(All previous chapters and stories can be found on my home page under the name 20/20 Investigations, Inc. Thank you for reading)
Muffin and I arrive in the kitchen to find Jessica lying on the floor, unconscious. I carry her back to her bedroom and put her on the bed and tell Muffin to stay with her while I go look around. When I get back to the kitchen the door is wide open. I go out onto the back porch and shine my flashlight around. Nothing. I didn’t really think there would be. I close and lock the door but since I haven’t had time to change the locks yet, I grab a hammer from the tool box that Jessica always keeps in the kitchen, and a couple nails and…there, that’s a little added protection. Using nails for added locks won’t stop someone from coming in, but at least it won’t be so easy or quiet. I decide to do the same with the front door and then I go around and make sure all the windows are locked.
But what if the open door meant that someone came inside? Hmm, that’s not a good thought. I go back to check on Jessica. She’s awake now and sitting on the bed. What was all that banging?, she asks. Oh, just a little extra protection for the doors. Now, tell me what happened to you? I saw a face at the window, she said, and it was Bill’s! What? How is that possible? Meow, meow.=Is ghost, time to leave, I’ll go pack. Muffin, come back. And stop sighing. Meow, meow.=You always want to chase ghosts. Okay Jessica, let’s go back a bit, to when you found Bill in the mine. What exactly did you do? I came back in here and called for help, she said. How long was Bill’s body left alone in the mine? About half an hour, she said, but he was still there, head all crushed. Wait, what do you mean crushed?
His head was crushed by that big rock, couldn’t even recognize him. Then how do you know it was Bill? He was Bill’s size, same clothes, rings, he had one ring that was so tight he never took it off. That was the only way you identified him? Yes, it was an accident so no autopsy was required and I didn’t want one anyway. I just wanted to bury him quickly. Okay, this is adding a different perspective to things now. It is possible that the dead man wasn’t Bill after all, he was just faking his death perhaps. Did he have any death insurance? Oh yes, said Jessica, Bill worked in an insurance company and he always wanted me to be well looked after if he should die. It’s for 5 million dollars, she added. Hmm, it still doesn’t make sense, that doesn’t help him any and why would he stay around and want you to leave?
When I went back into the kitchen, the back door was open….Then someone’s inside, yelled Jessica! Not necessarily, I said, it might have been opened just to scare us. Meow, meow!=It’s working, let’s leave, I’ll go pack. No packing Muffin, we need to search the hotel. After all, there might be mice around. Meow, meow!=Why we waiting, let’s go look! Jessica, did you have the cellar door open? No, I didn’t, she said, I don’t even like going down there. Then that is a good place to begin our search, although it could have been opened to throw us off too. Meow!=Good place for mice! I get my backpack and flashlight and put Muffin’s mini headlamp on, then off we go. Jessica took another flashlight from the kitchen.
Once in the cellar a mouse scurries off behind some boxes with Muffin right behind it. I heard an odd noise come from behind the boxes and call for Muffin. No answer. I call again, but nothing. I go over to the boxes, no way for me to squeeze between those boxes, I will have to move them. But as I tried, the whole stack swung back easily like a door. There was another door on the far wall. And…Muffin is lying on the floor! I pick her up gently, she gives a tiny meow,=ghost hit me with stick. We all go back upstairs so I can check Muffin.
To be continued.
Steve and Muffin.
© 2020 Steve McLeod.