Tom slept for nearly two hours and by the time he’d showered and dressed it was approaching one o’clock. He walked into the living room and noted that only Joseph and Alexis were in the room.
“I take it that Peter and Jack have gone home then?” Tom asked looking around the living room.
“Yes Tom, but I think Jack really wants to help us defeat the entity as he knows what it is like to be tormented by a negative spirit. It happened to him when he was a teenager. He is going to talk to Jane about it and let me know what she says.” Joseph replied.
“And what about you Alexis, are you happy you stay on and help us?”
“Yes Tom I am, I have a young cousin that I adore, she’s seven years old and I know for sure that I wouldn’t want her to be tormented by something the way Wendy has been. You can count on me Tom!”
Tom picked up his phone saying, “I have a feeling that a young police constable I know would like to help us. You may remember him from last night Joe, PC Davies.”
Tom tapped in his colleague’s private number and held the phone to his ear. “Alan its Tom Smith, how are you, good to hear mate. I have a question to ask you. How would you like to help us with the problem at 215 Lexington Avenue? A few of the team members have bailed out and we are short on numbers to do what we have to do. You would! Great but it would mean asking Superintendent Fisher for time off as it could take a few days. That’s fantastic buddy, I really appreciate it, and fingers crossed all goes well with Fisher, bye for now.”
Tom was just about to go into the kitchen to make tea for everyone when he heard the front door knocker banging. Opening the front door he was greeted by Jack Temple and Jane Fitzgerald.
“Hey Jack, Jane, come in, come in, great to see you both.” Tom led them to the living room. Both Joseph and Alexis couldn’t believe that both Jack and Jane had come back to Tom’s house.
“I thought you guys had had enough of ghost hunting to last you a lifetime?” Alexis said as she hugged them both.
“Well we both got talking and I knew Jack didn’t want to let you guys down, and after all we are doing this to help people right!” Jane replied. “So I agreed to carry on and help, as long as that creepy doll doesn’t come anywhere near me.”
Tom headed off to kitchen and returned a few minutes later carrying a tray with two pots of tea and five mugs. Then disappeared into the kitchen again and returned with two plates of sandwiches.
“I’m so grateful that you have both returned to help, I really mean that. It means a lot to me as I like the Rodgers family and have vowed to help them. I’m hoping that a colleague, Constable Alan Davies will be able to help us as well. Alan was the guy who helped us out of the house last night along with the back-up team. He was also at the house with me on the Friday night after Bill Rodgers put the call in to the station.”
Later, as they sat chatting there was a knock at Tom’s front door. Upon answering it Tom was pleased to see Constable Alan Davies standing on the threshold out of uniform.
“Alan, it’s great to see you, come in buddy.”
Tom led his work partner into his living room and introduced him to Joseph Daniels and the remaining members of his team. Alan shook hands with them all and then told Tom that Superintendent Fisher had allowed him a week’s leave to help the investigation.
“So when do you want to go back into the house and try and get rid of the entity and the doll?” Alan asked intrigued by the events of the last few days.
“After last night’s encounters I think the sooner the better.” Joseph replied, “As long as everyone is okay with doing that.”
All agreed that the sooner they went back to the house the better it would be. That way the house would be clear of all negative energies and the family could move back in.
“I’ve promised the Rodgers daughter that I would personally get rid of the doll and a jack in the box that is also in the attic. Wendy is scared stiff of both items.” Tom said as he collected all the cups and placed them onto the tray with the teapots and empty plates and took them into the kitchen.
Bill Rodgers got himself ready and asked both Tina and Wendy if they were sure they didn’t want to come with him to see his sister Margaret. They both said no and as it was a nice sunny day Tina was going to take Wendy to the zoo for a few hours. Bill was determined to find out where his sister had bought both the doll and if need be go to wherever she bought them and ask about the dolls origins. Bill wanted his family to be safe and life to get back to normal as soon as possible.
At forty three years of age Margaret Rodgers lived in the village of Boxley and had moved there ten years previous. The village was an idyllic place to live and after stumbling on it while on a weekend break prior to her moving there, she fell in love with the village and waited until a property came up for sale. She had bought a cottage not far from the centre of the village and when a shop became empty she opened up her aromatherapy shop. After working on her own for a few years she decided to advertise for an assistant. Monica Bakewell seemed the most promising out of the five candidates and reminded Margaret of when she herself was younger, with long dark hair, and a pretty face. She also wore bright colours all the time, which showed off her fresh complexion. Over the years she been accepted into the village as one of their own but she was also known as the village spinster as she had never married, and seemed to prefer her own company. There was talk in the village that Margaret was a lesbian, but no one in the village of Boxley could prove or disprove it. She was a striking looking woman with dyed red hair which hung just below her shoulders, sharp defined features and grey eyes. She did reasonably well for herself, and paid Monica a good weekly wage.
