by Eddie D. Moore
There was a time when Searcy had a family to welcome him home with warm messy kisses, but that was before the voice. He sat in the alleyway watching the house across the street. Two children waited on the front steps, animatedly talking and playing. A dark haired woman in a blue dress came outside and led them away down the street. With tears on his face, he watched them until they passed from sight.
His wife had been very supportive when he admitted to hearing the voice and helped him look for doctors. They tried many different treatments and medications to no avail. Every morning the voice was still there and each day it unsettled him more. At times it screamed, making him jump or jerk and eventually people began to distance themselves from him. The doctors always asked about what the voice was telling him, but it just spoke gibberish. Then one morning his wife took the kids and moved in with her parents. She said that his illness was scaring the children and that they would return when he got better. He never did.
People gave him odd stares as he passed them on the street. The voice screamed, causing him to jump, and those in his path stepped to the side. The monks at the small abbey five blocks away offered him breakfast every morning. As he entered the abbey’s front gate, a small bell rang the breakfast hour. Brother Romie, a short man with a receding hairline, met Searcy at the gate and walked with him to breakfast.
“Good morning Searcy. How are you?”
“Different day, same voice yammering in my head. How are you, Brother?”
“I was able to throw two feet over the bed, stand up and walk away from it. So I’m blessed, my friend.”
They took their food to a corner table and Searcy waited for Brother Romie to return with their drinks. He reached for the amulet he wore around his neck but when he pulled it out the voice in his head screamed, causing him to jerk violently.
Brother Romie returned with the drinks, “It’s okay, Searcy. You are safe here.”
Searcy shook his head and took a drink, “Even hallowed ground doesn’t offer me protection. Thanks for the cup.”
The voice in his head echoed the word, Cup.
Searcy froze with the cup half way to his lips and stared at Brother Romie with wide eyes. “Did you say something?”
“Just that you should feel safe here.”
Searcy began to shake as the voice echoed the conversation. He crammed his food into his mouth, chased it with a quick drink, and made a rushed apology before running from the room. Brother Romie watched with concern as Searcy slipped out the door; then, he followed from a distance.
You finally understand me don’t you? It is too late we have bonded.
Searcy began to sob and fell to knees in a nearby park, “I don’t understand. Why is this happening to me?”
My soul is bound to the amulet that you wear. Now that you have worn it long enough, we have bonded as well. This is why we now understand each other.
“I have truly lost it! I guess now I will spend the rest of my life wandering around talking to myself!”
You are not crazy, Searcy. My name is Elowan. My people lived in this area long ago. I was angry when you first put on the stone. This bonding was a privilege reserved for family and our leaders. I tried to get you to remove it many times but you never understood.
Removing the amulet, “I will take it off now, then.”
The voice continued, It is too late for that; we have bonded.
Raising the amulet over his head, “Then I will break it!”
No, stop! If you break it, I will spend the rest of your life making sure you go mad!
Searcy froze, “I’m already crazy.”
We have bonded; breaking the stone will not undo the bond. I want to find my people and make arrangements that the stone and my soul may be returned to them.
“So, I can get you out of my head?”
The bonding can be passed if we can find my people.
A young couple walked quickly away when they noticed Searcy kneeling on the ground, loudly talking to himself.
“I found this amulet in an archeological dig; I have to assume your people are the Anohi? They have not lived in this area for over two thousand years.”
After several moments, Yes, the Anohi are my people. I did not realize so much time had passed.
“They migrated south and settled on a large island. They are not considered friendly to outsiders, so no one really knows much about them.”
You must take me to my people.
“It will be dangerous, but if it will let me live a normal life again, I will do it.”
Searcy stood to leave the park but two men wearing white stepped into view and blocked his path. One of the men carried a restraining jacket and Brother Romie stood behind them with the young couple that had passed by earlier. Searcy’s eyes widened when he noticed the woman. At one time she had been his wife. She must have caught him watching her and the kids.
The man carrying the jacket spoke softly, “Don’t be afraid. We are here to help. There is no reason to run.”
Searcy looked around wide eyed, searching for a way of escape and attempted to run between the white coated men. They were on top of him in the blink of an eye and before he knew it they had his arms strapped tight in the jacket.
“Let me go! I understand the voice and know what I have to do!”
The two white coated men led Searcy past an apologetic Romie with promises that they understood the voice as well.
“Don’t worry; we have a room where you will be safe.”
“And so will everyone else,” added the other man in a white coat.
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Eddie D. Moore
Eddie D. Moore travels extensively for work and he spends much of that time listening to audio books. The rest of the time is spent dreaming of stories to write and he spends the weekends writing them. His stories have been published by Jouth Webzine, Saturday Night Reader, Every Day Fiction, Theme of Absence, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Adventure Worlds. He can be followed on Twitter @EddieMoore27