Supernatural Fiction posted February 1, 2012 Chapters:  ...17 18 -19- 


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the TEAM faces a corrupt lawman

A chapter in the book Paranormal Adventures

The Devil You Know

by Writingfundimension



Background
The Trans Atlantic Paranormal Team has been hired to investigate poltergeist happenings at the notorious Bellingham Estate in Nobelboro, Maine.

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Previously: The Team has gone to the Bellingham Manor to perform a nighttime investigation of the paranormal events there. They are accompanied by the renovation contractor, Jim Norris. A crazed caretaker shoots at him in a drunken rage before passing out. Norris does not wish to call in the local police or press charges against the caretaker. Despite their better judgement, the Team leaves him behind to clean up the 'mess'. 
  

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The Tipsy Butler: February 8, 2010

Luke shoved the cell phone in his pocket. His fingers curled into fists as he imagined their impact against the soft tissue of Sheriff Porter's face. Instinct drove him to call his father before consulting with other members of the Team regarding the latest development in their paranormal investigation. But his loyalty to his comrades prevailed. Time enough to call in the Big Boys.

The door was ajar to the second suite. Luke found Mike sitting in a desk chair facing Mia in a cross-legged posture on the floor and Emma lying sprawled across the bed. He got right to the point. "Jim Norris is missing and presumed dead. I just got off the phone with Sheriff Porter who ordered us to remain here until he can come by and interview each one of us. Says we're 'persons of interest' in the case."

"Jim Norris is dead?"

"He's missing, Emma. An anonymous tip led the Sheriff to Bellingham Estate where he found evidence of a bloody, violent struggle in the bedroom of the caretaker's cottage. Jim's abandoned vehicle was parked in front of the cottage with the keys in the ignition," Luke replied.

"What about the caretaker?" Mike asked. "Is he missing also?"

"The cottage was empty according the little information I was privy to. Sheriff Porter was more interested in issuing a threat and getting my reaction than sharing details of the case."

Emma anxiously chewed her cuticles and Mike sat at the edge of his chair, coiled to spring on an unsuspecting target. Mia leaned back against the bed, released a breath from deep in her abdomen then spoke, "I think it would be a good idea, Luke, for you to talk with your father. The Sheriff must be alerted that an outside Law Enforcement agency is monitoring his actions."

"I'm totally with you, Mia. I plan to call him right after we discuss how we're going to approach the interviews. We should all report the same version of what happened at the Manor tonight."

"Since Emma and I were in another part of the Manor when Jim Norris was used for target practice," Mia responded, "there's little we can relate in our report of the events."

"You make a good point, Mia. Luke and I will make it clear at the outset that you girls had little personal contact with Jim. And Luke came in after the shots were fired. That leaves me as sole witness to what occurred between Norris and the caretaker."

Luke searched the others' faces and stopped at the shadow of terror in Emma's eyes. "Don't worry, Emma," he quickly added. "We've got the Innkeepers, Lisa and Troy to vouch for our whereabouts. With my dad's help, I think we can get this cleared up quickly."

Mia turned to face the young woman. "Come sit by me, Emma." She patted a spot on the multi-hued, braided rug next to her. "Luke's right, we're going to do everything we can to see that you make it back home in time for your tournament game."

Mike was the first to speak, "Emma, in my experience as a paranormal investigator, I believe the demonic attacks against you will end once you've returned home. And, without fabricating evidence, I don't believe the Sheriff has anything connecting us to Jim Norris's disappearance."

"Wait a minute," Luke broke in, "what demonic attack are you talking about?"

Emma bared her arm for Luke's inspection. "Mia and I had a visitor during the night. My arm stung really bad, so I got up to examine it under the bathroom light. It's swollen and red but there's clearly the letter C in the middle of the burn mark."

Luke gently inspected Emma's injury. He felt himself buffeted by a craving for revenge fueled by rage. But, he was also a seasoned investigator and knew that for the safety of himself and his friends, he had to keep the feelings in check. Strong emotions only served the needs of the dark energies, fueling their ability to manifest.

"The good thing," Emma continued, "is that we positioned the DVR camera to face the bed and turned it on before we fell asleep. There's a good chance we caught something on film."

It was comical for his friends to watch the warring emotions play across Luke's face. He struggled to remain sympathetic with Emma while trying to contain his excitement on finding out they had potentially fantastic evidence of a paranormal event.

With this latest information, Mike knew it would be more difficult to reign in Luke's impetuosity. His frustration sometimes led to impulsive outbursts and the local lawman would recognize immediately the Team's achilles tendon.

