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DREAMSCAPES FICTION


The Haunted Dog
Marcus Destorm - Notes from Seacliffe Police Sub-Divisional Headquarters

I had arrived on the scene approximately one and a half hours after the Murder Investigation Unit appeared at the three bedroom council house. The original call had been called in some forty-five minutes earlier, which begged the question, what present priority had led to the delay in despatching an officer to the house?
Entering the house through the front door I saw no visible evidence of any forced entry, nor was there any sign of an attempted break in. Around the hallway there were no signs of past activity, which, according to the two tenants of the house, someone had scurried down the stairs just before they alerted the police of an intruder.
Before being assigned to the case, my briefing of events and the given report was thought to have been a straightforward murder enquiry. But on walking through the large living room and into the couples kitchen, every single thought, each planned out procedure and all recited step-by-step instruction took to the wind and blew its way to the four corners of the globe.
To be honest, in all my time of being human, I had never once stumbled across anything as involved with the supernatural, dark forces or Satanism. Today, it was my turn to experience another interruption of reality. It was a wake up call to the here and now.
“Forensics!” I called over to a young pale looking WPC.
“They’ve collected all the necessary evidence, Sir,” she replied.
I could see that she was trying not to look at the blood-covered floor, the splattering around the kitchen door casing, and the remaining droplets that slowly seeped from the dead animals skinned body. Admittedly, the sight of an eight stone mutilated Alsatian was stomach churning, sickening, almost perverse in the way that the animal’s private parts were untouched, uncut and purposely left on display.
“Vetinarien!" I heard myself say in a low voice.
“Someone from the RSPCA is on their way.”
Feeling my own stomach churning and twisting around, I made my way back into the living room to where my body found an empty chair all by itself. Every sense in my entire body had been touched by this strange and weird incident, one occurrence that hadn’t been seen in Britain since the Dark Ages, and then some.

At 09:12am, I was joined by a Mr Alfred Jones, from the RSPCA, and a Detective James Neville, who was from some way out police station in the Yorkshire Dales. Both men introduced themselves to the officer at the front door before approaching me in the living room.
“Where’s the body?” Neville asked reaching out to shake my hand.
Pointing forward of my seat to the kitchen, I took hold of his hand and shook it weakly. And again to shake Mr Jones’ hand before he, too, entered the kitchen with Neville. Lasting about thirty seconds inside that room, both men rushed out together and started breathing deeply on the cleaner, untainted air before sitting down hard on the sofa.
“Jesus Christ Almighty!” Neville cried out in disgust.
“I doubt it was anything to do with him, Detective,” I whispered softly turning around to face the two pale faced men.
“Only something sick and evil could have done this,” Mr Jones cried out uncontrollably.
On a closer look at Neville, I noticed that he was all of 22-23, which could produce any number of problems during this particular case. As for Jones, well, he was much older than both the young detective, and me but the thought of an up and coming problem began burning in my mind.
“So, Detective Yelims, what can you tell us about this case?”
“Well, Detective Neville, by the look of things I would say its some sick and twisted professional burglar who’s probably tuning into Demonic FM. Other than what you’ve seen in the kitchen, I have no idea what this case is about,” I replied.
It was obvious by the looks on their faces that they were lost for words. Jones was the first to stand up and make his way back into the kitchen, while Neville took out his note pad and pen to make ready his notes on the case so far.
“I think its time we talked to the occupants and asked them a few questions, don’t you think so, Yelims?”
He had the spirit of a Chief Inspector, the soul of a dedicated officer and the patience of a saint, as I was to soon find out. Something inside me was telling me to go, while another part was telling me to stay at it and see it all through until the end.
Taking Neville up on his offer of an idea, I joined him in climbing the steep stairs and into one of the big back bedrooms. Inside were the two parents; their son and daughter, two WPC’s and a middle aged Constable who stood at the bedroom window frowning.
“Good morning, Sir, this is Mr and Mrs Brocklebank, their son, Adam, daughter, Rachel and these are WPC Hargreaves and PC Robson,” the WPC sat closest to Mrs Brocklebank introduced them all.
Turning to Neville, I nodded for him to start asking the parents the questions he needed so as to get the investigation under way. And, as he flicked through the thin note pad, I gazed around the room looking at each piece of furniture in turn.
“Have you found anything at all missing?” Was the first question Neville asked.
Giving his wife’s hand a gentle squeeze, Mr Brocklebank began answering Detective Neville’s questions with a deep breath and straight face.
“Nothing has been taken, nothing is missing, nothing…”
“What about house keys?”
Mr Brocklebank looked around to his wife, who nodded her head from side to side silently.
“Sometimes, more often than not, we find that professional burglars carry out these jobs by knowing or getting to know their targets. What we have downstairs is a professional break-in, but with no motive, and no evidence that identifies the person, or person’s who gained entry without causing any damage.” Neville explained anxiously.

