Hollow Moon Part 30
- 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
With the Reverend Bandersnatch and Lod locked up tight in their respective chambers, Esk decided to visit Sam, whom he had not seen in several days. He approached the cabin door and walked in.
“Esk! How was yer con’frence? Did ya’ learn a lot?” Sam asked from the kitchen.
“Ahem. Of course,” Esk said, looking somewhat guilty and feeling anguish that he was lying to Sam. His right thumb burned with emotion.
“Siddown an’ tell me all ‘bout what ‘cha got outta that big meetin’!”
Sam offered Esk some string cheese, which he politely refused, shuffling heavily toward his recliner. My recliner. Sam has given me a home and I have my own recliner to sleep in. What a good human. Why can they not all be so good?
Esk decided to tell Sam what he had learned in the last few days, though it was not at a large gathering of any sort. Sam leaned forward on his elbows, holding his chin up with an eager smile awaiting Esk’s grand proclamations.
“I learned… that not all people are good. Not all people are like you, Sam. I learned that people lie. All the time. They are dishonest, and they hurt each other. That seems to be their base state of behavior in most cases I have encountered. I am disappointed.” Esk felt the liquid pooling around his eyes and waited for it to run down his face.
“Aw, buddy, I’m sorry. What can I do ta’ help ya’?” Sam rose from his chair.
“Sam, no matter what you find out about me, I need you to be my friend. Are you willing to commit to that?”
“A’ course! Why wouldn’t I? Yer ma’ best friend! Yer life’s jist a little chaotic right now. Well, I guess it’s always been chaotic since I known ya’, but it seems like yer jist havin’ a hard time here lately. Is it that escaped psychopath botherin’ ya’? That’s got the whole town spooked. He’ll get caught agin’ in no time, though. Those types don’t stay lost an’ escaped fer long ‘round here. Don’t worry ‘bout that.”
“Thank you, Sam. I think I should rest now. Good night, as you say.”
Sam turned the lights off and flopped down in his own recliner. It was still early in the evening, yet they both needed the rest. Their snoring alone would scare away any intruders….
Eosin was disgruntled with his new host. He missed Esk terribly. This new host—this supposed “Reverend”—was not a saintly man. Not one bit. He terrorized the other patients of the inpatient psychiatric ward every chance he got, being careful not to do it in front of the surveillance cameras or nurses patrolling the floor. Everyone was intimidated by him. He would laugh maniacally and scream at the top of his lungs, singing filthy songs that made no sense to Eosin. Eosin found a solution to that problem, however, and figured out that this psychopath was no match for him.
During one particularly grotesque outburst, Eosin decided to slide up from the man’s bowels to his throat and gag him. He sputtered and choked, falling to the ground with everyone laughing at him. This hurt his ego, of course, and he was none too happy about that. What could he do, though? Nothing. He could do nothing against Eosin. Eosin decided that it was he and he alone who must take matters into his own sections to keep this lunatic under control.
When dinner came, the psychopath Reverend would steal food from everyone else’s plates—anything he wished—and no one was brave enough to stop him. Eosin fixed that, too. He could make some beautifully complex knots in the psychopath’s intestines after a meal. Eosin played at new iterations of Celtic knots as the psychopath wretched all over his room. Soon, the miserable creature almost refused to eat, and he learned that he did not have such problems with his digestion if he ate only from his own tray. Eosin was proud of what he was accomplishing with this host. He would have him trained to behave in no time, even if it killed the man.
“Well, Judge, I see no grounds to hold the Rev’rend in the psych ward anymore if Pritchard’s not gonna press charges. Might jist as well let ‘im go. He’s a free man, far as I’m concerned,” the sheriff said with shrugged shoulders.
“I see. I guess I’ll call over there and have ‘im released.”
“Thank you, Yer Honor.”
When the call came to the St. Sebastian’s operator, she was in shock. “How can you release this guy? He’s… he’s… crazy!”
The voice on the other end of the line was firm, however, and she transferred the call to the psychiatrist doing rounds in the psychiatric unit. No one saw this “Reverend” fit to leave their facility, but they had no choice. The judge ordered him released.
When the psychopath heard the news, an evil grin blossomed on his face and beamed at them all, mocking them. Eosin caused a sudden stomach cramp that got his attention and wiped the foolish grin off his face for him. As the almost-free doppelgänger of Reverend Bandersnatch signed the paperwork, he learned that “he” had a wife, a house, and a reasonable sum of money. He was particularly interested in his wife. The psychopath had been in prison for a long, long time. Too long.
With nothing but the set of civilian clothing he was given, the psychopath breathed the fresh, ozone-charged air of the stormy day outside the facility. He was free. The outsider walked to the bus station in the rain and held out the hospital-issued bus pass to Fletcher. The driver punched the ticket, and the man found a seat in the back where he could take in what had just happened to him. He fantasized about all the things he was going to do to his wife when he got “home” to her. Eosin tickled his spleen to remind him to behave.
Jean was at her house for once, and she was in a bad way romantically. On the other hand, she had learned from the young Julian just that morning that there was an angel amongst the people of Fletcher. Nobody even noticed. He came in the form of a stranger into town and Sam Wilkins took him in. Jean realized she had treated the angel horribly. She spent the day prostrate on her bedroom floor in prayer that God would forgive her and not strike her dead. This is how the psychopath found her when he turned the key to the lock of “his” house and walked upstairs.
“Ah. Jean. Hello,” the fake Reverend said.
“Is it really you? Are you out of the hospital?” asked the Chief Gossip.
The man standing before her took her in his arms and kissed her deeply, cutting off her words before they could leave her mouth. She pushed him away.
“Whaddaya think yer doin’, Mister? Ya’ go shootin’ at Law’rence an’ me an’ then get put in the psychiatric ward while there’s a psy-cho-path on the loose, and then ya’ expect me ta’ be all lovey-dovey with ya’ when ya’ come in unannounced and interrupt my prayers ta’ the Lawd?! This is important. More important than anything you got up yer sleeve right now. Yer the one that wanted a divorce, remember? What’s happened to ya’? Ya’ have a changin’ a’ heart? Well, I had one, too. I’m keepin’ the house. If ya’ wanna live here with me, married-like, we can do that, but none a’ this funny business. I got an angel ta’ go find an’ apologize to!”
Reverend Bandersnatch’s doppelgänger stood stupefied in the doorway of the bedroom as Mrs. Bandersnatch railed against him and kept on about the angel in their midst. He decided to back out of the room and run down the stairs before she could corner him. Even the psychopath had decided that Jean Bandersnatch was nuts! He slammed the front door behind him and fled down the middle of the street, ducking into an alleyway before she could poke her beak out to squawk at him any longer.
The next morning’s television news caught Sam’s attention. He shook Esk awake.
“Esk, look at that! The Reverend’s been released! Deacon Pritchard didn’t press any charges an’ they let ‘im go yesterday. Whaddaya think ‘bout that? Huh….”
Esk leaped out of his recliner and sprinted for the door before Sam had time to notice. Esk did not even close the front door or bother to change out of his pajamas. Sam was perplexed, but guessed that Esk just needed some air.
“Maybe he went for a run….”