As Monica was setting up a new display of scented oils the chimes above the shop’s front door chimed signalling that someone had entered.
“Good morning sir, how may I help you?” She asked the tall well-built man that had just walked in.
“Hi there I’m looking for Margaret, is she working today?” Bill Rodgers asked as he looked around the shop.
“Yes she is in the back store room, who may I say is asking for her?”
“Tell her it’s her brother Bill please, it’s quite urgent I see her.” Bill replied and stood waiting as the assistant went to fetch his sister from the store room.
“Bill what a pleasant surprise, where’s Tina and Wendy, nothing wrong I hope?” His sister said as she walked into the shop and then gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“Is there somewhere we can talk, it’s a private matter?”
“Yes we can go into the kitchenette just off the back store room, Monica can you manage on your own for a while.” Monica smiled at Margaret and just nodded.
Showing Bill into the kitchenette Margaret shut the door behind her.
“Take a seat Bill, would you like a cup of tea?”
Bill nodded and Margaret put the kettle on and placed tea bags into two mugs.
“So what brings you all the way here Bill, nothing wrong at home I hope?”
Looking his sister in the eye Bill nodded and said “Yes there is something wrong at home, and I think it has something to do with that doll you bought Wendy as a gift quite a few years ago.”
Bill went on to explain all that had happened over the last week at the house and now wanted to know where she had purchased the doll from.
“Oh my god Bill, you don’t think that the doll is possessed do you? Things like that just don’t happen…do they?” Margaret replied as she poured more tea into both mugs. “I bought it from a shop called Back in Time it’s an old antique type shop. I saw it and couldn’t resist getting it for Wendy at the time.”
“Do you know the history of the doll, such as who the shop owner bought it off, how old it is that sort of thing?”
“I’m sorry Bill I don’t, but I still might have the receipt somewhere. Maybe if I find it we could go to the shop and see if the owner remembers me buying the doll and ask if he remembers where he got it from. It’s a long shot I know but I’ll do anything to help, you know I will.”
“Will it be open today, it is Sunday after all?”
“Yes he opens from twelve noon till four o’clock on a Sunday. Let me check to see if I can locate the receipt. I usually keep all my receipts in an old biscuit tin. Ah here we are, let’s have a look.”
After sifting through the tin of receipts Bill was about to give up when he picked up four receipts. He looked at the third one and it had the name Back in Time at the top of it and the name of the item. 1 Doll and the cost, £25.00 typed onto it.
“Here it is, found it!” Bill cried with joy. “Come on let’s go and find out what we can about that damned doll!”
Joseph Daniels informed the team that he had been in touch with Father Gabriel, of the Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic church in town. He mentioned that they had worked together a few years ago on an exorcism. The head of the church wasn’t too impressed with Father Gabriel, but after making his case regarding the need for a priest who could perform an exorcism in that part of England, the church allowed him to continue but in his own right and only with the help of the church when needed.
“Father Gabriel said he would meet us here around seven o’clock tonight. He has to prepare himself by meditating for a few hours first. Do we have any background information of the house or the doll Tom?” Joseph asked as he relaxed in one of the leather armchairs.
“Bill Rodgers informed me this morning when I went to see the family that he was going to see his sister, who lives in the village of Boxley. He thinks that is where his sister purchased the doll prior to giving it to Wendy as a birthday present. Hopefully he will find out about the doll and get in touch with me as soon as he can.” Tom replied stretching and yawning.
Back in the village of Boxley, Bill and his sister Margaret walked into the Back in Time shop and Margaret introduced herself and her brother to the shop owner.
“I’m hoping you can help me find out some background history of a doll I purchased here a couple of years ago. I have the receipt here and I can describe the doll to you.” Margaret said handing the receipt to the owner.
“I think I have a photo of it on my phone.” Bill said as he took his phone out of his pocket and began scrolling through his many photos. “Yes here we are this is the doll that my sister bought from here.” Bill showed the owner the photograph of the doll. “Do you remember selling it to my sister sir?”
Studying the photograph on Bill’s phone the shop owner took a few moments.
“Ah yes it’s the Katie Doll and it dates back to the Victorian era. Let me see if I can find the right book about Victorian dolls which should have some information about the Katie Doll.”
The shop owner went behind the counter and looked amongst the shelving on the back wall.
