We walked off the street into the bush that led up the hill. I had last seen Chris around this bush, not knowing he had escaped under Vincent’s watch. Here I am helping Vincent to catch Chris before the Kapol discover the escape. The house we were going to was up the hill and it was reputed to be haunted.
“Do you think he will be hiding there?” Vincent asked me as we made our way up the hill.
“I dunno. I’m not a soothsayer.” I used my hand to push the spear grass that threatened to enter my eyes. “I just pray we better be right coz Kapol will be mad when he discovers that Chris escaped under your watch.”
Vincent stopped and set his gaze on me, “What’s that supposed to mean, feeling sorry for me?”
“I’m not the one who played with matches here. You did, and now it is burning your hand. Oohh haaa.” I teased
The response was fast. I didn’t expect it. Vincent had already pulled out his Glock pistol and aimed at my head. “Say one damn rubbish again, and I swear to God, I will be forced to lodge a bullet in your head.”
“Be cool man. You’re not going to kill your ally. Maybe there are ghosts in that house after all and they are working against us.”
He holstered the Glock. “I don’t believe in ghost.”
“Well I do.”
“Have you seen one before?”
“No, but I believe in it.”
He hissed. Mtcheewww. “You and this myth bluff.”
“So you don’t believe in ghost. How the hell do you explain the house on the hilltop?”
“There is nothing there. We are going there. You will see.”
“How can you explain the light when no one is known to live there? No electricity supply to the house, no generator, the window opens and closes at random, ghostly sounds from inside. If it wasn’t that I saw Chris around this area, I wouldn’t be here.”
We made our way up the hill in silence, under the light of the half-moon which served as a secondary source of light, the primary being the torchlights we both held.
The house was before us. Its windows were opened, and the lights from the bulbs bathed the grounds near the house. Wind was blowing. I looked up. The dark clouds were shrouding the sky and the half moon was long gone.
“I told you there are ghost.”
Vincent placed his left index finger over his mouth and hushed me to silence. “Bring out your Pistol.”
“I thought you don’t believe in ghost,” I was already bringing out my Beretta pistol.
“I don’t believe.”
“Then why the gun?”
“This house is surely habited and Chris might be hiding somewhere inside there. The gun is for any human threat we face, not ghost. Bullets don’t work on ghost.”
“How do you know that when you don’t believe in them?”
“You ask too many irrelevant questions.” He moved from the edge of the spear grasses towards the house.
“We better enter before this rain starts.”
I moved near his position. “After you captain,” I muttered.
“I say we do it the army style,” Vincent suggested, “You open, I shoot any threat.”
‘No way, you open while I shoot.”
“Come, hope this ghost thing isn’t getting the better part of you? You’ve been hammering on it as if it is what killed your grandfather.”
“But ghost, that’s what people say.”
“We are here to catch Chris, not ghost hunt.”
“Okay, I will open, you shoot.” I used my hands to push down the door’s handle and used the barrel of my Beretta to push the door. The door opened and it gave a creaking sound as it did. Vincent was quick to get into position, with his Glock in a combat stance. No threat.
The house was opposite of what we thought it would have. There were no cobwebs, but it looked abandoned for a short while. The cushions in the sitting room were covered with dust, the television was out of position and it was on the floor, the rectangular central table in the sitting room had a hole in it. There were piece of cloths and torn books littered on the carpet covered floor. Suddenly, the light in the sitting room began to flicker, and then it died.
“I have a wrong feeling about this,” I let out my fear, and I switched on my torchlight.
“Wrong feeling about what? We have done score of mission and killed so many humans. You remember how many people you boasted you alone killed during the Black axe- Buccaneer showdown.”
I gestured with my open right palm, “Five.”
“That’s the spirit man.” He shone his torchlight on my neck, “What is that?”
“You mean this?” I touched the star shaped tattoo in my neck
“That’s the Buccaneers sign.”
“That’s mean you have macho. You must not show fear. Kill anything that threatens you.”
That sort of helped killed the fears. We observed a spell of seconds, affixed at a position.
“This whole house is too big for us to cover together. Let’s split up.” Vincent suggested.
“I go up, you take down.”
“But…” I wanted to protest… but he was gone.
I held out my Beretta pistol and torchlight and began to traverse the ground floor. Outside, the winds had now been accompanied by rain. The light flickered for a while and then went off as soon as the rain started. Flashes of lighting would periodically light the room before a thunder boomed. The ground floor had three rooms, but only the lavatory wasn’t locked amongst them. I opened it. It was well wired with strings of cobwebs. The sink was covered with dirt, and the mirror at was broken, but it was still in place in the wall. The toilet was dry, but was filled with dry faeces that were almost decomposed to sand. The light flickered on. Fear engulfed me like water does to an island. I jerked and stepped outside.
“This place is damn hunted,” I muttered, walking back to the sitting room.
“Vincent…Vincent,” I shouted, “We have to get out of here.”
There was no reply.
I went towards the door. It was closed. Not just closed, but it was locked with a key! Now the ghosts are working. I just pray bullets work. I hear a sound like a drumming sound coming from one of the rooms. My heart started beating rapidly like a drum being beaten by a festive crazed native. Then it stopped. After that, the winds resumed, blowing furiously across the outside and the open windows swing open and close to the dictation of the winds.
“Vincent… Vincent. Answer me man.”
Or has the ghost killed him silently? I better go check him out.
The stairs looked old and it was made of wood. It creaked as I climbed on it. My pistol was in place and my torchlight shone to the paths ahead of me. I saw something move across. It was fast. The ghost? It moved again. This time it wasn’t so lucky, I quickly fired at it. I missed. The meows of a cat played down my fears. That was close. The lights flickered on.
The upper floor proved that the house was haunted. Everything was out of place. The tables overturned, chairs broken, the clock wasn’t working, cloths, broken dishes, and spoons littered the whole floor. I hear the drumming sound again from the lower floor.
As if the house heard me, the light went off again as soon as I called Vincent. Lightning lit the room. I saw the ghost. I fired. Not one, not twice, but till I heard the sound of the pistol hammer hitting an empty chamber. The light flickered on again.
Vincent was there alright but he was writhing in pains. Blood was seeping from three spots on his chest. OMG I shot him!
I rushed to him and squatted beside him, “I swear I thought you were a ghost.”
He was vocally quiet but he took rapid breaths in what seemed like his last. There was no way he was going to see this through. The lightning flashed again and thunder followed. There was no way I was going to carry him out of the house and down the hill. He was weighing a heavy eighty five kilogram on the last weight check.
I stood and smiled. No one is ever going to find his body. The mystery and fears of ghost of the house at the hilltop will remain, and no one will ever know it is the scene of a crime, no one except me. Mission accomplished!