Friday, October 21, 2011

Hamelin and Euclid

"So, you're sure you can take care of it?"
"Shouldn't be too much of a problem, Mr Caldwell, then I promise your house will be safe n' sound."
Brian Caldwell, the normally proud owner of an old estate on Henry's Ridge outside of Grayburg; a rich man and old patrician-type.  Hamelin stood in front of him, collared white shirt, brown pants and suspenders, with his hands confidently crossed behind his back.
"If you'll give me a couple minutes, your dinner party will be back in business.  Oh, and I'll take five hundred upfront."
"Oh of course." said Caldwell, unphased by the high price.  Hamelin enjoyed working for the wealthy families on Henry's Ridge because he could charge higher and get less of a reaction.  Hamelin took the check gratefully.
"Thank you, sir, I will begin right away." Hamelin walked along the expansive dark green lawns, silver dots poking through the purple sky.  He put his hands in his back pockets and whistled a tune, circling the house.  He ran the information he had been given by Caldwell through his head again.  Sometime last week Caldwell's wife had reported odd happenings; such as laundry strewn over the floor, items missing, bangings and thumpings in the night, random unseen things frightening the dog, and most horrifying to the Caldwells, the basement door would be opened and slammed during the night and old books be thrown onto the basement stairs.  It went on like this off and on, slowly fading out.  Until tonight, the whole racket happened again.  That's why Hamelin was there; he was an animal catcher, a paranormal animal catcher.
Taking a rough stone from his breast pocket, Hamelin whispered, 'Eukledhes, vgainoun.'  There was a flash of smoke and a stone golem, half again as broad as men and towering above them, eclipsed Hamelin.  His name was Euclid.  He was comprised of geometric lines and contours, and had ancient glyphs along his clavicle.
"Hello, Hamelin.  Where are we?" Euclid asked in his slow, rumbling voice.
"Caldwell Estate, outside of Grayburg.  Sounds like a poltergeist, or some kind of revenant spirit.  So I decided to call you up; not sure what to expect."
Hamelin motioned for his giant, stone friend to follow as he continued to circle the house.
"Grayburg seems to be rather busy of late busy." Euclid rumbled as he trod on the grass beside Hamelin.
"Yeah, ever since those kids went poking around in the Blackwood House; awoke all kinds of nasty critters." Hamelin spoke as his eyes surveyed the expansive property, looking in between the trees for phantoms, or in the koi pond for kappas, or near the house for revenant spirits.
"Wouldn't you not be happy for the abundance of work?" Euclid asked, gazing at a vacant bird bath as he did so.
Hamelin stopped abruptly on the stone path, throwing a hand in front of his lithic friend.
"I know what it is.  God da–ugh, those kids nosing into somethin' ain't theirs.  It's a revenant.  I knew it.  I really angry revenant." Hamelin turned to look up at Euclid.  He followed where his golem companion was looking. "Euclid!  Hey, Euclid!  We can look at birds later, but now we have a job."
"I am sorry, Hamelin, revenant you say?  Let us find it, friend." Euclid broke his gaze with the bird bath and stumped after Hamelin as he jogged across the lawn to the caretaker's house, silhouetted by the indigo sky as a black shape, appearing much more mysterious and frightening than reality.  Hamelin didn't think much of this as he reached the dark green door of the house.  He scanned the flowerbeds under the windows, all of them were bright and healthy, many curling up, hiding their vivid colors from the taint of the blanket darkness; except the roses.  Hamelin plucked one up, a droplet of blood in the gloom, and picked off a few of the velvety petals, some slipped through his fingers and started to drift in the whisper of the night breeze, but then stopped, as by a wall or invisible hand so as to then bring them back to be part of a bouquet.  The crimson petals drifted back, past Hamelin and Euclid, to flow up against the door, murmuring against it's forest hues.  Hamelin let the rest of the flower fall to the ground.
