[voice has a slight echo, making the room feel small and intimate]


Man: Hey kid, let me drag a chair up next to you.


[Sliding sound of wooden chair legs being dragged across a wooden floor a short distance, and a short gruff grunt as the man sits in the chair, perhaps a small squeek as he sits to give him a feeling of more weight]


Man: I get it, I do. This is hard to wrap your head around.


2nd voice: Small grunt of acknowledgment, interrupted by:


Man: (In a fatherly, consoling style voice) No, don’t try and speak, let me say what I want to say. You need to hear this.


Maybe I can make this a bit easier for you to. . . .understand. To accept. I’m not saying you have to get used to the whole thing, but you’re still green, and after 35 years as the sheriff of a small town like this, I’ve seen it all.


Or at least, I’ve seen enough horrible things you might as well say I’ve seen it all.


Honestly, did you expect your first Halloween overnight patrol to be uneventful? It’s Halloween, and small towns like this one have their own fair share of rot. Hell, they may even have MORE than their share of rot.


Of cancer. Writhing around. Poisoning the heart of the community.


(during the next two paragraphs, he gets more and more upset, disgust slowly building in his voice as he describes these things)


Oh, it disguises itself well enough. Puts on it’s best Sunday Clothes. Mingles with the deacon, shares it’s recipe for that potato salad they brought to the last potluck that was just divine. Then goes home and beats it’s wife and children until the can barely breathe, throats raw from screaming their pleas for mercy. Which go unheard from not only their next door neighbors, but apparently God as well.


Or it sets in like the mother who just. Cant. Stand it any more and “accidentally” leaves her newborn in a locked car in the middle of June while she spends two hours shopping, . . .and only buys one. Can. Of ravioli.


(Heavy sigh, and his voice takes on the fatherly consoling tone again)


Look, what I’m trying to say here is that sleepy little towns how just as many terrible people, per capita, as any New York or Seattle. They just don’t get seen as often. It’s a numbers game.


But it doesn’t mean they don’t happen. Maybe it’s better that it doesn’t happen as often, but hell kid, maybe it just makes it that much worse when it does happen.


And yeah, even by the standards of bigger cities where it happens more often, this is a pretty gruesome. scene. I know you didn’t expect to see something like this, and just wondering in on it? (half whistle whew sound.) That makes it that much worse.


If it’s called in and you are responding, that makes it at least a little bit better. Gives you a bit to mentally prepare for it. As much as you can prepare for something like. . . .this. It gives you just a bit to set in the emotional attachment we can use as a shield from the horror this job sometimes holds for us “protectors of the peace”.


2nd voice: (Starts a response that is only a brief mumble/vocal sound before being interrupted by:


Man: I’m not through yet kid, let me finish. (next line delivered earnestly) Can’t you see I’m trying to make all this a bit easier for you? I can’t promise you’ll come to accept this by the time I finish, but the possibility is there, so don’t you think it’s worth a try?


(no response)


Good. Now where was I?


[chair scoots back, and footsteps are heard, three steps maybe]


Gotta stretch just a bit. This old body takes time to get over any exertion anymore, but you wouldn’t know anything about that yet. Ah, protectors of the peace, that’s where I was. Yes, that’s what we are. And peace just doesn’t mean going to and from work without worrying about being mugged, but also peace of mind. We deal with these atrocities so the common folk don’t have to. We protect ALL of the peace.


I take comfort in that fact, and I think you should too. Wrap yourself up in it like a big ol’ security blanket. You know why this happened on Halloween, don’t you?


2nd man: (Uhn uh, a negative grunting sound in response)


It isn’t because of anything to do with all Hallows eve or any other bullshit like that. There’s nothing special about today, it’s just a day like any other.


No, it’s because all the kids, and most everyone else, are down at the first Baptist Church at the trunk or treat, making it easier to get away with something like this. No kids to hear them being abducted. No neighbors to hear the chainsaw or anything else that happened after they were brought here. Just opportunity, plain and simple.


The look in your eyes tells me that some of this is getting through to you. That maybe you are starting to accept our place in all of this. Am I kid? Am I getting through to you?


2nd man: (mhm hmmm, affirmative grunt in response)


Man: Good kid, that’s real good. Cause that cancer of a small town I was so poetically talking about earlier? The one I described as the father who abuses his family or the mother that committed infanticide? Well, it isn’t just poetic, those are real people.


And that’s the two bodies laying here in front of you.

2nd man (inquisitive grunt)


Man: Oh, maybe not yet, but eventually they would be, or some other foul manifestation of that cancer. Eventually that cancer eats it way into everyone. And I’m just excising it like any good surgeon. And just like any cancer, the earlier the better, before it can show any outward signs.


I didn’t want to have to explain all this to you yet, I wanted more time to prepare you.


But (each word enunciated seperately) you. Showed. up. Early.


I guess I should have expected someone as green as you would.



2nd voice: (light muffled grunting and light struggle sounds)


Man: Oh, there’s no need for that, I can see you understand now. So I know y.ou’ll understand why I have to do this


[sound of a knife opening, and quick approaching footsteps, which lead in to]:


2nd voice (muffled grunting and the sounds of a struggle, fabric rubbing on fabric, and the rattle and dragging noises of a wooden chair with someone fighting to get free]


Man: (quiet shushing sounds shhh shhh shhh) Don’t struggle. The more you struggle, the quicker your blood will pump out onto the floor.


[meaty wet sound of a knife slicing through flesh, then: gurgling moans, and desperate fighting sounds, maybe a light flowing sound to suggest the blood running out, which all slowly fades away]