His cellphone rang. With his one hand, Amman picked it up. “Hello, Mr. Hamm,” Amman said. The electronic larynx attached to his trachea crackled with a burst of static. Amman hated the way it made him sound like a robot. But then he considered himself fortunate that the machine made speech possible at all. “I trust you have good news to report,” Amman said.

“I sure as hell do,” Hamm said. “I know where the critter is. We got it pinned down, me an’ your boy, Kimboro, here. What’s more, we got ourselves a stoolie. A man on the inside. He’s gonna help keep things kosher when we make the grab. We can go in an’ get it right now if you want. He’s even gonna help us load it in the van.”

If Amman could have smiled he would have. *It is all coming together. As it is meant to.* “Where is the creature now?”

Hamm spoke like an excited child, tripping over his words. He told Amman everything that Amman needed to know, and much that he did not. “So do you want us to make the grab?” Hamm asked.

Amman hesitated. His breath hissed through the false voice-box as static. “No,” Amman said. “I think not. If Singh is wounded, moving him now might kill him. I need him healthy, at full strength. Anything less would rob the vintage of its sweetness.”

“Uh, okay,” Hamm said. “When, then?”

“Watch and wait,” Amman said. “The prescribed time will reveal itself.”

“But there ain’t gonna be no better time to do it than now,” Hamm protested, “when it’s not even conscious.”

“No,” Amman said. “This does not, as you might say, ‘feel’ right. We will wait. We will not rush this vintage, but let it ripen in its own time. For the present, make certain the creature goes nowhere, and remain in contact. I will direct you to further action as I see fit.”

“You’re the boss,” Hamm said. “But now I’m nervous about this guy we got that’s gonna help us. I mean, if he panics.”

“You lack faith, Mr. Hamm.”

“Yeah, considerin’ it’s my ass on the line!”

“You need have no fear of your exploits with children becoming known,” Amman said, “so long as you continue to follow orders.”

“That’s somethin’, too. I don’t like us talkin’ ’bout that stuff over cell phones. They got computers an’ stuff that can listen in on conversations. An’ you know the government’s screening everythin’ for some word about that critter.”
“There are devices such as you mention, yes,” Amman said, “just as there are devices to prevent any such eavesdropping. You worry too much, Mr. Hamm. Have a little faith in me.”

“Yeah, well, who died an’ made you God?” Hamm said.

Amman terminated the call and lay the phone aside. “I am not God, Mr. Hamm,” he spoke into the darkness. Again the ruin of his face tried to smile. “But I shall be soon enough.”

By The Evil Cheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (,, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!

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