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The Midnight Grave Digger

The Midnight Grave Digger

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The Midnight Grave Digger

Länge:
229 Seiten
3 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Sep 5, 2019
ISBN:
9780463734469
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

The Midnight Grave Digger is about a man who is visited by the ghost of a ten year old boy, Who leads him to where he has been murdered and buried in a mountain grave. When Ron reports this to the police he is immediately suspected of being an accomplice to the murder. He is allowed to be free only when the ghost reveals that there are eight more graves to be unearthed. The hunt for the murderer continues when the FBI joins the investigation. The story continues as they try to discover the identity of the murderer and prevent the last victim from being murdered.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Sep 5, 2019
ISBN:
9780463734469
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor


Buchvorschau

The Midnight Grave Digger - Ron Jay

Chapter One

I’m sitting in a lawyer’s office, waiting to get legal advice about my impending divorce. Since I can’t afford a lawyer, I’ve had to go to Legal-Aid to get help. The waiting room is crowded. People around me are surprisingly talkative, considering they are about to uproot their lives. On this night, all the lawyers here specialize in divorce law. There’s a lot of subdued arguing and discussion among everyone in the room.

I’m finally called into a lawyer’s office. The man rises from his seat, we shake hands, and he gestures for me to be seated opposite him as he seats himself behind his desk.

I’m Ronald Martin, I begin. I’m 28 years old and my wife left me, suddenly, without really explaining why. I came home one afternoon and found her gone. There was no explanation, no note. The only way I knew she had left me was that she had taken all her possessions and clothes.

Had you been fighting or arguing? the lawyer asked.

We’ve been arguing more and more often, but I didn’t think it was that serious.

You said her personal possessions were gone. What exactly did she take from the home?

I thought it was strange that she hadn’t taken any furniture or small appliances. A week later, I found out why she didn’t need any furniture. She was living with my boss. I was fired from my job when I confronted him at work.

This seemed to upset the lawyer’s calm attitude.

Exactly how did you confront him?

I punched him in the nose. It floored him and he bled like a pig. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do. I got fired and I guess I was lucky not to be arrested.

I squirmed in my seat and looked down at the floor for a few seconds before continuing. I’m embarrassed to tell how my wife left me penniless, begging my friends for money for food.

They’ve agreed to allow me to collect unemployment compensation if I don’t oppose the divorce.

Do you have any money to hire an attorney and sue for alimony? the lawyer asked. What is your financial outlook?

I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of the situation. I finally got up enough nerve to fully admit my miserable circumstances. When I went through the pile of papers she left behind, I found out our checking account and savings accounts were empty. None of the house’s utilities have been paid for four months. The mortgage hasn’t been paid for four months. I have no money; no job, and it will take at least a month to start collecting unemployment benefits.

It was the lawyer’s turn to stare down at the floor. Trying to get help from the legal system, when you don’t have any money and need help right away, is almost impossible.

You said she emptied the saving and checking accounts. How much money are we talking about?

Mostly, my paycheck, I replied. She told me, months ago, that she wanted to learn how to pay the bills, in case anything ever happened to me, so I let her handle all the household bills. I had already emptied the savings account so I could pay off our credit cards and then cancel them.

This seemed to upset the lawyer again. Why did you cancel the credit cards?

She was on her way to maxing out all the credit card accounts. The interest was killing me. She was buying designer clothes, jewelry and cosmetics. I closed the accounts and paid them off. We argued about that a lot.

So, in court, she could say it was you who emptied the savings and checking accounts.

I thought about that for a few minutes. I can see I’m backed into a corner. No one can help me. I thanked the lawyer and left his office. My biggest problem now is feeding myself until I can collect my first unemployment check.

