Eclectic Voices

Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More

Theory of Silence: Detective Fleming

Theory posterIn June 2012, Eclectic Voices produced a completely original monologue play: The Theory of Silence, Details on a Disappearance.  It grew out of a writing exercise surrounding the idea of a family mysteriously disappearing from a small town.  The show featured monologues from characters in the town, their reactions, theories and experiences about the disappearance.

The synopsis: The Johnsons have suddenly vanished. They’re just gone, nowhere to be found. Did they meet with foul play? If they did, there’s no shortage of potential suspects. There’s the neighborhood watch guy; the garbage hunter; the crazy bag lady; the medium; the man who manipulated his way into the preteen dance class; the disgruntled waitress; and more. Everyone in town has a theory and they’re not shy when it comes to telling you about it. This original mystery monologue show explores the idea of unexplained disappearance, of human evaporation, and how it affects those who witness it.

We are proud to present one of the great monologues from the show, “Detective Fleming”, written by Sean M. Kozma.  Feel free to take a listen to the actor Eamon Hunt performing the monologue, or read it below.

DETECTIVE DENIS FLEMING: Good afternoon. Before we get started, I want to set the facts straight. I know you’ve heard all kinds of things in regards to this case, most of which amount to nothing at all. I know because I’ve heard all of them too. Plenty of recordings, just like yours; all filed away in a banker’s box in a cage down in the basement of the county courthouse. I was the lead on this case and conducted all the interviews myself. For the record, I’m Detective Dennis Fleming, I was made lead on this case because of my experience. I was NYPD homicide for twelve years, so they figured I was the best person to deal with this. We don’t get a lot of this kind of thing around here, and none of them had dealt with anything like it before. Anyway, it landed on my desk when the Johnsons turned up missing, with no evidence of foul play. They were reported missing on May 13th of last year by their neighbor, Jodi Walsh, after the family van sat in the driveway for four days during a normal work week. She thought it was odd, so she called the station. A patrol car was dispatched. When their initial inspection and canvas failed to turn up anything, they called it in under suspicious circs and it landed on my desk. As I said before, I was NYPD for twelve years before moving out here. Homicide for most of that. I’ve seen all kinds of things. I’ve seen just about every horrible thing imaginable. I’ve seen newborns left to die in dumpsters. I’ve seen stabbings, shootings, rapes, multiple defenestrations, gangland executions… You name it, I’ve seen it. My daughter just loves these horror movies. You know, those slasher flicks? I’ve never understood it. I can’t watch them. Once you’ve seen that sort of thing, turning it into entertainment tends to lose its appeal.

Back in New York, I was once called in on an attempted suicide. The call was for shots fired, so we had to secure the scene before the paramedics could come in. So I get down into this dingy basement apartment to find this guy who’d tried to take his own head off with a sawed-off shotgun. Only instead of putting it in his mouth, he put it to his forehead and it just kind of clipped the top of his skull off like a soft-boiled egg. It didn’t kill him. I don’t like to think about how aware of himself and his surroundings he might have been, but he was alive. So anyway, he’s lying there on the floor of his crappy little apartment, blood oozing out onto the carpet, and I can see his brain there in his skull. Well, most of it, anyway. I felt so bad for the guy, you know? He’s breathing funny and his eyes are searching around the room like he’s looking for something. All I wanted to do was take my pocket knife and stir it around in there, just to put the guy out of his misery. Instead we bring the medics in and they had to find something to cover the top of his head with to keep his brains in while they moved him. They wound up using a pizza box lid they found in the kitchen. The surgeons kept him alive for three days before he kicked. So I’ve seen it all. Really just about everything imaginable in this job. And somehow, when I walked into that house, I knew this one was different. There’s a smell that dead bodies make. Strong and unmistakable. You work homicide long enough and you get to know that smell real well. Do you know what the pros do to deal with it? You know, cops, medics, crime scene cleanup?

(He inhales deeply through his nose.)

But when I walked into that house… not a whiff. And believe me, I’d have caught the scent if it was there. Even a relatively small amount can generate that smell after a few days and there. Was. Nothing. We’ve interviewed hundreds of people, including all of their known relatives, and nobody knows anything. Whatever happened to them, it didn’t leave a trace that I could find. Not a trace. You know, I haven’t slept right since I got this case. None of the other terrible things I’ve seen have ever bothered me. Maybe I just have the temperament for it. I know how to leave it at the scene and not take it home with me. But this case? It just doesn’t make any damned sense.


The Theory of Silence: Details on a Disappearance was originally produced by Jeff Folschinsky, Taylor Ashbrook, Chelsea Sutton at The Eclectic Company Theatre in June of 2012; Written by Dana Amromin, Jason Britt, Jeff Folschinsky, Sean Kozma, Chelsea Sutton and Brad Wilcox; Directed by Chelsea Sutton; Sound Design by Jeff Folschinsky; Featuring performances by Paton Ashbrook, Taylor Ashbrook,Mason Hallberg, Eamon Hunt, Daniel Mandel, Meghan McConnell,Wendy Radford, Abbe Rowlins, Brian Smith, Tim Sprague, Elizabeth Southerd, Tyler Tanner, Erin Treanor, and Biff Wiff

Sean M. Kozma is a writer, sound designer, and audio technician living in Los Angeles, and working in professional theatre. He also works behind the camera on independent films as production manager, assistant director, and line producer. Originally hailing from southeast Michigan, he has worked as a dishwasher, a fry cook, a delivery driver, a taxicab driver, a dispatcher, an engraver, and an office drone. He is currently writing a novel, among other projects.

One comment on “Theory of Silence: Detective Fleming

  1. taybrook
    January 14, 2014

    One of the most powerful pieces from that show. So vivid. Moving.

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2014 by in Monologues.
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