Authors: Eric Webster
A Paranormal Mystery
Copyright © 2011 Eric Webster
All rights reserved.
I dedicate this book to my loving and supporting family. It takes a lot of different muses to write a book and some dedicated ones to finish it. Thanks to my wife with her many tireless hours of editing, with my griping aren’t you done yet. To my daughter, a writer herself, an inspiration helping prove that writing a novel can be accomplished. To my son, he is a good example in the importance of pursuing your passion.
I’d also like to thank my parents for their enthusiasm to read the final product. It’s good to have an audience eagerly awaiting your first book.
“If it’s really important to you, you’ll find the time.” A sentiment reiterated by many a successful person.
Staggering forward, he started to climb the porch stairs. It was a cool summer evening and the front windows were open, the white sheers billowing out at the bottom with each breath of wind. The main entrance consisted of two solid oak doors that looked like something taken from a castle. A pair of brass knockers shaped like lion’s heads guarded the entrance.
Charles stepped closer grabbing the smooth round handle and repeatedly banged it against the door. The noise echoed hollowly back out of the open windows. There was no reply from within, except for the cacophony of knocking.
“Fine have it your way,” he yelled in a rage, backing up, he turned sideways and ran at the door shoulder bared. The impact sent a shudder through his body, resonating to his very core. It felt like even his heart hurt. “Angela, it doesn’t have to be this way.” Again and again, he braced and rammed the door. His strength waning, he stepped back looking around in a daze, before beginning yet another onslaught.
The doors held impassively, just a bystander to the drama playing out. With a final roar of anguish, Charles backed up further, taking a running start and giving his all to the final outcome. This time the doors would crumble and he would gain entry, victorious at last. Nothing could stop him; he could challenge the world head on.
Pain shooting through his heart, his drunken eyelids fluttered open. The room was blurry, as he became aware that he was standing in his office, whiskey glass still in hand. Lying behind him on the floor was a man in a suit; His hands and feet were bound tightly.
Charles wits slowly returning to his addled mind, he spun to look down upon the man, a cerulean handkerchief protruded from the figures mouth. The man was curled up in the fetal position, fresh bruises shown on his rough features.
Rage was beginning to sober Charles up, as he pictured Angela with Bill. “Are you ready to do this the easy way, Trent? Tell me about Angela and Bill.” He bent removing the gag.
Trent started to speak, however, Charles was no longer listening. He sent the whiskey glass sailing across the room. It smashed against the wall, a glistening mass of shards as it cascaded to the floor. “You son of a bitch,” he rasped, kicking the man squarely in the chest, forcing him onto his back. Charles pulled a knife from an ankle sheath and began stabbing repeatedly. All rhyme or reason quickly fading away as he plowed forward.
Friday Sept. 13
Friday September 13
It was a cool September evening as the dark black Ford cruised down the scenic tree-lined streets in the mansion district of
Minneapolis. They had been planning this robbery for a while, but now Charles was having second thoughts… Sweat was pouring down his forehead. He pulled out a cerulean silk monogrammed handkerchief. Rubbing it between his fingers, he wiped his brow. This wasn’t the first robbery he had pulled, not by a long shot. So why was he so nervous? His new partner Bill seemed to be working out okay. Maybe he was getting too old for this stuff. He had always meant to be rich by the time he hit thirty. Here he was way older, thirty five and still looking for the big score. Charles was young looking and could easily still pass for twenty-something. All the girls said
he was a very handsome individual. He was tall with a thin muscular build and thick dark brown hair parted perfectly to the left side. He always parted it perfectly—as with everything-- a self-proclaimed true perfectionist.
Now his stomach was starting to knot up. Charles turned to his callow partner, “Are you ready to do this one?”
Bill just shot him a look and replied, “Of course! I am!”
More ready than he knows. If I could just figure out a good way to get rid of him, without getting myself hurt in the process. Old guys always have some stupid line about paying your dues. Screw the dues, pop someone and move up the ladder, that’s the way it should work.
Bill drove around a corner. One of the wheels hit a pot hole and the Ford model A gave a loud groan. This plain car was another annoyance. “I should be in a shiny new Cadillac, something with style,” Charles absently murmured out loud.
Turning, Charles stared out the window deep in thought:
We’ve been partners for only a few short months and have already pulled about ten robberies and worse, they all have gone relatively well. This should be a cake walk. Then why do I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach? The boss was really excited about this one. It’s supposed to be a big score…lots of cash, expensive jewelry, and some famous painting. Hell, maybe something will happen to Bill…and I will get his share too. Just like when poor Trent had his accident, the extra share I got sure came in handy.
