The Haunter and the Haunted #6

The Haunter and the Haunted #5

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Chapter 6: Hellhounds

A stone’s throw from the last crime scene, stood ‘Roastee Wings’, a restaurant popular among visitors. Today, Max was one of them. Seated at the extreme south end, he munched his food slowly. Reflecting on the past events, he wished to be left alone. Unfortunately, his wish was not to be granted as a man approached him. Knocking on his table, Graham asked politely,” can I please join you?” Taking off his hood, he heaved a deep sigh and simply gestured to the chair opposite him. As if he had the words on the tip of his tongue, Graham blasted immediately he took his seat, “what’s your problem? You left your hotel, turned off your cellphone. I’ve been worried sick.” Sarcastically, Max retorted, “ohhh!!! I feel so bad for doing that. Not to worry, I don’t die easy. I’ve just been busy.”

Frowning like an old monkey denied a banana, Graham continued, “that’s not what I heard. How do you think I found you? I heard you’ve been hanging out with Bridget lately. You’re no kid but listen to me carefully. Be very careful with that—” “Enough already!!! So you’ve got someone spying on me. Don’t interfere in my business”, Max interrupted, banging his hand on the table. “You can think what you want. I should’ve never called you here. Maybe Matt was right after all”, Graham admitted. Getting up, Max shot him a vicious look and dropped some cash on the table. Before he could leave, Graham grabbed hold of his hand and whispered, “meet me here tomorrow at this time. There’s something you must know. Son, Karma is coming for me. See you later at the Mayor’s. Bye!”

Intense as the atmosphere was in the Mayor’s office, Matt seemed rather amused. Graham continually stared as his friend, suspecting he was up to some mischief. Max stood by the window, staring into space. Walking in, the first question the Mayor threw was, “what the hell is going on in my town? Texas’ governor is on my neck” Looking round for an answer but getting none, she demanded, “is anyone going to answer me?” This time, Max commented, “ma’am, I can’t explain it! It seems like the killer is always a step ahead of us. It’s getting frustrating. It feels so strange, you know. Nevertheless, I’ll give it my best. However, do well to caution your sheriff, he has a big mouth”. The Mayor giggled and was about to say something but didn’t get the chance as Matt broke in rudely, “hey boy! Who do you think you are? Is it my fault people always die around you?” Graham sensed danger and tried holding Max back but was too late. Max was on Matt like a cat on a mouse, cursing under his breath. Pulling Max off Matt was no easy task as Graham called for help. The Mayor just looked on helplessly, screaming to no avail. After they were separated, Max barked, “enough of your nonsense!!! I’ve been wanting to do this for a longtime. Don’t ever talk about me in that manner. Ever again!!!” His eyes swollen and his uniform soaked in his own blood, fuming Matt yelled, “you should’ve continued. We all know you’re a psychopath. Heard it runs in the family”. Ignoring him, Max looked apologetically at the Mayor, mouthing, “it had to be done. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of much help. I’m going back to DC for good, this time. Thanks for trusting me.” And he departed angrily.

“Where am I? What is this emptiness in my soul?” Opening his eyes, Max found himself in the porch of his family house. Suddenly, a voice he recognised called to him, “Max, why did you let us die?! You couldn’t save us. You’re a monster!” Staring at his deceased sisters, he cried for help.

Jumping from his bed, he realised it was a nightmare. Sweating profusely, he wept in anguish as watery snort flowed from his nose. Few minutes later, he noticed a shadow in the background and he reached for his pistol. “Who’s there?!” He demanded. “Take it easy. It’s Bridget!” And she came out of the shadows. Heaving a sigh of relief, he stared at her beautiful face and asked, “what are you doing here? I’d have shot you, you know.” “No, you wouldn’t have. Sorry I startled you. Came in few minutes before you woke up, your door was open. Heard about your fight with Matt, just wanted to make sure you were fine.” Smiling sheepishly now, he replied, “I’m much better now. Thanks love. Excuse me please!” After few minutes on the phone, he explained, “I’ve got an impromptu meeting with Graham downstairs in a few. Hope you don’t mind?!” Getting up to leave, she said, “nope! I understand. You’re a workaholic. So I will be back later. Bye love.” Managing a mirthless smile, Max nodded.

Graham looked grave as he glared at Max. He seemed older than his age. He started solemnly, “son, I’m going to be frank. I know Matt is a pain in the ass. But you had no right to do what you did.” “Well, he had it coming though”, he replied. “Oh yeah! I hope you’re satisfied now?” Quiet now, Max cooed, “actually, I don’t! I feel so bad. Do you think he’ll accept my apology?” “Well, he is a hothead but I think he’ll. Make sure you do that before you leave town”, Graham advised. “Yes sir! What is it you were going to tell me?” Max asked. “Never mind son, it’s no longer relevant. Please try to reconsider leaving Texas. We need you here; hell, I need you. Give it a thought. I’ll see you around”. Patting him on the shoulder, the old police chief proceeded to take his leave.

Driving back home, Graham noticed a car tailing him. He took a different road and the car followed. After going some distance, he stopped the car abruptly. Seeing the other car slow down, Cherry-sized goose bumps covered his body. Looking round now, he noticed he was on a dark abandoned alley. Turning on his siren, he took out his gun and got out of the vehicle. Feigning boldness, he beckoned to the driver of the other car to come out. “Oh it’s you!” He breathed as he recognised the driver. All of a sudden, the headlights came on…”Stop!!!” Graham yelled as the car crashed into him. That was the last thing he saw as everything faded into pitch darkness.

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