When he decided to kill his first wife, it was an epiphany. Not only did he enjoy the act and the anticipation of the action, but the system rewarded him by giving his victim’s assets to him. It made for a totally satisfying experience. With each new prey he encountered, his plan became more precise. However, it was his need for the kill and not money that drove him forward. He had never married a woman with a child before. His hatred of Josh multiplied as the days passed but geometrically increased each time Josh stood up for his mom. The little house was becoming insufferably smaller with no place to hide. To his great anger, he found they still stole hugs wherever and whenever they could, in private, when they thought he would not know, but he knew. He’d get rid of the dog and then the boy. When they were removed he could strip Olivia of all resistance, until she begged for his love and acknowledged his supremacy. Once done, he could move on to his next kill, but first the dog!
"I will not have a dog in this house. They are unclean. It bit me! Furthermore, it’ll tie us down with unneeded responsibility. If you can't take the dog to the pound, I will. The damn thing bit me! I’ll not have that animal in my house!”
I’ll eliminate one problem at a time. After I get rid of the mutt I’ll find a military school to send the kid. Soon. Soon. The very thought of finally having Olivia to himself practically made him drool.
By Marc Douglas
Only one thing can fight against the mind of a psychopath... The Love of a Child... Josh had once had the perfect family. The love of the two parents and Josh had sustained him for so many years. And when his Dad brought Henry home for his own, he thought life couldn't get any better...
Henry, a black and white mutt, snuggled up to him, sitting on the bed, shoulder to shoulder. He put his nose down and his huge, saucer eyes looked up at him in total adoration. The dog didn’t know what was going on, but knew Josh was scared and so was anxious too. That’s all that mattered to Henry.
His Dad, Alex, had come to a soccer game with a small ball of fur that would become Henry. From the first day, boy and dog were inseparable, but Alex and Olivia weren’t immune to the soft, furry, snuggle machine and the pup soon grew to become the center of the family’s attention. Henry matured into a medium sized dog and tended to be fiercely protective of the family. Although not a large dog, his heart and determination befitted a dog twice his size. At night, Henry slept predominately on Josh’s bed, but would intermittently prowl the house, daring someone to intrude upon his lair. After checking on all three members of his family and trotting throughout the first floor, the dog would finally curl up once again on the bottom of Josh’s bed. However, the slightest noise would cause the cycle to repeat and allowed everyone to sleep more soundly.
Furthermore, Henry’s persistent and never ending excitement to see any member of his pack made each day a little better. Whenever they entered the house, they were greeted by a furious wagging tail, swiveling hips, and small squeals of contentment that expressed his pleasure at the fact that one more member of his pack had returned home. Henry flipped over on his back and with all four legs in the air, let his lips dangle loosely around his mouth. He had no modesty. Of course, this was his signal that it was time for a long, overdue belly rub.
Even now while he snuggled with Henry, listening to the loud voices, arguing, he knew he could not give up Henry... Not after he'd already lost his Dad!
Josh had always blamed himself for his Dad's death, even though his mother told him it was an accident. He'd been going out to get him new cleats for his game! And the weather was just too bad and he'd lost control of his car... That was years ago now, but he still missed his father, his real father...
Not the monster who was now legally his stepfather...
By the time his mother realized what kind of man the monster really was, it was already too late. Now all they could do was try to keep each other safe. But now, his stepfather wanted to get rid of Henry!
David Lanter was a lawyer and Olivia had contacted him when the insurance company had declared a loophole in receiving the benefits after Alex's death. Fortunately, David was able to help her through this, but it allowed him to form an attachment which he then pursued...the chase was on...soon...
David was somewhat aware of a dark side; he even called him Dave. But most of the time, Dave was only in control for short times, especially when David wanted to be free... He even had a place for Dave...
|Snake Mountain Caves|
So while he was courting Olivia, he kept tight control and spent considerable time with her, taking her to nice places and showing her how pleasant he could be. Soon Olivia began to trust him and then care for him...But after they were married, he wanted to begin his fun with Olivia... either Josh or Henry was always in the way!
Barely a week had gone by after the wedding before the beatings started. Josh had stepped up to protect his mother during the first incident and Dave went berserk. Only through Henry's intervention, when he bit the monster, were Josh and his mother saved from serious injury.
Now he heard footsteps coming up the steps, coming for his dog. He had to save him and even though he was as large as most adults, he was no match for the monster. He hung his head in frustration…his hands found a grip on the bat. The steps continued and curiously halted for a moment just outside the door. The door knob jiggled back and forth. As Josh watched in horror, the door imploded, carrying much of the frame with it into the bedroom.
In some strange way, the splintered wood flew in slow motion through the air as though the adrenalin in Josh’s body refused to allow it to be seen in real time. The monster flew, enraged, through the debris of the broken door directly for Henry where he lay on the bed. Dave never saw the Louisville Slugger as it exploded into his abdomen but he heard a few of his lower ribs crack when the wooden bat settled home.
Josh had no choice...he ran for his life...to the school where he thought he could find a place to hide. By that time Dave was following him wildly and skidded in near a fence almost touching Josh. Then a cop car came flying in also... Josh thought he was safe, but as soon as the officer realized who he was--a prominent lawyer, who contributed generously to the policeman's fund, he backed off and put out an alert for Josh, having heard he was on drugs and had hit his mother!
Fortunately, Josh knew just one individual who lived nearby. Macy, a girl in school for whom he really cared, even though they'd not talked personally. Would she help him? Yes, she welcomed him into their home...but that only made things worse...
David was completely gone and Dave was in control and he was on the hunt...
If the balance of a man's mind is based upon his being able to be in control.=, then when David chose to free Dave, he would have the fun he wanted to have. But when Josh and Henry and even Olivia began to fight back, the rage consumed David... Until Dave had total control...
Then the surprise ending really blew my mind!
Can love conquer all? Perhaps not, but it can be a deadly enemy to a monster! This is not a slasher movie, although there is similar violence, but Douglas has tempered the violence with a strong counterbalance, a psychopath who is exposed to a family atmosphere where great love resides...
Indeed, Douglas' books do make you think! Soon is horrible, but provocative. Deadly but filled with deep and abiding love and caring... A contradiction that makes for a really great story... And definitely has the feel of Dean Koontz's best-sellers! Do check it out!
About the Author: After finishing the “Slingshot” series Marc read another good Dean Koontz book, inspiring the thriller, “Soon” and his second thriller, “Blind Sight”. The next release is a dramatic adventure, “The Lieutenant’s Angel” inspired by “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Dumas. Marc and his wife reside in Charlotte, NC.