Chapter 11 ‘Voices’
Samson rolled gently onto his front careful where he put his hands; something stuck into his stomach, something hard and long! He swallowed a painful swallow please god don’t let it be a snake head! After waiting motionless for seventy or more seconds, his mind working through his next move, he knew that if it was the snake head the teeth had not pierced his top; he began to summon the courage to move off his stomach. He moved his palms out on either side, careful not to touch anything as his fingers felt blindly in the dark. With his brain telling him it did not feel like a snake head he began trying to think about what it could be, it felt hard and long and it felt like it was in his pocket…..his jacket pocket, then he realised it was the torch yesssss you beauty earlier in the day when he left the cave he must have put it into his fleece pocket. Pushing himself up onto his knees he instantly reached down zipping open the pocket he pulled out the small pencil flashlight. Samson held onto it as though it were a fragile ornament, almost afraid to switch the light on; he let out one almighty and grateful sigh as he switched it on. The cave instantly lit up around him, Samson wanted to cry with happiness as he shone the small pencil light around the cavern; the feeling of knowing he was not in the dark really buoyed him, if he had had to stay in the dark for a long period he probably would have gone and given himself up. Samson saw the snake heads safely piled in the corner of the large cavern; remembering doing that the night before; he sighed an exasperated sigh of relief, the sigh turned into a large yawn.
A noise could be heard down the tunnel from where Samson had just crawled; he swallowed another painful gulp of dryness, he needed water; a plop landed in the pool behind him. Samson turned and stepped over to the pool; reaching it, he crouched down by the edge of the pool; then cupping his hands he brought them up to his mouth and drank slowly, several mouthfuls. Twice he gargled the water around his tonsils cooling them; the noises in the tunnel were getting closer now, Samson began to get anxious as the noise closed in on him. He knew that whoever it was, the coloured man or the one wearing the baseball cap they would not be able to reach him, he was quite safe now! Then a thought came to him; he remembered watching the X-files one night and one of the baddies had the power to stretch himself into small places; his nervousness began to take hold once again as he clutched the makeshift spear tighter in his hands oh Lord please help me!
A light now shone down the passage just about reaching into the cavern where Samson was now holed up, Samson stepped to the side so as not to be picked up by the intruders light beam.
‘Hey boy; you gonna come on out? Its no use hiding out in there; you can’t stay there forever, but we can wait here’ the southern twang was loud and booming as it travelled down the short space separating them both ‘yes we can wait here for as long as it takes’ he laughed a loud lumpy sound.
Samson swallowed; scared and unsure what to do; maybe they were right, maybe he should go out, after all how long could he stay in there for? You’ll stay for as long as it takes!
‘Yeah boy you know you’re stuck now don’t ya? It’s gonna be a long night for you if you don’t give yourself up now, ho, ho, ho!’
His laugh reminded Samson of Father Christmas, but he had no intention of giving himself up; he shone his small beam around the cavern to where he had skinned the snakes on the previous night. There was still plenty of meat on them and he had water; there was also quite a good pile of wood; fire, water, food; what more did he need matches! He patted his pockets worriedly don’t say you’ve left the things in the backpack? He shook his head in panic if ever I’ve got no matches I’ll die his right hand stayed on his right leg trouser pocket, where he felt something, in a small pack; he smiled as he realised it contained the pack of waterproof matches; Samson sighed in relief. He also had another thought I’ll put the snake heads along the entrance so if they can stretch themselves into the gap they may fall on the teeth and poison them!
‘What’s goin on in there boy?’ the question echoed along the tunnel.
Samson could make out another sound! It was another person coming down the tunnel; this had to be the one wearing the baseball cap, the evil one; Samson began to feel on edge again as he heard the other man enter the small tunnel; he too was now crawling Samson could tell by the shuffling of his knees.
‘Boss he’s in there’ Samson saw the beam from the coloured man’s torch enter the cavern again.
‘You in there little boy’ there was no accent to the voice it was almost……..Samson could not think but it was not right, that much he knew ‘talk to me little boy!’
Samson did not answer either of the two men; he just leant back against the coldness of the cave’s wall as the desperation of his situation settled over him. Although it was cool inside the cave he was sweating like a pig a combination of nervousness and fear of the unknown. Even though the odds were stacked against him, the fear of being left to the mercy of the two things outside in the tunnel seemed to summon a new wave of determination. Samson was determined not to talk to them in any way, they could talk to him but that did not mean he had to answer them……but what if they hypnotise me?
