Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chapter 23 - "A Ghost Goes to War"


Chapter 23

“A Ghost Goes to War”

(Copyright 2011 Kevin Paul Shaw Broden)

by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

“Come on, Mr. Brewster, run!” Margaret Raymond grabbed the man’s arm and pulled him away from the fight. She experienced the same problem her husband did with the mask; her peripheral vision was slightly blocked as she searched for an exit from the warehouse. Once found, Margaret dragged the older, distraught, man outside.

Halfway across the yard Brewster’s legs gave out from under him and he fell to the ground. Tears began to flow. The terror of the night had gotten to him.

“We have to get out of here,” Margaret said, feeling small inside her brother’s costume.

He looked up at her with confusion, “I thought the Ghost was…”

She could see it in his eyes, he had known the Masked Ghost was her brother, but Adrian was now dead and four other people were running around in the costume.

Margaret knelt in front of him, and pulled off the hat and mask, “Look. Everything is going to be okay. But we have to move--”

“Sheila?” He said in confusion, looking into the face he saw as his own daughter, “I’m so sorry. There wasn’t anything I could do to stop them. I tried. You shouldn’t have screamed at Spade. I’m so sorry. So sorry.”

Margaret felt for him as he thought of his dead daughter. He wasn’t going to move any further, so she held him and looked back towards the warehouse as gunshots echoed and she prayed none would strike her husband.

That was when she heard a crunch of gravel behind her. Slowly looking over her should, she found a tall man in black pointing a gun at her. His face bloody from a beating the Masked Ghost had given him less than an hour before. Margaret didn’t need to know this was the man who had killed the accountant and attacked her husband. She did know he would not hesitate to kill them both.

= = =

Chaos ensued with in the warehouse. As the three masked men pursued the criminals between the crates of explosives, the echoes of their footsteps and their shouts made it sounds like an army had invaded the building.

Donald Raymond didn’t like to fight, but had done so in the past. As a kid he got into many scraps with the neighborhood bullies, and later, on the construction sites, fought off those who would threaten his men. He didn’t always win, but none of those battles had ever involved gunfire.

His fist struck one of the guards, who went down after multiple poundings. That’s when the guns got involved. Donald turned to find Detective Dodds’ revolver pointed at his head.

“You should have left it alone, Raymond,” the detective cursed at the man under the mask, “my job was nearly over. Working for Shade would just guarantee a quite retirement with a little extra money. You’re destroying all that.”

Donald had no response as the trigger of the revolver was pulled back.


Dodds fell to the floor with a thud.

Donald looked around to find another Masked Ghost holding a large plank of wood now broken from where it had struck the back of Dodd’s head.

“There you go boss.”

“Uh, thanks.” Donald said and then smiled, as he now knew whom this Masked Ghost was. That accent was unmistakable. But he still had no idea who the other one was. The one who was quite ready to use his guns.

“No guns!” He shouted across the warehouse, he ran towards the third Masked Ghost and Cabbie followed in his own mask.

“These men wouldn’t hesitate to use their own,” said the other Masked Ghost as Donald tried to figure out who it was, “your brother wasn’t opposed to the use of weapons.”

That disturbed Donald, but he couldn’t waste time on it now, “I’m here in this mask now, and I say no guns. Besides, there’s so much explosives in this place that one stray bullet could send us all to hell!”

The other Ghost seemed to think that was a good argument and put his weapons away, then gave a thin secretive smile which told Donald that he was Monroe, the police detective from Adrian’s crime scene. He wasn’t certain what to think about a police officer that condone the vigilante actions of the Masked Ghost, or one who loved using his guns so freely.

But Donald didn’t have time to dwell on that as he spotted the remaining guard. Moving cat like over a couple of crates and he leapt down on the guard. Slammed into the floor, the guard was no longer a threat.

Looking up at his two masked companions Donald gave an order, “Get out of here now, and make certain Margaret is safe. I’m going after Spade.”

“You’ll need backup,” Monroe said from behind his own mask. Both men looked eager to continue this fight.

“I said go! Now!” The Masked Ghost leapt to his feet.

Cabbie nodded and gave a smile that recognized that Donald was finally taking to the part of the Masked Ghost well. He then pulled on his partner’s sleeve and nodded towards the exit. No more arguments were made.

As they made their escape, the Masked Ghost headed further into the darken pathways between the massive crates.

Coming around a corner, he found Spade moving about as if lost, with a panicked express on his fat face.

“Trapped with in your own maze.”

The Masked Ghost spoke as he approached the crime boss.

“The ghosts of this city will not let you destroy it.”

“Stay away from me,” Spade shouted, scared for the first time in his sorry life.

The Masked Ghost leapt forward and grabbed hold of the man.

Donald had intended to drag him out of here, but now the Masked Ghost was ready to pummel the fat man for everything he had done. For the poor accountant, for Sheila who had stood up for her father, for Adrian who sought justice, and for Margaret—

Wait. Why for Margaret? His wife was safe outside. She wouldn’t want him to do this. Donald’s conscious regained control, this was wrong. The delay in his actions was enough to turn the tide.


Dodds was moving down the corridor, stumbling against the crates, one hand on his head where he had been struck, and the other outstretched with the revolver wavering at the Masked Ghost.

Believing help had arrived, Spade pushed The Masked Ghost away and towards the oncoming instrument of death.

“You are going to die and stay dead, if it’s the last thing I do,” Dodds said.

Donald could see how woozy the detective looked, his eyes weren’t focusing. The blow to the head obviously had caused a concussion.

There wasn’t anywhere for the Masked Ghost to run, so Donald was going to see this to the end.

“You can not kill the ghost that is your guilt.”

He watched Dodds stumble and pause, eyes flickered one way and then the next and then upward as if spotting something.

“You won’t trick me again, Raymond,” the Detective said, “another masked man isn’t going to stop me from killing you.”

He raised the revolved from Donald up towards the top of the crates.

Donald glanced upward wondering if Cabbie or Monroe had disobeyed him and returned, he also prayed it wasn’t Margaret. There was no one up there.

“Come down here and die like a man,” Dodds shouted and swung his gun wildly towards the other side of the corridor. The action nearly caused him to loose his balance.

Donald took the only opportunity he was going to get and dove at Dodds. As he struck, the detective fired and the shot went wild. The sound echoed through out the warehouse as the bullet struck one of the hanging lamps overhead. It caused shadows to dance about around them.

Dodds kicked to get away from the Masked Ghost, but then one of the shadows moved and he fired into it. What he saw, Donald could only imagine.

“Why won’t you stay dead!” The Detective shouted at the shadows.

“Stop you fool, you’re going to kill us all!” Spade shouted.

Donald had to agree with the villain as another shot rang out.

“Move!” He shouted and pushed Spade into a side corridor as another bullet struck one of the crates.

= = =

Cabbie and Monroe made their way out to the yard and saw a body laying on the ground. The night was dark and made it hard to see until they got closer. Both their thoughts were of Donald’s final command to protect Margaret.

Cautiously, they approached and knelt.

“It’s a man.” Monroe said as he examined the body, “and he’s alive. Though just barely.”

“I… I didn’t want to hurt him.” They looked up to see Margaret in her costume stepping from the guard shack. “But had to do something.”

“Never saw anything like it.” Brewster said following her, his head finally clear, “she disarmed and had him down on the ground so fast, I didn’t know what was happening.”

“Where’s Donald,” Margaret asked with panic.

“He’ll be out soon,” Monroe said, removing his mask.

“The Masked Ghost has some unfinished business to--” Cabbie’s words were cut off as the entire warehouse exploded into flames.

Margaret Raymond screamed!

To Be Continued…

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