By now I had had enough of his tactless approach toward the distraught parents, especially in front of their children. Ordering him downstairs to help the officers clean up, Neville objected in the strongest way by trying to question my decision, and, of course, there were harsh words exchanged between us both. But, eventually Neville returned downstairs along with the PC and one of the WPC’s. It was now that I had decided to take on the case, much to my Chief Constable’s surprise.
“I apologise for my associates behaviour, Mr and Mrs Brocklebank. He’s not long been allowed out of the office, you see. My name is Detective Marcus Yelims, from Seacliffe Police Sub-Divisional Headquarters.”
Once I had introduced myself both the parents and children became more relaxed, as well as becoming more talkative about the whole experience.
They told me that they heard a strange scratching noise in the loft, a soft knocking sound coming from the upstairs walls and some unnatural groaning, moaning or wining from the hallway landing. Each occurrence happened ten to fifteen minutes apart from one another, which resulted in Mr Brocklebank getting out of bed to investigate. It was at this point that he found someone standing at the top of the stairs and proceeded to give chase downstairs and into the living room where the intruder disappeared into thin air. And it was when Mrs Brocklebank followed her husband downstairs a couple of minutes later, that they both found the mutilated body of their children’s pet dog which was stuck to the kitchen door by twenty-seven of their best sharp kitchen knives.
According to both parents there were no indication or sounds that would have made them aware of the dog ending up the way that it did, not without getting them up and out of bed sooner.
When I’d finished questioning the parents, I arranged for the whole family to be taken to The Red Lion Hotel, one of the local hotels that allowed victim’s and their families to stay indefinitely, or until they were safe to return home again. Though the bill was payable by my station, it was nine cases in every ten that the hotel owners waved the cost because of the circumstances.
Returning downstairs I found Neville making more notes in his little thin book while talking on the telephone quietly.
“What are you doing, Neville?” I called over.
Jumping with surprise by my unannounced entrance, Detective Neville slammed down the phone without saying goodbye to the person on the other end. It was when facing me that I knew he was hiding something, something that would, I was sure, jump up and bite me in the arse, sooner rather tan later.
“I was just checking in at the station, you know, like checking up on similar MO’s around the area,” he answered hesitantly.
“And what did you come up with?”
Neville nodded his head from side to side. “Nothing.”

Walking into the kitchen I found Mr Jones crouched down over a very thin layer of dried blood, his hands and fingers rubbing across the tainted lino. In my opinion the mere thought of touching any blood stain was definitely out of the question, but with Mr Jones being a long serving Animal Protection Officer, I guess he knew only too well what he was doing.
“Have you found anything, Mr Jones?” I asked politely.
“As a matter of fact, I’ve found several things that you would class as evidence in identifying the killer of this poor animal. I took the liberty of informing Detective Neville of my findings, you don’t mind do you, Marcus?”
In all honesty to myself, I did mind, but to keep things on a professional level I concealed my true feelings from him and everyone else.
“Not at all. Could you just brief me on some of your findings anyway, while Detective Neville ties up the loose ends with the uniformed officers outside? As everything’s chaotic around here, with officers searching, investigating and chasing up leads, I’d rather hear the evidence first hand.”
By the look on his face I had the strangest feeling that the cat was out of the bag, and that he knew about the delicate atmosphere between Detective Neville and myself. He didn’t let on about it, but I knew that he knew something was going on.
“OK. This dried out blood down here,’ he pointed, “It should be still wet or damp. The knives used to impale the animal onto the door were individually marked with symbols on their handles, symbols that don’t really belong to them. Over here, what we’ve got is an identity skin print…”
“A finger print!” I interrupted quickly.
“If it was a finger, or indeed a hand print, it would have to have been a bloody big one. I’m sorry, no, it’s not a handprint. By the width and length of this I’d say it was a bare foot print, and judging by its slight deformity on the inner toes I’d say that the individual has never worn any footwear ever. This over here, if you don’t mind getting your knees dusty, is the most amazing clue of all.”
Crouching down as far as I could to get under the sink units empty cupboard, I was shocked to see a pile of blood soaked cloth, rags or discarded laundry. Looking closer it was obvious that the pile wasn’t that of clothes, but the skinned fur of the dog, which the Crime Unit Officers couldn’t find.
“Jesus Christ!” I yelped, jumping to my feet unsteadily.
“I’m…I’m sorry about that, Detective Yelims, truly I am.”
“Its alright…”
“No. No, it isn’t all right, I am really sorry. Listen, there is one other thing that you may find interesting, though its nothing to do with my line of work,” Mr Jones said standing to his feet. “Its in the living room above the gas fire.”
Following the Vet into the living room he proceeded to show me a blemish, a bubble in the wallpaper that had been scorched by some form of naked flame. On showing it to me I couldn’t help but wonder what his reasons were of pointing out the decorating.
“I’m sorry, Mr Jones, that’s obviously a job for Changing Rooms, or Real Rooms…”
“If you look at the scratches on the top of the gas fire, around the scorch mark and on the knives used to hold up the dog, the chances are they’re exactly the same,” he revealed almost sarcastically.
“Right, I’ll bare that in mind, Mr Jones, will you please excuse me.”
Instructing the uniformed officers around the house to seal off the whole area from the public and prying press, I returned to the station with Detective Neville, who was irritatingly silent throughout the whole journey. And, no matter how hard I tried to forget about his strange, silent phone call, it still didn’t stop me thinking that something was wrong.

