Christopher E. Ikpoh
“Shh! Shh! No, no, no! Don’t be scared. You can’t even hear them!” The doctors watched their patient frantically pacing in the dimly lit, padded room from the other side of a two-way mirror. Both took notes as the patient continued to exhibit numerous types of psychosis. “I won’t hurt you! Why don’t you UNDERSTAND that? Jeez… I won’t. See!” His hands shot up in the air showing they were empty and then he placed them behind his back. “You should hear the things they are telling me. You’d be scared if you did. THAT would give you reason to be scared,” the man continued while wagging his finger. The observers recorded everything. Then, the door behind them opened. It was Dr. Graham Mitchell, the senior psychologist of the mental health team visiting Holy Trinity Monastery to oversee the patient. His tall, fit frame emanated a vibe of cool swagger and confidence.
“How is he?” Graham inquired to the present doctors while watching the man through the glass. They shrugged slightly; indicating everything with the patient appeared to be what they were accustomed to. “Ok. I’m going to head in and try to get some alone time with him before the God Squad shows up.”
Graham started to close the door, but that is when one of the two doctors replied and halted his exit. “Dr. Mitchell, they are already here.”
Graham let out a sigh of disappointment. “Damn it. Of course, they are.” The two doctors wished him luck, one with a slight smile and the other with a head nod, before the door closed all the way.
Five paces gave Graham enough time to reset his facial expressions from frustration to a professional blank stare as he turned the corner and approached the God Squad. Before him was a shorter, older man dawning silver hair with an unmistakable firmness about him. His name was Father Richard Briton, and he was accompanied by the nuns Sister Bernadette, Sister Agatha and Sister Lucille, as well as a monk named John Knight. Father Richard extended his hand towards Graham and said, “Good evening, Dr. Mitchell. I am happy to see you have not begun speaking to Adrian without us this time.”
“If I’m being completely honest, it wasn’t from a lack of trying,” Graham replied.
Sister Agatha blurted, “The Power of Attorney explicitly states you are not to speak with Adrian unless Father Richard is present.”
Perturbed, yet, politely, Graham retorted, “Thank you, Sister Agatha, for that reminder.”
“Come,” Sister Bernadette interjected, “let the good doctor and Father Richard tend to the boy.” She began ushering the nuns and Pastor Knight towards the waiting area. Her gesture was acknowledged by Graham with a silently mouthed “Thank you” as the group walked off.
Before Brother Knight left though, he turned to Father Richard and gave him a tape recorder while saying, “Oops! Father, don’t forget this.”
“Thank you, son,” Father Richard remarked.
“You are recording the sessions now, as well?” Graham queried of the priest while the young man caught up to the nuns.
“Brother Knight has a bit of ‘residential experience’, if you will, within your medical world. Through the power of Christ our savior, though, he was delivered unto the sanity of the mind and clarity of the soul. Now, he is beginning to teach a course on demonic possession to his fellow brothers and the nuns at his monastery. He’s a powerful leader. Rooted deeply in faith.”
“Sanity through the power of Christ, huh? Maybe he should come with us,” joked Graham.
“No person in their right mind would enter this room.”
“So, he’s scared then?”
“His curiosity and willingness to study the recordings is more bravery than most religious men have, doctor.”
“Then, it is you that is scared.”
“Any sane person would be.”
“If so, why do this every week?”
“Because I made a promise to Adrian’s mother before she died, before he was placed here in the very place she founded. That promise was I would help save my nephew.”
“A brother’s word to his sister now beyond the grave, to be kept until fulfilled. I respect that.” Graham pulled out his ID card and placed it on the security monitor to unlock the padded room before opening the door. “After you,” he gestured to Father Richard, who made the sign of the cross before entering the threshold. Graham followed right behind, and as the door closed, all three nuns and Brother Knight could be seen holding hands and praying with their heads down amidst rays from the sunset peering through the lobby window’s blinds.
