Because I Hear the Voices

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McNealy Boy

Our library is very old, and is named after the first principle the school had when it began in the early 1900’s. The bookshelves strain under the pressure of the books that have been donated and acquired over time, which means that most of the books are dusty, mouldy, out dated, worthless pieces of junk. I don’t understand why the teachers bother taking us to the library to do research, when in the end we all have to go elsewhere anyway. Devlin and I stayed at our desks whilst everyone proceeded to the bookshelves to begin aimlessly browsing the limited selection of relevant sources.

“Bitch,” Devlin muttered, still seething from Ms Miller’s comments on our approved topic. “The woman is the bitterest old maid I have ever met! I think she should do everyone and herself a favour and get laid!”

I choked back the laughter that threatened to make an appearance and bent over the morning’s article. On the page before me were two photos, both of the Maple Vale serial killer, one recent and one of the killer taken when he was a child. I froze, tiny hairs on the back of my neck began to rise and I began to shiver uncontrollably, as I looked down in horror, at the face of the very child I’d seen in my dreams just the night before. Devlin, unaware of my strange reaction, announced he’d begin the research whilst I read the article and he left me there in stunned silence.

Exactly 18 years after he committed the murders of his sister’s, the local child killer of Maple Vale ended his own life.

When he was eight years old this vicious and deranged mind, strangled his seven month old baby sister and when his twin attempted to intervene, he chased her out of their home and when her body was eventually discovered, the authorities found she had been repeatedly stabbed in the chest.

In the subsequent trial it was discovered that T.R McNealy had suffered from angry episodes for most of his life, and was often violent and harmful to himself and his twin. Not far from the sister’s body, a mass grave was discovered, filled with animal carcasses, which accounted for the pets that had begun to mysteriously disappear over the past year or so. Doctors were called to examine the boy and he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and sent to a secured mental institution until he was seen fit to re-enter society.

His 18th birthday came and went; and he was only released into a halfway house when he turned 25, and only 5 months ago, at the age of 26, was he allowed to rejoin society on a permanent basis.

Dr Fiddler, T.R McNealy’s psychiatrist stated that he fully believed that his decision to allow McNealy re-entry into society was at the time based on a belief that he was no longer a threat to himself or others. He added that if McNealy had continued taking his medication, he would not have become a threat to society, so he was in no way responsible for the subsequent events.

Many outraged citizens of Maple Vale, however, consider that Dr Fiddler made a grave mistake, a mistake that cost two young women their lives, and have called for his dismissal from the medical profession. Mrs. Pringle, a concerned resident from Maple Vale, stated “the justice system went too easy on the McNealy twin, and he never fully paid for his actions. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and as every one knows, schizophrenics are dangerous to society. He should have rotted in jail.”

“Well, well, Mr. Achias, I see that you are even further behind in this assignment than your co-worker. As you are well aware, as part of the assignment I grade your process, and believe me Mr. Achias, things are not looking good for you or Mr. Summers.”

I looked up startled into the eyes of my annoyed social studies teacher, and mumbled an apology. She smiled grimly at me then moved on to the next table. Hastily I stood up and stumbled over a chair in my hurry to find Devlin.

“Hey Sean, what’s wrong, you look like hell?”

I leant back against the bookshelves, aware that my entire body was shaking and stared at my closest friend while I tried to gain control of my breathing.

“Dev, I dreamt about that kid last night,” I said when I finally managed to regain the use of my voice box.

“What kid, what are you talking about?” Devlin asked, his attention completely focused on the book he was flipping the pages of.

“The McNealy boy.”

Devlin looked at me then skeptically, before replying. “Yeah, sure you did. Get real Sean, shit like that doesn’t really happen.”

“It did, I swear it. I dreamt about him, I saw his ghost.”

“Ah, hate to break this to you kid, but the guy died when he was 26 years old. So if I was going to believe in your story, he would have had to appear as a young man, not a kid,” Devlin stated, clearly thinking this was an elaborate joke on my behalf.

“I’m not shitting you, Dev,” I hissed, annoyed that he couldn’t see how upset and frightened I was about this whole thing, “I’m worried and I’m scared but the one thing I ain’t, is joking!”

Devlin finally closed the book he had been perusing throughout our conversation and stared at me, finally taking in how upset I appeared.

“Shit Sean, what do you mean you dreamt of him?” Taking a breath, he began to pace in front of me, which is a habit of his when he is nervous. “Ok, well, maybe the dude you saw in your dreams looks like the guy, but it doesn’t mean it was. I mean maybe you just think he looks like the kid in your dreams. Besides, seriously, why would you dream about this guy if you have no connection to him at all? It doesn’t make sense Sean.”

I took a steadying breath and allowed my nerves to calm as I processed this sensible statement. “Yeah, sure, you’re probably right. I probably just jumped to conclusions. It’s ok, I’m fine.”

“You sure, man?”

“Yeah.”

“You wanna change the topic or something?”

“Are you kidding? Ms Miller will have a fit! Best to stay out of her way totally, we can’t afford to give her any more reason to be pissed with us.” I reasoned, remembering my latest run in with the shrew.

“Yeah you’re probably right. Well, I can’t find much here on schizophrenia, so I think we’d better make a visit to the state library, and maybe even the university library so we can check out the newspaper records at the time of the original murders. I’ll make sure that I get copies of the recent story from other newspapers and we’ll have to watch the news tonight and record the reports so we can have a visual aide to back us up in the presentation that we have to do, based on our essay. We’d probably better get started as soon as possible, maybe today after school or something, what do you think?”

“Yeah, sounds good, but maybe we should spilt the research, that way we’ll get more quicker. You get the stuff on schizophrenia, and I’ll get the stuff on McNealy.”

“Sure you wouldn’t rather do it the other way around?” Devlin asked sincerely concerned.

“Nah, it's ok. Besides, if we are doing an assignment on the guy, I’m going to have to know the stuff anyway.”

“Yeah, ok, sure. Well in that case, let’s take these books over and get started.”

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