“I didn’t mean to kill him,” I spoke into the recorder in front of me.
“If you speak up Miss Bellon,” the detective said to me, “then you won’t have to lean in as close to the recorder.”
“Sorry,” I whispered.
The detective’s face looked kind, yet suspicious. The cup of coffee he had been drinking for the past twenty minutes sat by his hand, cool now, in the interrogation room air.
“Tell us what happened, Miss Bellon,” he spoke again. “We just want the truth.”
The hostile glare of his partner, sitting opposite myself, told me that they already knew the truth.
And so did I.
“It wasn’t my fault,” I needed them to understand that.
“I didn’t mean to kill him,” my eyes cast down at my knees.
“Just shoot him then,” the detective’s partner said it without asking a question. He was determined to make me look guilty – and I didn’t blame him.
“You don’t understand. You weren’t there, I didn’t have a choice,” my voice rose slightly with hysteria, “you would have done the same. I had to! I HAD TO!”
My palms smacked off the table before I could stop myself.
“Calm down,” the lawyer said beside me. His ill fitting suit sat tightly around his large gut.
“I’m sorry,” I spoke to my knees again.
“I came home, and he was-“ the tears choked me for the millionth time that night but I wasn’t giving up. They would understand.
“I didn’t know what to do. I just…just … reacted. I had to. He stood there, he was so angry. I’d never seen anyone that angry before.
“He used to cut the cores out of apples. With a small blade he had gotten for his sixteenth birthday back in ‘64,” I realized I was talking to middle class men and I was almost regretful of our rural ways.
“He used to cut out the apple cores and just stare at me. Like he was…I don’t know. Like he was threatening me, maybe. It just seemed so harsh – you had to be there.”
They looked confused. So was I, how had it came to this?
“I started to bring the shopping in. The boot of the car always stuck and I had to heave. It was the rust, you see. It used to stiffen up the boot something fierce. Especially in the cold weather. It was his apples that dun’ it. I spilled the apples onto the driveway and he went ballistic.”
“Was that this evening?” the sympathetic detective asked.
“Yes, well – no. It was this afternoon but it’s what lead too toni-“ the hostile detective cut me off.
“Could we just stick to tonight’s events please, Miss Bellon?” he glared.
I hated this. I was never good at speaking. My mother used to tell me that I was a girl for smiling and caring, not talking and sharing. She was right, I folded under the pressure of people listening to my southern drawl. I felt stupid talking to yanks, as if my accent made me dumber than a box of hair.
“Yes, sorry, it’s just- that’s what got him so mad, ye’ see? It was his apples rolling down the driveway and onto the street. He liked to eat the skin but he said that I had tainted them now. Tainted them like the devils taints the children’s souls.”
I began to shake thinking about it how he had ranted and raved about how I let the Devil kiss the children while they slept. How they had to be cleansed of what I’d done to them, cleansed like the apples I had scattered out the back of the car.
“He didn’t go to church no’ more. Hadn’t been in three years, I reckon’ but he still talked about The Lord as if he prayed every night and day. He believed he was doing the work of Jesus. Told me over and over that he would core the world like he cored his apples in the name of Jesus, himself.
Now I had begun talking I couldn’t stop. I was lost in my own reverie. Taken back in time by the memories of the night and the memories of the life I had just been freed from.
“I hated them apples. I was glad I had dropped them. I was glad they had rolled down the street and he wouldn’t have any to core tonight. I was sick of him, sick of his gosh darn knife as well. I didn’t like it, him drinking his homebrew and coring apples by the T.V. set. My youngest, Tracy-Ann, said it gave her nightmares. Nightmares of giant apples and angry T.V. sets! Aint no kid should go to bed dreaming of bad things like that.
“He sent me away. Told me I had to go and pray. He hadn’t never done that before and I wondered why he was doing it tonight but, and Lord shame me for it, but I was glad to get away-“
I couldn’t choke back the tears now. Maybe if I hadn’t left, if I had just told him I would pray in the back yard, then maybe, just maybe, tonight would have went so different. Tracy- Ann’s face was burned into my eyelids like he had cut her there himself.
“Where did you go?” the detective asked.
“I went to the store. I like the store. It’s the only place I really get to go too. He likes to be in control,” I said quietly, almost ashamed.
