Just made it back from my visit with mother. I smuggled a tape recorder into the room with me, so the following is a transcript, word for word, of what occurred.
Attendant: ...have thirty minutes with Mrs. O'Connor. If she appears to be distressed...
Damien: If I upset her, you'll sedate her and put her back in her room. I know. Thank you, ma'am.
A: Of course, Mr. O'Connor. I'll have them bring her in. (Sound of door opening)
My mother is lead in and sat on the other side of the glass barrier. Her face lights up when she sees me. The attendant exits, shutting the door and waiting outside while we speak
Mother: Oh Damien. It's so good to see you come and visit again. But Kiera isn't with you this time...
D: She wasn't with me last time either. We haven't been together for awhile.
M: No, no, no. I do remember her. She'd curled her hair, dyed it red. I really did much prefer it straight and black... Such a pretty gi---
D: I explained this last time: That wasn't Kiera. That was Amelia.
M: Oh... And why isn't she with you? Are you still together? You should get back together with Kiera.
D: Amelia's not here because she's dead, mother.
M: I'm sorry to hear that. I do know how hard it is to lose a loved one.
I chose to ignore for a time. I planned to approached the subject of father and his death later in the conversation. I needed as much information from mother as possible, and I was worried that intense of a subject would provoke a fit.
D: (Sigh) I went back to the old house yesterday.
M: Really? It was such a nice home. The woods were always so beautiful when autumn came and the leaves changed color. I remember you and your friends running around out in the forest, playing your games while I baked cookies and made lemonade for when you'd come back.
D: Yeah... good times... Do you remember any times when Ted and Em and I came back frightened? Like we'd maybe seen an animal out in the woods? The news said a bear may have been spotted recently (Blatant lie on my part)
M: Hmm... I recall some of the stories you came back with about dragons and giant spider people, but those were always just stories.
D: Did we ever mention meeting anyone?
M: (Laughs) Other than the occasional wizard, I don't think so. You always had such a vivid imagination, Damien. You always dreamed the most amazing things. (Sighs) I just wish you'd applied your creativity in better ways.
D: Such as?
M: I always thought you could have changed the world.
D: Into what?
M: A better place. That's what you used to want to do, you know. You wanted to save the world from all the "bad guys". You wanted to be president. But you became so jaded after your father died. You sealed yourself up inside yourself, and the bad men put me in this cage.
D: Do you remember a building out in the woods behind our house? Red brick, green doors, overlooked a river.
M: (Slightly agitated) No... no, I don't. Why?
I pulled out the "Return" drawing of the building out of my pocket and pressed it up against the glass where mother could see it. She lost a bit of color from her face as she looked it over.
D: I found this with a bunch of other old drawings of mine. I remember playing nearby, but I can't quite recall how to get there. I kind of wanted to take a trip down memory lane and visit it, so I was wondering if you knew how to get there.
M: I have no idea what that building is. Maybe you imagined it.
D: No, I've definitely been the--.
M: Maybe you haven't. The mind plays tricks on the soul.
D: Mother, I know this place is real. I'm going to go there.
M: (Shakes her head furiously, growing more and more upset) It's not real. Doesn't exist. You can't go there. Please don't go there. For me? For your mother?
M: (Settles back down, but still on edge) Good boy.
D: I found another picture while I was looking through my things...
At this point, I was terrified of pushing her into a fit, so I decided to back the pressure off a bit. I figured it'd be best to ask a few insignificant questions, so I pulled out the "Happier Times" drawing of my mother, father, uncle, and dog.
D: Who's Max in this picture? I don't remember having a dog. (Another lie)
M: You don't? That's strange. You loved Max. (She reached out and "touched" the image through the glass. I realized later that she wasn't touching the dog, but my father's face.) You used to take him out into the woods with you all the time. You were inseparable.
D: What happened to him?
M: One day, while you were at school, I let him outside to go potty. He started barking, but he always did that. The barking stopped, and I went out a bit later to let him back inside. But he was gone. I think he ran out and got lost in the woods.