Twenty minutes passed as the two men waited in the enclosed space; Samson was still sitting with his back against the wall; waiting and listening, until eventually there was movement again.
‘You go back to the surface; make up camp in the cave entrance; I’ll have a chat with our little friend in there!’
‘Ok boss’ there was a shuffling of kneecaps as the coloured man made his way back into the tunnel and upwards to the cave entrance.
Now Samson and the baseball capped man were alone; fear began to well up deep inside Samson once again; like a lava pool it began erupting within his stomach, the volcano about to explode its deadly content. His eyes were closed tight wishing that he could just disappear away from this place; to wake up and find that it had all been just a dream. Samson knew that was not going to happen; he would open his eyes again find he was in the exact same place; in the exact same nightmare stuck in this God forsaken cave, in this God forsaken forest, in this God forsaken world!
The man laughed ‘that’s right you’ll wake and still be here; he has forsaken you, your God, your God of the heavens, left you here to us; we only want to talk to you, then we’ll let you go, I promise!’
Samson swallowed ‘I’ve seen your faces’ he whispered it quietly ‘you can’t let me go now; I’ve seen your faces and I saw what you did!’
‘Yes you have; I can feel your fear from here, I can make it quick for you if that’s what you want’ the one tone voice drifted to him, lingering around him, around the cave.
‘Like you did with my family’ he could feel himself getting angry.
‘I was quick with your family that is true and that was your fault; I had to be quick you disturbed us’ he paused ‘you’ve run quite far, led us on a right merry chase, even killed one of my men along the way’ he mocked.
‘I didn’t kill anybody’ he swallowed again closing his eyes as a lone tear escaped to roll down his cheek; the dryness had returned to his mouth again.
‘That’s right it was a bear’ he laughed ‘a bear helped you; that’s almost unbelievable don’t you think’ the tone of his voice was almost goading; goading and mocking at the same time. ‘Come to the entrance and see me!’
‘No’ Samson was never going to do that ‘I won’t do anything that you want me to do!’
‘Oh but you will………….in the end you will’ he laughed ‘they always do what I want them too; just like your mother and your sister………………’fuck me (it was his mothers voice) fuck me first’ a pause ‘I want him first the nigger, fuck it I’ll have all three of you (it was now Candice he could hear)’ another pause ‘do it take them both baby (his father commanded)’ now there was giggling like a small child ‘one, two what shall we do, three four knock on the door (it was now his own voice as a small child). It was the song that Samson and Candice used to sing when they played in the garden!
Samson put his hands up to his ears and placed the forefinger of each hand deep inside each of his ears; he pushed them in further and further trying to block out the voices; to get this evil inside his head to stop. He pushed his fingers in so hard at one point he thought they might actually meet each other! It was like this, sitting with his fingers in his ears, sitting against the cold rock willing the evil man to disappear, that Samson stayed!
He must have sat against the wall with his fingers pressed firmly inside his head for what seemed like hours, tears had flowed and then subsided he could tell by the feeling that his eyes were red raw; eventually he pulled his fingers free from his ears………….silence greeted him, a deathly silence.
Samson waited; waited and listened; he listened for every possible sound but none came has he gone? He wanted to peek his head around the corner of the tight opening and take a look. After deep consideration he decided against looking, after all it could be a trap; so far whenever he had trusted his senses they had proved to be right; so he was damn sure he was going to trust them now! He shone the small torch over to the pile of logs and decided to light a small fire. If he could light a little fire he could then conserve his pencil light battery, after all he had no idea how long he would be holed up inside the cave?
