Authors: Griffin Hayes
Tags: #reincarnation, #apocalypse, #Supernatural, #Paranormal, #Thriller
© 2012 Griffin Hayes
design by Andre Ciaccia and Griffin Hayes
rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof
in any form whatsoever.
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the
product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any
resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events,
or locales is entirely coincidental.
he rain was coming down
in sheets and Thomson wondered if it would ever let up.
“Been crapping on our
heads like this for nearly a week,” his partner Brooks said, wiping the water
off the brim of his hat with one finger. Brooks wore one of those snap-brimmed
antique hats that looked about as beat up as the man wearing it, but his
partner seemed to think it made him look like Nick Nolte in the movie Mullhulland Falls.
Cept we ain’t detectives,
Thomson thought, gritting his teeth,
this ain’t L.A.
Brooks rang the
doorbell again, just as the woman answered.
She was slight and
plump with soft skin the color of clean linen. “I’m so glad you came,” she
stammered, wringing her hands.
Thomson and Brooks
entered and removed their trench coats. Threads of water collected on the sterile
off-white tiles at their feet. Place almost looked like a hospital.
She took the men’s
coats and hung them up. “Don’t you have any equipment? I mean, you did say you
would run a battery of tests.”
Thomson was the one to
speak. “Mrs. Kesler, our first order of business is always to speak with the
child. Your claim is quite... extraordinary... therefore we make it a point not to
rush anything. I hope you understand.”
She nodded in
agreement, although the look of concern on her face said otherwise. “I just
want to know, one way or another.”
“We understand,” Brooks
cut in. “But if it’s any consolation, given what you told us over the phone,
the whole thing is rather incredible.”
“Incredible is hardly
the word I’d use,” she snapped and Brooks recoiled slightly.
Thomson shook his head
in contempt at Brooks’ blunder. Lack of experience was all it came down to. Kid
was as green as a grape and about as soft as one too. Of course, paranormal
investigators don’t need psych degrees, but knowing a thing or two about the
way people think can often be the difference between a paycheck and the
“Let me apologize for
my partner,” Thomson offered. “It was a poor choice of words. Let me assure
you, if there’s anything at all to your suspicions we’ll get to the bottom of it
tonight. Before we begin however, there is the small issue of our fee.”
“Oh yes,” the woman
said and pulled a thick envelope from her apron. She handed it to Thomson who
made it vanish into the inner pocket of his dark blue blazer with all the grace
of a street magician.
“Now, Mrs. Kesler,
where is your son?”
he three of them
ascended the stairs while Mrs. Kesler told them what a wonderful boy Donald
was. For a moment, Thomson almost felt guilty taking this poor woman’s money.
He and Brooks had investigated well over a hundred cases of supposed paranormal
activity and during each and every one the pattern had played out the same.
Brooks always found one more piece of evidence to bolster his belief that
strange things did, in fact, go bump in the night. But for Thomson, every case
drew him one step closer to the inevitable realization that Brooks was a
gullible fool. Perhaps the perfect example of this was the case of the old man
in Hardin County, Tennessee. The old hoot’s name was Joshua Cosgrove and he claimed
to have daily conversations with Albert Sidney Johnston, a General killed at
the battle of Shiloh in 1862. So was it any surprise that the good general
developed a sudden case of stage fright whenever Thomson and Brooks set up
their equipment to record the ghostly meetings?
And then there was Mrs.
Patel, who swore that her statue of Vishnu cried real tears of blood. Not
surprisingly, when the blood samples came back from the lab reading Porcus
blood, as in pig, well even that didn’t seem to sway her one bit. Thomson was
into facts, the colder and the harder the better. Brooks had speculated whether
the lab had made a mistake. But gullibility aside, Brooks wasn’t all bad. There
were trade-offs, like his connections over at the local university where the
bulk of their findings were analyzed, not that any of them had ever come back
with conclusive proof of the supernatural.
