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The Terror from Beyond

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Part three Alice is given a sign

Alice Washington woke up with a pounding headache and all was still in the room she shared with her girlfriend Erika Crosby. She needed a glass of water and some pain killers. This was the second consecutive morning that she had woken up with a headache and strong memories of the dreams she had had the night before. Looking at Erika sleeping peacefully, Alice smiled got out of the bed and headed towards the stairs and then down to the kitchen.

Taking a glass tumbler and filling it with cold water, she then located the tablets and placing two in her mouth took a mouthful of water and sat down at the kitchen table. She couldn’t understand why she was having the same strange dream again. Ice everywhere, people running and screaming, and then a ship. What did it all mean and why in the dream was a woman screaming for help. Too many things to think about while her head felt like it had been used as a punch bag.

As she sat in the chair trying to figure out what the dreams had meant, the kitchen door opened and Erika walked in, “Hi honey, hey are you okay?” she asked as she bent to kiss Alice on the lips. “Not another bad dream I hope? Alice rubbed her forehead as if that would make the headache go away, “yes, but the same one as the night before. Somewhere far away covered in ice surrounded by water, and some people trying their best to run from something but constantly slipping and sliding in their haste to get away from whatever it is. Then I hear a female voice screaming and asking for help, but I haven’t got a clue where it is, or who the people are. But more to the point, what in hell is chasing them?”

Erika made two coffees and sat down next to Alice and rubbed her right hand, “I bet at times like this you wish you didn’t have psychic powers don’t you. Because if you ask me that’s what’s wearing you down love. I know you enjoy helping the Paranatural Detective Agency, but it is starting to show on you. You’re looking drained and I’m worried about your health.” Alice gave Erika a loving smile and kissed her lightly on the lips, “you know something babe, I don’t know what I’d do without you, I really don’t. You’re my rock, you really are. What say we go out for the day, somewhere nice, maybe go down to the river as I believe we’re in for glorious weather today? We can go to the Riverside Inn and have a nice meal with some wine and just totally chill out and then maybe take a film in as well.”

“That sounds like heaven to me babe. Tell you what, you go and shower and I’ll start making us some breakfast.” With that Alice scooted off to the shower while Erika switched on the radio and tuned into Radio Two. Half way through cooking the breakfast Alice reappeared in her bathrobe looking fresh and smelling wonderful. She told Erika to go and take her shower while she finished off making breakfast. Once Erika had showered she joined Alice and together they ate and chatted and laughed, both totally oblivious of the news being reported on the radio.


The sun was beating down and as it was a bank holiday the Riverside Inn was busy not only with locals but with barge folk and tourists who knew that the inn served great food and great ales. Down along the banks of the river, men and women were fishing, while their partners sat on benches eating and drinking and happily chatting. Some took advantage of the hot weather and lay on the freshly mown grassy banks to sunbathe.

Alice and Erika were tucking into a light seafood salad enjoying each other’s company as they ate and chatted. It was days like this that Alice could begin to switch off and not allow any spiritual thoughts to cloud her mind. She had learned years ago to control spirits coming through to her, and would set aside an hour each evening in her relaxation room to speak to spirit. But for now, the only person she wanted to speak to was her loving partner Erika. “What a beautiful day, I’m so glad that we decided on coming here, we can go and sunbath on the bank after we’ve eaten if you want to,” Alice said as she drained her glass of red wine.

“I couldn’t think of anything better, to lay in the sun with the girl I love and a bottle of wine, pure bliss is what I would call it.” Erika replied draining her glass too. “I’ll go and get a bottle of red and we can pick a spot to lie on.”


Joe Welsh had been a very busy man; he had sifted through old papers regarding his family that his parents had given to him years before they both passed away. He had also trawled through the ancestry records on the internet and had also phoned the navy, who were very helpful. It appeared that he did have a relative in the navy around the mid to late 1800’s who was indeed a captain. The secretary he spoke to said she would dig deeper to see if the captain of the Palomino Blue was related to him. Roger Squires hadn’t been idle either, he had come up with information relating to the ‘ghost ship’, what it’s last known voyage was and the names of the captain and crew, and passengers. He phoned Joe to say he would call around that evening to see him, and together they could try and piece things together. He had a feeling that this would be right up Joe’s street.


