How often do people hide the truest parts of themselves from the world?
Samuel Sadlowski, a retired homicide detective of the Bethberg, PA Police Force, is one of the three central characters in my horror novels Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I and Gallow’s Hill: Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2. In many ways he projects a carefully cultivated image of a guy who doesn’t care about his appearance or what others think of him. He dresses in beat up old clothes, eats very fatty foods, and is overweight. He also has a reputation, also carefully developed, as being a tough guy—after having served in active combat as a Marine in the Vietnam War and a police officer, the people in the area know that he is able to handle himself in physical confrontations.
This self-created image is what he uses to hide his deep sorrow about his son’s suicide, and it serves to keep others at a very long distance, except for a very few people. Included among those to whom he shows his true feelings and identity are the other two men of the Investigative Paranormal Society.
While he shows one image to the outside world, one part of himself that few know of in his little city is that he is a lover of art. He has no desire to share his appreciation of art with anyone other than his friends. He loves to travel to the museums in New York City and Philadelphia. He has a small collection of original paintings of mainly little known artists from the area and an array of prints of famous artists.
He once confided to Roosevelt and Jeremy, the other two members of the IPS, that he almost decided to be an Art History major and go to college instead of enlisting in the Marines, but he was too afraid of what his father would have said. He told them that he was more afraid of his father’s disapproval than of the war. But now, he spends much of his free time reading and looking at paintings and sculptures.
Sam’s favorite art, like Roosevelt is the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movement. But very few people in Bethberg know this side of Sam. And his favorite museum is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, a short two hour drive from Bethberg, PA.
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