Not Haunted

“It’s not haunted.” Darren stalked into the flat’s entrance hall.

DC Hines flinched as a moan echoed through the flat. “Are you sure about that?”

Darren gave him an impatient look. “Yes, it’s just magical effects. I’m just here as a favour to your boss.”

The air temperature dropped and, despite the lights, it seemed a little darker. DC Hines swallowed. “How dangerous is this?”

Darren appeared unaffected. “It’s just like watching a video. It’s nothing.”

DC Hines looked around. “I’ve got the warrant. All we need to do is find the disc.” He quickly checked the bathroom. “Normally I take a team-” He flinched as a growl sounded at his shoulder. Darren ignored it and moved into the living room.

“It’s not ideal to get a team in here,” he said. “And the effects are likely to increase the longer we are here. We need to get a move on.”

“Isn’t there anything you can do?” DC Hines asked, checking the toilet cistern and taking a quick look behind the bath panel.

“It’s magic.” Darren said. “It’s not my field.”

“But you don’t seem affected by it.” DC Hines said, trailing after Darren and then coming to an appalled halt in front of the shelves of discs. He swore.

“I’ve seen it all before.” Darren said, glancing around. “And, fortunately for us, it was done by an amateur.”

DC Hines opened the first of the cupboards. “I’m going to need a team to get all these out,” he said. “I mean, there are thousands and he’s going to argue about every single disc.” He started taking photos, his hands shaking a little at the deep growls.

“We haven’t time.” Darren said. “There’s too much at stake. Stand still, for heaven’s sake.”

DC Hines watched as Darren paced slowly around the room, the growls rising and falling as he moved. “What’s going on?” He retched as a foul stench wafted through the air.

Darren shook his head. “What a complete amateur.” He kicked over the large potted plant on the floor by the cabinets and pulled out a large knife from his jacket.

“Is that knife legal?” DC Hines asked.

Darren ignored him and prised off the base of the plant pot. “The growls got stronger when I got near to this.” He grimaced. “And the stinkbomb was set off.” He pulled out a small, plastic wrapped package from the dirt underneath the plant. The knife slit the packaging with unnerving ease and a clear case containing a single, unmarked disc fell out. “It’s how I knew where to look. Like I said, a complete amateur.” He handed the case to DC Hines. “We can check it in the car, away from the special effects.”

DC Hines, swallowed, nodded and moved with speed towards the door. “Thank goodness he was old school.”

“That’s vampires for you.” Darren said, following DC Hines out of the door and shutting it carefully behind him. “Just be thankful it wasn’t on reels of tape.”