So sit back and enjoy the read, it's a little long, but that's because my fingers kept doing the typing ;)
Myths and Legends
I stood there in the usual spot, behind the looking glass of the interrogation room. I have stood in this spot before, countless times, waiting for the ritual of the questioning process to begin. The room is small and cramped, the walls made of concrete blocks, cold and bland, the window is a one sided mirror affording me the pleasure to watch the interrogation discretely. Beside me is an audio recording device, a wire runs up into the ceiling, to a microphone in the other room the wire also runs to a speaker waiting to project the lies that pour from the subject’s voice.
Tonight however, is different, the story that stoked me out of the comforts of bed was quite disturbing, a small residential fire in the country side, that spotlighted a very violent crime. I had a warm cup of coffee in my hand, the steam filled the room with the sweet smell of caffeine, it was now early morning, and the department was still quite empty. My hat and long coat sat on the rack beside the door, and there I stood waiting for the ritual to begin.
The interrogation room was quite dark a single hanging bulb light hung from the ceiling, it swung back and forth in the current of the air circulators, the walls are tiled in sickly green and crusted near the edges with grime and dirt, including the occasional spot of blood from where the questioning had gotten a bit ‘rough’. The metal table gave me the chills; often I wondered what it would be like, sitting aside it, my hands cuffed to the metal chair as someone poked and pried and my mind until the information they were searching for was stripped away from me.
“Sir,” I turned, partly startled from my thoughts, “we’re just about ready to begin the interrogation.” He handed me a clip board, I signed my name, Detective Chris Darve, in the usual spot, taking responsibility for the subject. The Junior Detective took the board back from me, and proceeded for the door, now ready to question the person retrieved from the scene.
“Stephan, be careful with this one,” I said as he reached the door, “the reports described him as being quite Mad.” He simply nodded at me and smiled. I turned back to the window and watched the door open; two guards brought the subject in, a man from the country side, his shirt covered in dirt, grime and a large blood stain that covered his chest, his trousers were also torn in various places. He looked to be in his mid to late thirties but his eyes looked much older, wide with fear. The guards practically carried the man in, he was limp, the life seemingly drained from him. He muttered to himself but I could not hear because the speakers were off, I turned towards the wall, and flipped the switch to both the speakers and the audio recorder, and watched the wheels begin turn, as the sounds of the other room were recorded onto the strip of tape.
“the devil… demons… death… everywhere… my family… they… the devils…” the subject muttered, as he was played over the speakers in my room. The hairs on my arm began to stand on end, I had encountered the crazy before but the sound of his voice, the depth, the despair it was so hollow, it was almost hypnotic. I stood there watching, as he was sat down onto that cold dark seat, his hands resting on the table, the handcuffs clanked with the twitch of his hands. The guards left the subject there, and walked out of the door, Stephan walked in after their departure, holding the clipboard with the initial report and notes. “Mr. Laric,” the Junior Detective started, “is there anything I can get for you, coffee, smoke?”
“they… devil… slaughtered… my family… knights… death… death… death…” Mr. Laric mumbled. I watched as Stephan turned to face the mirror, and shrugged his shoulders. He took the clipboard and inspected it for a moment, and slammed it against the table, I jumped involuntarily as the speakers blasted the noise into my ears and saw Mr. Laric, still sitting there, his lips mumbling the same nonsense. “Mr. Laric, this isn’t starting off very well is it? Maybe you could start paying a little more attention and we could find out why you killed your family.” Still no motion from the subject, Stephan walked behind him putting his hands on the subject’s shoulders, there was a small pause in the babbling as he lowered his head and whispered into his ear. I couldn’t hear what he was saying but I could imagine the dirty little details that were being said to try to get some kind of emotional reaction, something to get him out of his state of shock, or to get him to stop faking. The fact that the mumbling had stopped showed there was still someone, or something in his head. As Stephan pulled away Mr. Laric began to mumble once again, the clank of his handcuffs still filling the air as he twitched.
There was a knock at the door, not to the watchers room but to the interrogation room. The Junior Detective went and opened the door, and whispered to an assistant as he was handed an enveloped. I assumed that it was the rush job on the pictures taken from the residence, pictures were always useful in stirring up trouble and getting people to talk, to see what they had done after their blind rage, to fill them with guilt. It was a common enough ploy, and I wasn’t sure if it would work on this subject, he seemed pretty lost. Stephan thumbed through the images, I could see the grimace on his face, seeing the images for the first time, I personally can only imagine how bad they must be. He grabbed a couple of them, and planted them right there in front of Mr. Laric’s eyes, the reaction was immediate, he threw himself away falling on the ground hard, crying out in pain, anguish, “Carolise, NO NO… my Carolise… the Devil took her it was the devils…” He shrunk into the wall, crying his face buried in his hands, muffling the sound of his wails.
