Excerpt: A Killer, Revisited
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Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication data Chapman, Sheri A title of a book : A Killer, Revisited ISBN
TWO YEARS AGO: Sylvia Turner’s house
A knock resounded through her house. Sylvia sat at her desk with stacks of research around her. She hopped up and slapped a hand on a stack of papers to keep them from toppling. She peeked out the hole and her jaw clenched. It was her father. She opened the door anyway.
“Hi, Dad,” Sylvia sighed. “Come on in.”
Mathew Turner entered with several files tucked under his arm.
“What do you have this time?” she asked. Her hand propped on a hip.
Her father sat on her couch, slightly out of breath. His eyes were vibrant and flashed with excitement.
“Just hear me out, Sylvia. I know your passion is environmental biology, but that’s not where the money is.”
“Dad, we’ve talked about this a million times. You do you, and I’ll do me.”
“I have a great opportunity for you, Dear.”
“I don’t care, Dad. What you do is unethical. It was kind of okay when people volunteered for your… experiments, but now you’re at the prison… what you do isn’t right.”
Dr. Turner’s lips pursed. “Just hear me out.”
Sylvia settled on the chair and leaned back. Another soft sigh. “Make it quick. I have work to do.” Her eyes flitted to the piles on her desk.
“Sylvia. I love you. You’re the only person of meaning in my life. I hate to see you whittle your life away… studying deer or something silly like that. I know you think what I do is unethical, but if you work with me, you’ll see how it’s the key to the future. I want to share that ride with you.”
“Dad. Do people want to participate in your studies? Have you even asked them?”
“That’s beside the point.”
“No. It isn’t. Even prisoners… have rights.”
“Hum. Well, we may not see eye-to-eye on every point, but the bigger picture is how we can create a better future.” Her father’s eyes flashed.
“By sacrificing inmates?” she scoffed. “Better future or not. Your ways are unethical. No future can justify that.”
“If you want to study the deer population, you go where the deer are. You try to figure out what’s killing them, what food benefits them, and so on. I’m doing the same. I’m studying a population of men who are incarcerated. It’s easier to collect data when your subjects are confined to a certain area.”
“That’s hardly the same, Dad.”
“You’re right about that. No one cares about the deer population… or wolf… or bird, not really. People will care about what I do, once I’m published. Please, Sylvia. Please, come along with me.”
Sylvia intentionally sighed louder. “Dad, I love you, too, but I’m truly tired of talking about this. How ‘bout I make us breakfast-for-dinner? I’m going to prove my work is just as important before this is all over with. But first let’s eat. No more talk about the future, okay?”
“You bet, Honey. But this isn’t over.”
Sylvia nodded. “You can turn on the television if you want.” She headed for the kitchen.
Dr. Turner flipped on the TV. When his daughter was out of sight, he went to the secret fireproof safe in her closet. He slid a few files inside and put a few winter coats on top. Tomorrow, when she had class, he’d return and move the safe to a more secluded location in her house.