"I went back. By the time I got there, my best friend, Grief, had shown up and had brought along another pal, Self Pity. Then along came Misery. We partied."
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David lives in 1957, a time viewed as idyllic, but it wasn't. Descending into obsession and madness, he must face loss and ghosts of the past, while battling a curse that spans 500 years. The Time of Grace scrapes the nerves raw and reminds us that insanity may be right around the corner...any corner.
David finds that the nightmares of his past are still haunting him twenty years later when he returns to his hometown and this time, no one will be safe from the monsters that haunt our dreams. This time, they are real. They are us.
Based on the events of The Phantom Killer, who stalked Texarkana, Texas in 1946 and legends of Spanish explore Hernan De Soto.
From Time of Grace
This is my story exactly as it happened. I donít expect anyone to believe it all and after you read it, I guess you wonít like me very much. Feel free to pass judgment or decide I am a liar; I donít care. But, itís all true. God help me, itís all true.
If those years could be summed up in one sentence, then I would probably compose some inspirational line; but, it wouldnít be true. It wouldnít sit right. It would be like masking a week long dead body with lilac water. It was a nasty, complicated time that has moldered. The good old days had some secrets and were not as idyllic as some might think. Well, at least my good old days were not as perfect as people like to say about the 1950s. But here is the worst part: I donít think I would change much, or rather, I would do most of my life, then, all over again. Itís inevitable, like a tide, and we all know we sink or swim in a tide. I did both.
And guess what? Iíd wade right back into that tide, given a replay. How sick is that? I never said I was sane or a great person did I? Let me share this: monsters are not big, green beasts hiding in our closets; we are the monsters and we stay hungry. Individual lives, secrets, needs, and obsessions all gather to make a kind of cosmic soup, a force that can come into its own terrible power.
Sometimes I consider the clarity of my memories, but not too much or Iíd go mad. Every detail is almost crystal clear, and they leap at me unexpectedly, going for my throat, showing up at the corners of my eyes, peripherally. So, never doubt my accounting of the details. If I could bring on amnesia, I would in a heartbeat; in fact, forgetting it all would expunge and kill the monsters that lived on.
In September of 1957, we were barely into the first semester of junior college, all piss and vinegar with the giddiness of semi-freedom and new experiences. We were mature, Man, and could change the world. We thought so, anyway. Doesnít every eighteen year old feel invincible, powerful, smart, and right with the world? I think people that age still feel this way, though not at the same level pre-Kennedy. We have no idea then what we are about to face. Luckily, most face just the difficulty of real, normal life and not events that would swallow us whole.
Outside the Humanities building, at Texarkana College, I leaned against one of the many pecan trees while Grace thumbed, frowning, through her Biology book; we debated going to do our lab assignment. It was still muggy in North East Texas, but I dare anyone to show me a prettier place, so we were cooling off in the shade.
If she had been born later, Grace would have been called beautiful, but she didnít have those classic looks that were popular in the 1950s. Later her look would be called a California look. Her face was too soft, too open, and too natural for that time; her hair was too thick, too long, and too blonde, with almost white streaks mixed with the gold and honey. She didnít wear the classic lipstick or use the brow pencil over her jade eyes. Grace would have looked more at home a decade later. Grace was just too everything, I think.
(continued in a full length novel)