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    Mawgrim
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Hidden Secrets - 3. The High Priestess

Trust your intuition. A secret may be revealed, but keep it to yourself.

When I got home, Cynthia asked about my day. I gave her a quick summary, but found myself reluctant to tell her of what I'd felt while walking through the stalls. She would want to explore all the possibilities while I’d rather not think about them. I had enough physical problems to be dealing with in the building and didn't need anything uncanny on top of them all. If I ignored it, maybe it would go away.

I don't remember having any dreams that first night. I was so tired I fell asleep just a few seconds after my head hit the pillow and didn't wake until Cynthia called up the stairs at eight-thirty.

'I hope you didn't mind me disturbing you,’ she said, when I got downstairs. ‘But I'm expecting a client at nine-thirty and I need to get ready.’

She didn't want me cluttering up the ether with the wrong sort of vibes was what she really meant. 'I'll be off soon anyway. There's lots for me to do at work.’

She nodded understandingly, then went off into the study. I knew what she would be doing; creating the right atmosphere for the reading. I had no way of knowing if her client was a person for whom she did regular readings, or someone she had never met before, but whichever it was it pays to prepare. Firstly, you need to put the client into the right frame of mind. If they are new, they may be nervous. It might be their first experience of visiting a ‘psychic’. No matter that much of the time there is nothing at all psychic about the process, that's how people like to think of it.

Aunt Cynthia's house was perfect. Its age and setting gave her a wonderful advantage. I've seen teacups and Tarot cards read in the dining room of a seventies semi, but it takes a bit more effort if the environment isn't quite right. My mother used to light scented candles and draw the blinds half way so the room wasn’t too bright.

If it looks right, and smells right, you are half way there. The person who has come to see you will subconsciously relax, feeling he or she will soon find the answers they are seeking. A rapport starts to develop between the reader and the client, making it far more likely that the reader will be able to do a good job. I know that when I have read both for friends and for clients, there are times when there just isn't any magic in the air, to put it in simple terms. All you can do in these cases is to lay out the spread and give a reading based purely on the the meaning of each card. But when the atmosphere is in tune, anyone who is even a bit sensitive will see beyond the strict definitions. You'll have flashes of inspiration and you will find snippets of information your mind accesses from who knows where, but which is always amazingly accurate. You have to trust your intuition.

By the time I was ready to leave, Cynthia had prepared the room. As I looked through the door to say good-bye, I caught the scent of lavender and sandalwood in the air. Both of these are good, old fashioned smells which can take someone back to times when life moved at a slower pace. She had lit a fire in the grate and it was beginning to burn merrily. The small table was laid with a cloth of soft mossy green, and she was unpacking her deck from a wooden box. 'Are you off, then?’

‘Yes.'

'Why don't you draw a card before you go?’

'No. I don't do that any more.' Once upon a time, I'd draw a card each day, and meditate on its meaning.

’Go on. This is a lovely deck.’

Drawn in by the ambience of the room, I approached. She was using a Universal Waite deck, more colourful than the Rider Waite I was used to, but with the same familiar and evocative pictures. She passed them to me, and I shuffled them a few times. They had a satisfying 'feel', not too slippery, yet not sticking together. People like cards that handle well. It makes them feel less awkward.

As this thought went through my mind, a card launched itself from the pack, spun lazily, and fell face up on the floor at my feet. The High Priestess looked up at me with her firm gaze.

On both the Universal and the Rider Waite, the High Priestess sits between the pillars of the temple, wearing an Isis moon crown. Behind her is the veil.

'Interesting,' said Cynthia. 'If there's a card that symbolises the natural psychic, it's the High Priestess.’

'I know,' I said, picking her up and laying her on the top of the deck. As I did so it seemed the pillars opened, and there was a door between them. The light from the Priestess's crown filled it, illuminating something... unknown.

Cynthia saw my face. 'What is it?’

'A secret.’ Speaking the words made it come into focus. ‘A deeply hidden secret.' Suddenly, I didn't want to know any more. I handed the pack back to her. 'It just fell out. It's nothing but coincidence.’

'Don't be so sure about that.’

I wasn't, which is why I hurried out.

'Take care,' I heard her say as I shut the door.

Of course, I couldn't stop thinking about it that easily. Not unless I had some other distraction. When I arrived at the cinema, I got my wish.

