Crispin Falls

Harvey Moss is a P.I that works within the realms of the Supernatural. But times are hard for Harvey as the work has dried up and he's addicted to demon blood.
To escape his demons (literally) Harvey accepts a job to investigate the mysterious deaths of Magician's assistants in the rural town of Crispin Falls, the very place where Harvey was born and raised. The very place that Harvey has been trying to escape from his whole life...

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4. Madame Shae

 

Hank talked shit as I drove steady. Pulling twenty years into a fifteen-minute drive wasn’t easy but somehow he managed to pull it off. I heard about his wife. Some broad that I vaguely remembered from school. His kid. A dead ringer of his old man by all accounts. Poor kid. I sat silent and nodded while he went on about the dinners his wife did and how he was envious of me leaving but would never leave himself. Hank loved it here. Despite all its freaky shit which got Hank scared, he still loved it here. More fool him. I got the sense that Hank had been roped into being a cop by his dad. He seemed to lose all enthusiasm when he spoke about his job.

 

“Why don’t you quit”, I offered up, taking a left at the quarry and wondering if the ghouls still haunted it.

 

“Quit what?”

 

“The force”

 

“What quit being a cop?”

 

“You can do what you like Hank. You owe this place nothing. Quit and find something that you want to do with your life”

 

“I couldn’t do that”, Hank said fiddling at the case file on his lap.

 

“And what about you?” he said

 

“What about me?”

 

“Why don’t you quit?”

 

“Why would I quit?’

 

“Because you seem like you hate it Harvey. And I don’t blame you one bit. After leaving this place, why would you go and seek out all the stuff that we…”

 

We drove in silence for a moment as the car joined a road, which was a sea of gravel. Tires kicked up a fuss.

 

“I don’t hate it”, I said

 

“But you’re not happy”

 

“I haven’t got a lot to be happy about at the moment Hank”

 

“Then fine something that makes you happy Harv. Or heck even find someone. Before its too late”

 

I turned the Buick onto the farmland that used to be owned by the peacock brothers. The little mailbox with their name scrawled onto it confirmed that they still did.

 

“Peacock’s don’t like anyone being on their property”, Hank said

 

“You’re a cop. I am an investigator. We can do wherever our investigation takes us. Besides, they let the gypsies folk stay on their land”

 

“They have an agreement with them. See even the Peacocks are scared of the gypsies and us two fools are going to go and talk to them. We’re crazy. This is crazy Harv”

 

“Just quit your whining for a second. I know what I’m doing”

 

We past along the fields. Along the cows. The pigs. All snorts and mud. I spotted a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield. It wore a big grey overcoat and a blue hat that was ridden with holes. Straw poked out as arms and legs. I remembered the stories of it coming alive when I was a kid. They were just stories. I had never seen it. But that didn’t meant the stories weren’t true.

I caught Hank studying me out of the corner of my eye. He wanted to ask me something.

 

“You going to dance around that question on your lips all day Hank?”

 

“It’s just that…”

 

“What?”

 

“Are you going to see her while you’re in town?”

 

“Who?”

 

“You know who, Harv”

 

“I have no reason to see that woman, Hank”

 

“But Hank she’s been asking about you, you know how small this town is. Word got round that I had wrote you that letter. Word is going to get round again that you’re back. You’re going to have to see her sometime”

 

“Hank. I don’t have to see anyone. I’m here to help you with this case and then I’m back out of here”

 

“But she’s been asking about you. I think she wants to see you real bad Harv”

 

I slammed on the brakes. We both went forward. The pigs in the field looked up. Then carried on rolling in mud. I looked at Hank straight in the eyes. Pointed a finger at him.

 

“Hank are you listening to me?”

 

“Yep”, he said nodding slightly. Lips jittering.

 

“That woman is dead to me you here. I never want to even hear about her again. And if she even gets a whiff of where I’m at and comes looking for me then I’m out of here. Case unsolved or solved. You got me Hank?”

