Henry was sweating.

It was hot, but that wasn’t why he was sweating.

He fingered his 12-inch K-Bar, and thought about putting it in.

Kaitlyn took the Shore Drive turn-off.

“She’s not going home,” he mumbled.

Then she parked at a glass beach house.

Twilight was falling, like a blanket over premeditated sin.

There was a man in uniform, drinking a glass of scotch in the window.

“She’s been talking to military intelligence,” Henry mumbled.

Then, Kaitlyn walked in, and the Colonel grabbed her.

He kissed her.

Henry felt the blood in his hand. He was holding his knife.

It was floating, like an arrow, in the dark, moving closer to the front door.

The doorbell rang.

“I got it!” Kaitlyn said. She opened it.

Henry jammed the knife inside her. She fell to the floor in a pool of her own blood.

Kaitlyn always wanted a pool, Henry thought.

When he got to the kitchen, there was nobody there.

No military man.

He thought he had gone crazy, but then he noticed the scotch—untouched.

“I knew it.”

When he walked outside, Kaitlyn was gasping for air.

Henry felt sorry that he was invisible, but he also didn’t want to show himself.

He inadvertently stepped in her blood, and was leaving tracks across the white gravel, when three squad cars and a loony-bin truck arrived.

“Turn your thermal imaging on. There he is! Fire!”

Henry got tagged by three tasers. He was convulsing on the ground.

“Good work,” said a voice. “I’ll take it from here.”

The night went black.

8 Hours Later…

The room was bright—so bright, it was white.

Henry couldn’t see anything. He preferred the dark. He kept shutting his eyes.

“You weren’t supposed to leave,” a voice said.

“Let me go.”

“You are too valuable to us. We spent years training you, and retraining you.”

“That’s not true. I went in for a sleep study. I just murdered my girlfriend.”

“That was Kaitlyn Graham—one of our intelligence officers. She worked with you for years. We don’t blame you for killing her. Virtually no one responded well to our treatment. They all went insane. You are the only one who hasn’t slit their own throat. It took months of psychotherapy to balance you out. You couldn’t look at yourself in the mirror.”

“I just want to go back to normal.”

“There’s no such thing, old buddy. We need to stabilize you. Too much time at the clinic made all of our patients crazy. So, we’ll give you a weekend pass.”

“But what if I kill somebody?”

“Collateral damage. Do what you want, just as long as you come back to us. Do you know how valuable you are to the military? Heck, if we need somebody assassinated, we’ll just call you. The President keeps asking if you’re ready to get Putin. I told him, you’re not, but you’re almost there. Just think about it Henry, you could prevent World War III. We will pay you, of course—as promised. We know you’re a patriot, but money talks.”

To be continued…

4 thoughts on “8 O’clock Shadow, Night, Black-Out, White, Shadow Man

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