Somewhere, someplace, sometime; 18th instalment

‘So bad?’ the priest asked.

She nodded as she walked to the cabinet to take out a bottle of strong liquor.

He frowned again as the girl hardly ever drank strong alcohol. That she did now must mean things were worse than he had suspected. ‘Did you get the address?’

‘Part of it,’ she said after a big sip. ‘Then I was attacked by the container.’

‘How can a metal box attack you?’ he asked, raising his eyebrows.

‘It did, ot whatever was inside it,’ she mumbled as an afterthought.

‘Where did the container come from?’ he asked undisturbed.

‘The Devil’s Den; Binkare,’ she said and felt a sort of electric shock go through her as she said the words.

The priest saw her convulse for a moment and squinted his eyes. ‘The Devil’s Den,’ he mused. Just to see if he would be attacked too when he spoke the words aloud, but nothing happened to him. ‘Binkare,’ he said softly, looking at the book when he felt a small shock.

‘You are into something that goes way beyond you,’ the girl said, pouring herself another glass. ‘This is somethig  big. Bigger than they ever tried before.’

‘Apparently,’ the priest said, opening the book at the chapter he had been reading. ‘Ah, here it is; Binkare.’ A small shock went through him again. ‘A big harbour town where evil is supposed to reside.’

The girl looked at him. ‘Evil resides there? How can people live there?’

‘They must as they are the ones that made the clothes. Pour me one too, will you?’ he asked reading more.

‘Don’t you want to know what happened to the man with the coat that was here?’ she said putting the glass on the table next to him.

‘Not particularly,’ he mumbled. ‘I can imagine what has happened to him. I hope he will remember to tie himself up before going to sleep tonight.’

‘What is going on?’ the girl demanded.

The priest sighed and leaned back. ‘The west has been trying to get hold of these lands for centuries now, but they have always failed. They invited evil to come to live there, so to speak, to give them a hand.’

 

Somewhere, someplace, sometime; 17th instalment

‘Bewiched you say,’ the policeman smiled and looked at the barman, that didn’t.

The policeman frowned, wasn’t this man a drunk?

‘How come all evidence points to the alley’s?’ the man with the coat asked.

‘There was dirt and rubble all over the place,’ the policeman said. ‘Where else would that come from?’

‘Tried the waste container by the building?’ the man asked. ‘I think you law enforcing people turn this way to easily and quickly as you don’t want your own kind to be the perpetrator.’

The policeman knew the man was right. Most crimes in his world were fraud and theft, not murder.

‘Should he tell the policeman about the container,’ the man thought. ‘No, better not, or they would have a killing policeman to contend with.’

He took another swig of his drink when a thought struck him. ‘You might go looking at stores that sell clothes from the west,’ he suggested.

‘The west?’ the policeman frowned. ‘Why the west?’

‘Not everything from there is what it seems,’ the man said, draining his glass and walking to the door.

He had to find a place to sleep tonight where he could tie himself up real good. He thought about the empty building near the hotel and decided to go there. As he walked he looked around to see if he could find pieces of rope or something else to use as bonds. He found some rope and hoped it would be enough to keep him in place, he didn’t want to murder someone again this night.

The building was empty and he made his way to the first floor where he knew a support pillar to be. Sleeping would be uncomfortable, but that was better than the other thing. He used his teeth to pull the rope tight and hoped for the best as he lay down with his arms around the pillar.

 

The priest looked up as the girl entered his study. Her ashen face made him frown. What had happened?

Somewhere, someplace, sometime; 16th instalment

The barman looked up as the man with the coat entered and his eyes opened wide. He had seen ragged people come in from the alleys before, but this man looked like he had been raised from the dead.

His face was ashen, dark shadows were under his eyes and he moved erratically. Without thinking the barman got the bottle of grinnitch and poured the man a drink.

‘On the house,’ he said.

