All of the precinct buzzed with excitement. Detectives were interrogating suspects, S.W.A.T. was bringing in scumbags on warrant sweeps and even the uniform guys were making collars. But there was Anderson -- sitting at his desk shuffling papers trying to look busy, trying not to look pissed off. Then his mind drifted as he heard the familiar theme music of the News at Noon.
“I’m Danielle Roy and this is news at noon. Our top story today involves a seemingly unrelated string of suicides taking place throughout the city and possibly the country. Concerned over the possibility of a cult connection, federal investigators have announced that they will be assisting the local police with the investigation…”
His mind was then brought back into focus by Detective McElroy, “Hey honey, could you make ten copies of this? Oh wait, I’m sorry you’re a cop. I thought you were a secretary the way you’ve been sitting here pushing paper the last couple of weeks. You know, it’s hell out on those streets. I’ve been getting shot at. What have you gotten? A papercut?” McElroy began laughing encouraging the rest of the cops in the office to do the same.
“Well, I haven’t gotten any paper cuts.” Anderson stood up and got nose to nose with McElroy “But, while you’ve been out getting shot at I’ve been doing my own shooting… at your wife,” Anderson replied as he thrust his hips back and forth while simultaneously yelling, “POW!” Quickly, McElroy grabbed Anderson by the shirt and began pushing him backward, Anderson delivered a punch to his gut and while he was doubled over the Captain interrupted, “Anderson, stop fucking around out there and get into my office now.”
Like an incorrigible teenager waiting to get chastised yet again, he entered and took a seat. The office was neat, desk immaculate, barring the few open files. On the walls hung commendations, medals mounted in framed cases, a photo with him and the current mayor. On the shelf behind the captain, sat a chrome plated Magnum .45, a collector’s piece given to him in recognition of his bravery during the big riots that occurred in the city a few years back. The captain was obviously proud of who he was and what he had accomplished. Without hesitation, he began his rant.
“Anderson, that stunt you pulled at the bar, bought you desk duty for the last month. And I’ll tell you right now, it almost cost you your job. If it wasn’t for the fact that the commissioner thought your little ploy was so clever you would have been out of here. But even he knew you needed at least a smack on the ass for this one which is why he agreed to me giving you desk duty. As a matter of fact, that confession should have been thrown out. But, that devil-worshipping-whack-job had a half-assed-dipshit-bumble-fuck-lawyer that let the confession stand. I just found out this morning he was found guilty. The DA was going to go for the death penalty which would have appealed but you know what? He killed himself. Left a note. Said, The Devil made me do it. You got off lucky this time so if you ever even think of pulling a stunt like that again you damn well better run it by me first and be prepared to have the whole thing nixed. Are we clear?!”
Anderson was good and he was starting to get confident, but he wasn’t stupid. “Yes, captain. I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.”
“As of Monday, I want you back out on the street. For now though you’re gonna make one more act of penance for me. You know those suicides that have been going on throughout the city? Well, you’re gonna go over the files on those cases and see if you can find some kind of link. You’re findings will be summarized in a ten page report due on my desk Friday at 5 o’clock. Two, you’re gonna take the statements of all those crazies sitting in the lobby. And I want a detailed report of your interrogations along with any theories you can come up with for why all these people are offing themselves!”
“But Captain, you know they’re all nut-jobs. When these people come into confess…”
“What!?” interrupted the Captain. “Are you questioning your penance!? Are you pissing away this gift I’m givin’ you? You’ll handle this or I’ll have you working that desk ‘till you’re so old you need one of those little electric scooters to get around. Now get out of my office!”
And just like the father of an incorrigible teenager the captain dismissed Anderson knowing he would pull some shit like this again. Anderson returned to his desk, grabbed his tape recorder, a pen and paper and the keys to the interrogation room. Just as he was about to head to the lobby, a clerk dropped fifteen files on his desk, “Here are the files on those suicide cases. You know, we’ve had more suicides in this precinct in the last five days than we’ve had in the last five years combined.”
Staring at the mountain of paperwork laid out before him, Anderson thought it might be easier to start with the interrogations. He walked out into the lobby and looked at the some two dozen men and a handful of women just sitting there hoping to be chosen as if in some sick and twisted casting call where the winner is found guilty of mass murder. As Anderson looked around he could see the room was a veritable who’s who of local miscreants -- the stench was horrible. Even after his relative short time of being a detective, Anderson could tell how these confessions would go. All of these people fit the mold of either homeless people looking and hoping to be locked up to get some food and shelter or the recently released mental patients with delusions of grandeur, or the druggies who were so high they would admit to almost anything.