“Here we go, now let’s see if it has a section about the Katie Doll in here.”
Looking through the contents the shop owner spotted the chapter he was looking for.
“It’s five pages long but it goes into great detail about the doll.” He said passing the book to Margaret.
“Would you mind if we photographed each page, so we can transfer the pages to a laptop when I get home?” Bill asked as he snapped away with his phone camera.
“Not a problem at all sir.” The shop owner replied. “The doll was brought in here quite a long time ago now and I think the person who brought it in said they once lived in a Victorian house on Lexington Avenue in Coldport. I can’t recall the number of the house though.”
Bill finished taking photos of the book’s pages. “Did you say a large Victorian house on Lexington Avenue? I ask because I live in a large Victorian house on Lexington Avenue, and I’ve always wondered who lived there originally.” Bill said looking quite shocked.
“You will more than likely find that information in Coldport Library sir. I believe they have a very old book chronicling the town’s history right back to medieval times, which I believe is when the town was but a small hamlet. I lived in Coldport for a number of years myself until moving here.” The shop owner responded as he closed the old book and placed it back onto the shelf.
“Thank you for your help sir, it might prove very valuable to us over the coming days.” Bill shook the gentleman’s hand as did his sister and they both left the shop.
As they left the shop with the shocking news about the house, Bill was determined to find out more about his house and who lived there. But how would he be able to go to the library, it was Sunday and it would be closed and he would have to go back to work tomorrow. “
I’m going to have to try and get to the library tomorrow, maybe finish work early or something.” Bill said to his sister as he drove her back to her shop.
“I could do it for you Bill, I could ask Monica to mind the shop for the day and I could drive into Coldport to look for the information you need. I could spend most of the day in there. That’s if you don’t mind Bill?”
“You would do that for me Margaret. I mean take time off from your work?”
“Of course Bill, after what you, Tina and Wendy have all been through, I feel somehow responsible with giving the doll to Wendy, I’m so sorry Bill.” Margaret began to sob as Bill pulled the car up outside her shop.
“Hey come on now sis, it’s not your fault, you weren’t to know about the doll.”
Bill hugged his sister tightly and told her that he would let Tina and Wendy know that she will be in town on Monday.
“You never know they may give you a hand looking for the information we need.”
Back at Tom Smith’s house the team waited patiently as the time dragged on. Tom asked if anyone was hungry and when they all said yes, he ordered five large pizza’s for them to share, along with bottles of cola. Once all the food was consumed, Joseph suggested that they all try to relax as best they could as they would need all their strength for the long night ahead. Tom’s eyes felt heavy and he closed them and relaxed in his favourite armchair, but his mind wouldn’t switch off. He couldn’t stop thinking about the night before and how dangerous it was for all of them.
Suddenly he heard a pounding in his head, where was it coming from he thought. Opening his eyes he saw Joseph rushing out the living room and then the sound of the front door opening, he then heard Joseph speaking to someone. Standing up he yawned loudly and rubbed his eyes. He saw Joseph walk into the living room accompanied by a tall dark haired man sporting a short dark beard, a dark mid length leather coat, dark trousers and a black shirt.
“Tom, everyone, may I introduce Father Jefferson Gabriel, or Gabe as he likes to be called by friends.”
Everyone shook hands with the priest and Tom asked if he would care for a drink of tea or coffee. “
Would you have something a bit stronger Tom, maybe a whiskey?” The priest replied.
“Why sure, would anyone else like a drink?” Tom asked looking around the room.
All nodded except Joseph. “Thanks but no thanks Tom. I gave up drinking five years ago, just a cup of tea if you don’t mind making me one?”
“I’ll give you a hand Tom.” Alexis said as Tom moved towards the kitchen.
In the kitchen as Tom made a cup of tea for Joseph, Alexis asked him if they would be safe in the house later. “After last night’s happenings I’m a bit worried that someone else might get hurt.” Alexis continued.
“I don’t know Alexis. I truly hope that we will all be safe tonight and that having Father Gabriel with us we will help matters.” Tom replied. “Let’s all have a drink and see what the plan is. Don’t worry Alexis I’ll make sure you don’t come to any harm tonight, I promise.”
Tom gave the pretty young lady a smile and then walked into the living room with her. Alexis’ heart skipped a beat as she followed him into the room.
Father Gabriel stood in the centre of the large living room which had oak panelled walls and old framed paintings hanging on two walls. In the centre of one of the walls a stone mantelpiece stood which housed an open fire. The room was light considering the oak panelling due to the large bay window which allowed the sunlight to stream in on summer days. In the ceilings centre hung a splendid Victorian chandelier which gave of a brilliant light when in use. Looking around the room he spoke solemnly with a serious look on his countenance.
