Chapter 31 – Back to Hazeley Common
On arrival in Hampshire, Charles went to the tented site on Hazeley Common where the double murder had occurred. The site still had several specialist Police officers at work dressed in white and blue boiler suits with POLICE written on the back. However most of the team had been moved to Blackbushe to the site of the recent shootings. He found Detective Inspector Amit Chakrabarti and showed him his MI6 ID card. The Hampshire Police Constable had ordered Amit to go back to Hazeley Common to meet the MI6 officer. Amit thought this odd on two counts, first the priority was clearly now at Blackbushe after the killing of one Police officer and the serious wounding of a second, and also why would MI6 be interested in these murders? Charles thought Amit looked done in, and said kindly as they shook hands, ’how about a spot of lunch?
Amit drove Charles in his unmarked Police car to a pub on the Hazeley Common called the ‘The Shepherd and Flock’. The pub was busy with locals and people who had obviously been attending the Sunday Market. They were gossiping openly about the Blackbushe shootings, and the TV in the pub was showing live pictures from the scene. As they waited at the bar to order their food and drinks, the news channel broadcasted a video clip of the incident that had been recorded on a mobile phone. The image was enlarged and freeze framed, and three men ringed, who had run from the scene. Despite the poor quality of the enlargement, Amit immediately recognised one of the men as Dr Keith Maxwell.
Amit thought a few people in the pub may have recognised him from his TV appearance, but nobody spoke to him. They ordered roast lamb, Charles ordered a pint of London Pride bitter and Amit orange juice. They found a corner table where they would be overheard and Charles began asking Amit for details of the case. Amit hadn’t realised how hungry he was and polished off the roast dinner which was delicious. Charles ate sparingly’ pushing what he considered to be over cooked vegetables to one side of his plate.
Amit drove Charles back to the site at Hazeley Common. When they arrived back, Charles explained that he would be bringing along a couple of assistants, but they would try not to get in the way. Amit left him to it.
A few minutes later, Mat and a colleague arrived in a Jeep Cherokee 4x4. They couldn’t have looked more American if they tried. They unloaded some equipment and began to scan the area. Charles didn’t know what they were doing or looking for, he knew better that to ask. Or why the American’s were here. After all, MI6 were now in charge, and he had clear orders to fully cooperate from the Hampshire Chief Constable.
After the shootings at the Sunday Market, Ellen and Carla had packed up the car and driven to a local pub, the Crown and Cushion at Minley. After lunch they had gone home and made love. They had spent the afternoon watching the news bulletins about the shootings, and gone to bed to get an early night.
Ellen awoke in the middle of the night. It was 2 AM.
The cats had gathered. They had felt it too. A disturbance in the alternative earth-plane. No, not just a disturbance, something new and significant. It was the same feeling she had felt on Saturday afternoon, when she had hung up from Carla.
She felt the presence of a new and powerful Sister at the car boot sale yesterday, but when the awful incident with the Police shooting occurred she had forgotten all about it. Thinking about it, she had sensed the new Sisters aura a day or so previously. The cats had been restless since Saturday morning, but she had other things on her mind, such as the visit by the Diplomat and his wife.
Lying next to her in the large double bed, Carla also awoke. She sat up and put on her bedside light. She said groggily, ‘what time is it?’
Ellen said, ‘2AM, I have felt her presence, she is reaching out to us, and needs to talk.’
Carla closed her eyes and focused. She also felt the presence of the new Sister and said, ‘Then we best get dressed and make her welcome, my lover’.
Ellen stretched out an arm and switched off the bedside light, ‘It’s OK she won’t be here for a while.’ She hugged Carla’s warm body to her own and closed her eyes.
Ellen could sense Carla’s feelings. Carla was not as powerful a witch as Ellen and was fiercely jealous of any other witch who got close to Ellen. She occasionally allowed a male threesome in their bed because she knew Ellen enjoyed men as well as women. But Carla would never allow another woman in their bed. They both sensed that this new Sister was a very powerful witch, possibly more powerful than Ellen. Carla was jealous already, although she had never met her.
Greta knew both how to stand-out in a crowd, and also how to hide in one. She pulled her dark hood over her head to hide her hair, and ran with a lolloping stride that emulated a teenage boy. To a casual glance she looked like an average teenager in a hoody. She moved with purpose. She moved towards the aura she sensed from the two Sisters she had seen at the fair. She also felt that they were welcoming her to them, well at least one of them was.
As she loped along she observed this strange new world around her. In her own mind she had accepted the theory of the tall stranger called Keith. She had not told him, but she suspected that the Silver man had performed the miracle that had brought them to a different time. It also explained to her why she could not feel the aura of her Sisters from the past. This made her sad, because if all this were true, they would all be long dead. Her Sisters were the only family she had ever known.
She couldn’t remember her childhood as such. As long as she could remember she had been surviving. She didn’t know if her mother and father were alive, well they certainly wouldn’t be now, she had no memory of them. Her earliest memory was of growing up with her Sisters in a hamlet where the Witches lived. She remembered nights of terror, where armed men game into hamlet with flaming torches, setting the huts alight. She had run for her life, learning to survive in the woods on her wits and her cunning. She had never trusted men, but she knew that one day she would meet a special man in whom she could trust. In her visualisation of this man, she could not see his face, but she knew he would be tall and strong. She had wondered at first if it was the tall stranger Keith, but her instincts told her that it wasn’t him.
Now she took in her new surroundings. Horseless carriages travelled at speed along the hard straight roads. They produced the burnt smell she had first become aware of. There were strange signs in bright colours with symbols on them. The signs were mounted on sturdy metal posts, and positioned so she assumed that the people in the horseless carriages could read them. Some were just coloured shapes, some had writing on them, but made no sense. ‘Dual carriageway’, ‘30’, ‘Do not litter’.
Other signs showed her the direction of towns. She was walking towards Hartley Wintney, and she turned towards Fleet. From her conversation with Keith she knew these were the modern names for Hertleye Wynteneye and La Fete. She realised that the new Sisters must live in Fleet because she was sensing them from that direction.
She could also sense the strong energy lines, which she had followed to their crossing point, the night before she had followed the King on his so called hunting trip. Greta thought it no coincidence that these new Sisters would live close to the crossing point.
Whenever she could, she travelled in a straight line, towards the new Sisters aura. But she sometimes found her way blocked by high fences and solid barriers. She had to double back several times, and walk along roads. She tried to keep as far back as she could because the noise of the horseless carriages close-by was deafening and the burnt smell they emitted, horrible.