Then there was the guy in the back with the leather attaché case. He looked like the most harmless one out of the bunch. He was a little sloppy and slightly emaciated. He wore a suit that seemed to be hanging off of maybe his once larger body. On his upper lapel, Anderson noticed a small coffee stain. Close to his chest, he was clutching an old brown and somewhat worn attaché case. With no reason to think any of these people were responsible, Anderson started with the guys standing closest and figured he would just work his way through the room one loser at time.
Over the course of the day, Anderson spoke with a lot of people. Some claimed to be part of an alien race sent to destroy Earth, others pretended to be Gods. At the end of the day, Anderson sent the rest of them home, “I’ll be back tomorrow if you would like to make a statement regarding the suicides.”
Early the next morning, Anderson made his way back down to the basement, this time passing interrogation and heading straight to the computer division. Monkey Boy was in charge of the division. He earned the moniker of Monkey Boy due to the fact that he always seems to be snacking on a banana. Some people in the precinct insist that that’s all he eats.
He popped the door open to the icy cold computer room to find Monkey Boy staring at the monitor engaged in a pretty illicit chat.
“What do you need?” Monkey Boy asked not even turning to look at Anderson.
“I need to know what you found on the computers of the suicide victims.” Anderson looked down at the screen and saw some of what the banana eater was engaged in.
Longdong322: have you ever touched one this big before? A picture of a semi-flaccid penis flashed up on the screen.
“We’ve been after this guy for a while. Gotten a lot of complaints about him. Looks like we’ll get him now.”
Prityyongthng14:No, that’s so big. Can you come meet me?
Prityyongthng14:4256 Johnston Lane Apartment A. I’ll leave the door open.
“Been chatting with this asshole for days now. You can’t just invite them over the first time; they get suspicious. I’ve got about twenty pages of logged chats with this perv. When he gets to the apartment he’s gonna be sadly disappointed. Unless he’s into being cuffed.
Londong322:be there in twenty.
Monkey picked up his cell and pushed the little talk button on the side.
“Longdong is on his way. Said he’ll be there in twenty. Guys this one’s a real freak. Hurt him if you can,” Monkey Boy put the cell phone down to continue his discussion with Anderson.
“Okay, the suicide computers. Here’s what I did: I lifted all the web histories and documents and put them all onto my computer. The program on my computer will look for similarities in key words, phrases, and web site visits. Once it’s done I was just going to package up the list and the computers and send them up with the Feds when they get her in two days. Why you interested?”
“Well, I need to put together a detailed report for the Captain, my punishment. Did you find any kind of suicide note?”
“No. But if this was some kind of cult the computer should be able to find some common web sites or common phrases in the search histories.”
After leaving Monkey Boy to his work, Anderson went out to the lobby looking for more people trying to confess to the suicides. For the next several hours, Anderson interviewed one psycho after another. None of them seemed to have any real connection to the suicides.
After that Anderson continued looking through the crime scene photos. All the suicides looked different, different people, different methodologies, no obvious connection except that they were all here in the city. Also, no suicide notes.
Anderson began his day looking through the files of the suicide victims. Seemingly, they were unrelated, yet they were identical. No suicide notes. No history of psychiatric problems. The only connection – the desire to die. Anderson’s concentration gets broken.
“You Anderson, there’s a guy that wants to talk with you out front,” said one of the uniform officers.
Anderson walked to the lobby wondering what exactly this lunatic was going to say. He recognized the guy from the other day.
“You,” Anderson called. “Come with me.”
The man jumped nervously and slowly began walking toward Anderson clutching his attaché close to his chest. He led the man from the lobby to a small interrogation room in the basement of the station. The room was small, cold, and unencumbered. In the middle of the room stood a small steel table, bolted down, two chairs, not bolted down. In one corner, up by the ceiling, was a camera, an all seeing eye that recorded the confessions of many a criminal.
After the man sat down, Anderson turned and pushed a button on the wall that activated a video recording system.
“Okay, first, I want to let you know that you are not under arrest but everything you say to me can be used against you in court. Do you understand?”
The man nodded his head.
“Do you want a lawyer?”
The man shook his head.