The man smiled gratefully and took a careful sip as he hoisted himself onto one of the stools by the bar. He sighed and closed his eyes as the strong liquor went down his throat. He felt better immediately. The will to fight returned to him and he knew he had to fight, with or without the help of the priest.

The door to the establishment opened and a policeman came in, looking around in disdain before walking over to the bar.

‘How can I help you?’ the barman asked.

‘We are looking for a killer,’ the policeman said. ‘A young, rich, woman has been murdered up town and all traces point to this area.’

The man with the coat frowned. He had not been away from the alleys. Had one of the well to do also taken a piece of clothing from the container?

‘Then you can arrest almost all of the people here,’ the barman laughed softly.

The policeman didn’t laugh, but looked quite seriously. ‘This was no normal murder,’ he growled. ‘The woman’s body has been torn apart, we found pieces of her all over the apartment. It was one bloody mess.’

Te barman and the man with the coat grimaced as they imagined the scene.

‘Why come here?’ the man with the coat asked. ‘Nobody here leaves the alleys. I think you should look in the rich man’s world.’

The policeman looked at the man and at his coat in particular. ‘That’s a fine piece of clothing you’ve got there.’

‘Yeah and I wish I had never touched it,’ the  man said, taking another swig of his grinitch.

‘How come?’ the policeman asked. ‘I thought you people liked good clothes.’

‘We do, to stay dry and warm, but this piece is bewitched,’ the man said.

The policeman smiled, looking at the glass in the man’s hand. ‘Bewitched, you say?’

Somewhere, somplace, sometime; 15th instalment

The moment she read the words pain raced through her body, making her double over. With some difficulty she managed to run a few steps when another wave of pain hit her. She fell to her knees and retched.

She stayed absolutely still as she sat there, thinking about what to do. It was obvious some very dark powers were at work here. She had been down that road before a long time ago and knew that doing nothing for a moment usually helped.

She looked around to see if there was any place to hide nearby and saw a piece of wall, if she could get there she figured she would be safe. She estimated the distance and thought she could make it in two jumps.

Breathing steadily to regain her composure she fixed her eyes on the wall. She flexed her muscles and made a jump.

In midair, she was thrown aside by an unseen force and crashed against a pile rubble, twisting her arm. She got scared now, this was something she had not experienced before. Lying still she noticed that nothing happened. However, she was now farther away from the protective wall.

Looking around again for another place to hide she saw something quite nearby. An open door to a building. She was sure she could make it there in one jump, provided the force would not throw her aside again.

Carefully, she moved into a better position to make the jump, it would be more like a dive and got ready. She made a feint move and felt something go over her and then she dived into the dooropening, rolling away immediately.

Something powerful hit the doorframe as it shook and the roofbeam came down.

Smiling, she lay still and breathed easy for a while. So far she had made it, but she wondered how far the force of that container, or whatever was in it, reached.

She tried to figure out where she was, if possible she had to get out of sight of that container. There were no windows that she could see, but a stair went up by the side. Slowly she made her way there and went up. On the first floor were no windows either. She decided to climb to the roof, maybe she could get away over the rooftops of other buildings.

Opening the hatch, she climbed on the roof, grimacing as her arm hurt and crawled to the side to look down at the container. She gasped at what she saw.

Somewhere, someplace, sometime; 14th installment

For a moment she wanted to help the man, but didn’t. It wasn’t easy for her not to help him. Something held her back, she didn’t know excactly what, but something did.

She just sat there, looking at him and feeling sorry. She wondered what she had got herself into this time, and the priest. She hoped he could find something to help this man.

 

He felt terrible, pain was everwhere, even his dick hurt. He looked up at the sky and felt the drizzle on his face. A roaring laughter sounded in his mind.

He didn’t know for how long he had been lying there before he sat up slowly. He looked at the container and spat at it before crawling to his feet, he felt spent and wanted a drink.

Without realising it he put his hand in the pocket and felt coins there. Sighing he looked around and started to walk to the bar he had been a few days ago to get another shot of grinnitch.

