My statement is as follows:
When I was a child I knew of a forest where I often wandered. It was a wild, forgotten place, bounded by the fields and roads of man. Many hours I spent there among those cathedral trunks supporting a canopy of whispering green.
One day I came upon a mossy stone wall and followed it on its winding way. In time I found a closed door, tightly locked, and its stout wooden planks foiled my childish curiosity. I left that place and did not return for many years, but always in my mind stood that mysterious door barring my way.
The summer that I turned seventeen, by chance and fate, I found myself standing again before that same door. Where the intervening years had made me tall and strong, they had left the door hanging rotten upon rusty hinges. To a small gap in the wood I pressed my eager eye and peered at last into that hidden realm. There was a brick path, covered in an undisturbed mantle of many autumns past, that wound away among trees and lawns long gone wild, until finally disappearing around a bend where my eye could not follow.
I was struck by an overpowering desperation to know what lay beyond that curve and in my eagerness the door gave way beneath my palms. With nary a thought, I crawled through this fresh-made opening and stood at last inside that secret place.
It was with the fresh wonder of a child that I wandered there in that fallen Eden, surrounded by the forgotten labors of an unknown creator, over whom Nature had triumphed at last. I followed the brick path among tree and shrub, glimpsing hidden flowers and vine-choked statuary, finding everywhere the signs of what once must have been a garden of poignant beauty, though now, no less diminished by the invasion of the wild only transformed.
Eager steps carried me far into those green-shrouded grounds until at last I found myself standing on the shore of a lily-choked pond. At its center, on a small island, stood a pagoda of sorts, so entwined in ivy and creepers that I could not see what lay within. Slowly, I walked the circumference of the water, never taking my eyes from that structure. Upon the far side, I spied a causeway leading across the murky waters, with such riotous growth twining about its cast iron rails that until I stepped upon it I was not entirely certain whether it was real or illusion.
Across the pagoda entrance hung long swathes of tattered cloth fluttering gently in the warm breeze. Their soft frayed edges gently caressed my face as I slid between them, completely consumed with what revelation may lie within.
That is where I found her.
I had a fleeting impression of long copper-red hair, as rich and supple, as the silken hangings must have once been. Her alabaster skin shone like sunlit marble even in the green-shrouded depths of that hushed place. Her lips made an O of surprise upon my entrance, only to be replaced by another expression of knowing, and then eager anticipation.
Rising fluidly, she moved to me, and unhesitatingly clasped me in her arms, molding her supple body to my young frame. Though my mind still reeled in shock to find someone there, a much older, more primal, force seized me, as if rushing into my body from the riot of greenery in whose heart we embraced, and as our lips met that ancient power was unleashed.
I will not relate what happened there in the heart of the garden. It is a story as old as mankind. I will only say that though I was not the knight she was expecting, my blood was as hot as his, and my sword as eager. I spent that long summer afternoon in her arms. She did not tell me her name nor did she inquire of mine, for names have power, and I feared that my soul was already hanging by a frayed thread in that fey place.
In time, unease began to settle upon me as if in tandem with the lowering of the hidden sun, and when her caresses and murmurs could no long keep that growing fear at bay I fled the place, leaving that beautiful forest queen in her bower. I raced down the winding brick path that I had traversed seemingly an age ago, and trembling, forced myself through the rotted gap in the wooden gate, not pausing in my flight until I reached home.
For three days I did not leave my house, nor could I abide the thought of food nor drink. A restless energy kept me pacing the confines of my rooms, yet at other times, I lay upon my bed for hours at a stretch, unable to even summon the energy to lift so much as a finger. Rustling leaves and a beautiful white face haunted every sleeping moment, until I came to fear even closing my eyes.
At noon on the fourth day the police came. I went with them without resistance, lost in an exhausted daze.
They took me to the station and left me in a claustrophobic room with naught but a small table and two chairs. In time, a man without a uniform arrived and began to ask me seemingly endless questions. Somehow they knew that I had passed through the door in the wall. I admitted that indeed I had accidentally broken the rotted wooden door and then slipped through. That was certainly trespassing, and I accepted guilt for my crime.
How did they know that it was I who had been there? I asked.
He looked at me strangely and said simply that I had left "evidence" behind. I do not know to what he referred.
He asked me many questions about what I had come to that place for. I tried to tell him of finding the wall and door as a child but he did not want to hear of the past. Innocent curiosity was not something he apparently understood.
Then he withdrew a photograph from an envelope and placed it before me on the table. My blood felt as if it had drained from me, and I trembled as I gazed upon the face of my forest queen once more. Her green eyes seemed to pierce my core with both longing and terror. Yet, I began to perceive that there was something wrong with the picture. The woman in the photo wore a simple t-shirt and jeans. She sat behind the wheel of a car with a pair of grinning friends in the back seat. Outside the car windows sprawled the concrete and asphalt of the very town I lived in. It was all so mundane, so prosaic. How could this person possibly be the same as the one that I had encountered? It was as if my mind was trying to gain purchase on a slippery slope.
I did not hear the man speaking to me until he snatched the picture from my hands. He demanded to know how I knew the woman. I expressed confusion over who the woman in the picture was.
You are a terrible liar, the man said.
I tried to explain why it could not be my fey lover but I failed for words.
Perhaps she looked different last time you saw her, he suggested.
I sat silent.
He withdrew a second photograph from the envelope and threw it on the table before me.
Perhaps she looked like this after you were done with her, you sick fuck.
*Writing becomes incoherent*
Witness Statement written by Accused on October. 31st, 2009 at Brookfield Mental Institution, Eaton County. Statement remains incomplete while Accused undergoes continued psychological evaluation to gauge mental state.