Fallwell Paranormal Research
Book 2: Case# Jack's Case

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Chapter 2: In Dark

"Mellie? Can we come in?" Van asked as he gently knocked on the bedroom door.

"Don't call me that!" A teenage girl's voice screeched in response.

"I've got a doctor here, one of the paranormal researchers. He wants to talk to you." Van called through the door.

"I'm not a doctor. I'm just someone who was haunted, once." Kerry said to Van quietly.

"Go away! Leave me alone!" Malika snarled venomously.

"I don't think she wants to talk to you. I think that she thinks that if she just ignores it, it'll go away." Van said honestly.

Kerry thought for a moment, then cautiously asked, "Do you think she might be more willing to talk to someone her own age?"

"I don't know. Maybe." Van said uncertainly.

"Well, since she doesn't want to talk, would you like to give me the grand tour and show me where things have happened?" Kerry asked hopefully.

"You're not going to try and make Malika talk to you?" Van asked with surprise.

"If she refuses to talk, there's not much that I can do." Kerry said simply.

"Well, I guess, if you want, I can show you the basement. We don't go down there much, so not too much has happened, that I know of, but there's some really creepy, weird stuff down there, if you'd like to see it." Van offered cautiously.

"That sounds just like the sort of thing that I'm here to see." Kerry said with a smile.

Van returned the smile, then quietly said, "Come on, I'll show you where it is."

* * * * *

"Watch your step." Van said as he led the way down the rickety, uneven wooden stairs.

Kerry took the flashlight off his belt and turned it on. Even though there were bare lightbulbs strung intermittently from the rafters, throughout the basement, the lighting was still dim enough to be a hinderance.

"All the laundry stuff and the furnace is over there, but the creepy stuff is back this way." Van said as he started walking into an even darker part of the basement.

"Are these things that came with the house?" Kerry asked as he cautiously followed, walking in a slight crouch to keep from hitting his head on the rafters.

"Yeah. I was little when we moved here, so I don't remember too much about it. But I think that when we moved in, there was some stuff left in the house, so my parents took everything that they didn't want to use upstairs and put it down here, in case they needed it someday." Van explained as he turned to the left.

One side of the basement seemed to be stacked to the ceiling with boxes and discarded furnishings.

"I guess because my parents grew up poor, they don't like getting rid of things unless they're broken and can't be fixed." Van explained.

"Yes. I can understand that. I suppose that if there had been things left in my house before I moved in, I might have considered doing the same thing. Not only am I reluctant to get rid of things that I might be able to use later. But there's also the sense of having authentic historical pieces that belong with the house. If you're going to be living in an old New England style home, it should have some touches from that time period." Kerry said thoughtfully as he slowly moved his flashlight to examine the collection of boxes and various other things.

"I don't know how much is from that far back. I think most of this stuff came from the sixties." Van said frankly.

As Kerry continued, he couldn't help but agree with Van's assessment. Most of the things that he was seeing were probably purchased in the past fifty to sixty years.

"The reason I wanted you to see this stuff is because... it's creepy. I mean, yeah, it's old and from another time, but look at how much of it's black and red." Van said cautiously.

"And gold." Kerry said with a slight nod.

"So, was this normal for back then?" Van asked uncertainly.

"I don't know for sure. I was born in 1980." Kerry said frankly, then continued, "But I'm guessing that you're right. I don't know if this has anything to do with the haunting, but it does seem strange. With their choice of color scheme, this might have been a Satanic church... or a whorehouse."

"Could be both." Van said frankly.

Kerry smiled at him and said, "I suppose it could be."

"Well, that's all I wanted to show you. There wasn't anything... you know, in your face, like one of those satanic star things or an upside down cross or anything like that. I just thought it was weird, is all." Van said shyly.

"Thank you for showing me, Van. When I have my briefing with the rest of the team, I'll be sure to mention it to them. There's a chance that it might turn out to be significant." Kerry said honestly.

Van was frozen in place, and seemed to be on the verge of speaking.

Thanks to Kerry's experience with his own children, he simply waited for the teenage boy to work up the courage to say whatever was on his mind.

After a long silent moment, Van quietly said, "Thanks for listening to me... no one else really does."

Although a part of Kerry warned him against the action, a greater part of him wanted to do everything in his power to help the boy before him. Kerry stepped forward and put one arm around Van to give him a gentle hug before quietly saying, "I think everyone feels that way at some point in their life and it can be really tough. But if you ever need someone to listen, I'll do my best."