As the two entered the room, the dim light slowly crept into their eyes as their pupils adjusted to the darker surroundings. Graham gently pressed the door closed which was accompanied by a beep and locking sound. As he turned to face the room, he noticed Father Richard had stopped dead in his tracks and was staring at something as he muttered an Our Father prayer under his breath. Graham immediately traced the father’s line of sight into a dark corner on the far side of the room. Adrian was sitting in a steel chair rocking back and forth while whispering loudly to himself in an unidentifiable myriad of languages. Father Richard looked disturbed, and as he shuffled the beads on the rosary through his fingers, Graham placed his hand on the priest’s shoulder to try and calm his nerves. Then, the doctor said, “Adrian, I’m here with Father Richard. We would like to talk to you for a moment.”
The whispering ceased, as did the rocking. Adrian slowly sat up straight in the chair while still facing the corner, blending in with the shadows. The air in the room became dense, as if the weight of continuous pressure were being oppressed on the doctor and the priest. Their eyes felt awkward and their ears began to close slightly, inhibiting their hearing. Father Richard placed his pinky fingers in his ears and wiggled them about. Graham pinched his ear lobes and tugged on them to open his ear canals. With both of their hearing restored to full capacity, a low murmur was heard. Adrian seemed to be making a subtle, guttural noise in his throat with his mouth closed.
Father Richard began walking over to Adrian, but Graham placed his hand in front of him to impede his progress. Then, the doctor motioned for the priest to wait as stillness overcame the room. It was silent. Absolutely silent. The air was heavy. A lump grew in Father Richard’s throat. Finally, just as the tension mounted to great heights, Adrian abruptly let out a bellowing, maniacal cackle.
One of the doctors on the other side of the glass jumped, fumbling their pen and dropping it on the floor. This startled the second doctor. Both were on edge. The uneasiness in the padded room was palpable. As the first doctor picked up his pen, he said, “Jesus fucking Christ. I hate it when he does that.” The second doctor agreed, loosening her collar under her lab coat to relieve stress that was building in her shoulders and neck.
Meanwhile, Graham stood intensely focused, yet, calm and collected. Adrian’s psychotic behavior, regardless of how bizarre it appeared, did not break him from his resolve to help his patient. He motioned for Father Richard to be seated and he took the chair next to the priest. “Adrian, do you care to join us?”
The chuckling stopped. Adrian turned his head slightly to look back at the two men, and then inched his chair towards the metal table in the center of the padded room keeping his back to them. The metal chair legs caused an incredibly piercing, high-pitched noise with each motion backwards. The constant shrieking sound was like a deafening alarm that would not be silenced. After a dozen or so seconds, though, Adrian finally reached the table side. He did not turn to face the two men, however.
“Adrian,” the priest said as he placed the already recording device on the table, “it is I, Father Richard. Will you not turn to face us?”
Adrian rolled his head in a circle before exhaling. His voice was deep and muffled, sounding utterly unnatural. As he stared out the window in front of him at the trees, he answered, “Well… if it isss… isn’t Poppa Dick.”
Graham interjected, “You should respect Father Richard, Adrian. He is here to help you, as am I.”
“Help?” Adrian replied in a cynically inquisitive manner. “What makes you think we need help?”
“Please turn and face us. It is rude to speak to someone with your back towards them.”
Adrian sharply rotated his chair and stared at both men. His eyes were bloodshot red. His face held lines of stress and tension all over. Underneath his eyelids were dark blue bags. He had not slept in days. Both of his lips looked like old, cracked leather, covered in moisture from saliva that was oozing from his mouth. Possibly most disturbing though, is that Adrian never blinked. Days with no rest, and yet, his eyes never twitched once. Father Richard remarked, “You don’t look well, nephew. How are you?”
In the same, monstrous voice, Adrian replied while staring at Graham, “Dr. Mitchell, did you know that traditional Catholic masses are held in Latin, and the priests perform the entire ceremony with their backs to the congregation? I would say that is INCREDIBLY rude.” He then shifted his gaze to Father Richard and continued, “Not very becoming of God’s servants, now is it?”
“Adrian, please stick to one topic at a time. How are you feeling today?” Graham queried.
“Adrian is not here,” the patient responded.
