Dark Soul

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

Slowly turning the steering wheel on his car Chief Inspector John Williams turned onto Hornsbury Avenue and drove slowly along the road methodically counting the numbered houses as he did so. It had been almost thirty years since he had last been to this street and it had changed some since then but the houses remained if a little changed by time and the cosmetic whims of the occupiers. ’112’ this is it thought John as he pulled his car into a space opposite the house and stepped from his vehicle. The street was bathed in moonlight and the glow from the street lamps seemed almost to pale like stars in the light of day. It was an old street as is much of old London town and these houses seemed Victorian and had many typical features towering at least three stories high and most likely with an extensive cellar too. ’I will have my work cut out searching this place’ thought John. As he looked left and right scanning the street whilst crossing the road to number 112 he absently patted the gun nestled by his hip underneath his long trench coat.

John’s eyes narrowed and his jaw set with a sense of determination to finally end this or prevent it happening again as his foot touched the first step leading up to the grand terraced house. It struck him that the house seemed untouched almost by time; sure it was more weathered by the passage of the years but there were no satellite dishes or pet flaps nor any homely comforts like hanging plants or a welcome mat. It was almost as if the house had been frozen in time or the original occupier had never left. That final thought sent a chill down his back as he reached the short flight of steps leading to the porch of the house. He was just about to knock on the door when he noticed the front door was ever so slightly ajar. Reaching out his hand he pressed on the door and it gave way to his touch then slowly swung open. It seemed that he had been expected this evening or the house was in fact abandoned and perhaps had been for some time now. Slipping his torch from his belt John stepped into the House and called out “Police. Is anyone there?” Stepping further into the house the light from his torch danced across the walls and floors illuminating the areas as it did so. It soon became apparent to him that the house was not abandoned and was clearly still well maintained. The long hallway leading into the property had a hat and coat rack with several hooks occupied by various coats and hats and a side table with a phone and mail on it. A long lush carpet flowed out before John covering the hallway and was clearly an Antique and yet showed little wear and tear. His torch beam swept across the walls and back again as John stopped it upon a light switch. Slowly walking further along the hallway towards the light switch he paused as the house creaked above him. His hand reached out to the switch and flicking it up he caught his breath as the hallway remained enshrined in darkness. John Flicked the switch up and down once more but the hallway remained dark except from the light emanating from his torch. Reaching down to his belt again John slipped his revolver from its holster and switched his torch to his left hand and proceeded along the hallway with his torch light and revolver leading the way. A small bead of sweat formed and slowly trickled down from John’s brow across his cheek and nestled in his fine mustache before he absently wiped it away and shone his torch into the first of the rooms off the main hallway. It was a grand room clearly designed for welcoming visitors into the home and perhaps entertaining guests during the high society of Victorian era. His torch scoured the room from one corner to another its narrow beam lighting up objects as it went. The creaking from the house again caused John to swallow hard as he struggled to keep calm; his primordial senses screamed at him to flee and threatened to overwhelm the rest of his senses. Adrenalin began to flow through his body as his flight or fight sense kicked in and six million years of instinct told him subconsciously that he was not alone in the house. Measured foot fall followed one another as John walked slowly into the room and shone his torch into the corners. It was evident now that someone was indeed clearly still living at the address but then the thought suddenly occurred to him that what if Marcus is wrong and Cain is dead and this is just all a huge coincidence and I’m walking around in some old ladies house that has gone on holiday for the winter. Feeling his sanity returning and his heart rate lowering with rationality once more gripping his senses he relaxed a little and slowly turned then raised his torch back to the doorway leading into the room. John shouted out loud at the sight that was there and quickly squeezed off a shot at the creature illuminated in the torchlight. It stood there at least seven feet tall its teeth giant fangs and its outstretched arms with razor like claws resembling that of a bear. It was at this point that John realized that in fact his torch was illuminating a very large stuffed probably antique bear in the alcove under the stairs opposite the room he was in which now had a large hole in the side of its head; with sawdust slowly pouring onto the ground. His heart racing John lent forward onto his knees and took a deep breath before standing up and mopping his brow once again. He almost had a heart attack when his phone suddenly rang shattering the silence that pervaded the house causing him to nearly shoot the bear again with fright.

Furtively hunting inside his coat he fished out his phone and hit the connect button.

“John is that you?” came the urgent inquiring voice of his friend Marcus. Raising his eyebrows and frowning John replied “Of course it’s me Marcus who did you think you rang? You nearly scared me half to death too so unless this is important I’m in Cain’s house and need to carry on with my search of the place.”

“That’s exactly why I’m calling you. We went to the chapel and the body.” Marcus paused.

“What about the body?” John asked in a hushed voice

“It’s gone John. It’s gone.” his voice trailed off as Marcus finished his sentence.

John suddenly felt that overwhelming sense of fear grip him again and knew he had to get out of the house and return with help.

“OK Marcus that changes things I’m getting out of here now. I’ll arrange for a forensic team with fire arms support to search the place in daylight. I will meet you at your house within the hour and we can talk then.” John almost whispered into his phone as he looked around cautiously.

“Be careful John you know what Cain is capable of and I fear he may not be working alone.” Marcus cautioned his old friend trying to hide the genuine concern in his voice.

John hit the red button to end the call on his phone and slipped it back inside his coat then turned and strode towards the doorway leading back into the hallway. As he did so John heard the light click of the latch on the front door as it closed; turning into the corridor he could see a figure standing at the end of the hallway in front of the doorway which led into the house. It was a tall man illuminated by the moonlight from outside shining through the ornate glass panels in the door.

“Good evening Detective Inspector Williams or can I call you John? We have known each other for such a long time I feel like we are almost like old friends. Yes I think I shall call you John.” The words were calm and yet had the same chill to them that a winter wind carries.

“Cain!” exclaimed John as he recognized the figure before him. Almost immediately he raised his gun to point it at Cain but it was already too late. As his arm raised another more powerful figure from behind him grasped his arm and John screamed in pain as sharp claws dug into his arm; it’s vice like grip causing him to drop his gun. John could now hear an almost primordial guttural heavy breathing close behind him as another clawed hand reached from behind him to lift him from the floor by his neck and suspend him in midair. He could feel the sharp nails digging into his throat as his assailant slowly began to crush his windpipe choking the life from him. His breathing became shallower as he gasped for breath.

“Now John shall we talk?” Cain’s velvet voice was the last thing John heard before he passed out.

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