Dexter in the Dark

It isn’t so easy to be a serial killer, like Dexter. But he solved all his problems that are why he found a new place for hunting: the Miami. He tried to looks like as the simple man. He marries Rita and took new job: a crime scene investigator. Dexter, as usual, supplements his activities with the occasional murder, removing other monsters, the planet better off for their loss. Carefully nurtured by his mentor, Harry, only to inflict his passion on those who prey on the innocent, Dexter maintains a fine balance between work and “play”.

In Lindsay’s third novel to feature endearing Miami cop and serial killer Dexter Morgan, the Dark Passenger, the voice inside Dexter’s head that from time to time drives him to the Theme Park of the Unthinkable, inexplicably disappears while Morgan is investigating a gruesome double murder on the University of Miami campus. The crime scene, at which two co-eds were ritualistically burned and beheaded, gives even the human vivisection–loving vigilante the creeps. As the burned and beheaded body count continues to mount, Morgan realizes that the force behind the killings is something even more evil than his Dark Passenger. Dexter soon begins to question the dark voice that has been with him all his life, as he slowly realizes that his Dark Passenger is a true entity unto itself, possibly an offspring of the ancient god Moloch. As the novel progresses, Dexter begins to develop emotions that were once suppressed by the Dark Passenger, mainly those of sadness and anger. While missing the helpful clues and hints of the Dark Passenger, Dexter feeds off of his newfound emotions to find some balance in his life and to solve the mystery unfolding around him.

