Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Citadel Mall
Charleston, South Carolina
June 14, 2007


            I love choosing.
           Having a choice is one of the benefits I derive for this little hobby of mine. That and cleaning the environment of filth. No, really, I have an unnatural sense of cleanliness. To the point of being obsessive, some people might think. I’ll give you an example. I carry razor blades on me to scrape off all those annoying pieces of sticky paper plastered on everything; display boards, bathroom stalls, actually, anywhere messy pigs migrate and have the incessant need to vandalize. Back before the neurotic use of cell phones, I would even clean off public telephones. In case of an emergency and I needed to use one, (God forbid) the phone had to be spotless. Bacteria free and purely pristine. Some people look at me strangely. They stare. They think I have a problem. I don’t. I just prefer it that way. Clean and tidy.
            No one assigned me this position. I took it. Like most things in my life. Not to mention the fact that I really enjoy getting what I want, when I want it. Better yet, that incredible high I achieve in getting away with it. Kind of like playing God. That’s an added bonus.
            A dividend.
            The mall is one of my favorite places to hang out. To “choose” from, that is. It’s big and spacious with plenty of people milling about, roaming in and out of brand-name stores, spending all their hard-earned cash. I stay inconspicuous with all the foot traffic. Not that you would notice anything different about me from the next person. You wouldn’t. Trust me. Well, you might think I’m attractive. Give me a second glance, a look, maybe even…choose me.
            I have my eye on a girl. I’ve been watching her real close. Her boyfriend’s been calling her “Angie.” Of course, I immediately think of Mick Jagger.
            “Angie, Angie, when will those clouds all disappear…?”
            But, I’m running out of time, checking my watch a little too frequently, waiting to make my move. I can’t afford to be careless. Nobody can ever afford to be careless. Everything according to plan. Just like the last time. They still haven’t found the body. I doubt they ever will. That’s how good I am. That stupid slut never knew what hit her.
            Beautiful, Angie…      
            Her boyfriend is walking in my direction. He bops toward me, a loaded spring in each step. She follows close behind him like a dizzy puppy, texting on her cell phone. Dainty, pretty fingers fly over the miniature keyboard in a heated frenzy. They’re eating a disgusting pretzel, dipping it into some gooey orange sauce and feeding it to one another. Taking pictures, laughing. Posting on Facebook, or Twitter or some other social media outlet. How cute. I play cool and continue sipping on my coffee. I don’t pay them the slightest bit of attention. They sit down next to me on the wooden bench. Her arm brushes up against me. Accidentally. I almost drop my Styrofoam cup. Her sweater is tight, cottony; her nipples stand erect, playing hide-and-seek through the fabric. Her jeans are faded, that “washed-a-thousand-times” blue. Sewn on her ass is a patch. It reads: “DON’T GO THERE.” I can’t help but be offended, because that is precisely what I did. I went there.  And everybody else, too. Another year and she’ll be ruined. A whore for sure.
            “Sor-ry,” she coos with that sweet, saccharine southern drawl.
            I look the other way. I bite at my upper lip.
            I feel a tap on my shoulder. “Excuse me, do you have the time?” Her boyfriend asks. They compete for the thickest accent. She wins. Hands down. He looks like he just walked off the set of a Steven Spielberg movie. You know the type. All American, wispy brown hair, athletic. Already has facial hair. He wears braces to correct an overbite. Sewn with confidence on the front of his athletic jersey is a capital "F.". Does it stand for varsity football? Or “fucker?” I bet he has a nice, big cock. Everything overdeveloped. Shows off in the shower after gym class giving less fortunate boys a complex. Yeah, you definitely know the type.
            I extend my arm in their direction, advertising my expensive Rolex wristwatch. I graze my hand up against Angie…
            Beautiful Angie…
            I don’t speak. I just act polite and smile.
