“Steve, wake up!” said Sky excitedly, “wake up.” I woke up alright and nearly punched Sky right in the face! “Hold it Steve,” she said, “it’s me.” I settled down but was in quite a sweat, and scared. “You must have had a bad dream,” Sky continued. “It was a nightmare,” I said with a shaky voice. “You were thrashing around and yelling,” said Sky, “that is why I woke you up.” “I am glad you did,” I said calming down a bit now, “that was just horrible.” “Do you want to talk about it?” she asked.
“No,” I said, “I just want to forget that one.” Then I looked at Sky with tears. “I am sure glad you are okay,” I said slowly. “You are tense Steve,” she said rubbing my shoulders, “you need another massage to settle you down.” “I do not want to wake up Sigurbjorn,” I said. “That is part of her job, is it not?” asked Sky. She then phoned Sigurbjorn to come over right away, which she did. She had been staying with Denise tonight, so she left the door open so the cats could go over and take her place for a while.
Sky quickly put their backpacks on and off they went. Storm closed the door, he and MC each took a chair to watch. Muffin went on the bed with Denise. They all stayed awake. “Perhaps you should talk with Galyna about that nightmare,” suggested Sky. “No, I will be okay,” I said. “Does our team leader need to be reminded of the rules?” asked Sigurbjorn. “No, if it keeps bothering me I promise to talk with her,” I said. The girls were satisfied with that.
Soon I was sleeping again and Sigurbjorn went back to be with Denise. I had told her to keep MC and Storm with her and send Muffin back here. Muffin came running in and onto the bed. It was now 4:30am and I suddenly woke up yelling again, grabbed my gun and shot 4 times at the door. Sky had the light on fast and had to wrestle the gun from me. Others soon were at our room with guns ready after hearing the shots.
I was in a cold sweat again. “What is wrong Steve?” asked Sky. “I was dreaming again, it was bad,” I said, “then I woke up and saw a man standing by the door. I grabbed my gun and shot, but he was gone by that time. I did not see where he went, but I am sure he did not open the door.” “It was probably just the dream,” said Sky, “and you just thought someone was there.” “Perhaps you are right,” I said, “but that is not good.
Still, we should check and see if there is a secret door in here. I know we checked already, but we may have missed it, like we missed that puppy.” Sky then told everyone about the puppy not being the right one. I looked at everyone and apologized for what happened. “I may need to take myself off the case,” I said quietly, “I do not want to endanger anyone.” “Hey, no hasty decisions Steve,” said Kristina, “a couple bad dreams does not disqualify you.”
Everyone else said the same thing. “Okay, but I will talk with Galyna about it,” I said, “and what she decides is what I will do.” Galyna, Sky and the cats stayed behind and we talked. Galyna said I should stay on the case for now and we will see if it happens again, but she said no guns at night for me. It was no point going back to bed now, it was 5:30, so we spent some time looking for a secret door. Muffin found it right away, in our closet, which was beside the door.
She said it was easy this time because of an odd smell. The other cats could smell it too, though we could not. The door opened to a very narrow stairway which led all the way down to the basement. First though I called Benson and Carine, plus Kristina, to come along. Once in the basement we could all smell something odd. Carine said it smelled like rotten meat with something used to cover the smell. That could only mean one thing to me.
The cats located the source of the smell in an old trunk hidden behind boxes. MC picked the lock on the trunk and Benson opened it after I told the girls to get back. Benson closed the lid again. It was not a pretty sight. We would have to call the police in now. They came and took the body away, but first they wanted Denise to look at the woman to see if she knew her. Poor Denise, she was in shock after looking.
It was her sister Sofie. She had been here 2 weeks ago to visit Denise and convince her to sell the chateau. She was the one who called Mack. They obviously were working together, but Mack must have gotten greedy and wanted everything for himself. The police chief said we could continue working on the case since we had already put so much time into it. That was good to hear.
Denise really wanted to move out of here quickly now, and I do not blame her. As they took another load of boxes to her new flat a woman met them at the door of the building. “Well hi!” she said to Denise. “Hi dear,” she said and kept walking. The woman frowned. Back at the chateau, another woman frowned…
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.