Novelist and more.
Sam Brady, paranormal investigator and writer, while imitating a Federal agent, gained access to the mentally ill, convicted, mass murderer Robert Wilcox. During the interview, Wilcox appeared to be a calm, theatrical speaking, slightly strange man. Not violent in the least. That is…until he suddenly attacked, and beat unconscious the only other occupant in the padded cell besides Sam.
Now there’s just Robert and Sam.
Robert motioned for Sam to move away from the door, which he did, as Robert tapped the intercom.
“Dr. Brenigan?” Robert’s friendly demeanor returned.
Dr. Brenigan appeared in the window, his voice reverberated over the intercom, “Robert? Where’s Roy?”
Robert shrugged slowly and indicated Roy’s immobile form just out of Dr. Brenigan’s sight.
“Roy’s fine, Doc, he’s unconscious at the moment.”
Dr. Brenigan’s face searched quickly around the window, “Mr. Brady!”
Robert nodded at Sam.
Sam leaned so the doctor could see him, “I’m alright. I don’t think he hurt Roy too much; I can see him breathing from here. He just knocked him out with Karate or something.”
Robert agreed, “I wouldn’t hurt Roy, well, except for what I just did Doc, but I’m afraid you’ll have to apologize to him for me again. Anyway, to the matter at hand. Doctor? I, and Mr. Brady, need to leave.”
The doctor didn’t respond but Robert could see he was calling for help, then he activated the intercom, “You know right now I can’t do that, you just attacked an attendant. You’ll have to be sedated.”
Robert’s lips curled back into his mouth as he slowly nodded, “Doc? Look.”
Robert raised his right arm and faced the window; the doctor frowned as Robert pointed at his arm.
Where the doctor injected him with the sedative earlier; a flow, then a stream of clear liquid erupted from the needle mark, squirting the window in front of Brenigan’s face.
“Dear God! How-” Dr. Brenigan’s breath caught is his throat.
Rubbing his arm, Robert gave his angelic smile another try, “I’m asking you nicely Doc, open the door.”
The doctor left the intercom on, screaming for security and more attendants.
Shaking his head, Robert walked to the middle of the room, “You ask nicely and you get nothing.” he mumbled.
Sam pressed himself against the wall directly in front of Robert. Robert seemed to realize his guest was uncomfortable.
He raised his hands in surrender, “Sam? Sam I am, I’m not going to hurt you, Sam. You’ve got to come with me. But I should warn you to hold onto your sanity because you’re about to see something…magical.” he gave Sam that angelic grin.
Standing in the middle of the room, Robert raised his arms over his head and began breathing exercises, then to chant, and then scream in a language Sam couldn’t understand.
The magic began.
The writings, the runes, the pictograms, the hieroglyphs, and every crayon color on the walls, ceiling, and floor began to glow.
They floated off the wall as Robert slowly began to rotate still calling out in his strange chant. His voice changed from low tones to high and back again. The colors followed his hands motions. The colors and words on the wall behind Sam crept over his head, shoulders and through his legs like pets summoned to their master.
Faster and faster the colors swirled. Tightening themselves around the chanting man. Some of the colors attached themselves to Robert’s skin, some entered his chanting mouth. Quicker and quicker, akin to a painted tornado, no sound other than Robert’s screaming chant filled the room. Robert slowly revolved as the colors began to attach to his body; creeping beneath his shirt and pants legs. The colors began to meld together into black. Robert slowed his revolutions until he faced Sam again.
Robert’s clothing remained their normal green color but Robert Wilcox was now ebony, not like the skin coloration of a human being, but resembling a starless, moonless, night. The deepest of night no star, sun, or moon could penetrate. Sam imagined the color between galaxies would be the color the man standing in front of him would be, when Robert opened his eyes and smiled. His eyes were part of the night; his teeth were the color of the same darkness.
Robert swayed as he smiled, “Wow. What a rush.”
The color of night began to fade and Robert’s normal pigmentation returned.
Sam inspected the padded cell, not one small mark of crayon remained on the padded walls. Robert continued smiling, in a daze, as Brenigan continued screaming for help just out of sight of the observation window.
Sam was dumbfounded, “How did you-? What did you-?”
Robert laughed, slightly maniacally, “Sam I am, I have no idea how I just did that, but…wow.”
“What are you?” Sam asked in awe.
Robert staggered and righted himself, “Just a guy, Sam, that…I’m sure of. I’m just a guy. A guy who has to get both of us out of here.” he moved to the door.
“You’re out of your damn mind if you think I’m going anywhere with you!”
