“What? Where—?” Mirah squirmed, panicking. She rose helplessly in unison, absently following Scott as he stepped away from the table. Preston hurriedly scooped up his satchel, stuffed the notebook inside and fell in line behind Scott with a practised precision.
Scott passed into the living room. “I’m sorry, but we’re not here to play games. We’re here to do a job. Obviously we’re not welcome, so we’ll leave you to it.”
The two small boys pulled their eyes from the television screen. Mirah—who stopped momentarily to stare a hole in Kevin, insisting telepathically that he do something—followed the investigators towards the front door. “But you can’t leave, you haven’t even looked around yet.” She pointed a finger at the television, her eyes darting to Billy. The boy’s head dropped.
Scott unhooked his coat from the rack beside the front door. “Your husband appears to already know what’s going on here, so there’s nothing for us to look into. Have a good night.”
Preston grabbed his coat and the umbrella and pulled open the front door, the warmth of the hallway rushing out into the night. He unfolded the umbrella, shielding himself against the heavy rain as the wind blew it onto the veranda.
Kevin ambled through from the living room. “You’re damn right I know whats going on. You’ve not had to live with it. You’ve not woken up to a house of screaming grandkids, or spent your weekend picking glass out of your rose bushes.”
“That’s not helpful,” scorned Mirah, “Talk to them, you know it’s not safe for the kids.”
“No, the guy thinks we’re liars. Good riddance.” Kevin dismissed the investigators with a wave of his hand and turned to head back to the living room.
Mirah wouldn’t let him, positioning herself in the archway and jabbing a finger at her husband. “I don’t care what he thinks of us! No one else has helped and we’ve run out of options!”
“Well I’m not having some limey with a chip on his shoulder come into my home and call me a liar!” snarled Kevin, glaring down at his wife. She glared back, unwavering. Mirah was used to his temper and his stubbornness, but when it came down to the safety of her grandkids, he wouldn’t win.
Scott stood in the open doorway. “Mr Sandford, we’re not here to tell you you’re right. We’re not here to prove that what’s happening is paranormal or otherwise. We’re here to investigate, and to gather the facts.”
Kevin turned back to face Scott. “Yeah? Well I think—”
Scott raised a hand. “Quite frankly, I couldn’t care less what you think. I base my opinions on the evidence and nothing else. So far, everything I’ve heard points to hoax. If you can’t handle that, I’ll leave you to it.”
“Listen here, you little shit—”
“No, you listen!” insisted Scott, his eyes burning intensely. “I’m not here to believe whatever you say and run around with a torch oohing and aahing at all the creaks and shadows. We were invited here to investigate, not hold your hand and mollycoddle you.” He spun away from Kevin, stepping out on the veranda and took the umbrella from Preston. “I’ll send you a bill for the travel expenses.”
Kevin moved up into the doorway as the investigators stepped off the veranda. Mirah stood beside him, worried. “Kevin …”
“Alright, alright,” Kevin pleaded for his wife to drop it. To Scott: “Listen. I know you don’t believe us, but this thing, whatever it is … it needs to be sorted. Do your tests, whatever you have to do …” He rubbed the back of his neck, his pride a bitter pill to swallow. “Please.”
Scott turned back to the couple and watched Kevin. Mirah clutched onto his arm, on the verge of breaking into tears. Something was going on here that neither one of them knew anything about. “Okay. But I do this how I’ve always done it: My way. If you don’t like the questions, find someone who’ll ask nicer ones.” Scott handed the umbrella to Preston and moved back towards the front door. He removed his coat. “Shall we go back through?”