“When we get into the house, be on your guard at all times, the demon, which I think it certainly sounds like will be ready for us. It will be cunning as you’ve already found out. We will have to try and contain it in in the attic, and when the time is right we will perform the exorcism. You will all have to be strong and I will need you Joseph to work alongside me like last time.” He took a drink from his whiskey glass and continued.
“I cannot express to you all of the danger we face tonight. We are going to have to watch everything carefully, as the demon, as some of you have found out already, can move objects by thought and with great force.”
The priest looked at Tom and asked, “Do we know anything about the history of the house Tom, or the doll that is being controlled by the evil entity?”
“Bill Rodgers who is the current owner of the house has been to see his sister today. She was the lady who bought the doll for his daughter Wendy. I don’t think he knows the history of the house though Father.”
“Please Tom call me Gabe, or I’ll have to start calling you Sergeant Smith, and that would be too formal now wouldn’t it!”
Tom laughed as did the rest of the team. “Gabe it is then and thank you so much for helping us, I really mean that.” Tom said shaking the priest’s hand again.
“Do we need to take any equipment with us tonight Gabe, or should we just trust our instincts and you’re good self?” Jane Fitzgerald asked. Now feeling more relaxed that they had a man of God helping them.
“It depends really if you want to record anything for prosperity and use your gadgets to detect where the entity is then it’s really up to yourselves to decide. I’ve no problem at all with equipment being used.” Gabe replied.
“Before we go I will perform the prayer of protection for us all. I will ask you all to stand in a circle and join hands. I will then call upon Angel Michael to cover us in his white light of protection throughout the whole night and also to cover the house we are going to investigate in his globe of white light. We should prepare ourselves now. By that I mean get whatever equipment you want to take with you and then we all need to sit quiet and relax and all visualise the white light and its warmth around us.”
The clock on the wall in Tom’s living room struck eight o’clock and Father Gabriel got the team to stand in a circle holding hands and began to recite the prayer of protection. Once it was over, they all hugged each other and vowed to watch each other’s backs while at the house. Leaving the house there was a chill in the air and they all shivered, from fear as well as from the cold night. Getting into two cars, the team of paranormal investigators Tom and the priest made their way to 215 Lexington Avenue.
Back at the hotel Bill met Tina and Wendy in the dining area and ordered a meal as his wife and daughter had started eating their evening meal. He told them about what he had learnt about the doll and especially about the house.
“Margaret is coming up tomorrow and is going to spend the day in the library looking for anything she can about the house and its previous owners. I don’t know yet if it is our house that the shop owner mentioned but it seems too coincidental not to be.” Bill said cutting into his steak, cooked medium rare, the way he liked it.
“We can meet Margaret tomorrow if you want us to Bill, I know it’s not her fault that the doll is possessed by something, and it would keep our minds occupied until we hear from Sergeant Smith.” Tina responded as she drank a class of lemonade.
“He phoned while you were at Boxley and said that they would be going back to our house tonight and that they have the help of an exorcist, a priest called Father Gabriel.”
Bill was just about to reply when his mobile rang. “Hello, Bill Rodgers. Tom it’s good to hear from you. I believe you’re going to the house tonight. Yes Tina told me you’d phoned earlier. Yes I’ve managed to get some info about the doll and it seems the house and doll could be connected from a long time ago.”
Bill listened to Tom speaking and replied, “Yes I’m going to transfer the info about the doll onto my laptop and see if I can find anything of interest. Apparently it was called a Katie Doll, whatever that was. Yes I’ll let you know if I find anything relevant. You too, and take care, all of you, bye for now and thanks.” Tom replaced the phone in his pocket and he and his family went back to their room.
“Right let’s see what is so special about Katie the doll shall we?” Bill said as he finished downloading the information from his phone to his laptop. While Bill read the pages about the doll, Tina and Wendy played cards to pass the time away. Bill had a large glass of red wine as did Tina, while Wendy drank a soda.
“Anything yet honey?” Bill’s wife asked as she came back from using the bathroom.
“No nothing yet, Katie the doll just seems to be just that, a doll, which at the time was a big seller. Nearly every home with daughters had a Katie Doll. So it must have something to do with what is in the house. But what is it that’s in the house? And whoever lived there before us must have had something to do with it or nothing happened when the previous owners lived there.”
“Maybe we’ll be lucky when we go to the library with Margaret tomorrow. And talking of tomorrow honey, maybe we should have an early night as you’re up for work at six o’clock.”
