The Monster Man of Horror House (6 page)

BOOK: The Monster Man of Horror House
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My father suggested I borrowed the Oxford to pick her up and gave me a head-to-toe
description of our persecutor to take with me. I left shortly after sundown and
cruised the streets past her place of business, parking up just across the road
until I saw a girl fitting this same description being dropped off by a light blue
Ford Anglia at around 9pm.

was so anxious about the impossible task at hand that I didn’t even take a peek
at who’d dropped her off, instead I simply started my engine when he drove on
and cruised over to where she was stood, winding down my passenger window as I

girl approached and climbed in without nary a word, so I put my foot down and
took us away from the glare of the streetlights and towards the thick shadows
of the Lanes.

ten bob for hand, twenty for a blowy and thirty if you want to go all the way,”
she told me, rattling off the menu as if I’d come to order breakfast from a

stole a quick glance at her as I played for time; she was a pretty girl for
sure, similar to the girl whose acquaintance I had made a few days earlier,
with bold features, long eye lashes and scarlet lips, though as pretty as she
was, she had a hard look about her that intimidated me without her having to

she asked when I still hadn’t answered.

tried to gulp down my fears and answered as best I could. “A little.”

a young ’un, aren’t you. First time?”


it your first time with a lady, sweetie?”

I replied, not fully taking her meaning. “I’ve been with lots of ladies

passenger smiled. “Of course you have, Valentino. Of course you have. Well then
dearie, what’s it to be?”

figured we needed a quiet place to speak, although I have to admit I still
hadn’t worked out what I was going to say, so I played for time and told her I
just wanted to sit a while. She seemed fine with this, but warned me it would
still cost me half a nicker whether we did anything or not, so I agreed and pulled
off the road, mounting the verge to take us into the trees.

killed the engine and plunged us into total blackness, but righted this by
switching the headlights back on.

her silhouette commented. “Money?”

yes,” I remembered, searching through my pockets for a note I was convinced I
had, only to find coins. “Can I give you change?” I asked. She frowned but held
out her hand all the same.

not a bloody slot machine, you know ,” she said, dropping my shillings into her
purse. “Right then, I’m all yours,” she said, slipping a cigarette between her
ruby red lips and flicking a lighter several times before the car filled up with
smoke. “Sure you don’t want to…” she started, pulling my hand onto her left

my earlier claims, this was the first time I’d touched either of a girl’s
breasts, left or right, at least while she’d still been alive, but I wasn’t
here to indulge boyhood fantasies so I pulled my hand away – after twenty
seconds or so.

sorry,” I spluttered, “but I simply need to talk.”

see, one of them are you?” she concluded. “Okay then dearie, let’s hear it? See
if you can shock me.”

took a deep breath and tried to compose myself, but failed to come anywhere
close to collected so I simply came out with it.

father didn’t mean to kill your friend, it was an accident, honest!” I
blathered, catching a fag in the face as it flew clean across the front seats
between us.

’ere, you what?” she coughed.

was an accident,” I repeated, trying to hammer this particular point home
before she scarpered, “pleased don’t go to the law, you’ll be doing us both a
great injustice.”

to the law? Killed who? What on earth are you talking about?” she gawped. “… ’ere,
you’re not one of them weirdos are you mate, because I mean it, if you try
anything funny I’ll fucking stick you,” she warned me in no uncertain terms,
reaching into her bag to pull out a little pocket blade after several seconds
of rummaging.

please, I’m not going to try anything funny, I just want you to listen,” I
pleaded, but she wasn’t in much of a listening mood any more.

darling, I don’t know what you’re talking about, but when I hear talk of
killing and the law I don’t want to know, all right? You can just drop me off
where you picked us up and we’ll forget about the lolly,” she said, scattering my
coins onto the floor of the car as she held me at bay with her penknife.

had gone badly. Not as badly as I’d thought it might go admittedly, but badly
all the same and I wondered if I’d picked up the right girl from her reaction,
although she did fit my father’s description to a tee. I decided to salvage
what promises I could before calling it a night. “So you won’t go to the police

me dearie, you drop me off and I won’t tell no one about this hullabaloo, you
have my word,” she promised, so I took that on face value and started the car.

then,” I agreed, but no sooner had I twisted the keys in the ignition than a
shape appeared out of nowhere from behind the passenger seat and wrapped a red
and white tie around my passenger’s neck.

the…!” I yelped, jumping out of my skin as her head whipped back into the
shadows. In the reflected glare of the headlights I could make out my father’s
grimacing expression behind her, his jaw clenched into a vicious scowl as he brought
all his might to bear on that silky snare.

her arms. Hold her arms!” he barked at me, ducking this way and that as she
tried to stab him over her shoulder.

are you doing?” I shrieked, launching myself at the horror but having to fight
my way past the girl’s frantic heels as she lashed out at the steering wheel. I
grabbed my father’s wrists and tried to pull the tie from his grip, but he was
too strong for the both of us and he held me at bay as he wrung the last few throes
from her quaking body.

it! Stop it!” I screamed, only to crash headfirst into the dashboard when a
three-inch blade sunk into my side up to the hilt. I writhed against the seat,
trying my damndest to scream in agony but unable to draw a breath, only to
catch the girl’s eyes one final time. They burned with hatred and despair,
locking onto me as if sheer wrath alone might somehow save them from that ever-lasting
blackness, but it wasn’t to be; a few final flickers of consciousness extinguished
behind her pupils and her eyes turned grey.

