The “D” Case

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As a New Yorker lawyer, Amanda enjoyed quite a career and her fame grew stronger day by day. Undoubtedly she was a reckless woman, who considered hard cases as a challenge for her skills and never gave up any of them no matter how long the odds appeared to be on her side. As a person, she was tough, rational and independent. Being in her mid thirties, she had no family or any serious affair to settle down and all she cared of was success.

That’s why she decided to take on the case of a mysterious client, who had sent her an anonymous letter signed by the initial “D”. Amanda was quite interested in the case and, well, since the amount of payment was unconceivable high, she thought that he must be a very wealthy man. The only problem she had to overcome was that of the place, for she had to travel back to Louisiana, where she was told by her parents never to return.

The letter’s instructions sounded clear enough and Amanda, being a professional above all, didn’t mind of the sender’s true identity. After arranging the most important affairs of her office, she took the first flight to Louisiana. When she landed, darkness had already fallen.

To adjust herself to the new environment she went into a bar. She walked towards the bar tender and asked for a cold beer. It was a hot summer night and Amanda felt sweaty underneath her white shirt. She hated that, especially when she was about to meet an important client.

Having an insatiable sip, she took a look around. There were a few people listening to the sounds of a local band, consisted of four old black men that seemed to enjoy playing the blues. She never thought much about this kind of music, often saying it was “miserable”, but strangely this night Amanda found it rather intoxicating.

She unfolded the letter to check again the meeting details. Focused on reading, she didn’t notice the young man, who took a seat next to her until he said: “Amanda Wishborne?”

She was much surprised to hear her name from a gorgeous man like him at a freaking place like this. “Why, yes. And you are…”

“Daemon Hunt. Nice to meet you” he said, while shaking gently her fragile hand.

“Likewise. Are you Mr.D?” she asked deducing the initial from his name.

“No, but I’m managing his affairs. You see, Mr.D is a very busy man and likes to keep a low profile” he replied indifferently, yet staring at her persistently.

“I understand” Amanda felt uncomfortable by his gaze, so she used her usual escaping technique – speak about business. “Shall we start now?”

“I believe you are tired. We’d better meet tomorrow about evening. Here, take my card” he said and gave her one hell of a card. It was awesome. She thought to change hers into this brilliant design, when back at home.

“As you wish” Amanda felt relieved, because what she really needed this very moment was a cool bath. Not to mention that she hadn’t gone yet to her grandma’s house.

Amanda was twelve years old when her parents died in a terrible car accident. She could clearly recall though many spooky stories they used to tell her about this house. However, Amanda was a grown up now and as a rational woman, she didn’t believe any of those dark legends that made little children hide under their bed and illiterate people cross themselves.

Despite that, she felt sorry for her grandma, being all alone, having her only son far away. She had no idea why her dad eventually turned his back on her mother, but there surely must have been a good reason for doing so. Yet, Amanda, being the only grandchild, felt obliged to give her some joy by visiting her. Not that she would have planned it otherwise, but since her way brought her here, what was there to lose?

Around midnight she arrived outside the front door of the old house that seemed to be long abandoned. She ringed the bell which in turn left a breathless sound as if it was a step before passing out. She then noticed that the door was open, so she entered anyway.

“Grandma?” she shouted, but no reply came back. She walked towards the wooden stairs which led up to the bedrooms. Surprisingly, she remembered every corner of this creepy house, even though she was only five years old since the last time being here. She left her fancy suitcase on the floor and started ascending the old stairs with caution afraid that they might collapse any time now. Suddenly, she saw a female figure in a white night-dress standing at the top of the staircase.

“Grandma?” she said again. It was dark and she couldn’t recognize the face. The woman stayed silent, pointing towards the big bedroom, but before Amanda reach her she vanished in the long corridor. Amanda knocked the bedroom’s door, but she got no reply either. She entered to find her grandma lying in her bed with her eyes open.