            He thanks me as they jump up and leave their trash behind. That really pisses me off. Filthy pigs! I snatch up the paper napkin coated with mustard or cheese and walk to the trashcan. I don’t take my eyes off her. Not for one second. I pitch the pig’s trash in the receptacle, take a hand sanitizer cloth from my pocket and follow them. Slowly. Her walk attracts the attention of several people, predominately older men. Their heads turn as she passes by. She is a looker. And to tell you the truth, I don’t blame them.
            That’s why I chose her.
            I must act quickly now.
            “Wait for me,” I hear him say as he enters the men’s restroom.
            “No way! I’m coming with you.”
            Smart girl. But not smart enough.
            She follows him into the bathroom. An elderly man slowly exits using a cane. He shakes his head in disapproval before disappearing into a sea of shoppers. I stand still. I wait for the right moment. I pick up the latest bestseller at a Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Interesting. I choose James Patterson. A romance novel. He’s changing genres. I chuckle as I place the book back into its bin. I’m not an avid reader of the genre.
            Her boyfriend exits the restroom and positions himself as guard at the door. Such gallantry. After a few seconds, she exits. She wipes her hands on her ass and pushes back light, curly hair across her shoulders. It falls in perfect ringlets to her waist. They kiss and grab at each other’s hands. Lovebirds. She must be what? All of thirteen. He looks older, at least seventeen. And, I can tell Angie isn’t the first girl he’s ruined. He has that cocky stride of a winner. A peacock practicing his skills, perfecting his lines, sharpening his tool for the next young thing that falls prey to his desires.
            It’s up to me now. I must save her before he spoils her. Ruins her untouched excellence. I must be quick about it. I hurry across the polished tile floor toward the main exit. I wave good-bye to the pimply-faced barista at Starbucks who made me my coffee. My café latte. See? Nobody knows. Nobody suspects. I pass by the miniature police station located at the mall entrance. I smile at the nice black woman sitting behind the desk browsing through a magazine. She nods her head in my direction.
            The glass doors open automatically. A gentle, cool breeze invigorates me. I take advantage of the last hint of cold weather and take a deep rejuvenating breath. The warmth from the sun surrenders to dusk. Magenta ribbons streak across a pale blue sky.
            I keep a keen eye on the two of them as they stumble over each other’s hungry advances. They head down a row of parked cars. He unlocks her side first. Always a gentleman. He has a jeep!
            He would have a jeep.
            I quicken my pace two rows over, grabbing at the bottom of my coat pocket for keys, checking over my shoulder for fear I might lose them. I unlock the door to my rent-a-car and slide in. I lower the window to dispel the heat. Engines turn over. I watch through the tinted glass of my windshield. I remove my sunglasses to get a better view. No obstructions.
            My plan is in place. On the passenger seat beside me, positioned in plain view is my freedom. My tools, encased in orderly fashion at the bottom of a small, nondescript wooden box. My exquisite instruments. I run my hand over the top of the box. Folded neatly beneath the box is the dress she will wear. The cotton smock, white like the virgin she still is. It will soon turn red from the blood she will spill. For her sins. My soul will then be cleansed. Then and only then.
            My small sacrifice.
          I put the car in reverse and back out of my tight parking space. Guiding the automatic gearshift into drive, I turn the steering wheel in their direction.
            The sacred ritual will take place at sunset.
            You want to know why? I planned it that way.

June 14, 2007
6:22 PM

            Every Thursday evening like clockwork, George Madden chauffeured Edna into Charleston for her weekly prayer meeting. They left early, while it was still light out cause George suffered from terrible night blindness. He’d been to the doctor. But, what could the freakin’ doctor do for night blindness? Edna complained. She hated driving. She hated just about anything having to do with an automobile. Then again, Edna complained pretty much about everything. Twenty-two years of marriage. Martial bliss, George called it. Oh well, he’d adjusted, or so he kept telling himself. Anyway, about his night blindness. George took the usual precautions. He turned down the rearview mirror to stop the oncoming glare, drove on well-lit roads, and tried using streets with those sparkle-bumps on the divider. What else? Oh yeah, he wore glasses. He damn well better. His vision wasn’t so good any more.
