Welcome to the reflection of what we like to call contemporary life. You may find some temporal distortions but keep calm and tell yourself it's only a story... things like this don't happen in "real life", do they?
All characters and situations are fictional and all the writings in this blog are copyright Gareth Ransome 2009. (may contain adult content and language)
Please visit my website: www.bellkipeg.com for more imaginings!
Friday, 29 April 2016
running; don’t look back, don’t you dare look back. Look back and
laboured footsteps catch in the puddles, marking time, slowing him
down; bringing him inevitably closer to his death.
behind him, somewhere; she can see him. The rain doesn’t hold her
back, the pavements never even touch her feet. Gliding malevolence,
she knows only one thing, his death. Youth is on her side, his youth
and she knows that he can never escape her, so why run? Prolong the
ecstasy of the chase, prepare for the sweetness of his ultimate
suffering. He will be the source of his own undoing, he has so far.
think about how you got here, don’t think about how stupid you’ve
been from the start. Run. Ignore the pain, ignore the rains lash
against your face, clawing at your eyes, your soul. Remember what’s
behind you. No longer your flesh and blood but torn and gouged,
perverted into something unrecognisable and.. yes, evil.
story renders everything inaccessible, blinds him from all
directions. By the time the realisation slams into him it’s too
late. It’s a dead end; his race, his chase is over. Nowhere to go,
but maybe he’s done enough to lose her. Maybe he’s safe, the
alleyway is secluded enough to provide him cover.
treads softly, each footfall treading on cotton wool; he doesn’t
make a sound. He reaches the edge of the alley and peers out.
rain masks most of the night. The
street lights flicker and die out in collusion. There are still
no sounds, save for the rains
percussion. No footfalls, just his breathing, a rasp that still
clings to life. Maybe he’s going to live through this. Maybe his
luck is going to hold.
Her voice is sweet, a deadly whisper, from behind his left shoulder.
He turns around.
He whimpers as she floats down to greet him one last time.
lost children isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are three groups,
as I see it: those that want to be found; those that don’t and
those that can’t
be found. It’s only the last two categories that I deal with…
sorry, dealt with. You may wonder what the difference is between the
latter two. Won’t and can’t – seems to be splitting hairs,
right? We used to call the last one kidnapping. Now it’s less..
obtrusive, abduction… and it’s all down to intent, after
the first group of children I used to tell the parents not to worry –
they were just proving a point. Give them twenty four hours and they
were probably just staying with a friend; and I was always right in
those cases and parents trusted me, they
knew about my track record
and trusted that too.
the don’ts and can’t’s? Well, I found most of them too –due
to what I'd picked up over the
years. There was only one case that
I never satisfactorily solved and that was the disappearance of my
own daughter. She was gone for six months and I just couldn’t find
her; nothing I did worked. No results, no clues and everything
suffered because of it. My wife blamed me for it all and we so nearly
my daughter turns up. She’s on one of those swings in Ellison Park,
none the worse for wear. No signs of molestation, thank God, she was
intact and .. pure, but she remembered nothing of her time. It was as
if she never left, but there was an emptiness to
her eyes that no one could explain. I had to promise Joan, my wife,
that I would never put the family through anything like it again. And
from that day I have never taken another missing child case and that
was five years ago.”
looked down at Cynthia who still had the handkerchief wrung tight in
her hand as she sat in the chair. I was leaning against the desk, my
heart bleeding for her. I knew what she was going through but there
was nothing I could do; I made my promise.
help me.. you can help her!”
can’t, Cynthia –I’m sorry.”
can! You just won’t.” She snapped. “Why won’t you?”
made a promise…” My words tasted like bile and I hung my head,
anything so I didn’t have to meet her desperation.
your promise is worth more than my daughters life? Can’t you just
tell me whether she’s a can’t or won’t? Can’t you just give
“It doesn’t work that way, Cynthia –you know
that. I need something of hers to hold.”
