The White Lady Of Upton Court .4

 

                                        Nick and Gareth were finished setting up a little before dusk, an amber sun still lit the sky, deep blues and purples approaching from the distance.  Nick stood outside the front door smoking a cigarette, watching the sun slowly set,

“Well, I think that’s about it” Gareth informed him as he joined him in the doorway,

“Did you actually remember to turn the receiver for the web cams on this time?”

“Yes” replied Gareth defensively “and it only happened once”

“Not like we actually missed anything” Nick continued,

“Your being really down on the job lately, mate, what’s up?”

“All those of years of study” Nick replied “all those years for what, to chase a few orbs about, find a leaky pipe, point out the fact that ‘yes you house is sinking madam’, I mean you’d think in three years we’d have one piece, just one tiny piece of unexplainable footage” he tossed his cigarette onto the gravel and stamped it out,

“Well you never know, mate, this could be the lucky one, did i mention the horse?” Nick frowned,

“Horse?”

“Yeah, apparently when people were renting parts of the house as apartments, this one woman said she was unpacking the shopping from the back of her car, when she felt breath on her neck, she turned around and saw a ghostly white horse standing beside her, apparently she screamed, ran off, and when she turned back, the horse was gone”

“It probably ran a mile after she screamed at it” Nick replied dryly “and unless I’m going blind, didn’t we drive fast a small farm?”

“Yeah ok ok, Mister Scully, you used to be more fun at this, you know that”

“Oh I’m sorry mate, I’m just in a slump, come on, let’s go check the monitors and temperature readers, wanna make sure we haven’t set one up in a breeze”

“Monitors?” Gareth replied “You mean your laptop?”

“Oh just come on”

                                          Nick told Gareth to go watch the mini monitors displaying all the different parts of the house onto Nick’s laptop, while he walked the house, checking for natural cold spots and making sure Gareth could see him on all the cameras.  They had set up fifteen web cams around the house which sent signals back to the laptop, each web cam had been fitted with a microphone, by Gareth, and sent all audio data back to a recorder which was also wired up to the laptop.  The temperature readers looked a lot like radar, but instead of blips on the screen being solid objects, they shower up mass spots of hot or cold.

                                        Nick walked from the main dining room, where they had set up their equipment, through the hall to the drawing room, then across to the kitchens, all the rooms had been converted for office use.  Although old, the house certainly was draft proof, he couldn’t find any temperature hot spots or cold spots, except the moment he realised he was following one to the freshly boiled kettle.  Gareth called him over the radio each time he entered a room to confirm he could,

“See your ugly mug”.

                                     Nick left the kitchen and made his way to the stair case, he was about to go up when something flashed across his vision on the landing above,

“Gareth, what you got on the landing cam?”

“Er, yeah, yeah I do”

“What?”

“An empty landing”

“Rewind the footage, just a few seconds before I left the kitchen”

“OK, hang on....nope, just an empty landing then you appear right in the bottom corner of the footage, what was I looking for?”

“Nothing, I guess”

“Not spooking yourself are you, mate?”

“Don’t be ridiculous”

                                 Nick made his way up the stairs and looked up into the cam to his left, fitted to the top of the wall, just below the ceiling.  He turned down the landing, his little map of the house told him there were four more office areas on this floor, three former bedrooms and the bathroom,

“Not much of a manor house, is it?” Nick asked Gareth,

“Beats another night at ‘old lady McCrazy’ and her cats” replied Gareth

“Good point”,

Nick pushed the door to the first office open, just another wood walled and ceilinged office room, desks cleared of anything that they didn’t need, computers and files.  He strode into the middle of the room where the temp reader was hanging from the ceiling, he checked its screen, nothing,

“You know this maybe the most well built house ever” Nick said dryly, he was getting bored,

“Look if there were any readings the laptop would have alerted us, just come downstairs and have a coffee, besides I hate sitting in front of these cams by myself, always think I see something”

“You’re a man child, you know that”

                                              Nick clicked off his radio, Gareth was right, if there was anything to investigate the laptop would have sent an alert, if one of the readers wasn’t working, Gareth would have known by now and told him, Nick resigned himself to the fact he was in for another long boring night with no one but Gareth and his singular wit for company, he giggled to himself, Gareth wasn’t actually the worst person to be stuck in a dull situation with, he usually had something funny to say, even if Nick did pretend not to be amused most of the time.