           It was a stupid saying, but Edna said it anyway. “George, ya’ got Coke bottles for glasses.” They kind of snickered, not because it was funny, or anything, but because she’d been telling him that for some time now. Kind of nostalgic. Even with all the precautions in place that night, nothing was gonna prepare George’s old eyes for the sight they were about to behold.
            Edna and George lived about twenty miles outside Charleston in a little community known as Goose Creek. It was a quiet place. Lots of sprawling, two-level rental complexes equipped with tennis courts, swimming pools and nicely manicured lawns. The developers wanted the tenants to feel like they were getting something for their money. They enjoyed it all right. Anyway, they were driving into the City, passing by the usual scenery – strip malls, movie theaters and restaurants. George remembered Edna saying something about wanting to try a new fast food joint that just recently popped up. A movie star had opened up a whole slew of them. Edna sure enjoyed her movie stars. She read all about them in those supermarket gossip magazines. The Globe. The Enquirer. George remembered saying something like, “Yeah, yeah,” because Edna also loved eating. Out. She used to be one hell of a cook back when the kids were home, but now those pots and pans just hung above the stove and collected dust. Money flew right out the window on a count of them eating out every night.
           George dropped Edna off at the church located on Meeting Street, not far from the University. He pecked at her cheek and watched her skedaddle across the concrete pavement to the entrance of The Circular Congregation Church. Her big ass created tidal waves underneath her flowery, floor-length skirt. It looked more like a tent to George.
            Oh Edna, when did you get to be so…big?
           George was proud to mention, perhaps even brag a bit, that he’d maintained his same weight since being discharged from the military back in the late sixties.
            Seeing Edna’s large ass wiggle like a Jell-O mold got George’s blood a going.
           George, why don’t you treat yourself tonight and go out to that Pussy Place out on Old Towne Road?
          Entrance was dirt-cheap. Besides, why not? Won’t be long before George’s ass was seated in a booth at some chain restaurant watching Edna stuff her fat face anyway.
            Oh, hell yeah, that’s what I’ll do!
            Before George could count to three, that old Buick Regal seemed to have a mind all its own and was steering itself right over Memorial Bridge. Yep, tonight George was going in search of a little action.
           On the radio, George was listening to that song… “If I can’t have you, I don’t want nobody baby, if I can’t have you…” …just singing along as he drove, having himself one hell of a good time. It was getting darker though and Old Towne Road had a stretch of highway up ahead that was pretty isolated. Hell, somebody could get lost out here if they weren’t paying attention. There weren’t a lot of streetlights either. Darkness was landing on George faster than a Boeing 747. He started getting a little jumpy. He sat upright in his seat and adjusted his glasses. He flicked down the rearview mirror and prayed for a speck of white, a dot of relief. Some kind of light. Pink neon sure would be nice. What was the name of that place? “Pink Pussy?”  “Pussy Palace?” Hell, he knew it had pussy in it. Off the record, George didn’t want anybody getting the wrong idea. He didn’t do this a lot. Not every day, anyway. He sometimes even missed a week or two. Sometimes.
            A neon sign came blasting into view right in the nick of time. A blessing. “Silk Stockings.” If he hadn’t come upon it soon, he was about ready to do a U-turn and head right straight back to Edna. Mother. Guilt. He hated it. But, forget about all that now. He was here! Soon he’d be lost in a lush oasis of luscious smelling booty before he could count to ten.
            He parked the Buick in the rear, next to a reeking dipsey-dumpster. Smelled like shit, but he preferred it. He didn’t like flashing his dirty laundry around. Besides, it wasn’t nobody’s damn business anyway. He had yet to witness somebody he knew out here. Strange, huh? And, if he did, what would they have on him? Nothing! So fuck ‘em! That’s what George would say. Whooo hooo! George was in a mood tonight! Watch out “Pussy Palace,” or whatever the hell the name was.
