Introduction to Adam Coy, one arrogant murderer with pyrotechnic tastes.
I'm not sure what this says about me, but I have a taste for arrogant characters who cannot be broken down into "antagonists" or "heroes".
During my child hood, I became obsessed with comic-book characters such as Wolverine and Batman. Arguably, they're antiheroes. It doesn't matter. Patrick Bateman, the chick from Invisible Monsters, the kind of guys Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis would play in a movie.
And if the said characters are intellectually curious and well-spoken, it's bonus points. This is what led to Adam Coy in Excluded.
First off: Yes, his name is a play on words.
Secondly: He'll kill you if you snicker.
Adam Coy is this dark-minded 30-some year-old, who after losing his mother and watching his father lose his faith, grew into many bottoms of bottles. He also fell in love with gasoline and fire.
Here's a little snippet from the novel*:
Previous to this snippet, Adam Coy relives his mother's funeral in his dreams - a moment when his father threw away God.
From Excluded by C.M. Humphries
Rubbing the ruggedness of his morning stubble, Adam Coy sat up on the bed of his apartment. Next to a tipped over bottle of Jim Bean lied a cheap digital alarm clock indicating he woke up far too early in the morning. Again. Insomnia got the worst of him as of late. He could almost guarantee that he would wake up at least three times during the night, and that he wouldn’t get much more than a few hours’ sleep. The free time compelled him to do something. Anything.
Sometimes he wondered if God continued to punish him for all of his victims. What god? he thought.
Being awake so often and for such extended periods of time hindered his recollection. He couldn’t remember if the murders led to his sleeping disorder or if it was the other way around. Does it matter?
Getting out of bed, Coy fought grogginess. He ambled over to a wall next to his door and searched for the light switch.
Flipping the switch up, the lone ceiling light flickered. However, the bulb didn’t burn out. It didn’t help light up the room either.
With little light to help him see, Coy meandered over to the dresser.
He took off his sweaty black t-shirt and pulled open a drawer. Inside were several neatly folded shirts almost identical to the one he had taken off. He valued having a variety of colors though: black, gray, navy blue, charcoal.
Before he put on another shirt, Coy stepped over to his full-length mirror and gazed at his own build. “I’ve gotta be the last impressing thing on Earth,” he said to an empty room.
He grabbed his clothes and slid them on.
Dressed, Coy walked over to his bed and picked up the Jim Bean bottle.
Empty. Though disappointment pulled on his face, he kept the empty bottle in his hand.
He sat back down on the bed and thought for a minute. “What to do?”
Sneaking through a crack in his window, a cold breeze crossed over his face. He took a deep breath. An idea struck.
I could fuckin’ burn something, he thought. Lumber, a cigarette, people, paper, firecrackers.
Look what I’ve become, he thought. He lied the bottle on the bed and snickered for a moment.
In mid-laugh, he dropped from the bed and onto the floor and completed a multitude of pushups with no effort.
When he finished, he went back to the booze-stained nightstand and picked up his car keys. Without drawing anyone’s attention, Coy exited the apartment complex.
Never did he bring any of his own murder weapons to his victim’s home. That was foolish. Coy found that most people had something in their garage, basement, or in their coat that could easily be turned into a useful tool. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even know who he was going to kill until he met them. It was all about chance, although numerous victims believed that to be murdered was their God-given destiny or fate.
Are they kidding me, Coy wondered. I just spin a bottle.
On his nightly cruise, he stuck his head out the driver’s side window to look at several housing developments. Large families lived in enormous homes such as the ones he glanced at.
A smaller development called Clay Park seemed like a good place to start. No special entrance gates, no one outside, and not too many neighbors.
Who’s gonna rat me out, anyway?
“Now, who’s the moron going to be tonight?” Coy asked no one in particular.
He passed by a dump-truck-shaped mailbox. The name on the side was Flynn.
“Winner.” He looked at the house, evaluating it.
No lights remained on in any room.
Parallel parking the car just a hundred feet down the road, Coy headed for the Flynn household.
The moment he reached the driveway, Coy stubbed his big toe on something near their trashcans. He crouched down and picked up the object. A rusted monkey wrench. How convenient.
He shoved the tool in his back pocket and proceeded to the front door--
—A security light centered him out.
