This turned out a little differently than I expected.

[The following transcript is the property of the Grayson County, TX Sheriff’s Department. Transcribed from tape entered into evidence on May 11th , 1991. Supplemental documentation identifies the first voice as Dr. John Finley (deceased), who was employed at the time as a clinical psychologist by St. Mary’s Psychiatric Hospital of Dennison, TX. The second voice on the tape is identified only as “James”, a teen-aged male who had been admitted to St. Mary’s on May 2nd, 1991. While context suggests that the third voice is also “James”, audio analysis of the voice track is inconclusive. The current whereabouts of “James” is unknown, he is sought in connection with the events captured on this recording and subsequent to this recording at St. Mary’s.]

Finley: Good morning, James. Please have a seat.

F: My name is John. I’d like to talk to you for a while, if you don’t mind.

“James”: Would it matter if I did mind?

F: I can’t make you talk to me. I hope you will, because otherwise this is going to be a very dull hour for both of us.

J: What do want to talk about?

F: I’d like to talk about what happened to Maurice.

[An orderly named Maurice Trujo was severely injured on May 10th. St. Mary’s does not have detailed information regarding the injury, however, it seems likely that “James” was responsible.]

J: I told him not to touch me.

F: And because he touched you, despite you telling him not to, what happened then?

[a 34 second pause]

F: James, I think that it’s important that you tell me.

J: I threw him out a window.

F: Yes, yes you did. A window with some very strong glass in it.

J: Didn’t seem that strong to me. I think your contractor screwed you.

F: James, this is a very serious thing that you did.

J: I didn’t kill him.

F: True. However, he could have died. He may never walk again.

[a 54 second pause]

F: James, I’ve talked to the others who were there in the day room, and their stories are interesting.

J: Crazy people tell a lot of interesting stories.

F: There were also two nurses present.

J: A lot of psychiatric professionals begin to exhibit symptoms of mental illness, you know. You might be going crazy, yourself.

F: You’ve spent quite a bit of time in mental hospitals. We’ve checked your fingerprints.

[Note: supplemental documentation does not include fingerprints of “James” or any linked records. Dr. Finley may have been bluffing, or the records may have been redacted by persons unknown.]

J: The food’s good, and the rent’s cheap. Plus crazy chicks are easy to bone. Self-esteem issues.

F: James, I want to help you, but you have to be honest with me.

J: Do I want to be helped by you? I’m thinking not.

F: Tell me the truth, James. Did you throw Maurice out the window, or was it someone else?

J: Ask your witnesses.

F: I did ask them. And that is why I am asking you.

J: What answer do you want?

F: I want the truth.

[It is at this point that the third voice appears on the tape. Since there is no evidence of a third person entering the room, it is assumed that the third voice is also “James”, however the difference between it and “James” ordinary speaking voice is striking.]

Unknown (presumed “James”): the truth is that i thought that thing should die. james did not. we compromised.

F: You’re not James

?: no.

F: Who are you?

?: i am not a who. i am a what.

F: What are you?

?: i am the bell that tolls for thee, mortal man.

F: What does James call you?

?: catskinner.

F: Do you mind if I call you Catskinner?

?: i don’t care what you do.

F: As long as I don’t touch you, presumably.

?: there is nothing to me that can be touched.

F: I can see you. I can hear your voice.

?: you see james. you hear james.

F: But you, Catskinner, are speaking. Not James.

?: james is the machine that i use to touch your world.

F: You use his body.

?: yes.

F: And you used his body to throw Maurice out the window.

?: yes.

F: Because Maurice touched James?

?: yes.

F: Why didn’t you want Maurice to touch James? Did something happen to James?

?: i happened to james.

F: When did you happen? Did someone make you happen?

?: april 23d, 1975 at 11:20 pm.

F: How old was James then?

?: seventeen days.

F: What happened?

?: i happened.

F: How? How did you happen? Did someone do something to James?

?: yes.

F: Something to do with the marks on your back?

?: it is james’ back.

F: Sorry, the marks on James’ back. Did the person who made those marks make you happen?

?: yes.

F: Who was it, Catskinner? Who made you happen?

?: michael chase.

[Note: The “Michael Chase” referred to may be the cult leader who was murdered on April 23rd, 1982. If so, then “James” may be Adam Chase, Michael’s oldest son and the only survivor of the murders that left nine dead.]

F: Michael Chase. How did Michael Chase know James? Were they related?

?: by blood.

F: Thank you, Catskinner. Is there anything else you’d like to tell me before I talk to James again?

?: you will never talk to james again.

F: Why wouldn’t James talk to me? Is James upset with me?

?: no.

F: I would like to talk to James again. Will you let James talk to me?

?: no.

F: Why not, Catskinner?

?: because you will be dead.

[At this point on the tape there is sound of a brief and violent struggle. Physical evidence at the scene indicates that Dr. Finley was impaled by a steel table leg. The table was designed for detention use and the force required to rip the leg from the table would have been considerable. The window was broken and the bars outside the window were forced away from the wall, this is believed to be “James” method of egress from the facility.]

[Following these sounds there is an eighteen minutes of silence, at which point the tape ends.]


About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle.
This entry was posted in Cannibal Hearts, On Writing, Worms Of Heaven and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to This turned out a little differently than I expected.

  1. Sue says:

    Brovo! (applause)

  2. sknicholls says:

    ooooo! I like. Being a former forensic unit nurse in a State mental hospital, I am really eager to get to know James/Catskinner better.

  3. Papi Z says:

    Nicely done Misha. Is this part of Worms Of Heaven?

  4. Ooooh, always LUV a good horror story — thanks, Misha. 😉

  5. SJ O'Hart says:

    Holy…. That was excellent. 😀

  6. Oloriel says:

    Really enjoyed reading this!

  7. Wanderer says:

    This was great—-and I REALLY must finish reading Catskinner. I know what I’m reading on my lunch break today. The glimpse into James’ past given by Catskinner was excellent.

  8. vbholmes says:

    Realistic and well done.

  9. Pingback: First Thing You Learn Is That You Always Gotta Wait | mishaburnett

  10. kanzensakura says:

    Bravissimo! Please do Exquisite. I like him immensely.

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