Van returned the hug for a moment, then whispered, "Thanks."

Kerry released the teenager from the hug, then said, "Let's go upstairs and see if Alana and the others have found anything."

"Yeah." Van quietly agreed, then led the way across the basement, back to the stairs.

* * * * *

When Kerry and Van reached the top of the stairs, Kerry led the way to the dining room. No one was in there, but there was quite a bit of equipment set up in the room.

"What is all this stuff?" Van asked in a whisper.

"I really don't know about most of the stuff in here. But if you'd like to try out the K2 meter, we could walk around where things have happened." Kerry said encouragingly.

"Yeah! Sure!" Van said happily.

Kerry took the K2 meter off his belt, then handed it to Van.

"Don't worry about the green readings. They're going to happen now and then, in just about any house. And sometimes you'll get a yellow reading when you get close to an electrical conduit or a motor, you know, like the blower on the furnace. So, if the thing reacts, don't automatically think that it's a ghost." Kerry said instructively.

"Okay. I got that." Van said seriously.

"I'm also carrying an infrared thermometer. If you feel a change in temperature, you can ask me to take a reading or, if you'd rather, just ask for the thermometer and you can take the reading for yourself." Kerry said quietly.

"Yeah. Okay." Van responded in the same quiet tone and seemed to be trying to appear serious and professional.

"I think we're ready. Go slow. If you get an elevated reading, stop and try to isolate it." Kerry said encouragingly.

"Where should we go?" Van asked uncertainly.

"Charity is doing general readings of the whole house, so why don't you take us to where you think we might find some activity?" Kerry asked thoughtfully.

"Stuff happens everywhere around here but, if you don't mind, I'd like to check out my room, first." Van said honestly.

"Lead the way." Kerry said with a smile.

* * * * *

As Kerry walked into the bedroom, he was reminded of when his son had been Van's age. Although the style of the bedroom was significantly more cheerful than Mike's had been, there was enough similarity for Kerry to be able to draw a parallel.

"Look at this." Van said in a whisper from in front of a closed closet door.

Kerry broke out of his mental wandering and hurried to Van's side.

"Does this mean that there's something in there?" Van asked nervously.

Kerry saw the steady 'red' reading on the K2 meter and considered what that might mean.

"Sometimes there's a perfectly natural explanation. If you'll hand me the meter, I'm going to open the door." Kerry said carefully, doing his best to sound calm and assured.

Although there was a part of Van that didn't want to appear to be afraid, there was a greater part that wanted to feel safe. So, after handing Kerry the K2 meter, Van took a few steps back.

Kerry took the K2 meter firmly in hand, then did his best to appear calm as he opened the closet door.

The stench that greeted him was a surprise.

His first impression of the smell was that of rotting flesh. Somehow, he was able to maintain his calm facade and carry on, carefully moving the K2 meter to try and determine if the 'phenomenon' had any definable boundaries.

Although it might have simply been a trick of his eyes, or a product of his overstimulated imagination, Kerry got the sense that the darkness in the closet was darker than it had any right to be.

"Van, would you take the flashlight off my belt and turn it on? I want to see if the readings change if we shine some light in there." Kerry said in a low voice.

"Um, yeah." Van said reluctantly, then moved hesitantly to Kerry's side.

"Go ahead." Kerry encouraged as he divided his attention between the unyielding darkness in the depths of the closet and the still peaking readings on his K2 meter.

As Van turned the beam of the flashlight into the closet, Kerry jumped when he saw movement.

Something small and pitch black, about four feet tall, appeared to have moved out of the flashlight's beam.

He only saw it for an instant, because just as soon as the thing moved, Van let out a yelp of fear as he started backing away, taking the flashlight with him.

In this instance, Kerry felt that discretion was the better part of valor and followed Van out of the room.

* * * * *

"Alana, we've got activity in Van's room." Kerry said quickly into his walkie-talkie.

"Do you need help?" Derek immediately responded.

"No." Kerry began to answer, but was interrupted as Alana ran out of another bedroom and into the hall.

"What's going on?" Alana asked seriously. Kerry noticed that Dr. Osmani was standing, stopped in her bedroom doorway, looking on with concern.

"Van and I were taking some readings of the areas where there is known activity. When he approached his closet, he had a sustained 'red' on the K2. I opened the door and there was a rotting smell. Since the closet was dark, I asked Van to shine the flashlight in. When he did, I saw something move." Kerry said carefully.

"Could you identify what you saw?" Alana asked cautiously.