Robert glanced back at the door, “Sam, Sam I am. Look, you need my help just like I need yours. I can make you come with me, which neither of us would like, or you can come with me on your own. It’s up to you, but you’re coming.”
Sam quickly thought up an excuse; “Kidnapping a federal agent is a federal offense; you think you’ve got it bad now? ”
Robert stared at him for a moment then burst into laughter.
Sam was confused, “What?”
Robert shook his head, “Sam I am, please. I know you’re not a FBI agent, and you have no superiors, and no one knows you’re here except maybe whoever told you I was here. You’re a paranormal investigator and a freelance writer. I’m guessing you received your information about me from some police contact, either way I know who you are so you can drop the act.”
“How did you-?” Sam gave a start of surprise before he realized he was unwittingly confirming Robert’s accurate statement.
Robert pointed at his eyes, “When I looked into your eyes when you came in, Sam. That peculiar flash of vertigo? Ever heard of the term: ‘The eyes are the mirrors to the soul’? I read your soul.” He grinned, “Now let’s get out of here.” he casually addressed the intercom.
“Doc? C’mon, Doc? Really, would you mind opening the door? I don’t mean anyone any harm.”
Dr. Brenigan’s face appeared in the window again, “Robert, you just need to calm down, sit down, we’ll have you some help in a moment. Just don’t harm Mr. Brady.”
Robert held up his hands, “Doc, do I not look like I’m calm? Ask Sam if he’s in any sort of danger.” He moved out of the doctor’s line of sight.
Sam shrugged his shoulders, amazingly calm for his predicament, “He hasn’t threatened me. Roy seems fine too; I told you he looks unconscious that’s all.”
Robert gave him a nod of thanks, “See Doc. So how about letting us out?”
Dr. Brenigan shook his head glancing down the corridor, “I can’t do that, you know that. Just give us some time, to get some help in there to get Mr. Brady and Roy out then we can help you.”
Robert frowned, “Sorry Doc, can’t wait that long. Could you step away from the door? Or at least move to the side?” He asked politely, placing his left palm against the padding in the middle of the door.
The doctor ignored him, “Everything is going to be alright, Robert. Mr. Brady you’ll be fine.”
Sam had a gut feeling, “Uh, Dr. Brenigan it might be a good idea to move to the side of the door, I don’t know why, but I think it would be for your own best interest.”
Dr. Brenigan looked at him oddly but took his advice.
Robert gently pushed against the protective padding. Sam heard him either saying a chant, prayer, or just mumbling to himself as he pressed.
A low groan filled the padded room, the unbreakable observation window popped out of its housing into the hallway, the door buckled at the point Robert pushed. The door hinges snapped followed by the door latch. Sam yelled through the intercom for Dr. Brenigan to move aside as the door warped into a bowl shape, exploding outward, hitting the opposite side of the hall.
Robert gestured to Sam, “Ok, time to go.”
Robert stepped into the hallway meeting the doctor staring at the broken door, his jaw slack. Behind him down the hall, the attendant at the door screamed for help over the intercom reaching for a weapon.
Robert waved his hand in front of the doctor’s face, “Doc, you need to move, I don’t want to hurt you, but we are leaving.”
Regaining his senses, Dr. Brenigan lunged at him with a filled syringe. Robert casually grabbed the doctor’s plunging hand and grabbed the doctor by his other arm.
“Sorry, about this Doc.” In one fluid motion, taking the syringe out of the doctor’s hand, Robert turned the syringe back toward Dr. Brenigan and jammed it through his clothing into his shoulder.
The doctor cried out in startled pain while Robert held him upright as the fluid spread throughout his body.
“You…must return…to-,” The doctor tried to speak as he slumped downward.
“Night, Doc, told you I wouldn’t hurt you.” Robert gently laid him on the floor.
Sam poked his head around the corner of the door frame.
Robert gestured, “A little faster, Sam I am. It would expedite our escape a lot faster.” he jogged down the hallway toward the gate and the guard.
“Freeze!” yelled the guard.
Robert grinned, “Freeze? Sorry, we haven’t been formally introduced, partner, but I’m an escapee and you, sir, are barring my egress.”
The guard looked at him strangely, “What?”
The guard raised his stun gun pressing the switch activating the charge between the contact points.
“Sorry, buddy, but you ain’t going nowhere,” The guard sneered.
“Sorry, ‘buddy’, but we are,” Robert reached for the door lock.
The guard touched and held the contacts to Robert’s hand. Robert’s jaw clinched as a surge of electricity spread through him finally forcing him to release the handle. His hair tingled and he twitched while rubbing his hand.
He suddenly laughed, “Well, that was unpleasant.”