“With whom are we speaking with?” Father Richard inquired in return.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Adrian retorted, alluding to the fact in Catholic exorcisms, it is stated the priest must get the name of the demon possessing the person before they can drive them out.
“Can we speak to Adrian then?” Graham asked next.
Adrian closed his eyes, gnashed his teeth, and tilted his head sideways at an angle while it shook slightly. After a moment, he sat in a normal position and exhaled heavily. Then, Adrian spoke in a calm voice familiar to Father Richard and Graham. “Dr. Mitchell, thank you.”
Taking notes, Graham said while writing, “Who were we just speaking with, Adrian? Was it Amdusias?”
Gently, Adrian nodded. “Yes. He said he had another concert for me to listen to. He wanted you both to listen, as well. He… he twists the trees about madly. His voice, it is terrifying. None of us like him very much.”
“Amdusias?” Father Richard asked in a very pensive tone.
Graham answered, “Yes. Shortly after your last visit, the Amdusias personality developed. Holy Trinity had a visiting band perform for the patients as a way of mixing up the monthly entertainment. Adrian took to the performance and developed a new personality using the cover of Amdusias to express his feeling of musical superiority over the quality of the band’s musicians.”
“Dr. Mitchell,” the priest replied, “Amdusias is said to be the demon over the cacophonous music played in Hell. He is known as the Great King, commanding 29 demons.”
Adrian tilted his head slightly again and began biting his nails frantically. In between nibbles, he pointed at Father Richard and said in a perfect sounding, high-pitched, feminine voice, “Yes! Yes! That’s him! His friends are scary. I don’t like them, any of them. All 29 are vicious and cruel.”
“Mary Rae, is that you?” Graham asked while flipping through his notes, seeking his information from previous sessions in which Adrian displayed behaviors from a personality named Mary Rae.
Without answering the questions, Adrian shivered and began rubbing his arms before asking, “Good Lord, it is quite cold in here. Are you two not freezing?”
Father Richard noticed a slight chill on the exposed skin over his face, neck and hands. “It is getting colder in here.”
“Holy Trinity is 37 years old, father,” Graham said. “These windows are terribly drafty.”
Adrian slammed his fist onto the table, alarming Graham, Father Richard, as well as the two doctors behind the glass. Next, he sneezed six consecutive times, squeezing his eyes closed in the process. “Adrian?” Father Richard said meekly. The slow, bellowing cackle returned. “Amdusias,” the priest continued with a change of demeanor in his voice.
“Dr. Mitchhh… Mitchell, I LOVE a man of science. You have an answer for everything. Tell Poppa Dick it is only the drafty windows again. I don’t think he believes you.”
“Can we speak with Adrian, please?” Graham inquired.
“I want more answers!” Adrian screamed in an ugly and angry tone.
Father Richard clutched his rosary. Graham then replied with a question. “Answers to what?”
Adrian smiled a devilish smirk and proceeded. “I can sss… smell the blood on your lady doctor in the other room. She is leaking as we speak.”
The female doctor in the other room became very uncomfortable but maintained her composure. Just then, Adrian tilted his head back and inhaled deeply through his nose before turning to look at the female doctor through the two-way glass while cackling again. “The BITCH is in heat! Dr. Mitchell, can I satiate her desires?”
“Adrian, you will respect my colleagues. And you know direct contact with any of my staff besides me is strictly forbidden,” Graham answered as he continued to jot down notes.
Father Richard spoke next. “Your sexual deviancy will not pollute Adrian, Amdusias. I will not allow it. My nephew is a good man.”
Once again, Adrian cackled, sending chills down the spines of the priest and the two observing doctors. “Is that so, FATHERRRRRRRRRRRR?” Adrian shook his head and then slammed his fist six times on the table again before continuing. “Tell me, Dick. If I were to fuck her to ecstasy and make her squirt all over the room, would you be able to bless the juices turning it into holy water before it landed on your pious face?”
“Quiet, demon!” Father Richard exclaimed as Adrian maniacally cackled.
