Sam loved his job, but just sometimes he took on work that he didn’t really enjoy. This was rare and was usually when the market for his skill was quiet. When he didn’t like the job he was doing, or had done it was usually down to one of two factors, occasionally both.. The first factor being over-constructive clients, who were sure they knew his craft better than he did, and the other reason was the location or place in which he was expected to work.
Sam was a plasterer by trade, although he sometimes turned his hand to other construction type jobs. He had been known to build walls and put ceilings in, or lay floors for clients. One time the wife of the man who had contracted him to lay an Italian tile floor made such obvious advances that had he not been engaged himself he might well have taken her then and then on the new floor, which was clearly what she was after. Sam knew he could turn heads with his blond locks and steely blue eyes, and his work kept him fit. In the summer he would work in short t-shirts of even shirtless and on more than this one occasion had had the come on from both men and women, but he was a one woman man.
The job he was just finishing had made him uncomfortable for a very different reason. He had got the work through a friend down the pub, Rupert. He didn’t know Rupert very well and had always thought him just a bit strange. They were what Sam considered to be ‘on nodding terms’, nothing more really. Sam had always found Rupert a bit stand offish. Even when he had plastered Rupert’s garden wall they had barely said a word to each other outside the instructions for the job. Rupert had moved into the area a couple of years before and had pretty much kept himself to himself. He lived just a couple of doors down the road from Sam and in all the time he had lived there Sam had never ever seen him have a visitor.
The job was in a large house just outside town. It was in its own grounds and on first impression seemed to be an ideal place to live, at least for a recluse. This is how Rupert had described the house owner to Sam when he had suggested the job. When Sam had found out he would be working in the basement, in a poorly lit area, which gave him the willies the first time he want in there he almost said no. However, his wedding w only a few months away and the extra cash would be useful, and this job was unusually well paid for what it was.
On first meeting the house owner appeared quite normal but Sam didn’t feel comfortable around him. He showed Sam the wall he would be plastering. It looked like it had been built very recently to block up a door or something similar. It had had a bad layer of plaster applied that Sam suggested he remove before replastering. The owner told Sam that this would not be a good idea, and said he would have to simply plaster over it. He had also told Sam that the work he was doing must remain between them, which Sam found quite strange. He wasn’t convinced it was normal even when Rupert tried to explain it was because the owner was a recluse.
On the last day of his work at the house Sam overheard the owner talking, or rather whispering to someone he was sure he heard him call ‘Four’. What Sam heard disturbed him more than anything else to do with this odd job. It seemed that he had indeed plastered over a door. The door was to a small cupboard in the wall, of which there were several around the basement. What Sam heard that really disturbed him was that the owner and whomever he was talking to had managed to dispatch someone called Susanna and ‘put her away’ with ‘the other two’. He heard the owner tell his companion that the job was nearly done, and not to worry and that ‘they’d be able to start again soon.’
Sam reached for his mobile. He needed to tell someone about this straight away. He was going to call the police, even f it was nothing and he looked like a fool. He’d rather that than be involved in something that sounded horrific. The screen showed there was no service in the basement. Sam decided he would go upstairs immediately and call. Just at that moment the owner appeared on the stairs.
“No signal down here.” the owner said gruffly. “Who were you calling?”
Sam slipped his mobile back in his pocket. “Oh, just my girlfriend to let her know I’ll be back soon.” Sam could hear the lie in his voice and hoped it wasn’t as obvious as he thought it may be.
“Just your girlfriend?” the owner said. “We didn’t realise you had one. I’m sure she’s as pretty as you are handsome. Perhaps you’d like to come to our next party?” He put his arm around Sam’s shoulder and led him away from the stairs. “Now, let’s just make sure everything is well covered.”