father continued to pull on the tie with a fury that made me feel as if the
world was coming to an end, but eventually he relented, flopping back in his
seat to gasp with vitriolic release.

he sobbed. “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, I am your servant.”

didn’t know about Jesus but I wasn’t entirely convinced myself and pawed at the
driver’s door until I was able to tumble out onto a blanket of crackling leaves.

didn’t know where I was going, as far away from this nightmare as possible I
hoped, but the pain in my side was so great that I could scarcely drag myself
across the frozen ground, and all too quickly my father was picking me up and
carrying me back to the car.

hurt, my son,” he said, dumping me in the passenger seat. The girl was already
gone, her body discarded somewhere out there in the night and now my father drove
us back home, back to the house we shared…

Back to the place where hellish pacts were brokered…



I must’ve passed out on the drive home because I came to with a burning fever.
I knew I was in my bed, but for some reason I’d been transported out onto the
ice. Moving around in the fog were terrifying shapes, hell-bent on ripping me
to pieces and throwing me to the wolves for my recent misdeeds, even though I’d
had nothing to do with that first killing and no idea my father had been hiding
in the car with his own solutions to the second.

cried with despair, miserable to the core, but knowing I deserved whatever fate
befell me for all the suffering I’d been a party to.

shapes got closer, forming up before my very eyes and emerging from the mist
with steely claws when all of a sudden a crack sounded beneath me and the bed plunged
on one side.

ice was cracking!

ice was giving way!

finally found my voice and screamed my last scream but it was lost to the night
as my bed crashed through the ice and into the black abyss.

awoke to freezing flannels and icy water bottles. My father was fighting my
fever from the outside and making a decent fist of it, though I failed to
appreciate this at the time. I simply floundered in my soaking blankets,
desperate to escape the pain before succumbing once more to sleep.

would be another four days before I’d awake again.


“It was touch and go for a while there,” my father told me. “I’ve seen many a
good man die from lesser scratches than yours, their veins blackened by poison
before they knew to say their prayers. I thought I’d lost you too, John.”

long have I been asleep for?” I asked; my arms weighted by my side like lead.


week! But work…?”

phoned your boss for you, told him you were laid up with flu. He understood,”
he reassured me, though to be honest my work was the least of my worries. It
had just been the first to pop itself into my head.

did you kill that girl?” I demanded.

had no choice John. I had to do it. I hope you can see that.”

father, I can’t. I don’t understand,” I said.

he started, pulling his pine chair a little closer to my bedside to demonstrate
his sincerity, “we would’ve both hanged if I hadn’t silenced her. You were
right. You were right all along,” he conceded. “You can’t bargain with these
women. There was simply no way around it.”

she said she wouldn’t go to the police,” I reminded him.

I know. Just as she would’ve said anything to get out of that car, John,
anything, because she was scared of what you might do,” he said. “Just as the young
Italian boys we captured in Messina promised us they’d throw away their
uniforms and go home if we turned them loose. But we knew they wouldn’t. We
were on their home soil and we knew they’d rejoin the fight the moment we let them
walk, so I shot them all to save my men. It’s as simple as that.”


not been to war son. You’ve not had to do these things, and for that I envy you,”
he said, placing a caring hand on my shoulder. “But you’ve got to be strong
now, just as I had to be for you, for we’re not out of the woods quite yet.”

got better and better didn’t it? All that death, all that horror and all that murder
and we still weren’t out of the woods? He had to be bloody kidding!

can’t be. Nobody saw me pick her up. Nobody saw us in the woods. There’s no way
she would have told anybody else about her blackmail, so how can we still be in
peril?” I gasped.

bristled a smidgeon at my less than respectful tone, but he made an allowance
for my fever.

police have already been here. They have a vague description of the car used in
both incidents and they are questioning everyone in King’s Lynn who owns such a
vehicle. They don’t have the exact make or model or indeed the registration
number, but I am in the frame by owning that car,” he said, before spelling out
where this all got particularly sticky. “And I don’t have an alibi for either


surely nothing. The lack of an alibi is as good as a signed confession in the
eyes of most juries. I should know, boy, I’ve been on the wrong end of more
than one such judgement.”

what can we do?” I asked. “I can say you were with me. I’ll give you an alibi.”

no good,” he dismissed. “A family alibi is no alibi at all. No I need to be
seen in public, by independent witnesses whose word cannot be brought into

how do we do that?” I fumbled showing my naivety.

father raised an eyebrow. “There has to be another,” he said. “But this time,
it has to be done by you.”

you can imagine, I didn’t exactly leap out of bed to chase down a bowl of
Cornflakes at the suggestion, and the house reverberated with the sounds of terrible
rows for three straight days before it eventually fell into silence once more.

I did these awful things for you, now you must do the same for me. This is on
your head as much as it is on mine and I’ll not go to the gallows alone,” he
vowed, completing a spectacular about-turn with hypocrisy to spare.

could’ve stuck to my guns and told him to go to hell but he was still my father
and I was still in awe and afraid of him in equal measure. But more than that,
if he was prepared to kill burly German quartermasters, unarmed Italian boys
and defenceless young girls to save himself, what further price was he capable
of paying?

BOOK: The Monster Man of Horror House
13.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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