Meet the mysterious man in black from the newly re-released paranormal suspense novel, A Human Element, and read an excerpt with him. He is a Watcher! Read how watchers are my favorite kind of characters.
Interview with The Man in Black
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
I wish to go the place my natural father came from. A place thousands of light years away. Their planet is dying. Their sun is nearly burned out. But if I can be with my people, perhaps I can belong somewhere.
Tell us about your family.
I have none. I was a violent birth. I unknowingly ripped my mother to shreds. I was the only survivor of many government experiments. I was left to be raised in a government facility, and then ordered to do their undesirable work.
What was the scariest moment of your life?
Going outside for the first time. I was 18 years old when I left the facility. The walls in my windowless room had been painted yellow like the sun. But I had no idea how bright the outside world really was.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be with others of my kind. I see things that will happen in the future, bad things. I hoped to change those things, especially when it came to Laura; the one who I believe will save my people from extinction. Instead I am the government’s garbage man. I take out the trash. I do the dirty jobs others don’t want to do.
Do you play any sports?
The only sport I do is killing. It’s what I’m ordered to do or I will be killed. I would choose fencing if I had time for real sports. I would like for this mammoth body to learn to fight with grace not blunt force.
What are you passionate about these days?
Having my people go on, to save them from dying out. And Laura. I’ve always loved Laura, as deep as someone like me can love. I am not tempered by emotion. I feel things but not with the intensity you do. I am a dispassionate bystander who follows the authority that created me. It’s all I know, all I can do if I want to survive.
If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?
Laura. I watched her parents die and did nothing. I watched her best friend die and did nothing. I had to, or our kind would not go on. I have to live with myself every day with this knowledge. I have to believe I made the right choices.
Who should play you in a film?
Marlon Brando. He was cool, hulking, tormented. Like me.
The man in black waited at the facility’s back door holding an envelope and a small bundle wrapped in a ragged towel. His long coat kept his muscular girth dry from the storm’s deluge. His wide-brimmed hat slung low over his jagged face, as water poured off its edge in a steady stream. This weather did not bother him. He waited patiently in the chilled spring night to deliver his packages and receive one in return. The door opened, spilling fluorescent light onto his feet. A plain-looking nurse held a crying bundle in her arms.
The man could hear the child’s bellowing cries coming from underneath the blanket covering it. She pushed the child into his arms as if eager to be rid of it. He reached down and hung his head lower, to shield the bundle from the rain and his own face from the glaring light. He took the bundle and handed the nurse his packages. The nurse grabbed the envelope but quickly placed the lump on the ground as if the contents were distasteful. The nurse began to close the door when he heard another far away cry.
The man wedged his foot in the door.
“What was that?” He had to nearly shout over the din of the rain.
“Nothing.” The nurse looked up.
The man risked looking her in the eye.
“The girl is in pain and won’t keep quiet.” She clutched the envelope and folded her arms across her sagging bosom.
“It sounded like another baby,” he said.
“It’s just the whimpering slut. Now she’s paid double for what she’s done.”
The nurse took a step back as if aware she had said too much already. She glared at him. “Now go on. You have what you wanted. And so do I.” She picked up the lump from the ground and shut the door in his face.
The man in black stood there for a long moment, considering the woman’s choice of words. He was sure he had heard another baby. What if another child had been delivered and the frigid woman and country doctor kept it secret? Fascinating. He decided to keep this information to himself. He would find the opportune time to use it. He was a patient man.
But first, he had to see for himself.
He peeled back the child’s bunting and looked for the first time into its yellow eyes. For that moment, the baby fell silent.
“Welcome to Earth X-10.”
The baby resumed its wailing.
The man turned with his noisy package and melted into the darkness satisfied, as the doctor had been, that the night’s events had provided him with more than he had asked for.