On my way home, I stopped at a tavern to have a drink. That’s another really stupid move. I have less than eighty dollars left. I don’t need to be throwing eight dollars away. It’s Friday night, date night, and I can see many unattached women who are obviously hoping to meet someone new. If one of them would approach me and I’d have to buy a round of drinks, I’d simply be out another sixteen dollars. There would be no hope of starting a relationship. But that’s another pipedream. Women always seem to avoid me. I don’t know why. It’s not as if I’m ugly or stupid. I’ve always been what women describe as the perfect catch: An accountant with an MBA from an Ivy League school; courteous; patient. I was always faithful to my wife… I sound like a Boy Scout.

I’m beginning to sink into the same endless circle of self-pity, which isn’t helping me. But I’m desperate. I’ll go home now and sleep in my house for the last time. Tomorrow, I’ll have to move to my hunting cabin on Ridgeway mountain. It’s either that or sleep under a bridge somewhere.

The night passed slowly. I didn’t get much sleep and now it’s eight o’clock in the morning. Two no-nonsense deputy sheriff officers are evicting me from my house. I’ve been carrying my clothes out to my car and throwing them on the back seat. The clothes are the only thing I have left, since I had a yard sale last week and sold almost all my furniture, the TV, and my odd collection of appliances and tools. The full realization that I’m now a homeless person has begun hitting me hard. When the eviction started, my neighbors came out of their houses and stood, staring and silent, as my remaining furniture was carried out of my house and stacked up on the sidewalk. It has been the most humiliating moment of my life.

The neighbors are slowly returning to their homes without speaking, and now only one person remains. She is standing on the sidewalk, three houses away from me, a mysterious woman wearing a black full-length hooded cape. Her face is hidden in the shadow of the cape’s hood. Something about her is sending shivers of fear up my spine. I recall seeing her in the parking lot when I was escorted out of the building at work. How I know a woman is under that cape and hood is a mystery to me, but for some reason that I can’t understand , I’ m deathly afraid of her.

My next-door neighbor, Ralph, has now come out of his house and has joined me.

I’m sorry to see this happening to you, he said. I wish I could do more to help you.

You did enough, I answered, shaking his hand. You’re the only one who has helped me. I hope I can repay the money I borrowed from you soon.

Don’t worry about it, he replied.

No. You have six kids. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t pay you back. I applied for unemployment, so I‘ll have some money next month. My boss said he would tell them he laid me off instead of firing me. But I had to agree to a quick divorce.

Ralph just shook his head. He knows all about the affair.

I should have said something to you when I noticed her sneaking out after you guys went to bed at night. She wouldn’t come home until six o’clock.

I didn’t reply. What could I say? I was looking up the street at the mysterious woman in black who was standing motionless and staring at me. She looked like one of the statues you see in graveyards, except she was dressed in black. For some reason, she’s scaring the hell out of me.

Where are you going now? Ralph asked.

I still have the cabin in the woods. I guess I’ll have to live there until I can get my life together.

I thought you rented the cabin to some young fellow, Ralph said.

Yeah, he was going to record songs at the cabin and become a world-famous singer, I said. I guess that didn’t work out too well. Anyhow, he was three months behind on the rent and decided to move back with mommy and daddy when I pressed him for the money he owed.

I turned to look at the pile of assorted household castoffs from my house that had been stacked up on the sidewalk.

Who is that woman standing there? I asked Ralph. I pointed at the woman in the black cape and hood.

Ralph turned and looked and then stared at me strangely. He didn’t answer my question.

She’s been standing there watching me for about twenty-minutes, I said. Have you seen her in the neighborhood before?

I pointed at the woman again. Ralph turned to look and then he had a questioning look on his face.

I have to get back to the baby, he said, shaking my hand and waving goodbye as he hurriedly walked across the lawn to his house.

I looked up the street again at the woman in black. Some deep primal fear struck at my chest. There was something deeply frightening about her. I still didn’t know how I knew she was a woman. It could be a man wearing that cape and hood. I heard a loud bang. I looked away for a moment to see workmen starting to nail plywood over my house’s windows. When I looked back a second later, she had vanished. There was nowhere she could have gone so quickly. I’m standing there like an idiot, searching for a glimpse of her, but seeing nothing to explain her sudden disappearance.

