The Light

“You murdered your son?”

The killer’s name is Samuel Kaine and the muscles in his jaw bunch behind his once ginger beard.

He is thinking through his answer. Tabitha can see him circling the same lie he’s been using for decades while undressing her with his hungry angry eyes.

Tabitha is not very noticeable under different circumstances, but here she is the epitome of feminine wiles. Long blonde hair done up in a tight bun with nary a hair loose, gray eyes and no makeup on her blemish free face. She smells neutral, no soap or perfumey odors waft from her skin, or clothes, and her attitude is one of clinical aloofness, but even though she has practiced this sexlessness for over fifteen years she might as well be doing a martini spin on a stripper pole.

She senses the man’s desire.

It coats the air with a thick musk.

Men like Samuel Kaine equate sex with violence and intimidation, but she will not give him the satisfaction of knowing on the inside her stomach is doing a jig and her lunch is threatening to decorate the cold gray painted cement floor.

“You know I didn’t do it bitch, it was the fucking cops. They set me up.”  As he speaks he takes a step closer and grabs the bars of his cage. His arms tense showing off the muscle he earned from twenty years in the pen.

His burnt-styrofoam-ink tattoos ripple with his fifty year old flesh. Her eyes return over and over to the one in the middle of his chest saying, “fuck everyone,” created with crude swastikas.  

She knows that if it weren’t for the bars he would have stepped into her personal space in an attempt to scare her, maybe even to hurt her, possibly even kill her.

She has felt violated since she first laid eyes on him.

Clearing her throat she challenges, “We both know that’s a lie, don’t we Samuel?”

“Fucking bitch, I am going to fuck your skull til your brain works right, I’m innocent! What don’t you get about that?”

His voice is loud and she feels it hit her ear drums like blows from a balled up fist.  He shakes the bars, but they do not rattle.

Billion dollar construction projects like this supermax are done with violent convicts in mind. Everything is more than secure. He lifts his head and screams toward the ceiling in frustration.

The sound is guttural, it makes Tabitha’s skin pucker with fear.

She looks down at the manila folder she holds in her hands. Its his case, all the details, but she isn’t really reading anything. She has already memorized all the words. She just uses the material as an excuse to break eye contact.

She knows his eyes aren’t blood red, the paperwork says blue, but she can’t help but remember them as burning orbs buried deep within his skull.

He radiates evil.

“Can you tell me anything good about yourself, something you think is redeemable?”

“I’ve got a big dick,’ his hand moves to his fly. ‘want to see a big dick little girl?’

Tabitha has had enough. She does not want to see the man’s genitals, though she has seen his intake photos and knows one-hundred percent it does not match her definition of big.

“No thank you Mr. Kaine, I appreciate the offer and the use of your time. Have a great rest of your day.”

She moves away from the disgusting man as he screams obscenities at her back.

Once out of eye line she reaches into her purse and exhales a breath that feels like it had been locked in her chest for the entire interview.

When she pulls her hand out nestled in her palm is a smart phone.

She punches the number of her research partner into the phone and hits send.  She puts it to her ear and Paul answers after the first ring.

“God damn it Paul he is worse then I thought.”

“That bad, huh?” the voice crackles as if it is having a hard time passing through the stone and steel walls.

“He is a horrible man, simply disgusting.”

“Do you think it’s worth it to try.”

Tabitha sighs, “For the chance at him and his family having a better life, I think so.”

“Send the light?”

She pictures Paul’s finger on the enter key on the keyboard in front of him and his face all round and pink smiling in anticipation.

This will be their first trial of the technology that earned them both PhD’s.

Light is the essence of time. It can be followed backwards to its destination. With their complex equation and a little bit of help from a nuclear reactor, light can be diverged to disrupt points along its path. With the help of psychology and a detailed personal history compiled through witness testimony they understand Mr. Thomas Kaine better than anyone ever could.  

He killed his son. His father killed his mother. Tabitha’s plan was to erase his father out of existence days after his conception way before he can damage his child. His past would be rewritten but the equation provides for the variances and the hypothesis is that it will all work out in the end.

“Pull the trigger Paul.”

Instantly the lights go out and she is bathed in darkness.

“Paul did it work?”

He doesn’t answer.

She looks at the phone and it is appears to be inert technology. Pressing the power button nothing happens.

They theorize knowing about the change makes them immune to the effects and rounding the corner back the way she came expects to find Mr. Kaine knuckle deep in pubic hair moaning at her memory.

Instead she finds an empty cell.

She turns back around and runs towards the exit.

She passes the guard room.

It is dark and empty also.

Then she notices cobwebs all around her. She reaches the first door she walked through to get into Kaine’s prison unit.

It is shut and locked.

She knocks on it and yells, “Hello?”

Her voice echoes back through the hall.

Nothing answers back but the chirp of a rat somewhere far back in the shadows.

She suddenly feels the crushing sensation of being buried alive and her breath shortens to ragged gasps.




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