“You can easily assume what happens next.” Melina said, as she stared out in front of her. With a wave of her hands Melina erased the reality. The floor gave way and Cedric’s spirit fell back into its body.
“You’re no demon, you’re a human spirit. Just a child.” Cedric said.
“I need your help,” Melina said.
“I want to make peace with this life, and move onto the next.”
“But what can I do?” Cedric asked.
“Do you know where he lives?”
“Rocco? yes, but I don’t know if he still lives at the same address.”
“Go there, confront him.” Melina said. Cedric felt the numbness in his legs go away and got to his feet.
“I apologise for being rude to you, I didn’t know what you and your family went through.” Cedric said, he tried to reach out to Melina, but she pulled away.
“There’s a car outside, you can use that.” Melina said, and disappeared.
“Where’d you get the--”
Cedric tried opening the door, but it was locked, so Cedric climbed through the window above the sink.
Outside, Cedric saw the same broken car from earlier, only now it was now like new. Cedric could not understand how a ghost could have this much ability in the real world. Without thinking of it further, Cedric jumped in the car. The car was already running, and the engine sounded healthy.
Rocco lived in the city and the farm was far from it. Cedric knew the car was old and would probably not get him there.
On the way Cedric turned into a petrol station. Or rather Cedric stopped by petrol pumps.
Two rogue petrol pumps stood in the next to the arid road between the farm and the city.
There were no buildings, parking lots, or people in sight.
Just the two petrol pumps.
Cedric thought that they were props set up by some protesting artist. However, when he grabbed the pump and pulled the trigger petrol spilled all over the bare dirt. He could tell it was petrol because of the strong fumes which suddenly filled the atmosphere.
When Cedric looked down he saw that the petrol was eating away the ground like acid, and quickly as well. It was as if the petrol was alive, eating the ground like acidic termites. The ground was about a foot in thickness, and beneath that, complete darkness. The quaint silence was suddenly interrupted by ominous whispers and incoherent voices. The voices were coming from the gape before him, the whispers filled the atmosphere. Suddenly, Cedric felt like he was in the midst of unseen beings. And this didn’t resonate well with Cedric. He jumped in the car and drove off, as the sounds intensified behind him. The voices followed him for some time after he retreated from the rogue petrol pumps. It was only when the landscape changed from arid to green did the voices finally retreat.
Cedric stopped in front of Rocco’s apartment. The building was fancy, fancier than he remembered. Rocco lived on the top floor of the tall building that overlooked the metropolis. Cedric had asked Rocco about his lavish bachelor’s pad once, and Rocco claimed that the penthouse was a gift from his brother. At the time Cedric believed his story. There was no reason not belief him.
However, now Cedric wasn’t so sure any more. Rocco had never introduced Cedric to this elusive rich brother of his, probably because his brother didn’t exist in the first place.
There was no way that Rocco could afford such a lavish pad on a detective’s salary. Their pay wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t this good either. It made sense that Rocco had a secondary income. Cedric couldn’t believe that the partner he had looked up to all these years was no better than the low scum they were always apprehending.
Suddenly, the glove box opened and something fell out and went under the seat. Cedric reached down and saw that it was a revolver that fell out. He checked the chamber, and saw three bullets inside. He took the revolver, and tucked it under his shirt.
He then proceeded up to Rocco’s apartment.
The elevator opened up directly into Rocco’s lavish home, so Cedric walked in, cautiously. He took out the revolver, and searched the entire apartment, carefully scrutinizing each corner and crevice. It was empty. Cedric sat down at a barstool next to the kitchen counter and stared at the closed elevator. He kept the revolver concealed under his shirt.
“I knew this day would come, old partner. I knew that wouldn’t sit well with you.” Rocco said as he stepped out of the kitchen.
“Rocco? I searched everywhere. Where were you hiding?” Cedric confusedly asked, then pointed the revolver at Rocco.
“Right under your nose, but you could never smell me, could you?” Rocco laughed.
“You were a double agent.” Cedric said. “Working for both the Mafia, and the police.”
“I can’t believe it took you this long to figure it out, detective.”
“Why did you kill that family? I thought you were a good man.”
“I never killed any family, you must be crazy.”
“A liar until the end, huh?”
Without a second thought Cedric squeezed the trigger and shot Rocco in the chest. He died almost instantly. It was hard for Cedric to see his old friend breathe his last breath, despite what Cedric had learned about him.
As Cedric knelt beside the body, he felt a sharp pain in his arm, he looked down and saw that he himself was also penetrated. Not shot by a bullet, but rather by the needle of a syringe. The syringe contained a dark metallic liquid. The syringe emptied itself into Cedric’s arm, before he could pull it out of his arm.
Suddenly, Cedric saw himself surrounded by orderlies in white overalls. They tackled him and pinned him to the ground. Cedric tried fighting them off, but they were too strong.
Cedric’s struggles faded as he slipped out of consciousness.
Cedric regained consciousness, and quickly realised that he was strapped to a bed. He was binded by three thick leather straps across his chest, waist and lower legs.
There were three other patients in the room, but they all seemed mentally disturbed and were also strapped to their beds like Cedric was.
One was on the bed next to Cedric and was smiling at him with an eerie grin.
On the far end of the room the other two patients were staring off into space.
The door knob turned, then the door opened slightly. There was complete darkness on the other side of the door and half a dozen pairs of yellow glowing eyes were staring into the room, their tar pimpled faces barely visible. A long purple fleshed arm reached out from the darkness and reached for the light switch. The long arm looked eerily similar to the ones that were trying to drown him, earlier, in the lake. There were four light switches, one for each light bulb in the room. The light bulbs hung from the ceiling at various points in the elongated room. They swayed in a synchronized motion as if the room itself was moving.
One by one, the light switches were switched off and darkness rushed in to take the place of the light.
Then the final switch turned off and complete darkness filled the room. And multiple footsteps were heard entering the room.
All of Cedric’s senses went into overdrive as his anxiety levels shot up dky high. He feared an onslaught from the midst of the darkness. He screamed, but it was in vain. The room echoed with the howls and whispers of the demons. They prodded, squeezed and caressed Cedric’s body like they were appraising him. But their fondling suddenly stopped when three blasts reverberated throughout the atmosphere.
The footsteps retreated back out, then the door closed shut and multiple locks could be heard being locked.
All four light bulbs switched back on simultaneously. When his eyes adjusted to the light Cedric saw Melina standing next to his bed. Her hair was dry and she wore a blue trench coat - the same one she wore that night that she and her family was murdered. The trenchcoat was dilapidated with torn seams and two buttons. The look in hers eyes were different from before. She stared down at Cedric with disdain.
“What am I doing here? And why am I suddenly strapped to a bed? Melina?” Cedric asked. Melina waļked to the patient that was smiling then ran her hand across his face. His faced emerged with a solid stare at Melina. The patient lowered his head, then stared at the ceiling with an unmoving ogle. Once again, Cedric was in awe at the ability of Melina. He couldn’t fathom the ability the ghostly girl had over reality. Not even the human mind was impervious to her ability.
With every step, Melina’s bare feet slapped against the cold floor as she made her way to Cedric bed side.
Melina lifted her hand slowly towards Cedric’s face. The edges of her fingernails were compacted with black dirt. The sleeves of her trenchcoat was broken and eroded.
As the hand neared his face, Cedric feared what would come next. He didn’t want to turn into a dazed lunatic.
“You are not here ‘suddenly’, Cedric.” Melina said, with her inches from Cedruc’s face. “You have been here since the beginning,” Melina said. Her voice had turned monotone, like she was reading from a script.
“What are you talking about, what do you mean the beginning?”