Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


premature fiction

Mose Brenlee’s Missive – 3

I know who killed those boys. I’ve known since the day they found the first one. At first I was afraid to say anything and then I was ashamed of my fear. After a while, the shame became a duller feeling and I was just disgusted. Sickened by this town and mostly myself. I’m as guilty as the one who done it and all the ones who helped him.

It was Andy Currie. I’ve known him my whole life and my whole life he was odd. Most people think he’s harmless and funny, but Andy Currie lacks something most animals even seem to have. I don’t if it’s a conscious or sympathy or what, maybe it’s just that he’s got what I don’t see but it’s so twisted and perverted that I can’t recognize it. However it is, I know that Andy’s been a fire fighter as long as I have for all the worst reasons. Not to help some poor person who’s house or farm or car just burned up, but to be close as he can to they’re suffering. He wants to watch it and own it and smiles when he does, not to cheer people up like so many people think, but because it pleases his sick mind and poisoned-poisonous heart.

Ask any man who’s ever done business with Andy and he’ll tell you what he’s really like. You’ll have to pry it from him because he’ll doubt you’ll believe him, he’s probably been shouted down before by friends and neighbors. Some, who aren’t much better than Andy themselves might even brag about him and give him credit for being more of a hard-ass than even themselves – that’s what you’d get from Kenny Sneed and his bunch. The rest can’t hardly believe their own minds after seeing the way that rat bastard treats people behind that bank conference room door.

The Currie family always owned plenty of land in Brenlee and Andy’s the one who inherited most of it and the only one still around town. He has half the downtown leases and holds mortgages and loans for more people than I care to know. Many of them were people lost property, family or limbs in a fire. They thought he was doing them a favor, lending money when no one else would. He never started fires to my knowledge, but he took advantage. He doesn’t want to help people or even ruin them, he just wants them to suffer and be there when they declare that they can’t go on. If he could, Andy Currie would fight fire with gasoline.

I won’t let him set eyes on me. Not for more than a minute. I won’t speak to him. He knows I’ve suffered with you all living far from me and has tried to see how it hurts me. He used to try speaking to me about you, but never got an answer so he gave up. All the same, he knows I’ve suffered knowing that he was finding ways to hurt people living in this town my family started, hurt them so bad they curse the day they moved to Brenlee. No one has missed the way I lost weight and shrunk in spirit too these last fifteen years.

Phyllis, you’ve heard me say all this before and think I’m crazy for it, but it’s true now as it was when I first told you. I’m a sick and dying man and Andy is the one made me this way. Andy Currie stole my life from me and watched it bend, burn, and then char to nothing in the flames of his spite and cruelty.