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Wrong Road Home

*Included in Jason Marinko's Starry Nightmares.

There's a celebratory mood, outside the Preytin Workhouse. The men released are rejoining girlfriends and wives. They embrace one another then hop in cars and race off, eager to return to a world outside The Preytin Penn. Except for Roy Daley, who plans to complete the job that landed him inside. 

Buttoning up the tattered flannel he wore on the day of his arrest, Roy looked back at the prison and gave it the finger. He pulled his jeans that fell to his thighs up by the pockets and started walking  the shoulder of the highway. After a mile he came across a gas station with a mini mart.

The door slammed shut as Roy excited shortly after he entered. He told the clerk who wouldn't cash his commissary check to go to hell and pressed on. He considered stealing a soda and a bag of beef jerky upon exiting, but was gun-shy. His pace hastened and he thought "Hell with drink or food!" He estimated he could travel ten more miles on hatred alone and he was less than six away. Driver's stared at the hulking, man walking the highway in the teeming rain in curiosity.  He lunged forward with his head hunched like a football player looking to initiate a collision.

“STARRY NIGHTMARES is a highly original, spine-chilling collection of short stories and poems tailor-made for readers who like the violence graphic. Bad karma stalks many of the characters, often delivering grisly comeuppances, although surprise ending make it impossible to reliably predict who will survive. The stories and poems are adeptly crafted with gripping plots.” Susan, Editor at Palmetto Publishing