For the first time since she had moved in, Carrie experienced a "no shit, Sherlock" moment when it occurred to her that there was something dreadfully wrong with her house. She was instantly annoyed at the trite little phrase tripping into her head with its sarcastic smugness, and shook it off.
The plates clinked against her favourite mug in the warm soapy water, and she blew a tiny bubble filled with a rainbow of pink and purple swirls away from her nose. There was no such thing as central heating in The Crows, but that didn't matter; the kitchen was the warmest room in the house, and Jack seemed to bring a tangible rise in temperature with him wherever he went. The afternoon was dying quickly, a sea mist rolling in from the coast and already creeping up the lanes, and the kitchen with its single naked bulb felt in need of cheering up. The living room was homely now, thanks to the ministrations of Jack, Mercy and Carrie working as a rather dysfunctional team, but the rest of the house had a neglected feel to it. Carrie and Jack had moved themselves into the kitchen to keep the room company, more than anything else.
There was nothing the matter with it when I bought it. Carrie let the china slip through her fingers with a clatter onto the draining board. I was sleeping in the CRYPT, for heaven's sakes! So why am I getting all these weird vibes NOW? Maybe it was all psychological. You found out monsters were real, and started seeing them under every bed.
"Jack?" Carrie called over the murmuring of the Underground Radio. "What kind of monster lurks under the beds?"
Jack paused in his katana polishing, something else Carrie had had to get used to, leaning back in a chair with his feet on the dining table. Like everything else from Carrie's flat, it was ridiculously too small for the space, and even the chair itself was not quite big enough for Sir John Douglas Fairwood. She saw his reflection in the window, face creasing with concern. "You haven't seen one, have you?"
Carrie couldn't help but grin. Because that's the first thing you'd ask. "No... But I keep feeling like... there's someone watching me. Or there's something here. You know?"
Jack swallowed. "Oh?"
"I mean, something I can't... see." Carrie wrinkled her nose. "I don't know... I think that's just me being paranoid, to be honest. But it made me think of monsters under the bed, you know, the stories we got told as kids to make us go to sleep." She snorted. "Which, when you think about it, is kind of ironic, really."
Jack laid the katana carefully down on the table. "They are about," he said, scratching behind his ear. "They're perverts, mainly. The ones who like kids are particularly nasty. It's strictly do not approach and call a Hunter in, if you do ever find one."
"Yes. The clue is in the name."
Carrie guessed they were the Pagham version of the police, and left it alone. Hopefully she would never need to know how to get in touch with them. "So, bogeymen are real, then, are they?"
"Yes. But that's a very general term. Like 'werewolf' or 'vampire'. There's hundreds of different kinds." He watched her face, making sure he wasn't straying onto too sensitive ground. Carrie was, already, surprisingly fine with everything. She supposed vaguely that this was what being in shock felt like. Where it came to Pagham's secrets, she was pleasantly numb.
"So what kind was Mrs Azeman?"
"An azeman. Again, the clue is..."
"In the name. Got it." Carrie went back to washing up. "That's a bit... blatant."
Jack scraped back his chair and stretched. "Well, yes... some of them really are. The more old school they are, the less they'll try and hide, but that's not a universal rule. There was this whole thing a while ago about Hunters basically going through the phonebook and breaking into people's houses or bothering them at work when there was no evidence they were old school or even remotely in the wrong..."
YOU ARE READING
The Crows (Complete First Draft)Paranormal
"Every murder turns on a bright hot light, and a lot of people have to walk out of the shadows." - Mark Hellinger **BEING RE-WRITTEN. NEW VERSION WILL BE PUBLISHED WITH NEW CHAPTERS, NEW ADVENTURES, AND NEW CHARACTERS!** Follow me on Twitter @ CMRos...