"Not really. I just caught the slightest glimpse of it before it moved out of the light. But from what little I did see, I don't think it was a ghost."

"What do you think it was, then?" Van asked indignantly, then added, "I don't have evil midgets living in my closet."

"What I was saying is that I didn't get the sense that what I saw was a revenant, that's to say, the spirit of a person who was once alive. I think that this was... something else." Kerry explained carefully.

"In here?" Alana asked as she motioned toward Van's doorway.

Kerry nodded.

Alana led the way in, followed by Kerry and Van.

After a sweep of the room, with extra attention paid to the closet, Alana finally said, "Whatever was here must have gone."

"It'll be back." Van said with certainty.

Alana keyed her walkie-talkie, then said, "Everyone, let's meet in the dining room. It appears that the house is ready for us to get started."

"Do you mind if Van joins us?" Kerry asked hopefully.

"Sure. No problem." Alana said easily, then turned to Van and asked, "Are you interested in the paranormal?"

"I wasn't before. But I want to know what this thing is and what I can do to stop it." Van said in as brave a voice as he could muster.

"We'll see what we can do to help you with that." Alana assured him, then led the way out of the room.

* * * * *

Once everyone had taken seats around the dining room table, Alana asked, "Charity, were you able to come up with anything on the environmental sweep?"

"I encountered elevated EMF readings in every room of the house. Along with that, there were cold spots and rotting smells everywhere." Charity said frankly.

"What about carbon monoxide and radon?" Alana asked carefully.

"No. The EMF was the only environmental factor of concern to us." Charity said seriously.

"What's EMF?" Van asked Kerry quietly.

"Electromagnetic Frequencies. When they're too high, it can make normal people feel like they're being haunted, even when they're not." Kerry explained.

"But it's also been suggested that paranormal entities emit EMF, so we can't be sure if they're the cause or a side effect." Alana added, then asked Kerry, "Did you discover anything in your interviews?"

"Well, Malika didn't want to talk to me. Van told me about the things that Jack already told us, but on top of that, he also said that in the past few months, they've been having terrible nightmares." Kerry said seriously.

"Yes. Dr. Osmani mentioned that, too." Alana said thoughtfully.

"Van also took me down to the basement to show me the furnishings that were left in the house, before they moved in. I don't know if they have anything to do with this, but the color and style of what's down there automatically made me think 'Satanic church'." Kerry said frankly.

"Or whorehouse." Van added quietly.

Kerry smiled at the comment, but didn't dispute it.

"Although I'm ready to get this investigation under way, I suppose that it would be irresponsible of us not to go for the low hanging fruit, first." Alana said simply.

"Excuse me, but what does that mean?" Kerry asked curiously.

"She means that there's a young teenage girl in the house. So the first thing we need to look at is if this is a poltergeist situation." Derek explained.

"If we get her out of the house and the activity stops, then we have our answer." Alana said with a nod.

"Do you really think that all of this could be from a poltergeist?" Kerry asked dubiously.

"The range of poltergeist activity is such that it can mimic other types of hauntings. Although I can't say that I've ever heard of one manifesting in this way before, so far I haven't seen anything that would eliminate that possibility." Alana said carefully.

"What would you think if I invited Lorra and Toni over to talk to Malika and invite her back to my house? They could talk to her about what she's experienced and, at the same time, get her out of here so that we can see if the activity decreases." Kerry suggested thoughtfully.

"Do you think Teresa would mind driving them over here?" Alana asked cautiously.

"I don't think so. She'll probably appreciate having an excuse to get out of the house." Kerry said honestly.

"I think you're right. If she doesn't mind bringing the girls over, this could be a way of killing two birds with one stone." Alana said with a nod.

"Have you had a chance to scout camera locations?" Derek asked cautiously.

"No. The interview went on longer than I expected. But from everything that Mr. and Dr. Osmani told me, as well as from what I've read in Jack's notes, I don't think camera placement should be much of an issue. But whatever else we do, let's make sure to get a camera in Van's room, focused on the closet. That's the first hint in all of this of an apparition." Alana said firmly.

"Are you going to want to do EVPs?" Charity asked cautiously.

"Electronic Voice Phenomena." Kerry whispered to Van.

"Yes. But don't take a lot of time with that. So far, there haven't been any reports of anything auditory, it's all been visual and physical." Alana said seriously.

"Do you smell that?" Charity asked as she looked around.

Kerry took the infrared thermometer off his belt, and started taking readings at various points around the room.

"I'm showing a twenty degree drop in temperature in that corner." Kerry said firmly.

