The Man in White- Pt. 5
How do I explain this one? That a fire was started by a figment of my imagination and that he's brutally murdering people for no apparent reason?
Defying reason and logic he stands there, flames billowing around him. I cannot react for a few seconds. Then everything switches back to life. He might not exist but I bet I can hurt him. He turns tail and runs down out the fire escape.
I'm there a few seconds afterwards, barely thinking. Catch him. Whatever he is. He runs along the alleyway and disappears round a corner. I follow... but somehow he's vanished.
John appears by my side. I ask him if he saw what I saw. He shakes his head.
We drove out of there quickly. I didn't really want to be questioned. I can just imagine how that would go.
I reach out for the radio, but find nothing but static. I need something to calm my thoughts, because right now I'm not thinking too rationally.
Admittedly this isn't the first time a hallucination has become so vivid. There was an incident where I met this harmonica player playing on the windy streets, Bill I believe his name was. The sound he made out of it seemed to pierce the air and melt in your ears. I asked him to
For several weeks I went to see him. Got pretty good at it too. Then this blues band approached me. Asked me if I wanted to play. I told them "What about Bill?". When they asked who I was talking about, I turned to the place he was sitting. He'd disappeared.
This is different. The harmonica player was exceptionally strange but plausible. This defied all logic...
...unless I was imagining all of this. That murder. Perhaps I hadn't seen him kill someone. Perhaps I hallucinated and saw someone else. But is this a sign? Is it getting worse?
I needed sleep.
The next day after receiving little sleep, we examined the tape.
The first message was from the guy’s mother asking him if he'd visit during the following weekend. The last two messages were certainly interesting:
"Mr Snopes? It's Freeman. Look I'm starting to get worried. I swear someone is following me home at night. It's getting too dangerous to supply you with information. I understand this important, but I really think they'll kill me if I probe too much."
"Mr Snopes? I've done everything you asked. Promise me you'll pull some strings with your superiors and get me some protection. I given you those account records you asked for. You'll find them in your office."
This confirmed the suspicion that Freeman and Snopes had been part of some investigation. It also explained why the place had been torched. Hopefully the book I have on me is still useful. It seems to be filled with figures, numbers. It looks like an accountants book.
"So we have two main leads. We need to find out from Laura what her contact has to say and we need to work out the book is for and what Snopes was investigating." John summarised.
I nodded. I knew where to start with the book at least.
"Louise! Damn it, open up!" I hammered hard on the door and continued to shout. From Louise Hall's looks and grace you wouldn't think she was an accountant. Or rather was an accountant. She's more of a rouge accountant now. More commonly known as a con artist. She can make numbers
do tricks for her. Perhaps numbers will appear twice. Or not at all. It all depends on what she wants to do with them.
I figure her of all people would know what secrets lie in the pages of this book. Assuming her latest scheme hasn't blown up in her face.
After 5 minutes of shouting, she finally opens the door. She motions for us to come in. Then she's straight to business.
"What is it you guys need?"
I show her the ledger and explain.
"That kind of job will take a while. I'll need about $500 to do it."
"200. And I don't tell the police where you're hiding."
She sticks her tongue out. Almost childlike.
"Fine. I knew you were a bastard Tom. I didn't know you were the best."
"Second best. I try harder."
After taking my medicine we head towards Colson's office. It's on the street near the office things become strange...
Out of no where, a massive beagle walks out of the alley way. I shrug it off. It's just a hallucination.
But more creatures start appearing. Things start to slither out of the brickwork. I swear I see a man without a face. There is a horrifying whispering sound that echoes across the street.
I breathe heavily, try to focus on what is real. But the whispering doesn't stop and neither do the monsters. The street just fills with them. It is not unimaginable. I've had years of experience with the imaginable. But it's not any less terrifying.
The street is packed with dark shapes. All of them ugly, contorted into impossible shapes. The whispering seems to consume me. I collapse against the sidewalk, hands on my legs, shivering, hoping that the images stop.
For the Wordmongers' Masque