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: Ever think of killing yourself on purpose like my daddy done? Karl
: I studied about it. The Bible says you ought not to. It says if you do that, you go off to Hades. Some folks call it Hell, I call it Hades.
: Reckon you make me some biscuits.
: I like them French fried potaters.
: Have you knocked on the door yet? Karl
: No, Sir, not yet. Vaughan
: How long have you been standing here? Karl
: Quite a spell, I reckon.
: I'd like to kill that son-of-a-bitch. I hate him. Karl
: You ought not talk that way. You just a boy.
: I'm gonna make some coffee. Karl, you want some coffee? Karl
: Coffee makes me nervous when I drink it. Mmm.
: I told you I ain't got no boy, now why don't you get on outta here and let me be. You ain't no kin to me. Karl
: [after a pause
] I learned to read some. I read the Bible quite a bit. I can't understand all of it, but I reckon I understand a good deal of it. Them stories you and Mama told me ain't in there. You ought not done that to your boy. I studied on killing you. Studied on it quite a bit. But I reckon there ain't no need for it if all you're gonna do is sit there in that chair. You'll be dead soon enough and the world 'll be shut of ya. You ought not killed my little brother, he should've had a chance to grow up. He woulda had fun some time.
: Karl, you know what? Melinda here was voted employee of the month at the dollar store last February. Isn't that something? Karl
: Yes ma'am, I reckon. Melinda
: Well, when you like pricing items as much as I do, it's just bound to happen sooner or later, I guess.
: I don't reckon you have to go with women to be a good daddy to a boy. You been real square-dealin' with me. The Bible says two men ought not lay together. But I don't reckon the Good Lord would send anybody like you to Hades. That Frank, he lives inside of his own heart. That's an awful big place to live in. You take good care of that boy.
] Vaughan Cunningham
: I will. Karl?
: I reckon I'm gonna have to get used to looking at pretty people. Dr. Jerry Woolridge
: Yes you will. Karl
: 'Reckon I'm gonna have to get used to them looking at me.
: You always seem to be deep in thought. Tell me, what are you thinking right now? Karl
: I was thinkin', I'm gonna take me some of these taters home with me. Vaughan Cunningham
: How about before that? Karl
: Well, let me think... I was thinkin' I could use me another couple cans'o that potted meat if ya got any extree.
: Will you ever kill anyone again, Karl? Karl
: I don't reckon I got no reason to kill nobody. Mmm.
: Now... On the third day, I washed her. She wasn't too clean. I got all the right spots. She's the only one I kept for a certain amount of time, because I got a real short attention span. Now, I can't say she enjoyed her stay, but that washcloth I put in her mouth and held it there with a big piece of duct tape kept all her complaining to a min... I don't like people who talk all the time. I like to do all the talking, which is why I think I'm so fond of you, 'cause you're so easy-going. Although I do sense a little tension in you from time to time. So, you were out in the world, huh? What was it like? Karl
: It was too big. Charles Bushman
: Not too big in here, is it?
: I'm just going to say it. I'm gay. Does that surprise you that I'm gay? You know what gay is, don't you? Karl
: I don't reckon. Vaughan Cunningham
] Homosexual. I like men sexually. Karl
: Not funny 'ha-ha', funny queer. Vaughan Cunningham
: Well that's a very offensive way to put it. You shouldn't say that. You were taught that, weren't you? Karl
: I've heard it said that a-way.
: [Karl enters the bedroom, startling Doyle and Linda
] Hey! What the God damn hell you doing, Karl? 'The fuck you doing up in the middle of the night? Linda
: What you want, Hon? Karl
: I wanna be baptized. Doyle
: Well get baptized then, I don't give a shit. Call up a fuckin' preacher, Goddammit, we can't baptize ya.
[Karl has entered the bedroom carrying a hammer
: What in the hell you doin' with that hammer? Karl
: I don't rightly know. I just kinda woke up a-holding it.
: [to Linda
] What the fuck you think he's doin' with that hammer?
: Just 'cause I ain't gonna be around no more, maybe, don't mean that I don't care for you. Frank
: I care 'bout you too, but you'll be around. Don't say that. Karl
: Doesn't matter where I was to be. We'll always be friends. You and me made friends right off the bat. Don't nobody ever change that. I kindly want to put my arm around you, then I'm gonna get up out of here and leave.
[Puts his arm around Frank
: I love you, boy.
: There were these two fellars standin' on a bridge, a-goin' to the bathroom. One fellar said, "The water's cold" and the other fellar said, "The water's deep". I believe one fella come from Arkansas. Get it?
: Believe in the Bible, do ya Karl? Karl
: I don't understand all of it, but I reckon I understand a good deal of it. Doyle
: Well I can't understand none of it. This one begat that one and that one begat this one, and lo and behold someone says some shit to someone else - just how retarded are you?
: There was a boy. We made friends. Charles Bushman
: Ha ha, I'll bet you did. 'Course I was never bent that way, I was always bent the other way.
