General Fiction posted April 15, 2018

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Jack and Mugs find something

What the door reveals

by Mabaker

What the Cupboard conceals
Chapter Three

Jack stood on his porch and waved goodbye to his new friend, they had a date to go to the movies Saturday night. Jack was excited by the way things had turned out, and he confided in Mugs as they walked around the garden in the twilight.
"She really is nice, Mugs, and she loves cats." He confided to his new friend.
Then Mugs butted his ankle and Jack looked down. "The door Jack or had you forgotten?"
"Yes, I had forgotten, thank you for reminding me. Come along then and we'll see what's behind the door."

Leaving the gathering dark to night time animals, Jack hurried inside. Now his curiosity was peeked he had to see what the door concealed, locating his torch he led the way back to the cupboard.

A gentle pressure on the top and the door swung it open, now Jack swung the torch back and forth, and could only discern dark emptiness. There was a set of stairs leading down and Jack said to Mugs, "Up on my shoulder Mugs, we don't know what is down there, so I'll not allow you to go ahead to scout out the terrain."

Mugs sat on Jack's shoulder as they slowly descended into the inky blackness.
Jack counted twenty steps before his foot touched solid ground.
Then his torch picked out things, a heap of coal for starters, and Jack gave a nervous laugh, "This was a coal cellar in days gone by Mugs, nothing sinister about coal."
"Can I get down Jack, I'd like to explore."
"Yes, Mugs just don't get coal dust all over your coat, it will mean a bath for you, before you sleep on my bed."
Mugs jumped down and strolled around looking at the heap of coal, "What is it used for, Jack? I have never seen such lumps of blackness anywhere I've travelled."
"It was to burn in the grate, to warm the rooms, that is what's in the sitting room, it's not allowed anymore, due to pollution, now homes have electric or gas heaters, and coal like this just lies there gathering dust."

Mugs walked around somewhat faster than Jack who was stepping over lumps of coal, when Mugs fur standing on end, shot back and straight up onto his shoulder.
"Jack don't go there." His new friend whispered in his ear, "It's not safe."
"Why ever not, Mugs. It's only a coal cellar."
Well, that was what he started out to say, but his words died in his throat and instead he just stood staring.

"Whoa, Mugs. What have we here?"
"I don't like this place, Jack. Let's get out faster than we came down."

Jack was staring at a skeleton. Not a shred of flesh remained, and Jack could understand why. The man had been chained to an iron bar imbedded in the wall, giving him six feet of room, but no more. This man was a prisoner down here, chained to the wall and left to die on his own.
"A cruel way to die, Mugs. He must have done something horrendous to cop a punishment like this. Back in the day, and this would be the early part of the century, flogging was the main punishment, not chained to a wall, and left to starve to death."

Mugs had got himself as close possible to Jack's ear and whispered, "Come on Jack let's get out of here, please." This last note carried a desperate whine to it and Jack looked at the cat surprised. "What's the matter Mugs. What can you sense?"
"An old secret still resides down here. Let's not wake it up please."
"Isn't that kind of kitten-talk, Mugs? If you sense danger to either of us I'll get a ghost whisperer here in a matter of minutes, how's that?" He was only half serious.

"Oh, Jack it is set so that any part of this cellar is infected with evil, I fear it is already too late."
"Too late for what, Mugs?" Jack was thoroughly intrigued by what his cat was talking about and determined to find out more.

So, to keep Mugs from going into meltdown he headed back the way he'd arrived, up the stairs and exited through the coat closet. He'd had to carry Mugs whose means of locomotion had deserted him completely. Then he went to the kitchen and made a coffee for himself and a tin of food for Mugs.
"I'm sorry, Jack but truly I couldn't eat anything now."
"Well that's a new one I never thought I'd hear from you, Mugs. What is it about the coal room, that disturbs you? It's not the skeleton, he's way too far gone to cause us any harm, so what did you sense?"
"Danger, Jack. Evil intentions. I don't know from what but in that room. Let's go and find this ghost bloke you spoke about."
Next, Jack went on-line and after ten minutes of fruitless scrolling found in small letters the name and address of the ghost whisperer in their area. "Appointments, and fees on individual houses." The sign read.

"Come on Mugs he's not too far away, ten minutes in the car, I know the area."
"What will you tell him Jack?" The cat sitting on the passenger seat asked curiously. "I mean have you ever spoken to anyone who has gotten rid of a ghost, before?"
"No, but heck, Mugs, why would he have his name in a telephone book, if he wasn't what he says he is?"
"Well we'll soon find out. This is his house. Come on let's see what he can do."
Jack knocked on the door and when it opened they both got a fright. This ghost whisperer was a dwarf who stood no more than three feet high.
"Yes. Can I help you Sir?"
"My name is Jack, and this is Mugs my cat. We have a problem can you help us?"
"Come in."
The man spoke in the high-pitched voice dwarfs are noted for.
Jack and Mugs walked into a house that resembled a cave. It wasn't that the place was messy, just over crowded with stuff.
Being a short statue person, it was the right size for this man.

"My name is Zola, there is more of it, however Zola will do. I would have preferred you leave the cat in your car, I have quite a lot of priceless antiquities here, that cannot be replaced, so keep him in your arms."
"I am not a kitten Zola, I don't need restraints I know more about courtesy than you do Sir. Your treasures are safe."

Zola stared at the cat, then at Jack.
"Hm. A party trick I see. So, in which capacity do you want Zola."
Before Jack could answer politely, Mugs spoke up.
"Come Jack, this fellow is a fraud, we must look elsewhere."
"I beg your pardon, I am not a charlatan, Zola has many hats he wears, which one would be suitable to your needs? I do children's birthday parties, I have a Shetland pony for that. But never fear he never messes on anyone's floor, is that the one you want? Or perhaps..."
"We require a ghost whisperer." Spoke Mugs before Jack had a chance to explain their mission."
"Are you perfectly serious cat?"
"Mugs, if you don't mind, Zola."
"Ohh I'm sorry, I find it very hard to believe you are a ventriloquist dummy. But cats don't speak so I must rethink my opinion, um. Mugs."
"We need you in your ghost whisperer capacity."
"What? You come into my house to mock me."

The small man was now quite red in the face and took a step towards Mugs, his hand raised, when the cat drew back his lips and snarled. That stopped Zola in his tracks. "Perhaps you'd care for refreshments? Tea or coffee for you Jack and a bowl of water for Mugs?"
"Thanks that would be great. Shaking his head in confusion Zola left them while he made a pot of tea, found a bowl for Mugs and came back with everything.

Once everyone had something Zola spoke to Jack.
"Tell me about your ghost."
Jack started his story and Zola listened, while Mugs sat and watched the two men.
"Well, said Jack it started like this."
To Be Continued.

Jack gets a fright and Mugs can't walk.
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