Even though it blinded him, the light failed to alarm anyone else in the neighborhood. They’re probably too scared to react if they did see the light, he thought.
Coy didn’t bother to try entering through the front door. He passed it by and continued to survey each opening in the house, resisting anything other than the perfect entrance.
He stumbled across a wide window on the east side of the house. Perfect.
A hedge stood as the only obstacle for him. He pursued.
The pine needles rubbed against his leg, like a cat starving for attention. The needles rubbed him again. This time, he stood still.
He chuckled at the sight of an actual cat at his feet.
Coy leaned over with a sincere smile on his face and whispered, “Here kitty, kitty. Here kitty.”
The small kitten walked right into his graces.
Coy’s broad smile twisted. Through his eyes sinister intentions could be seen. Coy grinned again, this time laughing. And then he looked at his monkey wrench; adjusted it.
Wrench it the air, he hovered over the feline. He swung down.
Inches before making contact with the animal, Coy stopped. “Scram,” he muttered.
He hurled the wrench at the window. The glass shattered with deafening force. Still, no one in the house or neighborhood reacted.
Crawling through the window, Coy entered the house’s kitchen. He observed his surroundings. Four chairs surrounded a small table. A small family, he figured.
As well, the coffee maker, the refrigerator, and the oven were all small. Though Coy hoped for a challenge, he took whatever he could get.
He creeped into the living room. A slight thumping caught his attention—footsteps.
Someone must’ve heard me come in. With that thought in mind, Coy dropped down and crouched next to the mantle of the fireplace, keeping still with his wrench still in hand.
“Hello,” a deep male voice asked. “Babe, is that you?”
He continued to travel down the hallway.
“Kyle?” the male asked. “I thought I told you no more late night snacking.”
In the family room, the father paused. No one in sight--
—In one fell swoop, Coy drove the side of the wrench into the back of the male’s neck. One blow sent him to the ground.
“That was easy,” he whispered to the male. “Mr. Flynn, I presume. Mr. Flynn, where’s the missus?
Clack. Clack. Clack. Footsteps echoed in the hallway.
Coy grasped the wrench.
When Mr. and Mrs. Flynn woke up, they were in their cold, musky basement. Together they sat on one stool, bound by weight bench chains.
Mrs. Flynn parted her eye lids and, in a haze, looked around the basement. She took a deep breath. She cringed at a potent stentch crossing her nostrils. Gasoline, she thought at once. “Christ, get me out of here!” she squeaked.
Coy emerged from the still darkness, his eyes glowing like a cat’s. He replied, “Fat chance.”
“What—” Mr. Flynn formed his lips, but couldn’t develop a question. Coy’s grin addled his reactions. He tried to jump through the chains. His hands twitched. He bit his lip hard. “You –you . . .”
“Out with it,” Coy said under his breath.
“Out with it!” Coy jumped in front of Mr. Flynn.
“What do you want from us?” he finally spat out.
The standard question. Coy shrugged as if he to say, “I don’t know.” He did reply, “Satisfaction?”
“What?” the husband asked. Slobber covered his lips as they formstrange shapes.
“Is that the only thing you can say?” Coy asked. He stepped over to the wife.
“You leave her alone!”
Coy winked, turned to the woman, and bit her shoulder strap. Pulling with his teeth, he shredded the fabric and exhaled along her neck.
“I’m damn serious! Leave her alone or—”
“Or what?” Coy asked. “Or what?”
Coy pursed his lips around her fleshy neck and kissed. Suddenly, he sunk in incisors into the area he kissed, ripping off a small piece of her skin. The wife screamed as Coy spat the flesh onto the gasoline soaked cement floor.
“You won’t get away with this, you know?” the husband threatened.
Coy waved his hands around his eyes to say, “I’m not listening.”
His attentiveness darted to the sound of small footsteps echoing along the staircase.
“Oh my god . . .” the wife trailed off.
“Mommy, what’s going on?” a small voice asked.
No later than the child stepped foot on the cold concrete floor, Coy rushed towards him and clubbed him in the back of his head with the monkey wrench.
Hope you enjoyed this little inside-look of Adam Coy and Excluded.
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*may not reflect actual telling in Excluded's released and final version.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.