“Jesus Christ!” she uttered and quickly approached the old woman to see if she was alive. Her face was pale and her body cold, but she could still feel her pulses beating through her wrist. Amanda was shocked. She opened her bag abruptly to get her cell phone out and Daemon’s business card fell on the ground. In moves of panic she called him for help.

Amanda was glad for having his assistant, for she knew no one in this bloody town, but it was not only that. From their very first meet, she fell for him something stronger. It wasn’t love, though she found him very attractive. She had met other handsome men back in New York, but he… well, he had something different, an unidentifiable charm.

While waiting in the bedroom for Daemon to arrive, she approached the dusty piece of furniture with the broken mirror. She took a look on the framed pictures that captured images of the past: one of her grandparents married, another of her grandma much younger, one of Amanda’s when she was a baby and one of another married couple, but their faces were torn out. She took a better look on this last one. Gosh! She knew that wedding dress, it was her mom’s!

Amanda left the frames slowly back on the furniture and looked at her immovable grandma with curiosity. Something very weird was going on. She moved around the room, searching for evidence and there she found it. An old leather bound book with symbols and lyrics, ingredients for magic potions and spells.

“What the hell?” she said deeply upset. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She sat down on a black velvet armchair and put the book on her knees. While she was looking it up, she heard a familiar voice, whispering in her ears with a great urgency: “Run!” She closed the evil book and unconsciously put it in her bag.

Amanda was terrified. Outside the window, the full moon was hiding behind the tall swamp trees and dead silence was everywhere. For her relief, she saw the lights of a car coming to the house.

“Daemon!” she screamed and while moving to the exit, the door closed suddenly before her face. She tried to open it, but it seemed to be stuck for good. She heard footsteps on the stairs and started crying for help knocking the door violently.

“Daemon! I’m in here!” she kept shouting, but then she stayed still and white as a sheet, for her mother’s voice was whispering again a familiar legend that she had listened to numerous times in the past:

When a Hoodoo Mistress dies, the first born female offspring cries.
As her soul belongs to him, so the offspring’s soul does.
In a full moon night beware, to collect the souls he comes.

Amanda was shaking in terror. It couldn’t be. No, it made no sense. It wasn’t real. No way. She closed both her eyes and ears, too afraid to see the truth or hear anything else. Just then Daemon entered the room, after breaking the door.

“Amanda?” he said anxiously “Are you alright?”

“Daemon!” she said and fell into his strong arms to find comfort and protection.

“What happened?” he said trying to calm her down.

“Let’s get out of h…” she replied, but before she completed her phrase, her grandmother left an intense cry of pain. Her body started to tremble, as her soul was getting out of her slowly like a rising smoke. Just before she passed away, she looked Amanda straight in the eyes and whispered something in an unknown language.

Scared to death, Amanda hid deeper in Daemon’s hug and not until then had she noticed a little tattoo on the back of his neck, a symbol that she had recently seen elsewhere. In a second she remembered. The evil book was full of these symbols!

“Oh, my God! Who are you?” she said pushing his body away from hers. A little smile came along Daemon’s face, a smile that made Amanda understand that he was not an ally after all.

“I believe you have something for us” he said sharply and he was not smiling anymore – far from it. His expression suggested the importance of the moment.

“What… what do you mean?” Amanda tried to talk about it in order to earn some time for constructing a rescue plan. No luck.

“You owe something to my boss and well… maybe a little gift for me?” Daemon’s eyes twinkled in the moonlight.

“If you refer to the check he sent me, I got it down in my suitcase” she said in hope to get out of the deadly room immediately.

“No, not that” he replied with a bit of irony in his voice.

“What then?” Amanda looked puzzled in fear.

“That…” he said pointing to her bag.

“You want the book? Fine. Here, take it” she opened her bag and got out the damn book, but when she stretched her arm to give it to him, he grabbed her violently and said:

“We are not done yet” and his eyes became red like fire.

Amanda screamed in terror and asked in tears: “Who are you?”

Daemon came closer and whispered in her ears: “The collector”

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