Ż±11 Aug 89±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±_ROR_-_ALUCARD_±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±Ż Ž°
Ż Ż A Ž°
Ż "The Ballad Of Andrew Pritchard" Ż Ž°
Ż A ßßßßß°
Ż / \ Tfile Ž°
Ż Written By: Dark Nite / 666 \ Distribution Ž°
ÜÜÜÜÜ \ 999 / Centere Ž°
Ż Ž \ / - RoR - Ž°
Ż A Ž_____________________________________________________________________Ž°
Ż Ž Shawn-Da-Lay Boy Productions, Inc.śśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśśŽ°
The Ballad of Andrew Pritchard
The white, sterile, unfriendly walls form a path down the hospital corridor. I
stride down this path, listening to the sounds of mental anguish. This is the
Lakeside Institute for the mentally ill, and I am an intern here. My name is
Edward Locke, bu
t people just call me Eddie. At least most of the patients here do, if you can
call them people. A more commom term is vegetable. That's one of the nicer
names, or categories, rather. Me, I just call them afraid.
I glance down at my watch, and then realizing the time, force my feet to move
faster. They've become accustomed to the leisurely pace I take when I do my
appointed rounds. In a way, they're spoiled. I don't jog, cycle, play
racquetball, or even dance
. So when I do have to run, it seems alien to them, and I look like a duck on
dry land. The corridor walls zip past me, an endless field of white, and I
turn the corner instantly. Pulling up, I stop to rest and I open the door to
the conference room.
"Glad you could make it." a harsh voice reprimands. "Next time, be on time."
Without even looking up, I could tell the origin of the voice. Only one man in
the whole hospital sounded like that. Paul Raymond. I was ashamed in the
presence of my idol, and I remained stooped over, panting. It also served a
dual purpose, as I did
n't have to make eye contact with him. "Sorry Mr. Raymond" I panted between
"Fine, just... don't be late again, alright?" already the voice was softening.
It always did. Paul's temperment was in direct contrast to his size, he was
6'6, and his generally pleasant attitude seemed out of place in a frame so
"Yes sir," I grinned, standing up straight now, fully rested. 'Sir' was a
little joke between Paul and me; he and I were good friends, and we had long
ago dispensed with formalities. I studied his face for a reaction, and my
smile grew larger, as his
grin cracked the stern expression of a second ago. We laughed, and then,
turned our attention to the matter at hand. I moved next to him, and felt
dwarfed by his immense frame. I was tall, 6'1, but Paul was huge.
"There, look." Paul started. I followed his gaze, and I looked through the two
way glass at the outline of what appeared to be a hunched over man, lying on
the floor. It remained motionless, and I tried to discern any sort of
features, but to no avai
"Who or what is that?" I remarked, never taking my eyes off the lump of flesh
which sat there, perhaps pondering some unfathomable thought. Or, at least
unfathomable to a sane person. I wondered about the thin boundary between
sanity and insanity, wh
ile I waited for Paul's answer.
"That, is a he, and he, is Andrew Pritchard." he said without emotion, Paul
always was fascinated by subjects, but he never allowed himself emotional
commitment. I on the other hand did, and that is why Paul is a world renowned
doctor, and I am still
"Isn't he that westside strangler, the one who raped all those rich women." my
interest was peaked, and I peared more intently at the figure inside.
"One and the same. They say that he had some sort of Psychic power. I don't
really believe that, but some people do. They said that he could touch the
women, and instantly know everything about them. He singled out his victims
that way. Imagine it. T
ouch a lady in a crowd, assimilate her entire background, and then, carefully
plan your next move. The opportunities would be endless." he finished, his
breathing more intense as his excitement grew.
"But I don't understand." I questioned. "How could they catch a man who
possessed such an ability."
"Ability?" Paul said, without looking at me. "I'll tell you what happened,
then judge for yourself whether or not this power is an 'Ability' or a curse."
Paul turned away from the glass, deep in thought, and headed towards the door.
He turned as if he forgot something, then he brushed it aside, and continued
on. "Let's go." He said simply. I followed him out the door into the hallway.
There, he turned
and headed for the double doors at the end of the corridor. As I turned to
close the door behind me, I thought, for an instant, I heard a scream, but if
it every truly happened, it was gone now, and I closed the door. Twisting the
handle, to insure
that it was locked, I turned to follow Paul.
"Hurry up Eddie," Paul urged, its a long story and I only have until three so
get moving." I forced myself to move quicker, and I found myself at the his
side in a matter of seconds. Then, we pushed open the double doors, and
entered the lounge area.
Paul sat at his favorite chair, a tan e-z-boy, and I settled in to listen to
this morbid tale of psychtic murder. My spine tingled in anticipation, and I
blocked out all thoughts and concentrated on Paul.
"You may have read about it in the paper," he started. "You know, about his
I tried to picture the article in my head but couldn't "Vauguely," I said,
"Because of the journalist who covered the story," Paul paused as if waiting
for me to answer.
"VanBuren was his name, if i'm not mistaken" I said, completing his sentence.
"Her name." he corrected. "Kathi VanBuren. Andrew Pritchard's final victim,
and also, his jailer." Paul made a queer face at this last statement, and I
thought he was joking.
