I hurried down the hall past a mother cradling her two dead babies, with a third older child propped against her shoulder, smiling up at her and playing with the point of a knife. A couple of indeterminate age and sex were having what looked like hugely painful and non consensual sex on both their parts- no pun intended. I reached into the cupboard for my coat and found the ghost of a young girl of about three cutting herself absentmindedly on her bare forearms and thighs as the blood dripped in a steady line onto the floor. They were becoming more realistic the longer I spent in the house and I wasted no more time. I ran upstairs pushing my way past a sea of rapidly multiplying faces trying to tune them out with only partial success.
I ran into my room, picking up my scrying glass, wallet, mobile and on second thoughts the ouija board that I kept for emergencies and scurried back downstairs back through the press of spectral presences. Blindly groping for the catch on the front door, I felt a pressure on my arm and turned round to see the woman with the dead babies. Her eyelids and lips had been sewn shut and she seemed to be trying to tell me something through the bindings. The fact that I could now feel them was very bad and it would be a matter of seconds before sound exploded in the house like a detonated bomb. They were gaining power and it had to be something to do with the dead crossing over where the membrane to our world had worn thin. I saw the doll Lucille had made of Henry on the hall table and on impulse snatched the repulsive thing because it wouldn’t do to leave something as powerful as that unattended for dead hands to make mischief with. You just never knew. I briefly wondered how Ruby was handling the Edinburgh situation before I swung the door open and threw myself across the threshold, shaking off a withered old hand in the process that was hanging onto my leg.
I backed away from the house clutching coat and gear and looked back at the house. I could see a multitude of the dead crowded at every window including the one in the front door. They weren’t doing anything now, as though all that activity had been a show for my benefit. I wondered when they’d gather the power to leave the house. I’d never seen such an escalation of power in what was a matter of minutes. Ruby’s words came back to me with a fresh urgency and I turned my back on the House of Blood and hurried into my car. I had to hurriedly scrape off the frozen accumulation of snow and put the heaters on full blast to deal with the ice that had collected on the inside of the windscreen. When I drove off, after what seemed like an age, I could feel innumerable sets of dead eyes, watching me, calculating what the next move would be.
I was wondering myself.