 

“But she’s your mother Harvey”

 

I slammed my foot back on the gas. “My mother is dead to me”

 

The camp were the gypsies were holed up was made up of five red tents and a few carts. Horses were tied to the wagons. It all sat in a large field that was at the back of the Peacock’s property.

A group of kids swarmed round the Buick like flies as we got out. Hank stood at the car. He looked around, getting all twitchy. Same old Hank.

 

“I’ve counted the wheels on that car”, I said striding through the kids, “So I know how many there are going to be when I get back”

 

They sniggered and I made my way deeper into the belly of the campsite. Hank followed me eventually. Bugs of some sort hit my face. Sure was hot. That sticky hot where even wearing something like a watch got on your last nerve. Maybe it was the blood. The hunger was back. The gnawing at the back of my head that went at it like a couple of teenage lovers whose parents were out. Sure could do with some blood right now. It had been two days. The longest I’ve been without the stuff for about six months. I thought about Vera. About drinking from her sweet veins. Made my skin crawl but my heart face at the same time. Well that was over now. And I’d have to deal with it. And all that came with it. Demon blood was dam right dangerous. Look what had happened because I was high from it. No, there was no going back. But being back in Crispin Falls certainly made me crave the good stuff a hell of a lot more. Picked a hell of a time to go cold turkey Harvey.

As we approached the centre of the camp men started to get out of their wagons and stop what they were doing to surround us. Most had beards. All had dark features with hair that matched the horses. They walked towards us. I stood tall. Didn’t want let these punks seeing any kind of fear from me. I didn’t fear them anyway.  Now warlocks. Fire breath and horns that could cut you in more ways than two. Now those gave me the jebbies.

 

“What you doing here?” asked one as he strolled up to me. Giving my clothes a once over. Probably had never seen something so fancy in his life. He’d probably only ever been in this dirty field.

 

“We’re on police business”, I said.

 

The gypsy came in my space. Breath like swamp. Pitted skin. “We don’t have any dealings with the police. And you aint no police anyway boy”

 

The group muttered their agreement. Hank said something that I couldn’t quite make out. Sounded something like us leaving it and heading out of here. He sure did need to grow a pair.

 

“I’m not no. But I’m here with Hank. Who I’m sure you know. And we are here on official police business so you be wise to get out of my face now and listen to what we got to say”, I said.

 

“What’s your name boy? If you on our property I got a right to know that”, he said stepping back a step at least.

 

“It’s Moss. Harvey Moss”

 

The crowd went silent. I noticed the camp looking at one another. A few nodding their heads. The horse’s grunts were the only noise. Another bug hit my cheek.

 

“She said you would come”

 

I smiled. “I take it by she, you mean Madame Shae”

 

“Yes, she warned that you might come”

 

“I need to see her. Can I see her please?”

“She is not to be disturbed. By anyone”, this bozo warned.

 

“I’m going to have to see her right away. So why don’t you go and get her from whatever wagon she’s holed up in. We don’t have all day here”

 

The crowd stirred up again. Hank shot me a look. As good as I was in a fight; I couldn’t take it on fifteen of them. Well I’d try if it came to it but the odds weren’t good.

 

“Shut up all of you”, a voice called from out of nowhere.

 

The crowd parted and an elderly woman stood behind them. Dressed all in long, flowing back. Orange beads hung from her thin neck. Her white hair dripped down from a black headscarf. She had a crow’s break with a hollow pair of grey eyes. Madame Shae.

 

“Silly boys and their squabbles”, she said.

 

“Madame Shae my name is...”

 

“I know who you are Harvey Moss”, she said approaching me, “Harvey Moss has come home after all these years. I am wondering why?”

