The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Yes, an overused phrase, but very descriptive for a new baby just arriving at the world outside its mother. Does a baby open its eyes just before birth, to actually see that first light? I don’t know, but I suspect an infinitesimal few do. For the sake of this novel I’m going to say at least one baby boy does open his eyes in time. As you get to know him I think you will agree.
Why? Because this baby is unique. He experiences deja vu endlessly during his many new lives. You see, he also reincarnates endlessly. From time immemorial he has been getting killed by the state–executed, that is, as a worst-of-the-worst criminal, and nobody ever figured out why.  Also, of course, nobody knew. And, really, how would they EVER figure it out without intervention by the superior being, our Lord God?
Not until the chaplain at a contemporary prison reads it in an ancient book and then tries to stop the execution of worst-of-the-worst criminal, Les Paul.
What the book said:

“If the state kills a worst-of-the-worst criminal, rather than allowing a natural death, that criminal, man or woman, will reincarnate as not only the same person but more evil than before. He or she will have the same memories, though not fully intact memories, but they will serve well in the new life. A worst-of-the-worst criminal MUST be allowed to die a natural death, which includes being killed by a fellow criminal.”

Nobody believes the chaplain, for certain not the warden, so the execution proceeds on schedule. Of course the ancient book disappears as if it never existed. The chaplain is certain it DID exist and is nearly certain he’s right, so certain that he removes his collar, leaves his job, and begins a search for the reincarnated Les Paul.
There is the introduction to a main POV character (1 of 4) but not THE main character. Next we will take a look at this current execution of Les Paul: (POV Les Paul)

“May God have mercy on your soul. Amen.”
He barely mouthed his response, “Sure, whatever-the-fuck-ever.” Through peripheral vision he saw the warden nod. Here it comes. He smiled, and felt the drugs entering him, and felt his world speeding up. Like a jet plane—what a ride!—plastering him against the seat. The buzzing in his head grew louder and faster…
For a few seconds he felt himself rising from the table. He looked back. His unmoving body was there. His eyes were open…where am I…? He felt like he was moving, leaving the prison—Good! I’m going somewhere! But, not, really. He felt himself being squeezed, like, from a tube, except he wasn’t leaving the tube, he was entering, becoming smaller, and smaller, and smaller, and sma…”

Deja vu, we’ve likely all experienced that feeling of having “been here before.” For us regular mortals that “feeling” likely lasts just seconds. Now picture worst-of-the-worst criminal, Les Paul, undergoing deja vu regularly, only he’s seeing himself being executed again and again, by electric chair, drugs, firing squad, over and over, memories that he denies are his–wouldn’t you? Since you’ve never been executed–that you know of–wouldn’t “you” deny such memories are yours?
In the case of Les Paul, whether he believes it or not, his memories of continuing executions by the state are truly his. In the opening scene, while waiting for his execution, he has a deja vu memory of his very first life, his only happy time, his only time with a loving wife and a darling little daughter. But, as always, he shakes his head and denies the memory is his.


In case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve experienced deja vu, a recurring memory of a certain street as I traveled through different cities in my sales job. The memory was always of the “other side” of the street. I always started across, jaywalking, but never got there. Finally, after years, I found that exact street in my own hometown city. I actually crossed that street…and nothing happened, except the deja vu stopped. Go figure. I still wonder if crossing that street affected me in some unknown way….