Graham placed his hand on the priest to calm him. Then, he asked Adrian, “Are you having feelings of sexual frustration? Where do you think these desires of aggressive intimacy are originating from?”
“I’m no more sexually frustrated than a 68-year-old priest who hasn’t touched a young boy in years, Dr. Mitchell…,” Adrian answered while looking directly at Father Richard’s disgusted expression. “Or perhapsss you would enjoy joining the orgy circle between Sister Agatha, Sister Bernadette, Sister Lucille and young Brother Knight. I’m sure that would be a BLAST!”
“Adrian, you have not answered my question,” Graham interceded.
“In due time, Dr. Mitchell. Right now, I’m curious about Poppa Dick. See, he would NEVER go for the orgy. His feelings of inadequacy are too great. His prick would only feel big in the ass of a child. God KNOWS if he really wanted it to feel huge, he wouldn’t hesitate to put it inside of a…”
“Adrian!” Graham interjected the psychotic rant sternly, which only made the patient snicker once more. Adrian then hit himself in the head six times with a closed fist while muttering. “There is no need to hit yourself,” the doctor said.
“Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” Adrian repeated with each punch in a small child’s voice. “I’m sorry, Dr. Mitchell. I am not being much help. I told Adrian I would try to control Amdusias with him. He is getting stronger by the day, though. We are trying. All of us are, truly, but nothing is working.”
“William, when did you and Adrian speak about this?” Graham inquired to the new personality on display.
“As soon as Amdusias showed up and began raging on all of us. He was scratching everyone with his claws, saying he was marking his territory. I don’t want to be marked, Dr. Mitchell. I hate staring at trees. They don’t look right bending that way.”
Father Richard spoke next. “Did Amdusias say what he wanted from Adrian?”
“He wants his soul, father. But first, he wants us all to attend his concerts of torture. They are horrific! I can’t take them anymore. He brutally punishes us; lures us to his chamber with his singing, and then he does strange things, such terrible things.”
“What does he do, William?” Graham asked.
“Bludgeoning with his unicorn horn. Rape. Strangulation with snakes as they dig their fangs into us. Shh! Shh! He’s coming! Oh no!” Adrian began to pant heavily and get frantic after ceasing his retort.
Graham put his pen down and said calmly, “William, relax. It is ok. Focus on us. Look at me and Father Richard.”
“No! NO! Get away! GET AWAY!” Adrian continued to scream in a panic while swatting at the air around him. “Their hands are all over me! Stop touching me!”
“William… William,” Graham continued. “Please, calm down.”
Father Richard began calling out to his nephew to fight back while saying prayers in Latin between his pleas.
Graham looked at the priest as to silence his seemingly encouraging tone towards the chaos his patient was experiencing. It was then Adrian’s body went limp and his face slammed against the metal table from free falling. “Adrian? Are you alright?” Graham asked a few times.
Adrian slowly placed his hands flat on the table and lifted his torso upright. He then rubbed his cheek and grimaced slightly before responding in his normal voice. “Ugh… William is safe. I grabbed him and leapt to safety. Amdusias and his demons are relentless.”
Father Richard breathed a sigh of relief much to Graham’s dismay, who went back to his clinical treatment of Adrian. “With William safe, are the other people safe too?”
“Yes. Amdusias does not know where they are hiding,” Adrian answered.
“Do you know how long they have before they will be found? Before Amdusias finds the rest?” Graham followed with.
Adrian was still rubbing his cheek and said, “I don’t know, a week or so… maybe. If they are lucky. I keep him away as long as I can.”
Graham looked at Father Richard in a manner displaying a sense of correctness in his approach to the session, and then replied, “Just in time for Father Richard’s return. Ok, Adrian. Monks will be in shortly to return you to your room.”
Father Richard looked at Adrian and said, “Don’t worry, nephew. We are going to make you better. You keep fighting. I will be back soon. I promise.”
With that, Father Richard and Graham stood and began exiting the room. An unlocking sound entered the ears of the two men as the doctor grabbed the door handle. Then, the haunting cackle returned. It permeated throughout the room like thunder over the night sky. The two doctors behind the glass shook again, while the woman said under her breath, “Just get out of there, Dr. Mitchell.”
