I have written a brief summary of the first instalment of this story but it would be best if you read Part One before continuing.
Elijah Pope was just 28 years old when he was put to death in the electric chair at San Quentin.
Since the age of eleven Elijah was constantly in trouble with the authorities, breaking into houses while the occupiers were asleep plus other assorted petty crime that earned him nothing but a few stints at juvenile hall.
When he was 23 Elijah was arrested for a series of murders that happened near his home in Manhattan.
At his trial Elijah sat in stunned silence when the prosecution told the court that DNA found at all thirteen murder scenes matched his DNA and Elijah was nonplussed and screamed out ‘I am a petty thief and i haven’t killed anyone, there must be some kind of mistake.’
But after meeting for less than three hours the jury returned and found Elijah Pope guilty of the crime and the judge sentenced him to death.
After countless appeals over three years on 21 August 2022 Elijah walked down the corridor towards the death chamber screaming that he was an innocent man vowing to come back and kill all of the people who have stood by and let him die.
After he was strapped into the electric chair Elijah was asked if he had any last words, looking over to his parents who sat holding hands in the viewing room ‘Mom Dad you have to know why my DNA was found? Do i have a twin brother that i don’t know about, talk to me please’ Elijah pleads but his parents remain stoic and silent just like they have ever since the day he was arrested.
Elijah blood begins to boil, he gives the onlookers a final glance and began affirming ‘I will be back all you motherfuckers and when i do none of you will escape my wrath.’
Warden Ian Baldacci who has been in charge at San Quentin for over twenty years says a silent prayer for the condemned prisoner then flicks a switch causing Elijah’s body into shocking spasms and soon the room is full of smoke and the stench of burnt flesh.
Poe struggles against the wrist restraints twisting his body violently, so violently that soon both hands can’t withstand the pressure and are severed and fall to the floor.
Elijah Pope is pronounced dead at 6.06 pm by the prison doctor.
An hour later after everybody has gone home or back on duty two orderlies appear pushing a trolley holding a cheap pinewood coffin.
The orderlies unbuckle Pope’s body and gently place him inside the coffin then the younger of the two is ordered to pick up the discarded hands which he does with a look of distaste.
The hands are placed on top of the scorched remains and then the coffin is placed inside a white van that the senior orderly drives down to the southern corner of the prison and soon the pine coffin is lowered six feet down into a freshly dug grave.
After the prison chaplain says a few words the hole is filled in and Elijah Pope is left to dwell in purgatory forever.
Four months later just before midnight the earth covering Pope’s grave stirs and soon a finger breaks the surface and surveys the area like a submarine’s periscope.
Satisfied that the coast is clear soon a pair of unblemished hands breakthrough the soil and scurry the fifteen yards over the perimeter fence then they scramble up the weathered stone drop down the other side then hide behind a dumpster until a means of escape comes along.
‘For God’s sake Miquel can you stop smoking that shit here, what will the boss say when we return to base and the truck smells like a frat house.”
‘Calm down Jimmy it is only a small joint the boss won’t even notice.’
‘A small joint? It is the size of a cigar, wind the window down before i die from marijuana poisoning.’
Miquel Ferria a 39 year old Mexican immigrant and Jimmy James a native new yorker who celebrated his 60th birthday last Wednesday have been collecting the trash for over a decade and even though they might argue and bicker most mornings the unlikely friends get along well enough but when it is 4.30 in the morning tempers can fray.
Jimmy is a skinny white man who is counting down the days until he can retire while Miquel who is big for a Mexican is still thinking the night before where he and his wife Margita made love like a pair of lovestruck teenagers.
‘Snap out of it Miquel, lets finish our run as fast as we can so we can go home and have ourselves an early weekend.’
‘Good idea Jimbo now shut the fuck up so i can concentrate on driving this piece of shit.”
After driving six blocks emptying hundreds of bins the pair arrive outside San Quenton and they both say a silent prayer thanking the lord for letting live outside the walls and not inside trying to survive hell on earth.
Miquel parks the truck and lights up the joint enjoying the smoke distorting his brain ‘Maybe i should drive Miquel the last thing we need is for you to kill us both a week after Christmas.’
