The man in the trench coat walked through Bridge Street, trying to ignore the lingering stares from the market traders. Perhaps it was his all American chiselled features that merited their ice-cold reaction, or maybe his black suit and white shirt reminded them of some dreaded market inspector. Either way, Fox Mulder was not about to let a few stares from the natives put him off interviewing the landlord of the Queen Vic; not when he had a strange story to tell anyway.
Continuing on, he arrived outside a cafe named “Kathy’s” just in time to bump into his partner who was carrying two white polystyrene cups. Her expression was one of irritation as she handed one to Mulder. He braced himself for some harsh words
“What the hell are we doing here Mulder?” she asked. “This place is a dump.”
“We’re enjoying ourselves.” he quipped. “Anyway, you said it was OK for me to come to London with you.”
“For a sightseeing holiday!… not to take a trip to some run down Square, searching for ghosts and ghouls.”
Mulder smiled, the knowing smile of someone who had been in this position many times before. Dana Scully had been his partner at the F.B.I for many years. He knew how these conversations usually went.
Scully, who was dressed in a brown trenchcoat and blouse, pushed the strawberry blonde hair away from her face and started towards the smart looking pub on the corner. Once there, they pushed the double doors open and stepped inside, marvelling at the old-fashioned decor and subconsciously taking in the soft music playing on the jukebox.
It was not one would call busy. Only one customer sat at the bar, an elderly gentleman with a trilby hat and dark jacket. There was no sign of the landlord or anyone else behind the bar,
“He’ll just be a minute ma man.” the customer assured them.
“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. “Although 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 slowly, then explained exactly what had happened. He told them about Ronnie and Roxy dying on New Year’s Day, about the bolted door and the water on the floor. Mulder listened intently, soaking up details like a sponge in order to later analyze everything the landlord was telling them. Being an investigative agent on the so-called “X-Files” meant stories of a haunting nature did not phase him. Most X-Files cases concentrated on something paranormal.
“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.”
The customer approached the bar for a rum, interrupting the flow of the conversation. Mick excused himself and went to serve him. Scully and Mulder exchanged glances.
“He’s lying about hardly knowing her.” Scully whispered.
Mulder nodded in agreement. Perhaps it was enough to merit sticking around.
“Do you know of a good hotel in the area?” Mulder shouted across the bar.
“I used to run a BnB.” the elderly jumped in. “We shut down but you’ll find a few good hotels up west.”
“Thank you, Mr?” Scully started, coaxing him into finishing her sentence.
“Trueman.” he said in a singsong voice. “Patrick Trueman.”
“Thank you, Mr Trueman.” Mulder added.
They exited the pub, immediately Scully shot Mulder a venomous stare.
“I know what you’re gonna say but hear me out.” he said.
“Oh this oughtta be good.” she said with a pained expression.
“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, taking a glance back at the square as he did so. 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. When it had boiled, she poured herself a coffee and sat down at the table.
“Sharon.” someone called out in a haunting voice.
She screwed up her face up, then looked into the hall. It was a male voice calling out. Was it her husband 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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