Both the guard and Sam stared.
“That should have knocked you halfway down the hall,” the guard said.
“Really? Maybe the batteries are weak. By the way, have you ever been zapped by one of those things?”
The guard shook his head.
“It feels like this.” He held up the tingling hand.
A bluish white arc flared from his fingertips toward the guard sending him into convulsions, slamming him against the back of the small station into unconsciousness.
“Hurts don’t it?” Robert returned his attention to the gate lock.
Sam unhurriedly walked up to him, “How are you able to do all that?”
Robert glanced over his shoulder, “Sam I am, some of these things I do: I know how, some I don’t. I don’t know why it is, but it is. I’ve had some memory loss over the years. Somehow, I knew the electricity wouldn’t hurt me and I could turn it back on him. Now this is something I know I can do. Watch.”
Placing his right hand over the locking mechanism, Robert slowly turned his hand back and forth, a click from the lock echoed in the quiet hallway and the door popped open.
“Okay, that.” Sam pointed, “How did you do that?”
“A magician never reveals his secrets but let’s just say my grandfather said Houdini was an interesting man.” he chuckled advancing into the guard station.
The monitors displayed various views of other patients, the hallway with the unconscious doctor, and the outer hall outside of the isolation ward where several men waited as others met them exchanging pepper gas, a female doctor filled a syringe. Robert gave Sam the tray with his belongings and told him to put them on.
“Alright, Sam I am, here’s the plan. First do you have a car?” he kept looking at the monitors.
“Yes, an SUV.”
Robert frowned, “What’s a Suv?”
“A sports utility vehicle? You don’t know what they are?”
He shrugged, “I wanted to be in total isolation for a reason. I also suffer from memory loss. So just imagine I’m a man coming out of a coma and time has passed me by. I don’t read newspapers, or watch television because it upsets my karma, okay? So is this thing a truck, a motorcycle, or a Jeep or what? I don’t know the current slang, okay?”
“It’s like a truck, but the back is covered, it’s for off-road and hauling things.”
He nodded happily, “Perfect. Now step two, I’m about to open this door, as you can see people are waiting to jump me out there. So just in case, I want you to step to the side of that gate if any get by me. Okay?”
Sam didn’t know why he trusted him but did as he asked. He didn’t know why he was so willing to go along with a mass murderer and his escape plans. Sam’s trusted gut feeling was telling him Robert Wilcox was not a threat. Oh, he was nuts, but not dangerous. Sam also felt he should find out how Wilcox was doing all the magical feats he was witnessing.
Robert waved his hand over the mechanical door lock to the outer hall. When the door clicked, the attendants outside pulled it open, in momentary shock, stunned to see Robert Wilcox barring the doorway, smiling with outspread arms and hands.
Before any of them reacted, Robert spoke, “Noli me tangere”.
They stayed where they were, Sam noted the attendants looking at each other and at their feet as if they couldn’t move.
Robert stepped forward, keeping out of the reach of their arms, waved his right hand across the assemblage and said “Pax. Requiescat.”
The men, nurses, and female doctor slowly, calmly, lay down on the floor, within seconds they were snoring.
“Sam I am, let’s move.” Robert gestured for him to hurry.
Sam stepped into the hallway following the mental patient, each of the individuals laying on the floor happily smiling in sleep.
Sam caught up with Robert after running down hallways and staircases, and finally out of breath at the front desk as Robert leaned over the counter. He calmly spoke to the receiving nurse. She remained immobile as Robert spoke but awake and aware.
“Now Teresa, have you or have you not already hit the hidden foot alarm to call the authorities under your desk? A nod or a shake of the head would answer me, be truthful now.”
The young wide-eyed nurse slowly nodded.
“Hmmm, that complicates a few things. Teresa, thank you. By the way, rest easy tonight and let your husband know it’s a benign tumor and you won’t have any complications after the surgery. Requiescat.”
She smiled, leaning forward laying her head on her crossed arms falling asleep.
“What did you just say to her?”
Robert glanced quickly between them, “What, Requiescat? It means ‘rest’ in Latin. I told you I knew some.”
Two attendants ran toward them from an adjoin hall. One slim and the other; huge.
Sam looked at Robert, for the first time; there was fear in Robert’s eyes, but Sam couldn’t figure out the cause.
Robert threw up his arms and yelled “Pax! Requiescat!”
At that point, the larger of the two fell in a slow lump to the floor but the slimmer man continued coming. Sam glanced at Robert again; Robert’s hands were shaking.
He screamed again “Requiescat! Res non grata!”
The man pulled a black leather club out of the back of his pants continuing toward them.