The boy’s room was just
ahead of them now and Thomson felt an uncharacteristic prickle of gooseflesh
crawl up his arms. He was pulling out a pad of paper and a pen when Mrs. Kesler
pushed the door open. Seated cross legged on the floor was a boy, no more than
five or six years old, his gaze fixed on the toys around him as the trio
shuffled into the room. They had walked into a scale model battlefield. Lined
up in parade formation were dozens of gray toy soldiers. The kind they sell in
bags of 50 and 100.
“Donald,” Mrs. Kesler
said sheepishly. “Did you wanna say hello to the nice men who’ve come to see
The boy lifted his head
and both men winced when they saw the flesh on his face. It was pink and
stretched into a horrible scar.
“Was he burned in a
fire?” Brooks asked.
“Oh, no,” Mrs. Kesler
said. “This only started showing up in the spring. Nothing more than a thin
line at first. We called it his lucky soft patch. Then it started spreading and
that’s part of why I called you people. The doctors have looked him up and down
and all they can tell me is it’s either a skin irritation or a late blooming
Donald went back to
lining up his men, as if he were alone.
Brooks flipped through
the pages of his notepad. “Wound migration isn’t at all unusual,” he offered.
“Ian Stevenson’s work on birthmarks and soul transference is quite extensive.”
More mumbo jumbo
, Thomson thought. He
was growing tired of playing games. “Mrs. Kesler, why exactly are you so
certain your son is the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler?”
er face blanched.
Thomson felt Brooks’ hand touch his elbow warning him to ‘take it back a notch’
but shrugged his partner off.
“You think I’m crazy,
don’t you?” she asked.
“No, of course we
don’t,” Brooks said, tripping all over his words like a gawky schoolboy.
On the ground, the boy
continued to play.
“Mrs. Kesler, right now
all I’m seeing is a little boy who likes to play soldier,” Thomson said. “There
are millions like him all over the country.”
The woman looked
flustered and Thomson thought he knew why. She’s seen the kid’s fascination
with war, noticed what looked like scar tissue creeping across his face and
jumped to a ridiculous conclusion.
She fiddled with the
strings on her apron, looping them around her fingers like tiny nooses. “About
a month ago, I was cleaning the kitchen when Donald came up behind me, nearly
scared me witless. He was asking where the dog was. I hadn’t the faintest idea
what he was talking about. I mean, we don’t have a dog. I told him as much and
he shook his head and became real adamant that he owned a dog and wanted to
know where I’d put her. Said she was a gift from Martin, that she’d just had a
litter and he needed to find her right away. Wasn’t more than an hour later
that I heard him upstairs in his room, calling out for Blondi. I was afraid. I
wasn’t sure who he was talking to, but he kept on tapping his leg and saying ‘Kommen
hier Blondie’ over and over again.”
“That’s German,” Brooks
said. He was searching the net on his phone, his fingers dancing over the tiny
keyboard at a frantic pace. “Says here Hitler loved dogs. His favorite was a
Shepherd named Blondi that he took with him into the Führerbunker.” Brooks paused,
the blood draining from his face. “She had a litter of pups right before she
“She didn’t just die.
The dog was killed,” Thomson amended. “Hitler fed her cyanide capsules because
he had doubts about the poison’s potency.” Thomson flipped through his notepad
and poised the pen in his hand to take notes. “How many hours of television
does Donald watch, Mrs. Kesler?”
“Does he have friends?
Go on play dates?”
“Well, sure he does.
Other little boys from his class mostly. One of them lives on our street,
Samuel. You think he got this from one of them? None of them speak any German
though, at least I don’t think they do.”
Thomson looked up from
his notes. “The key here, Mrs. Kesler, is that you don’t think they do. A
child’s mind is like a sponge, you see. You’d be absolutely amazed at the
amount of raw data they absorb on a daily basis. Wouldn’t take much more than
an absent minded adult watching a war documentary in another room for that kind
of thing to seep into Donald’s subconscious mind.”
