The story so far:
I swallow and take a deep breath. Still, all I can think of to say is, “What the hell?”
The preacher's gaunt face stretched obscenely into what I think was a smile. His thin lips retracted, flashing his offensive yellow tooth. “I'd be careful, Mr. Rand, about choosing your words wisely. The Lord can always hear us,” and as his words ended, I wondered if I had seen his mouth move at all.
“I think I will have one of your delicious candies.” He plucked a ruby red fireball from his hat before dumping the rest of the contents into the unbroken, orange bowl. He tore the wrapper with his teeth and popped the flaming orb into his mouth. With long, gnarled, and oddly elegant fingers he slipped the wrapper into the pocket of his black coat. He placed the wide rimmed black hat back on top of the shoulder length red hair. “Have a good day, Mr. Rand.”
I stood motionless staring at where he had just stood. I looked back to the reconstituted orange bowl, and then turned to run after the preacher. “Wait! I called after him.”
The preacher, who was at my front door, removed his hand from the knob and slowly spun on his heel to face me. “What can I do for you, Mr. Rand?”
Facing him, I realized I hadn't once looked at his eyes while his hat was off. Now, although they were shrouded in shadow, I could feel them burning through me. “Who are you?” For a moment I thought he might tell me everything.
“I, like you, am just a vessel of the Lord.” He nodded his head and touched the brim of his hat, his sleeve slipping to reveal the back of his hand with a string of liver spots in the shape of a backwards R.
I pulled my eyes away from the wrinkled hand and stared back into the darkness of his face, “How old are you?”
He turned his hand over facing his palm towards me, and I thought he must be regarding his own hand. “Quite old, I reckon. Good day, Mr. Rand.” He opened the door and stepped over the threshold but paused. He turned halfway around, “Oh, Mr. Rand, you never did tell me where your family was from.”
I didn't answer. I felt like the ground was shifting underneath my feet. So many things were happening all at once. I was fine until this man in black showed up and started **** with my head.
He took note of my unresponsiveness and made a soft, “Hm,” noise before stepping off the porch and starting down the road.
I closed the door and locked it, but I doubted whether or not a lock could stop him. As I walked into the kitchen I felt a sharp pain in my foot. I jerked my knee up and leaned against the counter for balance. Carefully, I pulled from my foot a small sliver of orange ceramic. My eyes flew to the stove where the candy sat in a pile, and then to the floor where the orange bowl still lay broken on the floor. He had not performed a miracle, merely a parlor trick.