that she reached into her handbag and brought out a stuffed toy that
gave her this at her Christening; you could use this. Surely that has
a strong enough link, she’s always holding on to it when she’s in
was faltering; Joan’s threats to leave were ringing in my ears…
but it wasn’t just her; she would take Rose with her as well –I
could lose everything. But was my life worth more than her daughter?
you God-daughter, for Christ’s sake!” Cynthia pleaded. I had no
choice, not really. It made things a little easier for me to swallow
but I doubted that Joan would be as understanding.
did what?” Joan spat, launching herself at me. “How could you? I
can’t believe you would just do
it without telling me!”
am I doing now?” Stupid move – now was the time to build bridges
now help demolish them.
you dare play smart with me; not after all we’ve been through… Or
don’t you remember that? Six months of hell you put us through.”
course I bloody remember! I was trying to find her; everyday, doing
my best to track down a lead –anything that would find
you couldn’t find anything! You accomplished nothing, just brought
us to breaking point and now you’re doing it to us again! Why?”
would you have me do? Ignore her? Walk away? ‘I’ve got my
daughter back, so might you?’”
but you promised that you wouldn’t take up any more cases –or had
you forgotten that?”
your God-daughter, for Christ’s sake!”
she’s not my daughter.”
can’t just turn my back on her.”
be sorry.” She turned round and walked out on me. But she was
couldn’t just turn my back on
Cynthia, especially when I took hold of Sophie’s toy. Immediately I
saw the world through her eyes, experienced what she was feeling and
she was scared, oh so scared.
fear of a child is different to that of an adult; adults have the
choice to battle through the inane fears that they project; their
fears aren’t real. Normally they’re irrational extensions of
their own insecurities. But a child’s fear is palpable, solid and
all consuming. They live in a world bereft of understanding. They
still know the real truth that we, as adults, have shielded ourselves
from: evil is real.
where Sophie was now reeked of evil and it was crushing her. There
was no way I could turn my back on that –Joan would understand,
first things first; I had to work with what I had, which was precious
little.. just Sophie’s toy. The police would be no good to me; they
never were before and now that I was retired they wouldn’t lift a
fart to help me.
ended up hating me, actually. I found too many of the missing
children that they couldn’t and people started talking, asking
questions about the culpability of the police; as to whether they
really were doing the best they could. So when my own little girl
went missing, Rose, they barely lifted a finger.
might be one person I could still go to though, if things got really
still had nothing concrete to go on, which was where the toy came in.
I had to make contact again and go deeper. It’d been some time
since I’d done anything like this and I was a little reticent. In
my more cynical moments
I wondered whether it was because
of my ability that Rose was taken. I often suspected a cult
involvement, but too high up to be held accountable for their
me, I don’t make such accusations lightly. I have often felt that
there are things going on
of which we have no knowledge of. One dares not mention the word
in relation to prominent people in power, and just
the very thought makes the
authorities very nervous. Any investigation surrounding kiddie porn
or trafficking always throws the public the odd celebrity Judas goat,
but normally only
the ones that are out of the public eye or washed up. The high
rollers still have their uses.
not the only one to think like this. I worked a case with the writer
Alex Paige before he became famous. He was gaining a reputation of a
different sort back then and was known for walking a fine line
between the .. light and dark. He’d unwittingly made himself a
target for those dark forces behind our own. One of the missing
children was from the village he was living in and together we
managed to find him alive. The boy had been kept in a concrete shaft
that had been covered over in the local wood.
helped me understand a lot about what I was up against and I was
pleased when his novels garnered him the acclaim that he deserved. He
certainly opened my eyes to a few things and taught me an awful lot.
