Irving looked up from the paperwork in front of him as the police sat the girl down in the chair across the desk from him. Right away, he knew that his job was going to get a little bit more interesting. The girl had bite and claw marks on her arms and face, not to mention the numerous bruises of varying sizes. Irving rolled up his sleeves and pushed his glass back up his nose before taking a notepad from the upper left-hand drawer of his desk. Dating it November 1, 2005; 10:25 A.M., he cleared his throat and turned on the little tape recorder he had prepared for cases like this.
"Can you tell me your name?," he asked.
"...Erica. Erica Hawking."
"Alright, Erica," he said as wrote it down on his notepad, "You do understand that by law, you can request me to turn this tape recorder off at any time that you feel you are unable to continue, don't you?"
"Good. Can you tell me a little bit about the marks you have on your body?"
"It's... it's... the horror is still hard for me to deal with," She replied, on the verge of tears.
"That's okay. Let's start with the basics and work our way up to that. Where do you go to school at, Erica?"
"White River High School," She replied, swallowing a little bit and wiping her eyes as she did.
Irving made another little mark on his notepad.
"Alright, then. How old are you, Erica?"
"Thirteen," came the quick little retort as Erica found herself getting more comfortable.
"Mhm," Irving replied as if he had already known the answer. "And how long have you been pregnant?"
"WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING!," Erica screamed, suddenly standing up and staring at Irving with unexplainable anger. The cops came to the door, their hands nervously playing with their nightsticks. Apparently they had had a little bit of trouble dealing with her already, but Irving waved them off.
"Don't get upset, Erica. I'm not attacking you. If it would make you feel better not to tell me, then you don't have to. I'm just trying to help you," he said softly, almost too soft to be heard by the guards at the door.
"You haven't even told me your name, yet," Erica said hesitantly.
"I'm so sorry. It's Irving Dandrich," he replied, motioning towards her chair. "Please, have a seat."
Erica sat back down in her chair and sort of withdrew into herself for a couple of minutes. Suddenly, she came out of it again and sat forward in her chair.
"It's eight and a half months," She said matter-of-factly.
Irving leaned back in his chair and took a sip of his coffee and then wrote a few more things down on his notepad. He set his mug back down on his coaster and, as if just remembering something very important, leaned forward again.
"I'm sorry, where are my manners? Would you care for anything to drink, Erica? Coffee, water, or soda. That's all I have, but you're certainly welcome to it."
"Just water, please," Erica replied
Irving got up and retrieved another coffee mug, similar to his, from the cabinet behind his desk, walked over to the water machine in the corner and filled it up. Handing it over to Erica, he took his seat again.
"Do you think you can tell me a little bit about those scars, now?," he asked.
"I...I think so," came the slow reply.
"Good, good. Let's start with when, then. When did it all happen?"
"...Last night," she said and started shivering again.
"Can you tell me about the day leading up to it? try to remember everything, even the things that you don't think are important."
Erica took a couple drinks of water and set the mug down on the desk.
"The day began like any other: I woke up in the morning, got ready for school, you know: dealing with the morning sickness, trying not to move fast as I got dressed, brushed my teeth and called my girlfriend for a ride to school. The only thing different about it was that we were anticipating trick or treating later. Maybe playing a few practical jokes on the younger kids, if I could manage it this year."
"What about at school, Erica?"
Erica's eyes sort of glazed over and she was lost for a couple of minutes until Irving said her name again.
"The first half of the day was okay. First period, which is Choir, started out normally enough with our singing exercises. All we did that period was rehearse all the songs we had learned the past couple of months for the concert next week. Second period came quickly. A little bit too quickly for my liking. Algebra, and I'm not too good at Math or numbers, so time just seemed to drag away at it. I tried so hard to pay attention, but my thoughts kept skipping ahead to after school when I'd get to sit down and plan our night.
"Finally, lunch rolled around. I got my meal, you know that cardboard pizza that's sold in cafeteria. About the only thing edible on the whole menu. Then I went and sat down with my friends at our table. We started planning how we were going to scare the little kids in our neighborhood and take their candy, but it was cut pretty short by the bell.
"Third period came around, which was Gym. I don't see much point in gym class when you're pregnant, but it's the one class where I don't have to do anything in except sit and try not to do anything strenuous, so me and my friends used the time to plan our scaring techniques a little better.
"Drama, which I had fourth period came quickly enough after that and since I enjoyed it, it passed pretty quickly. We were split up into groups of three and four and told to come up with an improv skit that we all would be putting on in a couple of days. It was pretty fun. All in all, I was in a great mood, but it didn't last too long.
"Why is that," Irving asked as he made a few more marks on his notepad and twirled his pencil around his fingers.
