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Hunting Muskie Preview: The Reckoning

July 7th, 2018 by Michael Dyet

Close-up of Teen Boy

Hmmm, what malfunction occurs in the mind of a person to turn them into a spree killer?

It is happening with alarming frequency – spree killers opening fire in a crowd murdering innocent people. A few years ago, I explored what might drive such inexplicable behaviour in a story. An excerpt of that story is set out below.

Note: It is not my intention to glorify spree killers or take advantage of what they do. Literary fiction writers are driven to explore baffling issues like this one in an attempt to shed light on aspects of life that seem to defy understanding. Please view the story from that perspective.

The Reckoning

I can hear the sirens now. They’re coming for me. They’ve been coming for thirty years. Their wailing sounds like the personification of grief. Strange how your senses expand when you know the end is near.

 So quiet in here now—just faint crying and soft moans—after all the chaos I brought. It’s surreal—serenity turned inside out. This sense of floating above it all after the horror of the moment. I wish he could be here to marvel at it. It’s time to write the ending. I should feel dread. But staring down the barrel is so much easier than I expected. No need for prayers to summon the will. Just one last act of courage. One—two … three—

Six Hours Later

“Son of a bitch.”

Quentin grimaced as he levered himself up in bed. His head was throbbing and his left eye was swollen half shut. Pain ricocheted across his chest when he took a full breath. He did a quick inventory: a cracked rib or two, definitely a black eye and a couple of loose teeth.

“How bad do I look, Chelsea?” He turned, expecting Chelsea to be watching him. But she was not in the bedroom. His glance landed on the alarm clock on the bedside table: 3:30 p.m.

“Damn, I’ve slept half the day away.”

“Chelsea? You out there?” He eased himself onto his feet, crossed to the door and scanned the small apartment. “Chelsea? Serves me right, I guess. She’s had her fill of patching me up.”

He shuffled to the bathroom, swallowed a couple of Tylenol and took a quick look in the mirror.

“How many punches did I take? You’d never guess looking at me that I won the fight.”

As he made his way back into the bedroom, the closet door ajar caught Quentin’s eye. He reached over and opened it wide. Half of Chelsea’s clothes and two suitcases were gone.

“Shit. Not again.” END OF EXCERPT

If you’re intrigued and want to hear the rest of the story, you’ll find it in my short story collection “Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet”.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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