Chapter 18.

Detective Strong has a talk with Horn.



After the meeting with the psychiatrist Horn left in the direction of his home, happy that he had been declared sane but of course he never doubted his sanity even if others may have. At least now, Detective Strong had to admit that he was not crazy and that something was happening to him. Horn arrived at his house and entered the premises, slumping on the sofa as soon as he spotted it. As he closed his eyes and began relaxing the phone rang.

“Mr. Horn, this is Detective Strong. I understand that your visit to the doctor has gone well.”

“Indeed Detective, I was declared a sane person, as no doubt you probably know by now.”

“Yes, I know. The doctor has told me in detail the results and he has declared you sane. But, the fact that you are sane does not imply that your story is true. I took the liberty of asking an important scientist at Temple University what he thought of your story, without mentioning any names of course. And he flat out denied that the shadow or shadows that emanate from a human being can separate from him and then kill others. He said that physically it was not possible.” said Strong.

Horn had been listening with intent at what Strong was saying and the mention of shadows not being able to separate from their hosts exasperated him. His blood rushed to his head and his eyes glowed with rage. He had to know who that scientist was. He wanted a name and a face. “Look, I don’t care what your scientist says. I saw my shadow leave me, that I am sure of. If your anonymous scientist says otherwise he is a fool!” said Horn.

“Well Mr. Horn, this scientist is no fool, it is the very famous professor Curry, the one who famously debunks paranormal events when reported in the press. He has an excellent reputation in the scientific community and that is why I went to him, either to confirm what you said to me or to infirm it.” Strong said.

So now Horn knew who was trying to debunk his story, the famous professor Curry. Of course he had heard of him, who hadn’t. He was always in the papers, debunking one paranormal story after another. This did not alter the fact that he knew what he saw and nothing that the professor said would or could change that. Horn simply became more angry after hearing the name. “Look, I don’t care that he told you it was not possible, I stand by my story. I saw what I saw, and nothing can change my mind.”

“So I take it that even if the professor denies the plausibility of your story you still maintain what you said, that your shadow which separated from you is responsible for the killings?”

“Yes, without a doubt.” Horn was relieved to hear himself resolutely maintain his story. Strong and the others could think what they wanted, he did not care.

“Very well Mr.Horn, we’ll keep in touch. Good-bye for now.”

“Good-bye Detective.” said Horn, as he sat down on his sofa once again.

Horn now understood why he had been asked to see a psychiatrist. No doubt that after professor Curry’s declaration about the shadows, they wanted to make sure that they were dealing with a sane person. And now that they knew he was sane they were stuck with his story. A story that was implausible at first glance but for which circumstantial evidence existed, with a strong sane witness. And others had seen a black smoke as well. Horn was ruminating these thoughts when he focused his attention on the professor. He realized that he was being called a liar by him without a doubt. Just thinking about this made his blood boil over and he suddenly felt a rush to the head. He was lucky to be seated on the sofa as now he felt very weak. He slowly slumped in the sofa, still thinking about professor Curry and his judgement. He felt anger towards him, and then he slowly fainted, but not before seeing the black smoke at his feet. He was slowly becoming unconscious yet it was there. He tried to marshal his forces to get up but simply could not. He felt his anger slowly draining from him and it seemed that the black smoke was getting darker and darker. And then he saw it; the black smoke took shape and showed him three fingers, and then held a fourth one as he passed out amidst an acrid smell that enveloped the room.


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