“Did,” the hostile detective muttered. Or did I imagine it?
“I had just came from there but it was the only placed I had to go. My Mumma died four years ago this summer, Puppa been dead along time more than that. I don’t like spending time with my Aunt Belle much. So I went to the store.”
“What happened when you returned from the store?” the hostile detective was definitely getting tired of me now. That just made me clam up more.
“Come on now, lady,” his voice returned to a southern twang and I realized I recognized him. But where from?
“I mean, come now, enough skirting the topic. Tell us what happened. You’re facing very serious charges Miss Bellon,” the yank accent was back as if it had always been.
“We was…touching… touching my girl,” I said, watching the evil replay in my head as I could barely say the words without retching.
“Touching? How was he touching her?” the detective asked me.
“With- with his, you know, his knife,” I mumbled.
“He was cutting her?” a look of a certain dawning rising across his face.
“No, not cutting like. Just, running it up and down her arm. Real soft like but still…he knew about her, about her you know – those dreams of hers,” I felt myself getting angry, like I was when I first saw it.
“Why was he doing that? Why was he running the knife over her arm?” I didn’t even bother paying attention to which detective was speaking to me now.
“He was, I don’t know, tracing the evil I think. Tracing along my Tracy-Ann’s veins.”
“Do you think he would have harmed your daughter, Miss Bellon? Is that why you got the gun?”
“No, sir, that’s not why I got the gun, no. I got the gun because of the look in his eye. Mischief was about him that night. Something had unhinged in him, the talk of devils never does much more than bring the devil to ye’, as my Mumma used to tell me.”
“So he never threatened you?”
“He didn’t have to. When you look a wolf in the eyes, he doesn’t pipe up and tell you he’s gon’ eat your grandmaw for dinner. He just gets on down to eating her. Spectacles and all.”
“Why did you shoot him then?”
“I didn’t want my gurl having no more dreams of bad apples and evil T.V. sets. She deserves more than that. I brought him into our house, Jesus forgive me, I had to be the one to take him out.”
“Could you not have got him to leave another way?”
“Are you not hearin’ me, yank? The man had a look of the Devil himself about him. I’m a Mumma myself above all else. Aint no Devil taking my precious gurl while I still take breath into the body Jesus gave me. No sir-ee bob. No devil at all.”
LOCAL MURDERER HANGS HERSELF IN PRISON
Local woman Clementine Bellon has hung herself just two days into her stay in Laircastle Prison. She was convicted of murdering her then boyfriend, Billy Ray Cueller, in cold blood after she walked in on him running a blade up and down her daughters arm. The woman, who was a stay at home mum, hung herself with a belt she was allowed as she wasn’t considered a ‘high risk’ inmate. Miss Bellon, a native of Smallpond, AR, shot her boyfriend at point blank range with a bunting rifle, while her daughter stood in the back yard. When interviewed, Miss Bellon said Mr Cueller had ‘a look of the Devil about him’. She is now being referred to as ‘Devil Catcher’ and – CONT ON PG 3.
DEVIL DAD HAD PREPARED GRAVESITES FOR HIS STEP-DAUGHTER JUST DAYS BEFORE HE WAS MURDERED
Clementine Bellon, the woman who shot her boyfriend, Billy Ray Cueller, at point blank range may have been justified in her actions, the Sheriff’s Office believes. When asked why she had shot her boyfriend she had replied ‘I saw the look of the Devil in him’ which now, with hindsight, being heralded as ‘mothers intuition’. Detectives investigating the murder have come across a ‘Murder Kit’ and some startling diary entries. We are a family run newspaper and don’t use the kind of language Billy Ray Cueller did in his diary but, according to all reports, Miss Bellon may have just done us all a favour. May she Rest In Peace.
BELLON DAUGHTER MISSING
Tracy-Ann Bellon has been reported as missing by her Great-Aunt Belle Bellon in the early hours of this morning. Daughter of local murderer and battered-girlfriend, Clementine Bellon, Tracy-Ann has been, allegedly, complaining of seeing her step dad sitting at the bottom of her bed while she sleeps in the days leading up to her disappearance. Considered ‘normal’ other than those nightmares, the search begins for Tracy-Ann Bellon. Wherever she may be.