The Chief Constable was the first person to greet us.
“Detective Neville, you have a visitor in my office. Detective Yelims, will you accompany me please?” He ordered strongly.
Walking by his side like a frightened dog with its tail tucked between its legs, I followed with obedience until reaching the cafeteria, where his voice boomed out loudly. “DOOR.”
Pulling the door open for him to enter I was suddenly saved by a young male officer, PC Simmons, who told me that there was somebody waiting for me in reception. The person hadn’t left their name. Thanking the officer for helping me escape the wrath of the Chief Constable, I excused myself and made my way back along the corridor and back into the reception suit.
“Are you Detective Yelims?” A husky voice called out.
Tracing the voice to the person I saw a short woman standing near the exit, her eyes deep and serious, her skin pale and old looking.
“That’s right, and you are?”
“My name is Victoria Kalahl, I’m here about the murder!”
Surprised by this woman’s forwardness, I couldn’t help but take a sudden interest in her innocent sounding tone, though at the same time my suspicion outweighed everything else. Taking the woman into one of the three available interview rooms we made ourselves comfortable, then she began explaining to me why she had come to the station looking for me in particular.
“I am a Medium, working from home, and last night I saw this vision of you and a man dressed in nineteenth century clothing surrounded by walls of dripping blood. At first, I didn’t think anything about the strange man, only that you were stood between some kind of destructive rift. When I looked at the man again, I realised that he was the famous Slaughterhouse Slasher of 1896. Obviously, as soon as I saw you and this man together in the same time line, I came straight here. Having seen you on the local news, having shut down The Maze, solved the Head Hunter case and umpteen other cases into the bargain, I know you aren’t going to walk away from this particular case, Detective Yelims.”

Sitting there listening to the strange woman I tried hard to understand her state of mind, while drawing a conclusion to our conversation and bring it to an end without hurting her feelings.
“So, you could say that you’re a dedicated follower of my case works?”
The woman suddenly became anxious. “Oh, I get it! You think that I’m some wacko! Mad! Well, Detective Yelims, if I were to help anyone blow their own whistle, it would certainly not be yours. Now, do we sit around here all day doing absolutely nothing, or do you take me to the house and let me help you sort out all this mess?”
I had to give this woman credit where credit was due. After all, if she were anything like the weirdo’s out there I’d be listening to the banter about my dead ancestors and how Elvis had now entered the building. As it was, she was right about one thing I did at first think that she was wacked out. Not anymore.
“OK, Miss Kalahl, if you follow me I’ll take you out to the house. I can get a twenty-four-hour emergency pass for you, but you will have to surrender all your findings to us at the end of the day.”
Victoria knew the routine off by heart, as she revealed to me the cases that her and another officer from the station had worked on some time ago. On returning to the house, we were confronted by Detective Neville, who began asking my new guest deep probing questions.
Telling him to go back to the station and start writing out his report he told me that my help on the case was no longer required, which included any new help acquired on my behalf.
“The way I see it, Detective…”
“Neville, my name is Detective Neville, and you are on my crime scene. If I was you, Yelims, I’d get you’re arse back to the station and pick up your next assignment from the Chief Constable.”
It was at that moment I began to understand the strange behaviour of the Chief Constable back at the station earlier.
“You back-stabbing son-of-a-bitch! If I were you, Neville, I’d watch that brown tongue of yours, it might go septic one day and I won’t be around to help you out.” I growled, leaving the house with Miss Kalahl.