"Our priority now is getting through to Sheriff Porter that we have no knowledge of what happened to Jim Norris once we left the grounds of the Estate," Mike said as he moved in one fluid motion from sitting to standing. Pointing to his stomach, he said, "I don't need a watch to tell me that it's time for breakfast. While we're waiting for him to show up, let's get dressed and take advantage of The Tipsy Butler's famous breakfast."

"Oh, that reminds me," Luke said. "When you left the room to check on the girls, I decided to do a quick scan of the film I shot in the Manor's Library. In my close-up of that pile of books sitting in the middle of the room - the one on top - the writing is not the way I remember seeing it at the time. The title is Latin. Mia, you were closest to the object, do you recall the book's title?"

"Initially my 'sight' showed the book was wrapped in a dense, black cloud, Luke. As you made your way over with the camera, the cloud dissipated and it became possible to read the title which I'm sure was in English. I believe it was the Satan Paradigm."

"That's also what I recall. When I came across that section in the tape, just now, the title was blurred - though everything around it was in focus. A couple of seconds elapsed and then the title comes into clear focus. And it isn't in English any longer. I've heard of such phenomena, but it's chilling when you see it for yourself."

**********

Thirty minutes later:

"Lisa, these carrot pancakes are superb!" Mara said to the Innkeeper between bites. "I understand you've become famous in this part of New England for your gourmet breakfasts. I can see why."

"Thank you, Mia. I love testing new ideas on my guests - like the melon, mint ginger and lime salad, we offered today. It's disappointing when guests don't have time for breakfast. I think sharing a meal with us is one of the highlights of a stay at The Tipsy Butler."

"The red-checked tablecloths, fresh flowers on the table and the  natural light from all the windows exudes warmth and welcome," Mia offered. "I think it's the perfect backdrop for your food." 

"And I can't imagine a better way to start off a day of cross country skiing, than to carbo load on these glorious pancakes." Emma placed her napkin on the empty plate before her. "If I wasn't on a strict diet for the duration of the volleyball tournament, I'd have loved to try your crabmeat quiche."

A gesture by Mia drew everyone's attention to Luke who was halfway through a second helping of pancakes. It took a few seconds for him to realize he was the object of their amusement.

"Laugh if you want, but I have a finely-honed sense of taste and smell...food is more than just 'fuel' for me." 

Mike smiled appreciatively over a cup of coffee from locally produced coffee beans. "I'm the official barista for the group, Lisa. This coffee is terrific - hints of cocoa and cinnamon without the taste of brine you find along the coastline. If you sell it here, I'll take a bag with me when we check-out." 

"I'll be sure to set aside a bag for you, Mike. And you're welcome to take your beverages with you into the adjoining library or your suites upstairs."

"We were planning to return to the Estate today sometime, but just found out a bit ago that your local sheriff wants to talk with us regarding a case he's investigating. Once we've been able to clear things up with him, we'll inform you of our plans for the day," Mike told Lisa.

The pleasant features of the Innkeeper transformed into hard edges and lines when she heard the news that Sheriff Porter was going to be coming by to talk with the group of young people. "I hope that you haven't gotten on the wrong side of that man. He's ruthless and crooked as the path to Hell.  He'll take special pleasure in pulling up front with the lights flashing."

"Lisa, I want to assure you and Troy we've done nothing illegal." Mike said. "It's true we're virtual strangers to you, but please believe me when I say we are respected in the paranormal community because we follow the rules."

"I've a good instinct when it comes to people. You folks are what you appear to be - honest and sincere. And I don't mean to scare you, exactly. But my young nephew, who was a promising athlete and bright student, spent a year in prison after being wrongfully charged with raping Sheriff Porter's granddaughter. He was released when DNA results proved his innocence after his family went bankrupt seeking justice."

Grabbing an armload of plates, Lisa turned toward the kitchen. Before disappearing from sight, she turned to the stunned group. "My advice: Insist on taping your interviews and call a lawyer as soon as possible."    




Recognized


Members of T.A.P.T: Mike Peterson, Team Founder/Lead Investigator; Luke Chadwick, Tech Specialist; Mia Langley, Co-founder/Psychic; Emma Barlow, Team Historian/Investigator

Terms:
Barista: Someone who makes and serves coffee
Poltergeist: Noisy ghost
Psychic: Sensitive to non-physical or supernatural forces

Thanks to DonFofo for: Four Arches

Descriptions of the Tipsy Butler owners and interior are all fictional. However, they are known for the items mentioned here as part of their gourmet breakfast package. For information on the award winning New England bed and breakfast, please go to wwwthetipsybutler.com.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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