As the pair walk around the back of the truck to change positions neither of them notice a pair of hands scurry from a behind a tree and leap aboard clinging on tight to the running board a mere three yards from Jimmy’s scrawny neck.
Two hours later Miquel and Jimmy are weary and wired needing a caffeine and sugar hit so Jimmy parks outside a Wendy’s diner where they unwind with a large coffee and a dozen donut’s.
While the two trash collectors enjoy their down time the pair of hands jump down and just as the sun begins to rise they race across the road unnoticed and soon disappear in the foliage of a well maintained garden bed.
The garden is located on the western side of a huge building no more than ten feet from the main entrance.
The fingers of both hands intertwine hoping that soon they will obtain a host to help in their quest for vengeance.
Thirty minutes later an already weary doctor arrives to start his shift but before he goes inside Docter Edwin Rothchild a world renowned orthopedic surgeon decides to have a cigarette before starting another hectic day.
Taking a seat Edwin starts thinking about a patient of his who has been waiting for a double hand transplant for over six months now.
Patrick Redman lost both hands on a boating accident last August and despite searching all over globe a match has yet to be found.
.Unfortunately for Patrick he has the rare A B Negative blood type so finding a match has become very troublesome.
Edwin shakes the thought from his mind, stubs out his cigarette when something in the corner garden catches his eye.
Bending down for a closer look Edwin’s knees buckle and a tiny voice in the back of his mind tells him to forget what he saw before it is too late but against his better judgement Edwin tells the voice to mind its own business and shut the fuck up.
Not quite believing what he saw Edwin has a closer look and a pair of hands creep forward like and octopus from its secret garden.
Stealing a glance behind him Rothchild picks up both hands and places them gently in his coat pocket then casually walks into the hospital to start his shift at the Marin County General County.
Up in his office Edwin locates a donor organ cooler fills it with ice and gently places the hands inside but the hands have other ideas and spring from the cooler and start to climb up Edwin’s shirt.
Screeching in fright Edwin flicks both hands back into the cooler and quickly closes the lid.
When his heart rate returns to normal Edwin opens the lid an inch and quickly take a blood sample and sends it downstairs for testing.
After doing his rounds Edwin returns to his office and as he eats his lunch he checks for any new emails and immediately his heart begins to race again when he notices an email from hematology.
Clicking on the link Edwin is both glad and frightened when he reads the results, the blood sample is indeed A B Negative, now young Patrick Redman will have another chance to become a whole person again with two new working pair of hands.
After he finishes eating his lunch Rothchild phones Patrick Redman with the good news, spends the afternoon performing surgery then just after six pm he grabs the cooler and heads on home.
At his house Patrick Redman is ecstatic, after months of having his wife Maureen feed him and wipe his butt finally there is a ray of hope on the horizon.
Arriving home Rothchild takes a quick shower then pours himself a large scotch while he prepares a plate of leftover meatloaf.
His wife thirty years Catherine is away visiting her elderly parents in Oregen which is a good thing because Edwin knows that she wouldn’t approve of what he brought home in the cooler.
Staring at the cooler as he drinks a few more stiff drinks Edwin drags himself to bed where he spends a restless dreaming about a pair of hands going on a murderous rampage.
Waking early despite feeling like a steamroller drove back and forth over his skull while he slept Edwin rolls out of bed early ready to face another day.
Entering the living room he is glad to see the lid still in place on top of the cooler then after watching the morning news drinking his first cup of coffee for the day then he grabs his car key and the cooler and drives towards the hospital.
Normally unflappable Edwin is nervous as hell as he walks into the hospital because he knows that shortly he will perform a surgery attaching a pair of hands from an unknown source to his desperate patient which he knows is bordering on criminality but he took an oath to treat his patient to the best of his ability and that is what he intends to do.
He informs his colleagues that a donor was found over night and the hands are a perfect to his patient Patrick Redman who has been informed of the happy news and that his surgery is scheduled for 10 am tomorrow morning and that he is not to consume any food after 8 pm.