“Alright then, how do you know all of the deceased?”
The man shrugged then looked at the pen and paper Anderson had in front of him and motioned his head towards it.
“You want to write it down?”
The man nodded. Anderson pulled out his pen and handed that along with the pad of paper over to the man.
WORDS KILL, the man scribbled on the paper.
“Words kill? What words kill?”
WORDS SAD WORDS SAD WORDS KILL, he pushed the pen down on the pad with so much force that one would think he was trying to carve the message into the desk below.
“How can words kill?”
SAD WORDS SAD WORDS MAKE PEOPLE SAD SAD PEOPLE KILL THEMSELVES
DARKNESS – THE DARKNESS – STOP THE DARKNESS
Looking at the bag, the worn leather messenger bag the man was clutching so tightly he asked, “Are there sad words in that bag of yours? Is the Darkness in there?”
The man quickly dropped the pen, and used his writing hand to reinforce his already firm grip on the bag.
“Okay, you can hold on to your bag. I won’t touch it. Can you write down your name?”
The man stopped here and did not comply. He shook his head and walked out as though he knew Anderson was just pacifying him.
Anderson left the room not believing at all that this man had anything to do with the suicide. Just like he thought, it was just another crazy trying to make a name for himself.
For the rest of the day, one by one, Anderson interviewed more and more crazies.
“I am the one true God!” exclaimed one man who was carrying a burlap sack on his back which made Anderson quite curious. “I have burst forth from the Great Banana and all those who doubt me will kill themselves!” Bananas, Anderson thought to himself. That’s what he has. I should let monkey boy know.
Next, a woman who seemed relatively normal went back to interrogation with Anderson, “I taste sounds, smell colors and hear light. My greatness is driving all those who know me to madness and those who don’t will soon be driven mad for not knowing me. This madness will lead to suffering and death…”
Interrupting her Anderson quipped, “Well, now that I’ve gotten to know you a little bit, I certainly can say that I have suffered. You can go home now ma’am.”
Hey Monkey boy, got anything for me? Yeah I do. I found a series of emails from our “victims” They all seem to be to the same Author a man named Derek Deans.
Your book is horrifying. No one has ever painted such a realistically bleak picture of the world we live in and the world to come. Your words have stripped me of all hope. My soul is no more than a fragile shell filled with the horrifying vision of our future. Thank you for saving me the effort of living. Tonight, I will end my life.
Another note, this one from a doctor:
This book, it scares me. It makes me think of my own death and the inevitable blackness that will follow. I no longer see the value of my life or the value of saving it. I know now that ending my life will free me from this hellish nightmare. Thank you.
From a school teacher:
No longer can I live knowing that this is what awaits me. Your vision of the future horrified me. Tonite I end it.
You asshole!!! I used to love life. Now you’ve made me hate it. My blood is on your hands. Tonite I die and I hope you do as well.
As Anderson continued to look through the e-mails, he realized this book was literally driving people to their deaths. But how could this be? How could the words of a single man, a stranger, drive someone to his death?
At home that night Anderson began flipping through the suicide files. Each file contained the standard crime scene photos. Some of the people hung themselves; others used guns while others used pills. Anderson laid the photos side by side, looking for some connection to this deadly book all of the victims spoke of. Then something stuck out. Lying on the floor in the photo of one man who hung himself, Anderson saw a book. It had a stark black cover with gray letters on the on the binding – The Darkness. Then it hit him; the man he spoke with early this morning, the guy with the attaché case; he said something about the darkness.
Quickly, Anderson began flipping through his notes and found the sheet of paper the man wrote on. Anderson, quickly looked the book up on the internet and found it being sold at a local bookstore. The author listed was Derek Deans. Next to his name was a photo. This is the guy I spoke with this morning, Anderson thought. I let him go.
When Anderson arrived at the station he headed straight to Monkey Boy. “Look, I need you to see if you can find any evidence of the suicide victims purchasing this book. I found it in one of the photos and I think this may be the common thread that binds them together.” He handed monkey Boy a picture of the book cover that he blew up from one of the crime scene photos.
“Sure no problem. You know that I can only track on-line purchases though, right. I mean if they bought these through stores or out of the back of the author’s car I won’t know.”
“No problem. Just see what you can find out.”
