I will explain.
As I have said, I loved my wife and am responsible for her death and her face still haunts my thoughts, but after ten long years without her I have found something resembling peace over her absence. She led a harsh life, her sanity waxing and waning and her days filled with anxiety and fear, but Miriam is in a better place now; I believe that. I have to believe that. And that is why I told the so-called “spirit-breaker” that, in no uncertain terms, I would not come at his beck and call and fall back into that all-too-familiar spiral that could only lead to pain and misery.
Janus looked at me with a queer expression, as if catching a glimmer of insanity in my own eyes, but then, without further word, he turned on his heel and walked away. I watched him retreat for several minutes then gathered my things and returned to my simple home, hidden away from the eyes of the world and my former master.
That was May. I half-expected to hear from Janus again – was he not known to be dogged and persistent in his “crusade” to help those vexed by spirits? How I figured into this profession of his I do not now, but alas, he did not come ‘round again…until just yesterday the crisp November air brought a letter from him. In it, he told me that Miriam had once again made contact with him and that her “misplaced steps are leading her further and further into chaos” and I was to come at once to Janus House. After reading the letter once, twice, three times I crumpled it into a ball and flung it into the fire and watched it burn.
I was livid, consumed by rage. I was also filled with…dread. For what? I do not know. I had never been afraid of anything before, having lived at the side of a master criminal, but perhaps having subsequently lived with my head down, peering around corners and cloaked in shadows for a decade had taken its toll with me. But I was also angry, and anger fuels me. Oh, yes, a good heated bout of rage can do wonders for my gumption.
I threw on my coat and headed out, with Janus House as my destination and murder on my mind.
TO BE CONTINUED in Part 4.
All contents © Jim Beard 2012
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