Andy Sonian hunts and kills his prey with no remorse. The only problem is, his prey are people. He loves his life until someone comes into the picture and tears his world apart. Now he must fight not only a Satanic cult, but something else, something worse.
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The Dark One
By J. Benton
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 J. Benton
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe beast waits in the dark behind the trees. Snarling, drool dripping, no, pouring from its mouth. Its eyes are red., blood red. And in the night, that's all I can see. Those eyes, watching, waiting to claim my soul. It watches me every night as I sleep. It's deep snarling that once made it impossible to sleep, is now like a lullaby, guiding me to that other world. The world where everything is possible and nothing is real. That's where I like to spend most of my time. In that other world. It's more real to me than this one ever could be. I have never fit in here. People shy from my very existence, and no matter how kind I am they hate me. But in that other world, I am welcomed, revered, honored. When I wake up, I curse the beast for allowing me to stray back to this world. But it always comes back. Every night it returns. Maybe tonight ... I lie down and hope this will be the last time.
I am walking along a beach wearing a very appropriate purple flowered Hawaiian shirt and a pair of Kakis. There is a tropical breeze blowing in my face, and I breathe it in, all the way to my soul. I have nothing on my feet so I can feel the sand the only way it should be felt. In my right hand, I carry a hatchet, still dripping with blood from my latest kill. In my left, his head. I smile down at him with more love than a mother for her child. Those harlots! They begin their stroll down whore lane at puberty, and usually have their bellies full by 25. They think because they spit a being from their loins that they are special. Now they sit at PTA meetings playing perfect mommy when after the meeting, they'll go home and pass the time on their knees. Ha! Society is a sick perversion of society. They have no idea what it means to truly love someone. Could they do what I do? Could they hold a knife to their little brats' throats and take their lives? Slowly, after days, and days of exploring them with that very knife? To share the last few moments of their life with them, knowing you were the one who gave them the freedom to fly? No! And those hypocrites have the audacity to call themselves a "loving mother". Tragic.
I see before me a blue and white striped beach chair with a matching umbrella on the right. And a grey metal bucket on the left. A smile crept across my face. "Ahh, yes. I'm expected. Like clockwork!" I glanced at my new friend, Brad. He was smiling too. I walked slowly, happily to my throne. As I sat down, I placed Brads' head on the sand beside me.
"A refreshing drink today?" A sweet voice asked me from my right. I glanced up to see a woman holding a silver tray with a nice tall glass of Long Island Iced Tea. I immediately recognized her. Shelia, 1973. She looked gorgeous as ever. Her hair was still a beautiful shade of red/brown, skinny, tan, a size C cup I would say, but her face was the most beautiful part. Her eyebrows were gone, and in their place were the ones I carved for her. Her left eye was hanging from her eye socket resembling a magnificent chandelier in a grand hall. Her right eye was swollen a violet purple, as beautiful as a flower. There was a hole in the middle of her face where her nose used to be. (At this I smile because I remember how much I enjoyed removing the bothersome thing.) Her smiling mouth was void of all teeth. I pulled one out every morning I had her in my life. Her mouth was intact, so I could hear her when she would yell my name.
"Yes, Shelia. You are as beautiful as ever. Thank you. You read my mind." She smiled in response as I took the tea. She turned and left just as quickly as she had come, only to be replaced by another. Daniel. Ahh, Daniel, 1982. A young blonde when he was of the world, but after my artistic perfections, now had not even a scalp to grow hair. His brain exposed for all to see. I had given him carvings of tribal art covering his face using my favorite scalpel. And for Picasso, I removed his arms with a chainsaw which had been much harder than I had imagined. But it was well worth the labor.
"Evening, I've missed you. Always good to have you here with US."
"And it is so good to be here."
"Will you be staying this time?"
"That's up to the boss. I sure hope so."
"Well, if anyone deserves this place, it's you."
"Thank you. And I would have to say, your right."
