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A Sleepwalker's Nightmare

Chapter Six


___"Well, here we are, Jeff," Marty announced as they pulled up outside an old, but well-kept, little house. "Clue Central!"
___"Yeah, Clue Central," his partner replied sarcastically as he stepped from the car. "I can hardly wait..."
___The house was somewhat modern, but with original features like wrought-iron fireplaces still intact. There was a cosy feel to the house that Jeff immediately picked up as he began to look around. "Nice little place, this."
___"Yeah," Marty agreed. "I was sort of expecting an old, run-down sort of place... You know, full of cobwebs and lit by candles."
___"With a disembodied hand playing an organ somewhere, no doubt..."
___"Yeah! Something like that!" Marty began to wander around, humming the theme tune of 'The Addams Family'.
___"Marty, will you shut up?" Randall hissed at him.
___"I will if you will," he replied with a smirk.
___Sighing, he decided to ignore Hopkirk and take a look on the second floor, leaving his partner to amuse himself downstairs. "Don't touch anything," he cautioned. "I don't want to have to explain away any breakages to the police."
___"No Dad," Marty smirked childishly at him. "I won't Dad, I promise Dad."
___Jeff turned his back on his annoying partner and hurried upstairs out of his way. "He's worse now than he was when he was alive!" he muttered.

___The upstairs was as well decorated as the hall and lounge, with a tasteful, light colour-scheme throughout. Jeff noticed that the master bedroom was full of little woman's touches; from frilly net curtains to a subtly flowered bedspread.
___"Jeff," Marty called from the foot of the stairs. "Come here, would you?"
___"Hang on, Marty! I'm looking for clues."
___Hopkirk appeared beside him in a temper. "What d'you think I was doing? Messing about? Swinging on the living room's - lounge's - chandalier?"
___"You tell me!"
___"Actually, yes I was - and it was fun! So there!"
___"That's all you came to tell me, is it?" Jeff asked him, annoyed.
___Marty grinned at him; confident that now he had his full attention. "No, it isn't. While I was having fun, I noticed a photograph on the fireplace."
___"So?"
___"Come and take a look, Jeff. See if you recognise her."
___"Her?" he snapped his fingers. "You mean, you've found a picture of the murderer?"
___"Why don't you stop asking stupid questions and see for your..." he froze suddenly, staring past his partner and through the window of the bedroom.
___Jeff frowned at him. "What's wrong?"
___"Shut up!" he hissed. "Jeff! She's just pulled up outside! We've got to get out of here - FAST!"
___He didn't need any second bidding. He ran into the back bedroom as quietly as he was able and looked through the window. The house obviously had a basement beneath it, as the back garden was much lower than the front.
___He was just wondering how he'd escape from the garden once he'd made the leap, when Hopkirk appeared beside him. "Jeff, you can't jump from the window - you'll break your neck!"
___"Got a better idea?" he demanded.
___"Yes, actually. You creep downstairs and I'll create a diversion, O.K.? I'll tell you when the coast's clear, and you can make a run for it."
___"What if I'm caught?"
___"You stand a better chance of dodging bullets than you do of surviving a jump from three-storeys up!"
___"You have a lovely way of telling a man his chances, don't you?" he grumbled, still looking down into the garden.
___"Anyway, I don't think you'll be able to pull yourself over that back wall. You're too short. I mean, it must be at least seven feet high!"
___"Oh, six and a half at the most, Marty!"
___"Still too high for you, short arse," he replied. "If you survive the fall in the first place, that is."
___"Alright then, we'll play it your way," Jeff replied with ill humour.
___"Great! See you in a minute!" Hopkirk grinned at him and vanished.

___The McReady murderer was pouring herself a whisky in the lounge. She wanted to make sure that she was close to the phone; expecting the police to call to inform her of her husband's unfortunate death.
___Marty materialised beside her and looked around. He had to grab her attention somehow. First, he blew the window open; but she merely crossed the room and closed it again. Next, he spun the hands on the mantel clock, making it chime.
___ Mrs. McReady looked at the clock and frowned, checking her watch.
___Hopkirk smiled to himself. Now he had her attention! He spun the hands again; stopping at the next hour so that it chimed again.
___The murderer went to the clock, taking it down from atop the fireplace to inspect it. To her amazement, the hands began to spin before her eyes! She cried out and dropped the timepiece in shock.
___"Look what you did!" Marty shouted at her. "You broke it!" He began to work on the grandfather clock beside the door to the hall instead.
___Mrs. McReady was really frightened, now. She ran from the house, leapt into her car, and sped away.
___Hopkirk appeared beside his partner, grinning wildly. "She's gone, Jeff!"
___"Yes, Marty, but I bet she'll be back before too long. Why don't we try to follow her and see where she goes?"


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