: Mama's got a boyfriend now. His name is Doyle Hargraves. He works construction so he makes a pretty good living, but he don't help Mama out with any money though. He ain't no good. He's mean to her. He don't like me at all. Mama says it's 'cause he's jealous that I belong to my Daddy instead of him. He spends the night at our house sometimes and he's got his own house, somebody told me it's where he can have more girlfriends. I like it on the nights he ain't at our house. I ain't so nervous then. Karl
: How come her still being girlfriends and all with him if he's mean to her? Frank
: She says it's for the times he's good to her. She's lonely since Daddy died, sometimes she says she don't know why. He threatened to kill her if she ever left him. My daddy would kill him if he were still here and somebody was mean to Mama. Vaughan, he's real good to Mama. Vaughan that you met. But he's not able to do anything to Doyle. He's funny, you know. Not funny "Ha-Ha", funny queer. He likes to go with men instead of women. That makes him not able to fight too good. He sure is nice, though. He's from St. Louis, people who are queer get along better in a big town. I wish he liked to go with women, I'd rather he be Mama's boyfriend than Doyle.
: Karl, I hear Jerry's taking you somewhere else tomorrow. Karl
: I don't reckon I know nobody named Jerry. Dr. Jerry Woolridge
: She's talking about me, Karl, that's my first name. Karl
: He's carrying me to look for work over in Millsburg where I's borned.
: Was you in the nut house for hackin' somebody up with a hatchet? Karl
: I never used no hatchet that I remember. Mmm. Doyle
: So you're just crazy in a retard kind of way, huh? Wouldn't matter to me if you did do violence on someone. I ain't scared of shit. You're just a humped-over retard, seems to me. I'm just kiddin'. Welcome to our humble home, Buddy.
: Reckon what you like to eat in there? Frosty Cream Employee
: Well, the French fries are pretty good. Karl
: French fried potaters? Frosty Cream Employee
: Yeah, French fries. Karl
: How much you want for'em? Frosty Cream Employee
: They're .60 for medium and .75 for large. Karl
: 'Reckon I'll have me some of the big 'uns. Frosty Cream Employee
: All right, then, one large French fries?
[Karl is silent; Frosty Cream Employee walks to the back never taking his eyes off Karl
: [Eating potted meat
] I reckon it tastes alright. Frank
: You really think it's got peckers in there? Karl
: You know better than that. You ought not say that word. Frank
: It smells funny. Karl
: Yeah, it's pretty loud. Looky there. I believe you right. I believe I see one right in there.
: [lawnmower won't start
] Karl, see if you can figure out what's wrong with this. It won't crank up and everything seems to be put together right. Karl
: It ain't got no gas in it.
: I don't think anything bad ought to happen to children. I think the bad stuff should be saved up for the people whose grown up. That's the way I see it.
: Hi, Karl, I'm on my lunch break. I got you these flowers that were on sale, cause they're not fresh. $2.99, plus by 10% employee discount, since I didn't bring you anything on our date last night. Well, I just thought I'd bring them to you. I enjoyed walking with you. I got a blister the size of a quarter on my heel. Well, see you some time I guess.
[Turns to leave
: Blisters sure can hurt.
: Karl, who'd you kill? Was it the boy? Karl
: Don't you say another word about that boy. Fact'o business, don't you say another word to me. I ain't listening to you no more.
: [on the phone
] Yes, ma'am. I've killed Doyle Hargraves with a lawnmower blade. Yes, ma'am, I'm right sure of it. I hit him two good whacks in the head with it. That second one just plum near cut his head in two... It's a lil' ol' white house on the corner of Vine Street and some other street. There's a pick-up truck out front that says "Doyle Hargraves Construction" on it. Doyle said besides sending the police, you might wanna send an ambulance or a "hearst". I'll be sitting here, waiting on ye.
: What's in the bag? Karl
: This'n that. Tooth paste and whatnot. Doyle
: What's all them books? Karl
: Different ones. One of 'em is the Bible.
: Listen, everyone, I've had a few glasses of wine and that tends to make me emotional. It came over me in a rush. I just want you to know that I care about each and every person at this table. Linda
: Thank you, Vaughan. We care about you too, don't we? Melinda
: Yes. Karl
: Yes, Sir.
: I'm your boy. Frank Childers
: I ain't got no boy. Karl
: I'm your oldest boy. Name of Karl. Frank Childers
: I ain't got no boy. Karl
: They turned me loose from the nervous hospital. 'Said I was well. I got hired on by a Mr. Bill Cox fixing lawnmowers and whatnot. That grass out there in the yard has grown up quite a bit. I reckon I might cut it for you.
