Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Now Playing: The Darkness
New to these parts? To start the story from the beginning click
The Darkness 1.

Episode Ten of The Darkness

Episode Nine concluded with:

            The two detectives trailed the buckboard at a steady pace, going almost completely by the rattling sound of the wagon. There was no moon. Only a few stars spotted the sky, their light partially concealed as if hiding from a predator.
            Cummings rode the buckboard to a dilapidated ranch house. He didn’t bother to open the gate that surrounded the house, but guided the horses around to the right side where the fence abruptly ended. The steeds actually needed little guidance. They had made this trip before.
            Dehner and his boss both dismounted and walked their horses to a tree with a large overhang.  From the darkness, they watched as a man emerged from the house carrying a lantern. He limped and appeared elderly. 
            “I believe we have found our ghost.” Even in a soft whisper, Lowrie’s voice sounded contemptuous.

Episode Ten

The tree stood a safe distance from the ranch. Dehner scanned the area. “When they finish unloading, we can advance on the house. The fence is no problem and then we can use the barn as a cover. Once we get beyond the barn, we’ll just have to keep low and hope no one looks out the window.”
            “A risk we most certainly should take,” Lowrie replied. “The conversations flowing from that house may be well worth hearing.”
            The two detectives tied their horses to the tree and made for the house. Dehner’s boss moved with remarkable stealth, easily blending his tall, thin frame into the darkness of the night. Bertram Lowrie has not forgotten the lessons learned in the British Military, Rance mused to himself.
            Both Dehner and Lowrie flattened themselves against the side of the ranch house and listened to the angry voices that wafted through the opened window.
            “Give me the combination to the safe, Mr. Monahan. Jesse made a pile on his last gambling trip. We both need the money.”
            “Where is the fresh horse you promised me for the journey back to San Diego?!”
            “I’ll buy it with the money from the safe. Why’d you kill Jesse, anyway? That wasn’t part of the deal. We were just going to scare McRae, so if he started blabbing about what really happened four years ago, people would think he was some crazy guy who sees ghosts.”
            “I had to kill Jesse. He saw me. He saw me kill that man four years ago.”
            “You didn’t kill that jasper, I did! You and Jesse didn’t have the sand for the job.”
            Monahan’s voice became louder. “The head! I’m the one who took off the head. You couldn’t do it! I had to use an ax!”
            “The guy was already dead! Look, give me the combination. You have to stay here a while until your wound heals. I’ll bring you what you need until you can ride back to San Diego and back to being Phineas--”
            “I will not be betrayed!”
            “You crazy galoot!” Cummings voice resounded with panic. “Put down the knife or I’ll kill you!”
            Dehner and Lowrie charged into the house. Cummings turned, saw them coming and began to draw his gun. Dehner tackled him and both men went down. The sound of Cummings’ gun skittering across the floor could be heard along with the thump of two bodies landing on creaky wood.  
            Darkness fell over the room. Rance absorbed a punch to his forehead which had probably been aimed at his jaw. Responding with two hard blows to Cummings’ head, Dehner could hear loud grunts accompanied by a screech of pain and scrambling footsteps.
            Rance and his opponent were still on the floor. Both men buoyed onto their knees: two shadows battling to determine which one would be allowed to stand. Cummings attempted a roundhouse, but he was queasy from the two assaults and the punch missed, heaving his torso forward. Dehner’s roundhouse didn’t miss and Wyatt Cummings went down.
            A meager light flickered back into the room. Bertram Lowrie had lit a kerosene lantern. Driblets of blood were spattered down Lowrie’s left cheek.
            “Are you okay, sir?” Dehner spoke as he got to his feet.
            “Yes. Adrian Monahan doused this lantern, then slammed me in the face with Cummings’ gun.
            “Do you know where he is?”
            Lowrie nodded toward the outside. “He’s out there somewhere. We have a madman running loose in the dark with a loaded gun.”

Tomorrow: Episode Eleven of The Darkness