Chuck, dressed in the white gown that all inmates of Poco State Mental Hospital wore to bed, gripped the motorist by the neck and slowly squeezed the life out of him. Looking down into the motorist’s twisted and purple face, Chuck looked into the past and saw his father’s face, and felt his father’s neck in his hands. He had killed his father for the beatings and the torture and the days locked in the dark, musty cellar where the bugs had crawled on him in the darkness.
The motorist, his eyes beginning to lose their focus, looked up into the eyes of the man choking him to death and saw what Chuck’s father had seen: eyes devoid of humanity and as predatory as a shark. It was the last sight the motorist saw as darkness closed around him.
Chuck dropped the lifeless body and stood looking into the wooded darkness around him. In the distance, the lights of the hospital glowed brightly through the trees. Chuck turned away from the light and headed into the darkness, the deep darkness that he knew since he had been a child. The darkness that called him, always called him, with a voice that he could almost hear but never understand. He stepped off the road and into the thick woods and let the darkness engulf him.
As he weaved through the trees in the darkness, he could hear his dead father’s voice behind him, talking to him as he did so often. “You’re nothing but a damned, worthless boy! A sorry excuse for a human being.”
“Yes, Daddy,” he answered the voice. “Yes, Daddy, yes Daddy.” The voice was a constant drone in his mind, a counterpoint to the crunch and snap of fallen twigs and the rustle of dead leaves. The voice finally faded when he realized that there was a light shining in the woods, the porch light of a little wood frame house nestled in a small clearing in the woods. He crept up to the house and keeping to the shadows, peered into a window. He was looking into the kitchen where a tall, dark haired woman was washing some dishes in the sink. Her back was to...