Overheard by @suebethsays #NaNoWriMo



Written by Susan Elizabeth

Blog: http://hearsaytheblog.wordpress.com

NaNo Excerpt

“Charles Gein,” Brant said. He looked up from the paperwork and stared at the man sitting at the metal table on the other side of the mirrored-window. They’d given him a wet-nap to wipe the blood off his face. He’d left a small drop on the tip of his nose, probably intentional.

“You’re kidding me,” Jackson said.

“What?” Brant asked. Inside the room, Charles waved. More likely he was waving at them, aware of the two-way mirror, than waving at his own reflection. Either would be just as maniacal.

“Charles Gein?” Jackson said. “It’s a combination between two of this country’s most infamous serial killers - Charles Manson and Ed Gein.”


“Charles Manson was-”

“I know who Charles Manson is. Who’s this Gein guy?”

“You ever seen Psycho? Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Silence of the Lambs?” Jackson asked. “Ed Gein is the sick freak that all those movies are based off of.”

“How do you know all this?” Brant asked.

“How do you not?”

Inside, Charles pretended the mirror was actually a mirror, picking his teeth.

“Any luck on the woman?” Patrolman Patrick asked.

“Nothing. No ID. No identifying marks. No missing persons report in the last 2 years that fits her description.”

“Think she was a hooker?” Jackson asked.

“She’s not a hooker,” Patrick said.

“How’s that?” Brant asked.

“You seen her nails?” Patrick waited for the two men to shake their heads. “Acrylics not just on her fingers but on her toes as well.”

“F***’s an acrylic?” Brant asked.

“Fake nails, but not the stick-on kind you get at K-mart. You gotta go to a salon where they seal them on with a little buzzing pen-looking thing. And I can tell you, they’re not cheap.”

Jackson and Brant stared at Patrick. His cheeks turned red.

“My wife’s into the pampering, alright fellas? That’s how I know. Jeez. The point is - there’s no way a hooker could afford something like that - and even if she could - why would she want to? With her living conditions, she wouldn’t be able to afford the upkeep that those babies require.” He looked up at the two men who were about to burst with laughter. “Oh screw you guys,” he said and huffed off down the hallway.

Brant’s laughter finally gushed out, but died down quickly as he caught eyes with the man on the other side of the window. Charles stared at him, as if he knew Brant’s eyes had met his, as if he could hear the laughter, as if he believed he was the source of all this glee.


“Lawyer,” Charles said. “Please bring me that binder that I had you fetch.”

The kid cleared his throat and straightened his tie, staining it with sweaty fingerprints. Charles motioned towards the door and the kid scampered off.

“These court-appointed fellows crack me up. He’s scared of me. He’s supposed to be representing me, but the poor kid is afraid I’m going to kill him. I don’t kill males, for the record. They might as well call a mistrail as soon as we walk into the courtroom because his face is just screaming my client’s guilty. I would have just done it without out him, but it would have just been too much additional work, you know?”

Brant and the other two officers stared at Charles, each of them with a different part of their face twitching.

Charles smiled, then looked away. He gazed up at the ceiling, as if he were studying every crack, every discrepancy. He snickered, but kept studying the room. Finally, he looked back down at them and said, “It’s a shame really, that you folks can’t see the humor in all of this. Especially you - Police Chief Brant Garrison.”

Brant’s hand rose from the table and Jackson knocked it down. He knew, they all knew, that another punch in the face would only make this man happier.

“Alright, uh, we’ve got one binder here,” the lawyer kid said as he walked back into the room. “Per your request s-” He looked at Charles, stopping himself from saying sir. ”-Alright then.”

“The door, kid,” Jackson said.

“Right, of course,” the kid said and closed the door. As he turned back to the group, he flipped open the cover of the binder.

“Don’t do that,” Charles said and the kid slammed the binder shut. “Did I tell you to open the binder? Let’s see. I told you to fetch the binder. I told you to bring the binder to this room. But I did not in fact tell you to open the binder. Please. Don’t ruin the surprise.”

The three twitching police faces continued to stare at Charles. Jackson’s hand remained resting over Brant’s fist.

“Now, child. Bring the binder to the table. Seriously, I have to spell it out for this kid,” Charles started to laugh then waved his dismissive hands at the men who wouldn’t laugh. “Let’s see it then.”

The kid set the binder on the table. Charles motioned for the binder to be turned to face the police officers.

“Go ahead, take a look, Brant,” Charles said.

Jackson lifted his hand off of Brant’s fist. Brant opened the binder and saw a picture of the woman gagged and tied to a mattress. The word ALABAMA was typed on a piece of scrap paper & inserted into the plastic sheet cover.

“Don’t stop there,” Charles said. “You’re just getting started.”

Brant flipped the page and saw another woman. Same condition. This time the scrap paper said ALASKA.

Brant’s eyes were hot. He could feel moisture building behind them. And he knew what would be on the next page.


And the next.


He flipped madly through the sheet-protected pages faster and faster. Woman after woman. State after state.

“Since you seem to be rushing through the accuracy part,” Charles said, “I will ensure you that there is, in fact, one for each state.” He paused, no doubt for dramatics sake. “How do you like that?”

Jackson caught both of Brant’s fists as they rose into the air. Patrick jumped up and put a hand on Brant’s shoulder. The door swung open and two men in suits rushed in.

“Alright boys, this one’s officially ours,” said one of the men as he brandished his FBI badge.

“Just wait a minute there-” Brant said.

“There is no way you’re going to be able to reason that this is not a federal crime.”

“We’re just getting started here and I’d appreciate-”

“Fellas, fellas. Really,” Charles said. “There’s no reason to argue. You got me.”

“What’s the catch?” Brant asked.

“Chief Garrison, I’d appreciate it if you let us do the questioning from here on out.”

“What’s the f***ing catch?” he asked again. “Murderers - serial killers - don’t just turn themselves in. You don’t just spend years planning this, covering your tracks, pointing fingers at others to just turn yourself in.”

“You would know, wouldn’t you, Police Chief Brant Garrison?” Charles smiled at Brant as the men in suits lifted him from his seat and escorted him out of the room.

Author Bio

Born and raised in Virginia, with an extended background in New York and a touch of California. When Susan is not trying to infuse a murder mystery with ambiguity and misdirection, she is busy embracing all things silly and random.