When a sociopath is speaking, being a good listener can cost you your soul.
After receiving a DUI, Dustin Dempster is working off some community service hours in a hospital. While there he’s asked to do some amateur counseling of difficult patients. He thinks this a waste of time, but he reluctantly agrees.
One of these difficult patients is Levon Howard, a man paralyzed from the neck down because of a car accident. He’s initially uncooperative, but after being charmed by Dustin’s brutal honesty and willingness to break some small hospital rules, he agrees to participate. Soon he’s revealing his darkest secrets to Dustin…
For Levon is a an obsessed and unrepentant killer of the worst sort, only with a personal quirk. Despite his revulsion, Dustin finds himself intrigued by Levon’s story. Soon he’s doing what was once unthinkable, and realizes that he’s being strongly affected by what he’s learned. Will Levon’s madness claim yet another victim, or even another perpetuator?
Dustin pulled up his chair, and listened intently.
“For starters, my name is Levon, so call me that. Not big on ‘Mr. Howard.’ Fort is right in a way—I do want to talk. Just not to someone like him, or his flunkies, or a nurse. What I’m going to tell you I’ve never told anyone—but I figure, why not? My life—my real life—is over.
“You never told anyone? Why not?”
“Shut up and listen! You’ll see. But anyway, the most important thing in my life is that I’m obsessed with killing. With a catch—I’m not a murderer. I’ve never been arrested, never went to jail, and never even broke the law.”
Levon paused to catch his breath, and Dustin just stared at him, and resisted the urge to laugh. Come on! This guy’s gotta be fucking with me! Or was he? He looked pretty sincere—could he be serious? Maybe he would have been better off not talking to him. But, on the other hand, Levon could hardly attack him even if he wanted to, and besides, Dustin was a little curious. So he waited for the paralyzed man to resume.