The Riverside Inn was bustling and people were taking out rowing boats on the river, trying to avoid the vessel, ‘The Princess Grace’ taking passengers on a trip up and down the long stretch of the River Eden. The river was named Eden by the people of Carfax as it was such an idyllic place to be in the spring and summer. Rows of plants were now full of bloom and weeping willow trees hung lazily over the river. Swans glided gracefully along with their offspring as did the many ducks that lived on the river. And of course, the fishing further up the river was second to none. Plans for a local band to play on the grounds of the inn had been agreed to by the mayor, as long as they weren’t too loud.

Alice and Erika collected their belongings and made their way to a spot on the river bank, without noticing the newspaper headlines that appeared on the front of the Carfax Standard on a table next to them as they walked towards the river. For them it was going to be a day of sun, wine and relaxing.

As the ‘Princess Grace’ made its way through the water people waved and cheered and the fishermen stopped casting out so as not to snag their hooks onto anything other than fish. As it glided in the water it appeared to bump into something while on its journey. The vessel went slightly off kilter then righted itself with the help of the helmsman. No one thought anything else of it and it continued on its way.

Peter Thompson and his dad Arthur ‘Ginger’ Thompson enjoyed a spot of fishing every weekend and the occasional bank holiday. Peter was fourteen years old and loved being with his dad. His dad had taught him how to fish at an early age, something he didn’t think he would ever like, but boy did he like it. His face would break out into the biggest happiest smile you would ever see when he caught a fish. He would get his dad to take a picture of him with his catch and then carefully unhooking the fish, would lovingly place it back in the water. Sometimes Peter was convinced that he caught the same fish time after time and that the fish was happy to be caught by him. But his dad informed him that there were lots of fish of the same species in the river, and not to be silly.

“Oh I could stay here all day in this sun, couldn’t you honey?” Erika spoke up after an hour of both her and Alice lying quietly side by side with their eyes shut. Leaning up on her right elbow Alice picked up her empty wine glass, and then looked at the empty bottle, “I could honey, but I’m not going to, as the bottle of wine is empty. I won’t be long babe.” Alice leant forward and kissed Erika, then jumped up and ran back to the inn for more liquid refreshment. “I’ve bought us a nice ice lolly each as well as another bottle of red wine, they’ll keep us cool.” Alice said as she returned five minutes later.

As Roger Squires had booked the day off from his busy schedule in work he decided to take a stroll down to the river as the day was so hot. He decided there and then that he was going to have a couple of cool pints of lager and a chicken salad. After ordering his food and pint at the bar of the Riverside Inn he made his way outside and spotted a free table. Placing the cold lager on the table his eye caught the headline of the newspaper which was now on a seat next to him. Scanning the paper’s headline, he was shocked at what he read. Looking around he couldn’t believe that what he had just read could be happening. Everything looked so serene and calm on the riverbank. A young girl of eighteen approached him, “Hi there, did you order a chicken salad sir?” Squires looked up from the newspaper, replying that he did. Placing his order onto the table the barmaid happily walked off.

“Joe, are you at home and have you seen today’s edition of the Standard?” Squires asked his colleague over the phone as he chewed on a piece of chicken.

“Can’t say I have as it’s not arrived yet Roger, why, what’s the problem?”

“When it gets delivered to you let me know and I’ll pop around, I’m just at the Riverside Inn having lunch. You need to read it Joe!”

Squires read and re-read the article on the front page which was carried onto page two of the newspaper. Finishing his lunch and pint he went back to the bar to buy another pint and to wait for Joe’s call back. Back at the same table Squires kept looking around the area, everyone seemed so happy and now a band were beginning to check their sound prior to playing cover songs to keep people in the holiday mood. Half an hour later his phone rang and it was Joe Welsh, he said he had read the article and couldn’t believe it. Roger was just about to say he was on his way when he stopped himself. “That’s odd, why are all the men who have been fishing heading back to the inn. They normally stay out all day, and it’s only three thirty. Hang on Joe, I’ll call you back.” Walking briskly towards a man with red hair and a young lad, Squires stopped them and asked why they were all heading back so early.