Brenda Fellows a tough nurse who has worked at the hospital for over 22 years is skeptical when she is told that a donor has suddenly appeared out of the blue. ‘Doctor Rothchild there is nothing in the system about this donor so i will need the donor’s name, his blood type and which hospital the donation is coming from.’
‘I will need all of this information so i can enter it into the data base so everything is above board, if i don’t receive this vital information by 1 pm then the surgery wont be able to proceed as scheduled.’
‘Of course Nurse Fellows why don’t we step into my office and i will give all the information that you need.’
Rothchild knows that he is currently walking on very dangerous ground, deep down he knows that what he is about to do is very wrong but after taking a deep breath he leads the hapless nurse towards a donor cooler sitting on his desk. ‘Really Doctor this is highly irregular.’
‘Lifting the lid exposing its contents Rothchild beckons Fellows closer and despite her misgivings she leans in for a closer look then before she can scream the hands spring forward wrap themselves tightly around and squeeze.
After their victim is no longer breathing the pair of hands jump down into the safety of the cooler safe in the knowledge that things are about to get a whole lot worse.
Patrick Redman arrives at the hospital two hours before his operation and after checking in he is told to strip naked to put on a white gown with an opening in the back.
Feeling exposed and vulnerable Patrick is allocated a bed, given a pre-op sedative and told to relax ‘It will all be over before you know it.’
After a marathon 14 hour operation Doctor Rothchild thanks the other members of the surgical team. ‘When done everybody as you saw the operation went smoothly, i expect that the patient will gain full use of his new hands in a matter of months.’
Later that morning Patrick wakes in the recovery room feeling a little woozy but his mood picks up when a nurse tells him that his procedure went well and after a few months of rehab he will be a new man.
After he left the surgical ward Doctor Rothchild took the lift up two flights then entered the janitor’s room where he had hidden Nurse Fellow’s body.
Throwing the body over his left shoulder he calmly walks over to the emergency door and kicks it open then he walks another ten yards and stands on the ledge five stories above the ground.
Clutching his passenger tight Rothchild steps forward into oblivion screaming ‘FORGIVE ME PATRICK I WAS POSSESSED.’
Patrick is still flexing his new pair of hands when a young doctor enters his room ‘Hello Patrick i am Doctor Gregg Wilson and i can see that you are making a speedy recovery.’
‘I sure am Doc but where is Doctor Rothchild? I was expecting to see him to drop in this morning while he was doing his rounds.’
‘Ugh sorry Patrick but Doctor Rothchild had to hum step out for a while but don’t worry about that i will be attending to you from now on and i have to say that i am surprised how well you have recovered from such a complicated operation.’
All of a sudden the donated hands start to gesticulate wildly and Patrick is startled to say the least ‘I am not moving my hands Doc they are doing it all by themselves.’
‘What in the fuck is going on? ‘I don’t know Patrick maybe you are having an allergic reaction to your new hands but and this is really weird but i believe that the hands are using sign language.’
After writing down what the hands had to say Doctor Wilson gives his patient a troubled look ‘Don’t keep me in suspense Doc what did my hands have to say for themselves?’
‘I have a deaf sister Patrick so i know sign fairly well and what i am about to say will be distressing but here goes ‘I AM BACK MOTHERFUCKERS AND I AM COMING FOR YOU ALL ONE AT A TIME. SLEEP TIGHT NIGHTY NIGHT.’
‘Who is back Doc ? I don’t understand.’
‘I don’t know what is going on either Patrick, just lie back and try to relax.’
‘After we run a few tests i am positive that a solution for your predicament will be found.’
After a fortnight and countless tests by numerous doctors who find nothing unusual Patrick is told they he will be ready to be discharged in a day or two but he is to report back to the hospital every week for his scheduled physiotherapy.
With a lot of help from his wife Maureen Patrick quickly settles into a routine back at his house.
His hands are strong and healthy with all of the physio and exercise and Patrick can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel and if all goes as planned maybe he will be able to return to his job and provide for his family properly.
After an intense workout Patrick has a shower to take the edge off.
He stands under the hot water for ten minutes washing away the sweat and plenty of painful memories then when he feels cleansed Patrick climbs out and dries himself with a towel and he is happy to see that all of his fingers are all in working order.
