The man in the trench coat walked through Bridge Street market and tried to ignore the stares from the traders. Perhaps it was his all American, chiselled features that merited such an unfriendly reaction, or the sight of suit trousers, a white shirt and black tie reminded them of some hated market inspector. Either way, Fox Mulder was not about to let the stares of a few locals put him off interviewing the landlord of the Queen Vic; not when that landlord has a strange story to tell that could make this trip to England worthwhile.
He continued on to a cafe named “Kathy’s” just as his partner came outside, clutching two white polystyrene cups. Her expression was one of irritation and Mulder braced himself for some harsh words. Dana Scully had been his partner at the F.B.I for many years and by now he was used to how her mind worked.
“What the hell are we doing here Mulder?” she asked. “This place is a dump.”
“We’re enjoying ourselves.” Mulder quipped. “Anyway, you said it was OK for me to come to London with you.”
She shot him a look. “For a sightseeing holiday!… not to take a trip to some run down Square, searching for ghosts and ghouls.”
Scully, who was dressed in a brown trenchcoat and brown blouse, pushed the strawberry blonde hair away from her face and handed the cup to her partner. He grinned and wheeled away towards the Queen Vic, pushing open the double doors and entering into the quaint old fashioned English boozer. Music from a jukebox was playing in the background and the only customer was an elderly man with a trilby hat and a dark jacket. There was no sign of the landlord.
“He’ll just be a minute ma man.” the customer said loudly across the bar.
“Thank you.” Scully replied.
Mulder sipped his tea and snuck a look through the back. Mick Carter had just put down the telephone and was now coming into the bar. He smiled at the pair of agents then beckoned them away from the customer.
“Are you Mr Carter?” Scully asked.
“Yeah, a wanna fank ya for coming. I wouldn’t normally breathe a word of this but when you contacted me and mentioned that X-Files fing, well…. I knew you’d be the best people to talk to.”
“You must understand we have no jurisdiction here.” Mulder explained. “We are interested in what you have to say. Aren’t we Scully?”
Scully did not reply but leant forward on the bar to show she was paying attention. Mick rubbed the back of his head, clearly very uncomfortable with the subject matter.
“Would ya like a drink?”
“No thanks, Mr Carter.” Mulder replied. “Now you mentioned a visitation… a woman who came to you begging for help. Is that correct?”
Mick nodded and explained exactly what had happened. He told them everything; how Ronnie and Roxy had died on New Year’s Eve, the bolted door and the water on the floor. As he spoke, he continuously looked around to ensure no one was listening. Mulder listened intently, taking in every detail and analysing everything the publican divulged. Being an investigative agent on the so called X-Files meant he was used to stories of a paranormal nature. The X-Files were cases that could not be explained by conventional means and had been shoved in a filing cabinet to grow dust. Mulder had discovered them and was charged with investigating them. Scully had joined a few years later and together they made quite a team.
“Can you think why Ronnie Mitchell might have contacted you?” Mulder asked.
“I barely knew her.” Mick lied, shifting uncomfortably where he stood. It’s just one thing after another right now, what with money worries, my sick Mother in Law and all the problems with Aunt Babe.”
Then the customer approached the bar, asking for a rum. Mick went to serve him.
Mulder and Scully knew he was lying about not knowing the woman. His body language had given them a clear indication. However, Mulder was not convinced his reasons for doing so were related to the current case so did not press further. Instead, he showed his intention to stay.
“Do you know of a good hotel in the area?” Mulder shouted across the bar.
“I used to run a BnB.” the elderly customer joined the conversation. “We shut down but you’ll find a few good hotels up west.”
“Thank you, Mr?” Scully coaxed him into finishing her sentence.
“Trueman.” he said in a singsong voice. “Patrick Trueman.”
The agents exited the pub and almost immediately Scully gave Mulder a venomous stare. This was the part where he expected another scolding. It was a sure thing where Scully was concerned. He did not worry that she regarded it as a waste of time. His instincts told him that something was worth sticking around for.
“Do you know how many people have been resurrected on this square?” he asked.
“Let me guess.” she replied with a sigh. “None?”
“Two.” he held up two fingers. “A man named Den Watts and the current owner of that cafe; Kathy Beale. In both cases, the deceased turned up very much alive.”
“Well there you have it, maybe Ronnie Mitchell and her sister are still alive.” she responded.
“OK, well you go find out and I’ll check us into a hotel.”
“You’re a sucker Mulder.” she made a funny face at him and started towards their car that was parked just outside the market. Mulder followed behind and took a glance back at the square. Something was here… of that he was sure.
Later that night, Sharon Mitchell trudged down the stairs of number 55 Victoria Road and switched the kitchen light on. Glancing at the clock she noted it was after 2am and flicked the switch on the kettle. This was the second night she had been unable to drift off to sleep. The previous one, she had awoken her husband Phil and his crankiness ensured she was a lot quieter tonight. Her step-daughter Louise was also asleep and her best friend Michelle was currently living at the house after falling on hard times. None of this explained why she was unable to sleep all of a sudden. Yawning, she poured the coffee and adjusted her black night dress.
“Sharon.” someone called out.
She screwed up her face and looked into the hall from the table. It was a male voice calling out. Was it Phil? Despite the faintness. the voice seemed familiar.
“Sharon. Help me.” It was louder and clearer this time.
Sharon felt a shudder down her spine. That voice…. it was…. No!…. It just wasn’t possible. She moved swiftly through to the living room. What she saw made her blood run cold and her heart beat faster.
Sitting on the couch in front of her was Dennis Rickman. Her ex-husband. love of her life, Father of her child… and a man who had been killed on New Years Eve 2005…
“No!!….You’re dead.” she mouthed silently. Then the tears came thick and fast as Dennis stood up and walked towards her…
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