Chapter 1 – Judgment

"No one is born evil; at least that's what I believe."

It's 2009. I remember standing at the front of my English classroom at Promontory High School in Iowa. We had been discussing the book "Perfume" by Patrick Suskind and one of my most thoughtful students, Riley Patterson, had taken the time to ask me about the protagonist's evil nature.

I had to take a moment to think about that one before giving my response. Riley had always seemed concerned with the battle of good vs. evil within each of the main characters that we read about. Little did he know that I was about to give way to the evil forces at work inside myself.

In 2012, I'm sitting in a courtroom. My hands are cuffed and two armed guards stand beside me. I'm being tried for murdering three people and I am most definitely guilty.

When most people go to court they seem to have one of two reactions. The first is denial. "I didn't do it!" "It was out of self-defense!" "That isn't mine!" The second is to silently accept your guilt but let the lawyer and judge play back and forth, just to see how innocent or guilty you are before a sentencing is given.

Honestly, I wasn't in the mood to waste mine or anybody else's time when I got to court so I didn't take either approach, I told them I was guilty. It was the first truth about myself I had declared in the past two years. My lawyer, Mr. David Bell, had been very determined to see his career boosted by a victory in court and had given me a false story to feed the judge, proving I was innocent. Honestly, it was the worst idea ever considering he knew exactly what I had done. I'll never forget the way that arrogant smirk fell from his face and his body began to tremble beneath his three-thousand dollar suit as I denied my own innocence. Truly the most pathetic thing I've ever seen.

It was not long after that that the judge agreed with me and sentenced me to a life in prison. I really had to agree with her there, I didn't belong in society any more.

Thirty seven years ago I was born into a Christian family. Ten years ago I became a full-time English teacher until two years ago when I was torn away from my job and became a full-time psychopath. Two years can really change your perspective. Throughout my whole life I had this hatred for humanity building up inside me and only two years ago did I really let it come out. I let it form into something real, something that my enemies would come to fear. I had let it define me and turn me into-

"You monster!" A lady yelled as I was carried away from the courthouse in handcuffs. Her chubby round face was even redder than the curly hair surrounding it. She soon disappeared into a crowd of people yelling at me.

So many people are yelling for my blood. So many people are pouring their hatred out on me. Now that I look at the angry people around me prison doesn't sound half bad.

I don't regret what I did and if I had the opportunity I'd gladly do it again. Two years ago the principal of Promontory High put a plan together to fire me. This involved accusing me of sexually harassing and molesting a student. This student, Alana Simmons, had testified against me, resulting in my removal from the school and ending my beloved teaching career. I had tried to plead my case in front of the Superintendent but he wouldn't hear it. These people had ruined my life. They had destroyed me and so I returned the favor.

I wasn't too neat about it though and soon the FBI had found the connection between me and my three victims and had even discovered a fingerprint I had left behind. Oops.

But there was no time or purpose for regrets and I knew that all too well. At the very start of my plans for revenge I had factored in the idea that I would never get my old life back and resigned myself to a life in prison. The deed was done as far as I was concerned. I had allowed my greatest evil to take over and destroy a few of the people I hated most. The rest would go on living but for now I was fine with that.

As I entered the armored truck that would take me to the prison, another convict sat across from me. He had brilliantly bright blue eyes and blond hair that was slicked back. He was very skinny and wore a jumpsuit like me. Both of our hands and feet were cuffed, with a chain connecting the two. Four armed guards entered the truck with us. I couldn't help noticing the look on their faces. Although they handled the rifles they carried well, I was absolutely sure they had never shot anyone. Each expression had a hint of anxiety as the truck door closed them into a small space with two convicts.

As the truck started moving the convict across from me laid his head against the wall, a smile grew on his face. He seemed more relaxed than I was about going to prison. In fact, I had seen that same satisfied smile on another teacher who had just finished work and was preparing to go on a cruise with his family. This guy may just be more insane than I was. He held that posture for some time. The truck was speeding up; we were on the highway now.

