(All previous chapters and stories can be found on my home page under 20/20 Investigations, Inc. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!)
There’s a lot of smoke coming from the back of the hotel. Jessica always keeps 2 fire extinguishers in the truck, plus there is one in every room of the hotel. After all, the nearest fire department is nearly an hour away in another town. We each grab a fire extinguisher and run around back. The flames are shooting high into the air engulfing the entire back porch and it’s already very hot. I yell at Jessica to go inside and get Muffin out, then attack the fire from inside. She drops her fire extinguisher for me to use and runs around to the front. Shortly after Muffin shows up but stays a safe distance away. It actually doesn’t take long to get the fire out, it looked worse than it was.
But if we had gone all the way to town…there would have been nothing left of this old hotel or Muffin. The back porch burned completely though and it did scorch the wall of the hotel quite badly. I decide it might be a good idea to remove that old wood siding and make sure there is nothing smoldering inside the wall. Jessica comes out and helps me with that without saying a word. Well, at least the fire didn’t burn right through the siding, I say to Jessica. She just answered, that’s good, and went back inside. Muffin and I follow her as she goes and sits in the main room and she just kind of stares. You’re very quiet, I said. Guess I’m a little scared now, she admitted, that could not have been an accident. Meow, meow!=No accident, I see ghosts start fire! What did she say?, asked Jessica.
She said the ghosts started the fire. Sigh, now I’m starting to say ghosts. How many people Muffin? Meow, meow.=It was ghost Bill and that woman again. You’re sure it was the same woman? Meow!=Yep, I’m sure! What are you 2 talking about anyway? Muffin has seen a woman with Bill twice now, and the description fits Trish, from the other hotel. Jessica looked completely shocked and stayed silent for a while. I just can’t believe that Bill is still alive, she said, even though I saw him in the window yesterday. It just makes no sense. And why would he be with Trish? Why would he want me to leave here? He certainly couldn’t live here if he did fake his death, someone would recognize him unless he never left here and Bill would never be able to do that.
That part is a real puzzle for sure, I said, unless there is someone around here that resembles Bill a lot. But why is Trish mixed up in this and what is so important about this old hotel? I mean, honestly, this hotel is so far from nowhere, it would be hard to turn it into a viable business, especially with the other hotel in town. Jessica just kept silent after I said that. Sometimes I think she’s holding back and not telling me everything. There must be something important about this place. Did they find a rich vein of gold in that old mine? But somehow I just don’t think that’s it. There is definitely something else going on and I need to know what it is. Finally Jessica asks, how did you know we should turn around and come back? It’s like you knew something was going to happen.
Well, I didn’t know for sure, but based on the last time, I figured something would likely happen today also and where we turned would have given them a chance to do it. I was really hoping we could catch them in the act though. Muffin, did you see a vehicle drive into the yard? Meow.=No vehicle. Meow, meow!=Ghosts come from cellar and start fire! That’s it, they’re coming in through that tunnel! So we all get ready and head down into the cellar to follow that tunnel. Jessica said she was scared, but would be more scared to stay alone. So, we have everything we need, I open the door and in we go. It’s quite a narrow tunnel, just wide enough for walking. We get in about 20 feet and there is a loud roar and a thick cloud of dust covers us.
To be continued.
Steve and Muffin.
© 2020 Steve McLeod.