I AM NOT REALLY PARANOID. I DON’T BELIEVE THAT I AM surrounded by mysterious enemies who seek to trap me, torture me, kill me. Of course, I know very well that if I allow my disguise to slip and reveal me for what I am, then this entire society will join together in calling for my slow and painful death, but this is not paranoia–this is a calm, clearheaded view of consensus reality, and I am not frightened by it. I simply try to be careful so it doesn’t happen. But a very large piece of my carefulness had always been listening to the subtle whisperings of the Dark Passenger, and it was still being strangely shy about sharing its thoughts. And so I faced a new and unsettling inner silence, and that made me very edgy, sending out a little ripple of uneasiness. It had started with that feeling of being watched, even stalked, at the kilns. And then, as we drove back to headquarters, I could not shake the idea that a car seemed to be following us. Was it really? Did it have sinister intent? And if so, was it toward me or Deborah, or was it just random Miami driver spookiness? I watched the car, a white Toyota Avalon, in the side mirror. It stayed with us all the way until Deborah turned into the parking lot, and then it simply drove by without slowing or the driver appearing to stare, but I could not lose my ridiculous notion that it had indeed been following us. Still, I could not be sure unless the Passenger told me, which it did not–it merely gave a sort of sibilant throat-clearing, and so it seemed beyond stupid for me to say anything to Deborah about it. And then later, when I came out of the building to my own car to go home for the night, I had the same feeling once again, that someone or something was watching–but it was a feeling. Not a warning, not an interior whisper from the shadows, not a get-ready flutter of invisible black wings–a feeling. And that made me nervous. When the Passenger speaks, I listen. I act. But it was not speaking now, merely squirming, and I had no idea what to do given that message. So in the absence of any more definite idea, I kept my eyes on my rearview mirror as I headed south for home. Was this what it was like to be human? To walk through life with the perpetual feeling that you were meat on the hoof, stumbling down the game trail with tigers sniffing at your heels? If so, it would certainly go a long way toward explaining human behavior. As a predator myself, I knew very well the powerful feeling of strolling in disguise through the herds of potential prey, knowing that I could at any moment cut one of them from the herd. But without any word from the Passenger I did not merely blend in; I was actually part of the herd, vulnerable. I was prey, and I did not like it. It made me a great deal more watchful. And when I came down off the expressway, my watching revealed a white Toyota Avalon following me. Of course there are lots of white Toyota Avalons in the world. After all, the Japanese lost the war and that gives them the right to dominate our car market. And certainly many of these Avalons could reasonably be heading for home along the same crowded route I took. Logically speaking, there are only so many directions in which to go, and it made perfect sense for a white Avalon to go in any one of them. And it was not logical to assume that anyone would want to follow me. What had I done? I mean, that anybody could prove? And so it was perfectly illogical of me to feel that I was being followed, which does not explain why I made a sudden right turn off U. S. 1 and down a side street. It also does not explain why the white Avalon followed. The car kept well back, as any predator would do to avoid spooking its chosen prey–or as any normal person might do if they just happened to take the same turn by coincidence. And so with the same uncharacteristic lack of logic, I zigged again, this time to the left, down a small residential street. A moment later the other car followed. As mentioned, Dashing Dexter does not know the meaning of fear. That would have to mean that the roaring thump of my heart, the parching of my mouth, and the sweat pouring out of my hands was no more than massive uneasiness. I did not enjoy the feeling. I was no longer the Knight of the Knife. My blade and my armor were in some subbasement of the castle, and I was on the field of battle without them, a suddenly soft and tasty victim, and for no reason I could name I was sure that something had my scent in its ravening nostrils. I turned right again–and noticed only as I went by it the sign that said NO OUTLET. I had turned down a cul-de-sac. I was trapped. For some reason, I slowed and waited for the other car to follow me. I suppose I just wanted to be sure that the white Avalon was really there. It was. I continued to the end of the street, where the road widened into a small circle for turning around. There were no cars in the driveway of the house at the top of the circle. I pulled in and stopped my engine, waiting, amazed by the crashing of my heart and my inability to do anything more than sit and wait for the inevitable teeth and claws of whatever was chasing me. The white car came closer. It slowed as it reached the circle, slowed as it approached me… And it went past me, around the circle, back up the street, and into the Miami sunset. I watched it go, and as its taillights disappeared around the corner I suddenly remembered how to breathe. I took advantage of this rediscovered knowledge, and it felt very good. Once I had restored my oxygen content and settled back into being me, I began to feel like a very stupid me. What, after all, had really happened? A car had appeared to follow me. Then it had gone away. There were a million reasons why it might have taken the same route as I had, most of them summed up by the one word: coincidence. And then, as poor Dithering Dexter sat sweating in his seat, what had the big bad car done? It had gone past. It had not paused to stare, snarl, or throw a hand grenade. It had just gone by and left me in a puddle of my own absurd fear. There was a knock on my window and I bumped my head on the ceiling of the car. I turned to look. A middle-aged man with a mustache and bad acne scars was bent over, looking in at me. I had not noticed him until now, further proof that I was alone and unprotected. I rolled down the window. “Can I help you with something?” the man said. “No, thank you, ” I told him, somewhat puzzled as to what help he thought he could offer. But he did not keep me guessing. “You’re in my driveway, ” he said. “Oh, ” I said, and it occurred to me that I probably was and some explanation was called for. “I was looking for Vinny, ” I said. Not brilliant, but serviceable under the circumstances. “You got the wrong place, ” the man said with a certain mean triumph that almost cheered me up again. “Sorry, ” I said. I rolled up the window and backed out of the driveway, and the man stood and watched me go, presumably to be sure that I did not suddenly leap out and attack him with a machete. In just a few moments I was back in the bloodthirsty chaos of U. S. 1. And as the routine violence of the traffic closed around me like a warm blanket, I felt myself slowly sinking back into myself. Home again, behind the crumbling walls of Castle Dexter, vacant basement and all. I had never felt so stupid–which is to say, I felt as close to being a real human being as it was possible for me to feel. What on earth had I been thinking? I had not, in truth, been thinking at all, merely reacting to a bizarre twitch of panic. It was all too ridiculous, too patently human and laughable, if only I had been a real human who could really laugh. Ah, well. At least I was really ridiculous. I drove the last few miles thinking of insulting things to call myself for such a timid overreaction, and by the time I pulled into the driveway at Rita’s house I was thoroughly soaked in my own abuse, which made me feel much better. I got out of my car with something very close to a real smile on
my face, generated by my joy in the true depth of Dexter Dunderhead. And as I took one step away from the car, half turning to head for the front door, a car drove slowly by. A white Avalon, of course. If there is such a thing in the world as justice, then this was surely one of the moments it had arranged just for me. Because many times I had enjoyed the sight of a person standing with their mouth hanging open, completely incapacitated by surprise and fear, and now here was Dexter in the same stupid pose. Frozen in place, unable to move even to wipe away my own drool, I watched the car drive slowly past, and the only thought I could muster was that I must look very, very stupid. Naturally, I would have looked a great deal stupider if whoever was in the white car did anything other than drive past slowly, but happily for the many people who know and love me–at least two, including myself–the car went by without pausing. For a moment I thought I could see a face looking at me from the driver’s seat. And then he accelerated, turning slightly away into the middle of the street so that the light gleamed for an instant off the silver bull’s head Toyota emblem, and the car was gone. And I could think of nothing at all to do but eventually close my mouth, scratch my head, and stumble into the house.