Anderson headed back to his desk to do some research on the internet. He found that the book was published through a self-publishing company and then distributed through the company’s on-line bookstore. However, the company allows authors to buy the books at cost so they can sell it themselves to small independent bookstores which is exactly what Derek Deans did. As Anderson continued researching this author he found a short blurb in the community announcement section. Derek Deans to hold book signing at The Book Mark.
Anderson continued to do more research. After about thirty minutes he found an article that connected the Derek Dean with his real name – Timothy McQueen. From there Anderson began a search through public records. It was in these files that Anderson found a record of his recent divorce. In those files he found the name of Derek’s wife.
Anderson called hoping she would be able to answer some questions however all he got was her voice mail, “Miss Johnson (her maiden name which she went back to after the divorce) my name is Detective Anderson, and I need to ask you a few questions regarding your ex-husband. Is there any way you can come down to the station and meet with me? Thank you.”
Anderson left the precinct for his lunch break and headed to the book store. The place was in a small artsy section of the city. From the outside one could see a few young people sipping coffee and perusing through real books, as if they were too cool to be flipping virtual pages on their e-readers, like this somehow made them more “real” more “authentic” Anderson pushed through the door and could smell the scent of both new and used books infused in the air with the aroma of coffee. On the counter with a little flyer, Anderson saw a display for Derek Dean’s book. Local Author, it read.
“Excuse me, my name is Detective Anderson and I was wondering if you could tell me anything about this author.”
“Yeah, strange guy actually.”
“He came in here to ask to sell his book and I gave him the standard deal. I did what I normally do for local authors and offered him a 50/50 split. He just shrugged and dropped the books with his business card inside. As he was walking out the door, I asked if he was going to come do a book signing and he just nodded his head.”
“How did the book signing go?”
“Go? The guy never showed. Why is he in trouble or something?”
“Not yet. Did anyone buy any copies of the book?”
“Yeah, a couple of my regulars.”
“Did they like the book?”
“Don’t know, haven’t seen them since.”
“Can you give me the names of the people who bought the book?”
“Look, I’m all for helping the police, but unless you have a warrant, I’m not just gonna give you a list of my customers names. Before you know it, people will be trying to arrest people for the books that they’ve read. That’s the beginning of tyranny…”
“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Sir, I’m investigating a series of deaths that have been taking place all over the city and in some other parts of the country. There’s one common thread. We think they’ve all read that book. Now, I can go back and get a warrant or you could just tell me.”
“I don’t care. I won’t let some jack-booted thug come into my store and demand names and addresses. That’s how the red-scare started. I won’t name names.”
Anderson knew he would never get a warrant for this so he went another direction. He removed the photos of the local victims and laid them out on the counter.
“Well, if you don’t mind, this jack-booted thug would at least like to know if you recognize any of these dead people.”
Anderson dropped the photos of the local suicide victims on the counter. “Here get a look at these. Any of these people look familiar to you? Sure you don’t want to help me out here?”
Grief stricken and disgusted at the sight of dead bodies, dead bodies of people he knew, his conspiracy theory, anti-government attitude took a back seat, “Look, these six are regulars. I sold about twenty copies but I don’t recognize any of the other photos. How did they die?”
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I’ll take a copy of the book,” Anderson stated as he began to reach for his wallet. Almost in tears, the store owner simply handed Anderson a copy and waved him off.
Anderson went back to the precinct and began reading this dreaded book. It was a beast – over one thousand pages in length. How could anyone write this much about one thing? Anderson thought. Skeptically he started reading the book:
The world we live in is a perverted, violent, emotional meat grinder. If you don’t believe this then ask yourself why so many people need to get high, get drunk or find other means just to cope. It’s not because they’re weak. It’s because they fucking know better!
What a way to start off a book, Anderson thought. He continued reading realizing that this was not just some fictional story or the whinnings of a would-be artist but a dark imterpretation of the world in which we live. Anderson continued, hoping to learn more about the author and maybe the victims. But what he learned was that the book was beginning to gain a dark foot-hold into his soul. By the end of the first chapter, Anderson felt a change in his mood and attitude. He was becoming at first more solemn but not really sad.
“Anderson!” yelled a voice from behind him. “What the hell are you doing there, catching up on your Oprah book club reading? I thought I gave you a ton of shit to do. As a matter of fact, I know I gave you a ton of shit to do so get it done.”
Anderson, temporarily distracted from the book’s grasp put the text in his bag and continued gathering the data needed for the Captain’s report.