Adrian cackled madly. Father Richard and Graham turned to face Adrian, and as they locked with the blood shot, dark eyes of the patient, he said in the disturbing, deep voice of Amdusias, “I cannot WAIT.” Then, he laughed maniacally as the doctor and the priest exited and closed the door, triggering the locking mechanism behind them.
Father Richard placed his hands on his knees and breathed deeply as does a person who has been underwater to the point of drowning before finally emerging. The nuns and Brother Knight ran over upon seeing this. Graham also breathed deeply, but in a calmer and more collected manner. It was as if a giant weight had been lifted off their chests. “Are you alright?” Graham asked Father Richard.
Sister Bernadette grabbed the priest’s arm and helped him stand erect. Father Richard gathered himself as well and then answered, “I am alright, Dr. Mitchell. I am alright.”
Brother Knight sensed the gravity of the session which just took place. In a concerned tone, he queried the priest, “And Adrian. Is he alright as well?”
Father Richard answered, “I am afraid not.”
However, before he could finish his statement, Graham interrupted. “He is not well mentally. Adrian suffers from multiple personality disorder, psychopathy, sociopathy, and paranoia amongst other inflictions which I have not had the opportunity to fully explore and diagnose yet.”
The nuns looked at Graham as if he were speaking a foreign language, as did Brother Knight who replied, “The man is possessed, doctor. I have listened to the copies of your recordings that you share with Father Richard. His body houses numerous demons, high ranking evil spirits in the hierarchy of Satan’s kingdom. It is clear as day.”
“Dr. Mitchell is a non-believer,” Father Richard told the pastor. “To him, science can explain everything that is wrong with Adrian, even though certain things have no reason behind them.”
“Time,” Graham retorted, “is the great bridge between the unexplained in science and the falsely explained in religion. When there is an occurrence that science has not yet resolved, religion lays claim to it through explanations of mystical awesomeness. Time eventually allows science to discover a perfectly natural explanation, disproving that mysticism, allowing everyone to sleep better at night knowing the skies are not going to rip open at the witching hour sounding trumpets signaling the end of time.”
“Adrian…” Father Richard proclaimed, “… my nephew, he is afflicted by dark entities. The devil does not need your belief in order to exist. So, whether you will admit it or not, Adrian is possessed, my friend. And now we know the name of the demon inhabiting him. We can exorcise my nephew and save his soul.”
The heavy conversation was halted when a sharp, aggressive noise was overheard from inside the room where Adrian was. The sudden outburst frightened everyone. It was this audible display of insane behavior startling the doctor, coupled with the words of the priest, that led Graham to become overwhelmingly agitated. “No!” Graham retorted sternly, visibly perturbed. “He is not possessed. He is sick; very, very, very sick. His mental state is incredibly fragile, and it will take quite a long time to piece it back together, which is becoming overwhelmingly difficult every time you go in there and begin enabling his psychosis with your chants of ‘Hoo rah rah!’ and ‘Fight! Fight! Fight! Win!’ like you’re God’s cheerleader. This is not a matter of demonic possession. This is a matter of deeply embedded trauma in a young man caused by numerous events, culminating in the death of a greatly, mentally disturbed woman who was able to hide behind her massive fortune and resist proper psychological medical care – who most probably genetically and most certainly conditionally – passed on her numerous psychotic behaviors to her son who is on the other side of this door. So, forgive me if I don’t buy into your dogmatic approach in trying to heal Adrian. It has been my responsibility as a doctor to do what is best for the patient since Adrian’s mother’s estate appointed me to work with your nephew alongside you, and showering him in holy water while screaming at him for days that he is a demon just isn’t going to happen on my watch.”
The nuns were stunned, as was Father Richard and Brother Knight. They knew Graham was not a religious person in the least, but they never expected such a visceral reaction to come from him. Sister Bernadette looked the most disappointed and hurt by Graham’s words, though. She said, “What happened to you that caused such a disdain for the Lord and His works?”
