Beginning of tape.
Look Doc, I’m not crazy. I told the cops plenty, but they didn’t see it my way and stuck me in this looney bin. I don’t see why you want me to tell you the whole mess all over again. You can’t stop the voices any more than I can now; I’m locked away in a padded cell and too old to give them a proper burial.
That’s why I went to the cops in the first place. I couldn’t retrieve all those bodies by myself. See, I had forty-two bodies in my backyard alone. I didn’t use to bury them in my backyard until I got too old to travel much anymore on my own. Couldn’t carry much weight either. I’ve buried bodies in every state, every last one of them, all those bodies stashed away where no one will ever find them. I was that good. They’ll never be put to rest, not as long as I live, but that won’t be much longer. I’m going crazy in here. They whisper to me in the night, begging and pleading for a proper burial. All that crying and moaning; it’s enough to drive a man to kill his own mother.
Maybe you don’t think so, Doc, but I’m smart. I never would have gotten picked up for murder. I never even got so much as a traffic ticket in all my travels my whole, long life. But then the voices started about a year ago, just a couple at first. Voices of the people I’d murdered. They asked me “why” and “how could you” and whined about how their families would never have closure, like I was supposed to care. I didn’t care then. When it was just a couple I could shut them up with a little whiskey. When it was five, it took a little more. Then half a bottle. Finally I couldn’t drown them out, no matter how hard I tried. No matter what I tried they wouldn’t leave me alone.
So it was that I went to the police. See, I walked in, bold as you please, and asked who I needed to be talking with if I wanted to confess to murder, multiple in fact. You should have seen that broad’s face, Doc. She smiled at me. She actually smiled, like she thought I was some senile escapee from a nursing home with trousers belted under his armpits. “There, there,” she says, “tell me your name and I’ll get you settled in no time. Want a cup of hot cocoa while you wait?”
I punched her in the face. Hot cocoa my sainted aunt. That’s when they slapped on the cuffs and took me to the interrogation room. I thought they were finally taking me serious, but no, they sent an old duffer in to question me. No sharp young detective for me, no sir, just some old fart three months from retirement with one foot in the grave and the other shoved up his own keister. Probably been a desk jockey his entire career.
Still, I took what they gave me. I told him I wanted to cut a deal. I would give him the information about the bodies in my backyard to show him I was on the level, then tell him where I stashed the rest; in exchange, they would give me a cushy cell in minimum security.I wasn’t about to hang. I’ve broke a lot of necks, Doc, but I don’t fancy having one myself. I left out the bit about the voices though; didn’t want them thinking I was crazy. Lot of good that did me. Can I smoke in here? No? Just as well.
Anyway, that fat jackass just nodded like I was telling him a bedtime story. Singing him a lullaby instead of singing like a canary. He called me “pops,” like he was so much younger than me. I guess they must have sent guys to my house anyway, because a couple hours later a cop came in the room looking a little green. “We found bodies all right, sir,” he said, “but they aren’t human.” He gives me a real nervous look. “We found cats, dogs, even some chickens, but no human remains so far. The stuff in his house would give you the creeps though. The eyeballs alone-” he shudders.
He says all this in a whisper, like I’m too old to hear. Finally I let him have it. I tell him he has some nerve lying to his superior that way. Like I’d waste my skills on house pets and farm animals. I could tell you every one of their names right here and now, and what I did before I killed them. I bet you’ve heard some stuff, Doc, talking to the looneys in here all day, but you ain’t heard nothing compared to me.
Don’t believe me either, eh? Listen. Tommy. He was a ginger, full of fight and vinegar, but I broke his back in the end. His fingers and knee caps too. Gina. She had the ugliest face I’ve ever seen. Shot her right in that ugly face while she begged for me to stop carving on her. Mr. Tiddlywinks –strange name, stranger guy – he was easy. I smothered him with a fat green pillow. I held it over his face while he twitched like a fresh worm on a shiny hook. Little Ariel. I cracked her head like you’d crack an egg. Just a little’un, crying, crying, wouldn’t stop crying, so I made her stop. Her momma cried too. Shoulda kept that baby quiet.
I hear them every night now, whispering and carrying on. It’s getting so bad I can’t hardly stand it. All those voices. Except the ones in the back yard, I don’t hear their yowling anymore. The cops must have taken care of them. Animals, they said; I may have been slipping these last few years, but I swear to you Doc, the rest are human, flesh and blood and bone and human as you.
Doc, you gotta help me. The cops don’t know where to find the rest of the bodies. The voices won’t stop until they do. They’ll haunt me till I die, whispering, whispering, whispering till they’re at peace. Write this down on your yellow pad: A man from Tulsa I beat to death with a tire iron, he’s buried in Texas behind an old filling station with a faded yellow star. A teenage punk from Lansing I buried alive in an old chest freezer in a junk yard south of Springfield. A young woman, pregnant, from Albany that couldn’t swim in Lake Ontario, especially with those bricks I tied to her feet. Are you writing this down? More, there’s lots more and they won’t shut up! Doc, you gotta believe me! You gotta help me! Make it stop! Make them stop!
End of tape.