Alana was immediately out of her chair, with her K2 meter in hand.

"Derek, start recording." Alana said quickly, then to the corner she asked, "Who are you?"

Van fumbled to get the K2 meter off Kerry's belt, then started moving it around his immediate area.

"What are you doing here?" Alana asked firmly.

"It's reading thirty five degrees fahrenheit." Kerry said in a low, informative tone.

"What do you want?" Alana asked as she zeroed in on the spiking EMF readings.

"Be careful." Charity cautioned.

"What is your name?" Alana demanded as she stopped all movement.

There was a moment of silence, then the door on the other side of the room slammed closed.

"I guess it didn't like being questioned." Alana said as she moved the K2 meter around, not finding any elevated readings at all.

"Derek, did you get anything?" Charity asked cautiously.

"Just give me a minute." Derek said as he worked at lightning speed to get the audio file off the recorder he had used.

"Kerry, go ahead and call your wife. I don't think we can do anything else until Malika is out of here." Alana said frankly.

"Why is that?" Van asked Kerry cautiously.

"Because, we can't really fight it until we know what it is that we're fighting. If it turns out to be related to Malika, then we'll do one thing. If it's not, then we'll do something else." Kerry explained as best he could.

Van nodded slowly, then thought to ask, "You're not going to make me go, too, are you?"

"If you want to get away from this house, you can go to my house with my family. But if you want to stay here and help us out, then no one is going to ask you to leave." Kerry assured him.

"I'll stay. I wanna help." Van said firmly.

Kerry smiled at his decision, then took out his cellphone to call his wife.

* * * * *

"Hi, honey, it's me." Kerry said gently.

"Are you on your way home? How did your meeting go?" Teresa asked curiously.

"No. We had to go out on an unexpected investigation." Kerry said carefully, then cautiously asked, "By any chance, is Lorra visiting, tonight?"

Teresa chuckled at the question, then said, "If she weren't, I'd probably have to call a paranormal team to investigate."

Kerry smiled at the response, then cautiously asked, "Would you mind driving the girls over here to the investigation site? We've got a little girl here, close to their age, who doesn't feel comfortable talking with adults. I was thinking that Toni and Lorra might like the chance to contribute to the investigation."

"It's not too far out is it?" Teresa asked cautiously.

"We're just on the other side of town. It should be about ten or fifteen minutes away." Kerry assured her.

"Just give me the address and I'll bring them right over." Teresa said easily.

"One more thing. We'll have to wait and see how the girls get along, but if things go well, it would be a really big help if you could take Malika back to the house with you, maybe for a sleepover." Kerry said seriously.

"Well, since there's no school tomorrow, I don't see a problem with that. In fact, it sounds like the perfect opportunity to start a fire and make s'mores. I'm sure the girls will be able to find a nice scary movie to watch and we'll make a night of it." Teresa said happily.

"That sounds nice. Go ahead and tell Lorra and Toni your plans, so they'll have another good reason to invite Malika to spend the night." Kerry said with a smile.

There was a long moment of silence, then Teresa quietly said, "I think they might have already heard. I can hear them trying very hard to be quiet, in the next room."

Kerry laughed, easily able to envision his daughter and her best friend 'trying' to be quiet.

After giving Teresa directions to his current location, he disconnected the call and put away his cell phone.

"Is everything alright?" Van asked cautiously, from his side.

"Yeah. I think it will be." Kerry said with a contented smile at the thought of his family.

* * * * *

"Did you get anything on the audio analysis?" Alana asked cautiously.

"Not a thing. Not even a whisper." Derek told her simply.

"Teresa is on her way over." Kerry said seriously as he realized that the meeting was now back in session.

"Good. Then, if no one has anything else to add, I think it's time for us to get things set up." Alana said decisively.

"Have you decided where you want the cameras stationed?" Derek asked cautiously.

"I'd like one in Van's room, focused on the closet. I'll leave the rest to you. Since there haven't been any significant 'hot spots' indicated, I think we should just go for optimum coverage." Alana said seriously.

"Kerry, would you help me with the cameras?" Derek asked as he got up from his place at the table.

"Do you mind if Van helps?" Kerry asked curiously.

"No problem. In fact, if you show him what to do, we might think about recruiting him the next time we're called out on a big job." Derek said with a smile.

Van looked at Kerry with surprise, not sure if Derek were being serious.

"I don't see any reason why not. When this is all over, if you decide that you'd like to help us investigate the paranormal, I'm sure Alana would appreciate another person that she can call on to help out." Kerry said frankly.