"Me and my friends were walking out of the school, talking more about what we were going to do when this kid came up to us. None of us knew who he was, so we asked. He had just started there a couple days ago. I guess he has family living in town but he had been living with other family or something. Anyway, he said he had overheard us talking earlier and said he knew a cool ghost story that nobody else did, about our town. Of course we were intrigued, I mean, a ghost story WE didn't know? About OUR town? We asked him to tell it, so he did. We thought it was stupid... It doesn't seem so stupid anymore."
"Can you recall the story at all, Erica?"
"...yes. As if it had happened just a couple of minutes ago. I...I...I don't think I'll ever be able to forget it...," She trailed off and began crying lightly.
Irving handed her a box of tissues and after a while she calmed down and wiped her eyes a bit.
"Are you sure you want to tell this story?"
"I have to tell it. People have to know about that house."
"What house is that?"
"An abandoned house that looks like a cross between a castle and a mansion. It's on a road called Entwistle. A short way away from highway 410."
Erica sighed and took a few more drinks of water before continuing.
I think I can remember it word for word as he told it... "'Back in 1888, Jack the Ripper became famous in Europe for his killings of Women who had.. 'lost their way.' These killings were brutal, and completely untraceable for those times. Jack slipped away and came to America to begin a new life. He decided to get as far away from his past as possible.
"'That same year, Jack took a wife. She was thirteen, which was half of his age, but he was determined to get a woman That had been untouched by that 'sin'. Within the year they had a child, a baby boy and within another year, had a baby girl. When he saw that his wife, Jessica had had a baby girl, he took that to mean in his twisted mind that she had committed the same sin as every other woman, that of spreading her legs more than she was good for, and killed her.
"Jack would have killed the baby, too, but he could not bring himself to kill the innocent little baby, so he raised it. Jack loved his son, but he ignored his daughter, Emily. He gave her scraps to eat, after him and his son ate, after his dogs and animals ate. Jack's dogs were mean, too. It is rumored that they were the same hounds from The Hounds of the Baskervilles, but there's no proof to this. Those dogs were uncommonly mean, at any rate, and any time that Jack thought his daughter was misbehaving, he'd sic one of them on her until she was near to death.
"'When Emily was thirteen, she became pregnant and somehow managed to hide it from her father. It was an illegitimate son of a farmer that she had fallen in love with and got more than comfortable with behind the Silo on his dads farm. A baby is a hard thing to keep quiet about, though, as signs do begin to present themselves that it's there, such as a bulging stomach, morning sickness, etc. One day, she came home and her father was there, reeking of Alcohol, and he confronted her about it. Their neighbors heard the commotion from across the veldt and came over to investigate. Seeing the beating that Emily was getting, they broke it up, but Jack called his Dogs on all of them. Emily was the only one to manage to get away. Running fearfully through the night as the sounds of rabid barking dogs behind her, she managed to make it to another neighbors house, where they called the police.
"By the time the police showed up at the house, however, Jack had committed suicide by hanging himself out in their barn rather than be caught. No clue at all could point the way to his son, however. Nobody knew what had happened to the young boy. They searched for him and searched for him all over the country, but couldn't find any sign of him whatsoever.
"Emily gave birth shortly after that to a baby girl, but disappeared shortly afterward when she was walking outside late one night. Nobody knew what happened, but they whispered and rumored that her brother must have been told by their father to sneak back into town and kill her when things settled down. Nobody ever saw what happened though, so it's only hearsay. They say that Jack's ghost and the ghost of his dogs can be heard from the house every thirteenth year, on the anniversary of the night he died, waiting for the chance to end the female line of his blood for good. Each time, the female having just had a baby, would invariably disappear in one way or another after an unfortunate mishap with the house. This year was to be the thirteenth year since it last happened,'" Erica finished flatly. "Like I said though, none of us believed a word of it. Why should we? we had never heard it before. We should have stayed away from that house."
Irving sat back in his chair, too stunned for a moment to even write anything down. Taking a drink of coffee, he slowly began writing things down again on his little notepad which by this time had gotten pretty full.
"That's a pretty unbelievable story," he said.
"That's what me and my friends thought, too. We told him so, and he dared us to spend Halloween night there then, if we weren't scared.
Erica put her head in her hands and began to cry again. All of a sudden she grabbed her side as a sharp tinge of pain ripped through her. there was a splashing sound, as if something liquid had hit the ground, except that nothing had spilled.
"oh, no... oh god! Help!," Erica yelled
Irving jumped into action, calling the cops into the room and helping them escort her down the hall and into the back of their cop car. Running back into his office, he threw a towel down on the floor where her water broke, grabbed his coat, shut off the tape recorder and ran back down to his car, following them to the hospital.