“What does it all mean? Why did you have to die before you could tell me?”
I kept telling them, death is only an extension of life. Then I killed them. Even then, they didn’t really get it. I guess it’s one of those jokes that’s only funny from one direction.
I’m used to it by now, of course. They say you can get used to anything, given time, and so far I’ve had a hundred and eighty-four years. Well, technically, for thirty-six of those years I was alive. For the rest of it, I’ve been in this display case, just watching the world go by.
You’re Mister Greene.
Otis Greene, that’s right. I’ve got my card here, somewhere —
I don’t need your card, Mr. Greene.
Is that Otis Greene? Man! He looks awful. I knew him back in 1803, we did The Bedford Atrocity together. The guy was in his early twenties, so that would make him, what, sixty now? Something like that. I was never very good with math, even when I had fingers to count on, and now I have to do it all in my head. I have to do everything in my head, really, except for kill people.
I am not interested in getting rid of that particular piece. Rather, this table.
Ah, very interesting.
Yes, and we do have some history of it. Augustin Collins bought it in Bedford, after the witch trials. It originally belonged to a woman who was hanged for being a witch. It’s fascinating, isn’t it?
Ugh! That right there is exactly what’s wrong with the Collins family. They accuse you of witchcraft — which you wouldn’t even have committed, if they hadn’t been such jerks — they put you on trial, they hang you, and then what? They take your furniture. The world is just one big Pottery Barn outlet for these people. And why would you brag to your kids about it? Weird. People used to call me The Devil’s Son, and even I think that’s kind of messed up.
Do you know anything of that period? You know, while the Salem trials are more famous, I think the local ones in Bedford are even more fascinating.
My family came from Bedford.
Really! And was your family involved in the trials?
My grandfather was an executioner. Some men wouldn’t admit to that. There’s a curse on it. And every one of the executioner’s family… I know that. Well I know it.
Well, not every one of the family, obviously, because here you are, dumbass. Hades, now I remember what an idiot he was. I told him, one guy — appeared in his dreams and stared in his eyes, you must help me, you will help me, the whole deal — and what does he do? He decapitates four people and then surrenders himself to the police, and he didn’t even kill the one guy I asked him to.
Oh, I am in luck. I had no idea you were so involved. I have something here that will really interest you, something else from that period! Go and open that curtain, Mr. Greene. Go and open that curtain!
You recognize it, don’t you? He’s an old friend of yours, isn’t he?
Honestly, you know, the worst thing about being a head in a glass display case is that nobody ever just leaves the TV on. Not even a game show. I have no idea what’s happening out there, in the world. All I ever hear is What’s that? and There’s something evil about it! and You’re under his power!
Oh, no! You’re not going anywhere, not until you tell us!
You’re under his power!
Well, if you know that, don’t fight me!
I won’t look at it — years, it cost me! Years of living in that asylum!
Oh, there we go. It’s always the same with Otis, just me, me, me. Dude needs to check his body-having privilege. After he was sent to the asylum, I had to mentally enslave his handyman to jump on the first ship out of town, with me checked as luggage. We ended up in Macau. That’s a Chinese-Portuguese trading port and I don’t speak Chinese or Portuguese, so I couldn’t understand a goddamn word anyone said for thirty-six years.
You will look at it, because you know where the body is buried! Your grandfather buried it! Where is it, Mr. Greene? Where is it?
You don’t want to know! The head! It was cut off to stop it! Aaah! So it wouldn’t live again! It was the only way to stop it!
So I had to arrange for somebody to come by who a) spoke English, b) was on his way from Macau to Maine, and c) was shopping for an occult souvenir to bring home for his best friend. You ever try to do that, from inside a glass box? It’s harder than it sounds.
Aah! My heart!
You tell me where the body lies!
The noose! The noose! An unmarked stone!
Oh, my evilness. Seriously?
The ring of gold! And the stairs! The stairs!
Oh, you have got to be kidding me. I don’t believe we asked this guy for a fucking haiku.
Noose? Tell me! Tell me where the noose is! Tell me!
Top of the hill — direct line — un — marked — stone.
All right, great. Are we done?
It will be found!
Excellent. Nice job, Desmond. Flawless fucking execution on that. So it’s, what, the noose, the noose, an unmarked stone, the stairs, and… what was it? Damn! I wish I had a pencil.
Monday: To Your Head.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
In the teaser, when Desmond gets up from the table, the lamp jiggles and makes a sound.
The unmarked gravestone wobbles when Desmond touches it.
Monday: To Your Head.
— Danny Horn