"Jailer? What so you mean..."
"Shh. Let me finish." Paul said sternly. "Just pay attention. I didn't or
rather couldn't believe it myself when I first heard it, but it seems to be
the only explanation. " he paused a second, and seemingly regretted the last
statement he made, but
continued anyway. "Andrew Pritchard. In and out of reform schools since the
age of twelve. He was first convicted of raping his nine year old sister, and
spent six months in juvenile hall, and then, various hospitals. At the age of
sixteen, he began
to get really bad." Paul looked as if this statement was funny, and I looked
at him quizzically, and he continued. "State of Maryland police record. Nine
arrests, five convictions. Everything from stealing cars to sodomizing a nun.
This guy's done it
." I thought about the last part for a second, and wondered if God really
punished you for something like that. Like putting a double whammy on
somebody. I decided he must, and picked up again listening to Paul. "Finally
in 1984, at the ripe age thir
ty one, he was let out of prison for the final time. He served thirteen years,
and was let out, to, supposedly begin a new reformed life. Ha-Ha big joke. He
went on to rape and murder an estimated 69 women in the next 5 years, before
he was caught fo
r the final time. But, as you already know, something was different about
these murders. Something was extremely different. Every single one left no
clues, and it seemed impossible that the same man could be committing the same
crime. He was everywhe
re. He didn't study their houses, he didn't study their lifestyles. There was
no way on earth he could have known all he did about every lady he murdered.
No way on earth!" Paul began screaming this."No way on earth! None! N-O W-A-
"Paul, Paul!" I stared at him as he continued to scream."PAUL!! " I reached
out and began to shake him. "STOP!!"
"Alright, Alright. I'm fine, I just got a little excited" Paul's face was
flushed a bright red, and he had beads of sweat dripping down his face.
"Are you sure you're all right?" I asked.
"Yes. Yes. I'm fine. Now where was I." Paul began searching his thoughts to
find his mental bookmark, and I relaxed somewhat. I still searched his face
for any signs of a sudden relapse, but I found none." Oh yes," Paul
interrupted, breaking my train
of thought. " I remember now. Anyway. There was no way anybody could have
committed these crimes under normal circumstances. It was discovered later
that while in prison though, Pritchard had done some dabbling in black magic.
He was sort of an acol
yte voodoo priest of some sort. But, nobody thought anything of it until the
sheer impossibility of volume was considered during the investigation. For a
long time, it was believed to be a group or a gang behind this atrocity. That
was why he got awa
y with it for so long. No one ever considered that a single man could
accomplish what he had. It seems that he had given himself some sort of evil
power. What it did was allow him to instantly know everything that ever
happened to that person by shee
r touch." Paul stopped and let me comprehend the meaning of what he had just
"So.. he was sort of like a human sponge. Absorbing their knowledge. Then, he
could easily devise a plan to attack that indiviual, using their
vulnerabilities to do maximum damage." I deduced.
"Exactly." Paul responded. "But, he didn't count one thing."
"What's that?" I questioned.
"Pritchard dabbled in the black arts. Every spell is perverse so that the
desired effect may be achieved, and even controlled for some period of time.
But, eventually, it would consume the user in some way, related to the effects
and purpose of the s
pell. In this case, he became able to absorb information from inanimate
"You mean like a rock, or a book?" I asked.
"Yes, those. But Andrew Pritchard's downfall was not from a book or a rock.
You see, his last victim Kathi VanBuren..." he stopped and looked at me,
"VanBuren... Vanburen..." where had I heard that name before? I racked my
brain for that one small bit info. that was eluding me. "VanBuren... Wait!!! I
know. Her father was some sort of collector, wasn't he?" I asked excited at
"Right! Not just a collector, but a collector of old coins. In fact, he had
quite an extensive collection. One of his coins in particular, a 1888 penny,
one of only twelve hundred made. Can you imagine all the people that must
have handled it? It was
in circulation until 1965!"
I began to form a conclusion from all this and asked Paul what Pritchad had
done besides rape the VanBuren girl.
"He was also a petty theft. He saw those coins under the glass, and he wasn't
stupid. He knew they were old and valuable. So he smashed them and the first
coin he grasped was that 1902 copper head."
My heart dropped into my stomach as I realized what then must have happened.
"Oh my God." was all I could manage to say. "The torment..." then I tried to
understand what could not be explained.
"Yes. I can read in your eyes. You understand. Millions of people. All their
experiences. All their thoughts, their hopes, their dreams. All this
contained within the brain of one very ordinary man." he paused and we both
considered the cosmic impact
that this event had had. " They say it wiped his mind clean. He for an
instant knew the thoughts of millions. His brain couldn't handle it. Whose
could. Full, sensory, overload." Paul emphasized the last few words,
stressing each one. "Insane."
"You know what.." I asked Paul.
"Hmmm?" he responded.
"For an instant in time. For the briefest of moments. Andrew Pritchard was
God." I sunk back into my seat, and wandered off into the cosmos of
imagaination. The greatest gift of life, while nearby, the demi-god Andrew
Pritchard sat. Only existing.
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