Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chapter 22 - "To Rescue A Ghost"


Chapter 22

“To Rescue A Ghost”

(Copyright 2011 Kevin Paul Shaw Broden)

by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Donald Raymond couldn’t believe his eyes, and for a second thought he was still unconscious and dreaming of his dead brother-in-law. Far across the warehouse, in the fringe of the light, stood The Masked Ghost. He appeared shorter, but there wasn’t time to think of anything more when the masked man moved again and spoke.

“No ghost shall die this night, unless you seek to join him.”

It was the same gravelly whisper that Donald had used earlier, but just enough of a higher pitch that he knew at once who was wearing the mask. He chocked back a gasp so not to alert the others. But too late, one of the thug’s pulled out his gun and fired towards the Masked Ghost. The masked man had already dived behind the wooden crates as the bullet strook and splinters flew in all direction.

“Don’t shoot, you bafoon!” Spade shouted at his own man, “Do you want us all to die!”

Donald glanced up at him. That was an interesting statement. But there was no time to explore it. He had to act, and dropped back into his own whisper voice.

“The Ghost is everywhere, Spade. You have not captured me.”

It was enough to distract them, as he hoped the other Masked Ghost would get far enough away from their guns.

“Shut up!” Spade growled at him, then at the others. “Go after him! Kill him, but do it away from the crates!”

The two thugs grunted at him and, with guns at the ready, ran off between the crates and vanished into the dark.

Spade put a hand on each arm of the chair and leaned into Donald’s face. “Your stupid theatrics will not stop me from controlling all of Manhattan. If they will not bow to me, then they can see their city burn.”

Donald didn’t wait to act. He slung his head forward smashing it into Spade who jumped up in pain, but not fast enough to avoid a pair of knees making contact with his groin. Spade let out a child like scream and tumbled backwards, but it also cause Donald’s chair to fall away. In this position he was helpless.

Dodds, that traitorous and murdering police officer, caught hold of his criminal boss.

“Let’s get out of here Mr. Spade. The boys can handle these fools,” he said while guiding Spade away from the chaos.

“No, no, just give me a moment. I want to see them die,” but Dodds already pushing the fat man through an inner door.

Once they were out of site, Donald turned towards the man who remained staining there. Brewster was frozen in fear; he didn’t know what to do or what to make of any of it.

“This is all my fault,” he kept mumbling.

“Mr. Brewster, pay attention,” Donald said from the floor, “snap out of it man. Get me up and untied.”

“You promised me this would all be over,” Brewster looked at him.

“I don’t know what the Masked Ghost promised you, but I’m not him. Get me up and we’ll figure this all out once we’re safe.”

They could hear movement coming from all over the darkened warehouse. Shout’s like ‘There he is.’ Donald tried not to laugh.

Finally Brewster knelt and lifted the chair up and dragged it backwards.

“What are you doing? Untie me!” But Brewster kept dragging him and around some of the crates, hoping to get away from the killers.

Brewster was terrified, but as long as he concentrated on getting Donald into hiding he was doing okay. Donald tried to understand the poor man; he must have begun to loose control when his daughter was killed, to then be haunted by a strange mask-wearing ghost.

Suddenly Donald was falling, his head hit the floor again, and Brewster was screaming.

“Hey, what happened?” He craned his neck to see what was going on.

Brewster was shaking and staring at the second Masked Ghost who had stepped out of a shadow to join them.

“That really doesn’t help us stay hidden,” Donald said.

“Sorry,” Margaret said as from beneath her mask. She then knelt and lifted the chair that held her husband. He looked at Brewster, now slumped to the floor in terror; the man would be of no use to them now.

“I want to scream too,” Donald said as she untied him, “What the hell are you doing here? You could have been shot!”

“Saving your life here, if you hadn’t noticed,” Margaret pulled the last cord of rope away from his legs.

Exasperated, but finally free, Donald couldn’t argue with her. Getting to his feet, he wanted to hug his wife, but didn’t. There’d be time for that later; if they got out of here.

He turned from her and began examining the crates next to them.

“Now, what’s so important about what Spade’s been ‘importing’?”

