Davis: I swear to god I warned them. Priest’s art shows were always bizarre and frankly in poor taste if you ask me, but my bosses didn’t care. As long as it sold, and controversy sells, that’s what they say.
Detective Webb: Well, they got controversy this time, that’s for sure. But how did they pull it off, that’s the material question.
Davis: I have no idea! You’re asking the wrong person. I just put the exhibits up and do the promo materials. This time it gave me nightmares even before all…that.. happened. All those skulls screeching out of the plastic base canvas. And those things with broken dolls. I mean. Ugh. He was demented.
Detective Webb: That’s one way of putting it. But how did he and half his patrons on opening night end up in the exhibits, that’s what we need to understand. How did he end up spreadeagled and impaled on the ‘kitchen sword’ display, for instance? Or the entire assembly from the East Side Art Appreciation club end up mauled in the mouths of those skulls? I mean, there’s art appreciation – even audience participation – and then there’s just..I don’t even know what that was.
Davis: And how would I know? I was on the reception counter the whole time! I didn’t see anything. mean, I heard stuff, but that frightened me so much I didn’t go looking. I’m not like those idiots in horror movies…
Detective Webb: But you said yourself, you warned the gallery owners. So what did you think you were warning them about?
Davis: Just him, just what they say about him. that he’s not just an artistic, that he’s..sorry he was.. a magus and that all his works were elaborate rituals. You hear stories, in the industry, of other galleries being under some kind of curse after showing him..though nothing like that..nothing like the art actually killing the artist and his patrons.that’s a whole other level of horrorshow..that is..So I said don’t show him, it isn’t worth it, but they never listen.
Detective Webb: And you didn’t see anything, nothing at all?
Davis: Only other patrons running screaming out of the exhibition area. I wasn’t going looking then, as I said. I’m not a fool. Why bother me? Why not watch the security camera footage if you want details?
Detective Webb: It went on the blink. Convenient, wouldn’t you say?
Davis: I guess.
Detective Webb: But maybe not for you, given part of your job description is also..let me just check, oh yes..gallery security? So why wouldn’t we think you had more than a general idea of what was going to happen?
Davis: What are you saying? I had nothing to do wth this! I tried to stop it!
Detective Webb: Then why did we find this?
(Detective holds up a photo of the scene to the camera. In blood, next to the cannibal skulls, is a short sentence written in blood “It’s all for you Davis, all for you”)
Detective Webb: Yes, that’s about the size of it champ. So why don’t we start again? What happened?
Helen M Valentina (c ) 2019