It had rained overnight and the bruise-coloured clouds in the sky forewarned of another fall later. My first thought was to check screen three, where the carpets were already much soggier than they had been previously. They actually squelched underfoot. There was something odd about the masking, too. Shiny lines crossed the black material, meandering like lazy rivers. It was only when I looked more closely that I realised what had caused them. Slugs, or snails, had climbed up the masking overnight. I could see no sign of them now, despite searching, nor any clue to where they had come from. I smiled to myself. If gastropods were the 'hidden secret' then at least they posed no real harm. Funny how the cards were like that, tricking your mind into looking for complicated explanations when they might actually be pointing toward something far more simple.

However, there was still the puzzle of where all the water was coming from. If it had been due to a blocked or broken drain, I would have expected there to be a bad smell. However, this wasn't the case. There was a smell of dampness and of carpet gone musty, but not the unmistakable stench of raw sewage. Therefore it had to be due to a rise in the natural water table of the area after a period of rainfall.

I knew from past experience many old cinemas were built on top of natural springs or ponds. This might seem a foolhardy thing to do, but in the nineteen-thirties cinemas were such money spinners, the developers weren't really bothered about such minor problems. As long as there was a decent sized piece of land going cheaply, close to local communities and bus services, that was good enough. Most cinema buildings, however opulent in architectural style and decoration, were only expected to last for twenty or thirty years. They were that era’s equivalent of the large out of town centres which now house DIY stores, fast food restaurants and furniture showrooms. Do we expect those to still be standing in fifty years? Of course not. By then, trends will have changed and the buildings themselves will look old fashioned and shabby. Best to bulldoze the lot and start again in the style of the time.

Anyway, it’s a fact that many cinemas have a serious problem with flooding, although this is usually in the private areas. Boiler rooms and basements are often dank places, kept barely dry with sump pumps. I knew that I should go and check the lower lying areas to confirm my suspicions. Which meant going through the front stalls area again.

Even as I walked down the high-walled corridor, my heart speeded up. I didn't want to feel that prickling sensation. There was no harm in it; I'd already deduced that, but it wasn't danger that frightened me. It was the fact I felt it at all.

'Once you've awakened the potential in yourself, you can't just shut it off again. It would be the same as choosing not to hear, or see.' My mother had said that to me a long time ago. And she was right. However, you can choose to ignore any external stimulus, and this was what I did. I kept walking, while reciting in my head the screen ratios for American Widescreen, European Widescreen and Cinemascope. There is nothing so effective as facts and figures to block off the emotional, intuitive side of the brain.

The air felt exceedingly damp in the basement of the cinema. I could hear the trickle of running water and it took a while to find its source. Rainwater oozed through the joints in the brickwork of the cinema's rear wall. The bricks themselves were dark with moisture and the floor below was distinctly wet. This was not a good thing, particularly as the adjoining wall carried all the stage end electrical distribution boards.

I skirted around the growing puddle and found a circular hole covered by a grating of rusty iron bars. A cable and a rope snaked down into it. Leaning close, I could just about hear the whirr of a submersible pump. Great. Something else that would require regular - and messy - maintenance. Colin would doubtless leave that to me.

Through a door on the left hand side was the boiler room. It contained two massive boilers originally designed to burn coal, but long since converted to oil. Beside them was a shallow sump, lined with plastic and containing a pump activated by a float system. The water inside was dark and covered in an oily film. A pipe running up from it went in two directions, both exiting through brick walls and there was a system of valves on both pipes. I had no idea what these were for and would only be able to find out by tracing the course of the pipes and drawing my own conclusions. Stuff such as this was meant to be passed on from one chief to the next. instructions were rarely written down. It was all depressingly familiar. Yet this was one of the reasons I had chosen to apply for a position in an old building, rather than a shiny new multiplex. There is nothing so satisfying as solving problems through your own ingenuity and cinemas such as the Regal presented you with these at least twice a week.

So, there was water coming in and I needed to find out from where. In an ideal world, there would be plans, but whoever said we lived in an ideal world? My father had been employed in his capacity as a dowser to trace the course of buried pipes almost as many times as he was asked to find the best place to sink a well.

I was so deep in thought I scarcely felt a tingle as I stepped over that spot in the stalls. As I returned through the foyer, I nearly managed to ignore the insistent tapping on the glass of the front doors. Nearly, but not quite. I looked up and made eye contact with Maurice, who stood outside, his breath misting the pane, gesturing furiously. I pointed to my watch and mouthed that we wouldn't be open for another couple of hours, but this only seemed to make him more frantic. I worried he might break the glass if he continued, so let him in.