“Wait,” he read the shipping labels glued to the side, “these are meant to go to Nikolas’ construction site.”

“You’re friend’s site, why? What’s in them?”

Donald wanted to know that as well. He took hold of a corner of the wood and pulled. After a little effort, it splinted and came away to reveal the contents.

“Damn!” There were grey green metal boxes inside. Each marked with an insignia that left no doubt of their contents.

“It’s full of explosives,” he looked around and realized that every single one of these crates was a bomb just waiting for a fuse.

Donald took another look at Brewster who was just shivering.

“The first chance you get, get him out of here.” He ordered his wife. Somehow the mask on her face didn’t seem at all odd right now.

The sound of a gun’s trigger being set came loudly in Donald’s ear. He slowly turned a degree to find Dodd’s standing close with his gun even closer.

“Don’t move,” the detective said.

“So you’ve discovered my little treasure, Mr. Raymond.” Spade said approaching, the two thugs appeared and blocked their only means of escape, “Now you know the power I will hold over this city. Too bad you won’t be able to do anything about it.”

The two people dressed as the Masked Ghost, protecting Brewster between them, were slowly escorted back into the open area of the warehouse away from the crates of explosive.

“Now I get to watch you die. All your obsession with my plans only brought you death.”

Donald hated that ugly smirk on the man with the cottonmouth voice, and he hated the gleam in Dodd’s eye even more. The man really wanted to kill as much as he had killed Adrian before them.

His anger at this man nearly prevented him from noticing something, but when he did everything changed.

“Well, you may kill me, Mr. Spade,” Donald bent over and picked up his hat and put it on, “but you need to realize something. The Masked Ghost is not the haunting obsession of one man.”

Proudly he put the mask back on, and spoke once more with the whisper voice of the Masked Ghost:

“For I am the ghost of an entire city that has been murdered by men like you,

and ghosts of those who refuse to be killed.

For I am LEGION!”

At which point two more MASKED GHOSTS leapt from the shadows. One of them is armed.

To Be Continued…

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chapter 21 - "A Ghost For A Ghost"


Chapter 21

“A Ghost for a Ghost”

(Copyright 2011 Kevin Paul Shaw Broden)

by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

The darkness ebbed and flowed like a thick fog bank rolling over a vast shore.

“Hi, buddy.”


Standing in front of Donald Raymond was his brother-in-law Adrian Brown, dressed in the suit, hat, trench coat, and mask of The Masked Ghost.

“But… but you’re dead.”

“Ya, I know.”

“Does that mean I’m dead?” Donald asked.

“Don’t think so, Donny. You’ve got too much left to do yet.”

“Then I must be dreaming.”

“Looks that way,” Adrian said, his bright smile fading from his face, “I’m really sorry for everything I’ve piled onto you and Maggy.”

“I can’t say that I’m all that happy for being thrust into all this danger, but I know Margaret wants me to find out who killed you.”

“Thank you. That’s why I chose you to become the Masked Ghost.”

“Oh, no. When this is over with, the Masked Ghost will go away forever.”

“Being dead, I won’t argue, but you’re wrong. Whatever happens, Donald, promise me you will look after Maggy.”

“You don’t have ask, I’ll die to protect her.”

“I know you will,” Adrian said, “as I know she would do the same for you.”


“What was that?” Donald asked, surprised.

“It’s time for you to wake up.” Adrian said and faded into the fog and darkness.

# # #

SMACK! The Masked Ghost’s head flung to the right as the massive hand struck his face for the third and forth time. SMACK!

“Wake up, bastard!”

His vision cleared. Donald hurt all over as he looked about. The Masked Ghost was tied to a chair in a massive room filled with large shipping crates. He surmised that it was the warehouse building he had seen while exploring the grounds of Spade Import & Exports.

He was not alone. Along with the muscular thug who got a sick enjoyment out of hitting him, there were five others that he could see. Beyond them, the rest of the building fell into darkness.

“Enough of that!” A pudgy looking man with a pot marked face and swollen cheeks gave the order, “He’s obviously awake now.”

“Whatever you want, Mr. Spade.” The thug stepped away.

“So this is the man that has been giving me no end of trouble for the last year?” It sounded like he was talking through a mouthful of cotton.

