Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Diary of a recovering serial killer

Welcome my guest writer, Elbert Marshall, author of  "Nomad."  The spine-tingling novel is available now on and

Diary of a recovering serial killer

In writing “Nomad,” a follow-up novel to “Plotz,” which Sandy Bruney and I co-authored as Marshall Bruney, one of the toughest tasks was to assume the role of a serial killer. With my background in newspapering (as a reporter and an editor), the passages about my lead reporter, Evan Parris; the chapters involving detectives with the Glamorgan Police Department; and the written word about a female behavioral analyst flowed freely from past memories.

Becoming Nomad, the serial killer, was not so easy. My Google searches presented me with thousands, perhaps millions, of results to sift through. Finally, I assumed the mental role of a serial killer and wrote “Nomad.”

Afterwards, I felt withdrawal pains through random thoughts and a couple of nightmares. I wrote about it in a June 2012 elbertreble blog – see

I have found that writing may ease an affliction, so I penned the following item titled “The Diary of a Recovering Serial Killer.” It is meant to be humorous while seemingly macabre and enlightening.

(DISCLAIMER: No one, including my wife, was injured (or murdered) while penning diary entries.)

Day 1: Woke up early this morning and gave the sleeping wife an evil eye, and wondered “what if?”

Day 2: Same old pattern, but too chicken to ask her to be my next “victim.”

Day 3: Ditto to Day 2.

Day 4: Changed directions. Went to the Food Court at the mall and nursed a Chick-fila-a sandwich and Diet Coca-Cola for an hour while scoping out my next “victim.” A security guard eventually asked, no, told me to move on, and clean up my table mess. Said I was scaring the children. That wasn’t true, of course. Nomad was no pedophile.

Day 5: Went to Les Myers Park and occupied a bench for about an hour. No prospects.

Day 6: Went to Walmart and sat on a bench at checkout, checking out the checkers out. Got some mean looks from boyfriends/husbands. Decided to move on before I got my ass whupped – in public. Or, got arrested. I can hear the dialogue now …
      “But officer, I’m not a real serial killer! I just write about them in my new psychological thriller, ‘Nomad’!”
      “A serial killer? Jeez! In Concord!”
      “Hands behind your back! Cuff him, Dano!”
      “Let’s take a ride uptown.”

Day 10: Finally convinced the CPD that I was merely a recovering serial killer, and not a real one. A condition to my release, I was asked to avoid public places and ogling blonde women in their mid-twenties.

Day 12: Withdrawal pains.

Day 13: To soothe withdrawal pains, read Pages 30-33 of “Nomad” – once, twice, thrice to ease the desire.

Day 14: Doing better. Only read Pages 211-215 one time.

Day 22: On the wagon. So I begin researching a flashback section of my follow-up to “Nomad” by asking my Facebook friends what they remember about 1977. No replies.

Day 23: Still no replies about 1977. What happened in 1977 that everyone back-erased their memories? I pick up “Nomad” but resist re-reading Pages 30-33 and Pages 211-215.

Day 27: Jeez! 1977 must be a blur to everyone. In despair, I fell off the wagon and read Pages 211-215. Feeling somewhat better, I finished off my “high” by reading Pages 30-33 and all of Chapter 29.

Day 28 (early morning): My wife is missing! Horrors! I search every room in the house – including under our bed and the bed in the guest room, plus every closet. Even the basement. No wife. I stand on the edge of the deck and look for unusual humps in the back yard. What have I done?

Day 28 (later in the afternoon): The cellphone rings. It’s the wife. She’s in Virginia visiting her daddy and wants to know how I’m doing. “I miss you,” I moaned.

Day 28 (late night): Decided to go back on the wagon – starting in the morning.

Day 29 (10 a.m.): Re-read Chapter 29, then Chapter 30 and Chapter 31 of “Nomad.” Felt some better, but had to read the Epilogue to really feel better.

Day 29 (high noon): Officially went back on the wagon. No more serial killer thoughts.

Day 30: Had bad thoughts all day but didn’t feed my disease with “Nomad” readings.

Day 45: All right! Fifteen days sober and counting. Oh, does a teensy flash across the brain count as falling off the wagon? No, I decide.

Day 46: The wife returns. Happy days are here again!

Day 60: A full month sober. “Who Slew Bonnie Blue” research progressing well. Thank goodness Google doesn’t have a memory lapse about 1977.

Day 90: Another month, another day without a s.k. thought. (I abbreviated serial killer so that I wouldn’t get a vivid picture of Nomad stalking, kidnapping, toying with, leaving his signature in blood, and murdering another female victim).

Day 90 (three minutes after above post): I’m reading Chapter 1 and Chapter 3 of “Nomad.” Jeez! Off the wagon! Thank goodness I bookmarked all of the chapters devoted to Nomad!

Day 90 (ten minutes after above posts): “What’s wrong with you?” the wife asks as I hungrily thumb through and read page after earmarked page.
      To which I replay, “Would you like to play a game with me?”
      “What!” she inquires.
      “Serial killer meets his sweetheart.”
      To which she replies, “How about serial killer meets his end”; and she clobbers me over the head with her handy, 75-pound purse. Twice! No thrice!

Day 90 (a split second after above post): I am no longer a recovering serial killer. My mind has been freed of stalking, kidnapping, toying with, leaving a signature in blood, and murdering female victims.

Day 200: Okay, it’s been a “clean” 110 days. However, after doing my research for my “Who Slew Bonnie Blue?” flashback to 1977, I’m on the brink of another addiction – maybe two or three combined. It seems that 1977 was a pivotal year that altered “free sex” to “protected sex/abstinence,” when drug use was at an all-time peak and pornography, thanks to a Supreme Court decision on the First Amendment to our Constitution, became an in-home pleasure – thanks to Beta and VCR machines.

To be honest, I think I am too old to be a sex-drug-porno addict. I think I’ll go back and re-read Chapters 1 and 3 of “Nomad” – and take my chances as a recovering, not-recovering, recovering serial killer. Seems safer to me.

1 comment:

  1. Funny post, Elbert! Yet so true. Loved the diary, and I'm going to have to find out what's on pages 30-33 of Nomad. I guess I'm a recovering vampire, and maybe a closet earth magic addict. Hmmm.. maybe a diary would help!

    Thanks for a fun post, Sandy!