 

“I need your help Madame Shae”

 

“Why would I private investigator so achieved as yourself need my help”

 

I looked at Hank and he shook his head. No he hadn’t told her I was a Private eye or that I was coming. I had come here today on a whim. On a half chance that she may be able to help me. Maybe Madame Shae was the real deal. I had met a few in my time. Real deals. The fortune-tellers that could not only tell you your fortune but all your dirty darkest little secrets. But most were frauds looking to make a quick buck. Time would tell if I had been right about Madame Shae.

 

“A few weeks ago. These murders started. The magician’s assistants. Burned alive on stage”

 

“We don’t concern ourselves with the town Mr Moss. Our business stays between us and here on this land. We are not interested in any conjurer of cheap tricks”

 

“But I am interested and I need your help”

 

The crowd looked at her. They would probably rip Hank and me apart if she asked them to. She held all the cards in this camp. She nodded and waved a hand towards Hank.

 

“You’re friend stays here. He does not believe. You come with me”

 

“Hank”, I said, “why don’t you go and wait in the car”

 

He didn’t need telling twice, carrying his podgy body out of the camp quicker than you could say silver dollar stack. I shook my head. It was lucky I did come back otherwise this case would never get solved.

I followed her into her tent and she drew the drapes behind us. Rug beneath our feet. Dying candles offered a little light.

 

“Why are you here Harvey Moss?”

 

We sat down on some sort of wicker chairs. Opposite ends of a small round table. She lit a match, which lit up another stumpy candle on the table.  A crystal ball sat in the middle. Solid black. Lifeless. There was nothing stirring from within. Not yet anyway. Tarot cards surrounded the ball. I caught glimpses of skeletons, snakes and other hoodoo shit I didn’t get. The edges were all turned up. Much used.

 

“You know why I’m here. Everyone in this town saw the first murder. Travis Daytona’s assistant. I want to see it too”

 

“That’s half the reason why you came and that’s what you tell your friend and yourself but what is the real reason you have come here today?”

 

I didn’t say anything. The candle flickered. Madame Shae stared back at me with eyes that looked into souls and found truth. No matter how shitty the waters of the soul were.

 

“I want to know how it all ends”, I said

 

“The end?”

 

“My end. I want to know all this ends. How I end up? When do I meet the maker?”

 

“In my experience. Men who know that truth turn into very dangerous men indeed. They have nothing to fear”

 

“Maybe I’m a very dangerous man already”

 

“You’re tongue says that but your actions tell me the truth”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“A dangerous man would stay where he was and live with his actions. But instead you run. A dangerous man does not run. You ran back here. To your hometown. You think this place can save you”

 

“I know this place cant save me”

 

“Then why did you come here?”

 

I didn’t answer. Her raven eyes studied me. Didn’t need to say anything with this broad. She’d just get it out of me anyway. She probably already knew about the murder. About the blood. Al Dragon. Vera. Probably every leak I’ve ever taken.

 

“You came here because you thought this place could protect you”

 

“You know what goes on in this town. I thought I’d fight fire with fire”

 

“You can’t chase down and hunt something Harvey Moss, and then expect it to give you a favour later on in life. You have spent a lifetime hunting the very thing that frightens you now”

 

“I’m not afraid of anything”

 

“There is that loose tongue of yours again. Spilling false statements in all directions”

 

“You seem to have me pegged Madame Shae. Seems like I have wasted my time as well as yours. I’ll leave”

 

I pushed the chair back. She waved two hands. Her beads around her wrists tapping together like they were dancing.

 

“Sit down Harvey Moss. Sit down. Typical man. Acting all tough and not liking what you hear”

 

I sat back down. Didn’t really have another option. I could have gone back to the station and studied Hank’s case file. But that would have given me nothing. Probably just sticky chocolate covered pages and little doodles.

 

“I will show you the incident with the girl. I will show you when she descended back into the pits of hell in a puff of smoke and flames”

 

“How do you know she’s gone to hell?”

 

“Please a girl who flaunts herself for a crowd glamorizing the magical aspects of this world whilst wearing a short sparkling dress. All those men’s eyes showering her? Where do you think she has gone?”

