Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chapter 4 – “The Police for a Ghost”


by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

(Copyright 2011 Kevin Paul Shaw Broden)

Chapter 4 – “The Police for a Ghost”

“What do we do?”

“I don’t know,” Donald Randolf answered his wife as he put the mask back on the face of his dead brother-in-law, and put the guns back where he found them. “But we better go answer the door before the police break it down.”

“Open up in there!”

Margaret was terrified, but her husband pushed her forward, and she opened the door.

A large round man, wearing a suit two sizes too small, held up his Detective’s badge. Six uniformed police officers stood in the hall behind them, each with their guns drawn.

“Detective Dobbs. You called?” He had a gruff voice.

“I… I did.” Margaret answered now more scared of them then of the intruder.

“Well,” the detective measured up the couple, wondering if they were worth interrupting his evening, “Where is this ‘Masked Ghost’? You better not be messing with me, because we’ve had enough calls from people claiming they had captured him ever since the papers announced that there was a reward.”

“Reward?” Margaret glanced at her husband. Donald knew what she was thinking. Had someone shot Adrian in an attempt to capture the mysterious ‘Masked Ghost’ in hopes of claiming the reward?

“He came in from the balcony,” Donald said trying to stay calm, “Don’t know how he got up here. He then collapsed on the living room floor.” Margaret grabbed his arm in fear as the police moved passed them and into the other room.

“And this would be the room,” the detective asked.


“Then where is he?”

“What?” The couple said in unison and pushed through the line of police officers and couldn’t believe their eyes.

The room was empty. The French doors still swung open as the wind blew in the rain.

“You said he was dead.” Dobbs grumbled.

“I couldn’t find a pulse,” Donald replied.

A look of joy and hope passed across Margaret’s face, but she had to suppress it in front of the police.

“We’ve got blood here,” one of the uniformed officers examined the floor where Adrian had fallen only moments earlier, “lots of it. Trail leads in from the balcony and pools here.”

“Looks like you weren’t lying after all,” Dobbs said to the Randolphs through gritting teeth.

“Why would we lie?” Margaret said and realized too late there was a tone of guilt in her words.

“Good question,” the detective answered.

An officer came in from balcony, holding a long rope connected to a strange metal grappling hook. The rope was wet from the rain and blood. “Looks like this is how he got up here.”

“Yes, but did he also leave that way?” Dobbs considered aloud. “Spread out, he’s probably still here.” The order given and the officers moved through the penthouse apartment.

“He’s alive!” Margaret whispered to her husband, she tried not to hope. Donald looked grim, and didn’t reply.

“More blood over here,” came another officer, “trail of it leading in here.”

They all headed in that direction. Margaret and Donald could not stop themselves from following, but the detective put a hand up to stop them before they entered their own bedroom.

Margaret watched as he raised his gun and followed the other officers. She was trying not to cry. Her brother was alive, and there were seven guns in there ready to kill him again.

“The window,” she heard an officer say.

Donald and Margaret leaned to the side trying to look into the room as the detective approached the window on the opposite wall. They couldn’t see much except that the window was open and something large and dark was hung from it.

The police were in the bedroom for several minutes more before Detective Dobbs emerged holding a large overcoat soaked in blood.

Margaret gasped.

“Looks like the creep escaped out your bedroom window. This bulky coat must have been slowing him down, so he left it behind.” Dobbs turned to his squad, “Okay, everyone, let’s get out of here. A man bleeding that much can’t have gotten far.”

He turned back to the terrified couple. “Thank you for calling. We’ll have this twit in custody by morning, or he’ll be dead. Either way he won’t be bothering you again. Have a good night.”

With that the detective left with the rest of the police, taking the coat and other evidence with him.

Margaret and Donald found themselves very alone.

“Wh… what happened?”

“I don’t know,” Donald answered his distraught wife.

“Where’s Adrian,” she broke from his arms and ran for their bedroom. The room was a complete wreck as the police had pulled apart practically everything in their search for clues. The window was left open and there was a dark red stain from where the coat had lain.

She turned back to her husband, “Do you think they’ll find him—“

“Sorry about the mess, sis.” Came a whisper and they turned to find the masked man dragging himself out of their walk-in-closet. The police had been in there, but only given it a cursory glance.

“Adrian!” Margaret shouted, and ran to him. He took a step forward and fell into her arms.

Donald helped get him to the bed. Margaret held Adrian’s head in her lap and pulled the mask from her brother’s face.

“What happened Adrian? How did this…”

He looked up at her, his eyes focused and unfocused. “Sheila.”

“We’ve got to get you to the hospital,” Donald said, trying to maintain some clear thought in the midst of all this chaos.

“No time,” came the raspy whisper, “lost too much blood. I’ll be dead before we get there…”

“Don’t say that!” Margaret cried.

“Sorry Maggie. Now listen, there’s too much at stake here,” Adrian reached a shaky hand into a pocket and pulled out a ring of keys. “Go to my apartment. You’ll find all you need there.”

“All we need for what?”

“To catch my murderer,” it was the last thing he said as his head collapsed in his sister’s arms. She held him to herself crying.

Donald stood over his wife, as she rocked her brother in her arms. There was no doubt about it; Adrian Brown was now dead.

He looked at the keys in his hand and wondered exactly what they were supposed to do next.

To Be Continued.

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