“How did you sleep dear?” enquired Mrs. Trout the following morning.
“Really well Mum. I don’t remember dreaming about anything, and I actually feel like I have had a proper sleep for once.”
“That is fantastic to hear Maggie! Now, I spoke to Anton earlier this morning, and he said he is not able to come in today. I also mentioned what Dee said yesterday about focussing your awareness again, and he agreed with her. He also mentioned we should try the book again. How do you feel about it? Do you want to give it a try?”
Maggie reflected on the message Dee passed to her, unheard by her mother, and after a moment’s hesitation, she steeled herself, and agreed.
“Okay then dear. Here we are, back to visit the ‘Misanthrope’ once more. Are you ready?”
“I was born ready Hoot” quoted Maggie, and after clearing her throat, Mrs. Trout began to read.
“Righeo my girl, ‘Slaughter Road’ this one is called. Do you real…..”
“Just get on with it Mum. Please.”
“Okay, no need to be rude. Again, here we go.”
“It is prior to the Great War.”
“Sweat, heat, fire, muscle, and iron are the staple of every blacksmith’s shed, shop, and forge the world over. One of Moora’s own stands on the eastern side of Lenane St. It is a family affair, a couple of brothers now running it; of the two, one has recently been offended by a local identity. He is less than happy.”
Maggie shuddered. From work, she knew Lenane Street. It ran parallel to Kintore Street, and Long Street. She could picture the vacant lot at the northern end of it on a bright sunny March day. The block was attached to the back of St. Josephs, the local Catholic primary school. She could hear noise, although it was not the noise of the kids at the school, rather it was the sounds of men and horses and hammering. Looking around herself, the image in her mind became mist, and the Lenane Street she knew transformed into a dirt track. She could smell sweat.
“Dust, flies and heat cake her. Confusion in its infancy races toward breath stopping maturity in seconds. Realisation at the direness of her predicament, and her naivety that placed her here, the fact that he lured her here, is worth less than the dust on her dark bare feet.”
“Raped, beaten, eventually murdered; she is approximately 13 years old. A recently erected Church stands within earshot and not more than 250 yards east north east of her; one day a school will rise from the dust to its west, directly across the road from it.”
“Guilt riddled, remorse filled, fearing judgement of the law and the reciprocity of family, Mr. G, the blacksmith, admits the crime to his brother; a short time later taking his own life, and is found at the end of a rope. Coincidentally, locals nicknamed Lenane St. ‘Slaughter Road’ soon after.”
She could see him, hanging by the neck. His grease and soot covered forearms were huge. His filthy collarless shirt was tucked into a pair of equally grubby pants, which were tied up with a piece of old rope. His left foot still twitched, and a large green tailed fly landed on his bloated purple cheek..
“Time moves, years pass, and the blacksmith is a thing of memory. The forge removed, the ground levelled, and houses replace its sheds and yards; a house built over the blacksmiths’ ages such that it replaced by another. It is here that we reach a place in time roughly a decade ago, Lenane St. long since having shed its gruesome unofficial title.”
“Those that dwell in the house on the site of the murder and suicide had been experiencing odd and uncomfortable sensations for quite a while. Places of cold occurring in different parts of the house; utensils and appliances are moved around, and lights are turned on or off by unseen hands. Worse, the behaviour of the occupants changes for no apparent reason, but it is always for the worst, and has been the norm as far as living memory tells. A mother’s child falls from grace, slipping into a lifestyle of drugs and crime. Doctors are seen, judges fronted, yet nothing works in settling the teen. Eventually, all avenues exhausted, it is the house and the negative energy within that falls under scrutiny’s eye. At her wit’s end, the mother makes a phone call, a priest is brought in and the house examined, leading him to perform various religious acts, rights and blessings. Yet, regardless of his ministrations, the house is on sold once more, new tenants are installed and the cycle repeats again, and again, and again. Violence, drugs, crime………….poverty.”
The dirt track vanished in her mind, replacing it with the street she knew, the houses she had visited. Her pulse raced loud enough for her to hear it in her ears. Maggie’s breathing quickened.
‘OH MY GOD! I KNOW THE HOUSE, I KNOW THE HOUSE!’ Maggie’s mind screamed. ‘Jock and I were called to domestics’ regularly there! The couple were junkies. He was young and beat her regularly, but she would never leave! OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!’
“Tragically the body of the girl has never been found, she whose ghost is oft seen, down on Slaughter Road.”
“And there we go dear. What did you think of that? Actually did you know about that?” asked Mrs. Trout.
“Bloody hell Mum! I know the house!” Maggie said excitedly. “Jock and I attended domestic’s there fairly regularly. It is a place of absolute sorrow and foreboding, plus it’s a bit of a dump.”
Maggie’s mother looked across at her, and began to open her mouth.
“No Mum, I’m not telling you which how. There are laws regarding privacy you know, so please don’t bother asking.”
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