3 At dinner the tension between his parents was bad. In typical fashion, they ignored one another like children on a playground, or used him to relay messages despite their being only a foot away from one another. It was sadly predictable, so instead he tried his best to coax them into some kind of conversation. As much as he wanted to play the good son card, the reality was he was hoping to distract himself from the hand prints and closet door in his room. Only he gave up when they both told him to just shut up and eat. After a few bites and a few tense minutes he decided he didn't feel much like eating anymore. "May I be excused?"
2 The headache gone and the rest of the day free, his parents decided it was time to start unpacking the kitchen and slowly work their way out to other rooms. As with all family events, it didn't take long for the work to wither away into a volley of insults and threats. "Where do you want this picture?"
Chapter 2 1 That morning Shawn woke up to a splitting headache and the wind howling outside his bedroom window. He groaned and massaged his temples while praying it was early enough he could bury his head beneath the covers and sleep for a while longer. Unfortunately his father came knocking on his door a few minutes later.
Prologue In the dark woods of Middlebrook, Ohio a young man walked along a soggy, gravel walkway with his eyes trained to the night sky. He could just barely make it out from among the canopy, the stars sparkling like tiny eyes peering down at him. Even in the woods he felt watched. Was that how they had felt these past ten years? Every step, every word, and every thought carefully processed and catalogued? Every room wired with cameras, and every relationship meticulously planned and manipulated for the sole purpose of morbid curiosity? After Mitchell and Ren died they'd debated calling the whole thing off. But Sarah, that pompous bitch dyke, refused.