"I'll put in a good word." Then he continued his stroll along the beach. One by one they all came to say hello, and make me feel welcome., all my friends who wouldn't be here if it wasn't for me. And they never let me forget that. 150 in all. 150 friends in the underworld awaiting the day I remain so we can be on the beach forever. I hate God for taking them away from me. My friends. My happiness. But I make new friends very easily. I laid my head back to soak in the sun, and took the tea all in one gulp. My eyes had been closed for only a brief moment when I heard it. That snarling beast. I popped my head up with eyes wide open, but all was dark. Except those eyes. Those glowing red eyes.
"I just got here!" I screamed at the beast in protest. It growled louder. "I won't go back! I won't! Whattaya gonna do? Kill me?! Ha! That's fine by me!" Suddenly, its eyes disappear, and I feel its teeth in the back of my neck, and drool running down the front of my shirt. I scream in pain as I try to get free, but it only makes the beast clench harder. I reach behind me to try and grip its head, but my hands keep slipping. Sure that it had a good hold, the beast began to run with me in its mouth. Like a mother cat carrying her kitten. My body flailing this way and that, like a rag doll in a little brats hand. My cries for freedom had turned to silent tears, because I know fighting is useless against a shadow with glowing red eyes. And there it is already. The small pinhole of light getting increasingly larger with each enormous step the beast takes. Before long it would be here. The world. My hell with it's 9 to 5, coffee and cream, internet, cable, cell phones, doctors, lawyers, preachers, and the father of all lies ...
I awake violently as I pull and scratch at the beast screaming, No! Then I realize, it is only a blanket, and I lay my head back on my pillow. Defeated. Another day. It's making me live yet another day in this desolate place. I have contemplated suicide many times for many years, but I feel that is not my place. He wants me here for my art, and quite frankly, I enjoy it. I pity people who work jobs they hate their whole lives. Working their fingers to the bone for barely enough to feed themselves. Miserable wretches! I am never happier than when I am working. It's during those times I am glad the beast has not claimed me for good just yet. When I look into those eyes and see the love and appreciation they have for me as their blood flows from their bodies, ahhhhh ... nothing can beat that. Nothing. This reminds me, I have to make a new friend today. But first things first. I need a shower. It appears I have a bit of blood still in my hair.
Twenty minutes later as I drive down the road, I hear someone whispering. I whip around to check the back seat, but there is no one there. I turn my eyes back to the road, but now my ears are attentive to everything. I wish I were a wolf or some other animal that has superb hearing. A wolf, or a Dolphin? I can't remember. There! Again! I hear S's like a snake. That's it! A snake has crawled in here from the field! "Damn snakes." I curse under my breath as I pull my truck onto the shoulder and stop. I throw it into park, and begin looking for my companion. I look in-between my legs, beside me, the back seat, but nothing. Then I realized it was probably under the seat. I got out and looked under the seat, ready to grab it, but once again, nothing. I got back into the truck, frustrated and feeling foolish. As I pull onto the road, I hear the hissing again. Only this time it is a little louder. A little clearer.
Suddenly I feel distanced. Detached from myself. Like a part of my brain, my soul, just took a flying leap. I am driving down the road, but why? Where am I going? I try to remember when I realize I can't remember anything. My age, my name, where I live, nothing. I only have knowledge of this very moment. I'm driving. Where did I learn that? I look out of the window and I see endless cornfields for what looks like forever. I pass a farm house. Is that my house? I pulled over to the side of the road to try and collect my thoughts. Ok, think. You are ... you are ... you were going to ... your house is what color ... what color ... color ... family is ... kids ... married ... single ... picture faces ... none. Complete blank. I can't get one thought, one memory. Nothing. I slam my hands down on the steering wheel in frustration, screaming. I am breathing heavily, my heart is racing, and I feel a tear stream down my cheek. I can't breathe, I am becoming light headed. This must be what a panic attack feels like. My vision is going black. I close my eyes and try to slow my breathing. I feel a sudden urgency to not let myself pass out. I know, I know if I do I will never come back. Ok, breathe ... breathe ... calm ... slowly ... in ... out ... in ... out ... open your eyes ... slowly. As I slowly open my eyes, my memory is no clearer, but I am calm, safe, conscious. I let out a sigh of relief. I was almost gone for good. I see out of the corner of my eye a man about 5'5", blonde, with a white colored shirt and a pair of khakis casually watching me with his hands in his pockets right outside my window not 6 inches away. I jump as I turn my head to face him, but when I do, he's gone. I glace frantically around the car and the fields, but nothing. I am terrified not only because the man was there one second and gone the next, but in that brief moment when I looked at his face, there wasn't one. Only a smudge. Like it was painted with a paintbrush in one stroke, or as though someone had erased it, but didn't quite get all of it.