Rather unsteadily he got back to the alley floor and started for the bar in swaying steps as he still felt rather unstable. He didn’t look back, he didn’t dare out of fear of being assaulted again.

 

The moment he was out of sight the young woman climbed to the side of the container to see where he had been digging. Carefully she looked at the spot before looking at the image of the shirt with the devil’s face on it. She admired the craftmanship, but didn’t like the image itself.

With her foot she pushed away some rubble to get to the name of the company that had send the container. She felt a little tingle going up her leg and pulled it back instantly. Looking around she saw a piece of wood and got it to dig further. This time she felt nothing and assumed she was safe.

As she dug deeper words became visible. At last she could read all it said. Clothes for the well to do from the devil’s den. Binkare; from the west.

Somewhere, sometime, someplace; 13th installment

When he could breath normally again he sat up and looked at the place he had been digging. He could see no more than we had started, but something must be there that could either hurt the coat or give him a clue of how to get rid of it.

Very slowly, he reached out with his hand to the place he had been digging at. Nothing happened. Carefully he put his hand down.

His body was flung into the air with great force as pain raced through him. He cried out as he relieved himself at the same time. His back arced backwards so far he was sure it would break. He could hear his bones crack and muscles tear.

With a crash he plunged back to the pile of rubble that surrounded the container, pushing the air out of his lungs. He sucked in air gulp after gulp while his muscles moved spasmodically, making his arms and legs move to all sides at once.

It took a long time for him to lay still again and breath normally. Pain was felt at places he didn’t even know he could feel pain. Tears ran down his cheeks as he took another ragged breath.

Why had he ever picked up this coat? Was he really in such a bad state that he truly needed it? Sure he liked the warmth it provided and it had kept him dry, but was it worth the trouble he was in right now?

He moved his arm to bring his hand to his face to wipe away his tears, but he stopped as soon as he had begun. It hurt too much to move anything. Would he ever be able to move again?

He sobbed softly and turned his head to the container. He was sure he saw the image on the shirt on the side laugh. Well, he didn’t laugh, he was in pain, terrible pain and was more than ever determined to get rid of the coat.

 

Not too far away the young woman from the church was looking at him and frowned quizically. She had seen some strange things in her time, but this was downright scary. This was something she didn’t want any part of, but she had little choice in the matter.

Somewhere, someplace, sometime; 12th instalment

The man walked aimlessly through the alley’s, kicking up a piece of dirt her and there. He wondered why the coat didn’t hurt him now he had sought help from a priest. He had expected that it would hurt him once he was outside the ramshackle church, but it didn’t.

Was it so confident that it could win from the priest and himself? Maybe so, but what did the coat want from him, what did it want him to accomplish? To murder women?

He was sure by now that he had killed the two women. How, he didn’t know as he could not remember doing it. Nor did he understand how he could have raked their bodies in the way they had been found. He looked at his short and dirty fingernails. With those he could not have tore deep gashes in the bodies.

He smiled sadly. ‘Look at me,’ he thought. ‘I’m beginning to think about this damned piece of garment as a living thing.’

Looking up he saw that he had wandered back to the container and frowned. Why had he come back here? Slowly he started to walk around the container, which involved some climbing as it blocked the alley where it met with the street.

As he did so he noticed some strange drawings on the side of it. A shirt with a devil’s image on it, for example. As he looked at it, he became convinced that the eyes on the shirt were actually watching him. Shivering he moved on a bit further only to stop dead in his tracks.

Were the eyes following him? Very slowly he turned around and was sure that the eyes were looking at him again. He looked at the other images on the side of the container and tried to read the name of the company and where it came from, but that part was buried beneath a pile of rubble.

Sighing he got to his knees and started to remove the rubble when a jolt of pain shot through him so bad that he fell flat on his face. Tears sprang to his eyes as he convulsed a little before lying still, breathing raggidly.