The Voice - A Short Story
To those of you who had just read through The Voice with me, this is a re-post of the original short story from which the idea developed. Written many years ago, it morphed into the full story posted recently here on HP. If you missed the series, I've posted the link to Part 1 below. Each chapter contains a link to the next part. Be aware that the story is more graphic than the series. Thanks for reading!
- The Voice - Part 1
The Voice speaks and demands complete obedience. You better pray it doesn't speak to you!
An orange sun sank behind the mountains leaving a pink mist in the air as storm clouds began to form. Peter McCleary sat by the window watching the new arriving rain tap gently on the windowpane. The orange sunset was gone. The rain pounded harder against the window, pushing hard to get in. Peter remained silent, waiting - watching. The torrent of rain pushed harder still screaming to get in.
The Voice whispered soft, but clear, "Peter, Peter, it's time."
In a weak effort to fight back, to make a stand, Peter grunted half mockingly, "Time for what?"
"Don't play stupid with me. You know, Peter. It's time to kill."
"Not this time. I don't have to listen to you - and I won't."
The Voice chuckled sarcastically, then roared in Peter's left ear. "It's time, you idiot. "Kill!"
By now the wind was blowing waves of rain against the window; the rhythmical pulsing momentarily found Peter in a daze. He remembered back to the eight year boy who nearly lost his life that night 36 years ago. The boy was Peter.
He went home with his buddy Jeff after school on a Thursday afternoon. After supper Peter started home as a drizzling rain began to fall. He stopped at the cross walk as a black SUV pulled into the intersection. The passenger door flew open and a man grabbed Peter and threw him in the back seat. The three of them drove off down rainy roads into the country.
Th men snatched up Peter and began their terrible assault on him. As the driver headed back to the van, he yelled to the other, one simple word - "Kill."
Peter, who was already half dead remained still and silent. That was no doubt the only thing that saved his life. One boot-heeled kick to the ribs, and the car drove off in the night. Peter was left in the black woods; in the rain; in the silence; in the fear of what just happened.
"I own you, Peter," the Voice interrupted. "You're weak. You can't stand up to me or anyone else. Now get the gun, and let's go - NOW!"
The gun hidden beneath his jacket, Peter hopped in his car and began the ritual cruise. An hour went by - then two. The rain slowed down slightly, but still spotted the windshield. At the next intersection Peter spied his victims. A teenage couple was just about to cross the street. Peter rolled downed down the window and called to the two asking for directions. As they approached the vehicle Peter pointed the gun in their face and ordered them inside. Another night of terror had begun.
Peter drove through the small town and into the back country, all the while the Voice speaking directly into Peter's ear, "Kill."
The drill was all too familiar to Peter by now. This wasn't the first time, nor would it be the last. He would order them face down to the ground. Then one blast to the back of each head and his night would be over. He lived off of the adrenalin high. And each time he was rewarded by the Voice with compliments of work well done.
Friday morning appeared fresh and clean with the sun sparkling on the dew and raindrops left over from the night before. Peter sat at the table sipping his coffee and glancing through the newspaper. Had his obedience to the Voice been rewarded by the murders appearing in the morning paper yet? Would his reign of terror continue? Nothing yet. He would have to wait.
His thoughts were disturbed by the ring of the doorbell. Slowly he put the paper on the table beside his coffee cup and made his way to the door. As he opened the door, he was met by two Lambertville police officers. He slammed the door and ran to the back door only to be met by two more officers.
The last thing Peter heard before his senses left him was, "You have the right to remain silent." Down at the police station he was being hammered on his knowledge of a string of serial killings throughout the state.He had been secretly under investigation for six similar murders in the area. Peter felt proud of himself. They didn't know about the other eight.
The Voice continued to whisper in Peter's ear, "Be cool, Peter. They have nothing on you."
But they did. There was more than enough evidence to hold Peter over for trial. He was safely tucked away in the county jail to await his hearing. "How could they have known?" Peter thought through the question with no real good answers until the Voice spoke. "I ratted on you Peter. I played both sides. See, I told you, you are an idiot, Peter. You're such an idiot! Now you'll rot in jail."
With all the bravado Peter could muster, he shouted back, "I WILL KILL AGAIN!"
"And so you must . . . and so you must, Peter." The Voice ended the conversation.
What could have happened? What could have gone wrong? It simply didn't matter. It did happen, and it did go wrong - at least as far as Peter was concerned. Two weeks passed and his trial date still hadn't been scheduled. His need to kill was gaining strength, but what Peter thought was strange was that he wasn't hearing the Voice urge him on. It was all coming from within Peter. Had the Voice left him alone in his torment? Peter was beginning to realize that the evil was in his own heart.
The need for the thrill, the adrenalin rush, the power and control were all very real to Peter. But Peter, for the first time since he was an eight year old boy was finding himself without control; without power; no adrenalin rush, and no thrill. It was time for Peter to begin to plan his escape.
The past two nights Peter lay in his cell while the moon and stars twinkled outside his one foot by two feet window near the top of his cell. The light, although quite annoying, was sufficient for him to work on his escape plan. Things were coming together quickly.
Peter memorized the guard's steps; their nightly routine. He was focused. It was time to kill. Timing dictated that Peter would have to wait three more nights to break free, but Thursday night would be here soon enough. Peter planned, and waited for the right time. He knew the Voice was right. He would kill again - even though the Voice was silent.
By Wednesday evening the excitement was building to a peak. Peter could feel the thrill again, and the inevitable adrenalin rush. He lay down on his hard mattress knowing sleep probably would be hard to come by. The next night he would be free to terrorize again.
Peter lay still with his face staring up, washed in moon glow. He could sense a breeze from his small window. Clouds began to cover the moon, Darkness filled the tiny cell. Peter was trapped. The moon was gone. The rain pounded harder against the window, pushing hard to get in. Peter remained silent, waiting - watching. The torrent of rain pushed harder still screaming to get in.
The Voice whispered soft, but clear, "Peter, Peter, it's time."
"No, no it's not time. This isn't the right time. Not until tomorrow."
"Peter, you're a fool. Did you really think you could control the situation.This is my game, not yours. It's time to kill, you idiot."
The darkness left Peter in a panic. The Voice urged him to insanity.
"I told you you would kill again, Peter. It's time. It's time. Not tomorrow, but now."
The Voice pushed Peter over the edge. He began to scream. The voice laughed and hissed in his left ear. He shook the bars of his cell. Sweat was breaking on his brow.
The voice repeated one word - "Kill."
Peter grabbed the cell bars one last time and smashed his head with all of his Voice driven force into the bars; again and again, until Peter fell dead. The guards arrived, but too late. The clouds had disappeared, and the moon shone through with its full force again.