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Transcript-Interrogation of Ralph Kelly

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Transcript-Interrogation of Ralph Kelly

Interrogating Officer: Sgt. Eric Renfield

Location: 9042 Baker Rd.- Necrosis Occult and Novelty Items

Date: 11/09/2012

Time: 1:15 PM

Renfield: Thank you for speaking with me Mr. Kelly.

Kelly: No problem. Business isn't exactly booming right now, as you can see.

Renfield: You own this shop?

Kelly: Yes. I opened it eight months ago.

Renfield: Do you have an attraction to the occult?

Kelly: Not really. I got fired from my last job and was wondering what I was going to do with myself when I noticed an abundance of goth kids in this neighborhood. I figured they needed somewhere to get their goth [EXPLETIVE DELETED]. I got some loans and opened this place.

Renfield: What was your last job?

Kelly: I was a PR director for the AtHome Corporation.

Renfield: If you have no attraction to the uh-goth lifestyle, may I ask why you look this way?

Kelly: Because I made a lateral career move. That's all business is. You put on some fake face so that you can shill some crappy products that you don't believe in. When I opened this place, I learned pretty quickly that no kid wants to buy their occult stuff from a guy that looks like he might write a letter home to their parents, so I dyed my hair black and every morning, I paint my face white and throw on some eyeliner. It's all for show. I mean who actually wears this [EXPLETIVE DELETED] by choice. I bought this shirt because I saw a kid wearing it in the store. What the hell is the point of having zippers on your shirt that don't lead to pockets? Can you explain that to me? I don't understand these kids, but they buy the stuff, so I guess it's a living.

Renfield: I see. Do you recognize this man? [Shows picture of Jonathan Ludarac]

Kelly: Oh yeah. He came in twice.

Renfield: You are sure this is the man you are thinking of?

Kelly: Look, Detective, my client base is almost exclusively goth kids between fourteen and I'd say twenty-two. They have [EXPLETIVE DELETED] up hair and [EXPLETIVE DELETED] up make-up on. So yeah, I remember when some weirdo in his forties, who looks like he's got to get home soon to make dinner for the kids, strolls into my store and buys some weird crap. It doesn't happen real often.

Renfield: Do you recall what he bought?

Kelly: The first time he came in, he bought a book.

Renfield: What was the book?

Kelly: I don't know, some old piece of [EXPLETIVE DELETED] I found at a yard sale.

Renfield: Can you be any more specific?

Kelly: I remember getting it. It only cost two bucks. I sold it for something like fifteen.

Renfield: Twelve-fifty. We have the receipt.

Kelly: Either way. That's still good profit.

Renfield: Do you recall what the book was about?

Kelly: I don't know, sacrifice, maybe demonology.

Renfield: It had writing in it, correct?

Kelly: What the hell are you talking about? It was a book. Yeah, it had writing in it.

Renfield: In English?

Kelly: Yeah, dated English, but yeah.

Renfield: I'm going to need you to think as hard as you can. What was the book about?

Kelly: Well for [EXPLETIVE DELETED] sake, I didn't read the whole thing. I leafed through it at the sale. I read maybe eight pages.

Renfield: What can you tell me from what you remember about that book? It could be important.

Kelly: Look, there are basically only a few kinds of people that come into this store. The first group is the kids that aren't goth. They come into the store just to make fun of the [EXPLETIVE DELETED] I sell here. It's funny. If I were a kid, I'd be one of them. The second kind of person is the teenage goth kid. Interestingly enough, they feel at home here, so they tend to be pretty happy; although they also love to [EXPLETIVE DELETED] about their parents. It's clearly a phase. These kids will wash off their make-up and stop dying their hair black once they get to college and realize that nobody wants to talk to the kid drinking cranberry juice out of a chalice while telling everyone it's blood. They'll contract normalcy. I guess there's also the select few amidst the teens that are acting out because dad hits them or some [EXPLETIVE DELETED] like that. Anyway, the third group is the grown-up, more subtly goth young adult. They buy some weird sex stuff, fetish items, candles, whips or some [EXPLETIVE DELETED] up stuff like that. Then you've got the theology, sociology or cultural studies grad student that comes in to buy some book or to interview me about my culture. I told one of them that I kill chickens in my apartment. That was a pretty good day. I think he actually believed me. I don't think I've ever seen a live chicken in my life. Anway, you've also got the grown-up weirdoes that seem to actually believe that they can raise the dead or summon a demon or some other nonsense. The book you're asking about, I thought it would sell to one of this last breed of freaks. I only actually remember one page of it, but it was a hell of a page.

Renfield: What was on the page?

Kelly: A warning, well not a warning really, it was more like a terms of agreement document, but like a seventeenth century version. It said that the steps had to be followed exactly and, of course, the standard creepy book boilerplate, there's no going back. You even had to sign the bottom. It had a line to write your name on and everything. It looked old and hand-written and with that opening page, well, it seemed like something that would sell to one of my more eccentric customers.

Renfield: Do you recall where the yard sale you purchased this from was?

Kelly: Oh hell, it was a while ago.

Renfield: Try to remember.

Kelly: Well, it was on my way to work, and I was living in an apartment over on Valley Rd. at the time, so probably somewhere on Apple Tree Rd. I would usually take it most of the way here. I remember that there was a basketball hoop over the garage and wrought iron railing around the yard. I think the house was pale blue.

Renfield: Had you seen this man before he came in to buy the book?

Kelly: No. That's why I remember him. Except for the kids I mentioned that come in to laugh at the stuff, grad students and curious adults, I don't really have anything but regular customers.

Renfield: You said he came in twice.

Kelly: Yeah. He came in again to buy a knife.

Renfield: A knife?

Kelly: Yeah, one of those ornate, fancy, ceremonial knives. Come over here. It was like one of these.

Renfield: Is one of these a replica of the one you sold to this man?

Kelly: No, probably not. I get these from a knife artist in town named Lyles Graft. He refuses to make any two knives identical. He says it takes the art and meaning out of making them. He should really go to business school.

Renfield: And you are sure it was this man who bought both the book and the knife.

Kelly: Yeah, same guy, positive.

Renfield: Can you describe the knife in as much detail as possible?

Kelly: Well, hell, I don't know. They all kind of look the same to me.

Renfield: Please try. Color, blade length, anything would help.

Kelly: I don't know, I think it was silver with a black handle maybe. Blade length [PAUSE] probably five to seven inches.

Renfield: Thank you for your time Mr. Kelly. You have been very helpful.

Kelly: No problem.

The People v. Jonathan Ludarac (Abridged)Read this story for FREE!