'About time too,' he said, barging past me into the foyer.

'Hey!' I called, following after him, grabbing the arm of his heavy tweed jacket. 'You can't go in. We're shut.’

He shook my hand away irritably. 'I know that. But I'm supposed to start work at ten, and I've mislaid my keys.' He stared at me. 'You haven't seen them, have you?’

Suspecting that my bunch of keys may have once been his, I kept them firmly out of sight. ‘No.’

'Damn. I'll have to get the spare bunch from Mr Bartleby when he gets in.’

'Perkins,' I corrected.

‘What?'

'The manager. His name is Dan Perkins.’

His expression changed. Something was getting through. 'Did he take over after Bartleby?’

'I don't know. I'm new here myself.’

'Oh, are you? Then you wouldn't know who I am. I'm sorry.' He held out a hand to shake. 'Maurice Gudgeon. Chief projectionist.’

I had a strong sense of déjà vu as I shook his hand. 'I'm... I'm the relief projectionist.’

'I'll show you around then.’

I followed him up the stairs from the foyer, wondering how on earth I would explain this if anyone found out. I'd been told not to let him in. Why couldn't I just have ignored him? 
We reached the upper foyer, where he stopped so abruptly that I nearly crashed into him. 'Where is it?' he asked. 'Who's taken down the chandelier?’

I followed the direction of his gaze and saw, high on the ceiling, a plate covering the spot where it must once have hung. I had no idea how long ago it had been removed.

'I've never seen one here,' I said, trying to keep my voice neutral.

He frowned, then once again, he seemed to grasp at a memory that was trying to get away. 'It was when we were tripled,' he said. ‘Bob Luard's blokes took the old fittings away. Dumped them on a skip round at the back. Pity really. They were a pain to lamp up, but there was nothing wrong with them.’

'Who's Bob Luard?’

'The builder. Well, his dad's in charge. Young Bob's the foreman. Makes sure the blokes don't spend too much time in the pub.' He looked around again. 'They must have finished for today.’

'Yes,' I agreed. 'They must have.’

'Shall we go on up to the box, then? There'll probably be some cleaning to do before we open. I need to order some more carbons, too.' He was drifting again. The cinema hadn't used carbon arcs since it was tripled, thirty odd years ago.

I wondered how it felt to have time all jumbled up. His memory had become a bit like a lucky dip; he grabbed whatever came to the surface at that instant. Just for a moment, I felt sorry for Colin, who had been forced to work with him like this. Was it worth even trying to ask him about the pipes in the boiler house and the leak? I thought I might as well give it a go.

'You know the pump in the boiler house?' I ventured. 'What are the pipes and the valves for.’

'One of 'em goes to the tank room, ' he said, without even having to think about it. 'That fills up too. You open the valve when it needs pumping out, then shut it after.’

One puzzle solved, then. 'And the damp in screen three? Do you know what causes it?’

'The old well.' He stopped again. 'Don't tell anyone about it, though.’

'Why not?’

'Just don't. He said so.’

‘Who?'

But Maurice carried determinedly on towards the top box.

'Who said?' I persisted.

'You can't do anything.’

'But the carpet will get ruined. There are slug trails all over the masking.’

'I know.' He shook his head. 'But it's not your concern. Forget it.’

There was something here that wasn't just premature senility. Suddenly I remembered the card falling out of the pack. The High Priestess. A secret.

Maurice knew the way up to the box, but then it had been a part of his life for many years. Old memories were always the last to go. He sat himself in the comfy chair while I put the kettle on to boil. There were other things I should be doing, but this might be - no, was - important. I might never get another chance to talk to Maurice like this.

'This old well, Maurice. How long has it been there?’

'Years. Dated back to the old days, when the big house stood here.’

'The house that was here before they built the cinema?’

'That's right. Victorian, it was. All covered in ivy, my mum said. When she was a little girl, the children used to dare each other to climb over the wall. They said it was haunted.’

‘Really?'

'Well, you know how kids are. It had been empty for a while and was falling down. Then the land was sold for development and the cinema went up.’

'And this well is under the cinema? Under screen three?’

'Yes. But don't tell anyone. I promised not to tell.’

Why is it such a secret, I wanted to ask, but daren't. Not yet. I needed to build a bit more rapport. 'How do you take your tea? Or would you prefer a coffee?’

'Tea. Milk and two sugars.’

As I made it, my mind raced. Who told him not to say anything? A manager? Another projectionist? And why? I handed him the mug. 'Do you know how deep this well is?’

