2016 Reader’s Favorite Award in Thrillers, First Place Winner
2015 Library Journal selection
I didn’t wake up one morning and randomly decide to be a killer; rather, somewhere in the recesses of my soulless being, there it was—a primal urge for blood, for manipulating life and death. Yet all the while I was unable to control my own mind. I had become an animal.
I wasn’t always a murderer, as far as I know. Born with it, or raised into it? Nature versus nurture. The question of the day. One that has baffled therapists for decades. As one of the monsters they studied, even I had no answers. Picking apart my gray matter proved fruitless.
I never tortured cats, pulled the wings off of butterflies, or watched too much graphic news. In fact, I hated what television represented, what it took from us. It stole our youth, our time, our minds. Yet our lives revolved around it. So much power granted to one inanimate object. Perhaps I was jealous.
But jealousy didn’t mutilate my soul. Something else awakened within me over time, eroding my humanity to the point where I despised what society had become. Perverted. Impure. Corrupt. It was a shame what people had turned into with the help of a malevolent social order.
And I thought I was evil.
Look around you. Look at what people do behind closed doors. Neglecting their kids. Abusing their spouses. Drinking themselves into oblivion …
They’re the ugly ones, not me.
I was their savior.
So what exactly turned me into … this? I will probably never know.
But today I challenged all theories of humanity’s innate goodness as the girl’s limp neck hung in my hands, my dirt-stained fingers wrapped around her flawless pink flesh like a snake coiled around its prey. I hadn’t planned on squeezing until she vented a terror-stricken scream, potentially spooking the neighbors and sealing my red-and-blue-flashing fate. Reflexively my hands tightened their grip, summoning Death to take its victim.
never forgot—my murdered sister, and an investigation that led to my own resurrection from the dead.