Project Main Details
What makes a person kill? Is it an evil within or an evil that surrounds? Is it like a light switch that flicks someone into darkness or like quicksand that slowly engulfs?
Welcome to Hamlin. A town where nothing much ever happens. A small town that people spend their lives trying to escape. A sleepy town that is about to be awakened by a great evil. About to be shrouded in an unrecoverable darkness. The wrath of a boy lost, a boy now a man, consumed by hatred and revenge. Events so unthinkable that the echoes left will never be silenced. How long does it take to expel a darkness within? In Hamlin, it takes just 12 days....
Please take the time to record the excerpt in its entirety. I am unable to show the flashback portion in italics as it is in the actual book so I have written "FLASHBACK" before it to indicate where the flashback begins. I have also jumped ahead in the story to include a particularly important section to see how it is handled.
Thank you in advance for your time and effort, good luck! 2012-08-02 18:33:14 GMT 2012-08-06 17:00:00 (GMT -05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) Yes (click here to learn more about ) Closed 0 0 1 direct invitation(s) have been sent by the voice seeker resulting in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far. Voice123 SmartCast is seeking 50 auditions and/or proposals for this project (approx.) Invitations sent by SmartCast have resulted in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far.
“Mommy, all I want from Santa for Christmas is for daddy to come back.”
“Oh baby, Santa can't make daddy come back.”
“But mommy, I've been really good this year, really, really good.”
“I know sweetie but that's not the kind of thing Santa can do. I'm sorry honey. Isn't there anything else you want like that super cool bicycle we saw at Toys R Us?”
“No, that's all I want, I want daddy back and if Santa can't do it then I hate him!”
“Oh honey don't say that. You know daddy had to go away to be with the angels.”
“No! It's not fair! I hate Santa and I wish he was dead!”
“Okay, now that's enough. You shouldn't say things like that.”
“I don't care!”
“Okay, that's it, off to your room, you can come out again when you've calmed down, okay? Go on, go,” she said softly trying to calm him.
He went to his room, he was so angry. If Santa couldn't bring him what he wanted, then he hated Santa. And he knew exactly how to hurt Santa.
After sitting in his room for a while, he called out apologizing to his mother, and she let him come out and help her get dinner ready. He loved helping his mother, he loved her so much, she was so pretty and so nice.
After dinner they put together the milk and cookies to leave out for Santa and the carrots for the reindeer. And he got ready for bed.
“Okay my sweet boy, you go to sleep so that Santa can come and put presents under the tree and in the morning we can see if he left you that bicycle!”
“Okay mommy, I love you!”
“I love you too, goodnight.”
She closed the door behind her. He waited until he heard her bedroom door close then snuck out into the kitchen and found the red box with the skull on it that mommy used to get rid of the rats, it was under the sink, he picked it up even though he knew he wasn't supposed to touch it. He sprinkled some onto the cookies and into the glass of milk, he didn't put any on the carrots, he still liked the reindeer.
He went off to bed excited to find Santa in the morning, he didn't care about a bike, he just wanted Santa dead.
He opened his eyes, the sun shining through his window, he was so excited, he jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. First he saw the bicycle leaning next to the tree and he forgot for a moment what he was running to see, then he saw the glass of milk empty and the cookies and carrots half eaten. But he didn't see Santa by the fireplace. He looked around and saw a hand on the floor in front of the couch out of his view.
He jumped onto the couch yelling, “Ha!”
But is wasn't Santa lying there.
It was cold. Colder than normal for Chicago in December. Jasper was used to the weather but it was extra windy that morning. As he stepped into school and the door closed behind him he could still hear it whistling. He looked up to a sea of other students milling around the hallways waiting until the absolute last moment possible to sprint to class before the bell for first period to start.
Everyone was anxious for the end of the day. The holiday break meant ski trips and other vacations or just two weeks off from school. For Jasper it meant a trip to his father's hometown to visit with his uncle the sheriff.
His mom recently started dating someone and seemed to be very happy. They had planned a trip to Europe for the holidays that didn't include Jasper. Which was fine with him especially when she suggested he visit his Uncle Jack. He hadn't been back to Hamlin in a long time and he really enjoyed hanging out with that side of his family and hearing all the stories about his dad. They made him out to be hero and Jasper liked that. He, himself, wasn't the most popular kid at school. He was very smart and had his group of smart friends. He didn't play sports, he had a couple of girlfriends nothing too serious. He was good looking just not popular. It was a big school, easy to get lost in the crowd and Jasper preferred it that way.
The school day dragged as expected. His mom was waiting for him outside when he got out to drive him to the airport. She smiled at him, “Ready?”
“Sure, let's go.”
“Get up boy!” came a gruff voice, “ya ain't gonna sleep all day livin' here. You got chores to do, get up!”
He rubbed his eyes and rolled over to face the man that was to be his new foster father. His little body still ached from the work he had been made to do the day before, his first day in his new home. He hadn't slept much. He had been sweeping and scrubbing floors well into the night and it wasn't even light out yet.
He groaned and rolled back to face the wall.
“I said get up!” he felt a fat calloused hand grab his bear shoulder. He was suddenly hoisted out of his bed and thrown to the hard wood floors. He felt a hard kick to his rib cage and lost his breath. He started to cry in pain and fear. Why was this happening? Wasn't he supposed to be safe here with these people? That's what the lady who placed him there told him. Another swift kick to the ribs and he heard something crack.
“Oh great, you weak little pussy, now you've gone and gotten broken. What the fuck good are you now?”
Apparently he made a good punching bag because his foster father took great pleasure in kicking and slapping him around some more before calling for his foster mother to come take him to the hospital, he'd “fallen down the stairs”.
Aimee answered the door to a crying Lexi, “honey, are you alright? What happened, are you hurt?”
Aimee knew it could be a number of things, having a teenaged daughter meant dealing with mood swings, broken hearts and other mean girls. Her crying could have meant anything.
“Is Rachel in her room?”
“She went to the store with her father. She should be back in a little while. Do you want to wait for her?”
“No, it's okay, I'll come back, thanks, Aunt Aimee.”
“You're welcome sweetie. You sure there isn't anything I can do? I'm a really good listener.”
“I'm just going to take a walk, clear my head. I'll be back though. Thanks.”
Lexi walked into town. It was cold but not freezing and a lot of people were walking about. It was dark but the town lights kept everything fairly well lit.
As she past the church she lingered there for a moment. They had already put up the life sized nativity scene that stood in front of the church every year for Christmas. Lexi always thought it was creepy. But it was tradition. The rest of the decorations at the church and all around the town square were always so pretty. It was her favorite time of year. She loved singing at midnight mass, caroling with her choir around town and at the tree lighting in the square, it was always so magical. And it was a great honor to be cast as Mary. Her mother knew that and didn't care. She was still seething about her. She would never understand her.
Lost in her thoughts she turned away from the church and walked right into a boy. She gasped startled and started to apologize.
“Hi! No problem.” He said smiling down at her, “I'm Jasper, Jasper O'Neil.” He extended a hand to her. She was the prettiest girl he'd ever seen.
“O'Neil, like Sheriff O'Neil?” Lexi asked shaking his hand, noticing how cute he was as he took his hood off to talk to her.
“Yeah, Sheriff O'Neil is my uncle.”
“That's nice, visiting for the holidays?”
“Yeah, I'm planning on going to the police academy after I graduate so my mom sent me here for winter break to hang out with my uncle at the police station while she travels.”
“Well, you're not going to learn much here, nothing exciting ever happens here.”
They were walking into town together now.
“What's your name?”
“Sorry, I'm Lexi Ward. Where are you from?”
“I'm from Chicago. My dad and my uncle grew up here. My dad went to Northwestern, met my mom there and they stayed.”
“Ah, one of the few who got out of Hamlin.”
“Well, my mom's family is from Chicago so they stayed there to be close to them. My dad was a police detective with the Chicago PD.”
“He was killed on the job when I was just a baby. I never really knew him.”
“Oh geez, I'm sorry.”
“It's okay. Where are you headed anyway?”
Lexi was red with embarrassment, happy for the shift in the conversation.
“I don't know really. I was just walking. The town is always so pretty this time of year.”
“Well, I'm headed over to Pat's for a burger. I swear you guys have the best food around here.”
“Okay, well, it was nice meeting you, Jasper.”
“Well, wait, do you wanna come with me? I'll buy you a pop. I don't know anyone around here and it's never fun to sit and eat alone.”
“A coke or something, sorry, we call it pop in Chicago.”
“I'm sorry, I won't do it again, I promise,” he squealed as he watched his foster father raise his model airplane in the air threatening to destroy all of his hours of painstakingly hard work.
“You shouldn't have done it in the first place!” he bellowed.
“I'm so sorry, please, don't --”
But is was too late the airplane came swooping down like a kamikaze and smashed into a hundred little pieces. His foster father picked up another one and smashed that one too. He then proceeded to pick up and shatter them all, air craft carriers, cars, battle ships, B-52 bombers, one precious creation after the other as he watched. He didn't bother to protest and just fell silent. The pit in his stomach growing larger and deeper. He felt like he was sinking into a hole. He wanted to cry but he didn't dare. He would never understand how someone could be so mean. All he had done was visit his mother's grave on the anniversary of her death and it made him ten minutes late to serve Christmas dinner.
“Seth, my son, you have to let go of your hate. You have to forgive those who have wronged you. Let the good find its way back into your soul.”
Father Andrews was doing it again. Soothing him with his words. Seth listened and let his words cradle him in good. He could feel Father Andrews put his hands on his shoulders and he could feel the hate loosen its grip on his mind.
“Remember that God loves you, that he forgives you for any bad thoughts that you have had. He has watched over you and seen you through all your hardships.”
Seth closed his eyes and relaxed. Father Andrews began rubbing his shoulders relaxing him further. The darkness that threatened his very core began to ebb and he could see a light creep through in his mind's eye. He was feeling better. Then he felt Father Andrews' hands rubbing his chest, running his hands through his hair. He straightened and tensed confused.
“Remember that I love you Seth, I accept you no matter what you've done. No matter the evil that courses through you. I forgive you and I love you.”
Father Andrews was standing in front him now. He held Seth's face in his hands, “do you understand that I love you?”
Seth nodded confused, not knowing what else to do. The thoughts in his head were evil, there wasn't anything bad happening, Father Andrews was his friend, his savior, he would never do anything to hurt him.
Father Andrews unbuckled his belt with one hand and let his pants drop to the floor while caressing Seth's face with the other. He put both his hands on the top of Seth's head and started reciting scripture.
Seth's eyes darted around the dimly lit room almost as if he was searching for an escape route. He didn't understand what was happening. Father Andrews was pushing ever so gently on the top of his head. The darkness began to creep into the corners of Seth's eyes again. He could feel his face redden. He couldn't believe what Father Andrews was trying to do. The priest continued to whisper scripture and push Seth's face down on him. Seth suddenly stood up knocking the chair he was sitting on back with a loud crash.
Father Andrews stopped his chant and looked at Seth.
Before Seth realized what he was doing, his hands were around Father Andrews' neck. The strength of them squeezing with all the betrayal he felt. Father Andrews fell to his knees unable to speak, his eyes bulging as his face swelled and turned a deep crimson. There was no sound. All Seth could hear was the sound of his own heartbeat pounding in his ears as he watched the life leave Father Andrews' eyes.
Suddenly Seth heard screaming, wailing, like a child lost or in pain. Then he realized it was him. He was screaming. He looked around the room, the barren cell that he had called his own, it now looked completely foreign to him. The room he shared with his mentor, the only family he had left, his savior. The room in the basement of the church. He loosened his grip and watched the lifeless body of Father Andrews fall to the floor in front of him. What had he done? What was he going to do now? He backed away from the body. Walking backward to the corner of the room as far away as he could get from Father Andrews. He slid down the wall to the floor and pulled his knees to his chest. He rocked back and forth biting the heel of his hand. He could barely breathe. He tried to fight it but the darkness overcame him and everything went black.
Roger woke up groggy, hurting all over. He didn't know where he was. It felt damp and cold. His hands were bound behind his back and he was sitting in a chair. He tried to move his legs but they too were bound to the legs of the chair. He felt the duct tape over his mouth and moaned in frustration. He tensed his whole body in attempt to break his restraints. He knew it wouldn't work but tried again and again anyway.
It was pitch black, his eyes continues to try and adjust but to no avail. He didn't remember being anywhere this completely dark before. He tried to sense whether or not he was alone. He had no idea how long he'd been there, if it was the same place he was in before or if he'd been moved. He could feel the sweat build up on his face. The duct tape seemed to loosen with the moisture. He tried contorting his body uncomfortably to rub the duct tape off with his shoulder. He could feel it loosening. He wasn't sure what he would do once it was off but at least he could make noise in hopes that someone would hear him. Or maybe just let Tim know that he was there.
He was stretching and writhing desperate, he was close if he could just, he heard a pop and felt a sharp pain shoot through him. He had twisted himself so drastically that he he had actually discolated his shoulder.
Despite the pain coursing through him he continued to work the duct tape with his injured shoulder. He was sweating more which was helping and now that his shoulder was out of its socket it actually made the process much easier.
He was able to free one side and spit the rest of it out so that it was just hanging off one side of his face. Then he began to scream.
The sweat that dripped from his body was cold. All of his muscles ached. He felt like he had been digging forever. He glanced over at the form he had carried and dragged to the middle of the cemetery to bury.
Back in his cell under the church he had cleaned up all evidence of himself. As far as anyone could see the only soul that lived in that cell was Father Andrews. Once the darkness had cleared Seth knew what he needed to do. He understood as he thought back on his relationship with Father Andrews, what he had been doing all along. He used what he had learned from him to deal with the emotions he was feeling. He would still seek counsel in him despite the wrong he ultimately did. That was one reason he kept his head. The other was to study him. To absorb him. To become him.
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