Downy Blows

The Latest from Ellie’s Desk by Mabel Strangeways

Mind Bullets

By Mabel Strangeways

A man in Sutton is claiming to be responsible for the murders of no less than eight people. According to police reports, the alleged victims, Luke Mayhew, 59; Flora Caley, 47; Aaron Lloyd, 61; Abigail Salter, 68; John Wesley, 53; Horace Cooper, 61; Edith Worthington, 49; and Nellie Evans, 60, all died of natural causes whilst asleep in their beds. Rufus Gasper, 33, however, claims he used supernatural powers to invade the victims’ dreams and stop their hearts.”I killed them because I could,” Gasper boasts. Though he knew none of the victims and had had no previous contact with them, Gasper says he chose them because their dreams were particularly vivid and “called to me as I traversed the world of dreams searching for potential victims upon whom I could unleash my awesome murderous powers.” The unemployed former textile worker says he can “dream-walk,” the term he uses to describe his ability to project himself into the dreams of others. According to Gasper, in addition to entering the dreams, he is able to manipulate them. “I use their emotions against them. You think those people died of heart failure? No. They died of fright. I used their dreams to scare them to death. It’s right brilliant, isn’t it? There’s no trace I was ever there.” Among this dubious ability to kill through dreams, Gasper claims he is able to hypnotise people with his eyes and control their minds. He states he has used this ability to relieve unsuspecting people of their valuables on several occasions. “Rufus is gifted,” says Cecelia Capshaw, 26, a neighbour and sometime companion of Gasper. “He has these powers. He enters my dreams at night and brings me to the heights of such pleasure we are able to maintain a very intimate relationship whilst my maidenhood remains preserved.” Ephraim Perkins, a former employer of Gasper’s at the textile factory at which he was previously employed had this to add, “He’s a creepy, delusional little git. He used to go ‘round bragging about his so-called powers whilst he was meant to be cleaning the loom. If he’d spent as much time working as he did making up ludicrous stories, I wouldn’t have sacked him. His supposed hypnotism didn’t help him much in my office that day.” Gasper rebuts these remarks by stating, “I didn’t want that [removed] job anyway. Loom cleaning was not for me. I’m an artist.” When asked if he’d considered using his dream-walking powers to exact revenge upon his former supervisor for this slight, Gasper replied, “Well, everyone would have known it was me, wouldn’t they?” As to why he would be concerned about this when he is claiming responsibility for eight other murders, Gasper had no comment. The police have yet to charge Gasper for any of these alleged crimes. Inspector Thaddeus Bloom, to whom Gasper made his original declaration, says, “We have no reason to believe these deaths were caused by anything unnatural. We do not credit the existence of supernatural powers or the ability to kill people through their dreams. As far as we have been able to ascertain, Mr Gasper was nowhere near the victims when they died. We do not believe he had anything to do with their deaths.” The victims were all in the advanced stages of their lives and were reported to have suffered some previous heart condition or illness. However, Gasper remarks, “Once the inspector realises how truly dangerous I am, I am sure he’ll be banging down my door to remove me from polite society before I can kill again. Not that locking me up will do a bit of good. The walls of a sepulchre might hold my body, but no one will ever be able to gaol the incredible powers of my mind.” Friends and families of the deceased are outraged by Gasper’s pronouncements. “My mother had a weak heart,” says Anne Worthington, 26. “This man is a fraud, and his lies are disrespectful to her memory and the memories of the other poor people he’s claiming to have killed. I’d like to give him a kick right up the nancy.”

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