I certainly never realised
that just as I used my powers to see and feel through the child’s
own eyes, so my own perceptions could be used against me; and
something could be seeing through my eyes. That’s how they found
out about Rose, I’m sure –they saw her through me.
why put my family through it all again? I wasn’t. Joan had left me,
perhaps for good, and taken Rose with her. I was only to follow when
I’d decided who was more important. If only it was that cut and
sat in my study with the curtains drawn. The phones were unplugged, I
didn't want any
distractions, I had to focus everything on Sophie’s toy; see if I
could open a link to her and get as much information as I could to
sat cross-legged, holding the toy in both hands and shut my eyes.
Despite it being a few years since I’d tried anything like this
before I was surprised by the strength of contact. A sense-searing
jolt of fear; her fear and I
almost broke the contact but rooted myself in deeper.
many people fail at this kind of endeavour because they never root
themselves in. It’s the pivotal point in meditation; grow your
metaphysical roots as deep as you can and you’ll always have a
stable base to return to, and a guide rope if you ever lose your way.
was still alive and intact, just alone, totally alone but so afraid.
The fear had now seeped into every muscle, ever nerve ending, it was
all she knew. What could be causing her this kind of fear?
then I knew. The threats, the terror were
by anything on this plane of
existance, no physical threat or
pain could even begin to account for the feedback I was getting.
Being a child she was not cynical to the true ways of the world, she
saw the holy and the unnatural around her everyday; was aware of the
faieries and daemons that live between our heartbeats. And now she
was being opened to all the evil, to every sick and cancerous entity
so she could be turned and made ready. I had to find her before it
was too late.
a minute – there’s something –she’s aware of my presence.
Somehow she knows that I’m with her. She’s opening her eyes,
letting me know where she is, clever girl. Where are you? It’s an
old building, a factory. I’m picking up a feeling of mechanisation
and desperation. It’s a factory in an abandoned industrial estate.
She’s in the gents toilets
–why there? Why in God’s name has she been locked in that room?
Because of the mirrors, they’re still intact and that’s how the
entity has contact with her.
need to know where this industrial estate is, maybe I can use the
mirror as a scrying glass. It’s possible and certainly worth a try.
I should be able to use it to reflect back her memories.
go to the mirror and look into it. Stare into it, allow it to tell
you where you are now. Trust in me, nothing can hurt you –I won’t
let it. Allow it to show me where you are.
though it’s dark I can still make out the reflections. The broken
skeletons of the cubicles and the cracked shells of the urinals…
and I realise that the smell must be terrible for her….
on the mirror, concentration in the mirror.
there’s something there, something in the mirror’s heart that’s
not a reflection. Focus on it, bring it close…closer. It could be
the clue to where you are… bring it closer.
is it? There’s something… No… Wait… don’t.. Don’t bring
it any closer; it’s one of them, warping out of hell from an
un-normal angle…. Too terrifying, all consuming becoming the mirror
until that’s all I can see and feel… NO!
contact, break contact!
drop the doll and quickly turn the lights on….
is too much for me to handle alone, I need help and fast. I no longer
have Alex’s contact details and don’t want to go through any
agent or personal assistant –which just left me Frank… but would
he still help me?
Heath was one of the few friends I had left on the police force. He
knew how things were and still managed to walk the fine line and
understand. He hadn’t gone over completely; he still had empathy
and that went a long way.
checked my watch -it wasn’t that late, he’d still be up; but I
had to remember the code that we’d worked out. I just hoped that
he’d remembered it. Five rings and then hang up.
was very careful – each person had their own set number of rings.
Sure enough, two minutes later he rang me back.
it should be you – I was only thinking about you the other day.”
a bad penny… how are you, Frank?”
in for a pound of shit it sounds… What can I do for you?”
need a favour…”
– I thought you’d quit.”
had… have.. but this is different.”
“You not learnt from
the last time? Why’d you want to drag it all up again?”
God-daughter’s gone missing.. I’ve been asked to find her.”
