In the Matter of Edwin Potter:

chapter 1, Tragedy (An Excerpt)

Edwin Potter was confused. The problem had been building: things that he had seen, things that he had heard, things that he had remembered. And now it had come to this. Edwin was running desperately down the middle of the street on this summer night.
    “Where are they?”
    Edwin! – Edwin!
    “Where are they?”
    Edwin Potter! There is no “they!”
    It all looked so… so surreal. The streets were empty. Where was everyone? This was a big city suburb. Why was he alone in the street? Then up ahead a car without its headlights on turned slowly in Edwin’s direction. Fear rose in him and brought him to tears.
    “They see me! They see me! They’ll tell the others! My life is over!”
    The car switched on its lights and headed gradually down another street.
    Edwin was terrified. He needed to get to his parents’ house less than a mile from his own home. He could not take his car. It might have been rigged with explosives that they had put there. So he ran.
“That car! The car I just saw...”
What about the car?
“A co-worker had said something... Yes! Yes! That was it! He said that they would be watching. They were keeping their eyes on me!”
There was a project to be done, and he was the one chosen to make it happen. But he was just a young man! He did not know how to take on a project of that size! Millions of dollars! And it was doomed to failure, but it did not matter. He was the one, and they would torture his young wife and infant son to make him bring it to a successful completion. And they were a mega corporation. They could get what they wanted.
    He reached the hill. A light came on at the front porch of one of the houses as he ran passed, and a woman came out quietly. She watched him as he receded up the street, but Edwin focused on his destination – nervous as a cat, knowing that he was running directly into the teeth of the beast. Would he get there? Would they get to him first?
    Almost there now. When he reached the house, he threw open the door to the breezeway and almost jumped over to the doorbell and pressed it. No one answered, so he opened the screen door and started to hammer the inside door with his fist. He saw the lights come on. He dropped himself down onto the concrete step and grabbed the hair at the back of his head, but it was already too late. His father came to the door.
    “What are you doing? What are you kicking the door for?”
    What had he done? Edwin had to choose: Should he trust this man? Yes, there was no choice. If this man were a part of their plan, Edwin would lose. If not, they would be waiting for him elsewhere.
    Edwin blurted out breathlessly, “I killed my wife and son!”