April 6, 1967
[I sit across from a one George O'Railly. He is a weathered old man who is the epitome of the American Farmer. We sit at his wobbly vinyl top kitchen table and talk over two cups of sludge like coffee.]
Tell me about the shack.
What? Y'mean…describe it to you?
(He grips his coffee mug tighter)
Well… it's just a shack. Y'know? Nothing special. But I suppose that's why we used it. It was on the edge of Gary Potters field. It sorta sat in the line of trees that separated Gary's field from mine.
So, I guess…I guess it was mine too.
(O'Railly takes a long pull from his mug. His hands are shaking when he puts the cup back down again.)
What was inside the shack?
(He suddenly looks very very old.)
Four walls and a roof. Not much of a floor. No one really bothered with the floor. Weren't worth it. Roof had a couple of holes…b-but we covered those in the winter time! 'sides…he liked seeing the stars at night.
(O'Railly's lips quiver. There are tears in the old man's eyes.)
He…he weren't right. We was told he was some sort of…mutant. Took 'im when he was jus' a baby. The government did. When they brought 'im back…he weren't right.
(He points a finger at me)
Now mister, I'm not saying what we did was right but we was only trying to help him. What could we do? Send him to a government facility to get poked like them little white rabbits?
Didn't the town treat him like an animal by placing him in the shack?
(O'Railly's cheeks flush bright red and his eyes snap down to the table top.)
That's only when he turned wild. We treated him like the president of the United States…when he was tame. His mama tried everything, bless her.
(He arches an eyebrow and glares at me.)
There's your first victim. That boy sucked the life right out of her. Nearly beat her to death once. That's when we figured it out. Father Mayers called it. Said the boy had the devil in 'im. Tried hard to get it out but it weren't no good. The thing weren't human anymore. He…he was…
A dog, Mr. O'Railly?
(The farmer turns his face away in shame. He nods twice.)