Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chapter 2 – “Blood of a Ghost”


by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

(Copyright 2011 Kevin Paul Shaw Broden)

Chapter 2 – “Blood of a Ghost”

After screaming for nearly thirty seconds, Margaret Randolph realized how foolish she sounded and stopped. However, she was still terrified and pulled herself into her husband’s arms all the more.

Only moments ago they had been getting ready to have dinner with her brother and then the storm that was swallowing Manhattan blew open the balcony doors of the Randolph’s penthouse. With the pouring rain, in stepped the mysterious vigilante the newspapers were calling ‘The Masked Ghost’ and then collapsed to their floor.

“You said he’d never break into our home!” She cried, pounding his chest.

“I didn’t think…”

“Obviously,” she pulled away from him and headed for the front hallway, “I’m calling the police.” She kept marching, knowing that if she stopped the scream would come back. Margaret had always been a strong-headed girl, her parents didn’t always know what to do with her, but had to keep herself focused or the terror of what she had just witnessed would return.

Donald was proud of his wife as he watched her walk off. He knew she was scared, so was he, but she fought it. They would get through this together, whatever this was. He realized that if everything had gone as originally planned, they would have been off to dinner with Margaret’s brother Adrian and this masked man would have broken into their home to do who knows what.

So why had he collapsed once inside?

Internally Donald was yelling at himself to get away from the invader, but he carefully knelt next to the figure. As he touched the stranger he realized that the dark stains on the man’s coat were not from the rain. His hand came away covered in blood.

Donald stared at the blood for a moment and back down at the motionless form. He had no medical training, but tried to feel for a pulse and found none. Turning the body over, more blood was visible as it pooled on the floor beneath.

The stranger’s hat had fallen away when he hit the floor. The scarlet covered mask that hid half his face matched the color that was seeping out onto the marble floor. The ginger colored locks of hair looked far too familiar.

Donald reached down and removed the mask.

“Police?” Margaret spoke into the phone trying her best not to sound panicked. “I want to report a break in.”

“Calm down ma’am, tell me what you want to report.” Came the response from the other end. Margaret hoped it really was a police officer and not just the phone operator.

“Don’t tell me to calm down, you’ve got to hurry and get over here now.”

“What seems to be the problem ma’am?”

“Don’t ma’am me, I’m only 22. Send as many of your men as you can. That terrible man is in my home!”

“Alright ma-- Who’s in your home?”

“You know who I mean! That ‘Masked Ghost’ fellow the newspapers are always talking about. He’s in my living room as we speak.”

There was a pause before the voice came again.

“Have you had anything to drink?”

“I am not drunk! Why are you wasting time? Is this how the New York police treat everyone who needs your help? Please, get over here at once! My husband is watching over him, but I don’t know what this ‘Masked Ghost’ is capable of.”

There was another pause, and she could hear people shouting back and forth in the distance over the phone, orders were being given.

“You said your husband is watching him. Does he have gun?”

“My husband doesn’t have a gun, why would he? Oh, no I hadn’t seen any weapons, but don’t take any chances.”

“What’s the stranger doing?”

“He’s just laying there on the floor.”

“What? He’s on the floor? Did your husband hit him?”

“No, of course not.”

“I’d suggest you and your husband leave the premises and don’t go near the man.”

“Yes, yes, we won’t go near him. Now please hurry and take this terrible man away.”

Exasperated, Margaret hung up the phone. She must have sounded like an utter fool the way she was going on. Getting upset with the police officer on the phone had kept her mind occupied, but now she had to face her fears and that awful thing in the other room.

Coming down the hall she realized that everything was just too quiet, even the rain from the open doors had slowed.

“Donald, are you alright?” She spoke with out shouting.

“Yes,” came he flat reply.

“Is… Is he still there?”

“Yes, he’s still here, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be going anywhere,” Donald said to her as she entered the room.

“The police are on their way, but I don’t think they believed me,” she said. Her anger was cooling, but that meant her fears were rising once more.

“I don’t know if calling the police was really a good idea after all,” he said and held up the mask and looked at her in shock.

While working on a construct site, Donald had once witnessed a coworker fall to his death from a girder three hundred feet in the air. He had been too far away to help, and it was unfortunately an expectation while working on sky scrappers. It was terrible, but he didn’t even know the man’s name. The shock and horror eventually wore off. Death was inevitable, but this… this was a shock of an entirely different kind.

“What?” Margaret slowly approached, she didn’t want to be anywhere near this invader of her home. She looked over her husband’s shoulder at the man’s bloody face, and gasped.

It can’t be real, her mind screamed, the man lying dead upon her floor was her very own brother, Adrian.

To Be Continued…

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