The Monster Man of Horror House (4 page)

BOOK: The Monster Man of Horror House
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is that why you killed her?” I finally asked.

Good God John, no!” he reeled. “I wouldn’t kill a fly to protect my reputation,
let alone a beautiful young girl. How could you even think such a thing?”

sorry father, I didn’t think.”

you didn’t,” he chided. “It was an accident, plain and simple. When I told her
to do her worst, she started to scream and attacked me. I only meant to defend
myself but I’m afraid I must’ve under-estimated my own strength.”

course, father.”

the last person I’d fought was a burly German Quartermaster and I’d only just
come through that encounter by the skin of my teeth. I think maybe I’d had a
flashback and brought the same force to bear on this poor unfortunate as I’d
done on the Jerry,” he mourned.

was even more tragic; not only was my father an innocent caught in the machinations
of a conniving tramp but his own traumatic war experiences had emerged to play
a part in his undoing.

will you do?” I asked.

father just shrugged and shook his head.

was his assessment.

But you can’t,” I spluttered, knocking my glass clear across the room.

afraid it’s inevitable. As night must follow day, I shall take the ride to

dad’s theatrical euphemism aside I could scarcely understand what he was saying.
He was a war hero, one of the bravest of the brave and decorated by the King
himself. In recent years he’d established a reputation as a much-respected
public defender of lost causes. If anyone was the victim of this sordid affair
it was he. Could they really hang him for this?

was a sex worker. When a girl of that profession dies in such circumstances the
motives are almost always assumed to be likewise, sexual. And that is a
stonewall Capital crime. No mitigating circumstances. No clemency. Just three clear
Sundays and an early morning appointment with the rope.”

father,” I finally broke down. “This is so unjust, so unfair. Surely there’s
something we can do?”

son, when I go to the police in the morning, I must tell them everything and
put myself in God’s hands.”

surprises were coming thick and fast tonight and this latest revelation almost knocked
me across the room to join my shattered glass.

mean the police don’t yet know?”

he replied.

I thought…”


thought they knew. From the way you were talking, I thought they already knew.”

my father blinked in all innocence. “Why should they?”

where…?” I shook the questions from my head and took a moment to order my mind.
It’s funny, but my father’s profession and mine weren’t as different as he
thought. As an electrician, my job was all about tracing connections and finding
faults. If something didn’t work, I needed to be able to see it in my mind as a
three-dimensional circuit diagram in order to locate the problem, and now I
applied the same mindset to my father’s predicament.

did this all happen father? What time?”

an hour ago, I think. Maybe two,” he told me.

anyone see you pick up the girl?”

don’t think so, especially not in that fog. John what are you getting at?” he
asked, but I brushed his question aside with a few more of my own.

is she now?”

dead!” he snapped, his hackles rising at my impertinence.

but where is she?”

father glared at me in the gloom and I thought for a moment he was going to
tell me to go to hell in a handcart, but instead he continued to pull dead
rabbits from his hat when he told me she was still in the car.

the car?”

the garage,” he added and we both fell into our thoughts. Time was ticking
away, but the next move had to be right, so I used up a few more precious seconds
to make sure all the light bulbs lit up in order, then took the scotch from my
father’s hand.

to bed.”


to bed,” I repeated. “And don’t say anything to anyone, especially not the
police. I’ll sort things out for you, father.”

things out? What do you mean sort things out?” he demanded.

what’s done is done and no one can undo it. But it would be senseless of you to
sacrifice yourself for the sake of an accident.”

what choice do we have?” he gawped.

God if I’m ever in trouble do remind me never to hire you,” I sighed.


going to get rid of her. Break the connection with you.”

rid of her? Break the connection. Just like that? Toss her out like a piece of
garbage you mean? My God John, that it should come to this…” my father once
again started to sermonise, but for the first time in my life I stood up to him
and told him to shut up.

sense of right and wrong is going to put a rope around your neck, which might
be fine for you and your twisted sense of morality but what about me? I need a
father. I need you in my life. Your clients need you. The world needs you. You’re
a good and important man. You can’t make this stupid gesture just to appease
your own conscience. It’s selfish. You have to be stronger than that,” I told

father didn’t know what to say. He simply stared at me in open-mouthed consternation
as his boy became a man before his very eyes, then he lowered his gaze and nodded

be it, John. If it means that much to you, we will do it your way,” he eventually

snatched up his car keys and headed for the garage, but my father called to me
before I’d reached the parlour door.


looked back as he stared up at me from out of the darkness. “I… I just want you
to know that… I’m very proud of you,” he finally said.

didn’t reply. I merely nodded then headed out to dispose of the dead hooker my
dad had brought home tonight.



