A supernatural thriller
Published by SAMHAIN
They could control people’s minds.
What happened when they couldn’t control themselves?
In the USA of the late fifties and early sixties the Hunter triplets - Robert, Gabriel and Peter - are growing up in the Carolinas. They live with their parents in a rural setting, similar to an Amish community. The three brothers are blessed, or cursed, depending on each brother's perspective, with very strong mind controlling paranormal powers.
Their parents are killed when they are eleven – effectively by Gabriel – and they go to live with their grandfather. At age thirteen they are told by the community about their gift, and how they must use their powers to help mankind. Gabriel refuses, runs away and disappears; Peter finds it hard to accept and begins to drift through life; Robert begins a successful and fulfilling life.
Time passes. They grow. In present day America they use their powers in very different ways.
Gabriel travels the world, embracing evil.
Peter can’t handle his powers at all. After being injured in Viet Nam he gradually succumbs to drink and drugs as a way to bury his powers – a tortured soul. Eventually he is taken into a Government Research Centre in Kansas where his powers are experimented with.
Robert becomes successful and wealthy, meets his wife – Rebecca – and marries. Robert sets up in business – high level recruitment and security. Rebecca is a concert pianist which gives Robert the opportunity to search for Gabriel across the globe.
In present day America Gabriel lures Robert into a trap, but before he can kill his brother Gabriel is captured psychically by Peter, thereby saving Robert’s life but endangering his own.
While Peter contains Gabriel he calls for help from a diverse collection of psychics throughout the country - Bill Fields, a top Las Vegas comedian, all round rogue; Cindy Irving, a New York advertising executive and single parent; Mark Kendrick, a Bible thumping Evangelistic minister from Georgia.
Gabriel is released. All hell breaks loose.
It’s said that people who were alive on November 22, 1963 can remember where they were and what they were doing when they learned that the President of the United States of America had been shot.
Gabriel Hunter could remember exactly. He was planning to kill his parents.
The assassination of John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, took place on a Friday, in Dallas, Texas.
Just before 12:30 p.m. Central time, Kennedy’s limousine entered Dealey Plaza and moved towards the Texas School Book Depository. Nellie Connally, the First Lady of Texas, apparently said, ‘Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you.’ Ironic in hindsight, but a statement of truth at that moment
Gabriel Hunter loved his parents, in his own way. It was just that he knew he had a destiny that involved their deaths. Even though he was only eleven years old and didn’t really appreciate the significance of what had happened in that very different part of America from where he lived he felt it was a sign that he had to act. Not a sign from God. No, quite the opposite.
When the Presidential limousine turned and continued down Elm Street, shots were fired. Most witnesses heard three shots. A minority of the witnesses did recognize the first gunshot they heard as a weapon blast, but many later said they thought it was a firecracker or the exhaust backfire of a vehicle just after the President started waving.
Gabriel had spent the day with his two brothers, Robert and Peter, mostly fishing at the lake, but when he went to bed that evening he was restless. He had experienced the feeling before and random acts of violence had usually satisfied his fevers. Not this time. This time he knew it was going to take more to satisfy what was driving him.
President Kennedy, Texas Governor John Connally, and Mrs. Kennedy, all turned. Connally, like the president a World War Two military veteran, and unlike the president, a longtime hunter, testified he immediately recognized the sound of a high-powered rifle, then he turned his head and body right to see President Kennedy behind him. Connally confirmed he couldn’t see the President, so he then started to turn forward again, and it was when he was facing forward that he was hit in his upper right back by a bullet that he did not hear, then he shouted, ‘Oh, no, no, no. My God. They're going to kill us all!’
Gabriel was one of triplets. Born moments apart they shared most things with an uncanny unspoken bond that their parents and the community where they lived had grown used to. Gabriel never grew accustomed to it. He didn’t want to be one of three. He wanted to be alone. He wanted to be unique.
Mrs. Connally testified that right after hearing a first loud, frightening noise that came from somewhere behind her and to her right, she immediately turned towards President Kennedy and saw him with his arms and elbows already raised high and with his hands already close to his throat. She then heard another gunshot and John Connally started yelling. Mrs. Connally then turned away from President Kennedy towards her husband; another gunshot sounded and she and the limousine's rear interior were covered with fragments of brain, and blood, and bone matter.
Eleven years previously, in 1952, when Harry S Truman was still the President leading the country out of the War years, Kenneth Hunter, the local doctor, and his wife of nine years, Mary, who prior to her pregnancy had run the family farm, were blessed with not one new born child, not two, but three healthy baby boys. They named them Gabriel, after the saint, Archangel Gabriel, Peter, after the Disciple of Jesus, and Robert, because it was Mary’s fathers’ name.
The rural community where they lived had much in common with the Amish with whom they shared many values and beliefs. Church played a big part in their lives and when Mary first learned she was pregnant they asked their Priests to bless the unborn child. Kenneth was a man of medicine so he knew deep down that it could not be so, but a secret part of him always wondered, after the births, if it had been wise to ask all three of their community Priests to perform the blessing.