Why can't I see your face? Who are you? You must be very important so why can't I see your face? At this point I decide one of two options. Either one, I'm crazy and hallucinating, or two, that was a ghost. Considering that 5 minutes ago I was driving down the road and completely forgot my entire life, I'm leaning more toward crazy. I begin drumming my fingers on the steering wheel at a loss as to what I should do next. I sat for several minutes thinking if I just clear my mind, something will come. But nothing did. Then something obvious accures to me. I feel like such an idiot! Assuming this is my car there must be some clue to my identity in here. I immediately begin searching. I glace in the passengers seat, under the seats and under the sun visors. I get out and search the back, then the trunk, but nothing. Not one thing. How is that possible? Feeling defeated, I slam the trunk closed, and lean against the car. I remain for a few moments letting the light summer breeze caress my face. It feels so new. Like I had heard about it, seen it, but never experienced it. Any of it for that matter. I had been so frantic; I was not enjoying this at all. The smell of the cornfields, the flowers at the side of the road, the sounds of the crickets, the movement of this body, my body. I feel like a newborn child, looking at the world for the first time. The leaves on the trees are such a deep, rich green. Better than I remembered. No, better than I could have imagined. The sun is warm, but not hot, no humidity. I would say its maybe 68 degrees. Perfect. I look at the clouds, the big poofy ones ... um ... cumulous? Nimbus stratus? Shit, can't remember. Big surprise. I looked at the first one and It revealed it's self immediately. To the left was the head of something, some kind of creature, huge, like the kraken on The Clash of the Titans. It's mouth was wide open as if it were speaking, maybe yawning. To the right of the kraken, I could see why it's mouth was open. There was what looked like a baby laying on it's back, playing with it's feet. That monster was about to devour that precious baby! I look at the next cloud and I see what looks like a huge arm with a hand drawn into a fist. Below that is what looks like a dog. Golden retriever. My blood ran cold as I looked at the next one. As plain as day, I saw a Demon. Just the head. And it was looking right at me. And it was smiling! I quickly looked back down at my feet. What the hell was going on? I know I've only been aware of myself for about 30 minutes, but I'm pretty sure I'm normal. I mean I don't feel anger or sickness. I don't feel crazy. No thoughts of killing or hate, so what was this? Why was it that all I saw in those clouds was evil? Dark? Then again, crazy people don't know they are crazy, do they? I wanted to see the demon again. I don't know why, but I feel compelled to see if he is still watching. Slowly, I raise my eyes to the sky, trying not to move my head. And there he is, still smiling. Only now another cloud has come in front of that one, and it has formed an arm with a finger pointing straight at me. Terrified at what I see, I rush to the drivers side door, and get back in the car. I start the car, and I drive. I had to find somewhere to hide. Away from those eyes and that mocking smile.
I drove for what felt like hours, but when I looked at the clock on the radio, it had only been five minutes. I saw a sign on the side of the road. It read Brookfield River and Caves 5 miles with an arrow pointing right. I immediately turned because I saw instead of fields, a heavily wooded area. Cover. The road dead ends at the mouth of a cave, and I see I am alone. That's good. The trees on both sides of the road hang over so much, the sky is completely blocked out. Perfect.