Is she a symbol of the evil that has begun to stalk me? I saw her when they escorted me out of the building after I punched my boss in the face. I didn’t think much about her at the time, but now….

A policeman has come out of the house and is motioning for me to leave. I guess they are anxious to eliminate any possible outburst from me. Now, the only place I can go is to the small cabin I had built years ago on Ridgeway Mountain. I only used it during deer season. The cabin is furnished, and I won’t need anything extra there. At least, I won’t be sleeping under a bridge.

I’m driving across town in a daze. I’m passing a lot of memories. I’ve lived here since I was a teenager. Now, it seems like I’m being rejected, driven out like an outcast. Taylorville is a medium-size town, nestled between two mountains in Northern Pennsylvania. The people here are friendly. I had intended to live here all my life. I’ll probably have to move to a larger city to escape the bad job referrals I’ll continue to get from my wife’s lover. His company was the only place I’ve ever worked. That will make it hard to get started again.

I’ve arrived at the entrance to the dirt road that leads to the top of Ridgeway mountain. The road is over a mile long and is wide enough for only one car. Years ago, it had been scooped out of the mountainside by a madman on a bulldozer. He was the first one to have bought property on top of the mountain. The road has a dozen switchbacks, which are sharp turns that allow the road to ride gradually up the side of the mountain in what resembles a series of Z’s. One side of the road has a drainage ditch and the other side has a one-hundred foot drop down the mountainside.

When I arrived at the cabin, I discovered that the would-be world-famous singer had taken or sold everything except the stove and furnace. This didn’t really upset me, as it should have. I’m now burdened with very few possessions. All the clutter has been removed from my life. Strangely, at this moment, this seems to free me from the burden of owning things.

It’s already past six o’clock and I haven’t had anything to eat since yesterday afternoon. During the past month, after my wife left me and I had no money, I was forced to eat everything in the house’s refrigerator and cupboards. I probably could have appealed to one of the town’s charitable relief agencies for help, but I was too proud to beg for help from anyone. Ralph knew what was going on and he insisted on loaning me money several times. I remember finding five boxes of cornflakes in the cupboard. This, mixed with water, had been my breakfast treat for two months. I’ll never eat cornflakes again. I still have three hardboiled eggs, a half-loaf of bread and a small jar of peanut-butter left from the house. I’m now sitting in the car, eating the eggs and making endless peanut-butter sandwiches. I’m remaining in the car, feeling depressed and lonely. I have nowhere to go. My life has no purpose or direction.

I’ve always been self-sufficient, relying only on my own hard work and sacrifice to advance myself. I guess that’s where this stubborn pride came from. I lost my parents to a car accident when I was sixteen years old. I had no relatives to adopt me and I spent the next two years in a foster home. On my eighteenth birthday, I joined the Army. After finishing basic training, I was assigned to a base near a college that offered weekend courses in business administration. I remained in the town for another three years after my Army hitch was up. I was determined to finish my education. I returned to Taylorville and got a good-paying job with Scott Industries, where I met my wife.

I guess, at this point in my life, I wanted too much too fast. Eddie was fresh out of high school. She was beautiful and expected the best of everything, simply because she was so beautiful. She had been spoiled and pampered all her life. After all my years of sacrifice, I was eager to possess her. I never stopped to realize that what I was offering to a young girl would soon not be enough to satisfy her when she was exposed to the world around her. Sadly, her next conquest would be the owner of my company.