Later that night, Anderson opened his bag and like he forgot all about, saw the book sitting there, taunting him. He opened the text to the doggy-eared page that he left off on . For the next several hours Anderson sat in his chair and continued reading sinking deeper and deeper into the words of sorrow. His emotions were shifting again. He could feel a sense of horror and despair fill his body. He also felt hate – hate for everything, for the people he had to arrest and chase after every day, for his police captain who constantly rides his ass, for the co-workers that he has no love for, for the family that seemingly ignores him when he needs them the most, and yes, even for God himself for allowing this world to become the pit of hell that it is. Then – darkness.
An alarm sounds. Anderson walks to the window and twists the blinds open, sunlight pours in. Morning, he thought. It’s morning already? He looked down at the book in his hand and dropped it on the floor. He felt his body become overwhelmed with sadness as he dropped to his knees and wept. This can’t be happening, he thought. How is this book doing this to me? Inside Anderson felt a boiling pot of the darkest and most melancholy emotions inside him. He was only pages away from finishing the book but was overwhelmed with a sense of desperation that only eating a bullet out of the barrel of his gun could ease his pain.
He walked to the kitchen table and pulled the gun from his holster. It was heavy, the gun. It was cold, like his heart was becoming, like his soul. He looked down at the cold steel solution which rested in his hand. Then a thought occurred to him, it’s my job to help end the sorrow in this world. It’s my job to try and make things right. Fuck this!
Quickly, Anderson slid his weapon back in its holster and attached it to his waistband. I’m not going out like that, he thought.
After arriving at work Anderson began e-mailing police officers around the country gathering data on some of these other suicides. He found out that all of these people were found within a foot or two of their copy of The Darkness. It seems as though the rantings of this author might be more truthful than he thought.
“Anderson, there’s a woman her to speak with you. She said she’s the ex of some writer guy,”
“Hi,” Anderson rose from his desk greeting the woman. “I appreciate you coming down here on such short notice.”
“No problem,” replied the woman meekly. “I feel bad about what happened to him but I just had to move on.”
“Well, what did happen exactly? He isn’t speaking much.”
“Well, he always wanted to be a writer. I first met him in college and he was a journalism student who wanted to become an author. Like most published authors he knew he would need a day job before he made his big break. But the professors…they were so cruel to him,” she began sobbing.
Anderson handed her a box of half-empty box of tissues, “Here.”
“Thanks,” her sobbing ceased as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
“Most writers learn to accept criticism as part of their craft. He did not. He saw every red mark on the paper as a stab to his heart. Time and time again professors kept telling him his writing lacked emotion, lacked drama. He was told to stick with journalism, or maybe technical writing. Creative writing is not for you one professor told him.”
“How did he handle it?”
“Well at first, he just started working harder. We graduated college, got married and began our life together. I got a job working with a major PR firm in the city and my husband got a job as a small time reporter.”
“How did that work out for him?”
“Well, at first he was doing pretty well, but then he started working on his book when he was supposed to be out covering stories. During interviews with local politicians ideas would just come to him and he would stop the interview and begin writing.”
“What about at home? What was he like there?”
“Well, things started to get progressively worse there too. First he would skip meals with me. Then our level of intimacy dropped off. I wanted children. Then after he lost his job with the paper, I never saw him. He would stay locked up in his office writing and writing, slowly becoming more and more depressed. He stopped eating, lost weight and grew more and more dark and silent every day. I couldn’t take it so I filed for divorce. To be honest, I don’t even think he knew he signed divorce papers. I put them in front of him and he just signed with a grunt. I left that day and never went back.”
“How long has it been since you’ve seen him?”
“About two years.”
“Well, it seemed he finished his book in the time the two of you were apart. He’s claiming that his book has been causing all of these suicides.”
“Yes, he thinks his book is forcing these people to take their own lives. We’re researching a possible connection to him and the victims.”
“But he would never do that. This can’t be right.”
“Ma’am I have twenty-five e-mails, all from suicide victims that state his book is the reason they are killing themselves.”
“Oh my God!!!”
“He just sent me an e-mail a couple of weeks ago. It was the happiest he sounded in months. He said that some big publishing house was going to buy his book and publish it nationwide. He had to contact the print-to-order firm and tell them to stop printing his book. If he thinks this book is killing people and he knows it’s going nationwide, that might be enough to push him over the edge. They also offered him an advance on a second book. Is he going to get in trouble for this?”