Noticing that the bathroom mirror has steamed over Patrick turns on the exhaust fan and as the mirror clears Patrick begins to clean his teeth then suddenly his right hand shots out and writes a message on the glass.
Patrick pulls his hand away from the mirror and reads ‘TIME TO KILL, VENEGEANCE WILL BE MINE’ ELIJAH POPE.
Wiping the words away before he leaves the bathroom Patrick knows that he is in deep trouble, it is the second time that his donated hands have taken on a mind of their own and left behind a cryptic message but first thing he needs to find out who is Elijah Pope.
After asking Mr Google for help Patrick is appalled to see that Elijah Pope was sentenced to death for of series of bloody murders and was executed by the means of the electric chair near enough to six months ago.
‘Just fricking great i have been given the hands from a convicted killer.’
That night as he sleeps the DNA from his new pair of hands continues to intermingle with his own DNA and when Patrick wakes up and rubs the sleep from his eyes.
He kisses his wife good morning ‘Morning sweetie would you like some bacon and eggs for breakfast?”
Maureen sits up and looks at her husband ‘Sure Patrick but your voice is different it is a lot deeper, are you feeling okay?’
‘And your hair is a couple of shades lighter, did you dye it last night.?”
Patrick doesn’t answer but admits to himself that he does feel different and not in a good way.
All he wants to do is go back to the hospital and tell Doctor Wilson and sever his hands and throw them into a furnace instead he walks into the kitchen and starts preparing breakfast and by the time the couple finish eating the bacon and eggs Patrick Redman now occupies a mere 5% of his body while Elijah Pope occupies the remaining 95%.
For all intents and purposes Patrick Redman no longer exists.
Elijah Pope went to his grave condemned for eternity but now he has a chance to make sure that all of the people responsible for the miscarriage of justice will pay a heavy price.
Ian Baldacci the warden at San Quentin prison is relaxing at home after another hectic day not knowing that his life is about to come to an abrupt end.
His wife of thirty years is away visiting relatives but before she left Joan kindly made of few meals and left them in the fridge so all Ian has to is choose a meal and put it in the microwave for a few minutes.
But Ian decides that the mac n cheese can wait a few minutes because he really needs to unwind because it is hard dealing with prisoners on death row who have little hope and no future so what he needs is to have a long hot bath and wash away the anguish.
As he soaks Ian can feel the tension float away and he vows for the tenth time to help Joan a lot more with the household chores.
‘Hello warden enjoying your bath? Startled Ian begins to stand up to confront the intruder but a solid punch to the throat sits him back down quick smart.
‘No need to stand on my account warden just relax and enjoy the last few minutes of your miserable life.’
Struggling to breathe Baldacci take a few seconds in an attempt to gain himself some leeway before he responds ‘Who are you and what are you doing in my house?’
‘You don’t recognize me warden? I can see your brain ticking over but let me give you some help.’
‘Remember back to earlier this year when i was tied to old sparky and then you flicked the switch and sent me on a one way trip to hell but i really missed you so i have come back to talk about old times.’
‘Pope? But it can’t be, i watched you die, you were pronounced dead by the prison doctor and i saw you placed into a coffin and lowered into the ground so go back from where you came from before and let me wake from this dream in peace.’
‘This isn’t a dream warden, now tell me, how do you like your toast light brown, brown, dark brown or burnt?
It suddenly dawns on Baldacci that the freak before him is holding Joan’s old two slice toaster he gave her as a birthday present back in 2015.
Pope plugs in his weapon of choice and asks the warden if he has any last words ‘Listen Pope or whoever the fuck you are just walk away and i promise not to say a word about you being among the living again.’
‘No can do warden, but let me repeat my question, how do you like your toast?’ ‘No on second thoughts there is no need to answer because i am pretty sure that you are a crispy burnt kind of fella aren’t you warden?’
‘Noooooooooo’ Baldacci screams as he tries to catch the toaster but he loses his footing in the soapy and immediately his skin peels away exposing a pink underbelly that jerks and jumps like a macabre puppet on a string before sinking into the supercharged water.
