He looks normal—not a monster—standing at the back door of a house, looking in. Then he slams the door and marches through the dry, yellow grass. The middle-aged man bursts our the door after him, yelling, standing on the step. He carries a rectangular can in one hand, a beer and a cigarette in the other. He screams at Cabel. Cabel turns to face him. The man charges, and Cabel stands there, frozen. Waiting for the man to approach him.

The man punches Cabel in the face and he goes down. He squirms on his back like a scared crab, trying to get away. The man points and squeezes the rectangular can, and liquid hits Cabel's shorts and shirt.


The man flicks his cigarette at Cabel.

Cabel ignites.

Flops around on the ground in flames.

Screaming like a poor, tortured baby bunny.

from Wake

p 79

The world is one fucked-up place. That's pretty much the only thing I've been able to get out of life in my forty-something years here. Everything is fucked up. People are, things are, life is. There's no way to really deal with it. Fucked-up people have fucked-up kids. I'm a fucked-up person. And I'm hoping my son isn't the same way. But, God, I can see that he is. He's just a kid, but underneath that innocent-kid exterior I can see that he's just as bad as I was. And I can't just let that go. So I take my son, and I try to get rid of all that's fucked up inside of him. I want to perfect him, to get every ounce of the man I was and don't want him to become out of him. I try to burn it out. But all I hear is the sounds of his screaming, and somehow that's worse than everything else that hides under the surface. So I run. I leave my burning son, my Cabel, and I flee from this fucked-up hellhole someone tried to call a home.