Michael Geoffrey McAllister had finally made something of his life—at least that’s what his parents told their friends now. He was 42 years old with no real family to speak of, but content with himself these days as an author and screenplay writer living in both the Pacific Northwest and Los Angeles. For most of his adult years, he had bounced from job to job, never seeming to fulfill expectations, both his and those of people close to him. It wasn’t that he had trouble finding work to adequately support himself, it was primarily that the modern world and the things that most people considered important or critical just struck him as trivial and that he just never seemed to be able to fit in. He knew that his parents. Despite their lack of encouragement or support during his childhood years were relieved, if not exactly happy, with his current employment situation—at least from the standpoint of “at last you’re settled” as they told their friends back in Green Harbor, South Carolina where Michael had grown up. Michael could now see clearly that his ability to write and market his screenplays was a direct result of everything that he had been told was wrong with him as a kid—his imagination.
Hollywood was now pounding down his door to get the latest creation from the imagination of Michael McAllister—the very trait his parents, particularly his overbearing, detached father, had repeatedly told him would be his worst enemy. Even though a sly and mischievous grin now slowly formed at the corners of his mouth, Michael could not totally ignore those voices that reminded him of that as he stared blankly over the water from the large deck of his modest—at least by LA standards—but comfortable home perched above the Pacific Ocean on Thursday morning. He still laughed to himself at his success despite all the “guidance” he gotten from home while simultaneously feeling an uncomfortable chill creep up his spine as he once again re-read the morning’s newspaper headline, “Unexplained Murders Return to Quiet Southeastern Town.” Michael briefly considered reading the entire article, but he instantly knew that there was no need to do that—that quiet southeastern town was undoubtedly Green Harbor and that the unexplained murders did on fact have a very plausible explanation.
He had the answer—not that anyone would actually believe him—just as no one had believed the 15 year old boy in 1970 when the horrors had first occurred. Michael’s hands trembled slightly and paper fluttered helplessly to the deck as the hard truth of what had been born in 1970 had now somehow been reincarnated in 1997. The perpetrator of the murders was not some hideous, deranged, mentally ill serial killer or the result of a drug-induced psychopath or local drifter, but a far more sinister and menacing source—the imagination of Michael Geoffrey McAllister.
Even as the sun glared down unmercifully on his slight frame, Michael recalled with chilled revulsion the knowledge that his parents may have been right after all. The former peaceful and idyllic Green Harbor had remained quiet these 27 years since his childhood trauma when the first murders had occurred just as it had always been in the many generations before his birth. The police and other authorities could never seem to piece together the fragments of the hysterical young boy who had seemingly been the sole link to the homicides. Michael had told them all exactly what happened—at least his abridged version. Being 15, he had never even considered the possibility of concocting some wild scenario that would protect his or his family’s reputation and standing in Green Harbor….though this is what many accused him of.
None of the local residents, including the investigative authorities, were interested in taking any serious account of that “scatterbrained McAllister boy with the overactive imagination”. The case was finally shelved, being labeled unsolved and everyone in Green Harbor eventually slid back into their everyday routines and wither consciously or unconsciously buried the entire incident. “The vivid imagination”……….how this phrase now echoed and resonated with deafening tones within Michael’s mind and conscience, almost literally lighting up like the bright neon that adorned the old Olympia Diner that he had frequented as a young man in Glen Haven, ME while briefly employed in the local hardware store. He knew then……and he definitely knew now……..his imagination was the killer.