"What do I need to do?" Van asked cautiously.

"Each one of these little messenger bags should have everything you'll need to set up one camera. The bags with red yarn on the handles are wireless. The yellow handles are DVR. Leave the others alone, they're specialty cameras that I'll set up myself. We'll walk through the house and I'll put down a masking tape mark where the cameras are to be located; an 'X' for a remote camera and a square for DVR. When we're done with the walk through, we'll all go back and set them up." Derek explained.

"Do we need to bring anything with us, now?" Van asked cautiously.

"Just masking tape." Derek said, then handed a roll each to Kerry and Van.

* * * * *

After the walkthrough, Kerry and Van lugged multiple messenger bags throughout the house. Kerry demonstrated the setup of the first wireless camera to Van, but stood back and watched, occasionally offering suggestions, with the remainder.

"What do we do now?" Van asked as they walked back toward the dining room.

"That's up to Alana. She's in charge. Sometimes she'll shut off the power to the house, then have everyone go to a different room and try to collect EVPs using the voice recorders. But other times she'll have us investigate as teams, walking through the different areas." Kerry said honestly.

"So I might have to sit alone in the dark?" Van asked hesitantly.

"No, Van. I won't let that happen." Kerry assured him.

An expression of relief crossed Van's face as they walked into the dining room.

* * * * *

"When are we expecting Teresa?" Alana asked Kerry curiously.

"Any minute." Kerry said honestly.

Alana nodded thoughtfully, then said, "Good. That will give Derek a few minutes to get everything tuned and tweaked to his liking. While he's doing that, I think that the rest of us should dig through the research that Jack gave us and see if we can find anything that might have a bearing on this case. I've skimmed through it and I haven't noticed anything, but there still might be some obscure fact that we need to be aware of."

"You up to some studying?" Kerry asked Van with a grin.

"You mean that you still have to study, even after you get out of school?" Van asked anxiously.

Kerry smiled at the question, then said, "I guess that depends on how inquisitive you are. If you're willing to let other people investigate and tell you what they think the facts are, I suppose you're free to do that. But if you want to discover things for yourself, then yes, you might have to do some studying. But it's different when it's your choice and not something that you're expected to do."

As Van considered Kerry's response, a knock on the door interrupted them.

"I'll get it. It's probably Teresa and the girls." Kerry said easily, then turned to Van and asked, "Do you want to meet my family?"

"Sure." Van said with surprise at being invited.

* * * * *

"Daddy!" Zoe crowed when Kerry opened the door.

"How are you doing, pumpkin?" Kerry asked as he hugged his youngest daughter.

"I'm sorry that took so long. Trying to herd three excited girls into the car took longer than I thought it would." Teresa chuckled.

"Come on in. Everyone, this is Van, he lives here." Kerry said as he kept one arm around Zoe and guided her inside.

"Van, I'd like to introduce my wife, Teresa, my daughter, Toni, her friend, Lorra and, of course, my youngest, Zoe." Kerry said as he indicated each, in turn.

"It's nice to meet you." Van said shyly.

"How old are you?" Lorra asked Van with obvious interest.

"Fifteen." Van answered cautiously.

"I'm almost fourteen." Lorra said with a grin.

Kerry and Teresa tried to restrain their smiles at Lorra's not too subtle interrogation.

Hoping to get things back on track, Kerry seriously said, "We're doing an investigation, here. Van is helping us. His sister, Malika, hasn't wanted to talk to us about what's going on around here. I was hoping that you girls might be able to help us out."

"What do we have to do?" Toni asked immediately, dutifully trying to ignore Lorra's interest in Van.

"Just talk to Malika and see if you can get her to open up about what's been going on. Then, if you get along, invite her over to our house so that the rest of us can proceed with the investigation." Kerry told his daughter seriously.

"Yeah. Mom said that we might have a sleepover." Toni confirmed.

"If you find out that Malika is interested, make sure that you ask her parents for permission. We haven't talked to them about it, yet." Kerry told her seriously.

Toni nodded that she would.

"Van, would you mind taking the girls up and introducing them to your sister?" Kerry asked hopefully.

"Yeah. Sure." Van said as he glanced uncertainly at Lorra.

Kerry watched as Van led the procession of three girls to the staircase.

* * * * *

"Is it something bad?" Teresa asked her husband, once they were alone.

"Yes. As bad as our situation was, this is much worse." Kerry said frankly.

"Is it going to be safe for you?" Teresa asked with concern.