 

“I wouldn’t like to assume someone is going anywhere”

 

“Because you think you can buy yourself a ticket for upstairs?”

 

I was sure I was going to hell. Old red probably have a seat at the head table of torture waiting for me already. After all the killing and banishing I had done. It was a sure bet. He’d be looking forward to it as well. Harvey Moss. I had sent most of his workforce back down there at some stage or another.

 

“I know where I’m going when I die. I just wanted to know if I had to worry about it anytime soon”

 

“You should be worried about it. It’s not going to be pretty for you”

 

“Nothing’s been pretty for me”

 

I thought about Susie Hunt. Now there was pretty.

 

“I know what you did two nights ago Harvey Moss”

 

“I thought you might”

 

Shae looked at me. Eyeballing me like a dog looks at a bone. My throat wanted some demon blood. It made my mouth as dry as the Mojave as it tried to get its way. I told it that I didn’t have any right now. In my head of course, but Madame Shae probably heard me anyway.

What did she want a confession? Want a motive? She was in my head so she had an open field to mess around in. She wants a reason why? I didn’t have one for her. I sat silent. She spoke eventually.

 

“This man. The one you have killed. He was of this world”

 

“He was”

 

“And you have killed him anyway”

 

“It wasn’t like that”

 

“What was it like?”

 

“It was an accident”

 

“There is that loose tongue of yours again. Put it away Harvey Moss”

 

“It was an accident”, I said. I was certain it was. But I knew I really couldn’t know for sure. It sure sounded like it would have been an accident. I wouldn’t have just killed a normal guy. A human. Would I?

 

“It was an accident”

 

“And now you have his innocent blood on you’re dirty hands”

 

“And I will have to live with that now wont I”

 

“You will and you want to know how long you will have to live with it?”

 

“I do”

 

“I will help you”

 

“Thank you Madame Shae”

 

“But I will not show you how you die Harvey Moss. You do not need to see that. No man does”, Shae said, ‘besides. I know how much money you have and you cant afford it”

 

“So what will you do for me?”

 

“I will show you the death of the first girl. The magician’s assistant. But that is all I will show you. It does no one much good to look back. People should only look at what is just in front of them”

 

“That’s a philosophy that can’t be too good for business”

 

“This is not my business Harvey Moss, this is my life. My family’s ways. For hundreds of years. Certain women from our way of life have been able to see things. To see the past, present and the future. This is my gift”

 

She paused and thought, “of course its not my fault if people want to pay me for my gifts”

 

“Take my hands”, Madame Shae said holding out her old, weather paws.

 

They were cold and clammy. Rings on each finger. She tossed her head back. Throat was the same as the hands. She began muttering under her breath. Some language I had heard before but still didn’t get. She squeezed my hands. Old broad certainly had a grip on her.

Madame Shae swayed her head side to side and continued to mumble mumbo jumbo to the top of the tent. I watched her intently, wondering if this was all part of her routine or did I have to slap her out of it. After a few more moments, her headshot back down. I froze. Her eyes were now beaming balls of piercing white light. It hurt my peepers just to look at her.

 

“Look into my eyes Harvey Moss”, she said, “Don’t stray from my eyes”

 

I stared into them the best I could. Sure did cause a strain. Soon white light was all I could see. I squinted to see anything else but nothing. My head felt like. Like a balloon that had been let go. My chest felt like a rhino had stepped on it. I couldn’t breathe. What was happening? I tried to break the grip from Madame Shae’s hands. It was then that I noticed that I wasn’t holding them anymore. My arms went numb. I called out for Madame Shae but nothing came out. I strained to see if I could see the old crow’s outline through the light. She was gone. I was sure of it. I was alone. Had I been duped? Had the old bat left me in this light limbo?

