I turned off the car but sat in it for a moment. It had been a long day and nothing was the same as it was when I left in the morning. The world had shifted and I’d have to adjust. After a few minutes I finally got out and headed towards the house. It wasn’t until I was almost to the front door that i realized I wouldn’t be able to get in. I stopped and pulled out my cell phone.
A truck pulled in behind my car. It was an old friend, Mike Forester. I put my cell phone away and walked up as he was getting out.
“Hey Mike, great timing,” I said.
“Yeah, figured ya may want these.” He handed me several keys. “I changed all the locks to use the same key. Those others are spares. Put stoppers in the bigger windows. They’re easy to figure out, but give me a call if you have any problems.”
“Thanks, Mike,” I said.
“Oh, and the police did show up, as you said,” Mike said. “They spent half an hour or forty five minutes or so. Took a bunch of stuff out and left. Didn’t see anyone else.”
“Oh, great, yeah, thanks,” I said.
He squinted at me. “Did that no good girl friend of yours do something?” he asked. “Never did like her. Seen her with some bad seed a time or two. Not to be trusted.”
“Yeah, you’ve said that before,” I said. “All I can say is that it’s an ongoing investigation and I can’t really tell you a whole lot. Don’t need people talking and all.”
“I can take a hint,” he said. “So mums the word.”
“I’m sorry, but, yeah,” I said. “Oh, almost forgot. Can you give me the bill and have me drop a check in the mail or something?”
“Sure,” he said. He reached back into the open truck and handed me a couple of sheets of paper that were stapled together. “Take your time, but, you know, I did have some out of pocket expenses here.”
“Yeah, I’ll pay it off tomorrow or Thursday by the latest,” I said. “Anyway, as you can guess it’s been a really long day. I’ll talk to you in a day or to. And thanks again”
“No problem. See you.”
Mike got in his truck and backed out. He beeped as he was pulling away. I started to head towards the house again when a police car pulled up. I walked out to the car as the officer rolled down the window.
“Mr. Harris?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said.
“Did you get the report yet?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said. “You took her computer, several notebooks and hundreds of medicine vials.”
“That’s correct,” he said. “There are three handguns registered to her name yet we did not find any of them. As a suspect for attempted murder we can only assume she is armed and dangerous. As her whereabouts are presently unknown we are going to make sure a car is always in the vicinity.”
“Thank you for all of your help, officer,” I said.
When he was gone I finally entered the house using the new key Mike had given me.
Bethy’s absence was instantly noticeable. Yet I began to feel other things, other presences in the house. I knew my sensitivity was growing and thought that must be it.
There was a strong feeling of evil emanating from the bedroom. I passed by a few times, purposefully avoiding going in while I did other things. Finally I entered and turned on the light. For a split second I saw Benjamin and Bethy having sex in the bed. I jumped back and blinked.
There was nothing there. Yet something was there.
I walked around to my side of the bed. Something was glowing a sinister red.
I lifted the mattress and saw it on top of the box springs, a small round medallion.
I grabbed it and dropped the mattress.
I instantly realized it was one of Rosaline’s charms but corrupted. The original image was scratched out and a skull was in its place. Inside the skull was stamped “BH”. I turned it over and saw it was marked the same way. Turning back and forth I noticed there were subtle differences. On one side the skull and the writing were very masculine while on the other side it was more feminine.
“Benjamin Halley,” I said as I looked at the masculine side. I flipped it over. “Bethy Halley?” I asked myself. I don’t know where the idea came from.
I took the charm out back and tried scratching it with a nail. Although the metal was soft, I couldn’t touch the initials. I put it in a jar, closed the lid tightly and placed it in a corner of the yard, as far from the house as possible. I could feel the evil radiate from it as I walked away.
Unconsciously I rubbed Rosaline’s charm that I had in my pocket. It was soothing.
The house still smelled of evil. I walked around and searched out any strong sources. Every time I found one I put it in a trash bag. They were mostly small harmless looking objects, like combs or old shoes. One was an ancient piece of brick which I somehow knew came from the crypt of the Halley branch. During all of this I never reentered the master bedroom. The feel of evil was just still too overwhelming.
After about an hour there was a trash can in the far corner of the yard. Perhaps a dozen objects were in it.
The guest bedroom was the cleanest room in the house. I used my mind to put a wall around it. I then made a cleansing fire that went from the center to the walls, pushing everything out in front of it. It felt even better. I strengthened the wall and did it again two more times. I entered the bubble and cleansed it one last time just to be sure before lying down on the bed.
As tired as I was I couldn’t sleep. To occupy myself I started sifting through my mind, placing dirty objects behind a wall I had made. I searched them out, one at a time. Most of them were innocent seeming memories. The majority dealt with Bethy, but some were of my family.
After a while I put part of my mind inside of my neutron star bunker and slept. It was a deep and dreamless sleep. I felt unusually calm and refreshed.
But then, even in my sleep, I noticed them. It was like millions of ants and thousands of rats trying to claw their way in. The house was filled with them. Ghosts of memories. Evils long ago committed. Lost dreams. There were the signs of Benjamin and Bethy, but much more, many more. Throngs were gathered. Few were able to squeeze their way into the room. A couple, with the taste of Benjamin, had entered my mind. I brushed them out, brushed them out of the room.
I could still hear them, though, scratching at the wall, trying to get through my clean barrier.
I could feel the barrier bend and buckle from the strain of the multitudes it was holding out. I concentrated to keep it steady, but as soon as my mind went to a hot spot, another would open up.
Something big came through my barrier. I pushed hard but it kept coming. I put more into it than I knew existed. It halted and started to slide backwards. As the evil thing struggled another entered the room. I started pushing it. I was straining. Another came in and another. They started to get closer. I couldn’t hold them and my grip on the barrier was loosening. If the damn burst the room would be flooded with evil.
I reached out in desperation. Half a billion light years away a star was going supernova. I channeled the thought of it and let it explode through the house. The spectral blaze seared through everything and reverberated off of the far corners of the planet. I could hear distant car alarms going off and dogs throughout the neighborhood going crazy but I didn’t feel the evil. The house was empty once again.
I strengthened the barrier around the room, then put a new one up around the house, minus the master bedroom. I put another one up surrounding just the bedroom then surrounded the whole house, master bedroom and all. Lastly I put one up around the yard skipping the evil of the trash can. I strengthen them all, including those inside me.
Calm and quite returned. I knew there was still evil present, but nothing new could enter the room. I went back to sleep and only wakened with the alarm feeling more refreshed than I had in years.
As I got ready for work I noticed the trashcan at the edge of the yard was burnt and twisted.
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