always kinda acted like I was lazy and stupid, but that was the first time he ever acted like I was evil." Van said as he fought to contain his tears.
"Take it from someone who knows, it's very difficult to set aside what you've believed all your life and accept that reality isn't what you thought it was. It's easier to look for the most 'reasonable' answer than to entertain the idea that something happened that's impossible." Kerry said soothingly.
"Did something like this happen to you?" Van asked curiously.
"Not exactly like this, but my family and I moved into a haunted house." Kerry answered honestly.
"Did you accuse your kids of causing it?" Van asked with interest.
"No." Kerry said immediately, then quietly amended, "But when Alana asked if we had any occult devices in the house, the first thing I did was suspect my son, Mike. Even though I never accused him of anything, for that one minute I actually believed that he might have been the cause of all the trouble we were going through."
Van's intense gaze stayed focused on Kerry, as though he were trying to decide how he felt about the admission.
"Does that make me a bad father?" Kerry eventually asked.
After another long silent moment, Van reluctantly said, "I guess not. If you were trying to make sense of something that makes no sense, I guess I can see how you might at least consider if it was true."
"Fortunately, Mike's away at college, so he didn't really get involved in the haunting." Kerry finished with a smile.
"You don't look like you're old enough to have a kid in college." Van said with surprise.
"Well, to be honest, we had Mike when I was sixteen years old. I've never for a minute wished that we didn't have him. But I'll admit that we probably could have planned things a little better." Kerry said timidly.
"My parents went to school, just like they were supposed to. Then they went to college, just like they were supposed to. They got married, like they were supposed to. Then they had us kids, like they were supposed to. Now that they've done all the things that they were supposed to do, they're trying to get me and Malika to do the stuff that we're supposed to do. When do I ever get to do what I want to do?" Van asked desperately.
"I actually have an answer for that, if you're interested." Kerry said with a smile.
"What is it?" Van asked cautiously.
"First, you decide what it is that you want to do. And that's a lot harder than it sounds, by the way. But once you've done that, then you figure out what steps you need to take to accomplish that goal. Your parents might not support you in the beginning, but if you keep your goal in mind and stand up for yourself, I think that they'll eventually get behind you and support you in whatever you choose." Kerry said thoughtfully.
"You don't know my parents." Van said frankly.
"That's true. And considering what they're going through right now, it probably would be best if you held back from announcing any life-changing decisions for a little bit. But have mercy on the old folks, they're not trying to ruin your life, they just sometimes don't know any better." Kerry finished with a smile.
"I guess you're right." Van reluctantly agreed, then quietly said, "You act like you don't care that I'm a Paki."
"What's that?" Kerry asked curiously.
"Pakistani." Van explained.
"Oh? Well, I guess I've never really been around anyone who was from Pakistan before. And since my parents never taught me to hate Pakistanis, you're right. I really don't care." Kerry said thoughtfully.
Van looked carefully at Kerry's expression for a moment, judging his sincerity, before asking, "What else did you need to ask me about?"
"Oh, yeah." Kerry said distractedly, then asked, "After your dad found the knife in his pillow, what happened next?"
"That was the first time that I heard about what was happening. But I think that all of us were having the cuts and sores, for a while before that. None of us really thought anything about it, but since Mom's a doctor, we all went to her when we noticed that we'd been hurt." Van said thoughtfully.
"Is it okay if I come in?" Charity asked from the living room doorway.
"Sure." Kerry responded with a smile at her, then looked to Van and asked, "So, what happened next?"
Van watched as Charity walked around the room, intently watching the K2 meter that she was carrying, and he finally said, "It just kept happening and it kept getting worse. Me and Malika mostly just got little stuff, but Mom and Dad were getting really nasty infections and stuff. Mom was freaking out about it."
"So, is that when they called Jack to investigate?" Kerry asked curiously.
"No. The next thing that happened is that my mom did this big super-scientific cleaning frenzy. She washed and scrubbed and steam-cleaned everything in the house. She probably used every kind of cleaning stuff that they sell in the stores and she even got some of the medical-grade stuff from her office. For about two weeks, this place smelled like a hospital." Van said with obvious displeasure.
"I take it that that didn't work." Kerry prompted.
"It got worse... and that's when the nightmares started." Van said gravely.
"This is the first that I'm hearing about nightmares. Can you tell me about them?" Kerry asked as he watched Charity leave the living room.
"Well, you never feel like you're completely alone, here. But sometimes at night, it's like you feel someone moving around in the room with you and then you realize that you can't move. Sometimes you feel like you're trapped or even that you're being suffocated. It's got so that I hate going to sleep anymore." Van said honestly.
"Yes. I can understand that." Kerry said sympathetically.
"When my parents decided that they'd had enough, we packed up and moved to a hotel. But the thing is, whatever's happening to us, it followed us there. My dad woke up from a nightmare with a deep infected cut on his chest and a knife laying beside him. The next day, my parents started talking about calling the ghost hunters." Van said seriously.
"I've been in that position before, and it's a very difficult call to make." Kerry said honestly.
"I'm scared, Kerry. I don't know what to do." Van said honestly.
"I'm new to the paranormal thing, so I can't tell you exactly how they're going to fix this, but I'm confident that they will." Kerry said as he held Van's gaze.
After a moment, Van quietly said, "Just tell me what I have to do."
Kerry smiled, then said, "I think I should talk to your sister, next. Could you take me to where she is?"
"She's in her room. She's always in her room." Van said with a roll of his eyes.
As Kerry reached to the coffee table, to pick up the voice recorder, he found that it wasn't there.
Van watched for a moment as Kerry looked under the coffee table and at the surrounding floor. Finally, Van quietly said, "Try your pocket. When things disappear around here, they usually go back to where you got them from."
Kerry patted his pocket and, just as Van had said, the voice recorder was there and was turned off.
"It only gets weirder from here." Van said wearily as he stood to lead the way to his sister's room.
I'm not sure how I should spell it, but here goes, OOOOOOOOOOOh, That is really weird. My creepo meter is really going wild.
It has always bothered me that when something goes wrong anywhere a child is present, it seems that the kid is always the first one who gets blamed. We lived on a farm, and when I was a kid, if anything was out of place or something went missing I was the first one to be suspected. Some tool would go missing and right away, guess who got the third degree.
It seemed that kids got no respect whatsoever, and no matter what we told them, we were never believed.
You wouldn't believe how many child psychology books were in evidence.
I found myself watching those stupid horror movies, and thinking, "How in the world can I believe this supernatural mumbo jumbo." So I know just how Van feels.
Hopefully the team will be able to dissuade the parents of notion that Van and his sister are the cause of all the crap that's happening.
There are a lot of child psychology texts that claim teenagers are doing parlor magic to scare the parents out of their wits.
In any case, I'm ready for another Chapter.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher