S: Why don't we start from the beginning. Victoria Krell. When did you start stalking her? Why did you start stalking her? You just see her walking home one day and decided she was vulnerable and insecure enough that she was worth your time?
C: I had nothing to do with Victoria Krell's disappearance.
S: Yeah, and I'm the king of Siam. Just because I say it doesn't mean it's true. Now we can sit here and do this dance until we both have blisters covering every square inch of our feet but one way or another you're going to tell me why you did it.
C: Again, her disappearance was not my business.
S: ...Alright...was this your business, then?
(I throw down a picture onto the table. The picture's an old crime photo from eleven years ago; a girl, fifteen, laying face up with her throat slit, a trickle of blood running from her mouth, a look of terror and helplessness on her face. Her dress was torn and her legs show scratches just under where the dress ends.)
S: You remember her? You remember what you did to her?
C: I remember her. I remember how horrible the trial was, but I also remember that I was cleared of that charge. They proved I didn't do it.
S: They proved you were good at bribing the judicial.
C: Mr. Strahm-
S: Your prints were all over that corpse. The tire tracks that led away from the scene came from your car. The blade that cut her throat, ALSO had your prints on it. Semen traced back to you, skin tissue under her fingernails matched quite well with the scratches on the back of your neck. Now are you going to keep telling me you didn't do it when I know you did, are we going to keep dancing around it?
C:...They proved me innocent.
(Fifteen second pause)
S: Fine. You want to hear another story, then?
C: Humor me.
(Twenty-three second pause)
S: Her name was Ashley Silvia. She went to my high school, she was in my class. We were freshman then. I was supposed to go on a date with her that night. Our first one. I thought she had stood me up, but imagine my shock the next morning when my mother showed me the papers with her picture on the front. Ruined dating for me for my entire time in high school. Is that enough of a story for you, or should I continue?
(Thirty second pause)
S: So I'll ask again. What did you do to Victoria Krell?
(Ten second pause. He shifted a little bit; squirming, I hoped.)
C: I just provided the message that He was coming for her.
(There was that “He” business again. But the way he said it was different from the way Sam said it; he wasn't afraid, or if he was, he kept it well hidden.)
S: Oh, come on, not this bullshit again...
C: I trust Mr. Ford has already told you about Him-
S: No, he just said “HIM” over and over again as though I was supposed to know what he was talking about. If you're going to do it too, then excuse me while I go and get some more coffee because I am in no mood to play that game again.
C: Do you believe in the angel of death, Mr. Strahm?
C: I only want you to listen while I talk. The information I have for you is crucial. It will help you to survive Him, but only if you listen.
S:...Alright, Mr. Conaghan (sits down) let's hear it.
(What follows next is probably the most well-thought out tale of fiction I've heard in a long time. Also probably the most ridiculous. But I got to give him points for creativity at least.)
C: Maybe in the past...I did some things for a...recreational purpose. Maybe I went about it with no strategic goal or thought processes of what my actions would cause to the outside world. But things...things have changed since then.
It was six months ago, when He first came to me. I was in my apartment, preparing myself for bed, and as I stared out the window I saw Him standing there staring up at me. I thought maybe someone was spying on me...but then I heard His voice in my head...calling for me to be his disciple. I didn't understand at first, but then He showed me things...wonderful, horrible things.
For three days, He came to me. And each time, He showed me more beautiful images, and through these images I learned of his goal. From where he comes from, there is a need for humans. For food, for play...for supply.
After that, I understood. There is a greater purpose to life, and that is Him. We all go about our lives, thinking we have control over what happens to us. We are disillusioned. Only He has control. And when it is our time, He will take us. And He has entrusted people like myself with the mission of telling people when it is their time. Their time to be taken, to go to his world...to see the horrors that the universe has that cannot be found on this earth.
So you see, Mr. Strahm, what you assume is wrong. These people are not disappearing. What we assume about our reality is a lie, we have neither the brainpower, nor the courage, to see-
S: (banging my fists on the table) Oh, cut the shit! What the hell are you babbling about?
C: I'm telling you what you wanted to know-
S: No, you said you wanted to talk, you said you wanted me to listen, you're talking, but you're not SAYING anything! Say something! Don't give me a story about how God told you to kidnap people for some sick fucking game!
C: God? (laughs) There is no God. But this... (serious again) it is something you should know. He has called for you specifically.
C: The angel of death, of course.
S:...Okay, now I'm pissed off. You're making no sense, you're going Jehova's witness on me, and if you don't start anwering my questions in the next five seconds, I can't be held responsible for what I do to you.
(Twelve second pause)
S: Where is Eric?
C:...He is in a safe place.
S: With the others?
C: No. It is not quite his time yet.
C: I cannot reveal his location...just yet.
(Thirty second pause)
S: That's it. You want to play hardball? I'll play some fucking hardball.
(I leave the room at this point...but I'm not quite done yet)