"I'm confident that Alana and the team will do everything in their power to make sure that we all get through this. I can't really promise much more than that." Kerry said honestly.

"Do they really need for you to be here?" Teresa asked anxiously.

"I need for me to be here. After all the help that Alana and the team gave us, I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror if I didn't help another family in need." Kerry said frankly.

After a moment to consider his words, Teresa pulled her husband into her arms and gave him a brief but heartfelt kiss to show her pride in him.

* * * * *

"How did it go?" Kerry asked when he saw Van walking down the stairs, alone.

"She let them in." Van said simply.

"Then they're probably on their way to becoming good friends." Kerry said with a smile.

"That Lorra girl is a little creepy, isn't she?" Van asked hesitantly.

Kerry laughed at the question, then explained, "I think that she thinks you're cute. She's just at that age where she doesn't know how to let you know that she's interested."

Van looked at Kerry with surprise at the revelation.

Teresa smiled at the expression, knowing what it meant, then said, "Don't worry, Van. I think that the most she's likely to do is try to get you to notice her. And at her age, she might not even have the courage to do that much."

"That's right." Kerry said with a loving smile at his wife, then added, "Just don't hold it against her if she's a little goofy around you. Try to think of it as a compliment."

"I've never had a girl interested in me before." Van said uncertainly.

"Then this will be good practice for you." Kerry said with a smile. "You're just about at that age where this is going to become an everyday fact of life."

Van seemed to be overwhelmed by Kerry's words as he stood, frozen in place.

* * * * *

Thundering footsteps on the stairs alerted Kerry, Teresa and Van to the approaching herd of excited girls.

"Malika says that she's afraid here and wants to go to our house. Can we go now?" Zoe asked hopefully.

Kerry fixed his gaze on Malika and cautiously asked, "Did you ask your parents?"

"Yeah. My mom thought it was a good idea." Malika assured him.

Kerry then turned to his wife and asked, "Are you ready to go?"

"Yes. I have the feeling that we're about to begin our own adventure." Teresa said with a grin.

"I need to talk to Toni, right now. If you want to go on ahead, she'll be out in a minute." Kerry said seriously.

"Shotgun!" Toni said immediately.

"Aww, man!" Zoe grumbled.

"She called it first." Teresa chuckled, then started guiding the girls toward the front door.

* * * * *

"Did Malika tell you anything about what's been happening here?" Kerry asked his daughter quietly.

Toni glanced at Van uncertainly, then said, "Yeah. She said that they're all getting sick and cut and stuff. And she said that she really wants to go to our house because she's been having really scary dreams, here."

"Okay. If she tells you anything else that you think I need to know about, just call me. Thanks for doing this." Kerry told his daughter sincerely.

"Thanks for letting me help." She said in return, then gave her father a quick hug.

"If anything happens that worries you, call me right away." Kerry told his daughter quietly.

"I will. I love you." Toni whispered in return.

* * * * *

After seeing Toni out, and watching the car pull away, Van turned to Kerry and quietly said, "I'm kind of jealous."

"Of what?" Kerry asked curiously as he guided Van to walk with him, back into the house.

"You and your kids. You're so close. Me and my family was never like that." Van said thoughtfully.

"Although we may express ourselves differently than your family does, I think we probably have the same feelings for each other." Kerry said as they slowly walked toward the dining room.

"Maybe. I guess it'd be nice if they showed it, sometimes." Van quietly muttered.

"When my son was your age, he couldn't stand it when I'd hug him or told him that I loved him." Kerry said with a fond smile at the memory, then continued, "Parents don't always know how best to express their feelings. And, in some cases, the only example they have to follow is how they were raised. I think you're probably old enough now that you can try to understand that and cut them a little slack."

"Yeah. I'll try." Van said quietly.

As they were walking into the dining room, side by side, Kerry quietly said, "Good. Now, I guess it's time for this investigation to really begin."

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes:

Every time I encounter a new story from MM, I find myself becoming interested and maybe even finding myself actually caring and wanting the best for them.

This house and its inhabitants, other than the family, seem to be quite a nasty sort. I don't know if there is more than one, but It really does feel very dark indeed. I hesitate to use the word evil, but that is the exact word that jumps out at me.

We have already had injuries involved with the people living in the house, as well as the investigators. I do hope things can be resolved satisfactorily.

I sure am glad to see more of our psychic investigators. I enjoyed them in the short story we read earlier, and this new problem seems to be coming along very nicely, if that is the right word.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher