Stacked Deck Excerpt

Tom awoke in a cold sweat, the sheets twisted around his legs like wild vines. For a long moment he stared at the ceiling, regulated his panicked breaths and tried to bring his heart rate back down. The images of how that poor girl was mutilated and left for the crabs kept jumping to the front of his mind. What kind of person could be capable of such atrocities? No. Not a person. A monster.

Tom closed his eyes and forced himself to replay the vision he’d had the night before. He could see the girl. He could see what was being done to her. All of the unspeakable horror; torture, blood, pain and all from within the madman’s mind, an odd sense of beauty. He actually saw his victim as a canvas and the atrocities he did to her, a work of art. Unfortunately, it was impossible to actually see the face of the killer. Of course things wouldn’t be that easy.

The way the precognitive side of his powers worked was completely random. He couldn’t choose from which side of an event he would view things. Sometimes he was the antagonist. Sometimes he was the victim. The only thing that was certain was the visceral barrage of images and feelings. Worse, that the thoughts and feelings would be forever burned in his brain. How many more until he went completely insane? Or was it too late already?

He threw back the sheets and got to his feet, raking his fingers through his matted hair.

He rocked back and forth while he regained his composure and breathed deeply. Tom reached out to the little oak nightstand to the side of his bed and collected his wire rims, unfolded the bows and perched them at the bridge of his nose.

He tested his legs for stability and moved over to the window, looking out across the bay at the moonlight.

Now, as he drew the night air into his chest, he realized that he needed a break. Six months ago, he’d come here to this island in hopes of escaping his destiny. But he never seemed to get down to the beach any more. Things in his life just became too busy. He grabbed his neatly folded jeans from the chair in the corner of his bedroom, took a fresh tee shirt from his dresser and pulled it on as he headed out the door and down the stairs into the night air.

It was time for a much needed walk.

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