She was just as my father had said, slumped in the front passenger seat of his Morris
Oxford and as lifeless as an empty dress. I approached her with caution, afraid
of what I might see, but needlessly so for there were no obvious signs of
violence about her. Her head was not bashed in, nor her features marked. Her
hair was a little ruffled and her blouse torn, but other than that she looked
for all intents and purposes as if she were simply slumbering against the
window, awaiting a kiss from a handsome Prince to rouse her.

loaded a pick and shovel in the back of the car and opened the garage door.

night was still thick with fog and as cold as the grave but it barely
registered with me, I was too intent on the task in hand. I pulled the seat
belt around my passenger to stop her falling across me as I drove and pulled
out into the night.

took it slow. I had no choice, visibility was reduced to a radiator’s width but
I made my way across town and towards the Lanes. There were a few secluded
spots up there that picnickers used by day and courting couples by night,
though I couldn’t see how anyone would want to expose so much as an ankle to
this frozen night. Still, as the unfortunate girl in the passenger seat could testify,
there were still a few hardy all-weather souls out there who needed to be
catered for, so I continued with caution.

circled the Lanes looking for the dirt trail that led to the lake and finally
found it on my third pass. The track was muddy, but frozen solid, so I bumped
and bounced my way down to the shore and parked up a few yards from the water's
edge, just in front of a twisted knot of skeletal trees.

other couples had made it out here this evening, so I unhooked my passenger and
caught her as she fell across my lap.

God she was lovely: young, beautiful and no longer bedevilled by the cares of
this world. I actually felt quite revolted at these thoughts and a choking bile
clawed at my throat as the realisation hit home that my father had done this.

father had snuffed out this light!

was barely a year older than me and my father had killed her.

it had been an accident, he’d not meant to do it and if he could’ve taken it
back then he would have, even at the ruination of himself, but still she was
dead. She was young, beautiful and fair. But she was dead. And she had no one
but herself to blame.

travesty was enough to stir me to do what I had to do, so I climbed from the
car, grabbed my tools and went in search of a suitable resting place.

amongst the trees, maybe thirty yards from the car, I found a small clearing.
The ground was thick with dead leaves, which was perfect as I could use them to
cover my works, so I kicked the crackling carpet aside and started swinging the

the ground was frozen solid after two straight weeks of frosts, turning the
dirt to concrete. I’d been digging like a maniac for almost thirty minutes and
had barely cleared two inches of topsoil. At this rate I’d still be here in April
when the picnickers returned so I threw down my pick, mopped my brow and had a

couldn’t just leave the girl out for anyone to find. According to my father,
time was everything when it came to criminal investigations, so it was
important to buy as much of it for ourselves as we could, to muddy the memories
and erode any physical evidence my father may have inadvertently left.

racked my brains and thought some more.

the leaves? Could I just cover the girl with leaves and hope no one would stumble
across her? No – animals would sniff her out and this place was rife with
dog walkers. I had to put her beyond the snout, but where?

was when I noticed the lake.

the ground, the lake was frozen over, but unlike the ground, I didn’t need to
smash my way through six cubic feet of granite-hard mud to get rid of my
problems; a single hole a foot or so wide would do just as nicely.

recovered my wafer-thin grave with leaves and headed out onto the ice. It
easily supported my weight without the slightest creak, so I guessed it must’ve
been a good six inches thick, but ice has a siren-like habit of being at its
thinnest in its very deepest, so I braved my weight until I found what I
reckoned to be the centre of the lake.

swung the pick and the crack reverberated around the woods like a gunshot,
chipping a tiny dink out of the ice, but otherwise barely troubling its sheen.
I brought the pick down again, smashing the ice in the same place and wincing as
the boom shook frost from the shoreline branches, but there was no way around
it. Five minutes of cracking was preferable to six hours of huffing and puffing,
and as the night was still thick with fog any passers-by might be unlikely to
locate the source of the commotion, so I pressed on, swinging the pick and
smashing my way through to liquid water. I was eventually rewarded after three
or four dozen swings with a splash, then worked to widen the hole until I
almost slipped in myself.

was now a little before six in the morning and the roads would soon be busy
with milkmen and early risers. I couldn’t let myself be seen by potential
witnesses so I ran back to the car to fetch the object of tonight’s exercise.

half-expected her not to be there when I finally found the Oxford. My mind had
run amuck while I’d worked on her watery tomb, pushing back the boundaries of
this nightmare to terrible conclusions and I’d come to convince myself that she
hadn’t been dead, merely grievously wounded, so that it would be left to me to
either finish her off or nurse her back to health as I saw fit. Alas the Lord
had left me with no such dilemmas. She was still as dead as before and awaited
my return with glassy eyes.

no man say my father didn’t know how to kill young women.

pulled her shoes from her feet and stuffed them into her blouse to save me from
losing them en route, then grabbed her under the arms and dragged her from the passenger
seat. She was easier to drag once I got her onto the ice, but just when I
thought the finishing line was in sight I was all at sea again when I couldn’t
find the bloody hole.

lake was almost a quarter of a mile long and it was as close to pitch as the
fog would allow, so I spent the best part of the next half an hour dragging her
backwards and forwards before collapsing through fear and exhaustion. I
could’ve dragged her past the hole by a matter of inches and not spotted it in
this darkness, so I decided to strike out alone and locate the hole unencumbered
before returning for the body.

ten minutes of sheer unadulterated terror passed before I eventually blundered into
my own handiwork. My foot disappeared into the icy portal and I only stopped
myself from taking a mariner’s nap by flinging out my arms and legs out either
side, though the crunch of bones on jagged ice almost crippled me with pain.

BOOK: The Monster Man of Horror House
7.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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