There was a tutting sound on the other end.
turn up… they always do….”
they don’t… not always – you know that.”
is it –the last time…But I had to do it –she’s my
I understand, but I can’t promise anything…. but I’ll look into
it …. will let you know. I’ll get in contact with you.”
hung up. What was really odd was that I never told him who my
God-daughter was, he never asked for any information.
next day I tried to remember as much as I could from my attempt to
contact Sophie. This shouldn’t be too dangerous as I wasn’t
actually trying to re-establish the rapport just effect a slow motion
mind stores everything and we all have the ability to access this at
any time, if only we knew how…. Luckily I knew how –courtesy of
should be relatively safe but I was going to take any chances. I
marked out a circle of salt and lit four candles around the cardinal
points. I sat in the middle of the circle and called on the guardians
of each direction to protect me. I wasn’t sure if I still believed
it all but after what I faced earlier I needed all the protection I
recognised the factory she was in. it looked very much like the one
that my father worked in long ago…
I had to check again to make sure.
revisited the memory and saw Sophie cowering in the gents toilets,
how could they? It was all part of the deprogramming, wipe her mind
froze the memory and allowed myself to enter it…. We have such a
narrow understanding of what’s actually possible. Memory is
holographic –we are all part of it and linked into everything else,
and we have complete access to that rich tapestry at all times. It’s
just accessing another layer of the hologram.
allowed myself to drift outside the dilapidated loo and out into the
factory proper. This didn’t look good for me at all, but I had to
check this out for sure. I moved further out and drifted through the
ceiling to the front of the building. It was then that I knew for
was being held prisoner in the very same factory where my father had
worked years ago. But why?
next morning I drove to the factory. I was wise enough not to go in
the middle of the night. Things became more active during those
hours, not that it was going to be less dangerous, per se, but at
least I would be able to see what I was up against.
was also the fact that if I was stopped by anyone I could use the
excuse that I was looking at factories to buy up for a new business
venture. That excuse would lose all credibility at night.
though thirty years had passed since I last visited I still knew
exactly where the factory was. Industrial estates are the modern day
labyrinths; lost and insecure, places of blood and desperation,
exploitation and sweat, innovation and tears.
still don’t know what my father did for a living… He often
mentioned something about pressure testing, but I wasn’t sure
whether that related to his work life or at home. For the longest
time it seemed that we were all under some form of pressure testing.
it’s no surprise that seeing the factory now brought back such
unsavoury memories. For the briefest of moments I felt like a child
again and almost ran back to the car. I then remembered what Alex
told me, recognised the reaction in me and pushed it to the back of
my mind. I dug my roots in deep and found the way in.
most of the factories they were like overgrown sardine tins –little
more than corrugated iron walls, and it looked as if this one had
been attacked by an oversized can opener.
stepped inside and instantly felt a blast of malignant terror, gut
wrenching despair and anguish.
was here, but I had to tread carefully for something else was
of this world.
air was sickening, cloying damp and suffocating. They knew I was here
as soon as I set foot in the factory. I had to be quick; I didn’t
know how long I could stand to be in here.
were exactly where I remembered them to be and again I was shaken by
the palpable sense of childish fear I felt when I walked inside.
door squeeled in protest but yielded in disgust and I saw myself as a
child trying to urinate in the company of ogres as I looked into the
warped mirrors. Nausea swept through me and I leaned against the
sink, dry heaving. This was a mistake, I should’ve come more
prepared; armed myself against such attacks. What a fool… Find her,
get out quick.
the stall doors were shut and I called her name out as hoarsely as I
could. I didn’t want to cause too much more attention to myself.
I pushed open the first door and half expected to see a corpse,
bloated and sitting there. My imagination running overtime now –not
good at all. Shut up, concentrate.
was empty but there were still five more stalls
left –she had to be in one of those.
