Jake opened his eyes and was mildly surprised to be alive. The white hospital room was too white and he felt out of place. He was a fallen angel who had fallen up instead of down and this revealing brightness clashed with his familiar darkness.
Pain medication left him feeling slightly euphoric. The feeling reminded him of his misspent youth and the constant high he lived with for many years. Drugs were good back then and they were good today.
Not good enough, though, after a few minutes. Deep agony was radiating from his bones and his wounded wing was smoldering. As the fiery pain increased, he looked around for the call button.
Helpless. It was an unusual feeling for him. One arm was encased in bandages and some sort of bulky wrapping and the other arm was handcuffed to the bedrail. He tried hitting the button with his elbow, but he was cuffed to low on the rail to reach it.
Twisting in the hospital bed, he realized one leg was also cuffed. Well played, he thought. Maybe the police department in this out-of-the way desert town was on the ball after all.
“Hey,” he croaked. His throat was dry and the glass of water on the stand beside him was as far from his reach as the moon.
Swallowing a few times, he tried again.
“Hey. Hey! Somebody get in here!” he called out.
A nurse came after a few more minutes of shouting. As she walked through the door, Jake saw the policeman sitting in a chair in the hall. He was one of the officers who hauled him and his sister to the police station when Morris’s head was found. Lovely.
Jake knew many people were glad another Sinclair bit the dust. If the bloodline stopped, the evil stopped, too.
After the nurse gave him a sip of water and adjusted his pain pump, Jake slipped back into the slightly euphoric state he’d enjoyed earlier. A sudden thought jerked him from his buzz.
He wasn’t afraid of going to prison. If the courts decided he’d killed Morris, so be it. He did not care. He was grateful Morris was dead. For the first time in his life, he felt he could have a meaningful relationship with the man who had influenced him from the day he was born. For once, he could have a true father, albeit a dead one.
Prison was not the worst of his problems. His greatest fear was losing the freedom to walk his glorious path.
He could find others behind bars needing guidance toward heavenly rewards, even if he had to point them toward the righteousness against their will. That wasn’t the problem. It was the ones who were on the other side of the barbed wire fence. So many out in the world crying out for help only he could give. Especially his sister.
He had seen a side of Moody he’d never thought to see. She was on her way to becoming the person Jake wanted her to be and all because she’d saved his life. What a change from the young girl who had tried to take his life so many years ago.
Jake had a lot of work to do and he was anxious to start. And then, he wasn’t. The good drugs were kicking in and he started to float again.
The package in the desert he’d buried swam across his drifting mind. If it was found, he would be implicated in a cleansing gone wrong.
The young girl’s parents were upper echelon members in Brother Anthony’s congregation. The daughter was wayward and willful. Brother A tried to help but the girl resisted and they were unable to beat the demon out of the girl. It was a learning experience for Jake and Anthony and after that disappointing incident both understood just how far to use a cat-o-nine whip.
His sister wasn’t the only Sinclair to kill a child. It was a family tradition.