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Sleepers Unbound #12: For the Record, This is All on the Record.

Feb 21, 2017

 

 

OKLAHOMA CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

09 AUG. 2016

09:12:34

RM 2

POLICE: This interview is being tape recorded. I am Officer Joshua Blake and I’m based in Special Investigations in Oklahoma City which is part of the Santa Fe Division— Who are we kidding, Ms. Gill, I’m going to be quite blunt. I only agreed to sit down with you because I’ve got something of a special bond with you people, and by “you people” I’m referring to Sleepers.

LG: I’m not a Sleeper.

POLICE: Okay. Please state your full name.

LG: Lucy Loraine Gill.

POLICE: And can you confirm your date of birth for me?

LG: October 23, 1980.

POLICE: Ms. Gill, I read your initial report. You say you were contacted by a source claiming to work for Brick House Publishing in New York, correct?

LG: Absolutely.

POLICE: You and three other people, correct?

LG: Yes.

POLICE: What was it… Here it is. Restless-Sleepers.Net. You said it’s some sort of forum for the four of you to collaborate to write a bestseller? Under Miles Granger’s name?

LG: Not to collaborate. To compete.

POLICE: I searched for your forum, Ms. Gill. There’s nothing there.

LG: They’ve blocked me, somehow. I don’t know how, but they have. Or they’ve moved it. I can’t figure it out. But it was there. If you people had looked into it when I filed the first report, you’d have seen it!

POLICE: Surely you can understand.

LG: Not at all, actually. Something is going on. This is a police station, after all, is it not? Well, I don’t feel safe. It’s your job to make me feel safe, then.

POLICE: Clears throat. The thing is, this precinct alone has received more than a handful of Miles Granger related reports on a weekly basis since his passing.

LG: That’s not my problem. My problem is that whoever sent me the invite, whoever is behind the forum, is following me now. A woman, I think.

POLICE: A woman. Can you describe her to me?

LG: Um, she’s tall. Maybe five elven. Hair down to about here. She’s got a big, round face, too. I never get a clear look. She never gets out of the vehicle.

POLICE: What type of vehicle?

LG: It’s always different. She must be renting. I never see her driving the same one for more than a day or two.

POLICE: What was the last vehicle you saw her in?

LG: It was bright red. And small. A Ford, I think. Maybe a Ford Focus.

POLICE: Year?

LG: Newer.

POLICE: 16?

LG: Not that new. Maybe 2012.

POLICE: Near your apartment? In Norman? When?

LG: Yes. Two nights ago. It’s all in the reports. Why aren’t you writing any of this down?

 

Pause. Static in the recorder.

 

LG: Oh, yeah.

POLICE: I spoke with the Director of Operations at Brick House this morning, and he says the House isn’t running any special competitions to fill Granger’s place. However, he does give his deepest condolences. It’s never easy to lose a hero. And he hopes you’ve enjoyed the gift basket he sent.

LG: My point, exactly! Don’t you see? Somebody is out there trying to profit off Granger’s death!

POLICE: Ms. Gill, I don’t doubt that for a second. Miles Granger has left behind a legacy I’m sure a great many people will spend the next several years trying to harass. But speaking as a police officer, there are much worse things being done.

LG: This is different. These other three writers, they’re in this together. They have been from the beginning. They don’t question it. It just doesn’t feel right. It feels like they’re being pushed. Or pulled. Or whatever. I haven’t been able to log on in days. Who knows how far it’s gotten. Don’t you see? They want to win.

POLICE: Ms. Gill, do you know why Brick House Publishing had your address on file?

LG: What?

POLICE: Because you haven’t moved apartments in five years. Five years ago you submitted a manuscript for consideration, did you not? You submitted in July of 2011, and six months later you received this:

 

Dear Lucy Gill,

Thank you for submitting your novel, “Kansas Vanished”. Unfortunately, our editorial department believes your manuscript, if published, would receive small sales in the general fiction target audience at this point in the market; therefore, we are unable to accept your offer. We hope you find a home for your book, as publishing is, above all else, subjective.

 

Silence

 

POLICE: Now I’m not accusing you of slander, Ms. Gill. But I’m not entirely ruling it out. As I said, I have a special bond with the Sleeper community. Granger’s books got me through a divorce and my mother’s passing. I’m going to keep your file close at hand, and if anything comes—

LG: Thanks for wasting my time.

POLICE: Ms. Gill. Ms. Gill, please come back.

 

Silence

 

© Elliott J. Scott 2017. All Rights Reserved.