Suddenly voices came in. Muffled. Like they were underwater. I strained to heat them. I tried to call out. Still couldn’t. Something came into view out of the light. Like a ship that had been lost in the sea mist. It was just outlines but soon I manage to make out what it was. They were people. Rows of people. All watching something. The light was fading fast. I could make out more. There was a stage. Raised a bit higher than the crowd. A guy was standing in the middle of it. The room was some kind of converted barn. High ceilings with support planks running across the room. I knew where I was. It was the town hall. I was in Crispin Falls. It had work. Madame Shae had done it.

More and more came into focus. I was standing at the back of the room. Sound started leaking in like a radio that was being slowly turned up. I heard chatter. Whispers of excitement. I noticed Madame Shae by my side. She looked forward. Non-responsive. Almost like she was stuffed.

I was there. The crazy bitch had done it. After all I’d seen. After all I’d have got cosy with. It was nice to know things still surprised me. Made me think I was still human. I kind of like that feeling.

Travis Daytona needed no introduction. He was everything I had come to expect from a magician. Brash. Cocky. Full of life. Sharp suit with a jacket that hit the knees. Midnight blue. He was a tall guy. Bigger than me. More skinny though. Had a tasch that matched his slicked back jet-black hair. The guy reeked of showman. I couldn’t stand those kind of guys.

But the audience were lapping it up like dogs. They couldn’t get enough. Even a simple trick like making three balls disappears. But I suppose the whole fun of magic is that these suckers didn’t want to know. They wanted to be surprised. More fool them. Not me. I knew what was on the other side of that curtain. Shit that no one wanted to face. That was what was there.

I spotted Mrs Brady in the crowd. Whispering something into some old time’s ear. Mr Brady? Husband perhaps? Had never seen her with one. But she had always been Mrs Brady to me. To everyone. I looked for Susie Hunt. Would I even recognise her if I did see her? Would she even remember me? I forgot for a minute that I wasn’t actually really there. That this had happened weeks ago. That’s what a broad can do to you.

The sound of wolf whistles woke me from the idea of Susie Hunt and back to the stage. Travis Daytona had played his best card. The eye candle. The assistant. The victim. She paraded round the stage in a little sparkling number, which showed off long legs that looked as smooth as silk. A million dollar smile flashed up and the crowd went wild. She was a ten. A knockout. And all round pecker stirring broad.

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen please welcome my beautiful assistant. Raquel”, Travis said to the sound of whoops and whistles.

 

She posed for the crowd and then got down to business. All eyes on her and the large brown casket that had just been dragged on stage by Daytona’s stagehands. The crowd hushed as Travis the magician instructed. He went to a table and whipped off a velvet black sheet and revealed three large swords. The type that you saw Sinbad fight with in the flicks. The crowd showed off their anticipation. I watched.

This broad Raquel moved towards the box and unlocked it. It clunked. Fine wood. I looked for the get out. The quick release. The reveal of the trick. But I didn’t know what I was really looking for. What did it matter? This broad would end up dead soon enough anyway.

Out of the corner of my eye, out of the back row, a man leaped up. He was dressed in a smart, dapper suit with a top hat. He pulled it off. I remembered him. He was a lot older than when I had last seen him sure but it was the same guy. Felix the magician. When I had been a kid, he was the biggest magician in town. But now black hair had become white. Olive skin from the old country had become worn and creased. His body arched over. Maybe hitting a hundred. Who knew?

 

“Stop this at once!” he said

 

The crowd turned round to see what all the fuss was about. I noticed that most shot him a filthy look. Felix wasn’t the top guy anymore but the looks of things. And he didn’t like it.

 

“This man. This Travis Daytona has you under a spell”

 

The audience laughed and so did Travis. His laugh boomed around the room.

 

“Well I wouldn’t be a very good magician if I couldn’t put anyone under a spell now would I?”

 

The audience laughed again. Even I chuckled under my breath. Felix looked exhausted just standing up. I’m sure this had gone down better in his head.

