Supernatural Fiction posted December 4, 2011 Chapters:  ...15 16 -17- 18... 

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Greed greases the skids to hell

A chapter in the book Paranormal Adventures

Give the Devil his Due

by Writingfundimension

The Trans Atlantic Paranormal Team has been hired to investigate reports of poltergeist happenings at the notorious Bellingham Manor.

Previously:  T.A.P.T. met with Jim Norris, renovation contractor, in their first walk-through of Bellingham Manor. Descending into the basement in search of the fusebox, maddened estate caretaker Jenkins Porter attempts to shoot Jim Norris in the back. Knocking out the drunken man, Jim turns to face the man's guard dog who is poised to rip out his throat. Mike Peterson arrives in time to see the animal dispatched by a supernatural intermediary. He insists on calling in the police, but Jim Norris claims the sheriff is Porter's nephew and not likely to believe their wild story. He insists on covering their tracks and keeping the incident a secret. The T.A.P.T. team refuses to participate in the cover-up and retreats to their hotel to rest and reconsider the situation.

Bellingham Manor, 1:00 A.M., February 8, 2010.
Jim Norris dumped the dog's corpse into the wooden crate and nailed it shut. Then he stood over the unconscious caretaker fighting the urge to kick the crap out of the bastard for nearly killing him.

You're damned lucky your nephew is the sheriff or you'd disappear along with your dog.

The old man's shotgun lay a few feet away. Norris picked it up; emptied its remaining shell and tucked the gun under his arm. He switched on his flashlight and raked the darkness spanning the length of the basement.

The general contractor knew the location of the spot he was seeking, but he had an eerie feeling that someone was watching from the shadows. After assuring himself that no intruders were about, he shrugged his shoulders in an effort to relax them and clear his thoughts.

Time to get this mess cleaned up and get the hell out of here. 

Moving quickly to a heap of bricks along the east wall of the subterranean level, he moved them aside and pointed his light into the deep hole. He was glad for the caution as red rodent eyes glared back at him.

Jim's hand flew to the leather sheath clipped to his belt that held his hunting knife. The rat's reflexes barely had time to register danger before a knife impaled its skull to the earth. Norris lifted the carcass and flung the rat's body in the direction of the unconscious caretaker before pausing to clean his blade of brains and blood and replace it in its sheath.

A box rested at the bottom of the hole. He lifted it carefully and sat it in his lap. The metal hinges showed signs of rust from the damp, New England weather, but the lock was secure. Inside were blueprint copies and geophysical maps for the Manor and surrounding property. But most importantly, the copy of a document that held great importance to him. He placed the box on the floor beside the hole; jammed the shotgun into its depths and replaced the bricks.
The document had come into his possession a year earlier and it's potential was stunning. He still couldn't believe that no one else had recognized its importance. After making careful inquiries and dropping a few well-placed hints, he realized that was, indeed, the case. He was emboldened to put his plans into action.   

He'd fired the prick, Matt Noland, that had gone over his head and complained to the development company about the incidents that had hampered the crew's renovation efforts. Unable to talk the rest of the crew into coming back to work or to find anyone to take their places, he had no choice but to go along with the company's decision to contact the paranormal team.

In fact, Jim Norris had been responsible for some of the 'accidents' on the site, mostly to decommission workers who asked too many questions about where and how he was spending his time. Until now he'd refused to consider that there could be something paranormal behind the rest.

He hated being in a checkmate position and having to put off the plans especially now that he felt he was really making progress in his search. But some crazy shit had gone down at the Manor tonight and this might be a perfect time to sit back and let others do some of the fact finding for him.

Let the ghost-hunting freaks do their thing. Their equipment will root out information in half the time it'd take me. Yep, I'll sit back, let them take the risks and bide my time.

Twenty minutes later, Jim Norris pulled his SUV in front of the entrance to the caretaker's cottage. He hoped the crazy coot had left his door unlocked in his drunken state and was relieved when the door opened easily.

He entered the cottage and turned on the light to orient himself to the bedroom's location. As he moved deeper inside, his senses were assailed by a terrific stench that reminded him of a gutted deer carcass. A cursory search of the cottage showed no source for the smell, though it did seem to be emanating from the bedroom.

Carrying the old man from his car, he entered the cottage and was hit with a blast of icy air. The old man's scrawny frame pressed down on his shoulder and the air was thick, like just before a thunder storm, making each step difficult.

After what felt like hours of effort, Norris reached the bed and threw Jenkins Porter onto the jumbled bedsheets. His nerves were on high alert, but he had to cover his ass by making sure that Porter was still alive. Reluctantly, he placed two fingers against the man's carotid artery and waited for the sensation of a throbbing pulse.

A gnarled hand shot upward from the bed and clamped itself around Jim Norris's wrist, squeezing until the bones crunched. He screamed from the pain coupled by terror of the thing that looked up at him.

Jenkins Porter's eyes were half-closed, and the orbs behind the lids gleamed with malevolent humor. A bloated, purple tongue darted from between lips that were forced into an impossible, horrific grin and a hissing sound sent spittle spraying outward. Norris felt his bladder empty at the words that came from the monster on the bed, "Jimmy-boy, got a minute for an old friend?"


Members of T.A.P.T: Mike Peterson, team founder and lead investigator; Luke Barlow, tech support/investigator; Mia Langley, team co-founder/Psychic/Medium and Emma Barlow, team historian and investigator.

Poltergeist: Noisy ghosts

Thanks to donFoto for: Four Arches
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