Meeting with Mitch

This interview is with a character from my short story Patchwork. The story is not yet available. It is being submitted to horror markets with the hope of being published soon.

“ Welcome to a Meeting with Mitch, I’m Mitch Marlins. Our guest today could not join us in the studio. He is currently being housed in the Taylor County Jail facing charges on several murders, but he has agreed to talk to us via satellite. Denny, thanks for joining us.

“ Goddammit, my name’s not Denny.

“The deputies said—“

“Those [beep]heads,” he yells off-camera. “Hey, Joel. It’s not enough that you got me locked up in this [beep]ing [beep]hole, but you gotta keep busting my balls on the Denny thing? Yeah, real [beep]ing funny.”

“So your name isn’t Denny?” Mitch asks.

“ Ever since Fat Freddie Berger became a bestselling novelist, these [beep]holes have been calling me Denny.”

“You mean Fredrick Collins?”

“You know him as Fredrick Collins. I know him as Fat [beep]ing Freddie. Yes, I was an [beep]hole to him. Yes, I bullied him. But goddamn, I grew up. He’s still making me pay for it. He’s a [beep]ing millionaire because I gave him a swirly? I should be so lucky.”

The deputies laugh off-screen.

“Hey, [beep] you guys. Don’t get any ideas. Joel, I went to your kid’s baptism. Damn—“

“And now you’ve written a short story titled Patchwork?”

“Yes. But let’s call it what it is, Mitch. It’s the truth about what happened.”

“It’s a story about a monster who kills people and amputates their body parts.” Mitch says.

“And then replaces his own body parts with them. Yes.”

“Non-fiction?” Mitch taps his pen on his desk.

“Look. Fat Freddie wrote his stupid [beep]ing books and everyone believed him. They believed I was an [beep]hole, that I did all these things to him to make his life a living hell. And yes, some of them—most of them—happened, but people believed him and I got no end of [beep]about it. Patchwork happened. It happened to me. It killed my best friend.”

“You are referring to Jason Thompson, who you are charged with murdering.”

“I didn’t kill Jason, the patchwork creature did. It tore off his [beep]ing jaw.”

“What about Tina Miller—“

“The creature took her eyes—“

“Hank Miller—“

“Beaten to death with his own [beep]ing arm.”

“And his heart removed,” Mitch adds.

“The creature needed it.”

“Right. Then there were Will Jennings, Marty Sparks—“

“[Beep] those guys. They let the damn thing out in the first place. Greedy [beep]ers.”

“And an unidentified body, pinned underneath a vehicle and burned to death.”

“That was it! The patchwork creature! That one, I did kill.”

“You’re admitting it on national television?” Mitch asks.

“Oh for [beep]’s sake, it wasn’t even human and it was self defense. Look, Hank was a dumb[beep]. Tina was a [beep] and was never going to [beep] Jason, no matter how much he pined for her. Trust me, it isn’t worth the headache she causes anyway. Will and Marty got themselves [bee]ing killed. [beep] ‘em. But Jason was the best of us. Not the sharpest knife, but you could count on him.”

“Is that what Patchwork is about?”

“We were all there for our piece, hoping to find something worth money. Maybe we were just doing stupid [beep], killing time on a Friday night. My dad used to say nothing good happens after bar closing. Turns out he was right, the [beep]er. Jason was there because he wanted to be loved. Look where that got him. I’m the prick. Fat [beep]ing Freddie’s Pulitzer Prize bully.  And I’m the one that made it out.”

“Was Jason—“

“[Beep] it. I’m done. Read the story or don’t read the [beep]ing story. I don’t [beep]ing care. Turn off the [beep]ing camera. Joel, get this [beep]er out of here.”

The satellite link drops.

“That was—well, I don’t have his name, apparently. But he is known as Denny in the Fredrick Collins novels and has written his story, Patchwork, the supposedly true story of the Fairfax massacre. Look for it, or don’t, he doesn’t seem to care. Until next time, I’m Mitch Marlins.”

The audience applauds politely as we go to commercial.

Jack Campbell, Jr. is a dark fiction writer in Lawrence, KS. His writing has appeared in various venues including Twenty 3 Magazine, Danse Macabre, and Insomnia Press. He writes about reading, writing, and life on his blog at www.jackcampbelljr.com.

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