The Twain Shall Meet

The Twain Shall Meet by Deidre Dalton is Book #3 in the Collective Obsessions Saga.


An innocent meeting as children sparks a fateful yet perilous liaison between Shannon Larkin and Mike Sullivan. Will their romance follow the same tragic path forged by their mutual ancestors Colm and Molly?

From Chapter Eighteen

June 1975

Larkin City, Maine


MIKE SULLIVAN HAD PERFECTED his plan now. Everything was set. As he waited in his room at the mental hospital in Bangor, he watched the small bedside clock closely. At eight-fifty he would proceed to wrest the ward watchman of his keys, providing he was drunk and passed out. Keeping himself icy calm, he smiled slightly. He had waited a long time for retribution. He was determined not to lose his cool now.

At exactly eight-fifty, Mike left his room and entered the ward. Most patients were in bed by eight, and tonight was no exception. He made his way down a short hallway to the watchman's station. The nook was partially hidden by a half-door, of which the part top was open. Mike peered inside cautiously and gave a sigh of relief. Sure enough, the watchman was slumped in a chair before a desk, chin lolling on his chest. The man was snoring loudly. Mike sniffed the air. It reeked of hard liquor.

Mike reached inside to open the half-door, knowing it was locked on the outside. He slowly opened the door and stepped inside the small enclosure. He moved toward the man, noticing the key ring around his waist. Working quickly but silently, Mike managed to remove the ring from the man's belt, starting for a second when he groaned. But the watchman did not awaken.

Holding the keys in his hand tightly so they wouldn’t make any noise, Mike left the watchman's station, shutting the door softly behind him. He walked farther down the hall, where orderlies kept their uniforms in a small closet concealed by a plant. Moving the plant noiselessly, Mike opened the closet and found a uniform that fit him. He slipped it over his clothes and shut the closet door, returning the foliage to its former position.

Over the course of time, he memorized which keys the orderlies used to open various doors. Now he used the knowledge to let himself out of the ward, locking the door behind him. He quickly walked down another hallway to a stairway that led to the first floor. Pulling himself erect, and brushing his hair back out of his face, he tried to take on a self-assured persona. Being credible was crucial to his plan.

It was easier than he thought it would be. He walked through the first ward without being stopped. A couple of orderlies nodded at him as he passed, as if in recognition that he was an employee of the hospital. Mike wanted to shout with glee, but kept himself in check. He had come too far now to spoil everything.

Then, finally, he was out of the front door. There were no guards outside. Obviously he timed his escape perfectly. He ran lightly down the front entrance steps of the mental hospital, obscuring himself behind a cluster of shrubbery. He looked toward the guard station on the outside of the building.

The second and third shifts gathered together at the station for a few brief moments, not even paying attention to the front of the hospital. In a flash, Mike was off and running. He raced out of the front gates without hearing the words he dreaded he would hear one day: "Stop! Catch him!"

But no one called to him, no one saw him. He made it! He was free! Mike continued running, however, as far away as possible from the place he had lived for the last four-and-a-half years. Two blocks away from the hospital, he skirted the edges of a shopping mall. Then he walked casually through the parking lot, scouring around for an unlocked vehicle. He had known how to hot-wire a car since he was thirteen years old, thanks to the instruction of his friend John Young. Mike silently blessed his old friend for the knowledge. It was certainly coming in handy now.

At last, Mike found a car with the windows rolled down. It was a 1971 Mach I Mustang. He slipped behind the wheel, trying not to waste a moment of time. It only took him thirty seconds to start the car. Grinning, he put the vehicle in gear and roared off. He put his hand in his pocket, assuring himself that the large kitchen knife he stole from the hospital two weeks ago was still there. It was, of course. He found the knife on a meal trolley after dinner one evening, as the orderlies were putting patients to bed. He pushed his foot to the accelerator of the Mustang.

As the car sped into the night, Mike laughed softly to himself. Half of his plan was complete. His plan was a success. With patience and cunning, he had pushed himself closer to one singular ideal: to wrest Shannon from her home and her happiness, as she had once done to him. He would show her what she missed by rejecting him. Before the night was out, all of his threats to her in the past would become a reality.


THE TWAIN SHALL MEET ©2012-16 Deidre Dalton. All rights reserved.

"The Twain Shall Meet" may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the author. "The Twain Shall Meet" is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.