I opened the third one I heard a sound, a shuffling; a whimper but I
couldn’t tell whether it came from the fourth or the last one.
pushed on the fourth door and found a dead pigeon lying on the toilet
seat like a miniature sacrifice. It was a fresh kill, its stomach was
split down the middle and its eyes had been gouged out.
sound was getting more anxious, more frightened; sobbing now. I held
my breath and tried opening the fifth door but it wouldn’t budge. I
pushed harder, still no give. I took a run at it and…
break your shoulder that way.” The voice sounded friendly but
sinister, like Tim Curry from the film Legend; a deep velvet that
could crush you at any moment. I barely stopped myself from colliding
with the door. “Bravo –nicely handled.” I turned to face it but
there was nothing there. “Having trouble? Try looking in the
turned to the mirror and there was something standing behind me. A
black shape was coalescing behind me, like fog. I whirled around to
face it but there was nothing there. I turned back to the mirror and
walked closer to it. The presence followed me.
It said. “I see you.. but you don’t see me,”
don’t want to know that, not really. Besides, that’s not why
you’re here. What you really want is behind that door.”
have you done with her?”
The presence shimmered like a heat haze and giggled. “Nothing she
wasn’t grateful for.”
bastard.” I whirled round to face an empty room again, bereft of
sounds except the sobbing of a frightened girl.
now – she wasn’t that important. We got what we wanted so you can
take her now.” It sneered.
door to the fifth cubicle opened and Sophie was cowering, sitting
hunched up like a traumatised kitten.
I took my coat off and wrapped it around her. She recognised me and
sobbed into my shoulder as I carried her out.
got your daughter.” The presence said right over my left shoulder.
I nearly dropped Sophie out of fright. “She’s ours now… but
then she always has been.”
know soon enough. Someone will be in touch, just go home. Take Sophie
back to her parents and tell no one what’s happened else you’ll
never see your daughter again.” I drove back to Cynthia’s with
Sophie curled up on the passenger seat, shivering and sobbing. I just
felt numb. Rose was missing… again and I knew now that she had been
taken by the same people that had tormented Sophie.
My poor Rose.
course Joan was waiting for me when I got back. Her tears were of
anger, hatred and fear; not like those from Cynthia, that of relief
and gratitude. Her thanks fell like rain on barren sand; knowing that
I’d damned my poor Rose made the whole rescue attempt a mockery, a
was hysterical with anguish, she blamed it all on me. Rose had been
taken from right under her nose. One minute she was asleep in our bed
because of a nightmare and the next she was gone. Initially Joan had
thought that Rose had just gone back to her own bed but there was no
one there. Nobody else in the whole house. All the doors and windows
were still locked but there was no sign of Rose.
her, Goddamn you –find her! That’s what you do, isn’t it?”
Desperation raked through her voice. The phone’s shrill cut through
the moment and I picked it up.
me outside in five.” It was Frank.
knew where he’d be, it was where we always met. I couldn’t
believe that he’d sold out as well, but this time I let my fists do
the talking. Strangely he did nothing to stop me.
think I wanted this?” he finally shouted at me, blood sputtering
out of his mouth in punctuation. “I tried to warn you but you
wouldn’t bloody listen!”
you took her, you bastard!” I kicked him hard in the gut.
I didn’t!” He cried back, pushing me away as best he could.
might not have been you but you were complicit the whole time.”
didn’t have much choice –none of us do. You have no idea what
you’re up against! The things they can do to you! None of us ever
had a choice. Comply or go under.” Comply or go under, the words to
live by. He pulled out a gun as he got up.
what now? You shoot me? Is that it?”
they want to see you… I don’t know why.”
my daughter be there?”
probably.. you’re to go to 113 Woosten Road in twenty five minutes.
Knock five times and they’ll know its you.”
that’s it –my time to go quietly in that goodnight?”
Not if you take this.” Frank handed me his gun. “I never wanted
of this. I’ve pretty much written my death warrant by doing this,
but the things I’ve seen and done… I don’t want that any more.
I want you to finish it. Shoot him when you’ve got the chance.
You’ll know what I mean as soon as you meet him. Kill him for me..
kill him for all of us.”
Woosten Road, one of the few genuinely old buildings left in town,
dating back to the early 1600’s; always handed down through the
family, the same family who was often spoken about in hushed voices.