"Yep, just as I thought.  There's a poltergeist in there." Hamelin stepped up, right in front of the door.  Licking his lips and rubbing his hands together, Hamelin grasped the door handle and opened it, just a crack.  A chill breath moaned out of the crack like a warning, only a threat to what was to come if one continued into the house, brushing past Hamelin's face, chilling him to the bone.  Hamelin threw one last glance at Euclid behind him, and opened the door all the way.  The interior of the house was black.  No lamp or light was on in the entire house.  Hamelin stepped over the thresh hold, another chill wind rushed past him, ruffling his shirt as it departed.  Euclid stooped as he entered and stood beside Hamelin, gemstone eyes searching the room, seeing things hidden from the naked human eye.  A small movement warned Euclid what was about to happen seconds before it did.  A small object hurled itself across the dark room, flying at Hamelin to strike him down; Euclid simply moved his stony bulk in front of his small friend, the object bouncing harmlessly off his shoulder.
"Thanks." Hamelin said, smiling at his friend.
Euclid nodded in a silent 'your welcome', then bent down and picked up the small object between his baseball bat-sized fingers.  Hamelin held out his hand and Euclid deposited the thing obligingly in the small, fleshy hand.
"It's a trowel." Hamelin's surprise showed through his voice.
"Does this mean that the caretaker is, in fact, the revenant.?" Euclid asked.
"Poltergeist wouldn't have thrown it if it wasn't important to him."
Hamelin held onto the little shovel as he walked into the middle of the room; couches and coffee tables shrouded in the rising moon light of the window.  A newspaper clipping lay in the silver beam.  Hamelin bent over to read the article while Euclid kept watch, alert for more hauntings.
"The original caretaker died less than a month ago, a replacement was hired, but he fell ill not a week before all the hauntings started.  This spirit is older than I thought," a floorboard creaked above them, Hamelin looked up, "and I think I know where it is." Hamelin crept up the stairs to the bedroom, Euclid not far behind, and inspected the ceiling for an attic access ladder.
"Ah, there you are." Hamelin pulled the hatch open and guided the ladder down to the carpet.  Ascending the ladder, Hamelin looked about the attic room.  It was dusty, a layer of gray particles blanketed the room, making the room seem quiet and still.  Piles and boxes of stuff, junk, filled the wooden space; all of them shrouded in dust.  A single window across from Hamelin let the eerie silver light of the moon dimly lit the silent sepulcher of a room.  Hamelin noticed a drawer in one corner; a solid thing of aged wood and ornate carving with four drawers, and a large rent down one edge.  The dust began to move by a breeze that was not there; motes of dust swirled around into a cloud in front of the window, obscuring the moonlight and leaving the room in a dull gloom.  The dust settled and, standing before them, was a woman, clothed in a corset and gown,  A gruesome wound poured phantasmal blood down her dress.
"Uh uh, woman revenant.  Let me just inspect this drawer of here–" Hamelin had started to take a step toward the dresser when the specter of the woman lunged over the boxes of junk, face changed from sad confusion into a twisted snarl of rage.  Hamelin was caught a bit of guard.  But as the phantom neared, Hamelin's fists burst into scarlet flames and he raised his fist, punching the revenant right in the face.  The thing uttered a hushed howl as she keeled backwards.  Hamelin, hands extinguished, raced over to the dresser, booted feet knocking aside various chests and boxes of books and heirlooms.  He reached the dresser, pulling out the drawers and dumping their contents on the wooden planks of the floor.  One item in particular caught his eye; a book or diary, bound in black leather, with the stink of ectoplasm about it.  He tossed the drawer to the side and snatched the book up, flipping through it's pages.  They were a collection of love letters, written two hundred years ago, between this ghost of a woman here, Ms Caldwell, an ancestor of Brian Caldwell, and the one of the groundkeeper boys of the time.  Hamelin was able to surmise her story from there.  She might have been engaged, or even married, but often shared the bed of the working young man.  Either her fiancee or the young man did away with her.  And then she has been killing the subsequent groundkeepers, and probably the stuff she would throw around in the main house were book belonging to one of the homicidal men in her life.  Hamelin didn't care to stick around much long so, hand once again aflame, he bathed the book in fire; turning it to ash.  The poltergeist was gone.
"Ok, Euclid, let's go get the rest of that money." Hamelin said, pocketing the only surviving scrap of the book, his face a forced smirk.       

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