“We’re not getting a bite at all. Haven’t been for the last hour, it’s as if all the fish have simply vanished. Very strange if you ask me as we’re normally out till dusk.” The red headed man continued walking with his son as Squires made his way through the sunbathers and drinkers and headed towards the river. Standing on the bank he looked left and then shading his eyes from the sun looked right, he couldn’t believe that the riverbanks were devoid of fishermen.

“That right Joe, all the fishermen have packed up fishing and headed back to the inn. One guy I spoke to says they haven’t had a bite in over an hour, and you know how good the fishing usually is there yourself. I’m coming over to your place now.” Squires pocketed his phone and hurried down the road away from the inn and up into town to Joe Welsh’s home.


Susie Stapleton and her team had taken photos of the bodies on the examination tables in the morgue and were intrigued by certain identical features on the bodies. Her team agreed with her that something unknown to them had drained the life out of all the bodies, including the bodies of the two naval officers. But whatever it was, it couldn’t be the same unknown thing that drained the life out of the bodies recovered from the ship. An odious smell was also present in all the bodies and all vital organs had been drained of blood and all other biological fluids as far as Stapleton could surmise.

Susie decided that she would need to get back onto the old ship with her team to look for more facts. She knew the answer would lie there if anywhere. As she was about to finish for a break one of her team came in and informed her that it had just been announced on the radio that the ‘ghost ship’ had sunk. “Damn it that’s all we need. I was hoping we could get back on there and conduct a thorough search. We won’t be able to now.” The coroner walked out of the morgue and headed for the canteen for a quick bite to eat with the rest of the team. Enjoying a well-earned dinner, the conversation returned to the mystery of the ghost ship.

“So what are you saying Susie that you think it was some kind of sea creature that killed all those people lying in the morgue? How can that be as all but two of the bodies have been dead for over a hundred years?” one of her assistants asked incredulously.

“I’m saying from the evidence I’ve found up to now, it is certainly pointing to a sea creature, one that is part of the cephalopod family. I will need to do some research and get in touch with an ichthyologist as well now!” retorted Stapleton as she got up to leave annoyed with herself that she had not gleaned more evidence at the time from the ship.


June – 1915, Captain’s Log:

We have been searching for the science team for two days now and there is no sign of them. We have located the area where they found the strange metallic object which we have placed in the hold of the ship. We did find strange markings in the ice purporting to be from some large animal or creature in the area of the submerged unidentifiable black object. This is the same object that the science team needed our help to uncover. I believe it will remain buried as we are going to give up the search soon. The weather has changed and it is now blizzard conditions outside, I won’t risk another search while the weather is so bad. We can hear a loud roaring in the distance and we are all becoming unnerved by it, fearing whatever may be the cause of it. We will give it another day and then inform the Navy that they may need to send a larger rescue team out to conduct another search.

Captain J. Clegg-Welsh 25th day of June 1915


“So, what do you think Joe, do we conduct an investigation of our own without the help of the PDA?” DC Squires asked his superior officer and friend.

“I don’t know Roger as it is more than likely being investigated by the Navy now that two of their men have been killed, by something unknown. It would be interesting to see what miss Stapleton has found though I must admit.”

“Well why don’t you and I drive over to the morgue and have a word with her. Surely she would tell us if she’s found anything useful.”

“Hmmm I suppose we could Roger. Oh and by the way, I received confirmation from the secretary at the naval base that Captain Jack Clegg-Welsh was indeed a relative of mine, on my mother’s side of the family. So now I do have a reason to look into it, as you say. I will also need to organise a burial for him too.” Now that Joe and Roger had agreed with the chief of police to head up the investigation, they took Joe’s car and headed for the town’s morgue in the hope that the coroner would see them.

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