DCI Spencer and James Conroy spent another hour together in The Golden Lion Pub. Spencer listened intensely as Conroy spoke about all kinds of religious facts and theories. Spencer was impressed. The man really knew his stuff.
Spencer then returned to the station and called his Superintendent.
“Sir, now that Commander Swan has errr… gone, is there going to be someone to replace him?”
The voice on the other end of the phone was stern and direct.
“We’re working on it now Inspector, should have someone by the end of the day. Why do you ask?”
Spencer answered politely.
“Well I was wondering who I report to, now that Swan has gone?”
There was a swift reply.
“Look, Inspector, you’ve got a job to do and let’s face it it’s a bloody easy job, just keep an eye on Ray Samuels, we’ve got people watching him as well, but he knows you, his family know you, so just keep close, understand?”
Spencer put down the phone, easier said than done he thought. Ray basically told him and Swan to bugger off. Tom Lucas gets killed in a car crash, Laura Samuels has some kind of heart attack, then, Swan dies! And the bloody Super tells me it’s a simple job, like fuck it is!
Ray Samuels returned to his dad’s house at 06.30, he’d left Stacey at the hospital with her Mum. She was stable. He told Eddie what had happened during the night, but nothing about Swan.
Suddenly, as though he’d heard a loud noise, he stood up and looked around him. A broad grin on his face.
“He’s coming. He’s close now.”
Eddie was confused at what Ray was saying.
“Who Ray, who’s close?”
Ray ignored the question. He walked past his father and headed towards the hallway.
“I’m tired. I need to rest now.”
In 1998 something happened in the area that shocked the community. A local vicar, the Rt Rev Steven Marwell was accused of sexually assaulting four young boys. Their ages ranged between six and ten years old. He’d been found out by his housekeeper. She’d been cleaning his small cottage in the grounds of his church and discovered photographs of naked boys. She took them to the Police. They raided his cottage and found hundreds of images of children in various states of undress on his computer. The boys of course were never named but it was thought that the assaults took place in the church after they had attended Sunday School. Some of the photographs were taken of the naked boys sitting upon the alter of the church. Steven Marwell was found guilty and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. He committed suicide in 2001. He was found in his cell. He’d cut his wrists with a small piece of glass from a broken shaving mirror.
The church had been closed ever since. There was just too much stigma associated with it. It was run down and in need of repair. It had long since lost its blessing.
Trevor Wilson arrived there at dawn. He climbed over the large fence that had been erected to keep out the local kids and picked his way through the overgrown grounds. The main door of the church had been made secure by a sheet of metal that was bolted to the frame at each side. Trevor ripped it apart with his hands as though it was cotton wool. He entered the old church. He stood and looked around him. He laughed loudly.
“You are no longer his property. You are ours now. Things have happened here. Right here in his house, in his full view. Did he stop them? No. His time has come to an end. It is our time now.”
He walked up to the altar. Above it was a large wooden cross. He climbed up onto the altar and turned the cross upside down. He got down from the altar and looked up at the cross. He raised his hands and shouted.
“Our time now!”
Trevor smiled. He heard a noise behind him. He didn’t need to turn round. He knew who was there. He heard his name called.
Eddie Samuels sat in his kitchen drinking coffee. His normal routine was impossible to follow, what with all the press and media outside. Ray had been upstairs in bed for four hours now and apart from the music from the radio the house was silent. He finished his coffee and decided to check on Ray. He might be awake and want something to eat and drink. He quietly crept up the stairs. As he approached the landing he could see that Ray’s door was slightly open. He looked in. It was cold, freezing in the room. The curtains were drawn but the window was wide open. He entered the dark room and crept passed Ray’s bed and closed the window. It was then that he noticed that the bed was empty. He pulled the curtains open.
Silence. He called out again. This time much louder.
There was now an urgency in his voice. He checked the bathroom, the spare room, his own bedroom. No Ray. He went back downstairs.
He saw a shadow in the kitchen. He called out.
A voice replied.
“In here Dad.”
Eddie opened the kitchen door. Ray was standing at the far end by the back door. He was shivering. He was only wearing a short sleeved shirt and jeans. Eddie noticed that he had mud on his shoes.
“Blimey Ray, you scared me for a while there. Where have you been.?”
“I needed some fresh air Dad. Just needed to clear my head for a while.”
“You should have said son. I thought you’d gone missing again.”
“Not this time Dad. This time I’m back for good.”
“Look at the state of you, you’ll catch your death out there. It’s freezing.”
Eddie went out into the hallway and came back with a jacket.
“Put this on for a while till you warm up. I’ll put the kettle on and make us something hot.”
Ray sat down at the kitchen table.
Eddie made hot chocolate which was always Ray’s favourite when he was a young boy. Ray sat there in silence deep in thought. Eddie handed Ray the drink and sat opposite him at the table.
“So, did you clear your head?”
Ray looked confused.
“What do you mean dad?”
“You said you popped out in the freezing cold to clear your head. Did you clear it?”
Ray nodded his head.
“Oh, yes, I did. Things are changing Dad, you’ll see. There is a big change coming to this world Dad. The old season is over. It’s our time now.”
Eddie noticed a change in Ray as he spoke these words. His voice seemed lower. He said it with an intensity that Eddie hadn’t seen before.
“Well you’re the man to change it Ray, that’s for sure. You’re special and you’re here for a purpose. I’ve always said it, people didn’t believe me, but I just knew it.”
Ray put down his hot drink and began to laugh. It was a laugh that made Eddie quite uncomfortable.
“Oh yes Dad, I’m here for a reason allright. Now I think I’ll take that nap that I was going to take earlier.”
Ray stood up, walked past his father and went up the stairs to his bedroom. Eddie heard the door close and then… Ray began laughing again.