“Coffee?” Gareth offered,

“Thanks mum” Nick answered, pulling a chair out at the desk they were working on and settling down, Gareth passed him a steaming cup of black coffee,

“You forgot the milk again?”

“Hey, why do I have to remember everything?”

“I’d look really stupid on the tube with all this equipment?”

“Yeah OK, but that’s the last time you get to use the tube as an excuse, I picked you up last time”

“And you still fell for it”

The two of them started laughing, neither one noticing the sun finally disappearing into the distance, and a moonless, overcast night creep over them.

                                                 Two hours later, Nick was sitting in front of the laptop, listening to Gareth sing something unnameable from the toilets upstairs.  It was the only area they had not put a web cam, neither one thinking it really important to have footage of Gareth on the toilet,

“Will you stop that noise” Nick complained into his radio,

“It’s not that bad” Gareth’s replied,

“Not that bad?  I thought the place really was haunted!” the radio suddenly emanated a nasty, loud static crashing noise,

“GARETH!”,

“Er, yeah?”,

“Please let go of the button before you flush the toilet” Nick could hear Gareth trying to mask his laughter on the other end,

“Sorry, mate”,

“Just, come down here, will you, and wash your hands”

Gareth entered the dining room a moment later and sat down next to Nick,

“So, what I miss”

“I think a spider crawled over the cam in bedroom one” Nick said, then yawned, he felt Gareth shudder next to him,

“Oh seriously, spiders?”

“What?”

“You hunt ghosts for a living, and you can’t deal with spiders?”

“Can a ghost crawl up your back, onto your neck and bite you?”

Nick completely ignored the question, something on the laptops screen had caught his attention.

                                               He had all the different functions broken down into ‘Tabs’ at the top of the screen, one for the web cams, one for emails in case he had anything BIPI should see right away, and a third for the temp readers, this tab was currently flashing orange, alerting him to some change in the house,

“Looks like a cold spot in the third bedroom” Gareth said peering over Nick’s shoulder,

“I’ll go look, wait here and tell me if anymore appear, should have rechecked after sunset”

“The laptop would have....”

“Yeah, yeah I know, I just feel like we’re being sloppy”

                                              Nick left the dining room, closing the door behind him, they would keep all doors closed to stop any stray breezes from confusing equipment in other parts of the house.  He strode the hall and reached the bottom of the stairs, then stopped, he could hear something coming from the drawing room, a strange noise, like someone trying to drag something very heavy,

“Gareth, check the drawing room cam” Nick said in a near whisper,

“Nothing dude”

“That’s not possible”

“Why?”

“Because I can hear something inside the room” Nick walked across the hall and pressed his ear against the door,

“Seriously, you can’t see anything on the cam, the reader isn’t picking any temp drops?”

“I’m tellin ya, all the screens are in the green”

Nick looked down the door handle, the noise was getting closer to the door, Nick reached out a trembling hand and grasped the handle in his hand, he tried to twist it, but it would not move,

“Are any of these doors locked?”

“You were the last one in there, mate”

Nick tried the handle again, the sound inside the room was now louder than ever,  Nick put a foot on the wall and tried to force the door open, then his hand slipped and he went backwards into the banister of the stairs, falling hard, then, his head snapped up as he heard the handle twisting again, from inside the room.

                                                        Nick could not move or speak, despite Gareth’s continued attempts to call him, he just watched as the little gold door handle twisted very slowly counter clock-wise, he heard the latch click, the door fell slowly open.  Nick could not move, he had been completely unprepared for this and let it take him off gaurd.  The room a head was black an empty, no sign of anyone or any movement.  Nick got to his feet then pulled a small LCD torch from his pocket, he shone the beam into the drawing room, desks and chairs, nothing more.

“NICK!”

“Sorry, I’m here”

“What the hell is going on?”

“I’m not sure, maybe a warped door, I’ll check properly later”

“So, back to our cold spot, Nick, It's gotten bigger, and It's moving”

The End

16 comments about this story Feed