He shook his head. 'I'm not supposed to talk about it.’

'Yes, but I want to try and make the cinema nicer for the customers. It would really help if I knew where that water was coming from, because then I might be able to get it stopped.’

'No!' He said vehemently. 'They mustn't find it.' He put down his mug and shook a finger at me. 'Forget it. I have, all these years.’

I wasn't going to get anything more out of him. At least, not today. 'All right. I will.' I decided to change the subject. 'Were you working here when The Beatles played? Did you see them?’

Half an hour's worth of rambling about the good old days later, we were getting on really well. I knew all about John Lennon burning papers in the sink, setting off a fire alarm and about Little Richard breaking the grand piano by jumping on the keyboard. Now he'd gone into a long story about the 'best manager there ever was here. Mr Archer.’

'I never knew his first name. You didn't, back in those days. It was much more formal. Anyway, he was a real showman, was Mr Archer. And he worked harder than anyone, none of this sitting on his arse in front of a computer in the office, like they do today. He was out in the foyer every Saturday night, in full evening dress, greeting the patrons. He worked so bloody hard it killed him.’

‘Really?’

Maurice nodded. 'He died right here in the cinema.’

There had to have been at least one death over the years the Regal had been open. More people die in cinemas than you would think. It's why so many of them have the reputation for being haunted.

'Nineteen seventy-two,’ he said. 'That's when it happened. He was carrying another box of Kia-Ora up to the sales girl in the circle when he keeled over at the top of the stairs.’

'That's awful.’

'We all went to the funeral.' His eyes went a bit misty, as he drifted off into memories. 'It was all downhill after that. Single manning, tripling, automation. This isn’t the job it was.’

'Lots of people say that.’

Maurice warmed to his subject. He went into a long tirade about timesheets, having to change trailers mid-week and one manager who kept altering what he'd written on the overtime sheets. I nodded, topped up his tea and tried to direct the conversation back to where I wanted it to be, but to no avail. Eventually I looked at my watch pointedly. 'It's been really interesting hearing about all this, Maurice, but I have to get on.’

He glanced at his own wristwatch. 'Is that the time?’

I realised that by now there would be staff - and management - about. Conscious that I shouldn't really have let him into the building, I thought it would be better to show him out through the side exit. Fortunately, this led straight down from the box. I managed to keep him talking all the way out so that he didn't realise he was being evicted. At the bottom of the stairs he shook my hand again. 'Thanks for the tea. I enjoyed our chat.’

'Any time,' I said.

He walked briskly away, past the shops. I hoped he would get home safely. Surely his wife - Brenda, wasn't it - must worry about him wandering the streets in his condition? Mind you, she probably couldn't stop him. How long would it be before his condition deteriorated to such an extent that it would no longer be safe to let him out on his own?

Back up in the top box, I washed up the evidence, in case anyone noticed that two mugs had been used, then cleaned the projector and laced up ready for the first show. I wanted to do a bit of work in the boxes downstairs too, but Sylvia was in the foyer.

She beckoned me over. 'I saw you letting Maurice out the exit,' she said. 'I just wanted to say I'm glad you're being kind to him.’

Typical. All my efforts at subterfuge come to nothing.

She must have read me easily. 'It's all right. I'm not going to tell anyone.' A nod of the head towards the office. ‘That lot don't understand. Was he all right?’

'Yes. Very lucid, in fact.’

'Some days he can be. It's the way it goes. My mum died with Alzheimer’s.'

'I'm sorry.’

'Sometimes I think it's the relatives who have it worse. Mum was off in a world of her own. Towards the end she didn't remember what had happened from one minute to the next. I used to go in every day to see her, but she'd accuse me of not visiting her for months. Yet she'd be able to tell me about things that happened when us kids were growing up - little things even I'd forgotten about - as if they were yesterday.’

'It's sad,' I agreed.

'Maurice likes it here. It was his second home for all those years. But the management don't understand that.’

I wondered if she could shed any further light on any of the things Maurice had talked about. 'You must have been here for a few years yourself.’

'Not as long as he was, but yes.’

'He was telling me about a manager who died here.’

'Mr Archer?’

'That's right. Apparently he was quite a character.’

'He was, yes. Those were the good old days. This place hasn't been the same since they stopped the live shows and divided it up.’

