Paralyzed

Paralyzed


“She was the type of girl who’d spent a Friday night playing Russian roulette by herself. Rough childhood, ya know. Her dad fucked around a lot. Mom was too weak to leave him, but strong enough to argue nightly.”

He taps the ash from his cigarette gingerly, allowing some of it to spill forward onto the table as his hand shakes.

“I remember… she told me she came home from school one day when she was seven and found him fucking the house keeper. She didn’t know what it meant, ya know? So young. She just ran upstairs and buried her head in her pillow, wailed for her mom a bit and forgot it happened. Kids can do that. The first time she told me all of this… that’s when she told me about the dreams.”

He coughs aggressively, pounding his chest before reaching into his pocket to pull out a fresh Camel.

“Now, I want to state for the record, these were only dreams. There was no hint of her knowing anything more or anything less, and I never fucking assumed anything more, okay? Why would I?”

He pauses, eyeing the pieces of ash on the table, fluttering from the fan.

“The first time she dreamed about the women her father saw, Liv was eight years old. In the dream, she came home from school carrying her Pink lunch bag. She’s crying…. her father, he… forgot to pick her up at school. She waited for hours and hours and he didn’t come.”

He pauses, his eye starting to tear up, which he quickly and aggressively wipes away.

“In the dream, as she gets closer to the house… she hears a woman moaning. In her bag, she has a knife…”

She opens the door, and her father’s there with the maid. Touching her, grabbing her. She runs forward, screaming and crying before she drives the knife into the maid’s face. Over and over and over.”

He sobs now, pulling on the cigarette desperately for reassurance.

“That first time… she didn’t know. She didn’t know anything happened to the maid. The next night she said her parents arguing… screaming, yelling. The maid never showed up again. She was happy, if anything.”

“But that wasn’t the last time she had a dream like that, was it?” I ask.

“No… no. Again, when she was 12. She heard her father talking to another woman on the phone… real dirty shit, you know, something a 12 year old should never have to hear her father say.”

He strikes a match and lights another smoke, the smell now filling our dingy little interview room.

“She had a dream that she killed her at a tanning salon. Held the door on her and fried her like an egg.”

“Okay, but… this was the second time, and she didn’t even dream she caught them in the act. This was somewhere she had never been, correct?”

He pauses, looks at me cautiously, then continues.

“Yeah, she knew something was up. She looked it up and found the death on the Internet and knew she had to be involved in some way. But what could she do? Turn herself in? She didn’t even remember doing it. She just resolved herself to stay out of her father’s business and keep as much distance as possible. When we met, we were sixteen, and she told me everything.”

I laugh. “And you were okay with it?”

“Look man, she was a beautiful woman and I was a pitiful virgin. I loved her, I just thought she was a little crazy.”

“But that wasn’t the last dream, was it Ben?”

He sighs. “No… it wasn’t. For her eighteenth birthday, she had a party at her house and invited all of her friends.”

“Were you there?” I ask.

“Yeah, I was. It was a good time at first… Liv’s parents were cool weren’t exactly against alcohol consumption, so they supplied plenty of refreshments for the guests. There was beer pong, shot wheels, you name it. Her parents even got a little involved in the party… her dad ran the shot wheel.”

He coughs loudly, shifting in his chair uncomfortably.

“Liv and I were in the corner dancing, when we saw her dad getting a little… close, I guess, to her best friend. The two of them disappeared into another room in the house, and Liv insisted we follow them.”

“Why the fuck didn’t you stop her?” I ask.

“I tried, I grabbed her arm, and she pulled away. She pushed open the door to the main hallway and the whole party saw her dad fucking her 17-year old friend on the stair case.”

I shift my papers awkwardly as he now begins to sob uncontrollably.

“Okay, so the rest is history and tabloid fever. Liv has a dream she rips out her best friend’s heart the next night, which of course comes true. I won’t ask about the cannibalism, I think we have enough from the DNA tests. But I gotta ask Ben, if you covered for her crimes the past two times, why did you turn her in this time? She was very good at covering her tracks, we may not have gotten her if it wasn’t for you.”

He starts to sob louder, putting out his cigarette and steadying himself as he talks to me.

“It was different.”

“How was it different?” I ask patiently.

“She told me she enjoyed it.”