Chapter 3: The Haunted Shotgun pts 1-3

~ 1 ~

I was face to face with a floating shotgun, mesmerized by a voice asking me to solve a riddle…..

~ 2 ~

A man with long braided hair and an even longer braided beard was lying on the floor of his apartment with his face blown off. A pool of blood that had formed under his head also had sprayed the walls around his desk, turning it into a Rorschach drawing.

I stood over top of the body of Alan Munroe and it immediately struck me he had been wearing a Mickey Mouse tee-shirt too small for his fifty-five-year-old body. I wasn’t the only one who noticed it. Detective Swanson commented to everyone in the room, “Why can’t the famous fucker buy some nicer clothes? He had more money than anyone in this room.”

Munroe made a name for himself by writing comic books. I never read any of them, but I did try to read one of his novels and it was just too gruesome for me. If you deal with demons on a regular basis as your job, you don’t want to read about the crap as fiction. From what I understand, Munroe, along with Donald Franks, changed Comic books forever by writing about superheroes as real people with real everyday problems.

Bleak stuff, I heard.

Now he’s dead. And he won’t be writing bleak stories for anyone unless it’s in the afterlife. I saw the forensics guy pick up the sawed-off Winchester shotgun and it shook in his hands. I couldn’t yell at him not to touch it in time. The other cops in the room dropped to the floor and hid. The forensics officer tried to let go of the handle, instead, he turned the barrel on himself.

Both barrels went off. The poor fool fell to the floor, the shotgun hung in the air a second, then fell beside him. The right side of his face was like one long deep pocket on a pair of pants.

~ 3 ~

I approached cautiously, took in some air. I heard voices from the next room screaming. The voices belonged to Police chief Hemlock and Detective Lt. Ragdale. They were screaming my name. Well, cursing it.

Hemlock entered the room, kicking books on the floor out of his path. “The fuck’s goin’ on in here?”

He looked down at the forensics officer. He prayed to God under his breath. He turned to me. “Every time people stand next to you, Chambers, they die. You understand that?!”

“Might not want to stand too close to me then, Hemlock. A lot of people will start cheering.” I grinned in his face.

Ragdale was right behind hemlock, like the weasel he was. I dislike him almost as much as he does me. Only I wouldn’t sell my mother’s soul just to get even with him. Hell, he’d sell his mother on the street for a candy bar.

“Another fuck up, Chambers?” He chewed his cigar, smiled impertinently.

“Like your old man did. Why you were conceived, Ragdale.”

“Shut up, both of you, Hemlock rubbed between closed eyes. “What you make of this, Chambers. This fucking shotgun.”

“Deadly weapon,” I said.

“He knows that!” Ragdale stuck his chest out.

“Just spill it, will you Chambers.” Hemlock began pacing.

“It’s the Danforth shotgun. I think you all know the story of this unusual cursed object.”

They all looked at me dumbfounded. The train had left the station with these guys when it came to anything they term as unbelievable. Even when proof of existence was shoved in their faces. I told them the story of how Jack Danforth, premiere gun maker, scripted a verse from the Thorne bridge spell caster for his spirit to live on. Thorn bridge spell caster is the bible of all black magic books. Helen Thorn Bridge was burned at the stake in 1669. As she was being fried, she reciting all spells from memory. When the ashes of her body were cleared with the debris, the spell caster book was found, the book cover still simmering.

“C’mon, Ragdale, “I said. “When your wife was in the kitchen stirring the cauldron she never told this story?”

“She ain’t no witch, Chambers.” That was the best he could do without burning up more brain cells.

I saw an emblem on the stock of that shotgun. A circle with a slash across it. It seemed familiar. I was trying to rack my brains when I noticed it was also a tattoo on Munroe’s wrist as they placed him inside a body bag.

It was time to gather some information from my favorite Newspaper boy. But first I had to meet Maggie for lunch. I was living in the guest house owned by her husband. It was an unspoken rule that I would also look after Maggie. I don’t know if it was his intention for us to become close, but that’s just what happened. He was out rolling through parts unknown searching for bizarre antiques with questionable backgrounds and religious artifacts with ungodly alliances.

Hellspeak Haunted Shotgun 1

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Next Tuesday: The Haunted Shotgun Parts 4-6

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