Pope walks away careful not to slip on the wet floor, he stops and savors the smell in the bathroom a mixture of boiled lobster and pork.
He closes the front door of the warden’s house behind him satisfied that one of the assholes who mistreated him is no longer walking this earth..
At 8 am the following morning a police cruiser arrives at the wardens house to do a welfare check after concerned neighbors called to complain about the stench.
Receiving no reply after repeated knocking a uniformed officer enters the premises and following the smell he locates the warden’s body floating face down in the bathtub.
Racing outside the officer calls in for backup before vomiting six breakfast burritos onto the manicured front lawn.
10 minutes later a couple of detectives arrive at the crime and after sidestepping the mexican offering they enter the house of horrors.
Eric Robinson and Marc Freed have been partners for just on twenty years and in that time they have come across a lot of grisly cases but what confronted them that morning will be permanently imprinted in their minds.
Robinson a huge black man standing 6′ 7″ surveys the scene and notices the toaster in the bath and at first glance it looks like a possible suicide ‘What do you think Marc suicide?’
Freed a skinny white man just six weeks from retirement isn’t so sure ‘I hope it is Eric because it will save us a lot of time not having to look for a killer but why the toaster when there is a hair dryer and an electric razor sitting on the cabinet within easy reach from the bathtub?’
‘Good point Marc lets seal the scene off from nosy reporters or neighbors and let the CSI people do their thing.’
Two days later the detectives our in their office doing paperwork when their boss lieutenant Norman Parsons enters holding a manilla folder that he throws on Robinson’s desk.
Parsons is a young upstart just 34 years old who has risen through the ranks faster than a speeding bullet. ‘Let me fill you in before you read the report but you won’t like what i have to say.’
‘DNA and fingerprint evidence was found at the home of warden Ian Baldacci and they match perfectly to one nasty individual named Elijah Pope.’
‘Elijah Pope’ Freed mutters ‘I know that name but i can’t for the life of me i can’t place him.’
Parsons jumps in before Robinson has a chance to respond ‘Elijah Pope was convicted eight years ago of multiple murders and sent to death row at San Quentin.
‘Despite pleading his innocence i ten different appeals he was electrocuted by the electric chair on the 3 April this year.’
What? Robinson screams ‘How can a dead man leave DNA and fingerprints six months after his death?’
Parsons hold up his hands to stop further outbursts ‘I have asked the commissioner to put in a request to have Popes remains exhumed but in the meantime go and ask Pope’s family if Elijah has a twin brother who might be out for retribution.’
Because of the weird circumstances the exhumation was fast tracked and under leaden skies the coffin containing the remains is brought to the surface loaded into a white van and driven to the medical examiner’s office.
Dr Winston Churchmill who has been working for the county around the same time that Noah started to build his ark pulls on a pair of gloves and orders that the coffin lid be removed and two younglings quickly bow to see command.
But Churchmill orders the pair to stand back ‘Well well well will you look at that.’
Everyone in the room lean forward and Churchmill continues Do you notice the splintered wood that was broken from the inside almost like the body inside was trying to escape.’
The coffin lid is dragged away revealing the skeletal remains, Churchmill does a quick examination and tells his rapt audience ‘Everything appears to be normal except for two minor details.’
Robinson and Freed who until point remained silent can’t stay quiet no more ‘Spit it out Doctor what are the minor details? Freed whispers ‘I am glad you asked Detective because it is really quite simple, the hands the deceased hands are missing.’
Sitting in the corner of the room Parson’s know that he needs to contain the news to this room before someone spills the beans because the last thing he needs is for the residents of New York city to start panicking and spreading unfounded rumors making the job of the police force even harder than it needs to be.
‘Listen up everyone what the good doctor has revealed is to stay behind these four walls and i warn you all if i hear a whisper about a pair of wandering hands roaming the city i will come down hard on whoever leaks any information understand.’
What Parsons doesn’t know is that the pair of hands have already found a host who at this moment has already located his next victim and Pope want stop until he has killed all of the motherfuckers who sent him to hell.
You have all been warned.
Part Three coming soon.
Thanks for taking the time to read this story and could you please make a donation to go towards my goal of becoming a fulltime writer Thank you Steven.