The Curtain of Oz – Dawson Wohler

The Reptilians were opening Dell’s mail again. The week before it was the CIA. Jews the week before that. We were at his trailer at least once a month saving the free world. Dell was a fixture at the local bar. He was one of the last of the mindblown hippie love children. An absolutely heroic dose of LSD sliced clean through whatever knot had been keeping him tied to reality sometime back in the late sixties. For Dell, the waking world seemed to exist in a linguistic void. His words could only get at its outline; its contours. He met us at the door clutching an envelope in his arthritic hands.
Walsh and I had this down to a science. Dell would show us an unopened envelope and tell us that somehow whoever happened to be watching him that week had opened and resealed it, with self evidently, to Dell, at least, malicious intent. Regardless of their affiliation, his assailants always took a special interest in his bills. We’d take the envelope in question as evidence, wait ten minutes after he went back to his trailer, and put the envelope back in the mailbox. That day was a little different.
After we’d finished our “investigation,” Dell invited us inside. He asked us if we read the newspapers. I said no and Walsh said something about getting his fill on patrol. Dell shook his head and spread out three issues of The Tribune on the kitchen table. “I think these are connected,” he said, pointing at three highlighted headlines. Family says baby’s grave desecrated by vandals at local cemetery, Mayor’s daughter found dead in her home, and Rash of pet disappearances linked to Satanism. I glanced at Walsh. “Looks like we’ve got our very own Ed Gein,” Dell said. “There’ll be more murders if you don’t get this under control.”
“We’ll take that under advisement,” Walsh said. He turned and headed for the door. I followed close behind. As we walked back to the patrol car I asked him if he thought old Dell might be onto something. I’ll never forget the way he looked at me when he said: “No, I really don’t. Dell’s spent his whole life pulling the curtain back hoping to find the man behind it and all he’s ever found is another curtain. That’s all he’s ever going to find. That’s what fucked his head up, more than the drugs. Nobody is in control. Nobody’s behind this. If anything, the town killed her.”
The dash radio crackled to life before I could respond. 11-41. Overdose.