         He paid his money at the door and strolled cocksure into the place like he owned it. In the background, the DJ Herb was talking shit, as usual.
       “For your credit card, you can have a private lap-dance with Candy Cane in the Champagne Lounge…”
            George liked Candy. She was nice and all, but for a hundred bucks he wanted something more than a lap-dance. Besides, he played it safe. He left all his credit cards at home. Just in case the urge fell upon him. He got into trouble once with that. Never again. Instead, he moseyed up to the bar.
            The bartender swiveled a bar napkin in front of him. “How’s it goin’ George?”
            A lot of really nice people worked here. Sonny was one of them. “Can’t complain, can’t complain.”
            “Damn, you’re good. For somebody who don’t come in here a whole hell of a lot, you sure do have a good memory.”
         Sonny twisted open a miniature bottle of some panther-piss vodka. He poured it into a tall glass. George didn’t pay for premium. Why waste money on advertising? Sonny passed George a vodka and tonic. No fruit.
            “It’s my business, George.” Sonny turned and headed to the other end of the bar. It was a big bar, too, the size of a football field. George turned his attention to the stage. He sure didn’t want to stare at Sonny’s big ass. He saw enough of that at home.
            Linda was performing at the moment. All the girls working the place were stacked. George whistled. He gave a holler. He wanted to let the girls know he was here. That he was coming. He’d bet one of his monthly social security checks that every last one of ‘em could go to New York City and dance on Broadway if they wanted to. If the right person were to come in and discover them. He took a slurp of his drink. The tonic tickled the straggly hairs in his nose. Sonny poured a good, strong one. That was important to George. It took the edge off.
            “Hi, Georgie.” Sandra passed by. She brushed his crotch. She was wearing a pink thong that slid all the way up her naked ass.
         "Whoa down there horsey.” He gave her a flick with his finger. Sometimes the girls got a bit too forward. George didn’t like that. He wanted to be the one in charge. In control. Let Georgie make the decisions for a change. At least for tonight. All right, Sandra? She paid him no mind. She went right on about her business, stopping every so often at a table to deposit a beer or sit on somebody’s lap.
            George called out for Sonny and asked for some change. Leaving a fifty-cent tip on the bar, George high-tailed it to the runway. “Thanks, Sonny.” Sonny threw the change into an empty champagne bucket. It jingled a lonely death as George moved to his favorite spot, right up close to the stage. All the girls knew George, knew he was a good tipper. “Preferred customer,” they called him. They all possessed a sixth sense about those who carried the cash, the money, the green.
           Linda was moving like water. Not one ripple of fat on her. So smooth the way she undulated in an out. Sweet motion. He took out a single bill and folded it neatly in half. Linda got a whiff. She played all-seductive in front of him, pursing her lips, touching her pussy, rubbing her nipples. George’s pecker went petrified. Glad to know it still existed. No shit! Linda bent over backwards for that blasted one-dollar bill. George passed her an extra buck for that move. She took the bill and stuck it in her lacy garter, way up high on the inside of her leg. That beautiful tan thigh. Then, she pivoted on spiked heels and took off after another sniff of green.
           George checked out the competition. Some jerk started smoking next to him. George hated smoke, the smell of it, the stench, the way it stunk up his clothes. He picked up his drink and ambled back to the bar. He could have one more cocktail. That was his limit. It was bad enough he had to brush his teeth, spray Chloraseptic into his mouth and eat a pack of Tic-tacs before picking up the beloved Edna. It was worth it. George hid it under the front seat of the car. In all the years Edna and him had been married, Edna had not once caught on. Not once. Can you believe it?
