Hollow Moon Part 29
- Hollow Moon Part 1
- Hollow Moon Part 2
- Hollow Moon Part 3
- Hollow Moon Part 4
- Hollow Moon Part 5
- Hollow Moon Part 6
- Hollow Moon Part 7
- Hollow Moon Part 8
- Hollow Moon Part 9
- Hollow Moon Part 10
- Hollow Moon Part 11
- Hollow Moon Part 12
- Hollow Moon Part 13
- Hollow Moon Part 14
- Hollow Moon Part 15
- Hollow Moon Part 16
- Hollow Moon Part 17
- Hollow Moon Part 18
- Hollow Moon Part 19
- Hollow Moon Part 20
- Hollow Moon Part 21
- Hollow Moon Part 22
- Hollow Moon Part 23
- Hollow Moon Part 24
- Hollow Moon Part 25
- Hollow Moon Part 26
- Hollow Moon Part 27
- Hollow Moon Part 28
- Hollow Moon Part 29
- Hollow Moon Part 30
- Hollow Moon Part 31
- Hollow Moon Part 32
- Hollow Moon Part 33
- Hollow Moon Part 34
The sheriff questioned Lawrence Pritchard at length about the events that transpired between himself and Reverend Bandersnatch, as well as his relationship history with Jean Bandersnatch. As he was being asked question after question, Deacon Pritchard realized the nature of his wrongdoings, and that he would be angry enough to shoot at his wife’s lover if he was married just like the Reverend had.
“One last question, Lawrence, then we’re done, ‘kay?” asked the sheriff.
“Okay. What is it?” Pritchard replied, being jolted from his thoughts by the question.
“Do ya’ wanna press charges against Reverend Bandersnatch?”
Pritchard’s answer was quick and firm. He did not have to think about the matter.
“No, I don’t wanna press charges. Let ‘im go.”
The sheriff, taken aback, asked if he was sure, and Pritchard restated that he did not want to press charges against Reverend Bandersnatch. Shaking the victim’s hand, the sheriff politely excused himself and exited the house. He shook his head and left in his patrol cruiser.
Esk was furious. He attempted a third time to transform into his DNA form, but found himself unable to so much as retract a single bit of his armor.
“LOD! You must reverse what you have done to me with your poison that you injected into me. It is imperative that you do so immediately.”
“I can’t, Esk. Not without access to the prison pharmacy. And to do that, I must be returned to the prison. They’ll be looking for me by now, anyway.”
“All right. You must promise me the antidote and that nothing will be said of this encounter. Do you understand?”
“Yes. Yes! Just please get me back to the prison so that I can give you the antidote.”
Esk did not trust Lod very far, but he needed the effects of the antipsychotic reversed as soon as humanly possible. Lod’s assistance was the only way to accomplish that. Esk translated them both to the road leading to the prison after he allowed Lod to get dressed again. Although he looked like he had just stepped out of the dryer, the psychiatrist was otherwise clean. They walked to the gate.
“Dr. Severius and Esk,” Severius said to the gate guard.
“Haven’t seen ya’ in a little while—near a week, now. Warden was plannin’ on listin’ ya’ as missin’ in the next day ‘er so. Maybe even listin’ yer position in the local paper.” The guard eyeballed them both. “Growin’ a beard, huh, Severius?”
“Yes, I am. Now please open the gate for us,” Severius said.
The guard opened the gate and the two of them were greeted outside the prison doors by the warden himself.
“Severius, where ya’ been? I was thinkin’ you’d headed fer the hills ‘er somethin’. Get in there an’ do yer job! Oh, hi, Esk. Glad ta’ see ya’. Keep the good psychiatrist in line fer me, will ya’?”
“Yes, I certainly will, Warden,” Esk said.
Dr. Severius hurried to his office with Esk in tow. He ordered the medication necessary to combat the effects of the antipsychotic immediately and waited for the pharmacy to call back telling him that it was ready. Esk rocked in Severius’ chair while they waited, leaving the doctor to sit in the chair across the desk from him.
“Lod, why do you do the things that you do? What motivates you besides fame and glory?” Esk asked.
“You mean why did I become a psychiatrist?”
“Why did you become a psychiatrist in a prison?”