Just a few more blocks and they would arrive at the job. A squirrel scurried across the road. Bill swerved slightly, causing the car to narrowly miss it. Bill noticed Charles flinch and gave a little grunt of a laugh. “Chill out, Charles, it will all be over soon”.
This old guy’s so damn jumpy. You’d think with all the jobs he’d grow a pair. Hell, maybe he can see right through me. Nah, he ain’t that smart or he’d of plugged me by now.
Another turn and they could finally see the mark.
It was a beautiful old street lined with mature maple trees, with well manicured-hedges surrounding perfectly groomed yards. Large stately mansions lined both sides of the road. You could almost smell the money oozing from each one.
The sky began getting quite dark as storm clouds rolled in. They were passing the front of the house now. It was a massive colonial house, white with black shutters. It was impressive in size, with an enormous front porch adorned by tall white pillars stretching majestically up to the second story. The house was situated deep on the lot, far back from the street. On one side a large turret extended to a third story. On the other was a lengthy driveway leading back to the garage.
“Do you see any activity?” grumbled Bill as he drove past the house. Charles drummed his fingers on his leg wishing he could answer yes, but what came out was, “It looks quiet.”
, he thought.
The car continued on around the block. It felt so painfully slow to Charles, just like the bad dream he had last night. Again, he took out his handkerchief and wiped the sweat from his forehead.
It’s just another job
, he thought, but he couldn’t quite convince himself of that.
Charles checked his watch—7:13. The car completed the loop around the block. The boss had said the family would be out to a social event until eleven pm. That would leave plenty of time to get some good loot and get the hell out. This time Bill pulled the car up the long dark driveway to the back of the house. Charles felt a shiver run up his back. As fast as it came on the sensation was gone. The house was dark, very dark.
Charles and Bill got out of the car. The car doors closed with a thump that felt to Charles like an extra heartbeat. They proceeded to the back door of the house. It was the servant’s entrance, quiet and still. “What about the help, Charles?” asked Bill.
“The boss hadn’t mentioned anything about them.”
But that wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been caught by surprise…Trent…I can still see him getting hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat…I had to stab that maid…what a mess…
shuddered at the recollection. “It will be fine,” he answered back
. It’s not like Bill knows about the whole Trent story.
Charles began to fumble with the lock. This was a newfangled lock with the rim latch and deadbolt. Charles felt the sweat roll down his face again.
A light rain was starting to fall. “Hurry up, damn it, this is a new suit!” Bill snapped. Bill was tall and stocky, and even with a fancy suit, didn’t have the face to pull off “sophisticated”.
“I’m working on it already, relax.”
Before Charles could put any more effort into it, thunder boomed and Bill gave the door an authoritative kick. The door flew open, and Bill shoved passed him into the house.
Charles just stood there in disbelief. This confirmed it: his new partner had no style--all the more reason to dislike him. What was a criminal without style, just a common thief-- a thug? Charles wasn’t willing to be a nobody, a common street thug, no way!
Bill had already passed through the kitchen and disappeared. Charles chided himself for not staying more focused on the job at hand. He continued on through the kitchen and into the dining room. He could hear footsteps just ahead of him in the next room. The place was pitch black. He pulled a flashlight out of his suit pocket. With a click of his finger things appeared much less ominous.
The dining room was spacious. There was an extremely long, ornately carved table that could easily seat twenty people. The table was set with some pricey- looking silverware. Charles was tempted, but the boss said only cash and jewelry.
He moved on through the room and into a sitting room, listening for Bill, but there was only silence.
Damn that Bill, we should be sticking together and getting this job done.
Charles continued on and into the foyer.
Wow, this is huge. I could fit my whole house into this hall with room to spare.
His flashlight beam glanced off an enormous crystal chandelier. The sparkle that shot back startled him momentarily.
Just then lighting flashed illuminating the room for an instant in a fiery brilliance as the light bounced in every direction off the giant chandelier’s crystals. Charles suddenly noticed a quick movement in front of him.
In what seemed like an eternity, but was just a heartbeat, he realized it was Bill with a gun pointed right at him. “Bill, NO, we can work this…”
A shot rang out in perfect unison with the thunder. There was a sickening thud as the body hit the floor.