Novelist and more.
After a successful escape from his imprisonment in an Asylum for the criminally insane, Robert Wilcox has rendered Sam Brady, an undercover paranormal investigative reporter unconscious by supernatural means. Sam Brady is now along for the ride.
Sam slept in fits. He felt the car stop once, became partly conscious, noticed they were at a mall, and then fell asleep again. Sometime later, he awoke again; this time looking through the front window as Robert cleaned it while listening to the hum of a gas pump and went back to sleep. Another time, the driver side door opened, shut, Sam tried to come fully awake and failed, then the door opened, Robert sat back down and drove. Later, the Ford slowed to a stop and a metallic voice disrupted his slumber.
Robert poked his shoulder lightly, “Sam? Sam I am? Yoo-Hoo? Sammy Boy? Time to wakey wakey.”
Coming to consciousness, Sam realized they were in a fast food drive thru.
“We’re on the outskirts of Natchitoches, thought you might want something to eat. Any preferences?”
“Anything.” Sam straightened in his seat and wiped his eyes, the effects of whatever Robert did to him were finally wearing off.
Robert leaned out the window, “Give me two number ones, a number three, a side salad, and a small ice cream.”
“Hungry?” Sam grumbled.
He drove around, “Actually I am, Sam. Food in my last residence wasn’t exactly up to par. Now I hope you’re not going to make a scene at the window, if you don’t, I’ll give you some info on my situation and yours.”
Sam agreed and as they drove off, unwrapping a cheeseburger he handed it to Robert along with a drink, then unwrapped his. Then Sam froze.
“I just thought of something. Where did you get money?” he examined the clothing Robert wore, “You’re wearing new clothes. I know I didn’t have a lot of money, just my credit cards. So…how did you pay for all that?”
Robert took a large bite of his burger, “Ah, here comes the first baby step.”
“Yeah, I think it’s time.”
Robert grinned, “Trust me; you’re not ready for this first step or any thereafter. To begin, I stopped at the mall and purchased some clothes for myself. I convinced a young man to pay for them himself then told him to go and play bingo with his grandmother to regain the losses. To pay for the gas, I convinced the man behind the register to pay for it and give me a little extra, and then I suggested he looked in his leather jacket he wore this last winter for Christmas money his mother had given him which paid for our lunch.”
“How did you know any of that?” he frowned, “How did you convince them?”
Robert shrugged, “Uh, I don’t really know. It just seemed to work. I asked and I received. I have a way with people.”
“Okay, you’ve given me that ‘I don’t know’ excuse before, and it’s beginning to tick me off. That spinning, melting, thing in the sanitarium room, explain it.”
Robert swallowed and nodded, “That my friend was a gathering of strength. Just so you know all those…things on the walls were protecting me from negative sources.”
“Let’s just say negative sources or for a better word: Evil, with a capital ‘E’ is constantly on the lookout for goodness, to test, to tempt, to destroy. Those glyphs on the walls were my protection, wards warding off evil if you will.” He wiggled his eyebrows at Sam.
Sam stared back with a mouthful of fries, “You mean like the Devil?” sarcasm dripping from his voice, “I hate to tell you this but committing mass murder, like you did, is often considered evil.”
Robert sighed and shook his head slowly, “Alleged, I allegedly did. I may have been convicted and sent to a nut house but that still doesn’t mean I did it. Just that I couldn’t prove that I didn’t.” He flicked his hands in the air, “Anyway, think of evil more along the lines of devils, plural, not singular. Evil comes in many forms my investigator friend. Do you know anything about non-Christian religions or mythologies?”
“Some.” Sam answered although he did know a good amount, it came along with being a paranormal writer.
Robert nodded, “Every major religion has a yin and a yang, a positive and a negative, a good and an evil. Examples of good include Angels, Devi’s, woodland spirits, animal spirits, guardians. Evil, on the other hand, has Devils, Demons, trolls, unnamed things, undead things and things you couldn’t imagine.”
Sam rolled his eyes, “C’mon, that’s just religious nonsense, not the real world.”
Robert grabbed his chest, “I’m shocked. You? A paranormal investigator, possessing a closed mind?”
“Paranormal is one thing, literal Angels and Devils are another. I’ve seen humanity do more evil than any amount of supernatural stuff I’ve ever experienced.”
“What? You’ve never heard of someone being rescued by someone who just happens to be in the right place at the right time? Turning a car upright or pulling a person out of a burning house just to disappear into the crowd and no one but the person saved remembers the helper, even then not clearly, just a generic description. Or…what about all those killers and rapists and child molesters who say the Devil made them do it or the voices in their heads made them commit their horrible acts. What about them?”
“Yeah but those people are-” he stopped, looking sideways at Robert.
Robert smirked, “Crazy? Is that what you were going to say?”
He squirmed in his seat, “Well, yeah.”
“If you’ve read my file you’ll notice I never said I did those things to that family. Do you really think I could imbed the lower half of a full-grown man in the ceiling of his house? Make it stay there until someone could pry it out?”
Sam rubbed his chin, “I did wonder about that.”
“What attacked the Scaletti family is what I call a ‘Tearer’ not ‘terror’ but t-e-a-r-e-r because it tears and shreds its victims. The Scaletti’s came across a container holding a captured one. My mind is a blank on how it escaped and killed the family but it is what killed them.”
Sam remained silent for several minutes as he ate.
Robert finally sighed, “What?”
Sam glanced at him, “I didn’t say anything.”
“But you want to ask me something.”
Sam sipped his drink.
Robert sighed again, “Sam I am, Sam I am. I may act insane sometimes, sometimes I feel as if I may be, but trust me, I’m not. Ask me what you want.”
Sam shifted in his seat, “Okay, for the moment, only because I saw what you can do, let’s imagine for a moment I believe you that there was a…Devil…that did it. Why did the Tearer not attack you?”
“Good, straight to the point. I was protected. I’ll tell you about it after you digest what I’ve said and what I’m about to show you. Baby steps, remember?”
“What are you going to show me?”
“First, what time is it?”
He checked his watch, “Almost two, why?”
“Just enough time to find an elementary school.”
Sam frowned, “What do you need an elementary school for?”
“You’ll see.” He grinned.
Sam put his food down, “I know you have the he ability to knock me out, but if you intend to harm any children, I’ll-”
Robert recoiled, “Oh, good God! Harm a kid! What the hell kind of person do you think I am?” He paused thinking about his statement, “Oh, yeah, sorry. You think I’m a mass murderer, forgot about that.” He shrugged, “Sam, I’m going to show you something, not hurt anyone. Just show you something. I’m not a violent person, could you not tell from our escape? Did I harm anyone other than the mean sucker who shocked me? Well, and Roy, but Roy is really tough and really quick so he doesn’t count.”
“Well, no.” Sam admitted.
“Then please, don’t insult me by saying I would harm a child. Children are the future, our future. Man!” He was offended.
“Sorry.” Sam thought it was odd a mass murderer would be offended, but he needed to remember Robert is insane. “That last orderly as we were escaping? You didn’t seem to be talking to him but to someone else before he collapsed like you were making a deal, what was that about?”
Robert’s demeanor changed again, “That’s why we’re going to an elementary school. So you can see what I see. Not to hurt any kids.” He pointed two fingers at his eyes and then back at Sam’s, “I’m watching you.”
Sam just shook his head, resigned himself to eating as Robert happily hummed a tune as he finished his meal.
To be continued…