By Tom Piccirilli
published at Smashwords by Crossroad Press
Copyright 2010 by Tom Piccirilli & Macabre Ink Digital Publications
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After they foreclosed on his house and he lost his wife, the kid, the dog, his signed first edition book collection, and found himself on the meth-heavy streets with a butterfly blade dug in about two inches between his short ribs, his hands covered in a seven-year-old girl’s blood, they packed Hale up and told him to go play with clay.
At Sojourner State, he spent a couple months severely sedated, making ashtrays the way the pretty nurse had taught the mostly cataleptic group, his powerful fingers kneading the clay until it was almost hot to the touch. He carved smug faces in with his fingernails and then pummeled those arrogant grins out of existence. He’d recovered from the knife wound and his lung had re-inflated by then.