I sat there gasping for air, my heart rate finally starting to slow. "What the hell is wrong with me? I'm seeing demons in the clouds!" Tears started streaming down my face in fear and, well, fear. Terror. Disbelief. I sat for a few more minutes, crying then remembered what my initial task had been. Finding a clue to my identity. I ran through my mind again where I have already searched. The glove box! The only place left was the glove box! I quickly popped it open, and saw many assorted papers there. White, yellow, and pink. The first one I pulled out was a receipt for a new tire. And right there on the top left corner was typed customer name and address. My name was Andy Sonian. Address was 3705 Windchester Ln. "Yes!" I shouted. "My name is Andy! My name is Andy! Andy, Andy, Andy! Yes!" I was bouncing in my seat like an excited child who has just been told they are going out for ice cream. Ok, Andy, how do you get home?
"You don't." A deep voice answered. Then everything went black.
I looked around and saw I was at the caves. Why? I don't even remember coming here. Why would I come here to find my friend? No one ever comes out here. Not alone, anyway. I felt papers in my hand and saw I was holding my tire receipt. Confused, I placed it back in the glove box. When I don't have a friend, I forget sometimes. Time to go make a friend.
Thirty minutes later I was driving down the interstate toward the truck stop. Always friends here. Not inside though. The inside people always stared, they whispered and laughed. Until I approached them then it was nicey nice. No, the parking lot was better. My crowd. The truckers, the lizards. Ahhhh. Incase you don't know, the lizards are the truck stop prostitutes. Lot Lizards. Where they got that name, I have no idea. It was just short of noon, and that was good. I had all day. I parked with the truckers but on the far side of the lot so as not to be noticed. Daylight provided me with a challenge. It was much harder to get a friend with me in daylight. Eyes were everywhere. But it gave me many more choices. People trust almost everyone in the light. They will talk to you, and you them, might even take a ride. Because it is day time. And only bad people come out at night. The Devil owns the night, and God owns the day. I wonder why they think that. It's good that they do. However, the challenge lies in finding an opportunity to get someone into my car willingly, and drive away without them screaming. Could drug them, but that would be too suspicious. Too many eyes. Willing riders until we were far enough away that willing didn't matter anymore. I watched the truckers come and go, some with a lady friend they didn't have 20 minutes ago. I smoked one after another not out of nervousness, but boredom. I noticed as I did every time I was here, how many of the drivers looked like western movie stars. Cowboy hat, big belt buckle, wranglers, boots, even the plaid shirts. Was that a requirement? I watched as one of the lot lizards approached a cab across from me to my left about 5 trucks down. From this distance, she didn't look bad. Shoulder length blonde hair, maybe 5'7" and 150lbs. As she turned to knock on the cab door, I noticed she had a pop belly. Well, I guess these guys aren't picky enough to worry about keeping yourself up. She wore a tank top that showed her pop belly, and shorts that showed the bottom of her cheeks with black high heels. Guess she didn't need a business card to advertise. She talked for no more than thirty seconds, and in the trailer she went. I pictured in my mind what must be going on in there. She removing that too tight top, and too short shorts, he touching himself in anticipation, maybe even licking his lips. I wonder if he was slightly repulsed when he saw her fully naked. Probably too lonely and too old to care. Then I saw the door swing open, and the woman fall out, yelling and cussing. The man doing the same. I chuckled. What in the hell was going on? I have to find out what would make a trucker kick a hooker out of his cab. I got out of my car and hoped that the makeup I put on had hidden my disfigured face. She was visibly upset, but seemed to be cooling down with each step. "Excuse me?" She whipped around so fast, I thought her head was going to snap off. I threw my hands up in defense, "Whoa, whoa, whoa."
Excerpted from The Dark One by J. Benton Copyright © 2011 by J. Benton. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Absolutely full of suspense from beginning to end with a twist you will never suspect! A serial killer novel like no other. I can't wait for the next book from this new author!