Once outside in the front garden, Victoria experienced a bad feeling of that something was about to happen. And, sure enough, we heard a loud, blood-curdling scream from inside the house.
“HELP ME! FOR GODS SAKE! HELP ME!” Neville’s voice screamed out.
Running back into the house along with Miss Kalahl, we found Detective Neville lying on the living room floor in front of the gas fire with his entire throat torn out. The whole house was completely empty of officers, and it was so quiet that I began to get a strange feeling in my stomach.
“Wait here, Miss Kalahl, I’m going to check upstairs.”
Victoria nodded her head in compliance as I rushed upstairs to check each room in turn, which in the efforts of my search I found no persons hiding or laying in wait. Returning downstairs I saw to my surprise Miss Kalahl standing with outstretched arms toward the sealed chimneybreast, her eyes tightly closed.
“Miss Kalahl, is there something…”
“Sssshhh! The person you seek is very close by.”
Placing both hands onto the chimneybreast, the whole room became filled with a soft blowing breeze, quickly becoming harder, faster and more blustery. Within a matter of seconds the breeze became so strong that my eyes were starting to sting, burn and ache with pain.
“Victoria! Victoria! What in the hell’s happening?” I screamed.
“Stand your ground Detective, stand your ground,” she shouted back.
Fighting hard against the extreme force I made my way up to Miss Kalahl, who was strangely unaffected by the strong wind.
“I knew you would come, Yelims, only you can quench my thirst, my hunger, my retribution.” The voice of a man suddenly echoed around the room. “You will bow down upon your knees and allow me to savour my pleasure in finally killing you.”
“Who…who are you?” I demanded, pulling Victoria away.
“An old friend of yours. Someone you betrayed”
“OK, then why don’t you come out and show yourself? Why don’t you come out and play, old friend?”
No sooner had I spoke my words than the small scorch mark around the chimney- breast expanded in size to a gigantic opening that was filled with an intense bright light. From the light both Victoria and myself saw a man aged around thirty to thirty- five climb out and stand there before us sniggering. His clothes were clean, well kept, ironed and smart. His hair short, his face smoothly shaven and his eyes dark and deep with anger.
“Who are you?” I repeated, pushing Victoria to one side.
The stranger looked at me with a knowing familiar smile that had me wracking my brain to recall his identity, but putting a name to the face was not that easy, until suddenly the smile fell from his face and revealed a person from my past standing before me with hatred flowing through his whole body.
“Collis!” I gasped in surprise.
“That’s right, Marcus, the one and only”
“I can’t believe they allowed you out of that cell of yours”
“If it makes you more comfortable, I came back to take you with me, Yelims. You see, there are so many of us down there because of you, that the big cheese gave me three wishes, one of which was to be given the chance to kick your arse.”

I couldn’t understand why Collis was stood in front of me like he was, nor did Victoria, and she was an experienced Medium who was supposed to know everything.
It was unnerving to know that he had returned from hell, from the dead, from where I had put him personally in a chapter of my previous life. Unfortunately, Collis was before me and he was again mortal. Just like me he could be hurt and if so, he could also be killed, again.
“Detective Yelims, will you explain to me how this man came back from hell, and how he’s become human?” Victoria asked in a demanding voice.
“Yes, Yelims, why don’t you explain it to her?”
Ordering her out of the house to a place of safety, I walked up to Collis with my fists clenched and ready to defend myself.
“Aren’t you going to ask me why I killed all those people?” He taunted.
I had to laugh. “I know why you killed them, but what’s confusing me is why you killed the kids dog?”
Collis suddenly looked confused. “What fucking dog?”

Suddenly I came over all cold and shivery at Collis’ unexpected and answer. I realised the two of us weren’t alone in the house, and that someone, or something that had killed the Brocklebanks’ dog was somewhere very near to us.
“Are you ready to dance, Yelims?” He laughed out taking a swing at me.
Deflecting his aim I moved away from the gas fire toward the kitchen door, where from the darkened room I heard a loud snarling sound. Then, from out of nowhere the figure of the dead dog sprang through the air and onto Collis, making him lose his balance. Jumping out of the way, I watched in horror as the spirit of the skinned animal chewed away at my old friends weakening, bloodied body. And on realising that he was finished, I heard his choked voice gasp out to me the words of a haunting warning.
“Hell is…looking for you…Yelims…”
Letting out his last breath, as he had entered the room, Collis and the dog lit up with the bright light before disappearing into a swirling mass of white mist that spun around and made its way toward the expanded hole in the chimneybreast, until finally the hole swallowed the two before sealing itself shut once more.

The whole escapade was finally over. The case had been solved and the anomaly that Mr Jones had pointed out to me earlier on the chimneybreast had faded away completely. As for Victoria, she had returned to the house and walked around each room in the hope of finding some trace of the supernatural, but found nothing.

Walking a very disappointed woman to the door, I pulled shut the door and the investigation that had me wondering just how Collis had come back from hell, and if he would ever return. One thing was for sure, he was everything that people had claimed him to be, but never once had he lied to me during our association.
“What did he mean, hell is looking for you, Marcus?” Victoria asked inquisitively.
I didn’t answer her, but I did know that Collis’ sudden but short resurrection wouldn’t be the last visitor from that place we once believed never existed.

© Marcus De Storm
marcusdestorm@hotmail.com

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