 

“My friends don’t be fooled by his good looks and fancy tricks. He means to harm you. To harm all of us. That is why he has come to this town. To our town. He brings with him dark magic”

 

The audience lapped it up. Felix looked around for anyone to take his side. To join his crusade. No one was there. He tried to plead with people but they were still laughing. Eventually everyone tired of the old man and begun turning back round to face Travis and the broad who was going to get sliced and diced.

 

“Felix, you are more than welcome to stay but if you continue to shout obscenities than I will have to ask you to leave”, Travis said.

 

I had to hand it to him. The guy was smooth. He had the audience right where he wanted them. He was the perfect gentleman. His English accent was a slick contrast to the Californian slur that us Crispin Falls locals had. But Felix wasn’t having any of it. He still stood. Stood as tall as his cranky back would let him.

 

“Its you who should leave. Leave our town. And don’t come back. And take you’re dark magic with you”

 

The crowd booed and Travis flicked his head to one of his heavies. Felix was grabbed by two burly guys and dragged towards the double doors at the back of the hall.

 

“I’ll stop you Daytona. I’m not letting you do this to our town. I’ll stop you”

 

It was a bit too late to stop the darkness coming to this town buddy. But maybe Felix meant new darkness. Maybe he was comfortable with all the other shit that breaded in this hellhole. Felix was soon gone and after a few thuds on the door, it looked like he had called it quits for the evening.

 

“I apologise for the interruption ladies and gentlemen”, Travis said, “I can assure you that that was not part of my act”

 

The audience laughed once more and this brit was starting to get on my nerves with his loaded charm and swagger. He thought he was a matinee idol and these brain dead morons agreed with him. Typical magician. Always a showman. I saw through him. A guy that thought he could make it big over this side of the pond. And rather than head straight to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, he settled in this little dreary town. Thought he could make a reputation for himself here first and he was right. He had a reputation now. Trouble was that he picked the wrong town. Crispin Falls was no dreary town. Crispin Falls might not let him leave.

The show went on and I watched as Raquel the assistant got in the box and Travis padlocked the thing tight. He got a few members of the audience to get up on the stage and pull at the locks. They tapped on the wood. Solid enough. To the untrained eye anyway. I expected they might all be in on the act. I’d see that done that way before.

A few moments later and Travis was making a big song and dance, parading round the stage with his swords. He’d slide one in after another through the box, each time he drew gasps from the audience. Madame Shae and me stayed silent.

Then it was time for the big reveal. The big ta-dah moment. Travis threw a black sheet over the entire casket and a drum roll started. He got in his position on one side of the sheet and was ready to tug it and reveal his assistant all still in one fine piece. The audience waited. He waited a bit more. Then finally tugged. The sheet dropped to the floor.

Then the screams started. People shot up from their seats. The casket’s doors were swung open. I struggled to see with all the people in front. I moved so I could get a peep. There was nothing but black smoke pouring from the stage. Pouring form the casket. And in the middle of that black smoke stood a figure that had more flames on it than an outback steak house. It was the assistant. Cooking right they’re for all to see. I’d seen spontaneous combustion before. On a case way back. But nothing like this. This was something else. I had one of my feelings. The same thing I got whenever I was around something kooky. No, this was right up my alley if you caught my gist. The weird had found me once more. It had found me via a letter from Hank but it had found me all the same. I had to admit it. I liked it. I got a kick out of it. Don’t get me wrong, I felt sorry for the broad. I wasn’t a total nut job. But the thrill of the case. The sense that I was around a fresh case again. It felt real good. I had renewed enthusiasm. I hadn’t had it for so long but now it felt like it had never left.

The girl continued to burn. She still stood upright. Didn’t even drop. People rushed out past Shae and me. We didn’t move. I watched Travis. He seemed as shocked as most. He dropped to his knees just left of the casket and watched his assistant, and career, burn. I couldn’t make up my mind if he was involved or not. He sure didn’t seem to be. But you could never tell. I’d been duped before. I wouldn’t rule him out just yet. I’d have to have a talk with the son of a bitch before I did that.

