The story so far:
......Caroline. My sweet, sweet Caroline. Her voice on the other end. She was hysterical. Her words were fast and jumbled. What she was saying barely made sense to me at first. Her voice was a mixture of anxiety and terror. The screams of someone enveloped in living darkness.
The horror in that voice caused my bladder to give way.
"He is coming back! For us! Back! Coming! Out! Out! He is out and coming back for us! Don't let him get us Rand! I can't go through that again! Don't allow him please, pleasssseeeee!!!"
"Don't allow him daddy!" I heard Tristan say. The sound of their voices mingled in with Nikki's crying was overwhelming. I staggered on my feet, nearly dropping the phone to the floor. The alcohol and the suddenness of the phone call were a deadly concoction right now. I felt myself slipping into the abyss.
I fought hard to regain my composure. I couldn't lose this contact, not now. "Caroline! I screamed into the phone. Caroline! Can you hear me! Whats wrong, what is it!"
The phone clicks over and a operator's voice creeps in through the receiver. An operator from the pits of hell. "Sir, the Preacher will be right with you! Please, enjoy the music while you continue to hold! Your insanity that is!"
Laughter echoes, slowly diminishing as Layne Staley wails in my ear. Wails his heartache and suffering. So much like me, as if we have been knowing one another our entire lives.
Down in a hole and I don't know if I can be saved...........Down in a hole.......Losing control..............Down in a hole.....losing my soul..........I'd like to flyyyyyyy.......but my wings have beeen sooo denied...........
Am I officially insane? Have I finally crossed over? Is an insane asylum working its way into my future? I slap myself hard across my face.
Burrryyy me softly in this wooooommmmmmbbbbbbbbb.......
Things begin spinning out of control way to fast. I look down the hall and it just seems to stretch....stretch out. Disproportioned. Getting smaller....thinner....My breathing suddenly becomes sporadic. I put my left hand to my chest. I take three deep, controlled, quick breaths.
That's when the phone clicked back over.
"Sorry to have kept you waiting, Rand. It is Halloween, and I am very busy. So let me do the talking. I know that your heart is heavy. I know that sorrow fills your very being right now. You are a twisted soul of anguish, hate, and remorse. It is not your fault that they died. You done all that you could to save them. Don't blame yourself. You were defenseless against that maniac. He forced your hand.......
......With him making Caroline bound and gag you, making you watch.....having to witness the horrible things he done to them...well, what could you do? With him pointing that gun at Nikki's head to control you, your actions......What he did to them, it wasn't your fault.....you deserved none of that."
The Preacher pauses. He gives Rand the chance to vent, to say how he was defenseless, how he should have at least tried harder to save them. When Rand doesn't say anything, he continues on.
"But if it is revenge you want, revenge you seek, a sacrificial lamb....to avenge what you witnessed....."
"Why won't you leave me alone. I plead. Tears stream down my face. Let me be. Just go, please. What do you want from me."
The phone suddenly goes dead and the television comes to life. I slowly turned my head to the left, seeing its illuminating white light on the wall. I look at the tv and see Chip Summers, head anchorman for WTNT-TV. That big grinning smile, as if he always had a secret he couldn't wait to tell someone.
I looked down at my watch. Only two minutes had passed. That can't be right, I thought.
"Breaking news, says Chip. The man responsible for the rape, torture, and murder of a local wife and her two children escaped today from Dobson Prison. Charles Anderson is on the loose tonight....."
I am now completely mortified. My face quickly became flushed as my body began to tremble. Nausea consumes me. No...this can't be happening...tell me I'm dreaming...
"Local, state, and federal authorities have launched a citywide manhunt...
I make my way to the front door, slamming it open and stumble down the steps. There I vomit the contents of what's left in my stomach on the ground. Hands on my knees, I begin to cry uncontrollably. I continue like this until the nausea passes. Why is this all reliving itself again? Why me?
The sound of heavy boots coming towards me fills my ears. I could hear him approaching, everything he stepped on made a crunching sound as he drew nearer. Sounded like the breaking of brittle bones.
I look up slowly to see the Preacher making his way down my driveway. "What are you," I ask him. He says nothing, maybe giving me a chance to let the nausea pass fully.
"My family, I continue, they are all dead. Dead. Can Charlie Anderson possibly hurt them even now? Can he?" And how the **** they allow him to escape?"
The Preacher stares at me for a more few seconds, then he began with these words......"Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?"
I look in his eyes. I feel evil chill my bones. I want to run back into the house and lock the door. Crawl in my bed and make it all just a dream. I also want to stay out here with him. Help this madness end. I feel as if I am torn between two lovers. The heaviness of it all cause my head to drop.
When I look up at him again, he is holding a picture. A picture of a man I just googled, responsible for henious sacrifices.
As I stare at that picture before me I still hold on to the hope that it is all a figment of my imagination. Deep down I know this is not the truth. Not at all.
The picture turns into smoke, disappearing. The Preacher puts his hands on my shoulders. I am defenseless as he begins to lift me up, something I have not been able to do at this point by myself.
"Arise Rand, descendant of Wineas Randolph, high priest of the Druidic. Come, let me fulfill all your desires this fateful Halloween night...."