There was a soft but very deep and powerful drumbeat, and gladness surged up, born from relief and anticipation of what was to come. And then the horns sounded, and it was very close now, only a matter of moments before it came and then everything would begin and happen again at last, and as the gladness rose into a melody that climbed until it seemed to come from everywhere, I felt my feet taking me to where the voices promised bliss, filling everything with that joy that was on the way, that overwhelming fulfillment that would lift us into ecstasy– And I woke up with my heart pounding and a sense of relief that was certainly not justified and that I did not understand at all. Because it was not merely the relief of a sip of water when you are thirsty or resting when you are tired, although it was those things, too. But–far beyond puzzling, deep into disturbing–it was also the relief that comes after one of my playdates with the wicked; the relief that says you have fulfilled the deep longings of your innermost self and now you may relax and be content for a while. And this could not be. It was impossible for me to feel that most private and personal of feelings while lying in bed asleep. I looked at the clock beside the bed: five minutes past midnight, not a time for Dexter to be up and about, not on a night when he had planned only to sleep. On the other side of the bed Rita snored softly, twitching slightly like a dog who dreamed of chasing a rabbit. And on my side of the bed, one terribly confused Dexter. Something had come into my dreamless night and made waves across the tranquil sea of my soulless sleep. I did not know what that something was, but it had made me very glad for no reason I could name, and I did not like that at all. My moonlight hobby made me glad in my own emotionless way and that was all. Nothing else had ever been allowed into that corner of the dark subbasement of Dexter. That was the way I preferred it to be. I had my own small, well-guarded space inside, marked off and locked down, where I felt my own particular joy–on those nights only and at no other time. Nothing else made sense for me. So what had invaded, knocked down the door, and flooded the cellar with this uncalled-for and unwanted feeling? What in all the world possibly could climb in with such overwhelming ease? I lay down, determined to go back to sleep and prove to myself that I was still in charge here, that nothing had happened, and certainly wouldn’t happen again. This was Dexterland, and I was king. Nothing else was permitted inside. And I closed my eyes and turned for confirmation to the voice of authority on the inside, the inarguable master of the shadowy corners of all that is me, the Dark Passenger, and I waited for it to agree, to hiss a soothing phrase to put the jangling music and its geyser of feeling into its place, out of the dark and into the outside. And I waited for it to say something, anything, and it did not. And I poked at it with a very hard and irritated thought, thinking, Wake up! Show some teeth in there! And it said nothing. I hurried myself into all the corners of me, hollering with increasing concern, calling for the Passenger, but the place it had been was empty, swept clean, room to rent. It was gone as if it had never been there at all. In the place where it used to be I could still hear an echo of the music, bouncing off the hard walls of an unfurnished apartment and rolling through a sudden, very painful emptiness. The Dark Passenger was gone.

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