Chapters:

Prologue

There is a saying, "As you sow, so shall you reap".

The idea is that you will be repaid in kind for your deeds, whether good or bad. 

Karma.

That is a thing I have never found to be true. It is a novel idea that those who commit sins will be punished in kind, but to believe it will happen by its own accord is foolish.

Terrible things befall good, innocent people, and there is no reward to alleviate them of their suffering. Just the same, there are monsters committing atrocities all around you that are never acknowledged, let alone castigated. No divine punishment befalls the criminal who is never caught.

How it really works is that you are repaid in kind for the deeds you let people see. As long as you hide your secrets, your misdeeds, your sin; you can get away with anything. Of course, you let people see the right side of your face, the side of you that gives to charity, that nurtures and welcomes and performs. All of us do it. Don’t pretend that you don’t. You pick out the good photos of you to put up online, you only admit to the things that make you seem like a better, nicer, more interesting person.

You may object to the unpleasant thought that someone you share a house with, who you sit beside in the office, who you see each day is capable of terrible things. Maybe they’ve already committed some. Maybe it’s your coworker, your friend, someone in your family. As much as you protest, and you might say out loud that it’s not true, we both know that someone came to mind. Someone you doubt.

Nobody has ever suspected me of being the monster I am, no matter how closely they have looked at me. I’m very good at hiding what I am, because I’ve accepted it. I’ve learned that no matter how much I try to push that part of me aside, to paper over it and to keep it hidden, it claws its way back out of me. It whispers to me while I lie in bed at night and no matter how I fight it, how I suppress and silence it, I cannot will it out of me.

Perhaps I could if I really tried. But the evil has never been out of my control. It is part of who I am. The only thing I am ever fighting against is myself, and experience has taught me that it is much easier to give in sometimes to quiet the demons than to stay in an endless battle.

The world does not punish those who sin.

If you wish to redress the balance, you must do so with your own hands.