“Mr. Laric, let’s get you back in your chair.” Stephan said as he grabbed one of his arms and helped him back into his seat. The subject had now been awaken, and I could see a new fear in his eyes, fear of his loss, fear of not knowing where he was, and as if on que, he said, “Where am I?”
“Now Mr. Laric, you’re at a point where you can either start to cooperate, and give us your side of the story, or you can keep mumbling your nonsense and we’ll send you to the block and the Judge will have a swift sentence for you by tomorrow, and you’ll end up hanging.” The Junior Detective said, with much emphasis on the last word. He waited a couple of minutes, watching the subject patiently, and then he took a seat across from Mr. Laric and pulled out a mobile audio recorder and placed in on the table. He started the recording device, and reached out his hand and touched Mr. Laric’s, “Tell me the story, Mr. Laric,” he said softly.
The subject looked into his eyes; I had always been impressed at how well, how fast, Stephan could create that bond of trust with a criminal. I watch, ready to hear Mr. Laric spill his proverbial guts as to how he had slain his family, murdered them in cold blood. Beads of sweat dripped from his brow, running down his face and into his eyes, but he didn’t blink, he didn’t even notice, as his mouth slowly began to form the first words of his ungodly experience. “I was there… inside my house,” he faltered, what I could only imagine was his painful memories flooding back inside of him, “we were having dinner, my wife and children had just sat down… the sun was setting. I remember that because it was shining into the windows, into my eyes. I got up and went to the window to close the blinds.” He looked down at his hands, the dirt, the blood, still stained them. “I started to close the blinds and looked out, the sun sank behind a cloud… and the entire sky became… it… it… went Blood Red.” He began to shake, to tremble as he gave his testimony. I double checked to make sure the recording device was working, ready to grab his confession out of the air. “The, the ground began to tremble, the entire house shook, like an earth quake, I could hear the animals in the yard screaming, I saw some break from their pens and run for the woods. Large flocks of birds took to the sky, flying away from the house. I looked back at my family, just as the floor began to split open just under the table…”
He was trembling, Stephan made him pause and take a breadth. But Mr. Laric went on, “I heard them, Saw them scream and push back from the table… my Daughter Roselyn she, she screamed I looked and saw a hand, a giant red bloody hand appear from the split in the floor, the ground still shook, and the house seemed like it was about to fall apart around me. I was so scared, the screams they were so loud… and… and I saw Roselyn… she scream at me, ‘Daddy’ but I couldn’t move, I just watched as that beast, the devil, came up from the ground, it’s eyes, black as night, the horns on it’s head toppled the dining room table as it came up from the ground. It held a giant sword, wreathed in flame, the table clothe caught fire, and started to burn… I saw my wife grab my son and run for the door.” Mr. Laric started to cry, he buried his head into the table, I couldn’t tell if what he was saying was real or not but he was so convincing, so believable, I wanted, needed to hear more.
“Daddy, DADDY, she screamed out to me, as the beast lifted her by the leg, it’s clawed fingers dug into her flesh, blood flowed from the wounds, down her leg staining her summer dress. She, she writhed in pain, screaming out to me, still I was frozen, the beast turned to look at me, I swear it smiled, laughed at me. But still there was nothing I could do. Its tongue reached out and tasted my daughters blood, it rolled its head back in pleasure. Anger swelled up inside of me, my heavy chains were broken. I ran, I ran and threw myself at the beast, but I was nothing, it stood head and shoulders above me and yet part of it was still in the floor, it slapped me with the butt of its sword and I flew back against the wall, my head smashing the window, the glass fell around me. ‘DADDY PLEASE!’ Those were the last words I heard my daughter say before the beast lifter her above it’s head, her small delicate body hanging from its hand, and smashed her into the ground…” Mr. Laric smashed his hands into the table, the force of which dented the table. “You don’t understand, DO YOU! The devil came and killed my family” He Yelled out. The force of his words, struck out at me, I wanted to believe him, but believing would mean that there were much worse things on our little world.
