"From The Shadows It Watches" is the second issue of Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta and the second part of the volume A Darkness Surrounds Him. It was released July 30, 2014 and was written by Robert Kirkman.
When he enters her room she is lying in a standard hospital bed with two IV line, one is normal saline to keep her hydrated, the label isn't visible on the other. She doesn't look at her son or react in any way.
He talks to her as if she can hear him, telling her about the boy Joshua and thinking aloud, asking himself if he saved her after years of being abused by her. He says that he admits he wanted to hurt her, not save her.
She doesn't appear to react.
Still talking to himself he remembers reaching the point where he'd had enough, finally rebelling and then thinking that he'd "broke" her and blaming himself for years after that, with her in the bed. He admits that he still blamed her for hurting him, even from the bed she can't get out of.
He's questioning himself now though, remembering the happy times he'd had with her and how she was was a good mother - "The Bright House Days", and how they ended on one particular day. Again, she doesn't appear to hear him and doesn't react to him or what he says.He tells her that he realizes now that it wasn't him or Allison that caused her to change, that there was something else. Thinking these things causes severe conflict in Kyle; he feels guilty for blaming her but still feels that she's continuing to control him. We see the Reverend Anderson's church and Reverend Anderson himself preaching, holding his Bible as he speaks. He's talking about temptation and about how God always knows how well people do when he tests their devotion each day.
He goes on to talk about how people can't expect to pass each test "none of us are perfect", that the most people can hope for is to pass more often than they fail, and that God is always there, ready to forgive.He finishes by saying how much he appreciates them being there and how good it makes him feel to be able to share his faith with them. He thanks them for their work and welcomes the "new faces" he can see. As he says this a man at the rear, one of the new faces we assume, tips his hat to the preacher and Anderson falters for a moment before finishing his welcome as usual. As the congregation put on their coats and prepare to leave, we can see that the man who tipped his hat has already left. We see Kyle at home clearing rubbish, putting it in black plastic bags outside the door. He's brushing and cleaning the living area. As he moves an armchair away from the wall to clean underneath it we see that there's quite a lot of accumulated rubbish that was under the chair. Kyle pauses as he sees something white in the rubbish and bends to pick up a tooth. He holds it and remembers his mother kicking him in the face while he was on the floor and the tooth coming out then.
He's still lost in his memories and holding it when there's a knock at the door. Kyle opens it to Reverend Anderson and invites him in. Anderson comes in, sees that Kyle is cleaning, sees what is still left to do and says, perhaps a little tactlessly, "It looked worse than this?" Kyle answers that yes it was; for a long time. Anderson is silent for a moment and Kyle asks if he has another problem he'd like Kyle to look at. Anderson answers no, that he's just dropped in to see how Kyle is. Kyle says that he's "Good, better actually" and asks if Anderson is going into town.
Anderson gives him a lift and, on the way, Kyle asks is Anderson has seen the boy, Jason. Anderson replied that he has, and that he seemed normal. Anderson goes on to tell Kyle to be sure to tell him if he sees anything out of the ordinary and Kyle asks what he means. We see that Anderson is thinking of Sidney, but he just tells Kyle to be careful and to call him is he needs anything. Kyle thanks him for the lift and tells him not to worry as he gets out of the car.
Kyle is seen by a his brother in law, Mark Holt. Mark's a police officer and is watching from his squad car. He sees Kyle approach and talk to a man in a baseball cap.We see that Kyle speaks to the man and addresses him by name "Donnie?" Donnie replies and is surprised that Kyle is so thin, "skinny". Kyle doesn't respond, he just asks Donnie why he's there? Donnie replies that he's back seeing old friends and is going to see Megan (Megan Holt, Mark Holt's wife), that he's heard she's married with a child now. Kyle doesn't think he should look her up and says so, we see him clench his fist in anger. Donnie doesn't seem to pick up on that though, or not sufficiently, and says that he's finding people he's wronged and making amends as part of the Twelve-step program (a set of guiding principles originally proposed by Alcoholics Anonymous as a method of recovery from alcoholism). As he says this Kyle loses his temper and punches Donnie. Donnie fights back but Kyle quickly overcomes him and has hit him in the face with his knee when Mark runs up behind him, shouting for him to stop. Kyle tells Mark that this is "Donnie". Once Mark understands he is instantly, and violently, angry. He hits Donnie several times and tells him that he'll kill him if he sees him in this town again.
Mark then stands up with Donnie bleeding on his knees in front of him and tells the crowd of onlookers that it was all a misunderstanding and that it's all under control.
Donnie, perhaps wisely, makes his escape while Mark is looking at his bruised and bloodied hands.Mark, with Donnie's blood spattered on his face, asks Kyle if he can buy him a drink, Kyle looks taken aback but accepts and we see them sitting in a bar a few minutes later. Mark is asking Kyle and Donnie and how long he lived "there" before Kyle arrived. It emerges from the conversation that "there", was a foster home and that Donnie had been abusing Megan for about a month before Kyle arrived. Megan was the daughter of the foster parents who weren't aware of what was happening. Kyle took to sleeping on Megan's bedroom floor to stop it and was beaten up by Donnie several times. The implication is that the abuse was sexual, though this is not explicit. Kyle says that he believes Megan was responsible for him being one of the few children out of the many who stayed there who were adopted by her parents. He looks down as he talks and scratches the label from the beer bottle in his hand rather than look at Mark. Mark finds the story about his wife being abused as a child difficult to hear as well. He listens to Kyle and then says he still can't figure out how Kyle could defend Megan and then beat up his own daughter. He pauses, and then when Kyle doesn't answer he says that Megan and he "saw Allison.. what you did to her" and that she'd almost died. Kyle looks down and doesn't answer. Mark goes on, says that he can understand Megan backing him after Kyle looked after her - but that he can't understand how Kyle lives with himself.
Kyle looks at him and replies that he didn't hurt his daughter, that he doesn't expect to be believed, but that it's the truth.Mark is silent for a moment, then asks what about Allison? Did Kyle hurt her?
Kyle says that he has to go and Mark watches as he gets up and leaves.
At the nursing home Sarah Barnes has another visitor. A man who coughs and then wipes his mouth with a handkerchief; it's Sidney from the church. He speaks to Sarah as if she can hear and understand, as her son does. He taunts her and says it's a tragedy that her Kyle will never know how hard she fought back and that she gave up everything for him. His parting shot is that "now ... we have him anyway". He puts on his hat and as he walks away, we can see that Sarah is weeping.
- Kyle Barnes
- Sarah Barnes
- Reverend Anderson
- Joshua Austin
- Betsy Austin
- Roger Austin
- Mark Holt
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