DAY 523.6 ONE PHEASANT PLACE KIRBY WOMEN'S WARD WARDS ISLAND, NY
Sawed bone and fire.
Still home alone with FIB the liar? Watch the
clock BIG DOC!
Spurt dark light and fright TRAINSTRAINSTRAINS.
GKSFWFY wants photos.
Visit with we. On floor three. YOU trade with we.
TICK TOC DOC! (Will Lucy talk?)
LUCY-BOO on TV. Fly through window. Come with we
Under covers. Come til dawn. Laugh and sing. Same ole song. LUCY
LUCY LUCY and we!
BENTON WESLEY was taking off his
running shoes in my kitchen when I ran to him, my heart tripping
over fear and hate and remembered horror. Carrie Grethen's letter
had been mixed in a stack of mail and other paperwork, all of it put
off until a moment ago when I had decided to drink cinnamon tea in
the privacy of my Richmond, Virginia, home. It was Sunday afternoon,
thirty-two minutes past five, June eighth.
"I'm assuming she sent this to your
office," Benton said.
He did not seem disturbed as he bent over, peeling
off white Nike socks.
"Rose doesn't read mail marked personal and
confidential." I added a detail he already knew as my pulse ran
"Maybe she should. You seem to have a lot of
fans out there." His wry words cut like paper.
I watched him set pale bare feet on the floor, his
elbows on his knees and head low. Sweat trickled over shoulders and
arms well defined for a man his age, and my eyes drifted down knees
and calves, to tapered ankles still imprinted with the weave of his
socks. He ran his fingers though wet silver hair and leaned back in
"Christ," he muttered, wiping his face
and neck with a towel. "I'm too old for this crap."
He took a deep breath and blew out slowly with
mounting anger. The stainless steel Breitling Aerospace watch I had
given to him for Christmas was on the table. He picked it up and
snapped it on.
"Goddamn it. These people are worse than
cancer. Let me see it," he said.
The letter was penned by hand in bizarre red block
printing, and drawn at the top was a crude crest of a bird with long
tail feathers. Scrawled under it was the enigmatic Latin word ergo,
or therefore, which in this context meant nothing to me. I unfolded
the simple sheet of white typing paper by its corners and set it in
front of him on the antique French oak breakfast table. He did not
touch a document that might be evidence as he carefully scanned
Carrie Grethen's weird words and began running them through the
violent database in his mind.
"The postmark's New York, and of course
there's been publicity in New York about her trial," I said as
I continued to rationalize and deny. "A sensational article
just two weeks ago. So anyone could have gotten Carrie Grethen's
name from that. Not to mention, my office address is public
information. This letter's probably not from her at all. Probably
some other cuckoo."
"It probably is from her." He continued
"She could mail something like this from a
forensic psychiatric hospital and nobody would check it?" I
countered as fear coiled around my heart.
"Saint Elizabeth's, Bellevue, Mid-Hudson,
Kirby." He did not glance up. "The Carrie Grethens, the
John Hinckley Juniors, the Mark David Chapmans are patients, not
inmates. They enjoy our same civil rights as they sit around in
penitentiaries and forensic psychiatric centers and create pedophile
bulletin boards on computers and sell serial killer tips through the
mail. And write taunting letters to chief medical examiners."
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