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kiss them all goodnight

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LAC BA342574 - 01


MS FLETCHER Q: Will you please take the gum out of your mouth?

MISS K[] A: [Chewing gum snaps.]

Q: You understand this may impact the court's ability to understand your statement, and that you will not get another chance to tell your story?

A: Everyone who matters already knows what happened. It's not my fault if you're too boring to understand. [Chewing gum snaps.]

Q: Suit yourself. Start at the beginning, then. Who came up with the plans?

A: Beginnings - look, those are weird, okay? Beginnings are like roads, they don't matter once you're on them, the only thing to do is keep dancing. But if you need me to say ... sure. Let's say it was Marina's idea, really.

Q: For the court's records, this would be Marina Stebunova, the girl we found in the gutter outside your house?

A: Yeah. I wanted to take her with me, you know but it was hard, fitting everything in. She gave me her necklace, that was enough.

Q: Also for the court records, take care to be specific. What 'it' that was Miss Stebunova's idea are you referring to?

A: Well, not the kissing - that was mine, had been mine since we were seven on the playground and I saw her standing under the swings - and not the money - that one, we came up with together. We were in her pool, under the jacaranda trees, and we were swimming almost more in the flower petals than in the water, every time we opened our mouths they would just fall in, like little sugar cubes.

It was the gum, and before you ask, I'm not getting rid of it, because that was Marina's whole thing. If you snapped your gum just right, you could snap yourself out of this life, somewhere else. So we had to practice, to see if it really worked, and then we came up with the bank as the test. It had to be big, to really matter, or what was the point? The money was nice, but it was extra.

Q: That's quite -

A: Shut up, I was talking about Marina. Like you asked me, as if you really need to. I'd talk about her forever, it's what she deserves. So, yeah. She was the first. The first one to make me think we could do something really fucking crazy and get away with it, the first one to bring out a knife, the last one I killed.

Oh. Wait, that's not right - I knew saying it out loud to someone like you would ruin it. Why can't I stop talking about her anyway? Why doesn't she fit?

[Chewing gum snaps.] She was the first one I wished I could feel sorry about. There, see? Feelings, just like you all wanted. Don't give me that look. She had my mind, I had her feelings, we made up a girl, just like that.

Q: So you admit to killing her, and the rest of the girls involved in the robbery?

A: Oh, no, no, not all of them. God. You really think I could do that? There were six of us, and we were always good about sharing the fun. Well, Marina and I were. The rest of our friends, they were ... okay, sure, but they weren't always entirely there. It was weird. The Santa Anas were really strong that day, some of them might've been blown away if the trick with the gum hadn't worked.

'You can blame anything on the Santa Anas and get away with it,' Marina whispered to me, one of those nights by her pool when everything was golden-sunset foggy and the peach wine had turned every sound gunshot-loud.

We didn't blame anything on the winds though. We only needed each other to go crazy. Each other, some rum in the ice cream, bloody knees from falling over each other trying to be first in the pool, first out the door. [Laughter.]

Q: Stop laughing. Do you understand how serious this is?

A: You're the only one being serious here. The rest of us had fun.

Q: The rest of your friends are dead.

A: [Laughter.] Well, before, obviously. Why are you trying to make the time matter? Time would have to exist if it was going to matter. Nothing matters anymore, not anything you're asking and - okay, fine it mattered when I was talking about Marina. Why won't you let me keep talking about her?

THE COURT: Okay, perhaps - should we consider a recess here? And could someone get Miss K[] a tissue? Or, er, several.

MISS K[] A: No recess! Let's just get this over with, okay? Marina's gone, really really gone since you took her necklace, and you'd be crying too if you couldn't feel anything about that.

I want to, remember? That's the thing you have to remember. My stomach hurts, obviously I want to be sorry. Mostly, though, I think I want to know what it would be like if they were still here.

MS FLETCHER Q: Okay. You need to calm down. No recess, that's fine, I understand, but you have to be clearer. Think about the desert. What were you doing out there?

A: Why do you care? I wanted to take Marina out there, obviously. We needed to do something after the end, and she always loved the wind turbines. They were trees, she said, and I said they were tombstones, and weren't we both right? [Laughter.]

Q: If we started digging -

A: Not all of them are under there, no. I don't remember where Leah is. You'll have to ask Marina. Or ask me to ask her, except I won't do your work for you.

Q: You understand why it's impossible to ask Miss Stebunova anything, don't you? You certainly seemed to understand that earlier, when you admitted to killing her.

A: Oh, what's death, really? We used to die five times a day with each other, little tiny deaths.

Q: [Throat clearing.]

A: Anyway, I'm alone. You can't ask her anything when I'm this lonely. I think I'd like that recess now.