ouie called Carol on her cell. “If there are any records on the Marshall/Begbie case they’ll be stored in the BC Archives and God only knows how long it might take to get them. I’ve put in a re-
quest anyways, but in the meantime, I’ve done a little digging via our old friend Wikipedia. Your information is correct inasmuch as William Marshall was hanged by our famous hanging judge, Mr. Begbie, back in 1860. There’s scant info about the case, its only oddity seeming to be that it was expected the native would be executed, not the white guy. Everything else is mundane, nothing out of the ordinary. I have found also that Marshall’s body was taken back to California and buried in the San Francisco Mission Delores Cemetery under the family plot of Moretti. The Morettis moved back to New York shortly after the great fire. They merged families with the
Rizzos and became one of the five New York mob families.”
“Let me guess, the Rizzutos.”
“You got it. This psychic you’re hanging out with knows her stuff. I’m impressed. Not only that, but every Moretti, Rizzuto first-born male from each generation has died prematurely and usually in horrible circumstances, and strangely each first-born male has fathered a male child. Everything from several gunned down, to heart attacks, to being found hanged, like Mr. Rizzuto, no signs of someone having been in the room. Also, two of, get this weird fact, spontaneous combustion. Now, what’s the odds of that happening you might ask?”
“I know you get off on this stuff, I don’t want to know stats. How about Ms. Teak?”
“Let’s just say it’s twice as likely that hell would freeze over, and that family really should buy lotto tickets. Your sidekick is legit. A long record of being this psychic stage person and several cases of her aiding police in solving weird cases, some rather famous.”
“Thanks, gotta run.”
* * *
Carol already had the boys at CSIS verify what Rebecca had said when she arrived at the hotel by the time she sat down for dinner with Jake at the Bard and Banker Pub, which Carol wanted to visit since it was reported to be haunted by the famous poet, Robert Service. The restaurant was a convenient place to reconvene as it was close enough to the hotel to rush off if something came up, but far enough away not to get any prying eyes or ears. “So, this place was once owned by Robert Service, a famous Canadian Poet, who wrote The Cremation Of Sam MaGee and The Shooting Of Dan McGrew.”
“Those sound vaguely familiar those poems. So, I vaguely remember his story, didn’t he trip over a corpse or something like that?”
“Yes, and it haunted him for the rest of his life.”
“So, you’re telling me that this guy became a famous poet because he tripped over a corpse? I guess good stuff comes out of weird happenings if you want to believe in this mumbo jumbo voodoo like of crap. This is a load of shite as far as I’m concerned, do you believe this BS?” Carol watched the figure of Robert Service quietly walking up the stairs, journal in hand, and he appeared to be in deep thought writing as he walked. Ah, the precursor to texting while you walk, only he’s lucky he only had horses to run him over in his day and not an automobile. She knew better than to tell Jake based on his last remark. “Well, there are supposed to be a lot of ghosts in Victoria, so it is quite possible. However, there is a rather important thing I want to talk to you about that came up yesterday.”
“Not a ghost, I presume?” He smirked in that cocky sneer of face.
We’ll see just how long Mr. Smart-ass holds that grimace in about ten seconds. “I ran into someone quite interesting at the hotel today, she showed me this photograph and said the person in it is her fiancé, a Luigi Penchanto. Got any explanations?” Carol put forth the photograph that Rebecca gave her. “There is no mention of him in any database. If files ever existed, they have been wiped.”
“Fuck.” Jake closed his eyes and put his head down. “No! It can’t be.”
“Be what?” This was going to be anything but a quiet dinner. But that wiped that smug smirk totally wiped off his smug face.
“Rebecca is on the loose and probably looking for me.”
“Oh, she’s looking for you alright. Are you telling me you are scared of a woman? Big badass copper, Cole Brady, er sorry, need to keep names in context, Jake Holden. You afraid of a little skirt, er woman?”
“Put that skirt on the Tasmanian Devil, throw in a reject from WWF fan club, complete with wooden chair to belt you with, add a pinch of the cast of Inglorious Bastards and stir with a healthy seasoning of a female Fifty shades of Grey and yes, you just got Rebecca.”