Here is a short look at all the main characters: Main characters in bold, secondary characters underscored.
Les Paul is on death row awaiting execution. (first as adult, then as child, beginning at 14 months until a nine-year-old.)
The chaplain is trying to stop the execution, and not because of a love for mankind.
Mrs. Leslie Markum in nine months will give birth to the reincarnation of evil.
Ms. Nicole Waters is nursing at the hospital where the infant, Les Paul, will be abandoned.
Cassandra is yet divided between her mother and father. (infant to nine-year-old)
Patrolman Sikorsky is hoping to advance to detective.
Riley Stokes, ex-military, will train the chaplain and Nicole to become private investigators.
(Little Cassandra [who isn’t even born yet] may not seem like the MAIN-main character, but in my mind, she IS.) So please bear with me until you get to know this little girl.
When Cassandra is born her mother will live long enough to name her. On the same day her father will die in Afghanistan.
Cassandra starts her life alone. In foster care she will fall through crack after crack. Nobody wants to adopt this darling girl child. Lacking love, she discovers her crying brings her nothing. She stops crying.
As she grows she does not come to love, anything, and does not come to trust…anyone.
On October 18, this little girl will be born. Halfway across the country another baby will be born on the same day, just another child who will find no love. Les Paul will find no love because he is the reincarnation of a long string of evil killers.
Six months after his execution Les Paul is swimming in a warm pool of amniotic fluid. Through instinct his hands realize he wants more room. He uses his twin brother’s own umbilical cord to strangle him, then kicks that useless presence toward that light at the end of the tunnel.

Book cover represents Les Paul in his mother’s womb hanging onto the umbilical cord he used to murder his twin brother.
The chaplain and Nicole join forces and train at a desert survival school. Their goal to track down the newly-born Les Paul—now rampaging through foster home after foster home—and prove that this child, now nine-years-old, is truly the reincarnation of Les Paul, worst of -the-worst criminal.
(When the chapain and Nurse Waters are onstage at same time it isn’t always clear who has the viewpoint, nor does it need to be. [They are a team now])


A list of viewpoints from the main characters plus 3 minor characters:

Les Paul:–He glanced at the guard, “Hey, man…,” and sent his now-starched-on smirk, “You stoppin’ for a brew after?”
Standing, the guard remained about twenty feet away, too far for Les Paul to read his name tag. Didn’t matter anyway, he had no desire to make new friends. Course he didn’t have any old friends either. Nobody to see him off. No family. Nobody.
Les Paul as a child:–Just fourteen months old and already on his fourth foster family.

Warden Miles:—-The warden stood still for another moment, then walked to the door, stood for about thirty more seconds, then opened, “Chaplain, I was just coming to meet you.”

The Chaplain:—-He still believed in God—that was he now believed in a god—a superior intelligent being, just was no longer sure of the personal god there anytime, anywhere, for anyone.

Nurse Nicole Waters:–…gasped when the small hand went into her top and actually tried to get to her breast.
Nurse Waters’ (Nicole) viewpoint with 9-year-old Cassandra:
–“The young girl looked up and scowled, “My name’s Cassandra!”
Yes, the rapport was absolutely gone.
“All right, sorry, Cassandra. You started to tell me—“
“I did tell you—the biggest boy reaped me!” Her mouth set, she turned back to her drawing. “The other big boy would’ve too—he wanted to do the littlest girl!—but the parents came home!”
Nicole, sadly, looked at the chaplain and opened her hands. They had the information they came for, so there was no reason to stay longer. They started for the door.
“And they’ll keep doing it!” Cassandra said in a voice not even recognizable. She also didn’t look up.
They both stopped and stared at the young girl who now was old far beyond her years.
“They hurt those other girls—I know it! Even that smallest little shit wanted to!” The girl, her friendly face absolutely gone, glanced toward them, then right back to her notepaper—which she then tore to shreds, “And that boy the same age as me, I know he wanted to! But the big boys wouldn’t let him!”

Casandra as infant:–And the volunteers did a good job, but it seemed the same one never held Cassandra more than once. Every time she felt warm arms around her and opened her eyes she did not recognize the person.
Casandra as a 9-yr-old:–Her eyes felt strange, like maybe tears wanted to come—She knew about tears; she knew what they were, but she was pretty sure there were none in her.

Mrs. Markum (with Les Paul, the infant):–“It’s okay, honey,” his mother said, “Here, maybe I’ll just switch you to my other breast.” She began to move him…she began to try to move him, “Honey, you have to let go…oh—ow!”
“The child was evil, Evan. It was born evil. It will grow up evil, and will do terrible things.”
Evan Markum:–“He already has done terrible things, my darling.” But I’ll never tell you what.


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