WitD3: Chapter 1

*The Watcher in the Darkness Series and all characters contained therein are the sole copyright of K.M. Spires. All rights reserved.*

The Watcher in the Darkness series contains adult situations, graphic violence, and lots and lots of bad language. Rated M for Mature, seriously.

Watcher in the Darkness: Book 3

Imprisoned

By K. M. Spires

© 2016 by K.M. Spires. All rights reserved.

This book is dedicated to our departed friend, Rod Landreth. He will be sorely missed by everyone whose life he touched while still a part of our world. Pleasant journeys, brother.

This isn’t Toby, but here’s an update anyway.

May 5th

Greetings, followers of Toby’s blog.

As everyone knows, Tobias is still being held in administrative segregation at the Joseph D. Winter Unit upstate. My name is Father Michael Cooper, and I am the caretaker of St. Justine’s Sanctuary for the Disavowed. For those unfamiliar with the Sanctuary, it is the largest—and only—Church-operated vampire shelter in the country.

The flood of support Tobias has received ever since this ordeal began has been nothing short of astounding. So much so that I felt compelled to offer everyone who’s expressed concern a long overdue update regarding his condition. Toby didn’t agree with this idea, for some god-forsaken reason, and consequently refused to share his blog password with me. Luckily, it was easy enough to guess, so it must be God’s will that I took this liberty. Toby might not appreciate me overstepping my bounds this way, but he’ll just have to find it in his heart to forgive me.

First, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s made a financial contribution toward Tobias’s defense. He hasn’t used the money to that end, but has decided instead to donate it to the Sanctuary. Well, he “donated’ it in the sense that he said he didn’t give a flying flip what I did with the money. Only, he didn’t say “flip.” Tobias isn’t burdened with perfection.

This is, as I’m sure anyone can imagine, a very difficult time for him. Tobias won’t accept any visitors except for me, and that’s only because I’m the one that brings him his cold blood. I don’t know if he’s had any sort of contact with Karen since turning himself in, but I doubt it.

The day of Toby’s arraignment is finally here, and the main question on everyone’s mind seems to be, why has this taken almost five months? Well, the answer to that is kind of complicated.

At first, due to the circumstances of his birth, no one could decide how to prosecute him; should they try him in the human courts, or turn him over to the vampires? Toby’s relatives used their influence to ensure that the High Court processed his case, but that wasn’t any sort of windfall. Most vampiric laws and legal procedures haven’t changed since medieval times.

As his case was being reviewed, Toby got to rot in solitary confinement, because state jail facilities are deemed “insufficient” to contain vampires. Yes, he’s half human, but because of his dietary preferences, he poses a threat to the general population. The High Court refused to release him on his own recognizance, because any vampire accused of draining a human to the point of death is considered guilty until proven innocent.

Last Friday, all the evidence was finally reviewed and the presiding judge dismissed Toby’s case altogether. I don’t know if Baron von Brandt had any influence in that ruling, but it was warranted. Vampire physiology is not a mystery. We all know what happens when someone starves a vampire or bleeds it dry. Justine’s death was tragic, but not Toby’s fault. A feral vampire has no control over—or even any memory of—whatever survival action he takes while in the feral state. There is no way that Tobias was criminally responsible for what happened to Justine, regardless of what he himself believes.

However, the ink wasn’t even dry on the High Court’s verdict before District Attorney Edward Halloran indicted Toby on second-degree murder charges. So now we get to start this wonderful process all over again.

I want it on record that this is a completely political move. It’s not a secret that Halloran has aspirations for higher office, and vampire violence against humans is a hot button issue. It’s only gotten hotter since we lost the Watchers. If he establishes a reputation for being tough on this sort of crime now, Halloran can pretty much sleep though his gubernatorial campaign.

The good news is that Toby’s grandmother has one of the best defense attorneys in the state on retainer. The bad news is that Tobias has made it clear that he intends to refuse his services. He wants to represent himself, then plead guilty to all charges. I’ve tried to talk some sense into him, but Toby isn’t listening to me. He isn’t listening to anyone, and he won’t accept any deal from the prosecution. He’s determined “to see that justice is done,” whatever that means.

I know that Toby is grateful for all of the support that he’s received from his fans. Well, he’s probably grateful. You know, deep, deep down.

Before I finish, I would like to make something of a public service announcement. If you, or if anyone you know, has experienced an unusually terrible string of bad luck, it may be more than random circumstance. By bad luck, I mean weird stuff happening; food withering on the shelves, or vehicles breaking down without explanation. Pets disappearing or dying without a mark on their bodies. Most of all, if anyone suddenly comes down with a mysterious illness or infection that modern medicine can’t treat or identify, don’t hesitate to contact me at the Sanctuary. Immediately, regardless of the hour.

Thank you.

<<Wait, what happened so far?

Chapter 2>>

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