The story so far:
Souls? Was this man out of his mind? And yet proof lay right in front of me, in the two 'golems' standing there, controlled by him. I shook my head. This wasn't real. Couldn't be. I had finally gone insane with grief, and was making up a way to get my family back. I stared at the preacher in front of me. He had a grin on his face. I looked to the mother and daughter.
"Six souls?" I whispered. Souls? I hadn't even believed souls existed minutes ago.
"Yes." He replied, then continued. "At least one must be a child under the age of ten." He spoke as if I had already accepted his deal, or would. Suddenly, there was a knife in his hand, I was unsure if he had procured it out of thin air, or I had merely missed him grabbing it out of his pocket.
The blade was four to five inches long, and had engravings of some sort upon the steel and carved wooden handle. He handed it to me, and I took it, not because I wanted to, only because I couldn't think of doing anything else. I was too shocked to think clearly.
"You must kill them with this." The words echoed in my head, yet I did not respond. I barely even heard the words.
The engravings on the blade were strange, ornate. I could only liken them to demonic symbols of some sort. The carved wooden handle had symbols upon it too, though none I recognized. Kill them with this.
I stared into the grinning preachers eyes. "You have my families souls." I said it as if it was fact. My subconcious must've been processing all the information, because my concious self was still in shock.
The preacher frowned suddenly, then grinned again, almost so fast, I wondered if the frown had even been there in the first place. "I can get them. That's all you need to know." He said mysteriously.
I stared into his eyes, wondering if he could read minds. I hoped not, for the shock was receding, my mind was turning, and a plan was forming.
I did not believe I could kill six people, much less a child. I couldn't do that to another parent, I couldn't ruin a family.
But maybe there was another way.
I stood up. Gripped the dagger hard in my hand till the knuckles were white. It seemed to fit my palm perfectly. I sighed, then stared into the preachers eyes. He was grinning as if knowing my thoughts.
"I'll do it." My voice was hard, emotionless. I had a mission, a goal, a plan that still needed alot of preperation, but at least it was something. Maybe I'd be helping Susan and Megan and Andrew. Maybe I'd be helping others. I didn't know.
"Of course you will. You're a broken, damaged and desperate mess of a man." The preacher had the nerve to pat me on the shoulder. I had to hold myself back from stabbing him then and there. "Having your family back will fix you."
I looked to the ground and just nodded. I needed to get out of there. This evil man, if he even was a man, was sickening me. Collector of souls. Torturer of myself. Preacher of some sort.
"I need to go....get ready." I muttered, glancing at the 'golems.'
The preacher patted me on the back. "Yes, Halloween is tonight. The souls must be collected by midnight." He started walking for the door.
"Wait!" I nearly shouted. He glanced back, startled. I gestured to the soulless beings. "Aren't you taking....'them' with you?" I asked frantically. I did not want to be left alone with these things, constantly bringing up memories. It'd be nearly impossible to do anything with them around, not to mention what information the preacher could gain from them. Could he see through their eyes and ears? I was ready to believe anything at this point.
The preacher slowly smiled. "No, I think I'll leave them here as a reminder of what you'll be getting from our deal. Goodbye." The preacher left. I sank down onto a kitchen chair, putting my elbows on the table and my face in my hands.
"Mr. Knox, whats wrong?" The not-Susan asked. I shook my head forcing the tears back. I grabbed the dagger and my coat. I couldn't stay here, not with those things, watching, talking, acting alive. Besides, I needed to know more, much more, about golems and preachers and who knows what else. I needed to be ready for whatever the preacher could throw at me. I needed to be prepared. I looked at the dagger one last time, before I started the car.
Back there in the house, I had realized there was only one thing I could do. He had my families souls. Somehow. He must. It was the only way he'd be able to return them. One thing that could save my families souls, any other souls he had collected, and my own.
I was going to kill the preacher.