Posted by Glyn Wade

Yes it’s time for my second instalment in this series and I have again chosen one of my own pictures. This one is taken inside Bethesda Chapel in Hanley which opens once a month for you to visit and take pictures like this one….or probably better! The chapel failed in its bid on some restoration programme on the telly a few years back but is slowly being restored… you will see in my story below….

It was midnight Tuesday 21st December….or did midnight actually class as the next day? It wasn’t something that Mickey Hanks was considering as he kicked the wooden door. In fact it wasn’t anything that he ever had or ever would consider. He wasn’t that kind of person.

Bethesda Chapel

Bethesda Chapel

He was the sort of person who would break into a church at midnight though. He was also the sort of person that was expecting to find gold candlesticks, a left over collection tray filled with money and maybe even some wine. But he definitely wasn’t the sort of person who did some research into where he was breaking into.

If he had he would have found out that Bethesda Chapel in Hanley was in the process of being refurbished and didn’t contain so much as a collection tray let alone anything to put in it. There was a strong possibility that he would be quite angry when he finally got through this stupid door.

When it did finally give way he listened for the sound of an alarm and was pleased to hear none which meant he could spend longer in there and not have to simply run in and grab what he could. Considering what did happen he would have gone for the latter option.

Hindsight eh?

Not that he’d have known what that means.

Mickey stomped in through the dilapidated door. ‘No need to be quiet now’ he thought, ‘might even smash a few things up, this is going to be fun.’

The torch from his stolen iphone lit the way and illuminated what everyone else in Stoke-on-Trent knew; the church had nothing of value and was obviously not used for worship. Angry, Mickey kicked a dusty pew and wood splinters flew across the cracked floor tiles.

As he pulled his foot back to kick again he heard an almighty bang from the direction he’d come in. ‘What the…’ he exclaimed as he strode towards the sound that had startled him…not scared him you understand. Nothing scared Mickey Hanks. Looking forward to maybe busting the head of an unlucky interloper a smile reinstated itself on Mickey’s face. No loot but the small recompense of a rumble to look forward to. Mickey was starting to enjoy himself again.

He stomped towards the broken door he’d barged in through but stopped when he saw it closed shut with no sign of the damage he’d inflicted. He kicked it hard a few times but nothing budged this time. ‘But how….’

Mickey didn’t think for long. That wasn’t his thing either.

He turned and looked for another way out. Walking past the austere looking organ pipes lit though the stained glass windows with a bluish hue he found another door which he proceeded to kick with increasing fervour. This one didn’t give way either, even when he hit it with a chair.

Neither did the windows. And he really did hit them hard both with the chair and a piece of wood from the pew that he ripped off. There appeared to be no way out which didn’t help Mickey’s mood. No goodies, no head to kick in and now, seemingly, no way out.

His mood wasn’t helped when the organ suddenly started playing. On its own. There was no-one there, hell there wasn’t even an organ there, just the pipes. But that was where the solemn music was coming from. Deep, booming tones that didn’t seem to have much form as a song but more as a sign of impending doom. Which they were.

Mickey attempted his usual method of solving problems like this by throwing things at the pipes. He would have kicked them if he could but they were too high. Nothing worked, the dirge droned onerously on.

And then things started getting worse. The broken pew started repairing itself. With creaks, cracks and groans the splinters returned from whence they’d come and the piece of wood flew from the base of the organ pipes, cracked Mickey on the back of the head on its way and melded itself back into place until the pew was back to how it had been before the intrusion….and the kick of course.

Mickey stared open mouthed unable even to utter his usual string of expletives. One did blurt out though when the chair he’d thrown rose up and started heading towards him at great speed. He couldn’t stop it and it hit him full in the face shattering his nose and splattering blood across his face. Before he had time to recover or react it clouted him again on the back of the head then continued to rain blows from all angles as if swung by an itinerant demon.

Realising he couldn’t stop the onslaught he tried to run but nothing worked. Even when he stopped and got a hold of the chair, whatever was wielding it was too strong for him and yanked it roughly out of his hands. And the organ played on with the tempo rising as Mickey tried in vain to fend off a possessed chair.

But then, suddenly the chair stopped and came to rest on the floor so Mickey quickly sat on it in case it started again. He took deep breaths as the organ’s tempo slowed again until it was almost silent.

That was when things really started to get out of hand.

Under Mickey the chair was going through some form of transmogrification as it seemed to liquify while somehow absorbing Mickey into itself. He screamed but the chair melded him into itself, turned him to wood and soon he could scream no more and there was only the sound of the deep booming notes of the organ.

Then a splintering cracking noise erupted as the chair threw off the addition to its form sending wood splinters flying across and into the pews. The shiny new parts of the pews glistened in the moonlight streaming through the windows.

The music stopped. Tonight’s restoration was complete