Excerpt of Monster by Jonathan Kellerman
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"Wet," he said.
"Don't worry about it, Chet," Dollard said softly. "You know Sharbno and his
The giant didn't answer, but Dollard must have transmitted a message, because
two other psych techs came jogging over from a far corner. One black, one white,
just as muscular as Dollard but a lot younger, wearing the same uniform of
short-sleeved sport shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Photo badges clipped to the
collar. The heat and the run had turned the techs' faces wet. Milo's sport coat
had soaked through at the armpits, but the giant hadn't let loose a drop of
His face tightened some more as he watched the urinating man shake himself off,
then duck-walk across the yard, pants still puddled around his ankles.
"We'll handle it, Chet," soothed Dollard.
The black tech said, "I'll go get those trousers up."
He sauntered toward Sharbno. The white tech stayed with Chet. Dollard gave Chet
another pat and we moved on.
Ten yards later, I looked back. Both techs were flanking Chet. The giant's
posture had changed--shoulders higher, head craning as he continued to stare at
the space vacated by Sharbno.
Milo said, "Guy that size, how can you control him?"
"We don't control him," said Dollard. "Clozapine does. Last month his dosage got
upped after he beat the crap out of another patient. Broke about a dozen bones."
"Maybe he needs even more," said Milo.
"He doesn't exactly sound coherent."
Dollard chuckled. "Coherent." He glanced at me. "Know what his daily dosage is,
Doctor? Fourteen hundred milligrams. Even with his body weight, that's pretty
thorough, wouldn't you say?"
"Maximum's usually around nine hundred," I told Milo. "Lots of people do well on
a third of that."
Dollard said, "He was on eleven migs when he broke the other inmate's face."
Dollard's chest puffed a bit. "We exceed maximum recommendations all the time;
the psychiatrists tell us it's no problem." He shrugged. "Maybe Chet'll get even
more. If he does something else bad."
We covered more ground, passing more inmates. Untrimmed hair, slack mouths,
empty eyes, stained uniforms. None of the iron-pumper bulk you see in prisons.
These torsos were soft, warped, deflated. I felt eyes on the back of my head,
glanced to the side, and saw a man with haunted-prophet eyes and a chestful of
black beard staring at me. Above the facial pelt, his cheeks were sunken and
sooty. Our eyes engaged. He came toward me, arms rigid, neck bobbing. He opened
his mouth. No teeth.
He didn't know me but his eyes were rich with hatred.
My hands fisted. I walked faster. Dollard noticed and cocked his head. The
bearded man stopped abruptly, stood there in the full sun, planted like a shrub.
The red exit sign on the far gate was five hundred feet away. Dollard's key ring
jangled. No other techs in sight. We kept walking. Beautiful sky, but no birds.
A machine began grinding something.
I said, "Chet's ramblings. There seems to be some intelligence there."
"What, 'cause he talks about books?" said Dollard. "I think before he went nuts
he was in college somewhere. I think his family was educated."
"What got him in here?" said Milo, glancing back.
"Same as all of them." Dollard scratched his mustache and kept his pace steady.
The yard was vast.
We were halfway across now, passing more dead eyes, frozen faces, wild looks
that set up the small hairs on the back of my neck.
"Don't wear khaki or brown," Milo had said. "The inmates wear that, we don't
want you stuck in there--though that would be interesting, wouldn't it? Shrink
trying to convince them he's not crazy?"
Excerpted from Monster by Jonathan Kellerman. Copyright© 1999 by Jonathan Kellerman. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.