           By the time George reached the bar, Sonny had already poured another. They exchanged a few more pleasantries. George passed over his empty, and this time handed Sonny a dollar tip. Sonny smiled. Everybody here worked for the green. The booze was rushing fast to his head. He was feeling a little hot, so he loosened up his collar. He spotted Sandra making her way toward him. Now, he was ready.
            “Ready, Freddie?”
           Sandra knew his name was George. She slayed him the way she called him that, all cutesy and all. Like always, he followed her. She walked down a tiny, dim hallway to the back of the club. It got darker as they progressed. George took off his glasses. No night blindness here. He tagged along down some stairs all the while watching Sandra’s ass shimmy. She had long red hair that fell down over her shoulders. All the way to her butt. And, for some damn reason, she always wore pink. Pink everything. Always. Never had George ever seen Sandra dressed in any other color. Pink, pink, pink.
            Personally, George’s favorite color was blue.
            Sandra opened a door. Inside was another entrance. A sign read: DO NOT ENTER.
           They entered. The cramped room had a single bed made up with cheap white sheets and a wooden bedside table next to it. It reminded George of Okinawa. When he was in the Army. The only light came from a red glob floating around in a lava lamp. It oozed up-and-down as George sat on the cot. The mattress squeaked with his weight. He knew the sounds of this bed. He’d memorized the sounds of Sandra.
            She pulled a tiny embroidered square cushion out from under the mattress and positioned it between George’s legs. His woody was begging for a little Sandra attention about now. Unbuckling his belt, she pulled at his zipper exposing George’s boxer shorts.
            “I like your undies, Freddie,” she whimpered.
            That was George’s cue. He leaned back. He watched the fan move in slow motion on the ceiling. He felt the warmth of Sandra’s mouth. He swallowed hard and stretched his arms back as far as they could go.
            Oh, Dear Lord, forgive me my trespasses, as I forgive those…
            “Relax, Georgie. You know I love giving you head.”
           He fingered her soft hair. Thousands upon thousands of baby-fine threads flowed down her naked back. Sweet, sweet movement. She shifted her mouth and allowed her hands to move in tandem, up-and-down. George got a little embarrassed. He’d like to think his pecker was hung as good as the next guy, but honestly, it wasn’t. Sandra made him feel like it was though. She sure must have one hell of an incredible imagination. That’s all George could think. Sometimes, George fell in love with Sandra. Really. And often, more times than he cared to admit, he fantasized Sandra actually fell in love with him.
            “Good boy, Georgie.” She gurgled.
            She felt George stiffen. Sandra knew the rules. She’d somehow created them.
            Edna would never do this. Never. Never, never, never. Not in a million years. Edna didn’t do much of anything these days. She complained a lot about her weight. Daily. How she was gonna go on another diet. Hourly. How she needed to lose weight. She just never let up. How she wanted to get back into one of those old dresses hanging in the closet like dead memories. That wasn’t ever going to happen. Never.
            What about me? George asked.
            “I don’t worry about you, George.” That’s all she would say. What the heck was that supposed to mean?
         George came. A wave of built up frustration released as Sandra swallowed. George didn’t quite believe it himself, but for as long as he’d been coming here (no pun intended) Sandra always finished the exact same way. Every damn time. Somehow, George felt safe with Sandra.
            Afterwards, she would always say, “Yummy, Georgie. You’re better than a facial.”
            Whatever that meant.
           George would chuckle, pass her a twenty, usually with a five-dollar tip. Sandra would slowly stand up, push the cushion back under the bed with her toe and hurry to the door. Before leaving, she’d turn around and give that little girl smile, the one George loved so much.
            “See ya next week, Sugar.”
            Then, she’d quietly slip out the door.
        George listened to the silence for a second. The groan of the bed. The whirl of the fan moving overhead. It brought him back, crashing to the floor like broken glass. Reality. Suddenly, there was Edna. Only Edna. Edna waiting outside the church. Edna standing next to the palm trees on Meeting Street. Edna eating an ice cream cone because he wasn’t there on time. Blaming everything on George. Edna saying to George in that “Edna” way, “Have a good time, George.”
