slingblade's Journal

Karl Childers
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  • slingblade@livejournal.com
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Well, I reckon what you're a wanting to know is what I'm doing in here. I reckon the reason I'm in here is cause I killed somebody. But I reckon what you was a wanting to know is how come me to kill somebody. Well, I reckon I'll start at the front and tell you. I lived most of my life out behind my mother and father's house in a little old shed that my daddy'd built for me. They didn't too much want me up there in the house with the rest of 'em. I mostly just set around out there in the shed all the time a lookin' at the ground. It didn't have no floor but I had me a hole dug out to lay down in and a quilt or two that I put down there.
My daddy was a hard workin' man most of his life, not that I can say the same fer myself. I most just set around the shed and tinkered around with a lawnmower or two and went to school off and on from time to time but the children there made quite a bit of sport of me, made fun of me quite a bit. Some of 'em roughed me up sometimes so mostly I stayed out back there in the shed. My daddy worked down at the sawmill there, down there at the planer mill for an old man named Dixon. Old man Dixon was a very cruel feller, he didn't treat his employees very well, didn't pay 'em much of a wage, didn't pay my daddy much of a wage, just barely enough to get by on. But I reckon he got by all right, they come out one or the other of 'em, usually my mother, and fed me pretty regular. At least I know he made enough for me to have mustard and biscuits three or four times a week. Old man Dixon had a boy named Jesse Dixon. Jesse was really more cruel than his daddy. He made quite a bit of sport of me and takened advantage of the little girls around the neighborhood quite a bit.
He used to say my mother was a very pretty woman. He said it quite a bit from time to time, when I was at the school house. Well, I reckon you want me to get on and tell you what happened so I reckon I'll tell you. I was settin' out in the shed one evenin' not doin' too much, just kindly starin' at the wall and a waitin' fer my mother to come out and give me my Bible lesson and I heared a commotion up in the house there so I got up and run up on the screened-in porch there to see what was a goin' on, and I looked in the kitchen window and I seen my mother a layin' there on the floor without any clothes on.
And seen Jesse Dixon a layin' on top of her having his way with her.
Well, I just seen red. I picked up a kaiser blade that was a layin' there by the screen door, some folks calls it a sling blade, I call it a kaiser blade. It's just a long handle like a axe handle with a long blade on it that's shaped kind of like a banana. Sharp on one edge and dull on the other. It's what the highway boys use to cut down weeds and whatnot. I went in the kitchen there and I hit Jesse Dixon up side the head with it and knocked him off my mother. I reckon that didn't quite satisfy me so I hit him again in the neck with the sharp edge and just plumb near cut his head off. Killed him. Well, my mother, she jumped up from there and started yellin', "What did you kill Jesse for? What did you kill Jesse for?"
Well, come to find out my mother didn't really mind what Jesse was a doin' to her. I reckon that made me madder than what Jesse had made me. I takened the kaiser blade, some folks calls it a sling blade, I call it a kaiser blade and hit my mother up side the head with it an' killed her.
Some folks has asked me if I had it to do over again would I do the same thing. I don't know, I reckon I would. Anyhow, they seen fit to put me in here and here I've been for a great long while. I've learned to read some; took me four years to read the Bible. I reckon I understand a good deal of it. It wasn't what I expected in a lot of places. I've slept in a good bed for a great long while. They've seen fit to put me out now. They tell me they're a settin' me free today. Anyhow, I reckon that's all you need to know. If you want any more details I reckon I can tell 'em to you.