“Sounds pretty kinky. Now tell me how you two got together?”
“At the time, part of my job. I had to go undercover and that meant I had to seduce her in order to get inside the mob. Which is why I was put on this assignment. Kinky doesn’t even begin to describe her. I knew she liked me and when we got close, I discovered she’s a part-time dominatrix.” “Okay that explains the “don’t mess with this bitch” tattooed all over her forehead. How close?”
“We got engaged.”
“That’s pretty close; and while I shouldn’t ask this, and probably don’t want to know, for I belong to the-whatever-flavor of fun you have in your bedroom is your business, how kinky is kinky?”
Jake looked coolly at Carol. “You know, spanking, hot wax, bondage. The usual stuff. There wasn’t much she wouldn’t do.”
“Wow, you really go for the wild ones. Does that explain the scar just above your left ear, looks fairly recent?”
He touched the scar, almost fondly. “Yup, she got too excited with the whip one night.” Jake closed his eyes, lost in thought for a minute. “Now, where was I? I think the last time I saw her was in court. She had to have an ankle monitor. She swore she’d never ever let me go. I got a call two weeks ago, a week after it was placed on her. How she found out I was here I have no idea.
That woman has contacts in pretty darn high places.”
“Apparently, as she is an invited guest to this wedding. How’d she get it off?” Carol asked.
“Probably gnawed it off, if I know her.” Jake didn’t miss that look of distain on her face. “Just to spite us. We found it on a dog in her house. White poodle, with a red collar, cherries adorning it. Answers to the name ‘Twinkles’.”
“And you know this how?”
“I wanted to keep some contact with her after the case. The bureau did warn me about her, but I didn’t think she could ever find out where I was. Like I said, she has her ways, probably blackmailed some judge.”
“You liked her then?” Carol bristled.”
We were engaged, I had to get as close to her in order to infiltrate the mob. Didn’t know she had any connections to the gangs out east, and yes, it’s hard sometimes to not get emotionally involved.” He stopped, lost in thought for a moment. “Yeah, I liked her a lot. She had passion and a zest for life, reminded me of something I’d lost over time. As you know dealing with criminals can leave you a bit jaded and wondering sometimes is everyone out there just trying to bust your ass or wanting to con someone out of something. I guess I never thought I’d run into someone that I could fall in love with. As crazy as that might sound. But enough of that. I’ve got reports from a source that there’s talk of the mob meeting an arriving ship from Asia on some sort of business. Not sure when, my contact will let me know as soon as he does.”
Let me guess, they’re trying to set up some kind of coalition with the Asian gangs out here.”
“Oh, you got the tip as well. Care for a hot date?”
“You’ve got the nerve to ask.” Where did this come from? “Okay, sorry. I’ll need to get aboard that ship to plant listening bugs. Care to join me? Could be exciting.”
“Maybe. I’ll see if the boss approves it.”
She got up to use the washroom as Jake paid the bill. Least the Yank can do after this nightmare. I don’t think I’m letting him within a foot of me. Carol entered the stall, several scribbles were scratched into the paint, including one of a being, his hair askew. Strange, probably done by some broad strung out on mushrooms. A shadow crossed just in front of the closed stalls door, as her nosed twitched and the room went cool. Didn’t know Mr. Service was a peeping-tom. Carol closed her eyes a moment trying to concentrate.
So, I’ve got to ask CSIS why the hell hadn’t we heard about this vessel in our own waters? In this very bay.
By the time she got out, the room felt warm again. And the bigger question. What do the Americans know that we don’t?
* * *
“Ever wonder how the Mafia got so powerful?” Agnes asked as they sat having tea the next afternoon. She had on an elegant red and green flowered dress and her usual wide brimmed hat.
“Ruthlessness and a very structured hierarchy I’m told.”
Agnes smiled and spoke slowly, like she was reading the Sunday paper. “They have been known to employ the services of the incarnate one and in return give him souls to devour.”