“Damn!” Robert took a deep calming breath, and calmed himself.
“Grosmeto! Grosmeto! Balagma yagga noth! I command you!” he said in that guttural language that didn’t sound human.
The attendant slowed to a stop ten feet from them with a confused expression. Robert took a step forward as the man lowered his club.
“I do not want to hurt your horse: you, the rider…that’s another story. I know you’re strong, yet I’m stronger, you know this. You see this. I don’t have time to destroy you, rider. You know I can summon help if I need to. So I propose a treaty, I don’t harm you or your horse. We do not battle now. A one-time treaty, I have things to do elsewhere.”
Sam didn’t understand why he talked about horses and riders while the attendant remained motionless, not responding in any way, just watched Robert in total confusion.
“Are these conditions satisfactory? Or do we begin?”
The attendant didn’t move or speak.
“Good. Requiescat.” the attendant collapsed to the floor.
He turned to Sam, “To the Sam mobile!” then ran through the front doors.
“How did-” Sam started to ask until he heard sirens.
Holding the front double doors open, he gestured at Sam to come on, “In time, Sam I am, in time I’ll explain it all. But we have to leave now. I’ll drive; keys please?” he held out his hand.
Sam, who never lets anyone drive his vehicle, tossed him the keys.
“Fine, now could you take me to your Suv?” he shielded his eyes from the sun searching the parking lot.
Sam guided him to his red Ford Explorer, watching flashing lights approaching up the long driveway leading to the front entrance of the facility.
Robert nodded happily, “Oh, that’s a Suv. American too, good choice, need to help our own economy.”
Robert laughed unlocking the doors and both men climbed in.
Sam pointed at the approaching vehicles, “We’re not getting past them; you might as well give up now.”
Robert inserted the keys, put the Explorer in reverse, and pulled out of the parking space.
“O, ye of little faith. Trust me Sam I am, I know you can, in your car, or near or far.” He grinned.
“I wish you would stop that Sam I am stuff.”
“Here and now? Or on a cow?” he laughed driving toward the advancing vehicles.
“Why am I doing this?” Sam threw up his hands, “I’m going to jail, they’ll check my fake credentials, know I’m not the FBI and I’m screwed. I’m going to jail.”
“Faith, it’s all about faith. Now if you please, when the nice police officers talk to us, don’t say anything just nod or shake your head. And have faith.”
Three county sheriff vehicles pulled up, one of them blocked the road as an elderly sheriff in a brown uniform and black gloves with gray hair approached the SUV. Robert rolled down the window, the officers right hand rested on his sidearm.
Robert smiled at him, “Officer, what’s the problem? What’s happening?”
The sheriff rested his hand on the roof above the open driver’s window looking in at them and the back of the Explorer.
“Sorry, miss. I don’t mean to scare you or your grandson. Did you just come out of the hospital?
Sam stared at the Sheriff as if he was blind; he just called Robert ‘miss’ and implied Sam was his grandson.
Robert nodded and imitated dismay, “Why yes, actually a few moments ago. My husband is…well he’s not well…and my grandson hasn’t seen him in so long, I had to bring him. I’ve been explaining the situation to him about his grandfather, you understand.”
“Certainly, miss.” He waved at his deputies to move their cars out of the way.
“You can go now, but have you seen anyone come out of the hospital since you’ve left the building?”
Robert held his left hand to his chest and his right to his right cheek, “Why, no, why, has something happened?”
“No, no, just a call, probably an accidental one, but you might want to take your grandson on out of here, just in case.”
“Oh, thank you, thank you officer. I’m taking him home to his mother.”
The sheriff nodded as Robert put the SUV back into drive, carefully driving past the other cars waving at the deputies.
Once they were safely past, Sam threw up his hands in surrender, “All right! All right! Enough is enough! I need you to tell me how you did that, and what’s this horse and rider crap? How did you put those people to sleep? How did you know about the nurse’s tumor? How the hell are you doing this? If you don’t start telling me something I‘ll jump out and call for the cops back there to help me!”
Sam unexpectedly slumped in his seat, he felt as if he was just injected with ten sedatives.
Robert’s calm voice sounded slow and funny, “Sam, Sam I am, you’re under stress right now. You’ve experienced some shocking things in the last few moments. When you wake and you’re a little calmer, I’ll try to answer as many of your questions as I’m able. But I can only do it in baby steps or you may really freak out. You don’t know it Sam, but I really do need your help. If we’re going to find this killer you’re going to have to trust me and I’m going to have to trust you. Now, requiescat.”
The pudgy investigator fell asleep.
To be continued