'Actually, I wonder if you can help me any further. Maurice mentioned something about them finding an old well. I suppose that must have been when the conversion was being done. Only I've been wondering if there really is one and if that might be the source of the damp in screen three.' I watched her carefully for any adverse reaction as I spoke. But apparently no-one had told her to keep quiet about it.

‘Ooh, yes. It was a bit of excitement when they unearthed it. Especially when the cat fell down there and had to be rescued.’

'The cat?’

'Most cinemas had cats back then, to keep down the mice. Anyway, Fluffy fell down it. We all thought he was going to drown. Then one of the builders climbed down and pulled him out. There was a picture in the Mercury and all.’

The Mercury was the local paper. Nowadays it carried more adverts than news. 'I'd like to see that.’

'I used to have a copy, but it got lost when we moved. You could probably get one from their offices though.’

'I might do that.’

'If you do, bring it in. I'm in the picture, too. I was quite a looker in them days.’

All through the day, I puzzled over what Maurice had revealed. There must be a lot of people who knew of the existence of the old well; all the builders, the staff who had been working in the cinema at the time and everyone who read the local paper. What then had the mysterious 'he' asked Maurice not to tell about? Was it simply that events were getting muddled in his mind, and the secret was concerned with something else entirely? Logic would suggest that was the case, but my gut feeling said otherwise. I don't like unsolved mysteries any more than I like slugs crawling over my screen masking.

Cynthia was watching the television when I let myself in. 'Nice day?' she asked absently.

'Not bad. Strange, though.’

She perked up. 'Strange? How, exactly.' She hit the mute button on the remote control.

'Someone told me something rather mysterious.' I sat down and gave her my version of events.

'How intriguing. So what are you going to do about it?’

'Well, I thought I'd try and get a copy of this picture that was in the local paper. There might be an article too. Names and such. And I'd like to find out exactly where the well is located.’

'That won't be hard. Your dad taught you to dowse, didn't he?’

'I'm not in his league. Besides, I haven't practised for years.’

Cynthia smiled. 'It's like riding a bike. Once learned, never forgotten.’

'Of course, once I find it, there's not much I can do. I don't think the manager would take too kindly to my digging up the cinema. But if I can prove where the leak's coming from, I may be able to persuade the regional engineer it's worth spending some money to fix it. Apparently they've tried a couple of times in the past, but never managed to stop it completely.’

'And if they dig it up, what do you think they’ll find down there?’

'I haven't a clue. In fact, I don't know if Maurice is a reliable enough source to say for definite that there's anything hidden at all He just kept saying that someone had told him not to talk about it. Someone wanted a secret kept.’

'So what do people hide in old wells?' Cynthia mused. 'It can't be anything they want to be able to get their hands on again in a hurry. Not if it's buried under a cinema.’

We looked at each other. I guessed we were both thinking the same thing.

'Could Maurice be our local Fred West, do you think?’

'Concealing bodies under the cinema? I don't reckon so. Besides, they don't usually stop at just one, do they?’

'I wonder if he's had a lot of extensions built at home? Or if there have been many cases of girls going missing in this town over the years?’

'Or boys,' I added, thinking of Dennis Nilsen, who flushed away the body parts of his victims, until they caused a blockage and an unfortunate plumber made the grisly discovery.

'But according to what you say Maurice told you, he was quite clear about there being another person involved,' Cynthia pointed out. 'More than one killer in a town this size would be too much of a coincidence.’

'Unless it was in a horror film. Freddy versus Jason.’

'Who on earth are they?' she asked.

'You don't really want to know.’

'So maybe it's someone close to him who's the murderer? His brother? His best friend? Maybe Maurice is hiding something for somebody else?’

I preferred to believe that, too. Apart from his memory loss, he'd seemed so, well, normal. But didn't they say that about practically all the serial killers who had ever been caught? And how many other nice, quiet, unassuming neighbours were still getting away with murder? I didn't really like to think about it.

'Of course, there's probably a much more mundane explanation. People do all sorts of strange things for reasons no one else can fathom.’

'But like you said, what do people hide that they don't want found apart from bodies? If it was money, or something really valuable, they'd want it somewhere it was easy to get at.’

Cynthia thumbed the remote again and the television went off with a click. 'Evidence of some kind? A gun used in a robbery. An axe used to batter someone's head in. Although that brings us back to murder again. I really can't think of anything else, not at this time of night. In fact, I'm sure I'll have nightmares after this conversation.’

'Sorry about that. But I had to tell someone.’

She patted my arm. 'I'm glad you felt you could talk to me.’