The fire started quite easily; the smoke headed toward the small tight entrance where it began seeping out into the tunnel drifting its path to the outside world and the clear fresh air outside. The fire only consisted of a couple of logs and a few twigs to help them catch; Samson thought it better to keep it low; just enough to make a little light and warmth; after all he could be stuck in the cave for quite some time, Samson was trapped! Deep down he fumed with himself; he could not reason with himself on why he had decided to go into the cave what were you thinking; you dimwit; you’re well and truly trapped; dun for! Feint voices drifted down the tunnel to him; they were both in the cave entrance he could definitely hear two voices talking; they talked quietly but the odd word drifted on the quietness that enveloped him, that sealed him in his tomb. ‘My God what if they block the entrance’ he whispered it as he stared into the fire; a nervous gulp followed the sentence, he had no options, only to give himself up but that would be the last resort; his attention was now fully focused on the small gap which led to the tunnel! Thoughts of them reading his mind now came to him if they get inside my mind and realised what I’m…….was thinking they may even choose to seal the cave ‘you don’t know that, they may not have thought about it yet’ they may even decide to leave me and go back to whatever hell hole they came from although he doubted that very much!
* * * * *
In the main entrance to the cave a fire roared; there was a saucepan on the top, where beans and sausages cooked; Johnson stirred them occasionally. Against the far wall and out of site leant two Heckler and Koch G3 assault rifles; The Mexican sat with his back leaning against the wall, his cap pulled down over his eyes. Outside the cave, dusk was coming on quickly; soon darkness would be upon them. Johnson stirred the contents of the saucepan again ‘that Fuckin boy ruined all the fun; I never even got the chance to have that young whore bitch. At least Cowboy went out on a high, he got to have the ride even if it was cut short’ he glanced over toward the tunnel ‘I’ll make that little bastard suffer boss when I get my hands on him may even give him what his little bitch of a sister would have had!’
‘You’ll get the chance soon enough; but not till we deal with the other problem’ he sat straight; the words came from beneath the peak of his cap.
‘What other problem boss?’ he whispered now as he looked around.
‘Do you not think the bear attack was a little strange?’
Johnson stopped what he was doing and nodded agreement as he stroked his chin ‘well boss I suppose it was a little strange, but I didn’t actually see what happened’ he began stirring again.
The Mexican pulled the cap from his head and straightened up ‘the boy has help’ his jet black eyes looked at Johnson ‘nothing happens to the boy until we find out what help; until we draw them out, only then do you get the boy is that clear?’
Johnson looked into the Mexican’s eyes it made the hair on his back stand on end; Johnson himself was a powerful man but the boss was………..? ‘Loud and clear boss; loud and clear!’
It was quiet now as Johnson dished up their food spooning the meal into two metal mess tins; he handed one to the Mexican who took it without thanks; wisps of smoke drifted from the tunnel and floated past the two men as they sat in the entrance to the mouth of the cave. The smoke drifting beyond them and into the now gloomy forest. The two men ate quietly as the darkness came; Johnson glanced at the Mexican’s scar which ran around his throat; it seemed to look fresh again like the one which ran from his forehead over his eye and down his cheek. He thought how it was strange that this happened when something was on his boss’s mind especially the scar around his throat they seemed to be at one; the scar and the Mexican’s thoughts; perhaps the boss was nervous?
* * * * *
Samson lay on the bed of heather his eyes were closed as he took in the smell of the rattlesnake meat which cooked on a spike of wood; his thoughts took him to school, to his friends who he would never see again. His features were expressionless as he thought about the prospect of dying; a lone tear rolled down from his left eye and traced its way down behind his ear, into his matted dirty hair.
A saying came to his thoughts “time runs out of time” he could not think where he had heard the saying before, but Samson had the feeling that he too was now running out of time; this was probably going to be his last meal on earth; or if not this one maybe he would have one more left him in? They could take him at any time; they could smoke him out; probably even toss in a grenade and blow him up so why don’t they? There must be a reason why they’re waiting? Samson now wondered what time it was; he had been in the cavern for quite a while; but then time drags out especially when you’re doing nothing, nothing but cooking and sleeping. His guess was that darkness had now hit the outside world; although he did not know it; his guess was correct darkness was now upon the forest and the world that lay still outside and soon very soon it would be upon him! The dark thoughts and all the evil that the dark brought would soon be upon him, Samson had that feeling inside, that feeling that told him the darkness would soon be coming to get him! With that thought he reached out and put another log onto the small fire. He looked at all the wood he had left at this rate I’ve probably got enough wood for fifteen hours of light?
