Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chapter 18 - "Preparing For A Ghost"


by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

(Copyright 2011 Kevin Paul Shaw Broden)

Chapter 18 – “Preparing for A Ghost”

“Do you really have to leave so soon?” Katharine Brown said as her daughter pulled on her coat.

“Yes, Mama. Donald won’t know what to do with out me.” Margaret Raymond responded with a joke, but her father grumbled as if it was the truth.

“Bye,” she kissed her mother; “I’ll call later and help you with the arrangements for the service.” As much as she didn’t want to talk about her brother’s death, and upset her mother further, there were some things a family could not ignore. A funeral would have to be planned.

She turned and hugged her father who stood stiff and looked at her with cold eyes. He suspected something. Margaret kicked herself for being too inquisitive about Sheila’s family. Asked too many questions about their financial dealings in construction.

Now Margaret had to get back to the city and tell Donald what she had learned.


Donald Raymond was concerned for his wife as well. For him, the less she knew the safer he felt Margaret would be. Through the entire taxi ride back to the penthouse apartment, his dead brother-in-law haunted his every thought.

No… The Masked Ghost.

Donald had left the construction site worried and upset. His friend, Petra Nikolas, had gotten himself involved with someone that even the Union boss was bothered by. Something was very wrong there, and it was all tied into what Adrian was investigating.

The Masked Ghost.

Once home, Donald collapsed into his chair. Closing his eyes he tried to think about what he should do next. What could he really do with so little knowledge and a lot of suspicion? He certainly couldn’t go to the police because there would be no easy way to explain what he knew and how he knew it. Donald also couldn’t tell them that his brother-in-law was the vigilante they were hunting. Besides, it was possible that the police were involved. That Detective Monroe sure knew something.

Opening his eyes Donald found himself staring at the French doors that lead out onto the balcony. Had it only been a short few days ago that a terrible storm blew them open and the vigilante known as the Masked Ghost had entered their lives?

“I’m not going to figure anything out sitting here,” Donald pushed himself out of the chair and retrieved the box full of the notes and files Adrian had been gathering.

The Masked Ghost.

He pulled out the sheets of paper and folders until he found one labeled: SPADE IMPORT AND EXPORT.

Everything tied back to this company. The construction site, the accounting office and the murder that happened there. Adrian believed it was their truck that had run Sheila’s car off the road and killed her. It all lead to the Spade company’s warehouse that Adrian had first investigated, and where he decided to become The Masked Ghost.

The Masked Ghost.

Donald sighed as he jotted down the address listed in the files. As much as he wanted to put all this away so that Margaret and he could have a normal life, he knew that wasn’t possible, at least not until they finally discovered what had happened to her brother Adrian.

The Masked Ghost.

For his wife sake he knew what the next move must be.

He hated it, but there was no other way.

Donald Raymond entered the bedroom and in to the back of the walk in closet. He pulled out an old suitcase and tossed it upon the bed.

It wasn’t much of a hiding place; he’d have to think of a better one in the future.

“Damn it,” he shouted at himself, “there isn’t going to be another time. No more of this!”

But even as he spoke these words, he had opened the suitcase and removed a man’s double-breasted suit, shirt, heavy shoes, and large trench coat. The hat came next. Then he took out the thing that bothered him the most: the blood red mask.

The Masked Ghost.

Even though he had already worn the mask, all he saw in it was the dead face of Margaret’s brother. He knew that it would always be a horrible reminder to her as well.

That’s why he planned to destroy it when this was over.

Yet even as he hated it, Donald put on each item of clothing. Shaking as he did so.

He found the specially hidden pockets in the coat that held the grappling gun, lock picks, and other paraphernalia that the vigilante uses. It still surprised him by just how prepared Adrian was for all this.

The Masked Ghost.

Then came the holsters and the two loaded handguns. They terrified him. Terrified that he would have to use them against someone.

“I’m no killer.” He said aloud. Donald didn’t want to imagine that his brother-in-law was either. That would simply be devastating to Margaret and her family.

Lifting the mask to his face, he realized that Donald Raymond might not survive the night. He thought of his wife one last time and put the mask on.

The Masked Ghost stepped from the bedroom ready to face whatever the night had prepared for him.

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