Friday, January 26, 2007


Jon Catron

Lawrence stabbed the "Stop" button on his tape recorder with a nicotine-stained index finger and absentmindedly rubbed his forehead with his left hand.

Fuck all, this made no sense.

Two months ago, his sister Laura shows up in the county morgue, the victim of a brutal murder. The prime suspect was her shit of a worthless husband. Lawrence had warned her multiple times that he was just like Martin (Father, you mean?). Schizophrenia coupled with multiple compulsive and disassociative disorders, classic sexual predator. And Laura had fallen right into his world of shit like she'd been born into it, mostly because she had...

But... I mean... Fuck! How could he have done that to her? How could anyone even
remotely sane have done that?

The idea that Harold had molested and abused little Sarah almost made Lawrence sick to his stomach, but it was unfortunately no surprise. Even less surprising were Sarah's pervasive and insistent denials of Harold's involvement in her mother's death. Lawrence wanted to dismiss her claims of a monstrous Boogeyman as a classic denial syndrome. (because there's no Monster like Daddy Monster, right?) But how the hell could Harold have done that with two broken legs? Or even at the height of his strength? The facts just... damn it, they just didn't make any damn sense.

But the D.A. didn't need to mention all that to send Harold screaming like a lunatic off to his spot on death row. So Sarah came to live with her closest blood relative.

Good ol' Uncle Larry.

Only Sarah called him Larry now. His buddies had called him that before he got on The Wagon. His first wife had also, but she was just as dangerous as the whisky she kept flowing to Lawrence. The second and third knew him only as Lawrence, the emotionally distant and controlled psychiatrist and recovering alcoholic. Work had become his new drug, and neither woman liked being analyzed the way Lawrence would.

So what the fuck did he know about raising a child? Nothing, that's what. He sure as hell hadn't received any nurturing as a child. But then, he'd gotten out... Right? He broke the cycle and knew how to look for the signs. He was certain that he would not let that seed take fruit in him. Sure, everything ever written about medical or psychological ethics said that self-diagnosis was the ultimate form of self-delusional narcissism. But Lawrence could avoid that trap. He could help Sarah. He could find out what really happened for her. He could help her get closure. Help find the Truth.

No matter what the cost.

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