Tell the truth.
You see, I pass this house every day on the way to the café – so it really isn’t weird that I got suspicious. Right? Can I smoke in here? I’m gonna smoke. Can you get rid of these handcuffs too? I’m the victim here.
“Just let us know your story and we’ll decide that.”
I’m getting to it. Coffee first?
“Do you need a minute? You’re shaking.”
I’m fine. I’m fine! Really.
Breath in deeply George. Deep breaths.
Okay. I moved in to my place about a month and a half ago, found the café probably a week after. I walk down a little side street at 11am every morning in order to get to that local café. For the past three weeks or so every time I walked past there was this same child in the window. Maybe… five? Six? He used to just look out of the window solemnly, sometimes he waved hello to me, other times he just put his hand on the window, like he was yearning for something. Over a couple of weeks, I began to get suspicious, worried for him. Anyone would – right?
“Sure, they would.”
So, after another week I decided to make contact. I walk up to the house and knock on the door – no answer. I go to the window and the child has disappeared – weirded out but not sure on whether to push on – I left it. I went to the café and asked around about the house. Apparently no one knew anything about it, just a normal family house – the neighbours liked the owners, and nothing was known to be. I put it down to kids being weird, as they sometimes are, and carried on.
“If you had suspicions or concerns why didn’t you alert emergency services?”
It doesn’t really work like that. Sure, I had concerns, but I was not sure if those concerns were just my own paranoid delusions, or if they were even big enough to waste police resources on.
Another week went by and the house became more and more disturbing. The child would have puffy eyes from crying – I imagined – or bruising on his arm. I broke again and approached the door – with the intention to see for myself and then call emergency services. When I approached the door to knock, I found it was open.
“You broke in.”
No. The door was open. Are you listening? I was worried for the child’s safety… I don’t need you to be convinced, I’m telling the truth and I will finish my story.
“We haven’t stopped you Mr. Taylor.”
Good. Good. I guess you haven’t. Where was I?
“The door was ‘open’.”
Right yes. The door. I stepped inside, one foot at a time and called out. ‘Anyone home? Hello? Your door was open.’ That kind of thing. No response. I hear little feet pattering from the living room to the right, the room the child stares from. Slowly I make my way in there, then – it goes black. I think I was hit over the head. That’s where this comes from, I bet the scar won’t heal for a long time… Still painful actually.
“And what if it was self-defence?”
Next thing I know I wake up handcuffed to a surgeon’s table – or like… I dunno, something out of a morgue. Those wheelie tables that they have in CSI to perform autopsies in that. Or Hannibal. I look around the room, light blinding, place is covered in white tiles and shit. Immediately sends alarm bells ringing in my head, I’ve watched enough Texas chainsaw and other serial killer or slasher movies. For a second I think I’m in fucking saw or some shit- Fuck. My cigarette.
Thank you officer. Gimmie a sec. Haha – I’m shaking a lot aren’t I?
“Would you like to take a break?”
No no – I will finish.
Anyway – the kid I was worried about, happy as can be. He’s giggling in the corner, playing with a train set, a bib tucked into his shirt. Some kind of bait to draw in unsuspecting victims, they even have a tv in the corner of this sterile room with Spongebob on for him. I hear him say – “Mummy? When is dinner ready?”
She steps out of a little room in the back branding a fucking meat cleaver, says “Soon honey, I’m just about to prepare it.”
She looks down at me, fucking smiles. She f-fucking smiles at me and says “Sorry – but the freshest food is always the best food.”
Well luckily for me, I broke my thumb when I was younger, and it healed in a way that allows me to dislocate the join and get my hand free-
“So why haven’t you freed yourselves of those restraints?”
It’s painful officer. And I don’t want to.
She cleans off the blade and aims it over my forearm, I get it out of the handcuff just as she swings down and it knicks the end of my finger off – see?
“We see it George.”
I punch her, grab the meat cleaver with my bleeding hand and chop at the chain, breaking the other handcuff free. This is when I just bolt – the kid is crying, saying something about dinner hurting Mummy – my only though was getting out of there. There are stairs directly to the left of where I was strapped down and I just start climbing. Near the top she grabs my foot, and I kick free, I think I broke her nose or something because she stopped following me for a little while. I get to the top of the stairs which leads into a normal looking kitchen, one I hope is used for vegetables and not.. M-meat.
“Do you need some water?”
I’m okay just the though of the word makes me want a chuck up. In the kitchen I find what I imagine to be the Father, cleaning his hands of blood and chopping up some carrots. In my frenzied state, and not wanting to be on the wrong end of a knife once again, I grab a knife from the stand next to the entryway, and as he turns around to look at me – shocked, I imagine – I stab him. I stab him and I stab him until not even his muscles are twitching. I turn, run out the front door – call the police – then, that’s where you come in and find me. Knife in one hand, covered in blood, handcuff around the other.
“It’s a good story Mr. Taylor, but we’ve found no such ‘hidden passageway’. Just a distraught mother and child of the family you broke apart when you brutally murdered Wesson Gregory.”
The evidence is all there officer. You just need to know where to look. Have you checked the sole of my boot for blood traces? I can show you where the entrance is – I’m sure they have some secret way of hiding it. What about the child? What does he say?
“That you murdered his father.”
“So, you confess?”
Everything I have said is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. What about my finger? The head injury?
“Calm down sir!”
I-I am calm. Please. I only did what I had to do to survive. They were going to eat me!
“There have been no disappearances, no evidence of anything what you said is true, the only evidence we have is that you were in their house, with a knife, and now Mr Gregory is dead.”
You… You can’t do this. I’m innocent!
“Take him to his cell. Let the judge hear it.”
I can show you what they did! I swear it!
“You can tell it to the grieving child you’ve created.”
They’re out there aren’t they. Watching through the mirror! You’re monsters! Both of you- get your hands off me – I swear you won’t get away with it! Even if it takes me to my deathbed I will make sure you-
The door slammed in front of me. I doubt they heard the rest. For me, all that waits is the cell. If I’m lucky, the court will have more sense than those officers… Unless.. Maybe the whole town is in on it. That must be it. I’m going insane – I’m going to go insane.