Donald didn’t know what to say? What would Adrian’s have said? What did the Masked Ghost sound like? He didn’t know, so just adlibbed the best he could and forcing his throat to make a horse whisper.

“The wicked will forever be haunted by their deeds.”

The man looked down at the masked vigilante who didn’t appear to be any threat now tied to that chair. He began to laugh.

“I don’t know who I should be more angry at, little man. You and your persistent annoyance,” he paused and then shouted at whole room, “or my own men who haven’t been able to swat an insignificant flee like yourself.”

“You promised!” One of the other men started shouting and ran at the Masked Ghost. One of the guards grabbed hold of him. The Masked Ghost recognized the man as the one that arrived in the touring car, and had a pretty good idea who it was. “You promised to stop them. You promised you’d pay them back for what they did to my little girl.”

It was Sheila Brewster’s father. After they wouldn’t speak any longer to the man they blamed for their daughter’s death, Adrian must have paid Brewster a visit as the Masked Ghost.

“Oh, so you were trying to betray me,” Spade turned to strike Brewster.

“Don’t hit him!” Donald shouted, not even attempting to create the voice of the Masked Ghost.

Spade looked at his captive with quiet angry, “so this is how you found out about my plans to own this city. Ol’ ‘Pockets’ here spilled the beans like he freely spilled out the money for us?”

“Not so fast, boss,” police detective Dodds stepped forward. The man, who wore a shield of Justice, now hid no secrets as to was was his real master. “Before you kill him, and I’m all in favor of getting rid of this little vigilante, shouldn’t we find out exactly who he is?”

“I’d rather have him dead now and out of the way forever. That ugly mask can wrought with the rest of him.”

“And it will, but think for a moment. Both your men and my police have been hunting him for months now. There must be some way he’s been able to avoid us?”

Spade thought for a moment.

“Alright, have your fun, Dodds.”

The crooked police detective, in the badly worn suit, turned towards the Masked Ghost.

“You’ve been a thorn in my side for far too long.”

“With your size, how would you notice a thorn,” Donald tried to be flippant to cover up his own fear. He knew he was about to die.

Dodd’s grabbed the side of his face, and yanked the crimson mask away.

They all looked at him in startled wonder.

“Who is that?”

“But… but I thought…” Brewster’s voice trailed off. He didn’t recognize Donald either.

But Detective Dodds did recognized him, and a wide sinister grin formed on his ugly mug.

“So you were simply misleading the police were you, Mr. Raymond?”

“Raymond? Who is this bastard, Dodds? If you knew something about him.”

“Oh, quiet down, Mr. Spade. I didn’t know anything about who the masked man was. That was the whole point wasn’t it, Raymond? You poured that blood all over your own penthouse, to make it look like the Masked Ghost had broken in, then escaped again just before my men arrive. Here I thought he was dead only half an hour earlier, but no. None of us would suspect a criminal vigilante was actually a millionaire playboy?”

“Hey, I’m no playboy. I’m a happily married man.”

The detective slapped him hard across the face once more, “now let’s see how much blood you’ve got to spill.”

Brewster stood frozen to the spoke as he shook in fear as he watch the criminals move in to grab the Masked Ghost. There would be no more delays in killing him now.

Donald knew this was the end, and sent up a silent prayer as he thought of his wife Margaret.

Suddenly the sound of a wind whistled between the crates, followed by the slamming of a heavy metal door.

“No one can kill a ghost!”

It was a whisper, like Donald had attempted earlier, and yet it echoed through the warehouse, as if from everywhere at once.

Spade and his men turned in search of the invading voice.

Donald gasped as The Masked Ghost stepped out of the darkness.

To Be Continued…

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chapter 20 – “Help For A Ghost”


by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

(Copyright 2011 Kevin Paul Shaw Broden)

Chapter 20 – “Help For A Ghost”

Margaret Raymond stepped off the train after visiting with her parents. Donald wasn’t waiting for her at the station; she hadn’t expected that he would be. She knew he had been busy all day; whether it was for an assignment at work which she had told her parents about, or off visiting an old friend which is what he had told her, or investigating her brother’s murder. She was certain that the later was what he was doing and it both terrified and gave her great hope.