“I ran, I ran for the door, but the house had caught fire from, from that sword the devil carried. I didn’t care, the devil was behind me, and I had to escape, I ran through the flames, looking, searching for my wife and son who had made it out alive.” He stopped. I could see the grief in his eyes; he had lost everything, but was it the devil, or was he the devil that had taken everything away. The bodies had been butchered, mutilated, the cuts seared, I was told there wasn’t an explanation for the seared wounds, but this, this story would explain that, but it was all lies, they always lie. “Carolise, CAROLISE, I had yelled, but I couldn’t find her, not until… until I turned back to the house. I saw the devil, and another one, and another one, standing there roaring at each other as they circled my dear Carolise, she was huddled over my son, her hands over his eyes, crying, begging, for their lives to be spared. She cried out for me, I could hear her over the roar of my burning house. I watched as one poked at her with its burning sword, setting her clothes alight… I ran to them, as fast as I could, I could hear her screams, my son’s screams as they burned. And then one of the monsters began to swing its sword, again and again, the screams stopped and I fell to the ground.” I could see blood starting to flow from his clenched fists, his nails digging into his skin. I believed, as truly as I believe in the sky above me and the concrete blocks surrounding me, I believed the devil had visited him.
“The Beasts, they turned for me, I watched as they stalked forward, the one that had killed my daughter emerged from my burning house my daughters blood covered it. I was ready, pleading for them to take me, to end it.” He looked at Stephan his eyes wide, “Can’t you see that I didn’t want to live, I wanted to die, to die there with my family, but that was taken away from me, they, the knights they saved me.”
“What knights Mr. Laric, what knights saved you?” Asked the Junior Detective, still in shock from the story being told, still wondering if the subject was telling the truth or not.
“The Knights, they showed up, from no where, I remember the flames reflecting off of their polished grey armor. They, they shot at the devils, giant holes ripped into the flesh as the weapons shot, it sounded like thunder each shot was ear splitting. I covered my head with my hands; the screams of the devils pierced right through them. I saw the knights draw silver weapons, they… they glowed blue almost as if electricity was crackling around them. They ran at the devils, hacking them apart as they… as they prayed… as they chanted… I heard their words, ‘I am the hammer… I am the sword… in his hand…’ they just kept chanting all the while they fought.” He was almost mesmerized while he talked, captivated by these, these Grey Knights, that must have saved his life, it seemed as if Mr. Laric had forgotten all about the death of his family, almost as if he wanted to shout praises to these Knights. “I… I saw them slaughtering the devils, retribution for my family… oh my family. You must understand that I was powerless; I couldn’t do anything against the devils. But I could not watch anymore, I heard, I heard my wife cry out to me, I ran to her, the knights still fought the devils but I ignored them, my wife, my dear Carolise, I saw her there on the ground, she was so badly burned, she had been cut again and again, I wrapped my arms around her, I told her she’d be alright, I picked up my son, now dead and told them everything would be ok, I prayed that we’d be together again, safe, away from the devils, I cried, I buried my face into my now dead wife’s body. I screamed out in rage, why did this happen to me, why… it was the devils… demons… they killed them… death… the fire… devils… knights… the devils…” He had gone back into the trance he had started in. He stared at Stephan, unseeing the blood around his hands began to congeal, the tension from his clenched fists now relaxed. His arm twitched, and the clanking of his cuffs on the table began again.
“Mr. Laric, Mr. Laric?” Stephan asked, “What happened to the remains of these devils, where did these knights go?” The Junior Detective leaned over and reached for the subject, “There was nothing found at your residence other then your family, Mr. Laric do you have any proof, any proof at all Mr. Laric?”
“the devils… knights… fire everywhere… my family… devils… devils…”
Mr. Laric had shared all the information he was going to share, I was sure of that, and without any proof, the man would most likely hang by the end of the week, and there was nothing I could do about it. I flipped off the audio recorder and took my hat and my long coat and went to the interrogation room. “Stephan,” he looked over to me, “there is nothing else we can get from him, let him be, he’s gone now.”
“Detective Darve?” I turned around, there was a man standing outside the interrogation room door. He was tall and dressed in strange clothes, almost like a robe, but not quite. His eyes stared out and me, delving deep inside me, almost as if he was reading my thoughts, and then he smiled. “I am Inspector Loriel Seth, I am here for Mr. Loric.” He handed me his documentation as two of his men walked in to fetch my subject. One of the men took the audio recorder, “Wait a minute,” Stephan said as he went to retrieve the device. “As you can see Detective, I have authorization to gather all information pertaining to this case,” he said as he pointed at a place in the paperwork where the Commissioner himself had signed.
“Yes Sir, Inspector,” was all that I could say, I moved away from the door so that the two men dressed in odd black uniforms could carry the subject away. I knew they had already stripped the other room of its records. “Where will you be taking him, Sir, if I may ask?”
“He’s to be taken to Titan Memorial for observations, thank you for your time Detective,” he smiled again. I walked out into the hallway with him, and watched as he walked off, as he walked I saw a pendant, a medal slip from beneath his coat hanging from a chain, it bore a stylized ‘I’ with a skull centered on it. Myth and Legend I thought, myth and legend.