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Return of the Winter Night Phantom

Chapter 1: Roger Smith

Piano music filled the house. Roger tossed and turned before he reluctantly got out of bed. He went to the dining room where Dorothy was playing.

"R. Dorothy Wayneright!" he shouted. "How many times do I have to tell you not to play that infernal music while I'm asleep!"

"Try as you might I doubt you'd be able to stop me," retorted Dorothy. "Anyway, your breakfast is getting cold."

Roger saw that it was already noon. He walked into the kitchen and sat down to eat.

"Did you sleep well sir?" asked Norman.

"As well as I can with Dorothy making that horrible racket," said Roger grumpily.

"Well," Norman said quietly but stopped.

"What is it, Norman!"

"Well, I rather put her to it," said Norman. "You were sleeping for such a long time."

"Can't I trust anyone in this house!" grumbled Roger. "Did I have any calls, Norman?" he said a few minutes later in a much more professional manner.

"Well Mister Dan Dastun came by," said Norman. "He said he needed you for something and to go by his office."

"It's been a long time since Inspector Dastun asked for my help," said Roger. "I guess I'll see what's up".

But on the way there Roger found Dastun. There was some sort of accident by the look of it and Dastun was there talking to someone.

"So what'd you need me for?" Roger asked him in a rather amused tone.

"Oh, hi, Roger," Dastun said in a tired tone that Roger had never heard him use before. "Not now... I'll call you later."

"Why what's happened?" said Roger. "What's going on?"

"Nothing," said Dastun. "It's none of your concern."

Roger heard murmurs like "four attacks in two hours" and "hundreds of people killed". Roger pushed ahead to the front of the crowd and saw it. Four domes were totally destroyed.

"How did this happen?" Roger asked Dastun.

"I dunno," said Dastun. "Strangely enough there are no witnesses. No one in the area remembers this happening. They just turned around and four domes were gone. They were all crushed in the space of two hours apparently."

"Must've been due to the manipulation of memories," said Roger. "But who would do that? And for what purpose?"

"I dunno," said Dastun. "It almost reminds me of those attacks a few months ago. But no, it couldn't be..."

Roger remembered those attacks. He often wondered what did take place between Dastun and that strange phantom woman. Seeming that he had forgotten it, Dastun suddenly said, "Hey, Roger, you're not supposed to be here! This is a crime scene!"

Roger sighed and drove home. "Well I guess I got more info than could be expected."

A few days later Dastun came by Roger's house. "Oh, hello, Dan, you didn't call me the other day?" said Roger, amused, before noticing his face. Dastun looked more tired than Roger had ever seen him.

"Roger," Dastun said. "Remember those attacks a few months ago?"

"Yeah," said Roger. "What happened anyway?"

"That's none of your concern," said Dastun with an angry tone. "But that actress... I think these attacks might be her again. I'm starting to see her everywhere, it's really strange. Just like last time. And the domes were definitely destroyed by bombs."

"Dastun," Roger said softly. "I know you shot her."

"How'd you know that?" said Dastun, alarmed.

"I saw it. Dead people don't come back from the grave."

"Then how did I meet her at all?" said Dastun. "How did I shoot her if she was dead? She couldn't have been alive! I don't know what to think anymore."

Roger was concerned for Dastun. He thought he might be going crazy.

"You need rest, Dastun. You've been working a lot lately. Here I'll take you home".

"You think I'm crazy don't you?" Dastun said quietly. "I'm off work, boss says I need rest," he grumbled.

Roger took a closer look at Dastun. He looked terrible. He had huge circles under his eyes and looked as though he hadn't shaved for a week.

"Sure, I'll leave," Dastun said suddenly, and walked out the door.

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