I watched as the flames died down and all that was left was the coal black smoking corpse of the pretty broad. No matter how many times I smelt it, the smell of rotten flesh always got to me. It was a kind of smell you couldn’t get out of you’re snoz.

“Have you seen enough?” Madame Shae asked me without moving her lips.

 

More and more people darted out. It neared stampede levels. A few people still sat on the wooden chairs. Still convinced it was all part of the act. The broad would get up in a minute. You’ll see she’ll come out of another hatch all full of life. But she didn’t. Some couples stayed in their chairs clutching at each other. Tears down their faces. As if all the hugging and crying would bring the girl some much needed skin. They cried as if it wasn’t real. People sure were blind to the evil around them. People needed to wake up. Check out the details once in a while. The world was a s***ty place. And Crispin Falls was s**t capital.

 

“Is there more to see?” I asked her.

 

“Not that you need to be here for. I suggest we go back at once. It does little good to be in times past”

 

The screen started to fade. But not fade to black like in the movies. It faded to sheer blinding white light again. I shielded my face with my hand as the sound got turned down once again. I was back in the chair before I knew it. Back in Madame Shae’s tent. Sure wouldn’t make a habit of doing this time travelling stuff. My gut was doing loops and my head was up in the air like a congressman’s pecker in a whore house. I could feel sick trying its best to come up my throat. Madame Shae must have noticed that I was struggling.

 

“Wait here, I will get you something for your stomach”

 

She scurried off behind another curtain and came back with a tall, dusty bottle of some green gunk. I was coughing but was trying my best to say I was fine at the same time. I didn’t want anything that the old bat had to offer being shoved down my pipes. I would rather just throw it up. All over her nice cloth and tarot cards. Some demon blood would have been a real treat.

But she tore my hands away from my mouth and flicked the gap and then poured some of the stuff through my lips. Vile. Like soap. But worse. Sure as sh*t weren’t blood that was for sure. But it soon did the trick. My guts straightened up and flew right and my head went back down to between my shoulders. I had an open runway of a head. For the first time in weeks. I didn’t even have a craving for some blood. For now. I knew the feeling would be back in the mail soon. But I couldn’t dwell on that now.

 

“Thank you”, I said wiping my lips as Madame Shae sat back down.

 

“Now I have given you what you seek yes?” she said with a cold tongue

 

“You have”

 

“Then will you so something for me?”

 

I was cautious. What could I possibly do for her that she couldn’t do herself? She had just transported us back to two weeks ago. Now she wanted something off of ordinary me. My mind flicked to the vilest thing I could think of.  The sick feeling nearly came back. I approached with caution.

 

“What is it?”

 

“Leave this place”

“I intend to. Just have to help Hank with this case first”

 

“No leave this place now. There is nothing for you here Harvey Moss”

 

“I agree there is nothing in this place that I need to stick around for”, I thought of Susie Hunt again. God, I hadn’t even seen the broad in twenty years but couldn’t get her out of my head. Only some dames have that effect.

 

“But I need to solve this case first”

 

She spat me a look that you wouldn’t give a peeping tom. She then stood up and made her way to the back of the tent. But she turned to face me first.

 

“This town is already full of evil Harvey Moss. You know that to be true”

 

“All the more reason for me to nip this in the bud before another innocent woman dies. Sounds like this place needs my attention more than ever”

 

“You can’t help this place. But you are going to make it worse”

 

“How do you mean?”

 

“You are bringing even more evil to this town. I know what you carry with you”

 

She whisked herself away behind the crimson curtain and I was left alone. Was she talking about Al Dragon? Was he after me? Had he sent some goons already? Had he tracked me down? I thought about that banging from the trunk the other night. I thought about the wolf that seemed like it had the hots for me. Something sure did seem like it was chasing me. I guess I would find out soon enough what it was.

 

“Leave this place Harvey Moss”, Madame Shae shouted from behind the curtain, “You are truly cursed”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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