About the Author
What better place to begin one’s writing career than a big soft chair in a therapist’s office? The brutal murder of a seventeen year old coed from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005 had left her remains in the tangled woods behind our one acre property. The murderer had dated our oldest daughter and even slept in our house. This whole twisted nightmare rudely kicked my PTSD back onto the front burner and was close to causing our family’s cohesiveness to implode. I had admitted to my wife, who sat next to me in another soft chair, that I had been silently leaving our bed on clear winter nights to regularly trek through the woods in an attempt to communicate with the dead girl! As I told the therapist, I was having Viet Nam flashbacks, suffered from sleeplessness, and had seen ghosts four times before in my adult life. I therefore thought it would be very possible for the girl’s spirit to confirm how and by whom she was killed. Everyone (including the police) had only one primary suspect in mind. I had a burning desire to help put the smirking perp on the gurney to hell. “So, obviously, you didn’t know that Steve was going into the woods at night. Julie, how does that make you feel?” Quietly, as she dabbed her eyes, Julie replied, “Scared!” “Steve, these traumatic events that you experienced in Viet Nam are recalled with such detail! Your mind has the remarkable ability to pull up memories that occurred over thirty years ago. Most people are not able to do that. I know you were not comfortable recalling these painful events, but I appreciate you opening up and feel that it will help you deal with this recent crisis.” “Steve can remember things that happened much further back than Viet Nam, can’t you Steve?” Julie asked. “Really? Are the earlier memories good ones?” “Pretty much. I probably repeat them too much, especially when I’ve had a few beers.” “Well, we have a little more time, so if Julie doesn’t mind perhaps you could share a good memory or two?” As they say at horse tracks: Aaand they’re off and running! I heard the old rusty hinges creak open, and let the mental film roll: meeting an ancient civil war veteran who had served with my great grandfather, then another about riding home on the roof of our family station wagon because I had dog poop on my shoe. I was almost finished explaining why, at seventeen, I asked my boss if he had a vagina. The faint voice of fiction called, and my story telling passion turned to writing.