* * * * *
The forest was pitch black as the two men sat around the campfire in the cave opening; the sky was so black that they could not even see the trees that surrounded the area where they sat. The Mexican’s scar which ran down his face glowed from the light of the fire; the moon was completely cast in shadow, Johnson watched his leader with intent; wondering where his boss’s thoughts were? The Mexican just sat cross-legged; his eyes shut tight; the fire began to dance; flames moving in and out of the burning logs, almost resembling the legs of people; the tips of the flames began licking out at both the Mexican and Johnson. The flames reached out like hands grabbing at them both; stroking, licking as they teased around the two demons who sat around the fire. The features of both the Mexican and the large coloured man had now turned into ghoulish faces of horror and pain as the pair now watched the devilry at work.
* * * * *
Samson now wore the t-shirt that had previously been wrapped around his head; his fleece jacket was now neatly folded as a pillow under his aching head; neither of the two men had been back down the tunnel to mock him. It had been quiet for quite some time and Samson liked that feeling; if only they could stay away from him forever, he doubted it very much but each second they stayed away was heaven to him.
Samson and his family were not at all religious; the only time they had ever really attended a church was for christenings and weddings and now he deeply wished that his parents had taken him more often! For everything he had witnessed over the last three days had proved to him that there were other things involved in this world; more powerful things than he had ever expected. Not everything was black and white as he had always believed; the devil was at work and he was after Samson and if the truth be known he was probably going to get what he wanted; Samson was certain that the fate that awaited him was not going to be pleasant time runs out of time!
It began to get a little muggy inside the cavern; Samson was sweating slightly; he looked over to the small fire which had started to behave differently. Flames began to dance in and out of the few logs that burnt orange; they leapt out at him; then snaked up and down almost like what he had seen on the television when men with flutes had made adders dance from wicker baskets. Samson stared at the flames as they mesmerised him; he was now in an almost hypnotic trance; his head swayed with the dancing flames as they lured him into their world of fire. Samson spoke softly; the voice, his voice, it was his own voice within his mind who are you he asked.
‘Legion me llamo’ the voice was almost hollow; now another voice spoke in English ‘I am Legion; for we are many’ another voice now, this one harsher ‘for we are many; for we are many; for we are many’ it sniggered then again it spoke in different languages in different voices repeating itself over and over again, the voices getting harsher. ‘We are many, ya que somos muchos, тому що нас багато, weil wir viele sind, car nous sommes beaucoup, поскольку мы – многие, 因為我們有很多, for we are many!’ There was laughter lots of laughter from many mouths, from many voices, the sound reverberated from the walls as it bounced around the cavern, it lingered around Samson teasing and choking his senses.
Samson felt as though he was hallucinating as he watched the walls around him slowly come to life, moving into shapes; into features; into people, the fire now raged too large for how small the actual fire was. He wanted to turn away but was unable to move as the show he watched now had him enthralled, captivated, entranced this evil magic had taken him over! Samson could feel his very soul being dragged away from him; his inner self tried to battle this unseen foe; he fought to bring himself back to stop the evil thoughts from taking him over, taking over his soul; he desperately tried to stop them from gaining control. Visions came to him from deep within his mind, battles and wars throughout time; people being mutilated and maimed; there was blood and guts, people; innocent people cried and begged, Samson felt sick as he witnessed the horrific scenes from other times!
Crowds of people lined the streets, he had been transported to another time, another place; it was sandy and dusty; he was now in a land somewhere in the Middle East, it was a very long time ago. Samson was standing in the middle of a dusty road none of the people watched him they were oblivious to him; looking beyond him. He turned to see what they were looking at; there was a procession of men carrying crosses, they walked toward him; soldiers, not of today’s kind; they were like pictures he had seen in the history books; they were Romans. The soldiers walked along the street sides as people threw rocks and stones at the men who carried the heavy timber frames. One of the men wore a crown of thorns he walked second in the procession his body bloodied and battered as each of the men was repeatedly whipped; Samson waited in the crowd as the procession grew closer. Now they were upon him, forcing him to step to the side, out of their path, giving them space to let them pass; he felt the wind from a stone as it passed by his head and hit the man with the thorn crown; it connected with his back, the man did not cry out he just carried on with his slow pace as the whip hit him once again.