“Well, that was the only job available to me at the time, Esk. I was in debt and the prison was desperate for a psychiatrist, so when they offered to pay part of my medical school debt, I took the position. I’ve been here ever since.”
“So, to pay a debt, you put all of these humans in danger under your care…”
“Look, Esk, I’m sorry for what I did to you. I wasn’t thinking clearly.”
The phone rang and Dr. Severius answered. It was the pharmacy. The medication was ready for him to pick up.
“I am escorting you, Lod. I must know where this pharmacy is. And I must keep an eye on you. I will ask the pharmacist myself if the medications are correct.”
“Let’s go, Esk. You do whatever you want and I’ll go along with it,” Severius said.
The pharmacist was waiting for Dr. Severius, who kindly introduced Esk. Esk asked if these were the proper medications to counter the effects of an antipsychotic injection. The pharmacist confirmed that they were; alleviating Esk’s fears that Lod was going to poison him with some other substance. The two of them picked up the medication and returned to the psychiatrist’s office.
“Okay, Esk. Here we go. Another injection, okay?” said Severius, preparing the syringe.
“This had better work, Lod, or you will suffer torture at my hands.”
Dr. Severius’ hand trembled as he administered the shot. Esk terrified him. He still did not know how scared he should be, though.
“How quickly will the antidote begin working, Lod?”
“Within a few days.”
“Then you can afford a few more days off of work.”
Esk translated the two of them back to the moon and placed Severius in his living quarters. He would remain there until Esk could return to his native DNA form and erase the memories of both Lod and the Reverend. That would be, after he examined Lod.
Mrs. Bandersnatch was tenacious. That much was true. She looked up Julian’s name in the church directory and found out that he lived just a few houses down from where the diner was located. He walked to work every day and was, therefore, vulnerable to passers-by. Jean could be one of those passers-by. Julian arrived at the diner a half hour before it opened every morning. The Chief Gossip could certainly stalk parishioners like a pro. She did it openly, though poor Julian knew nothing of her plans.
The youth turned around to see who would be calling his name at that hour of the morning in his neighborhood. He saw the Reverend’s wife hustling toward him under the streetlamp, millers fluttering all about it in their frenzies.
“Mrs. Bandersnatch. Um… what can I help ya’ with, Ma’am?”
“Oh, Julian. I’m so glad I caught ‘cha b’fore ya’ got ta’ work this mornin’! Yer in danger!” Bandersnatch played her game up in a hurry.
“What danger?” Julian gasped.
“That Esk feller. He’s a goin’ ta’ take ya’ away an’ do awful things ta’ ya’. If’n ya’ tell me more ‘bout ‘im, I might be able ta’ protect ya’ from ‘im. Now, whaddaya know ‘bout ‘im?”
“Well, Ma’am, I’m not s’posed ta’ tell ya’ what I know ‘bout Esk. He’s real special.”
Julian squirmed and attempted to inch away from the Chief Gossip toward his post in the diner’s kitchen, but Jean would have none of it. She cut him off and backed him up.
“Special, how?” Her eyes narrowed.
“Ah. Boy. Well, ya’ see, I can’t tell ya’, Mrs. Bandersnatch. I really can’t. Jist let me go ta’ work, please. I’m gonna be late. Then I’ll git fired.”
“I’ll walk ya’ over there an’ tell yer boss ya’ was with me if ya’ tell me yer secret ‘bout Esk. That way, it’ll be my fault yer late, an’ ya’ won’t git fired. How does that sound?”
“Well, I guess I don’t get ta’ choose, now do I, Ma’am?”
Jean took the boy by the arm and walked him toward the diner—not too fast, not too slow. Nearing the lights of the diner, she made her demand firm.
“Now. Ya’ tell me what Esk’s secret is now, Julian, or I’m gonna hafta’ let ‘cha get fired.” She yanked his arm hard.
“Ow! Okay. But ‘cha can’t tell nobody else. I promised Sam I wouldn’t tell nobody.”
“Yer secret’s safe with me.”
“Promise,” Bandersnatch said with her fingers crossed behind her back.
“Esk is a angel.” Julian’s whisper carried across the blanket of cricket sounds like a thunderclap in the Chief Gossip’s ears.