Volume I Collected Editions
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There has been a sudden and inexplicable increase in problematic paranormal events across London. With the amount of spectral sightings, metaphysical monsters and ethereal entities on the rise, Sam Hain knows that there is something sinister going on behind the scenes. As he and Alice Carroll begin to look deeper, it becomes clear that everything up to this moment has been linked, and now it is all converging on one place...
Could this be the coming darkness that they have been warned about?
The sixth and final episode in Volume I of the Sam Hain series, Convergence ties together the web of elements in the story so far...
Everything is Connected.
Tom Hopkins was looking very pale and more than a little bit shaken when he met with his friends that afternoon. He was a burly looking man, tall and muscular, with shaggy and unkept hair, and sporting a sleeve of tattoos. If asked, anyone would have described him as a blokey sort of bloke, so to see him visibly shaken was unusual. When he had arrived at the Crone and Maiden, looking as white as a sheet and with haunted eyes, his friends had sat him down and brought him a pint to calm his nerves, before asking what had happened.
‘Well, you see,’ Tom began to recount his experience, gingerly picking up his beer and taking a long, hearty gulp, ‘I was on the Central Line on me way ‘ere… It was pretty dead, to be honest, not many people on the tube, which was alright. Had me headphones in listening to some tunes, mindin’ me own business, when the train came to a screechin’ halt and all the lights went out. Couldn’t see nothin’.’
The train had been held at a red light on the line, which was not entirely unexpected from the London Underground, and it had held there for five minutes in the pitch black of the tunnel. Normally, the driver would announce the reason for the delay and apologise for the wait. On this occasion, however, in the lightless tube in the impenetrable blackness of the underground tunnel, there was no announcement. Only the persistent crackling of static over the tannoy.
‘Didn’t think much of it, mind, had The Clash blaring in me ears didn’t I? So I sat and waited for the train to get a move on. Lights came flickerin’ back on, and sat opposite me is this old dear and her grandkid, right? Hadn’t seen ‘em there before, but figured I hadn’t been payin’ attention when they got on. Anyway...’
The tube had carried on undisturbed for the remaining two stops, and when the train arrived at Tottenham Court Road, Tom removed his headphones and stood up to alight at the station. ‘So I’m stood by the doors waitin’ for them to open, and the old bid and her granddaughter come and stand next to me. Must’ve been the kids birthday or somethin’, as she was holdin’ a red balloon, and she smiled at me. Sweet as you like! I smiled back at her, and at her grandmother, who didn’t seem to take quite as much of a shine to me.’ The old woman had narrowed her eyes in a judgemental stare and pulled her granddaughter closer to her. ‘Probably thought I was some sort of thug.’
‘Anyways, so I turn back to the door waitin’ for it to open, and notice something not right...’ He trailed off almost intentionally dramatically, and took another gulp of beer. ‘It was just me standin’ there. In the reflection of the window. No old biddy or sweet little girl or even a red balloon. Just me. So I turn to face them again, the smilin’ girl and her judging granny lookin’ back at me, then back to the window where their reflection certainly ain’t.’
His friends had started to smirk, trying to suppress their amusement while exchanging humoured looks with one another. ‘So what,’ Carl interrupted at this point, visibly entertained and with a voice laced with sarcasm, ‘you reckon you seen a ghost?’
‘Oi!’ Tom exclaimed. ‘Don’t you go laughin’ at me, it proper wigged me right out, right? And it gets creepier...’
He told them of how the old woman and the little girl had followed him off of the tube, the grandmother shuffling and the granddaughter skipping behind him as he walked along the platform. After rounding a corner to head to the exit, Tom had turned around to see if they were still behind him. He could hear the shuffling and the skipping, but neither the woman or the girl were in sight. Confused and unnerved, he had made his way up the escalator to the exit, and he saw them both reflected in the mirrored wall by the side of him. And yet, when he looked to see if they were there behind him, there was no-one in sight.
‘Shit, mate,’ Shabhir said when Tom had finished telling his ghost story, and subsequently also finished his pint, ‘I thought you’d seen someone get hit by the train or something, not a friggin’ ghost!’
‘Ooooo, spooky-scary!’ Mo chipped in, waving his fingers with the trembling wiggling motion trademarked by campfire storytellers. ‘I mean, Christ man, you’re probably just spookin’ yourself out. There ain’t no such thing as ghosts.’
‘Nah, you’re ‘avin’ us on, mate,’ Carl said, ‘probably didn’t even happen! Anyway, I’m goin’ for a slash then gettin’ a drink, who’s ‘avin’ what?’
‘If it didn’t happen,’ Tom said, ‘then why’s there an old woman and a little girl with a red balloon stood by the bar?’
The group looked over to where Tom was pointing, and sure enough there the old woman and her granddaughter were. His friends promptly burst out laughing.
‘An old lady and her granddaughter in a pub on a Sunday afternoon? Super creepy!’ They mocked, and Tom’s face turned from pale white to a flushed, embarrassed pink.
What none of them had noticed was that the old woman and the little girl were staring at them. And, in the mirror which stretched across the back wall of the pub, neither the girl or her balloon or her grandmother had a reflection.