Shelly groaned. “I really goofed, didn’t I?”
“We’re both new at this,” Allen said. “I think we both have a lot to learn.” “Thanks Allen,” Shelly said.
Shelly nodded and feeling humbled returned to the living room.
Dr. Lasker gave her a curious glance. “I was discussing with Mrs. Ross some of the changes she sees around here.”
Shelly had learned to keep quiet. She noticed there were no photographs of the family anywhere in the room. She would have liked to have seen how they were dressed before what she assumed was a forced transformation to an earlier time.
“Mr. Ross refuses to allow us to remain in the house overnight. This is of course a big disappointment, but we will do the best we can until we must leave.” He rose from the couch. “I must beg your pardon, Mrs. Ross, I wish to discuss something with my assistant here. I shall
return.” He grabbed Shelly’s elbow and nearly dragged her into the next room.
“I’m terrified for her and the little girl,” he whispered. “They did not look anything like this when we were here last year. I don’t like the anger I observe in Mr. Ross. I don’t like the idea that he destroyed the furniture they had just purchased shortly after they moved in.”
“You didn’t tell me you’d been here before,” Shelly said in an accusatory tone. “That is not important now. We must focus on helping this family and that is all.” “What can I do to help,” Shelly asked.
“Mrs. Ross has described several shall we call them ‘incidents’ …perhaps some
imagined? I don’t know, but I do know the way these people are dressed and the way Mr. Ross chopped up his new furniture is sufficient to make me worry about their safety.”
“I’m worried too,” Shelly said. “That father looks--”
Dr. Lasker interrupted. “I want to protect Mrs. Ross and her daughter. I need you and Allen to see if this is an occult manifestation? That is essential. After that, we shall see.”
“Do you mean a ghost,” Shelly asked. “It is possible.”
“How do we do that,” Shelly asked.
Allen added, “I’ve never seen another ghost, but that woman is terrified and I am too. You’re right, Shelly, we’ve got to help her and her little girl. That big guy with the axe worries me.”
“Allen wants to help,” Shelly said, “but doesn’t know how.”
Dr. Lasker scratched his head. “I don’t know either. We’ve had no real success with a hostile spirit, but that is where you and Allen offer us a unique new advantage. They say it takes a thief to catch one. Perhaps….”
“It takes a ghost to catch another ghost,” Allen finished the sentence.
“I won’t lie to you, Shelly, this could be extremely dangerous,” Dr. Lasker said, “but I am certain if something is not done soon this young wife, her little girl and even her husband will join the others who have died here in the past.”
“Others have died here?” Allen let out a low whistle. “Shelly, what have we let ourselves
“We’ve got to help them,” Shelly said, “Dr. Lasker, if you keep Mrs. Ross busy, Allen and I will try to discover what is happening here. Any suggestions where we should start?”
“If I were an evil ghost, I would probably lurk in the basement or attic. But of course there are no limitations where such malevolent spirits may appear.”
“Of course not,” Allen grumbled. “Ask him if he’s ever heard of an evil ghost destroying a good one? I’d like to know what I’m up against.”
Shelly shot him a silencing look. “The basement it is.” Shelly leaned closer to the professor and whispered, “What about Chan?”
“I’ll keep him with me to keep filming, and just in case the father becomes a problem. She says at night he goes down to the shed in the back yard and chops up wood with his axe. It seems to be the only thing that stops the terrible headaches he claims are raging in his head.”
“I saw his eyes,” Allen said. “They scared me.”
“Allen says the father’s eyes scare him,” Shelly repeated.
“I’ve seen those eyes before,” Dr. Lasker said, “They are the eyes of someone about to commit a gruesome crime. I’d be scared too.” Dodd’s eyes had looked like that when he had gone after them with the axe. It was in this very same house, a year ago tonight. Why didn’t he tell Shelly? Because I don’t want to lose her.
Shelly felt a chill race through her body again.
Dr. Lasker took her hand. “I must go back to Mrs. Ross.” He hesitated and then added,
“Please be careful. Use the phone I gave you if you need me…or if the father finds you. Do not take any chances!” He started back but turned and gave her a weak smile. “I am grateful you are on my team so please Allen, watch over her for me. This could be very dangerous.”
You’re telling me, Allen thought, as he saw Shelly reaching into a bag and grabbing a large flashlight. He found himself admiring her as she bent forward into the bag. This is not helpful, he scolded himself. Ghosts do not feel this way about humans, even cute ones like her, he said, but it was no use. All this danger she was in was somehow sharpening his protective instincts and as much as he wanted to fight what he was feeling, he realized it was hopeless. No matter what might happen to him he had to protect her from whatever evil was waiting.