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Night of Madness

  1. One Night of Madness
  2. ‘One Night of Madness’ recounts horror | Opinion |
  3. A Story That Deserves Telling
  4. See a Problem?

With the butt of his. Once inside, Turner drew his pistol looking about for anyone who stirred. Boxes of Christmas gifts brought by Thomas to the kids a few days before were still tucked under their little beds. With hardly a word, Turner went on a shooting rampage that became the most horrendous racial crime in pre-civil rights Mississippi. Outrage over the brutal murders came from the national press, but even some segregationist Mississippi newspapers called for the death sentence when Turner was tried two months later. A dozen newspapermen, including this reporter for The N.

One Night of Madness

Times-Picayune, covered the trial. Of note, favorable news coverage of the trial gave Judge J. Coleman statewide and national exposure that helped eventually send him to the state governorship. An all-white male jury seemed deadlocked, but returned a guilty verdict with a mandatory life sentence. That also was the feeling among reporters who covered the trial.

Kosciusko Star-Herald photographer Billy McMillan made photos throughout the case that became nationally-acclaimed. They, along with a notebook filled with clippings from many newspapers about the entire tragic case kept by his wife was handed down to his then 9-year-old son, Stokes McMillan. He had planned to rape Mary Ella, the mother, and year-old daughter Verlene on his previous break-in of the Harris house, but was thwarted by the sudden arrival of tipped-off Sheriff Roy Braswell.

That break-in landed Turner in jail on charges filed by Thomas Harris. Of the characters who play a role in the story, the most colorful is Hogjaw Mullen, the legendary Parchman Penitentiary dog-handling trusty who tracked down Turner after the Harris killing spree. After exchanging gunfire, Hogjaw got Leon to surrender. Turner died in prison after serving 18 years. More is eventually revealed in The Unwelcome Warlock , though.

It ran pages in manuscript, about , words, which makes it the longest Ethshar novel yet, but not as huge as Touched by the Gods or Dragon Weather. The following sample text is from a false start I eventually threw out, and isn't in the published version, but I thought it would do as a taste. The following prologue was the original opening; it's been removed, although a significantly-revised portion of the prologue was used in the epilogue of the submitted version. Note that the version here contradicts stuff implied in previously-published Ethshar stories -- what was I thinking?

The subsequent scene was originally intended to be the start of Chapter One. Nothing of it remains in the story except that I re-used two names for similar characters who appear very briefly, but unlike the prologue, it doesn't contradict anything and could still have happened. Night of Madness by Lawrence Watt-Evans Prologue t was later established, by a commission of scholars appointed by the overlords of the Hegemony of the Three Ethshars, that the dreams began four hours and eighteen minutes after sunset on the fourth day of Summerheat in the Year of Human Speech This seemed to hold true throughout the inhabited World; the dreams did not arrive any sooner in Aldagmor than in the farthest corners of the Small Kingdoms, nor did those who later became powerful warlocks receive them a moment earlier or later than those who never again showed any sensitivity to this new sort of magic.

Everywhere, and for everyone, the dreams came at the same instant. The effects, of course, varied widely.

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A few reports from the handful of survivors in southern Aldagmor spoke of something that fell from the sky at approximately the same time, but since none of the witnesses interviewed had experienced the dreams--if they were awake to see the falling object they were not asleep when the dreams came, and very few dreamers so close to the Source survived--the commission was unable to establish just how close together the two phenomena occurred, whether the dreams began slightly before or slightly after the time of impact, or whether there was any direct relationship at all.

It was clear that the fall and the dreams did occur within a few minutes of each other, however, and that a relationship might reasonably be assumed for the purpose of further investigation. Naturally, it was suggested that investigators should attempt to locate the fallen celestial object, but all magical attempts to do so failed, and three separate expeditions sent into the vicinity vanished. Thus the nature of the Source remained a mystery.

Its effects, however, were all too obvious. The old woman was seated comfortably on her porch, looking up at the river of stars that seemed to flow across the sky above her, when she saw the shooting star. A shooting star was hardly unusual, but this one seemed to be bigger and brighter than most, and as Kara watched she became ever more astonished.

‘One Night of Madness’ recounts horror | Opinion |

She thought about calling to her son and his young wife, asleep inside the house, but hesitated--surely, by the time they could get out here it would be gone. It did not simply flash over and vanish, though; it kept on going. Not only that, it was growing brighter all the time. Then it disappeared behind the clouds that had piled up on the eastern horizon.

Heat lightning had flickered eerily through the clouds for much of the evening, but an instant after the shooting star vanished came a flash much brighter than any heat lightning she had ever seen before. She started, mouth open. Before she could say or do anything more, the screams from the house behind her distracted her. Two voices, one male, one female, were screaming in terror.

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She got quickly to her feet--or as quickly as her old bones would allow--and hurried for the door. Just then the female screams stopped, and she hesitated.

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She didn't want to barge in on the two of them The male voice fell silent, as well. She hesitated a moment more. She had no idea what could be wrong, or what she might do--but he was her son, and his wife was a good girl, even though she was less than half his age, and maybe there was something Kara could do, whatever it was that had brought on those screams.

She heard a thumping and a clatter inside; someone was definitely moving around, and she could hear hushed voices. She resolved to go in and see just what was happening, and was just reaching for the latch when the door slammed open. There stood her son, stark naked, staring wild-eyed out at her--but she had the strong feeling that he didn't see her at all. He pushed past her, crossed the porch, and stumbled down the steps. He didn't stop; instead he trotted across the yard.

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His wife Imirin appeared in the doorway, wrapped in the quilt from their bed. It was just a dream! Something more than Karn's odd behavior had disturbed her. Then he got up and left. He didn't even take his robe, he just walked out! Imirin still seemed even more upset than Karn's actions would justify, and Karn's actions, of course, were extremely strange. That dream must have been part of it.