Part 1: Don’t Tell A Soul
June 3rd, 2008
“It possesses people who are unaware of its presence.”
I don’t get paid enough for this.
“Jack. How many times do I have to tell you that this is a police station? I can’t deal with cases of possession or monsters. That’s not our line of work.”
“Whose work is it then? This town only has 200 residents, and you vowed to protect them. Call it what you want, but this is your problem to deal with.”
He’s not wrong. But there’s no way in hell I’m letting talk of monsters and possession get around town.
“Should I see if the Avengers or Suicide Squad are available? I wonder what their availability will be like in June.”
“Officer. I’m serious. Somethings been going on in this town and it ain’t right. You know that and you can’t deny it.”
“I haven’t denied anything.”
“The crime rate went from petty teenage theft to 3 murders last month. How else could that happen?”
How the hell does he know about those? That dumbass Benton must’ve said something. I’ll talk to him later.
“People are changing Jack, that’s all. I’ve been living in this town since I was born 66 years ago, and guess what? People aren’t the same as they used to be. Do you understand me? They’re lost. They don’t know what they’re doing so they commit crimes and pick on each other for joy.” His eyes locked into mine, “Those two men went too far last month, that’s it. That’s the sad truth. You can’t pin it on demons and possessions.”
“You think this is all because people are changing?”
In a small southern town like ours all changes are met with fear. They only know what they’ve seen, which ain’t much.
“Three deaths are horrible, and our town has a lot of grieving to do right now, but do you know what’s really strange? Our town’s divorce rates, Jack.” He looks at me with confusion, he doesn’t seem to understand.
I pulled up a picture of my mother and father.
“The first divorce ever in soulville happened when I was 58. My folks didn’t get along well and they were tired of living miserably because of it. Everyone in town was there for them, since they knew how long they’d tried to make it work, but it never did. There’s only been 2 other cases since.
I put the picture down and pulled out a stack of papers.
“Last month there were 3 murders, and there were also 6 divorce claims filed. On top of that three other people separated and started living apart.”
“So the monsters are coming for our families?”
I can’t believe this idiot.
“Jack. It’s not a monster. No one’s possessed. People are losing their morals and that’s all there is to it.”
“People are becoming evil?”
“Evil ain’t the right way to put it. Everyone’s capable of murder and divorce. No one wants to believe it, but we are. We’re just one bad day away from ruining all the good we have and these people are having some real bad days. Why so suddenly? I don’t know Jack, it’s making me uncomfortable too, but it’s not monsters. Maybe we’ll pull in a psychologist. We did just get a broader range of internet and cable, maybe that’s the evil. But until we know what’s going on, you are not to tell anyone what you think it is. I don’t need panic in my town. Our office is busy enough as it is with all these divorce cases.”
His face is red now. I don’t think he’s angry, looks afraid more than anything.
“Fine. But I’m tellin’ you something isn’t right. A week ago my home was normal, calm and sweet, just like the rest of this town. Now, my wife’s angry. She’s bitter and cold, just like her old man, and she’s threatening to leave me and take the kids.”
I lower my head a little and soften my gaze. The poor man’s just worried about his family, why wouldn’t he want to blame that on monsters?
“I’m so sorry Jack. We’ll get to the bottom of this.” I fake a cough, not knowing how to say this next part kindly. “Maybe your wife just needs to talk to someone. Maybe spending some time apart will help you.”
The pained look on his face tells me the cough didn’t help.
“If she leaves she’s never coming back. The monster told me that.”
Looks like he knows more than he’s told me.
“Jack. I can tell you’re serious because of your resolve, so I need you to be honest with me. Why do you think she’s possessed?”
He paused, as if deciding whether or not to trust me.
“It happened last night.” His eyes shut as he recounted the memory. “Mary told me she didn’t love me anymore. She swore she’d never say something so harsh, and right after she did, she broke down in tears and said…”
“Jack, honey, don’t listen to him. Don’t listen to him, I love you. I’m so sorry this is happening.”
“I could barely understand her between her loud sobs.”
“I was so hurt and angry I shouted back at her DON’T LIE TO ME! OWN YOUR WORDS!”
“That’s when it happened. For the briefest moment, I swear on it, I saw a monster in the place my wife had been standing.”
He flinched as if he was seeing the monster all over again.
“It had big yellowed teeth, like it hadn’t ever cleaned them. They were tusk like, ancient feeling, and two stuck out of its mouth larger than the rest. It’s eyes were like those of a king cobra and it’s nose was so small I don’t even know if it really had one. It was only for a second after all, but that’s what I saw. I know it. And my Mary would never say she didn’t love me. That’s how I know she’s possessed.”
He paused, not wanting to let his tears fall out.
“You have to help me officer, I don’t know how many of these are running around town, but they look dangerous and they’re going to take my old lady from me.”
“I’m sorry, Jack. Here.” I handed him a paper and a pen. “Fill out this report and I’ll go into town this week and talk to the family of the murder victims, see if they saw anything strange too.”
“Thank you officer.” He regained some strength in his voice “If I might ask…”
“You have to stay out of this investigation though, Jack. That’s my only request. If you interfere, we’ll have no choice but to let this go. I can’t have you causing mass hysteria around town. You understand? If you tell anyone what you saw, it’ll ruin our chances of figuring out the truth. People will believe they’ve seen anything if you tell them they have.”
He gave me a slight nod.
“You tell anyone about what you saw, the investigation is off.”
Part 2 will be released next Friday, June 11th.
Monsters Inside, by Leeann Diaz