I think someone is out to get me (3)
“911, what’s emergency?”
And for the second time in less than 24 hours I found myself on the phone with an emergency operator, this time reporting two dead bodies hanging from my kitchen ceiling, great.
As was to be expected I was taken down to the station shortly after the officers, who arrived with their weapons drawn, assessed the situation and deemed, logically so, that I was the #1 suspect.
Same false mirror. Same camera. Same unnerving feeling.
“Well Thomas,” Detective Meek at this point looked rather fed up with my shit and I didn’t blame him, “the officers say you called in this morning to report two dead bodies hanging from your ceiling, and that they were, uhh,”
“American Gothic. They looked like the people in that painting”
Detective Meek just glared at me.
“Sir,” I added perhaps too late, “The painting, the guy with the pitchfork and his wife”
“I’m familiar with the painting Mr. Joseph. Now, let me talk because you’re on thin ice.” His voice carried no compassion or understanding,
“Your wallet at the scene of the murder of the Bodreau’s could have been just a coincidence. The severe injuries your dog sustained could have been the result of a botched break-in. But this, there is no explanation for the ‘kidnapping’ of the bodies or Mr. and Mrs. Bodreau and then ‘mysterious’ appearance of them in your house.”
Once more my heart sunk, “Sir, what do you mean the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Bodreau?”
“I had a feeling you would say that,” the detective turned around and gestured towards the false mirror, shortly after the door opened, a suited man entered carrying a laptop, spun it around to face me, and hit play.
The video I was looking at was obviously the feed from a security camera in some sort of building, “Most likely the morgue” I thought to myself, based on the conversation I had just had. It wasn’t long until a man entered the building and began searching through the bodies in the drawers, stopping first to carry a woman out and then returning to grab a man. While he was carrying the man out the door his head turned to face the camera and, despite the grainy quality of the camera, it was rather clear he and I shared many facial similarities.
“Care to explain this one, Mr. Joseph?” The detective’s voice was stone cold, the voice of a man who whole-heartedly believed he was talking to a sociopath.
“Uhhh,” I no longer believed any answer was the right answer to this one.
The detective noticed my hesitation and took the chance to push his advantage, “The video is time-stamped 12:17 a.m., just 15 minutes after we released you this morning. Rather convenient, isn’t it?”
I looked at him rather perplexed. “Uhh, sir, detective, I wasn’t let out of my cell until two a.m., I’m certain of that.”
He returned the perplexed look, and then looked at the other man in the room, “Dave will you grab the footage from last night, from 12 to 12:30?” The man simply nodded, grabbed the laptop, and left.
Based on the glare the detective was giving me I figured now was not the time to try and explain myself so I sat there in the chair, trying to make myself as invisible as possible, a truly impossible task.
The man, Dave, returned quickly with the laptop in hand, “The footage you asked for, sir.”
“Thank you, Dave, that’ll be all.” The man nodded, handed the laptop to Detective Meek, and left. Detective Meek proceeded to turn the laptop to face me and hit play.
The time-stamp in the bottom right corner was clear as day, 12:01 a.m. And there I was, sleeping on my bench. And then there the guard was, waking me up and escorting me out, at 12:02 a.m.
“How is this possible?” I muttered just loud enough for the detective to hear.
“Sucks to be caught, doesn’t it? Freak.”
“I, uhh, I want a lawyer.” At this point I didn’t think I had a choice anymore.
The police granted me my phone call and I used it to call Jake, he was the only one I could rely on anymore.
“Jake man, it’s Tommy, I need your help.”
“Haha what’s up dude, you get arrested again?” Jake replied comically.
“Uhh, yeah. Listen, can you find me a lawyer? Not too expensive though, I uhh, I’m running low on cash. And I’m serious, I found dead bodies in my kitchen this morning,” I chose not to mention the fact that there was video footage that basically showed me stealing the bodies, “and the cops are blaming me, but I swear someone is messing with me.”
“Oh shit dude, yeah yeah, I’ll get you someone good, let me call my friend, I think his cousin is a lawyer. I got you dude.” Jake’s voice was thankfully more serious this time around.
I spent the next three hours in a jail cell waiting for my lawyer, wondering if I could possibly get out of this, what Jake was thinking, but mainly; who the hell stole those bodies and put them in my kitchen like that?
Finally a woman arrived, dress in a suit. “Hello, Mr. Joseph. My name is Josephine Amias, you can call me Josie, I’ve agreed to be your lawyer. Now let’s talk.”
Apparently, Josie had negotiated for my release on the terms that I had to wear a tracking bracelet, was not allowed to leave the town until further notice, and had to report to court and the police station on all appointed dates. As if that wasn’t bad enough, my house was now officially a crime scene so I had to stay at a hotel, which I had to pay for. Great.
Josie drove me to her office, if one could call it that. It seemed that she worked out of a mobile home that she kept parked in her driveway and called it her “office”. Once inside she sat me down and explained that all the evidence was stacked against me and that it was very unlikely I was going to be acquitted of all charges, so I only had two viable options.
Plead guilty to all charges in the hopes that it would lessen my sentence, or
I almost scoffed at her when she said it. “I’m not insane and I’m not guilty! I didn’t do anything wrong!”
“Thomas, you’ve repeatedly, on record, ‘forgotten’ about long periods of time. The detective also told me that your responses to the officers were often poorly constructed, a telltale sign of stress, or, in some cases, mental disorder. I believe we could present a very compelling insanity plea.”
I couldn’t, I wouldn’t, believe my ears. “You’re the crazy one! I’m innocent, I’m not insane, and I’m leaving!” I stood up, pushed in my chair, and began to leave.
“But Mr. Joseph, we must prepare a defense!” Josie yelled after me.
“I’m innocent, I don’t need to prepare anything!” And with that I slammed her mobile home door behind me and began the walk to the nearest hotel.
It wasn’t long until I arrived at the hotel, booked the cheapest room, and plopped down in a chair. I pulled out my phone to see the time was 5:30 p.m., perfect time for a nap in my opinion. With that thought in my mind, and to regain some composure, I went to my room and collapsed on the cheap hotel bed.
I woke to see the time was 7:00 p.m., “an hour and a half nap, not bad” I thought to myself.
I grabbed the meal catalogue and ordered the cheapest thing I could find, “Uhh yeah, room service? Can I get a regular mac and cheese with just water please?”
“Sure thing sir, that’ll be up to your room as soon as possible.”
While waiting for my food I decided to think about my options, realistically this time. The lawyer was right, there was almost no chance of me being found innocent. But I’d be damned if I was going to jail or to an asylum any time in the near future. That left me with one option.
I had to run.
And so, while waiting for my food I laid out my plan. As soon as morning came I would go to the nearest ATM and withdraw as much money as I could and head towards Mexico. No, Mexico is too hard to get into. Canada. Yes, that would be easier.
“You can do this,” I reassured myself.
The knock on the door from the bellhop caught me off-guard enough to cause me to fall out of my chair with fear.
I gulped down the mac and cheese with a ravenous intensity only found in someone who was about to commit a felony. Deciding it would be best to be well-rested, I once more lay myself down in bed and drifted off to sleep.