6 - hello

True crime on TV always leaves me a little antsy.

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With the whistling of the kettle, I tossed aside the pillow propped in my lap and hopped off the warm leather of my couch as if I’d sat on hot coal. Quickly unplugging the kettle, I emptied its scalding contents into my eager cup, already equipped with a teabag. I stood agape in the aromatic cloud of steam only momentarily before being snapped out of the trance by the sound of gunshots from the television. I raced back to my seat as the true crime show I’d been watching took up where it had left off before the commercial break.

Shaky-cam footage soaked in contrast and blur and filters abstractly portrayed a re-enactment man murdering his wife and child without really showing anything. It was the typical ‘family-friendly’ method of depiction that relies on simply suggesting the murder. I could swear they just run the same footage through different filters for every instalment of the program. Some footage of running feet here, a close up on an unsteady hand holding knife or a gun there, a quick shot of the killers eyes, another of a beautiful TV child crying and screaming in fear, his mother weakly trying to act the human shield for him. I see nothing but it portrays the loss of two actual human lives. It’s strange how things work.

I accidentally sipped at the warm mug in my hands a little too early, burning the tip of my tongue numb. Decidedly placing the cup back on the coffee table, I focus my eyes once more on the television. The show is about to wrap up: There’s some final footage of the killer’s confession, a narrator’s open ended musings about the nature of crime, and a last update on the criminal’s current status. On April 7, 2003 Christian Longo was found guilty of the murder of Zachery and Sadie Longo. On the sixteenth, the same jury sentenced him to death by lethal injection. Credits.

I turned down the volume and let my head fall back onto the cushioning of the couch. Lazily, I squinted at the clock. 11:35 pm. I’d usually be good for another couple of hours but I’d taken my sleeping meds a little early. Punching the rubbery off button on my remote with a jerky thumb-motion, I raised myself once more from the couch. Swaying a little, I lurched into the hall. Quickly realizing I’d forgotten my mug, I whipped around to snatch it. Tea ever so carefully balanced in hand, I continued floundering towards the stairs.

As I placed my first foot upon the steps, I heard the slightest muffled thumping from the upper floor. It felt strange to think that the thumping had been continuing all day and I simply hadn’t noticed, but the thumping continued, steady and slow. I cracked and fell prey to my usual nervous habit.

“Hello?” I called up the empty stairwell, louder than I’d intended. I flinched at the sound of my own voice despite myself.

No one responded of course. I figured I’d simply left a window open, allowing a door to be blown around in the breeze. Carefully balancing the cup in my hand, I hopped up the remainder of the stairs. Slowly opening the door to my room, I peak my head into the bare bedchamber. Thin curtains flapped by the tall window near the bed. Walking into the cold gust and closing the window, I looked for what was continuing to cause the resonating thumping. At a loss for an explanation, I let that harmless, thoughtless word slip from my lips once more.


do you believe in x
Tuesday October 14rd, 2008

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