'It's a good job you aren't like most people's aunts.’

'I shall take that as a compliment. Now, I wonder if I can find out any of this information for you?’

'It would be a great help.’

'I'll have a word with some old friends and see if they know anything. This town is smaller than you'd think and people have long memories.’

I went off to bed, still thinking about it all. The more I thought, the more preposterous it seemed that anything could be hidden. Things like that didn't happen in real life, to people like me. Maybe years of working in the cinema and watching far-fetched films were finally taking their toll?

But if that was the case, surely Aunt Cynthia would have brought me back to reality? If that was the case, why did my intuition tell me that I was right? Look at what had happened the last time I ignored it.

I fell into an uneasy sleep. Conversations with Maurice turned into endless pursuits down dimly lit backstage corridors; scenes dredged up from memories of all the horror films I’d shown. Through it all ran the strands of the past. The dreams I'd had, the feelings I'd had and said nothing, because Cliff didn't believe in it. Our relationship was fragile by then, so I’d ignored the warnings to keep the peace. Then, the accident happened.

I woke at about three o'clock with a dry mouth and a headache. It was that still, dark time of the night when the whole world is enveloped in silence, when no-one is awake but for the nightmare-haunted, insomniacs, and sick people. It’s a time when all kinds of crazy theories seem possible and daylight feels as if it will never come.

I tried to sleep again, turning over. Turning the other way. My left shoulder began to ache, not badly, but with the persistent nag of a toothache, impossible to ignore. Finally I had to admit defeat, and sat up. I put the light on and grabbed a pad and a pencil. Writing things down often helped with clarity.

FACTS:

There is a well under screen three of the Regal. It was last uncovered during the tripling of the cinema (1974 or 75). 30 years ago.

A builder (unknown) rescued the cinema cat, Fluffy, who fell down the well.

Did he fall or was he pushed, I thought as I wrote the line. But why would anyone want to put a cat down a well? Unless it was to have an excuse to climb down and investigate. To look the hero and impress the good looking young cashier whom he fancies.

We were definitely getting into the realms of fiction now. I tried to clear my thoughts, and remember exactly what Maurice had said about the well.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD HAVE HAD ACCESS TO THE WELL?

1) The builders. Find out which company did the work. Were they local? 

Hadn’t Maurice mentioned a name? Bob someone. Bob the builder. Bet he got teased about that.

2) The cinema staff and management. Who worked there at the time? I know Maurice did. I know Sylvia did. Maybe Colin did (dare I ask him)? Who was the manager?

Can't think of anyone else who would have had ready access.

That covered the suspects. Trouble was, it was such a long time ago.

COULD ANYONE ELSE HAVE GOT TO IT?

Only if someone who had keys let them in. So, a friend of a builder, or a friend of someone who worked at the cinema and had keys.

The only people who normally have keys are management and projectionists. Cleaners too. I realised that I hadn't yet seen the cleaners at the Regal. They must be early birds. Nowadays, they probably worked for a contract company, but back then all cinemas employed their own cleaners. I could ask Sylvia about them.

That led to my next question:

HOW WAS MAURICE INVOLVED? WHO TOLD HIM TO KEEP QUIET?

Scenario number one: Maurice was heavily involved in whatever was going on - although there must have been at least one other person. Someone with enough authority to tell him what to do.

Maybe a manager, then. Or the chief. Who was chief when the building was tripled?

Scenario number two: Maurice wasn't involved in anything, but witnessed something he shouldn't, purely by accident. Someone found out. (They can't be that ruthless or they'd have killed him too).

WHAT HAPPENED?

Anyone's guess. The most obvious is the one Cynthia and I immediately jumped on - that someone hid something in the well. What else could have gone on in a cinema outside opening hours? 1974 was well before the days of video, so it can't have been piracy. And that still leaves us with the puzzle of the well. Why would someone tell Maurice to 'forget about it' and 'don't tell anyone'. Why does he only clam up when you mention the well?

I looked over what I'd written and realised I simply didn't know enough to do anything but guess. I needed to find out much more. I also needed to get some sleep, as I had another day at work ahead of me, and it was now nearly five o’clock.

Fred West and his wife Rosemary were notorious serial killers, who committed at least twelve murders. Many of the bodies were buried in the back garden of their home in Gloucester.

Dennis Nilssen was a serial killer and necrophiliac who killed at least twelve men between 1978 and 1983 in London.

Copyright © 2022 Mawgrim; All Rights Reserved.
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This story will update every Monday

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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