Desperate to talk with her husband, she road the subway to bring her closer to home. If what her father had said was truth, Sheila’s family may have been financially part of the corruption of the city’s construction industry.

This was something Donald and she would need to talk about before doing anything else.

The sun was just setting as Margaret reached the apartment. Just before turning into the building she noticed a now too familiar taxi parked across the street. Cabbie nodded and she could see his grim expression.

Margaret’s face went pale as fear ran down her back. She rushed into the building and into the elevator needing to reach the penthouse as soon as possible.

“Good evening Mrs. Raymond.”

“Oh, hello, Willy.” The boy who ran elevator briefly startled Margaret. His family was very poor, and standing in a metal box going up and down paid him a couple of dollars each day. He’d get a few tips from the tenants of the building. Willy didn’t have to ask where she wanted to go, and pulled cage door closed, and the little box moved upward towards the penthouse.

He liked to chat, especially with the ladies of the building. But Margaret was in no mood, and if she didn’t know better she would have though he was slowing the lift down. But it was just her being anxious to see Donald, to know that he was okay.

Once the little bell chimed and the gate opened, Margaret dashed for her apartment. Only half way there did she think to shout back, “Thank you, Willy.”

Margaret struggled at getting the key in the door, but once inside she started shouting.

“Donald? Don, are you home?”

No answer.

She ran from room to room. No one was there.

He was still out with his friend; she tried to convince herself, but knew that wasn’t true. Cabbie was parked outside, not taking fares, which meant the Masked Ghost had ordered him to look after her. But her brother was dead, so that meant…

She rushed to the bedroom knowing what she would find, or rather what she would not find.

The old suitcase lay open upon the bed.

The costume of The Masked Ghost was nowhere to be found.

“Don.” She whispered to no one.

She looked further about and found the box with all her brother’s notes spread out on the table. Lying right on top was a sheet of paper with an inked line circling an address.

“Damn you Donald, what are you doing?”

She paced back and forth for a moment, then stormed out the apartment.

Margaret ran to the elevator, but before pressing the button, knew she didn’t want to talk with Willy about why she had run in and out so quickly. Turning she headed for the stairs. It would take a longer, but she had to get downstairs.

It was a good thing she regularly ran between the stores, because she was winded by the time she burst out the front doors of the apartment building. She was nearly hit by a car while darting across the street.

“Take me to the police!” Margaret shouted at Cabbie as she hopped into the taxi with a slam of the door.

The car pulled away from the curb and made its way down the road. Margaret sat back and folded her arms, “not the local station. The precinct near my brother’s apartment, I’m certain you know the way.”

+ + +

“I’ll wait here,” Cabbie said as he parked the taxi out front the police station.

“No! You’re coming with me,” Margaret ordered. He hesitated, but followed.

Inside, approaching the Desk Sergeant, Margaret tried to hold some degree of decorum. “I would like to speak with Detective Monroe, please.”

The Desk Sergeant eyed the beautiful young woman and then suspiciously looked over at Cabbie. His kind don’t come in here with out cuffs on.

“What’s this about miss?”

“It’s Mrs.! You may tell Detective Monroe that I’m here about my brother’s murder.”

That got his attention and turned to another officer, “Get Johnny-Boy out here.”

The officer headed into the back of the station with no effort to get there anytime soon.

After several minutes passed, Margaret became impatient.

“Will someone hurry up and help me,” she spoke loud enough for the entire station to here, “that vigilante The Masked Ghost killed my brother and you’re all sitting around like lazy bums!”

That startled them, and shocked Cabbie.

The Desk Sergeant leaned in towards her with threatening eyes, “what do you know of The Masked Ghost?”

Margaret did her best to maintain eye contact with the man and show no fear, but knew it wouldn’t last.

“That’s enough out of you O’Brien,” came a voice that broke the tension, “what good are you scaring witnesses, and distraught family members?”

They turned to find Detective Monroe strolling up to the front of the station.

“You wanted to see me Mrs. Raymond,” he gave her the most pleasant of smile, and then glanced briefly over at Cabbie.

“Yes, indeed. Though I’m not certain your fellow officers are all that helpful.”

