|Note: This story is a part of a larger series of short stories and flash fiction. You can find these stories on the Oubliette home page.|
“Agent Rodriguez! You need to see this!”
Owen shouted from the basement of the Wellington farmhouse. Mara did not answer but the sound of her footfalls on the floor above him told him that she was on her way. The large red pentagram on the floor of the basement surprised him as he walked down the stairs. At first, he was not sure what it was because of the poor lighting in the basement. As he shown his flashlight on it, it became obvious what it was.
Not wanting to disturb potential evidence, he took his time to walk around the circle. Mara came down the stairs and stopped halfway. Her eyes widened and her face went pale.
Owen asked, “What the hell have these kids been doing?”
Mara pulled her phone from her pocket. As she dialed a number, “I hope it isn’t what I think it is.”
After a few seconds with the phone to her ear, she spoke, “Hey Travis, do you have a moment… Great, I’m going to send you some photos. Tell me if this is for real… Thanks.”
As Mara began snapping photos of the pentagram with her phone, Owen asked, “That picture you showed Mr. Wakefield, where did you get that? It was really convincing.”
“Forensics has a program that can pull the image of a spirit from a photograph or video. It also figures out if it is fake or from a ghost hoax app. From that, it was a matter of having someone use photoshop.”
“I am impressed.”
“What they do is amazing. I wish I had access to some of this stuff in my last job.”
“What was that?”
“I can’t tell you just yet.”
“Can’t or won’t? Which brings up, why didn’t you tell me about it before the interview?”
Mara turned to look at Owen. As she was about to say something, her phone chimed. She looked down at the screen. Her hand lowered and her face became a scowl. The stream of words that came from her mouth surprised Owen. The last time he heard language like this was when he was in boot camp. When she finished, she looked at Owen. Her face became slightly red.
“Sorry about that. I forgot.”
Owen shrugged, “I’ve heard worse. I was warned that you could be colorful with your choice of words.”
Mara raised an eyebrow, “Who said that?”
“Stewart? Like he has room to talk. I’m surprised he hasn’t been hit with a harassment allegation.”
“So, what are we looking at?”
Mara shifted her attention from Owen to the circle, “It a simple summoning circle. Looks like one of the members of that group is a witch.”
“I see. I am to assume this is a bad thing?”
“The circle? Yes, it acts like a beacon to spirits and they’re used for séances for that reason. The problem with them is there is no control… no protections. If I remember correctly, it can open a door for spirits to cross into this world.”
“How does this relate to the murders?”
Owen started walking around the room and started looking in corners as if he was searching for something.
“I don’t know. It’s probably nothing.”
“Mr. Wakefield said that they abandoned Mr. Wilson here and then he murdered a couple of people. That is one hell of a coincidence.”
Mara walked into the other room and began a search in there, “I agree but with what we know, none of this makes sense.”
“Why is that?”
“There is no way that a child spirit is powerful enough to influence someone to kill even after going through a door. Not even a malicious entity can do that though it would be able to attach and travel with someone.”
Owen squatted in front of the stairs and studied them, “Well, you are the expert.”
Mara chuckled, “I’m no expert. Not even the demonologists can say that. Spirits are extremely complicated.”
Owen stood up and walked to the side of stairs and got on his hand and knees. He reached under the stairs and pulled something from under it. He walked into the other room and approached Mara. He tossed it to her. Mara caught the object and looked at it. It was a camera, a Sentinel Mini. She opened the camera’s battery compartment and pulled a memory card from it.
She smiled as she showed Owen the card, “Let’s get some popcorn because it’s movie time.”