“What? That’s not possible. And why here on the West Coast?”
“Simple, no guns, laxer laws, smaller police presence. Victoria is not that far from Seattle via boat and offshore is Vancouver. Two of the biggest ports bringing in the Asian markets. They want to strike up a deal with Bathomet, Set, Shiva, Satan, whichever is your preferred name for the infernal lord of downstairs, to give them protection and guaranteed success when they start tapping into the burgeoning Asian markets.”
“How do you know so much? You’re some cagey old broad.”
Like I said before, I do my research, like you. Besides did I not mention I was psychic?” She laughed and bit into the dainty triangular cucumber sandwich with no crusts.
“This is nuts. You know more about what’s going on here than the RCMP or CSIS. We only got alerted to the upcoming wedding three weeks ago via an American contact. But we’ve never heard anything at all about them being devil worshippers.”
“Let me tell you a story.” Agnes took another long sip of her tea. “It started when I ran into a rock group. Told me they were going to be the next big thing, like the Tumbling Rocks. You know, the band with the lovely lead singer with a pair of lips that could French kiss a moose”
“I think you mean the Rolling Stones?”
“That’s them. Their lead singer was Nick Juggler, anyways this other group was scheduled to go on with the Rolling Rocks and they were very concerned as all the Horoscopes were saying bad karma.” Carol smiled to herself but let Agnes continue. “I forget the name of this other group, so couldn’t tell you what became of them. Anyway, it was the sixties, 1969 to be exact, long haired hippies running about, peace, free love and all that jazz had just kicked in. I was doing a show of psychic readings in San Francisco in a club next to the Fillmore West. This was a major venue then and we had a lot of huge stars roll in after shows. These five arrogant punks rolled in and wanted to do a reading. They were trying to get a feel for their upcoming free show to be performed at the Altamont race track in a couple of days.”
“The Fillmore West? Didn’t a lot of great acts perform there and wasn’t the Altamont gig where some people died?”
“Carol, darling, you’re interrupting the karma again. Besides at my age I tend to forget what I’m talking about if I get interrupted. People had been warning them about this event and they wanted some information wondering if it would be wise to proceed. I consulted Cider and told them Venus, Mercury and the Sun are all in the Sagittarius quadrant, while the moon is on the cusp of Libra-Scorpio. This is very bad karma. I thought it odd, but I remember their lead singer smiling and saying something like, ‘that’s perfect.’”
She paused. “That threw me a little and I said again ‘there’s a good chance of something going very tragically awry.’ He just smiled back as I took his hand. And I saw the same vision as I did with Tony. I knew there would be trouble at that show and there was. A few people died and oddly enough the Hell’s Angel’s biker group were used as security.”
“I get it, very bad karma.”
Death calls silently on some but leaves a foul stench on others.”
“You think a killing is in the cards?”
“Or several. You must use extreme caution with the Cosa Nostra. I know they are not here merely to watch a wedding and in the upcoming days, the quadrants are aligning in very similar patterns. I warned the authorities back then, but no one took me seriously. The other band didn’t come on to play, they backed down in the end. I never worked in San Fran after that and was very ill for days after that trying to get rid of the devil’s taint on me. I’m warning you now.”
Carol sat stunned. “So, if that is the case how do we stop this pact from being formed out here?”
“Not we, you. I’m too old for this. On the night before the wedding, downstairs in Hatley Castle, they will be performing the last of the nineteen keys of the Satanic ritual of the inverted pentagram. That has to be stopped before it is completed.”
“Can’t I just walk in and arrest them?”
“No, timing is critical. If you stop the ritual before completion, he is trapped inside and doesn’t have a way out. Starved of spirits he will wither away. But he needs to be called from his usual place of residence.”
“Hell, I Presume.”
“Carol, stop.” She waited a moment like a petulant teacher. “He is weakest when he is in the pentagram, called there he is trapped until the ceremony is complete. That is why there are sacrifices, to awaken his need,
his thirst to be called to that place where he is vulnerable.”
“You are not shitting me on this are you?”
Agnes slowly blew on her tea some more. “Wish I was. Now it’s time for my beauty makeover and massage, and trust me at my age, this will take most of the day. But you must wait for them to begin chanting in the archaic language of Enokian.”
“E-what?” Carol watched her get up and walk slowly away without responding. I guess I’m supposed to look this up.
“Yes, that would be wise,” Agnes said as she stopped and rearranged her large elegant hat.
It’s not every day you sit down for tea and have your entire, orderly, existence puked into your lap. How am I supposed to deal with this? Like her I doubt anyone else is going to believe me. Devil worshippers? The old gal is crazy, but I sense she’s talking some truth here.
She glanced at her watch, most afternoons were quiet, unless there are special guests checking in or it’s the weekend, then it’s generally just nuts. Carol texted Samuel to man the fort while she went to her room. Research and some tea. Although a stiff drink might settle the nerves better.
* * *
Carol sat before her laptop. So, I’ve Agnes, mad Italians and Satanic rituals. Only she knows something I don’t and won’t tell me. Why?
Carol first looked up Enokian. Okay, she’s got me there, apparently one of the oldest languages known to man and used at the rituals to attract the Devil and is repeated in translation at all the ceremonies in the current language.
There were a lot of reports and arrests over the years of Satanic cult members and Satanists in the Victoria area, Carol found out as she went through the webpages and police reports.
She Googled haunted sites of Victoria. Dozens of webpages came up. “Wow, she’s right, there’s a lot of locations here as well.” She spent the next couple of hours scrolling through page after page.
Carol grabbed a tourist map of Victoria, tacked it on the wall of her room and began to mark with a pen all the known hauntings and sightings. So, if Agnes is right about this Ley Line stuff and that in England all the old sacred sights and churches travel along straight lines, except where they converge in certain major earth energy centers, like Stonehenge. What she also learned is that the energy centers were male and female charged, positive and negative and that they also wound back and forth across each other. And I can detect them via a dowsing rod, good to know. So, if this is correct then there should be something strange. Or maybe there’s something to see that sticks out. She stared at Hatley Castle which seemed to stand all by itself across the bay to the east. She drew a line towards it then drew another from several of the known ghostings; St. Ann’s Academy, the Victoria golf course. Then she drew a line on an angle down through Fan Tan Alley, Bard and Banker Pub. The lines intersected, like at Stonehenge. Carol ran a Google search and indeed they were ley lines and where they intersected were centers of earth energy. No surprise that this is where our Eastern guests are holding their ceremony. The castle if this is correct is an area of sacred earth energy. They must use Google too. Carol ran across several articles, including some on the use of dowsing rods, some from two pieces of copper and another cut from the branches of trees. On my next day off I gotta try this.
She found a few blog sites about ghosts, hauntings and underground tunnels in Victoria and responded to a couple, hoping to get some response that might help her. Carol shook her head, most of the bloggers had unusual monikers, like Danglepuss. Probably some pimply twelve-year old kid in glasses. The internet is a funny place where you can be any kind of alter ego you like.
She put in a request on most of the sites, if anyone had any unusual things to report, ghosts, or beings with hair aflame, she added at the last moment and signed them all with Justifier.
* * *
The blue haze popped and crackled, a young girl with large eyes awoke and emerged from the matrix, long elfish ears and hair sparked with blue flames. She shook herself and her wings fluttered behind her. We dreamed of being a blue fairy. It fluttered off the floor of the dank sewers a moment. Now, we are one.
Only we are alone now. The others trapped down here, the Lekwungen will not understand.
They are angry, very angry.
And will kill us for being different.
We are different, we are not them.
We are not either of us.
We are new and alone.
I dreamt of my former life as a human. My mother never once told me she loved me. She said because of me she was stuck with my dad, who was never home. He worked on the oil rigs of Alberta, drank, made my mom do drugs with him. She eventually became addicted to them like him.
We are alone, And trapped, Unwanted.
Why then are we here.
It curled in on itself.
Tears streamed down both sides of its face, of its being.