It was a dream it has to be a dream as Samson now followed the man; every now and again Samson would look into the crowd; into the faces of the people throwing the stones, he could see the hatred and the anger in every gesture. Then he could make out the demons within them as their faces contorted into un-human features; their sneers and jeers as the crowned man passed them by; some threw rocks then hid behind others. Samson felt sad, sad and disgusted at how people could do such evil. Sorrow welled up inside him as he walked with the crowned man; he walked by his side; Samson wanted to cry, he wanted to help the man carry this burden; to take some of the weight of the heavy cross. For the first time in his life Samson was ashamed; ashamed at what the human race was capable of, he felt tears running from his eyes as he walked alongside the battered and bruised man.
Samson could hear voices as he watched the hatred spill and spread from person to person; he could also hear voices in his head ‘I am Legion; for we are many; we are many; WE ARE MANY……………!’ There was laughter and sniggering all around him from the crowd and from the voices inside his head. His mind tried to focus on all the good things he had seen and done; he remembered the Lords Prayer and began to recite. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever; Amen.’
The fire raged higher and higher inside the cavern as the words came out of Samson’s mouth; the shadows now moved angrily around the cavern they clung tightly to the walls every now and then an arm like shape would reach out to stroke at him; to touch or grab at him or even hit him. Samson was now sweating profusely; it ran from every pore in his skin; the mugginess now in the cave made him feel lightheaded. The voices mocked him ‘our father, who art in heaven………..false father; you never worshipped him before; he’s never watched over you’ the voices sniggered as the shadows leered at him. ‘Lead us not into temptation………….you will always go to temptation you will see………… we are many, WE ARE MANY’ it boomed around the cavern!
Killdeer Mountain, North Dakota; 22:30 local time:
Annawan stood next to the fire; he reached down with his left hand into one of the pouches on his belt and pulled out a handful of coloured dust; no light shone from the covered moon, the whole mountain was in darkness except for his small camp fire. The powder was soft, almost sandy in its texture as he threw the powdered dust onto the fire. The fire turned into rage; higher and higher the flames rose until they reached around seven metres in height; the flames turned into a shape. The shape became the face of a man; it was the Mexican’s face; his scar ran the length of his face; he looked around where Annawan stood and chanted. The Mexican now became a creature; a demon who spat words at Annawan ‘you foolish old man, you know not, what you get involved in. You should have stayed at the reservation old man!’ Arms reached out toward him; as Annawan stepped to the side; they grabbed at him again ‘you are not strong enough for us old man, we are legion….for we are many!’
‘You cannot harm me; for I am safe here’ Annawan, his voice frail and soft but with an edge of determination looked around him ‘this is my home; my land and my people; they are my animals; my trees; this land is me and I am this land’ his haggard features did not show any hint of fear.
‘You’re not up to this old man; do you not think we didn’t know………we knew the boy had help we needed to see what help he had…………….and this is what you send, an old man!’ The demon looked up to the cloudy sky in jest; as the wind whipped up around the mountain ‘I send you death and corruption of the soul and you send me an old man to fight your battles’ he laughed a loud heartless sound that echoed all around the mountainside.
‘I am old that is true but do not doubt me evil one for I have more to give than you could imagine!’
The demon immediately snapped his attention back to Annawan ‘I wanted to see you old man to see who was helping the boy; I instigated this whole thing, it is me who drew you out into the open and it is me who will end your miserable petty, meaningless life!’
Annawan reached into his pouch and pulled another handful of some kind of powdery substance; the colour this time was green. Annawan was determined not to get drawn into a conversation with the evil that stood in front of his eyes; their trickery was strong and he did not want to give away the fact that Akecheta was getting close. ‘How do you know that it wasn’t me that instigated this whole meeting?’ The old man smiled as he threw the powdery substance onto the fire; as soon as the green powder hit the fire the demon subsided back into the flames and the fire died away; until it was back to its normal size.
Annawan dropped to his knees with exhaustion and fear; this was true evil that he had seen; the boy and Akecheta were in grave danger; Annawan feared what he had got the young brave into. He was old now and would struggle to maintain the energy he needed to fight this evil which was upon them; he chanted quietly as he knelt wearily on all fours. ‘Give me the strength to fight this battle oh great Wakatanka; let me help the white boy and Akecheta; let me help them in their battle against this great evil that is upon us!’ The moon began to break through the clouds, sending its moonlight beam across the mountain again.