The community was several hundred strong and they all worked on the communal farmlands, tending the cattle and sheep, raising the crops, feeding the chickens and keeping the fences and buildings strong. The summers in North Carolina were hot and humid but the winters could be cold with fierce winds from the Atlantic testing their carpentry skills.
Kenneth and Mary had waited a long time for their union to be blessed with child. Their parents never made mention apart from occasional subtle references that pricked at Mary’s conscience when another barren month went by. They had no affection for the ways of modern science; their religion was based on firm, some might say blind, belief in the ways of our Lord. He would provide when and if He saw fit to do so. Until then they would contribute in other ways to their community. Kenneth was a fine doctor, and Mary had green fingers that helped the crops yield a bountiful harvest even in the driest and most unlikely of seasons.
When news of the birth of triplets spread throughout the community it was as if all the best harvests had come at once. Other mothers brought their own children to see the magic babies. Three was a special number to them and the Hunter babies were the first set of three to be born on their land. The community had been settled here for over one hundred years; the occasion of the birth was a joyous celebration.
It was summer so the days were long and warm. The seasonal storms were full of hot rain that poured from the Heavens for an hour then ceased. Lightning was like fireworks exploding in the black sky and the thunder that danced with it was the clapping of the Angels in recognition of the fortune that had been granted.
There was a week long party of religious fervor that left Mary tired; one baby was hard work, three was a career. Kenneth was proud of his wife for her achievement and he was secretly pleased that the whole community, which he already perceived thought of him as a man of importance because of his medical skills, now seemed to hold him in such high regard that he wondered if the manner of the profuse congratulations towards him was perhaps a little too similar to homage.
The birth of the Hunter triplets proved to be a blessing on the isolated community. It could only have been coincidental chance that the next five years brought about such good farming production that there was sufficient for them all to prosper and to sell surplus in the nearby towns. Once a week the men would rotate the duty of driving the horse drawn carts to town where they would sell their produce to the local stores and restaurants. They were not greedy and often accepted payment in goods and essentials they required but could not produce themselves.
When they were five years old, and beginning their schooling at the communal school, the boys started to accompany the men on the trips to town. They had only seen life on the extended farm. Their boundaries were the extent of the fields and the woods and the rivers the community owned.
The town, with a single main street, stores and houses crowding in on each side was a whole new universe for them. Robert took it in his stride; Peter was a little afraid of the noise and the dust; Gabriel was fascinated by the saloon and the hard looking men who disappeared inside even during the bright sunlit mornings. The characteristics that would shape their later lives were already embedded. All so different despite their common genes.
Most of the townsfolk were used to the farmers who came in regularly on their well kept carts, who tethered the horses at the drinking troughs and politely went about their business. The men looked and wondered, and if there was a suggestion of amusement about the way they considered the modestly dressed incomers it was only because they found them strange and like anything that was unusual or different they were a little frightened by it.
The children, especially the boys, were less equipped, socially, to hide their curiosity.
‘Why’d you dress like that?’
‘You never seen a TV before?’
Robert replied politely. He explained the way his family lived, and he showed genuine interest in the ways of the town. Peter tried as much as he could to stay with the horses, feeding them sugar and grass he pulled up in clumps from the verges.
Gabriel was confrontational.
One time three older boys began to make fun of Gabriel, who was striking in appearance with his black hair and blue eyes.
‘Heh, Amish boy.’
‘I’m not Amish.’
‘What are you freako?’
The three boys spread out so they circled Gabriel, who was a couple of years and several inches less than them. He didn’t seem concerned.
‘Yeah, weird freak farmer boy.’
‘Ever see a farm?’
One of the boys moved closer to Gabriel and pushed him.
‘You’re best not to do that.’
‘What’d you say shrimp?’
‘I said not to push me.’
A second boy stood behind him and pulled his hair.
‘Do you want to touch me as well?’ Gabriel asked the third boy, who seemed reluctant to approach him but with some encouragement from the other two gathered up the courage to sidle across and shove Gabriel in the ribs.
The boys slouched in a loose circle, ready to beat on the smaller stranger but somehow hesitant to make the next move.
‘You’re best to learn some manners,’ Gabriel said quietly.
‘And are you gonna…’ the boy stopped talking as his tongue began to curl up inside his mouth. As if it had a life of its own it curled up, and back on itself until he was choking for breath.
Gabriel turned and stared intently at another boy. The boy tried to look away but he was transfixed by the blue piercing eyes that seemed to pin him like a butterfly on a cork board, Gabriel’s eyes thrusting into his as if they were rays of the sun. A few moments passed while the two were locked in an intent staring contest, and then the boys’ nose started to bleed. He tried to stem the flow with his fingers but they were ineffectual. Soon his shirt front was the color of dead robin breast.
The third boy decided it was a good idea to run. He started to, and he got a few feet away from the others when his legs began to feel as if they were treading in quicksand. He was still pumping his arms, and his chest was heaving as if he was racing fast but his legs were all but going backwards. Then he felt both knees crack and he fell face first in the dust.
Gabriel walked away and didn’t see them again the next time he came to town.
Copyright © 2012 L.H. Maynard & M.P.N. Sims