"Excuse me officer" the convict said, breaking the tense silence and turning his head to the guard next to him "what time is it?"

"What's it to you?" the guard sneered. He was a heavy set man with short, black spiky hair, a round nose and face and dull, brown eyes.

"There's a pickup game of basketball at the prison at 3 p.m. and I want to know if I'll be in time for it."

The guard put aside his gun and punched the convict right in the gut. I noticed that the convict was looking down before the blow hit, catching a glimpse of the guard's watch.

"Another dumb question and I'll break one of your fingers." The guard said.

The guard to my left looked down and to the left, away from me; thinking, remembering.

The convict looked up at me and I saw that the grin hadn't left his face.

"In for murder aren't you?" he said.

I nodded.

"Killed three people, in cold blood." He continued.

I nodded again.

The guard next to me looked over at the convict.

"You know what…" He said "I think you're right."

He turned to the other guard.

"There is a pickup game of basketball every week at 3 p.m. today." He looked back at the convict "I've been a guard there for the past eight months, but how… how did you know that?"

The convict ignored him and kept talking to me.

"You don't regret a thing. You have a way of understanding people that very few others do. We could use skills like yours." He said.

The guard who had punched the convict looked alarmed.

"What on earth are you talking about?" he said. His hand balled up into a fist, ready to punish the convict for another smart alec response.

The convict's grin opened up, revealing a neat row of shiny white teeth. Something wasn't right here and a sense of excitement that I hadn't felt since my capture now rushed through my body.

"I'm going to need you to lay down on the floor and stay still for a while Jack." He said.

Now all of the guards were sitting on edge. My heart began racing at the sound of my name.

"NOW!" he yelled.

I leapt to the floor, ignoring the guns being pointed at me. It instantly paid off.

WHAM!

The right side of the truck was hit, launching the guards across the steel cabin. A shot went off, making my ears ring. I could hear the guards muffled yells as they tried to regain their balance. I smirked as my body slid face-down to the other side of the narrow aisle. This mysterious convict had someone helping him escape from the outside, and whoever it was, they weren't going to leave me out. I could be free again.

WHAM!

I could hear the truck's wheels skidding across the road. Something warm and sticky rained down on the back of my head. I rolled over and looked up to see the convict using a slim shiv to kill the guards. I looked impressed with his work as he systematically went from one stunned guard to another, cutting their throats without difficulty or care. The guard who had punched the convict was now standing over my feet, blocking the door. As he reached for his gun I kicked upwards, striking him in the groin. He doubled over, giving the convict enough time to stab him in the neck.

Dark red blood spattered all over the convict's orange jumpsuit as he pulled himself closer to the guard.

"Guess I won't be making it to that basketball game." He said in a low whisper.

The guard made a small gurgling noise with his mouth and slumped to the floor, drowning in his own blood. The truck stopped and I heard the two guards in the cab yelling and shots being fired. Then suddenly, all was quiet.

The convict looked down on me with that constant grin. Blood was streaked across his face.

"My name is Glass," he said, "Ryan Glass. I was convicted for the murder of twelve people three years ago."

The door opened letting in the painfully bright sunlight.

"My employer has a job opening for you." The convict named Glass said.

"So Jack Farrington," he continued, "Are you ready for a second chance?"

A second chance at a life out there? After all I had done? Hah! Glass seemed very interested in my crimes. If there was a way I could live with those crimes, would I take it? Sure, I thought, I'll see what you have for me. After all, nothing could fix what I had done and if I could still lead a life outside prison that was something worth learning more about.

"I'm in." I said, reflecting Glass' wicked grin.

"Perfect," Glass said "let's get you out of here."

And with that I was pulled from the hands of justice into an unknown world where my evil was welcomed. It's true that I had factored in that I would pay for what I did, but for now that payment could be delayed and that was much more than I could ask for.