Life as a paranormal investigator, sure ain’t a cakewalk. But I stood firm on my unyielding resolve.
Based on my immaculate and efficient track record, I was assigned the complex case of ‘The Wailing Castle’ located in the Sleepy Hollow. A legendary village in the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, about 40 minutes’ drive from Manhattan.
Stories had it, ‘The Wailing Castle’ was built upon a graveyard. Further details weren’t known or even suppressed… who knows!
The case was unsolved for more than three years and quite a few of my seniors had vanished from the site sans any trace.
My first day on the site, an obtrusive and garish inverted cross standing proudly at the entrance sent a chill down my spine. Much to my dismay, I also found the number ‘665’ on a piece of ragged paper with frayed ends dangling right below the inverted cross. Something which none of my research came up with.
Some things are better suppressed, muttered my inner voice!
My extensive research seemed utterly inadequate the moment I stepped into the castle. Musty, putrid smell thwacked my nostrils. An insanely eerie sensation seemed to impale my senses. Every now and then there were jarring noises as if some people were trying to push the wooden floorboards from beneath.
Holding my calm, I managed to fix the surveillance cameras while stomping on the creaking floorboards at erratic intervals. Reassuring myself, drawing a long breath I continued to hope against hope.
The waning glow of sunset seemed to whisper ominous nothings. Soon the darkness within me and within the castle was all pervading. Hastily I put on my headlamp, in an attempt to light up my feeble strength and the surroundings.
A sudden draft seemed to numb my senses. I shifted my gaze around only to feel a serrated sensation of fear coursing through every vein, bone and organ. A sense of foreboding overwhelmed me.
With bracing breath, I scoured for my temperature gun to determine the drop in temperature in order to confirm a paranormal presence. All of a sudden brassy wailing coupled with cragged, labored breath filled the air.
My static had stopped working by then, all I could hear was the brassy wailing sounds. Screeching voices started to emanate from all over. I felt claustrophobic, the heaviness on my chest was unbearable as if someone was trying to bury me alive.
The surrounding garbled voices reached a crescendo until all were silent with unmistaken familiarity.
I’ve heard the number at the entrance changed from 665 to 666* before it was nowhere to be found along with the inverted cross.
The Wailing Castle, no longer wails now. It is at peace, and I too continue to rest in peace. The floorboards overhead, no longer make creaking noises.
Some things are better suppressed!
Inverted cross – Is used as an anti-Christian and Satanic symbol.
666*- Regarded as Devil’s number or the Number of Beast!
Author’s Note: This is a work of fiction, loosely based on the fact that the legacy of Satanic rituals and human sacrifices has been deeply interwoven with American culture and politics.
The story was an entry for a writing event on prompt: SOLO, One Character. One Scene.