: You ever have any brothers or sisters growing up? Karl Childers
: I had one there for a little while. But, uh, it didn't get old enough for me to play with it. Frank
: Why not? It die? Karl Childers
: Yes, Sir. Frank
: Why? Karl Childers
: It got born too early. My mother and father made it come out too early some how or other. Frank
: So it died when it came out? Karl Childers
: My daddy came out to the shed and got me. He said, "Here, take this and throw it away", and he handed me a towel with something or another in it. Well I started for that barrel and I opened up the towel 'cause there was a noise. Something a-moving around in there. The towel was all bloody-like all around it there. It was a lil' ol' baby not no bigger than a squirrel. Frank
: A girl or a boy? Karl Childers
: It was a little ol' boy. Frank
: You threw it in the trash barrel? Karl Childers
: Well that didn't seem right to me, so I went in the shed and got me a shoe box and emptied out all the washers and nuts and screws and whatnot that were in it and I takened the little fellar and put him inside the box and buried him right there in a corner of the yard. That seemed more proper to me, I reckon. Frank
: Was it still alive when you buried it? Karl Childers
: I heared it a-cryin' through that box. Frank
: That don't seem right. Seems like you would have kept him and taken care of him if he was your brother. Karl Childers
: I wasn't but 6 or 8. I don't reckon I knew what to do. I didn't know how to care for no baby. My mother and father didn't want him and they learned me to do what they told me. These days I reckon it's better to give him back to the Good Lord anyhow.
: How are you coming along with that garden tiller? Karl
: I fixed it. It's workin' pretty good now. Bill Cox
: You done fixed it? Well I'll be damned. Scooter told me it couldn't be fixed. 'Course Scooter is about as shiftless as one poor son of a bitch can be. You done fixed it. I'll just be damned.
: Some folks call it a sling blade, I call it a Kaiser blade.
: What'cha doin' with that lawn mower blade Karl? Karl
: I aim to kill you with it.
: Hey Karl, what are you carryin' around them books for? Karl
: I ain't got no place to set 'em down.
: I reckon what yousa wantin' to know is why I'm in here. Reckon the reason I'm in here is cause I've killed somebody, mhm. But I reckon what yousa wantin' to know is how come mea killed somebody, so I'll start at the front and tell ye, mhm... I lived out back of my mother and father's place mosta my life in a little old shed that my daddy had built fur me, mhm. They didn't too much want me up there in the house with the rest of 'em, mhm. So mustley I just sat around out there in the shed and looked at the ground, mhm. I didn't have no floor out there, but I had me a hole dug out to lay down in. Quilt or two tu put down there, mhm. My father was a hard workin' man most of his life. Not that I can say the same for myself. I mostly just sat around out there in the shed, tinkerin' with a lawn mower or two. Went to school off and on from time to time, but the children out there, very cruel to me, made quite a bit a sport of me, make fun of me quite a bit. So mostly, I just sat around out there. In the shed. My daddy worked down there at the saw mill, the plainer mill, for an old man named Dixon. Old man Dixon was very cruel feller. Didn't treat his employees very well, didn't pay 'em too much a wage, didn't pay my daddy too much a wage. Just barely enough to get by on, I reckon, mhm. But I reckon he got by alright. Hmm. I used to come out, one or the other of 'em. Usually my mother, feed me pretty regular, mhm. I know he made enough where I could have mustard and biscuits three or four times a week. Mhm. But old man Dixon, he had a boy. His name was Jesse Dixon. Jesse was really more cruel than his daddy was. He used to make quite a bit a sport with me, when i was down there at the school house. he used to take advantage of little girls there in the neighborhood an' all. He used to say that my mother was a very pretty woman. He said that quite a bit from time to time when I'd be down there at the school house. Well... I reckon you want me tu get on with it and tell you what happened, so I reckon I'll tell ye. I was sittin' out there in the shed one evening, not doin' too much of nothin', just starrin' at the wall, waitin' on my mother to come out and give me my Bible lesson. Mhm. Well, I heard a commotion up there in the house. Mhm. So I run up on the screened-in porch to see what was a-goin' on. I looked in the window there and saw my mother layin' on the floor without any clothes on, hmm. Mhm-hmm. I seen Jesse Dixon layin' on top of her, hmm. He was havin' his way with her. Hmm. Well, I just seen red. I picked up a Kaiser Blade that was sittin' there by the screen door. Some folks call it a Sling Blade, I call it a Kaiser Blade. It's kindly a wood handle, kind of like an axe handle. With a long blade on it shaped kinda like a bananer. Mhm. Sharp on one edge, and dull on the other. Mhm. It's what the highway boys use to cut down weeds and whatnot. Well, I went in there, in the house, and I hit Jesse Dixon upside the head with it, knocked him off my mother, mhm. I reckon that didn't quite satisfy me. So I hit him again with it in the neck, the sharp edge, and just plumb near cut his head off, killed him. My mother she jumped up and started hollerin' "What'd you kill Jesse fur? What'd you kill Jesse fur?" Well... come to find out I don't think my mother minded what Jesse was a-doin' to her. I reckon that made me madder that what Jesse'd made me. So I take the Kaiser Blade, some folks call it a Sling Blade, I call it a Kaiser Blade, and I hit my mother upside the head with it. Killed her.