D: Oh... I was wondering, have you and Uncle Eddie patched things up at all? I haven't heard from him since your big fight when I was six.
M: No, no. I still don't speak with my brother. He said terrible things about your father, and I just couldn't have that. I told your uncle to leave and never speak to any of us again. I loved your dad too much to listen to that.
D: What did dad do for a living? I just remember him coming home from work in his suit and falling asleep right after dinner.
M: He was a stockbroker. Supported us so well, but he worked himself so hard.
D: Did you ever meet any of his coworkers?
M: A few. I never liked any of the women. They were always flirting with him, right in front of me! Always wanted to run them off with a broom, thinking they were better than me just because I chose to be a housewife. He could have had any of them, but he chose plain, common, little me instead. And I loved him for it so much.
D: Were any bald?
M: (Burst of laughter) Bald women? In big business? Oh, no. Never. They were always far too obsessed with their looks and maintaining appearances.
D: I meant the men.
M: Oh... None that I recall.
D: Really? (I decided to take a significant risk here) I could've sworn I remember the two of you always being around a tall, skinny, bald man in a business suit.
M: (Perplexed) I really don't seem to remember anyone like that.
D: No slender men?
M: No. You're acting very strange today, Damien. All these questions...
This is where things get very, very weird for me. I remember this being the end of the interview. I don't know why I'd end it there, but I could've sworn I stood up and said...
D: I'm sorry, mother. It's been nice seeing you, but I have to go.
Apparently, that isn't what happened...
D: What about excilis everto?
(Long, long pause on the tape)
D: Excilis everto, mother? I seem to remember you and father being rather close with him.
M: How do you know about that? (Listening to the interview, I'm amazed at how lucid my mother sounds from here on. Normally, she's either very wistful or very shaken. She sounds like a normal, serious human being for most of the remainder of the tape)
D: I stumbled on a video tape of a number of naked men and women engaging in an orgy that was broken up by yourself, father, and three others in purple robes.
M: You found the tape... I thought I destroyed it...
D: You didn't, mother.
M: How much did you see?
D: Everything. What happened to the little girl?
M: He... took her.
D: Did you know that he has been taking others? Three children disappeared just a few days ago.
M: It is his nature.
D: What does he do with them?
M: He takes them to a better place. Reverend Matthew said that every child we gave to him went to Heaven, and if we gave him enough, he'd take us too.
D: If he takes them to a better place, why didn't you let him take me?
M: I... I was selfish. I wanted you to stay with me...
D: But father didn't think that way, did he?
M: (She begins sniffling, clearly starting to cry) Your father loved you more than I did. He wanted to let you go to Heaven, but I wouldn't let him. I wanted you for myself.
D: Is that why you killed him?
D: Perhaps you aren't aware, but Matthew was lying to you and father. Ted, Emily, and I saw what he does deep inside that dungeon beneath the old building in the woods. We saw what happens when he gets his hands on the most innocent of us.
M: (Mother's familiar agitation creeps into her voice) I don't know what you're talking about... He always just lead them do the corridor behind the altar. I never saw... Reverend Matthew never let us---
D: He rips them apart. He pulls their organs out of their body and puts them back in. He mutilate their corpses and sings a song of delight as he does.
D: You were condemning innocent children to death, and all because you thought it'd get you into Heaven.
M: (Crying, almost screaming) What's happened to you, Damien? What happened to my little boy?
D: (I... TheArsonist... laughed, cold and cruel) I am the man you always wanted me to be - I'm going to make this world a better place. You thought I could use this mind of mine do great things. I'm going to accomplish what no one else has, what no one else can even imagine accomplishing.
(Door swings opens, footsteps of attendants running in to restrain mother)
M: (Screaming, sounds of her resisting her attendants as she's dragged out of her chair and towards the door) You can't... Damien, please, don't! We didn't know! We were just doing what we thought was right!
D: But you weren't right. You were so selfish and small-minded and now you're going to pay. You're dead to me, and I'm sure he'll be making a visit very, very soon... (Sound of the door shutting, my mothers cries still carrying into the room) I'm sorry, mother. It's been nice seeing you, but I have to go.