Graham paused for a moment, realizing he was getting worked up and confrontational. After collecting his thoughts, he answered calmly, “Look. I’m sorry for getting adversarial. It’s just… I have seen too many people die at the hands of religious fanatics because they believed the individual’s symptoms were demonic and not biological. That is what has made me this way. Plenty of perfectly curable, mentally ill people have suffered from the disillusions of holy men and women for centuries. I won’t let that happen with my patients.”
Father Richard was not convinced Graham’s small outburst was because of his explanation, though, and he called the doctor on it. “No, Dr. Mitchell, you did not get worked up because you don’t want us to exorcise Adrian. You are worked up because you are starting to believe there may be things taking place in my nephew that are actually unexplainable, and it has you at a loss.”
Taken aback by the priest’s words, Graham looked at the nuns and Brother Knight while hesitating to speak before replying, “I assure you that is not the case.”
“In one of your reports, you stated trauma suffered by Adrian’s mother during her pregnancy most likely made micro-indentations in his genetic code, leaving him more predisposed to psychosis than the he already was. You also said it is most likely Adrian has suffered from these mental illnesses since he was a child due to not only the genetic inheritance from his mother, but also because he was raised in an environment where his mother subjected him to her psychosis on a daily basis. Nevertheless, Adrian did not begin exhibiting any symptoms of mental illness until his mother passed. He led a perfectly normal life up until that point. How could that be so if he were impaired before he was even born, and then grew up in a world of insanity all around him emanating from the person he loved the most in this world, his mother, my sister?”
Graham stood and processed the words of the priest before answering, “Sometimes, an individual will only display faint hints of mental illness during their life until a greatly traumatic event occurs, pushing the psychosis to the forefront as it begins to consume the individual.”
“Or,” Father Richard replied, “Adrian was never mentally ill, and the demons his mother fought her entire life through the power of faith under God’s protection were passed on to her son after she lost the battle against them.”
“I cannot speak to those claims as I was not privy to the medical state of Adrian’s mother, nor his own before he came under my care. However, I am confident in saying it was her death that triggered already present psychosis in Adrian, as opposed to a transference of demons.”
“You will see, my good doctor. One day, you will see the true nature of what we face, and I pray to God at that time you have the fortitude to admit you are wrong and aid us in helping Adrian the only way that will work,” Father Richard told Graham.
“And by that I take it you mean with an exorcism?” Graham inquired condescendingly.
Before the priest could rebuttal the doctor’s words, Brother Knight inquired, “Father, where is the recorder?”
Father Richard tapped all his pockets and dug through them but could not find it. He had left it in the room with Adrian. Realizing his absentminded mistake, the priest glanced at the door. Graham, realizing Father Richard was hesitant to go back into the room, said, “I will go get it. Give me a moment.”
“Thank you,” Father Richard replied.
Graham used his ID card and unlocked the door to the padded room, swinging it open after the beeping noise. As he entered, he noticed the temperature had dropped significantly. Adrian was standing in the dark corner again, fondling himself as blood trickled from his mouth. Disgusted, but composed, Graham said, “Adrian, that is unacceptable behavior. Remove your hands from inside pants.” Adrian complied with Graham’s orders, and then Graham continued, “Why are you bleeding from your mouth?”
The deep, grizzly voice of Amdusias answered, “Adrian insisted on not telling me where William and the others are. So, I bit his tongue to loosen it. Apparently, he would rather have holes in his tongue then give them up. I admire his resolve, but I will find them, and they will wonder in awe at the magnificence of my torturous symphony.”
Adrian’s words seemed to be nothing but honest and were convincing. In that moment, for some reason, a part of Graham started to believe the statements exiting Adrian might not solely be a product of his psychosis. It was the darkness in Adrian’s eyes that captured the doctor’s, along with the wicked serenity in his voice that gave Graham a sense of worry. Reasoning quickly dominated the doctor’s mind, though, as his consciousness cycled through the vast library of psychological knowledge he possessed, seeking to provide a rational explanation for Adrian’s behavior and speech. Grabbing the recorder, Graham told Adrian, “I will send some orderlies in to tend to your wound.”