They owned the entire road, hell they practically ran the town! We
all knew that but no one could do anything about it.
went on without the Woostens either knowing about it or instigating
it. Alex had theories and so did I but there was no proof. So I
shouldn’t have been surprised to be knocking on their front door,
but it made me realise just how much danger Rose was in. I didn’t
matter now, she was the only important thing to me.
knock was another nail in my coffin, there was a feeling of
inevitability –my whole life leading up to this point. The door
opened practically on the fifth knock. A well presented butler, slick
back hair, slick sharp suit and the requisite air of smug
you’ve been expected. Come this way.”
you going to search me? I might have a concealed weapon.” I
bluffed, my every word as if it was already written.
you really think it matters now?”
I suppose not.” Was it all that clearly defined? No, they couldn’t
know about the gun, his change of heart.
was led to a room, up an ornate staircase, through countless
corridors. I once took my aged mum round the Brighton Pavilion to see
all its majesty; the gold leaf, the sumptuous surroundings, marble
statues. It was a dolls house compared to this place.
butler opened the door to a huge ballroom, a chequerboard pattern on
the floor, black and white squares with splashes of red… blood.
thought it would be apt to meet you in here. It’s what you guessed
all along, after all…. What’s it like to be right?” The voice
came from the back of the room. Three thrones carved out of ivory and
jet. Beautiful workmanship perverted through evil intent. The man was
small, barely five foot at a glance. His hair was cropped short
hearkening back to a style that was in vogue when he was born –back
in the ‘20’s. The stories were true, he hadn’t aged a day.
Woosten” I said.
it’s true. I thought that after all you’ve been through that you
deserved to see my real face.” He smiled, his eyes a deathly black,
emotionless. “It’s not as if you stand a chance.”
allow me to get this far?”
not?” He parodied my crushing desperation and showed mock humility.
“My apologies, that was unfair.” He put his hands into a steeple
and smiled genially. “We are timeless. There’s very little that
brings us pleasure any more. We pretty much rule your world now,
despite what you may hope. We allow you to think because it’s so
much more satisfying to crush you. To see that light go in your eyes
when you realise the futility of it all. Just to see you realise how
helpless you really are.”
walked closer, the cold metal in my pocket the only thing stopping me
from giving in. I didn’t trust myself to shoot him at this
distance, a few more steps would be enough.
been played, but you were never our target. It was your daughter. She
inherited it all - all your talents, the sensitive nature and the
telepathy. We nurtured it, certainly. But we gave her back to you the
first time and after your dead we’ll send her back to your wife and
no one will be any the wiser… And we couldn’t have done it
Like a marionette I pulled the gun from my pocket and held it in
front of me. His expression barely changed except his smile widened
to one of delight. Even when I pulled the trigger and left a third
eye in his forehead the smile stayed there.
a voice, his voice echoed in the room.
bravo. Good shot! We really didn’t think that you had it in you.
Your journey is nearly complete. Run along and find your daughter
dropped the gun, almost blinded by the fear soaked tears. I ran from
the ballroom nearly skidding on the blood. My only thought was to get
Rose out of there, he was wrong –I could still do this. I could
still rescue her.
butler came out of nowhere, slamming me against the wall. Without any
effort at all, he had me by the throat, lifting me up, choking the
life out of me as if I was a child. I clawed at his face, kicked him
as hard as I could, but nothing moved him, he felt no pain. The
darkness climbed my limbs, up my spine, weighing me down, dragging me
play nice now.” The voice came from
behind the butler and he immediately let me go and fell to his knees.
Standing there was Rose. No, she wasn’t standing at all, her feet
weren’t touching the ground, she was hovering a foot above it. She
was still wearing her ‘Ok Kitty’ pajama’s that she went missing
in. My angel, my Rose. But she looked at me and her eyes were black
nicely and run.”
She said in Woosten’s voice.