“Ignore them, I do. Let’s go find an office we can chat in with more privacy.” The other officers watched him escort her into a small side office. If it wasn’t for the foreign cab driver, some of them thought, it almost looked like the detective was looking for a place to enjoy some quiet time with the pretty young woman. Several of them would like to.

Once the door was closed, Monroe offered Margaret a seat but she refused.

“Now, Mrs. Raymond, why don’t you calm down and tell me what’s troubling you?”

“It’s about my brother.”

“Well, the police haven’t gotten very far into the investigation of his murder—“

“And you know why!” Margaret said holding her voice down so not to be heard by those who were obviously listening outside the door.

“Excuse me?”

“You know exactly why the police haven’t found his murderer, and won’t. Because you’re covering up facts of the case.”

Monroe glanced over at Cabbie with concern.

“Yes, look at your brother conspirator.”


“You’ve both been in this from the beginning. Knowing the truth of what happened to my brother. Knowing full well that my brother is… was the Masked Ghost.”

“Mrs. Raymond, keep your voice down.” Cabbie said, trying not to show his own fear.

“I’m trying to remain calm, but I won’t be able to until you explain what’s going on here. What did my brother get involved in that made him put on that stupid mask?”

The detective sighed and sat down in one of the chairs, his bright face had dulled, “Please sit down Mrs. Raymond.”

She didn’t want to, but did so as she knew he was about to tell her something important. Cabbie remained standing, guarding the door.

“Your brother put on that stupid mask, as you call it, and became the Masked Ghost because he knew of no other way to solve the murder.”

“You mean Sheila Brewster’s death?”

“That’s correct, but it became far greater than just one accident or murder.”

“The Masked Ghost would go places the police could not, or would not,” Cabbie said looking down at Monroe. There wasn’t a lot of trust between these two men who held such a great secret together.

“After he began investigating the crime, he soon came across other crimes in this city that only The Masked Ghost could solve and make right. Other people that needed help.” Monroe continued the story, “Over the last year the Masked Ghost has become more than just a way for him to express his obsession over his lost love. A lot of use have been helped, saved, or changed for the better by what The Masked Ghost has done.”

Margaret looked at these two men, both could take care of themselves in a fight, and realized that some how her brother had saved them from something far worse.

“He became a symbol of hope, became the people’s protector. This city needs the Masked Ghost.”

“Well, who’s protecting him? The Masked Ghost got my brother killed! What hope is there now?”

“We’re very sorry for your loss,” It was a line the police officer quoted out of habit and immediately knew it was the wrong thing to say.

“Are you going to tell me the same thing when my husband ends up dead?”

They looked at her in silence.

“You both knew what my brother was doing, and did not hesitate to encourage Donald to put the mask on.” She paused for a moment, “it was one of you that left the envelope of police reports at our door.”

Monroe shifted in his seat and gave himself away, then finally spoke; “Adrian knew he was not going to live to see the conclusion of the one case that meant everything to him.”

Margaret gasped at the thought her brother knew he was heading for his own death that night he appeared out of the storm. But what did that have to do with Donald?

“He knew,” Cabbie said, “he knew that he had begun something far greater than himself and that others would have to continue after he was gone. The Masked Ghost would have to live, no matter what happened to Adrian Brown.”

She looked at them as realization struck her, “Adrian wanted Donald to put on the mask? To become the Masked Ghost?”

“You’re bother was very wise and always chose rightly.” Cabbie said, with deeper meaning than she understood.

“Well he was wrong this time!” Margaret leapt to her feet, knocking the chair over.

“My husband is out there and the Masked Ghost is going to get him killed!!”

She looked down at Detective Monroe with anger, “What are you going to do to protect him? Will the police save my husband while they’re hunting a masked vigilante?” She already knew the answer.

There was a long pause.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Raymond,” said Monroe, “as a police officer there is nothing I can do to help him.”

Margaret fought back tears as she looked from the detective to the taxi cab driver.

“Well, if you won’t do anything, I will.”

“Come along,” she pulled Cabbie out of the room and through the station filled with confused police officers, “I need to gather my brother’s belongings.”

To Be Continued…