I finally got out of the car and entered the cabin while I could still see in the gathering darkness. I can’t believe that I don’t even have a chair to sit on or a bed. The place is empty, except for the stove and furnace. The cabin is divided into two rooms. The larger room, where you enter the cabin, is a combination living room / kitchen. The kitchen portion consists only of a washbasin and a stove. The cabin has no running water or sewerage system. There is an outhouse in the back, and a spring in front that constantly provides water. There are no electrical lines leading to the top of the mountain. It may seem rather spartan and harsh, but I originally intended to live up here for only a few days during the hunting season.

There is a sturdy door that leads to the small bedroom. My tenant had turned the bedroom into an improvised sound-studio. The walls and ceiling are lined with waffled cardboard boxes that were originally used for cradling the eggs you buy in the store. They are nailed with the bottoms out, forming cones. It’s crude, but they are very effective at absorbing sound. I guess when he recorded his songs, he needed complete silence. When I opened the door, my flashlight cast ominous pointed shadows everywhere from the raised bottom cones of the egg-cartons. When I closed the bedroom door, there was an eerie, total quiet. It is peaceful, however, and I’m tired. A feeling of complete exhaustion and depression is sweeping over me. I’m just going to lay down on the carpet in the bedroom, curl into the fetal position and go to sleep.

I’m awake.

I guess I’ve been sleeping a few hours. Maybe, longer. There are no windows in the room. There’s no way to tell if it’s night or day. It’s totally dark and there’s no noise or sound. I’m getting up and scooting against the wall into a sitting position. I can feel the foam egg crates on the wall crushing as my weight presses against them. It’s so unnaturally quiet. I can hear myself breathing and I can hear and feel the blood pulsing through my veins. I’ve never experienced such a total absolute darkness. I’m alone, terribly alone and helpless. I’m looking around the room, seeing nothing, but instinctively turning and searching for anything to focus my eyes on. But there is only blackness. I’m beginning to panic, and then….

I’m seeing a shimmering, blue apparition against the far wall. It becomes brighter, almost blinding me. Strangely, it does not light up the room. The light is bright enough to hurt my eyes, but it doesn’t illuminate the walls or floor. I know this is wrong. This violates the laws of physics. This can’t be happening.

A paralyzing stab of fear has gripped me for several minutes. There is no mistaking that what I’m seeing is something supernatural – something that doesn’t belong in this world. The dancing blue light is beginning to take a shape. I can see it is a small boy. He is standing ten feet away from me. I can see his blue tennis shoes resting solidly on the carpet. His clothing is blue: a long-sleeved cowboy shirt with fringes on the sleeves, Levi-type pants and a blue cowboy hat. I guess he’s about ten years old. At times, he looks very solid and real, and then, a moment later, he seems to shimmer and briefly fade away.

I don’t believe this. I know I’m not dreaming. The boy is not moving. He is staring intently at me. His face has no expression. Then, to add to my horror, he is raising his right arm and pointing his forefinger at me. I’ve almost stopped breathing. This threatening pose has lasted for several minutes. It seemed like it was forever. He didn’t move or come closer. I’m praying fervently and forcing myself to breathe. And, now, the shape is fading away. The room is totally dark again. I’m awkwardly stumbling to my feet and feeling frantically along the wall, searching for the door. I finally found it and twisted the doorknob to open the door.

I feel a welcome breath of fresh air. I can smell the mixed odors of the surrounding woods. The deep fragrance of pine. The freshness of flowers beginning to bloom. I can see the gathering light of a new day through the front window. I, nevertheless, find one of my emergency candles and strike a match to it. The tiny flickering flame is only casting ominous shadows on the ceiling and walls, but it is real, not supernatural. I’m standing in front of the window, trying desperately to rationalize the experience I just had in the bedroom.

Was that a ghost? Is this place haunted? How the hell did that happen? No one has ever died here. Or, maybe, that’s why my tenant pulled out of here so fast. Maybe, he killed that boy here. Is that why he got rid of all my furniture? Was some of it blood-stained? What the hell am I going to do now? This place is all I have. I can’t leave here. If I go to the police, they’ll think I’m a crazy person.

I opened the front door and walked out

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