01 Feb Dad’s Tapes: The Fires
Hey no/sleep. I’m back with another of my dad’s tapes. But I thought first maybe I’d introduce myself a little. My name is Sam. I’m an only child. My dad raised me by himself, with only the occasional help of babysitters. He worked a lot but still found time for me. That’s why it hurt so bad when he died. I miss him…
Anyway, you’re not here to read about me. You’re here to read the latest transcript. This one is confusing, so pay close attention. If you want to read the earlier tapes you can find them here and here. And as always, a reminder that my dad’s name is Danny.
Danny: Good morning.
?: (There is grumbling, but no words that I could make out. The grumbling is disturbingly low)
Danny: Can you tell me your name?
Syd: Syd. Ain’t that on your papers? (She has the voice of a teenage girl)
Syd: What, you got a hearing problem?
Dame: Please excuse Syd, she has a mouth on her. (She has the voice of an older woman, like a grandma)
Danny: Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t seem to have your name.
Dame: It’s Dame. I’m Sydney’s guardian.
Danny: So you’re looking after her?
Dame: Yes. She needs quite a bit of looking after.
Danny: Can Syd tell me what happened?
Syd: Fuck off.
Dame: Syd! I am so sorry. She is here today to say she is sorry.
Syd: I didn’t do it! I don’t have anything to apologize for!
Dame: Syd, we’ve talked about this.
?: (More grumbling)
Danny: I am not blaming anyone, I am just here to listen.
Syd: That’s what they all say. They all say they’re here to listen but no one ever believes me.
Danny: How about you give me a chance?
Syd: (There is a long pause) Fine. But you have to talk to me, not Dame. Okay?
Danny: Okay. Go on.
Syd: (While she is talking there is the sound of nails scratching wood. I think she must have been dragging her fingernails along a table.) So, I have some weird friends. I’ll admit that. But that’s only because I don’t really get along with people. Ever since I was a kid I was always the outcast. Being a foster kid doesn’t make you many friends.
So you’ve met my friends, Romie and Dave. They are…odd, I guess. Don’t tell them I said that. But they genuinely care about me. They treat me like a friend instead of a pest. Romie…she is like the person I wish I could be. She’s pretty and smart. She has a family who loves her. God I get jealous of her sometimes. And Dave is just your typical spoiled kid. It’s always the three of us.
Danny: And which of you started the fire last night?
Romie: It was Syd! I swear it was! It wasn’t Dave! I was back home, you can ask my mom! (She sounds like a teenage girl, similar to Syd)
Danny: I was talking to Syd. Romie, right?
**Romie:**But Syd is a liar. She is always lying.
Syd: I am not lying!
Dame: Please, girls. You’re embarrassing me.
Romie: You’re not my mother!
Danny: I need everyone to take a deep breath. (The room is silent). Okay. Romie, I already interviewed you. It’s Syd’s turn now.
Syd: Yeah, it’s my turn!
Danny: So please, go on.
Syd: Okay. Look, I am not going to lie to you and tell you I’m a good person. I’ve done stupid stuff. I’ve shoplifted. Whatever. But I didn’t start the fire. I don’t even know how to start a fire! And where would I even get gasoline?
Danny: Syd, how did you know there was gasoline present?
Romie: She did it! It was her! Not Dave!
Syd: It wasn’t me!
Dame: Girls! Please!
Danny: I think we need a second. Maybe I could talk with Dave? (There is a long pause)
Syd: He doesn’t want to talk to you.
Danny: I know, but I think he’s the one who could clear this up. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but seven people died in that fire.
Romie: He didn’t mean to kill anyone. He just likes to set fires…
Dame: I thought it was harmless, so I let him do it. (A sob can be heard) I should have stopped him.
Danny: Let’s all calm down. I want to hear from Dave.
Danny: Dave? Can you hear me?
Danny: I know you’re here, Dave. I can see you.
Dame: Don’t upset him.
Danny: We don’t have to talk about last night. How about trucks? I know you like trucks.
Dave: I like trucks. (He has the voice of a young boy, maybe eight or nine)
Danny: Me too. My son used to play with a big truck when he was your age. (Pause) Do you like monster trucks?
Danny: Do you like firetrucks?
Dave: No! I hate firetrucks!
Dave: Because they put out fires. I like fires.
Danny: Why do you like fires?
Dave: Fires killed my parents.
?: (Loud grumbles, almost screaming)
Danny: I’m sorry, I just-
Syd: His parents were sick. They hurt him. They deserved what we did to them.
Danny: Are you saying you set that fire three years ago?
Syd: It doesn’t matter. You’re going to lock us up now. (Her voice starts to sound less like a teenage girl and more like a young boy) I’ve seen it on tv. You’ll lock us up and we’ll be in jail.
Dave: You’ll lock us up. You’ll lock us up. You’ll lock us up.
Danny: Dave, are the others gone? Is it just you now?
Dave: Lock….lock us….us….
?: (soft grumbling, but turns into a violent near scream)
Dame: Is this over yet? I want to take us home.
I looked into this and David Evers was a little boy whose parents were killed in a fire when he was six, and then he set another fire which killed an entire family. They say he had dissociative identity disorder. All of the psychologists were interested in him especially because all of his ‘personalities’ were women. I guess after this interview with my dad he was never “Dave” again.
He just sounds like a crazy kid to me. I don’t know anything about mental illness but this kid is messed up. The sounds he made…those guttural grumblings….I would be fine never hearing those again.
I wonder if it was those grumblings that kept my dad up at night.