"How many fucking times do I have to tell you that I don't know?!"
The air in this room is stifling me, and I think if I don't get out of here soon I am going to develope an extreme case of cabin fever.
"Why won't you people just listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth? Instead of sitting there all incredulous and disapproving."
If I still smoked I am pretty damn sure I would be wanting a cigarette right about now. In fact, fuck it I want one anyway. I can't believe how badly my day is going, due to absolutely no fault of my own, and now these gits are going to make me start smoking again.
Where does it end?
The two detectives continue to stare at me across the grey, metal expanse of the charming centre piece to this cosy little room.
"Listen Miss, erm . . . "
"Lawson. My name is April Lawson. If you can't even get that right how on earth do you plan to even contemplate solving crime?"
The surly looking fellow who was gracious enough to address me just gives me a smile that would curdle milk while it was still in the cow.
"The facts remain as they were over four hours ago when you first came in and we started this conversation. You are the only person we can trace who has any connection to the suspect, and considering the nature of your relationship - "
"Former relationship." I interject without a second thought towards good manors.
Mr surly-and-curdling makes some kind of dismissive noise halfway between a grunt and a sigh.
"Very well then, your former relationship with the suspect would lead us to beleive that you must have known him reasonably well."
I smile to myself and stare down at the bleak expanse of unfortunate furniture that is trying to pass itself off as a table. I am so far past bored with this whole chain of events that I am actually contemplating gouging out my own eyes just to liven things up a tad.
"Look, detective, just because I used to have a relationship with someone does not mean that I am responsible for their actions. Or even capable of predicting them accuratley enough for you to start up your own pre-cog crime fighting unit."
Neither of my two new friends look particularly impressed by my dazzling wit and charm, but I'm on a role so why stop now?
"You want to know why someone decides to get up one day and just start butchering people? "
The second detective decides it's time to actually contribute to our little shindig.
"No. We want to know why this man - " He slams a photo of my delightful ex down on the table infront of me and a hollow echo resonates around the tiny room. "Why this man chose to wake up one morning and start butchering people."
Intimidation has never worked well on me as it just tends to piss me off and make me even less co-operative, but I would like to go home some time today so I decide to compromise.
I place both of my hands over the photo and calmly push it away.
"Let me ask you a question." I look directly at both men in turn. "Have you ever pretended to be something that you're not just to fit in?"
By the twin perplexed stares that meet my gaze I realise my question is going to remain rhetorical.
"Maybe not. But imagine, just for a second, that you were so desparate to be accepted by some social group or whatever that you would literally reinvent your entire self to achieve that goal."
Both sets of shoulders seemed to have relaxed a little, although the perplexed looks remain. I am guessing that they are just happy that I am talking.
"I first started to notice it happenning about a month before we broke up. It was little things at first. Sudden likes or dislikes that had never been there before. Then his way of speaking seemed to change, as if it were someone else's words and he was just reiterating them for my benefit. And finally there was the cat incident."
"I'm sorry?" detective mark-two asks. "What cat incident?"
"Ok, so you know the whole premise that most serial killers started their deviant ways at a young age by torturing cute furry animals? Well I guess our boy was just a late bloomer."
I dont especialy want to dredge up the memory of poor old Mr Kitty being flayed alive in my bathroom, but it would appear to be my only way out of this nausiating situation.
"The PG13 version of the story is that I came home one day to find that my boyfriend had gone insane and killed the neighbour's cat. But the R rated version is that I walked through my front door one evening and there was a smell so fucking sickly that I almost puked up my overpriced pasta salad then and there. The first thing that I thought to myself was, oh god it smells like something crawled in here and died. But this train of thought was soon corrected to be something was dragged in here, skinned and gutted alive and splayed out on my fucking shower curtain."
I am waiting for at least some kind of reaction to the retelling of this heinous event. It would appear though, that I am waiting in vain.
I smile and slowly begin to nod my head.
"But I guess when you compare a little feline vivisection to the masscare of five people it does kind of pale into insignificance. What I am trying to tell you, detectives, is that there are people out there who enjoy death. I don't even know if it's strictly accurate to call them people anymore, as they have become something much more warped and twisted then your average torture porn freak. But the one thing that I do know is that all of these people, this whole sick little society, they all used to be just like you and I."
A nervous sensation has begun to settle in the pit of my stomach, and have an unbelievably strong urge to look over my shoulder.
Maybe I shouldn't be telling this story. Maybe I should have just kept my mouth shut and claimed total ignornace. But it's too late now. Even if I hadn't talked they would know that I had been here and I doubt they would have believed that I kept their secret safe. I have been skating on thin ice for weeks now just waiting for them to come for me; feeling them always close by lurking in the shadows like macabre cloak and dagger monsters. I would say that my sentence was passed the second that police car came to my house to take me for "a little chat".
So what am I going to do about it?
"Ok look. You want help catching this killer? How about help catching a whole boat load of the fuckers? I am assuming that you haven't pinned any of the spate of recent slaughters on anyone yet. Don't worry, I'm not criticising you. How could you have known? How could you have believed even if you had?"
Detective mark-one attempts to give a genuine smile.
"I am glad that you have finally decided to co-operate Miss Lawson. Your inisght could be just the break that we need to crack this. So what is it? Devil worshippers? Alien abduction cult? Tell us everything you know."
In for a penny, in for a pound I suppose.
"Well, what I know is that I scared shitless and I don't want to wake up one morning mutlilated beyond recognition. Now I can see that you don't appreciate my darkly humourous approach to this whole thing, but it's my coping mechanism so you will just have to get over it."
If I stopped here then maybe, just maybe, I could talk my way out of a lengthy, painful and certain death.
Can't live your life on maybe's though.
"These sick little fuckers that are running around your streets hacking and slashing wherever they damn well please are nothing but the monkeys. You want to put a stop to all this? Then you need to take down the organ grinder."