           George pulled up his pants, buckled his belt and left. Quietly.
           He stumbled, sex-drunk and light-headed through the narrow corridor, back up the stairs and into the smoke-filled, pink neon-lit room.
           Yeah, I guess I did, Edna. I had a real nice time.
           “See ya’ next week, George.” Sonny waved good-bye.
           A lot of really nice people worked here. George smiled back. “You too, Sonny. You’ve got one hell of a memory.”
           George had to be honest with himself. Each time he left “Silk Stockings,” he felt a sense of loss, some loneliness. Like a big black cloud pissed on him or something. He didn’t quite understand why he felt that way, he just did. He thought it might have something to do with his life. The way things were right now. The way things had turned out for him. And Edna. For a few minutes inside, George got a chance to escape. Pretend. Be somebody else. Somebody different. Then George wondered, what’s so bad about your life? He could certainly have it a hell of a lot worse.
         He opened the car door and retrieved his oral douche kit from under the seat. He went about the routine of cleaning and spraying and disinfecting his mouth. There. All better. He smiled at himself in the mirror. He put his glasses on, turned over the ignition and before he knew it, he was headed back to Meeting Street. Back to Charleston. Back to Edna.
           As George was driving on Old Towne Road, all those sour thoughts swimming around in his head like pregnant tadpoles, he wasn’t really paying much attention to the fact it was pitch black out. The road in front of him was looking more like a long piece of spent charcoal than a lit up landing strip. A speeding car approached from behind without warning, right up on his ass, nearly blinding him. “Son of a bitch!” George honked his horn several times until the asshole swerved fast around him. George’s heart was racing. His thoughts were jumpy. He readjusted his glasses on his nose. He squinted into the windshield to get a notion of where the road was turning when he saw it.
           On either side of him were large trees. Plantation oaks, Edna called them. He didn’t care what the hell they were called, the mere presence of them was making him nervous. Spanish moss dripped like cobwebs from their branches. It reminded George of witch’s fingers. Being out here, right now, was downright spooky. Gave him the creepers. All those darting shadows were starting to play tricks with his head. He pulled off to the side of the road. There wasn’t much of a shoulder. The car sat parked on some high grass and low-growing weeds. A choir of crickets and frogs serenaded him out the window. Swamps were out there. He must have taken a wrong turn. “Dammit!” He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. He looked in the rearview mirror. Nothing. Just a flea market full of blackness. Was it his imagination or was he feeling more drunk than usual tonight? Maybe it was his medications. He would have a talk with his doctor. Maybe he should just turn his ass around and call Edna from that gas station a ways back. Edna kept tabs on their only cell phone. There was a gas station, wasn’t there? Yeah, right. What would he say to her? What would he tell her? Edna, honey, listen, I’m running a bit late…
            Then George caught sight of it again. The first time he tried to ignore it. But he couldn’t the second. A white thing kept darting in and out from behind the tree line. What in Sam hell? He tried to focus, cussing at his night blindness, straining to see more clearly. He wasn’t usually frightened, but this was making the hairs on the back of his neck sing “Dixie.” For a second George thought it might be one of those alien abductions. Edna and him had watched repeats of that show every once and a while. What was it called? Strange Planet. He glanced at the blue-black sky. Stars and constellations and even more stars and constellations. From grade school, he located the Big Dipper.
            He put his attention back to the woods. Pure black. He must have been seeing things. He wiped the sweat from off his forehead with a handkerchief. Thank you, Lord. Out there in the murky distance, the only thing he saw now were miles and miles of trees. And his overactive imagination. Then, it reappeared. Again. Like Tinker Bell from Disney. Instead of it flitting around, this sprite, or whatever the hell it was, would just fall down, only to get right back up, and fall right back down again.