“I want you to be right,
Mr. Thomson. Not just for obvious reasons. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but
I’m Jewish and so is most of the neighborhood. I wanted this to go away so
badly, but after the scar on Donald’s face started to spread, I didn’t think I
could ignore it any longer. But you see, no one can know what I’m telling you
here. Can you imagine what would happen? You don’t know what people are capable
of.” Mrs. Kesler’s voice started to rise and Donald looked up at her. “The
Goldbergs were at Dachau, for crying out loud. For all I know, their son is
liable to kick down the door and hurt Donald and I won’t take that risk. I
don’t care what he was all those years ago, he’s my son now. That’s why I want
you to be right, Mr. Thomson. More than you know.”
Thomson’s eyes fell and
found Donald, clutching his mother’s leg.
homson and Brooks
retrieved their equipment from the van they had arrived in and hauled it up to
Donald’s bedroom. EMF detectors, temperature sensors, a portable oscilloscope
and even an ionization detector. Donald sat on his bed, his tiny, pale hands
gripping the superman bedspread as he watched the men set up their equipment.
Outside, heavy drops of
rain battered the windows.
Brooks sat on the bed
next to Donald and got him to lift his shirt. They needed to attach the suction
cups to his temples and chest. Patches of skin on Donald’s chest also looked
“What happened to your
skin Donald?” Brooks asked as he attached the receptors.
Donald’s eyes dropped.
“The fire touched me.”
“You got burned?”
The boy nodded.
“Can you tell me when
“I don’t remember.”
Brooks applied the last
suction cup. “I need you to be still, Donald. Can you do that for me?”
“I think so.”
Reaching down, Brooks
scooped up a toy soldier and slid it into the boy’s hand. “Just relax now.”
Thomson had set most of
the equipment on a dresser and was still fiddling with various settings.
“I don’t think any of
this stuff’s gonna do us any good,” Brooks said coming up behind him.
Thomson shook his head
in mock disgust. “That’s a surprise. I thought you were a believer?”
“You mean, do I think
this kid really
Hitler?” Brooks asked, whispering that last part as
though he’d said a curse word. “I’m not sure yet. I’m only saying we can bring
in all the ghost busting gear you want, but I don’t think it’s gonna do much
good. We need to talk to the boy. We might even need to call in Shrodder.”
Thomson let out a dry
laugh. “We need hard scientific data, not some whack job quack who specializes
in hypnosis. You still don’t get it, do you Brooks? We’ll never be taken
seriously unless we do things right.”
“But at least Shrodder
might be able to get some historical facts we can verify. Remember the James
Leininger case? That boy said he was a World War II fighter pilot and how did
his parents discover the truth? They called in a hypnotist.” Brooks was shaking
his head. “I think you’ve already made up your mind on this one.”
“What are you implying
here? That I’m closed minded or that I’m burned out?”
Brooks raised his hands
in a kind of peace offering. “I didn’t use those words, you did.”
“At least I haven’t
turned into a gullible fool. Is it any surprise we aren’t taken seriously?
Every time we stumble onto a case you’re so ready to believe that gullibility’s
dribbling out your ears.”
“You crusty old son of
a bitch! You think you’re Stephen frikin’ Hawking, don’t you?”
Mrs. Kesler’s voice
came from downstairs. “Everything all right up there?”
Thomson called back in reply, drawing in a deep breath. “We’re running a few
tests, that’s all.” He could feel his heart hammering in his chest. Brooks
wasn’t more than a foot away from him, his smooth, youthful face a mask of
indignation. In spite of their professional differences, the two men had never
lashed out at each other, especially not on a job. They stood there for a
moment, staring at each other, wondering what had triggered the outburst.
Stress? Lack of sleep? Could have been either one really.
Both men looked over at
the same time, and found Donald still seated on the bed, watching them with a
strange glimmer in his eyes. The boy was smiling.