Scully knocked on the door of Number 25 Albert Square and waited patiently for a response. She did not have long to wait as a young blonde in her early 20’s opened the door slightly and peered out from behind it.
“Excuse me, I’m looking for the person who left the note on my car.” Scully stated, waving the piece of paper in front of the girl’s face.
“Come in.” the girl urged, practically pulling Scully inside.
“Easy.” Scully said with a wry smile. “Who are you?”
The young girl looked back along the hall into the kitchen, then poked her head around the stairs, clearly checking no one was eavesdropping.
“My name is Abi Branning. I don’t live here, it’s my Grandma’s house.” she explained. “She’s gone out but this is the only place I feel safe.”
“Safe from who?” Scully asked with a soothing tone.
“She said she’d kill me if I told anyone.” Abi was becoming hysterical. “I shouldn’t be talking to you… I…. just go.”
Scully put a reassuring arm around the stricken young girl and spoke in a soft fashion.
“I can’t help you unless you tell me what’s going on Abi.”
“She’s gonna kill everyone at the Halloween party tonight by summoning the spirit of Nick Cotton. I told her how crazy she was but she wouldn’t listen. At first, I thought she was nuts but now I’m hearing of ghosts all over the square” Abi burst into tears and sank onto the stairs with her head in her hands.
“Who?” Scully repeated, leaning down so they were face to face.
“Aunt Babe.” came the reply through sobs.
Elsewhere, Jack Branning lay slumped on the floor of his house, desperately trying to come to his senses. A knock at the door accelerated his urge to get up and the ex-policeman used all his strength to get back to his feet. Steadying himself, he contemplated the ghostly vision that had visited him. Was it proof of life after death? Why was Roxy visiting him but not Ronnie? Questions swirled around his mind until another knock at the door interrupted his train of thought.
“Mr Branning… it’s Agent Mulder.” came the voice from outside.
He trudged towards the living room, stepping over papers, leaflets and ornaments lying scattered on the floor.
“Go away!” he yelled back to the FBI agent.
Outside, Mulder peeked through the letterbox but could see nothing but the empty hallway. Defeated, he crossed to the road to square gardens, ignoring the cheeky comments from stallholders who began taunting him about spooky investigations. Word sure travels fast around here he thought. Mr Branning had clearly seen something. Was it his wife? No, visitations usually weren’t shared. Perhaps he had been visited by his sister in law Roxy? It would mean everyone was connected; Sharon, Roxy, Dennis, Ronnie and….. Mick. The landlord’s connection was the problem. He had lied about knowing Ronnie well. Why? Spinning, he made his way towards the pub again.
Inside, Mulder called Mick across to a secluded table. Realising its importance, the cheeky chappy ordered someone called Tracy to mind the bar for a moment. When he sat down, Mulder got to the point immediately.
“You lied to us, Mr Carter.” Mulder started. “I don’t know why but your friend Jack just had a paranormal experience that I’m guessing was his sister in law. That means Sharon saw her ex-husband, Jack was visited by Roxy, but I can’t work out why Ronnie Mitchell chose to come to you?”
“Look, Mr Mulder, I appreciate yer efforts but maybe we should leave this ere now.” he started but Scully cut him off before he could finish.
“I think it’s best you answer the question, Mr Carter.” Scully stated firmly, taking a seat beside the two men.
Mick was silent for a moment, then finally he explained the connection. Breaking into sobs, he explained how his brother had raped his wife and he once asked Ronnie to murder him. Mulder and Scully’s expressions never changed during the whole encounter.
“That must have been difficult?” Mulder said, feeling sorry for the likeable landlord.
Mick wiped his tears with his sleeve. “It was. We got over it though. That’s what you do when you love someone isn’t it?”
The agents looked at each other. It was hard to argue with his logic.
“Something strange happened to me earlier.” Scully started.
“Scully?” Mulder asked, urging her to continue.
She told both men about Abi and what the young girl had told her. Then she brandished the tape recorder and played the recording of Sharon Mitchell’s interview again. At first, it was normal, then over the top of the interview, a sinister voice could be heard repeating the same phrase over and over again.
“I curse you.” “I curse you.” “I curse you.”
The repetitive words grew louder until by the end they were completely drowning out anyone else speaking. Mick’s face fell as he listened intently to the creepy development.
“That’s my Aunt Babe’s voice.” he told them with a regretful look in his eye. “I banished her from the pub. Those were the last words she said to me and the family.”
Scully shot a look behind him at the picture of the older lady behind the bar. Clearly, this was who he was referring to.
“Are you having a Halloween party tonight?” Scully asked.
“Yes, tonight.” came his instant reply.
Mulder stood up from the table. “What time does this Halloween party start?” he asked in a rushed tone.
“First guests have arrived.” he replied, pointing to the couple dressed as a werewolf and vampire ordering drinks at the bar.
Scully drew her gun, just as the other regulars began pushing through the doors…
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