            “Jesus, mother of God!” George screamed into the windshield, his face pressed into the glass. “It’s a person. Holy fuck. Somebody’s in trouble.”
        He scrambled to grab the emergency flashlight from under the seat. In the process, he upset his toothbrush and Thursday night paraphernalia kit. “Shit. Piss. Damn.”
            He opened the car door, knelt down on the gravel road and rummaged through the under guts of the seat. There. Finally. He grabbed the flashlight, checked to make sure it was working and took off. He leaped over the ditch filled with muddy water and briar weeds. He left the car door wide open. With the inside light on, he’d be able to find his way back.
            George had never been one of those sporting kind of guys, but tonight, he did some mighty fancy footwork. He ran like a motherfucker until his sides ached, his heart was pounding. A cool mist had settled over the field. His boots were wet and soggy and heavy. George felt invigorated. Like he did during tactical maneuvers. When he was young and fit and back in the Army. When he had a job. A purpose. A mission. Something other than driving Edna around to a different restaurant every damn night.
            The light from his flashlight cut through the low-hanging trees like a hacksaw. It poked and prodded at the black curtain of forest. He didn’t care. He wasn’t scared. He continued running, moving in the direction of that fallen white thing.
            It was down when he got there, like a deer or a wounded animal. It was hard to tell if it was a boy or a girl until he flashed the light on it. Tiny toes had polish on ‘em. Red nail polish. She wore a bathrobe. Not terrycloth like a towel, but white and cottony and long. It covered most of her body. The bottom half, down by her feet was purple-red in color. The moonlight overhead made it appear crimson. Like a rainbow. He turned and vomited. He excused himself, wiped off his mouth with his sleeve and bent over her. He touched her shoulder and waited for a response. Nothing. He turned her over. He wiped the mud from off her face. Lord, there was an emptiness there. A horrible, horrible emptiness. He shone his light into her eyes. Nothing. He remembered from the military to check to see if the pupils got bigger, or smaller. Dilated. But, they didn’t. Oh, God, give him strength. Her hair was hanging down over her face and shoulders, a tangled, sweaty mess. He could barely make out the face. He pushed her hair back. It was a girl all right, a young one too, no older than twelve, thirteen tops. What should he do? He felt for a pulse. He put his head down close to her chest and listened for breathing. She was, but just barely. Her pulse was weak, a fragile thread, sprinting at a hummingbird’s frantic pace. He needed to get this girl to a hospital. Lickity-split. He picked her up and slung her over his shoulder. She was light, not even a hundred pounds. He started running. He could feel the jolt of adrenaline kick his ass as he headed back toward the car. He could barely see the glow from the inside light. Thank God, he left it on.
            Edna would be waiting. Edna was waiting. What was he to do about Edna? He fought his way across the field through the tall grass. Briars stuck to his pants. His ankles. They stabbed at his skin. He could smell blood. And stale urine. He wanted to throw up again. But he kept running, trying not to think about it. How would he feel if this was his baby girl?
            When he arrived back to his car, he would drive like a banshee to the nearest hospital in Charleston. With or without his damn night blindness. He would deliver this little girl close to where Edna was. He would tell the doctors exactly what happened. Every last detail. Everything. How he found this poor girl in a field off Old Towne Road. He would explain it all. He would. He would tell them he was on his way back from…
            Oh, hell…
            Almost everything.


  1. I can't find this on Amazon. When will it be available?

  2. Release date is May 15, 2015. Thank you.

  3. Doug, I printed this up to read in bed. Just reading a page or two has really drawn me in. I'm marking my calendar! I can always count on you writing a wickedly great story!

  4. Ah, thank you Nancy! I really appreciate your amazing support!

  5. Not the usual type of story I read. But wow. This was thrilling. I'm excited to hear more :)

  6. thank you tomzelman. Appreciate you taking the time to read!