Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: David William Jurgenson

I exhale a ball of inky white cigarette smoke and narrow my eyes. “We know it’s you Hooper. We know you’re the Crimson Killer. CSI ran an analysis on the killer’s hair we found on the vic Ashely Devine. The DNA matches yours. We traced your cell location to the lab with the dead bodies, that’s how we found you.”

“Come on Jordy, how long have we worked together? Like 10 years? Now you’re saying I’m a serial killer all of a sudden? Give me a break, you know it ain’t me.”

“You want some advice bud?  If I were you, I’d confess. Think of me as your rabbi.” I blow cigarette smoke at Hooper, it swirls onto him like a ghost. He tries to fan away the fumes but his handcuffs make it futile. I look at the two-way mirror. We’ve got a full house of SFPD brass watching behind the glass. I better cool it.

I smile but my heart is cold as ice. “We have security footage of you going in and out of the medical lab the past few months with all the murder vics. We caught you red-handed in your little house of horrors.”

“Jordy, you’re way too smart to buy into this, the Crimson Killer is playing you. He deep-faked those videos!  It says he’s a programmer in his psych profile.”

“Right, okay, so let me get this straight.” I take a contemplative pull on my Marlboro. “We raided your little Frankenstein lab, found you in there with a whole bunch of bodies covered in green goo you were preparing to transport into refrigerated coffins, but you didn’t do it. And the main reason I should believe you is because we used to be friends. Am I getting all this right Hooper?” I chortle a smoker’s laugh.

“Yeah, exactly. The Crimson Killer kidnapped me and left me in his lab.”

“I think the only thing you’ve proven is you’re bat shit.” I release a frothy plume of soft cigarette smoke. It looks like a pattern of skeletal claws surrounding Hooper.

Hooper picks at a button on his orange jumpsuit. “I’m hearing them again.”

“The voices in your head? From the chip he planted?”

“Yeah, you remember when I came to your vacation cabin in Fresno those couple of weeks ago?”

“Yeah, you looked like a meth head. The only reason you came was to borrow money to get home. I didn’t believe your robbery story. You looked like you were coming down from a bender.”

“I was clubbing at Public Works in San Francisco, watching Grube and Hovsepian spin. I’d only drunk three shots of Don Julio when I blacked out. Next thing I knew, I woke up in the middle of the Sequoia National Forest.”

“That’s 300 miles away.”

“Yeah, and close to your cabin. If you study the Public Works security footage, you’ll see the Crimson Killer is on there. He roofied me, took everything I had, and then dumped me in the middle of Sequoia. He did it to get in my head.”

I rhythmically drum my fingers on the table.  “The videos show you got really drunk and security had to escort you out of the club. The outside cams too. They called you an Uber, read your home address to the driver off your license, then the driver took you home.”

“The Uber driver was the Crimson Killer! If you ID him we’ll nail him.”

“I think we already have. He’s sitting in front of me.”

“Who passes out after 3 shots? I was drugged, obviously. I was the Lead Detective in the Crimson Killer case. He was trying to intimidate me to stymie the investigation.”

Hooper’s acting was Oscar-worthy. The problem was, he didn’t have any evidence to back up his story.

“There were other things Jordy. During a dental checkup my dentist discovered some shrapnel inside my mouth, deep inside my gums.”

I stare at him.

“The shrapnel was the tracking device. He implanted it in me, chipping me. I’ve never had any shrapnel in my mouth until the dentist showed it to me in my x-rays.”

“Yeah, sure. Next thing you’ll tell me is I should wear a tinfoil hat.”

Hooper’s voice rises, “I can hear the scanning noises in my head Jordy! Late at night, I hear voices, telling me what to do!”

“You mean your multiple personality disorder starts coming out, right? But all right Hooper, I’ll play along, who is talking to you?”


I throw back my head and laugh. “You’re nuttier than Jim Carey on LSD, you know that? You’re telling me that little green men made you do it? Come on Hooper, don’t be a putz, even you can do better than that.”

Hooper’s voice gets louder, “They’re using the chips to track me and control my mind. They’re making me their servant. Their Queen Mother controls my mind. She controls every move I make. She controls all the alien minds, they’re her slaves, all of them are hive-minded together.”

I can’t stop laughing. I lift my coke-bottle glasses and wipe away tears.

“The aliens came to Earth because their world was dying. They made me prepare human bodies for them to transfer their essence. Our bodies can be hosts for them, they’re alien parasites, when their parasite gets transferred inside us they can control us, and we become their slaves. Jordy, you gotta believe me, please!  We gotta do something before it’s too late to stop them!”

I bang on the door. Two blue uniforms enter. “Take him to his cell.”

The blues grab Hooper by his arms, force him up, and escort him out.  Hooper’s veins stand out, his eyes wide as dinner plates. He tries to break free, screaming, “You’re making a mistake!”

“The only mistake I made was listening to you in the first place.  You’re gonna get the electric chair, pal.” They drag him out.

I shake my head laughing, then sharply take in my breath.

On the table are Hooper’s handcuffs in several broken pieces.

They’re covered in green goo.


David William Jurgenson is a writer and musician who has been a regular contributor to the Philippine News, Faces of Rock, and the Greensheet magazine.  


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