“He didn’t break any laws. Even if he told people in the book to kill themselves, that in and of itself is not a crime. If all he really did was write this book, I can’t even arrest him.”
“Look Miss Johnson you can go now if you would like. It helped to get some more information on your ex-husband.”
Later that afternoon, Anderson went to the publishing house that bought Derek’s book. Fortunately, it was a local firm. Anderson made an appointment to meet with the president.
“Sir, do you realize that this book is associated with the suicides of hundreds of people across the country?”
“Look, Deans showed me the e-mails after we signed the contract. My people went through the book. There is nothing in that book that breaks any laws. As a matter of fact, he never even mentions the word suicide.”
“But the people -- the ones killing themselves? Don’t you care?”
“Look, I don’t buy into that. I think it’s bullshit. Sad depressed people buy sad depressing books. I figure that whole emo-goth set will love it. And if a rumor leaks out that this is a killer book well, sales will go through the roof. As long as they pay for it before they read it, what do I care?”
“Have you read the book?”
“I read a few sample chapters.”
“Well, maybe you should read it cover to cover first,” Anderson excused himself from the man’s office and headed to Derek’s home.
Anderson pulled up to his home in a small suburban working class neighborhood. The yard, much like Derek’s mind was in shambles. The grass was overgrown by several feet, trash littered the walk up to the front porch. Anderson approached the door and rang the bell. The bell of course didn’t work. So, he started banging on the door. The TV inside was on, Anderson could hear it. He wiped some of the dirt off the outside window and looked inside. From the rafters, Anderson could see Derek hanging.
After the coroner arrived, Anderson went to Derek’s desk and found that his laptop was still on. A dark screen saver with a scrolling message that said: The End of the Darkness went flashing across the screen. He pushed down delicately on the space bar and saw his e-mail window open. Appparently, he had just sent an e-mail to his new publisher. The attachment was his new and final book, The End of The Darkness. Anderson took the laptop back to the office to have it checked out by Monkey Boy.
“Well, he did send the Presdient an e-mial.”
“So, what did he write to him?” asked Anderson.
“I don’t know. It seems that our author also knew a little bit about computers. He set up a program that erased the attachment after it was read. The document’s gone. We’ll never know what that president read,” replied Monkey Boy.
“Well, I’m going to see him and found out what that guy wrote?”
As Anderson arrived at the publishing company, patrol cars were littering the streets and police tape surrounded the building. Anderson approached.
“Hey,” said a patrolman “you can’t pass this tape line.”
Anderson flashed his detective’s badge.
“Sorry sir,” the novice patrolman lifted the tape and granted Anderson access.
When Anderson made it to the office he was greeted by several other detectives.
“What happened here guys?”
“Well, have a look for yourself.”
Anderson entered the president’s office and was greeted with a crimson collage of both blood and brains. The coroner informed him of the time of death. It appeared the president shot himself in the head ten to twenty minutes after reading Derek’s e-mail. The killing author strikes again, thought Anderson.
Anderson went back to the office and finished his report. Monday morning when Anderson reported for work, the Captain called him in.
“Do you expect me to buy this line of bullshit?”
“Cap’n, I know it sounds crazy, but this is what happened. After I spoke with the wife, I started contacting the other police stations around the country. Every victim had a copy of the book or read a copy of the book. I know it doesn’t really make sense but it’s the only plausible solution.”
“Anderson, does that really make any sense to you?”
Quietly, Anderson turned around and closed the door, “Captain, between you and me – I read the book, only had two pages left. Honestly, I thought about eating my own bullet. You know what stopped me? This job. This God-awful, dirty nasty job we do every day. I guess everyone needs something. And this is my something. I guess those people – the ones that killed themselves -- had nothing.”
Anderson stood up from his chair, “Am I dismissed? Sir!” he punctuated his conversation with firmness.
“Dismissed Anderson. Glad to have you back on the streets.”
With rumors flying about the book’s connection to mass suicides, the suicide of the author and the suicide of their own president, the publishing company opted to destroy the first edition run of the book which consisted of about three thousand copies. In an effort to bolster their public appearance, the company also offered to buy any of the self-published copies sold over the internet so they could be destroyed as well. For now, The Darkness will remain hidden from the world. Derek Dean’s words will no longer bring about the deaths of others. But, when the copyright expires and the book is made available to anyone who wants to publish it, his words may kill again.