By the time you read this, I should be long gone and living under a new name. I know I’m supposed to do this in person but I’m also supposed to ask for forgiveness, and I have no intention of doing that. So I say we forget the technicalities.
Firstly, I must tell you Father I have most definitely sinned. I need to tell you a story and I guess the best place to start is the beginning…
Over the next few days stories will probably start popping up in the newspapers about a man who’s gone missing, a man named Richard Slone. He’s 79; lives lived in that big white house on the outskirts of the city. If I had to guess, the police will hope that he just wandered off somewhere and that they’ll find him soon, confused, just sitting at a Denny’s in a few days. That’s not going to happen though; he won’t be at a Denny’s or at an IHOP, or even at Mama’s Waffle House in town; so don’t try to look there.
His family will come in from California after a few days. Well, he’s just got the one son. He never visits. But he’ll come in for this. I’m sure he will. You should give him this letter; it might help him to have it too.
I was Mr. Slone’s caretaker. I lived with him out in that big white house, making sure he took his meds when he should, making sure he didn’t wander off to Denny’s. It would have been two years next week that I’d been with him. He was a character, I’ve got to give him that, he was a real character. But I’m off topic; I need to get back to my story.
I woke up yesterday morning and went down the hall to help Mr. Slone get up and ready for his day, same as I’d been doing every morning for almost two years. Slone was a former military man; he liked consistency and a schedule he could count on. I’d never been that kind of person but I could appreciate his need for order so I went with it.
Downstairs I set to work making his breakfast while he sat down at the table. As the eggs sizzled in the old frying pan Mr. Slone pulled his kit towards him and started getting it ready to check his sugar; same old routine. He was running a little high already so I went to the fridge and got out a new bottle of insulin. Rolling the vial gently back and forth between my hands to warm it up, I walked towards him.
If you’d told me five years ago that someday I’d be shooting up into an old mans arm, I’d have laughed you into the next county. I’ve tried everything, acid, crack, heroin; I never even thought about it. It was a compulsion. I never planned to live a long life.
I learned in rehab that most junkies are looking to escape from something. But me, I just had to know what it was like.
But back to the story, I’m still not sure where the idea even came from, maybe I watch too many crime shows. All I know is one minute I was drawing up his usual insulin dose and then I just kept going. Slone was a little needle shy so he never watched me inject him. Never saw it coming.
It happened pretty quickly, in a relative sense, a couple hours. He was fine for a while and then he wasn’t. He got sweaty and confused and he couldn’t speak, it was like he couldn’t find the words. But then he just nodded off. It looked like he was sleeping but I knew he wasn’t.
You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you this Father, honestly, I’m wondering myself, all I can tell you is that it seemed like someone else needed to know, I guess you’re just lucky.
Now this is what I need to ask you to do. The police aren’t going to be able to find the body, but I’m going to tell you where it is. When this all gets going, call in and tell them to go to the Kirkwood Cemetery. There is a woman buried there named Regina Zimmerman. She died a day before Mr. Slone, but she was buried a day after him. They had no shared connections in life, but now, well now they share something kind of important.
Like I said in the beginning, I’m not asking for forgiveness, all I’m asking for is your help in getting some closure for the others involved.
When I was a kid, my grandma’s attic was the most magical place in the world. It was like someone took Hogwarts and Narnia and rolled them into one. You could find anything up...