The future is bleak for Matt Sutherland when he is released from prison after being convicted of murder. He faces life in a changing world and rehabilitation begins in a homeless shelter. His sisters, Zoe and Gail, anticipate his return with trepidation and are worried that their father will react badly. When Matt calls to see them on Christmas Eve, this visit precipitates events which change their lives. A letter is found. A secret is revealed. An unexpected meeting causes Matt to reach the limit of his endurance. Will it take another death to right the wrongs of the past?
Slowly he closes the book he has just finished. It is a favourite, The Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens. He has re-read the book many times over the years, and will miss its company. He caresses the dark green hard cover with the name embossed in gold, loving that smooth leathery feel. He opens the pages and presses his face into the spine breathing in the musky aroma of paper and ink.
Everything about this place is a neutral grey white. Lives bounded by routine. Broken only by sudden eruptions of violence.
He has been waiting for this day to arrive for ever. But like a child longing for Santa Claus to come on Christmas Eve, the length of time seems never-ending.
Soon he will walk out of here into the world again. A strange alien place. He wonders how it will feel, look, smell. And can’t imagine. It is a blank canvas. Like those images he sees on the television. Flat. Two-dimensional. Terror sweeps through him. Terror of the unknown.