At the outset of Red Moon, Patrick Gamble, the teenage son of a single soldier, is having one of those mornings. You know:
A what the hell morning. His father is leaving his son, is leaving his job at Anchor Steam, is leaving to fight a war, his unit activated. And Patrick is leaving his father, is leaving California, his friends, his high school, leaving behind everything that defined his life, that made him him.
It’s enough to inspire violent fantasies in the mind’s eye of our protagonist, already unbalanced on the flight towards his new life in Portland, but though Patrick might feel “like punching through windows, torching a building, crashing a car into a brick wall, he has to stay relatively cool. He has to say what the hell. Because his father asked him to.” So he sucks it up. Lets his worries wash over him while he waits, as patiently as he’s able, for his turn in the toilet a few aisles back.
But the man who went into the bathroom a few moments ago doesn’t come out. Or rather, he doesn’t emerge a man, but a monster.