Bill continued to look at the images and text on the screen, then looking at his watch he noted that it was only eight fifteen and knew his boss would still be up and watching TV.
“Hmm I’m thinking of calling Ted Mason to ask if I can start my holiday leave a week early. I’ve got a feeling that this problem isn’t going to be sorted out by tomorrow morning.”
Lifting his mobile to his ear he waited for an answer from the other end. “Ted, how are you it’s Bill Rodgers here. Well no, I’ve had an awful weekend to be honest. Listen are you free to meet up as I need to ask you something, but I need to ask you in person. I’m at the Travel Safe Inn on Kensington Road.”
Twenty minutes later Ted Mason was knocking on the door of room 310.
“Ted please come in.” Bill said as he opened the door to allow his boss into the room. “I’m sorry about all this, but when you listen to what I, we, have to tell you, I think you’ll understand why I need to start my leave this week.”
Ted Mason sat down on the chair offered him and also a cup of coffee, half an hour later he sat there speechless.
“Well Ted, that’s the whole story and I’ll be totally honest we are scared stiff of going back into that house until we can be sure that whatever is haunting the house has been driven out.” Bill said looking grimly at his boss. “We may even sell up and move elsewhere, that’s how bad it is.”
“Would it be possible to have a small glass of that wine Bill, I think I need it after what you have just told me.”
Bill passed his boss a small glass of red wine, sat down and looked at him with tired eyes.
“There is a definite connection with the doll Ted, could it be that the original owners of the doll got rid of it and over the years it has gone from one shop to another and then to the shop where eventually my sister bought it.”
“But why would a doll like the one you showed me in the photo become possessed?” Bill’s boss asked quietly as he had noticed Wendy had fallen asleep on the bed and pointed at her. “How is your daughter coping with all that’s happened Bill?”
Before Bill could answer Tina said “Maybe it would be better if you took Ted down to the bar Bill, so as not to wake Wendy up. Would that be okay Mr Mason?”
“Of course Tina and call me Ted, after all, I’ve known you and Bill long enough now to be on first name terms. Come on Bill let’s leave the ladies to get some sleep.”
Bill picked up the room door card and kissed Tina and gave her a hug. “A big kiss and a hug for our little girl too love.” He said and blew a kiss at his daughter who was fast asleep.
Sitting in the bar area of the hotel, Ted Mason looked at Bill. “Do you think the paranormal team and the priest will be able to sort this thing out for you Bill? I know I wouldn’t like to be in your shoes or theirs come to think of it.” As he drained his glass he continued, “All I can say Bill is yes, by all means start your holidays this week and I just hope that it is all over soon as you’ve booked to go to Cornwall haven’t you?”
Bill shook his boss’s hand thanking him and ordered them both another drink from the bar before his boss left for home. “By the way Ted, you didn’t drive here did you as this is our third drink?”
“No I got my son to drive me here, he said he’ll come and collect me when I’m ready to leave, and you know what Bill, even though it’s a bad time for you at the moment, I’m enjoying your company as it’s been a while since we had a drink together. Also, the good thing is I’m off tomorrow morning, hospital appointment at eleven thirty five, just a routine check-up they have told me.”
“Well in that case Ted let’s take our time. As it’s good to have you to talk to about what’s been going on. I’m worried about Wendy as she has had two nightmares now about the doll attacking her, and it seems to be affecting her. She’s become a bit withdrawn since it all started last week, and she keeps telling us she loves us very much as if her life depended on it.”
“Keep an eye on her Bill and stay close to her at all times, both you and Tina. If what your saying is true, that you’ve read that spirit can attack and harm people in their dreams, then I wouldn’t be too far away from her when she’s sleeping.”
“Tina and I have already discussed that and we’re making sure she’s with us at all times at the moment. As you know Tina can’t have any more children so if anything should happen to Wendy it would tear us both apart. She’s our whole life Ted, and we would do anything to protect her, anything!”
Bill and Ted said their goodbyes an hour later and Bill promised to keep Ted in the loop over the next few days. Bill then made his way back to his room, brushed his teeth and used the loo as quietly as he could. Changed into a t-shirt and shorts and climbed into the spare bed and watched his wife and child sleeping until finally he fell into a peaceful sleep.
The two cars pulled up outside 215 Lexington Avenue and the team piled out of both vehicles. After collecting their equipment from the trunks of the cars they made their way down the front path towards the house. Father Gabriel stopped and looked up at the attic room for a moment then continued towards the house. Inside the house all was still, the grandfather clock in the hall had stopped at three am as had all the clocks in the house. Dead time as it was known in the paranormal world.