As Graham exited and began closing the door, Adrian collapsed, signifying a return to normalcy. He spoke in his regular voice while on his knees and exhausted, “Thank you, Dr. Mitchell. I’m fighting. I really am.”
Graham swallowed the tension in his throat as he sympathetically glanced at Adrian before sealing the door shut behind him tightly. While handing Brother Knight the recorder, the doctor motioned to a Holy Trinity nun to come to him. He whispered in her ear to tell some orderlies to bring medical supplies and tend to Adrian’s tongue injury. Noticing this, Father Richard asked what was going on. Graham swiftly answered convincingly, “Nothing. It is time for Adrian to return to his room. I was informed upon arrival that the security guard over there, Reggie, will help us retrieve our things at the security gate up front. You should head out. I must confer with my colleagues here before we leave, though, and review our notes while the events of the session are still fresh.” Graham motioned for Reggie to come over.
“Thank you, Dr. Mitchell,” Father Richard expressed.
“Until next week. Father, sisters, Brother Knight, have a good evening,” Graham replied as he walked away holding his notepad and pen in his right hand while he ran the fingers on his left through his hair.
As the nuns and Father Richard followed Reggie on their way out, curiosity overcame Brother Knight. He hit rewind to listen to a quick snippet of the end of the recording. However, instead of just hearing the last words spoken before Graham and Father Richard exited the room, Brother Knight heard a small commotion in the distance picked up by the recorder. Then, the sound of nails scraping across the metal table rang through the speaker. Heavy breathing was heard next. This was followed by Adrian speaking in Amdusias’ voice. It was filled with rage, villainy, and a predator-like tone. “Brother Knight, welcome to my symphony. I’ve been expecting you.” Finally, a loud, terrifying roar blurted from the speakers. It was the noise which frightened everyone only moments earlier. Brother Knight froze in his tracks. He became filled with fear. Adrian could not have known he was there, and the monk knew Father Richard would never mention him to Adrian. The maniacal growl continued as Brother Knight turned slowly.
Adrian was being ushered away by monks and orderlies to his room. As Brother Knight made eye contact with him, the devilish noise filled the hallway, causing the monk to go deaf. His ear drums were in immense pain, throbbing each time the roaring began over again. Then, amidst the two locked in a gaze, the monk heard the real voice of Adrian in his head. It was a mere whisper, and it said, “Brother, run.” However, simultaneously, Adrian mouthed the words, “Die,” and as soon as Adrian’s natural voice faded, Brother Knight heard screams of sheer terror and pain all throughout his mind. He could not stop looking at the darkness in Adrian’s eyes, and before he knew it, the intense screaming in his brain and the pounding of his ear drums listening to the sounds on the recorder caused Brother Knight to collapse on the floor.
Father Richard and the nuns heard the noise of their friend hitting the ground, and immediately ran to his rescue. As they arrived over his body, they cradled his head and shook him gently attempting to revive him. Brother Knight was not breathing. Father Richard looked up as Graham came running over, as well. He witnessed Brother Knight collapse from not too far away down an adjacent hallway.
As the priest and the doctor looked at each other, they heard Adrian’s psychotic roar through the recorder speaker, and looked down the hallway towards Adrian being led away by the orderlies. He simply smirked at them in a very devious manner as he passed the corner and exited their sight.
Christopher Ikpoh is Co-Founder and President of The Creative Extreme, an entertainment company specializing in creating content for TV, film, animation, comic books, novels and short stories. Their cornerstone endeavor, “Project365”, saw them release one original comic book character for every day in 2016, creating a layered multiverse in one epic saga. Christopher is responsible for operating and managing every aspect of the company with his co-founder, including all strategic business planning, creative direction, story and character creation, editing of content, as well as serving as head writer.
Christopher is also the founder of The Christopher Isaac Society, which is a personal literary brand under which he writes novels, short stories, continual fictional series, poetry, narratives, and journalistic musings.
Christopher is a graduate of Oberlin College. He has a career in Finance as a Vice President for JP Morgan Chase, and he currently resides in his home city of Chicago, IL.
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