Sling Blade, Karl Childers

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Film Sling Blade
Author Billy Bob Thornton
Role Karl Childers
Actor Billy Bob Thornton

I reckon what you want to know is
what I’m doing in here.
I reckon it’s because I killed somebody.
But I reckon you want to know
how come I killed somebody…
so I’ll start at the front and tell you.
I lived out in back of
my parents’ place most of my life…
in a little old shed
that my daddy’d built for me.
They didn’t want me in the house
with the rest of them…
so I sat around in the shed
looking at the ground.
I didn’t have no floor…
but I had me a hole dug out
to lay down in…
a quilt or two to put down there.
My father…
was a hardworking man
most of his life…
not that I can say the same
for myself.
I mostly just sat around
in the shed…
tinkered around
with a lawn mower or two…
went to school off and on
from time to time.
But the children out there,
they were very cruel to me…
and made quite a bit of sport of me,
made fun of me quite a bit.
So mostly I just sat around
out there in the shed.
My daddy…
worked at the sawmill,
down at the planer mill…
for an old man named Dixon.
Old man Dixon was a very cruel fellow.
Didn’t treat his employees well
or pay them well.
Didn’t pay my daddy too much of a wage.
Just barely enough to get by,
I reckon.
I reckon he got by all right.
They used to come out,
one or the other of them…
usually my mother…
feed me pretty regular.
So I know he made enough
so I could have mustard and biscuits…
three or four times a week.
But old man Dixon…
he had a boy…
name of Jesse Dixon.

Jesse was more cruel
than his daddy was.
He used to make
quite a bit of sport of me…
when I was down there
at the schoolhouse.
Used to take advantage of the girls
in the neighborhood.
They used to say…
that my mother was a very pretty woman.
They said that quite a bit
when I’d be there at the schoolhouse.
I reckon you want me to get on with it
and tell you what happened.
So I reckon I’ll tell you.
I was setting out in the shed
one evening, not doing much…
just staring at the wall…
and waiting on my mother
to give me my Bible lesson.
I heard a commotion in the house…
so I run up on the screened-in porch
to look inside.
I looked in and seen my mother laying
on the floor without any clothes on.
I seen Jesse Dixon
laying on top of her.
He was having his way with her.
I just seen red.
I picked up a Kaiser blade that was
sitting by the door.
Some folks called it a sling blade.
I called it a Kaiser blade.
It’s got a long, wood handle,
kind of like an ax handle…
with a long blade shaped like a banana.
Sharp on one edge
and dull on the other.
It’s what the highway boys use
to cut down weeds and whatnot. Yeah.
I went in the house…
and I hit Jesse Dixon
upside the head with it…
knocked him off my mother.
I reckon that didn’t satisfy me…
so I hit him again in the neck
with the sharp edge…
and just plumb near cut his head off,
killed him.
My mother jumped up
and started hollering…
“What did you kill Jesse for?”
Well, come to find out…
my mother didn’t mind
what Jesse was doing to her.
That made me madder
than what Jesse’d made me…
so I took the Kaiser blade-
some folks called it a sling blade,
I called it a Kaiser blade-
and I hit my mother
upside the head with it.
Killed her.
Some folks asked me: if you had it to do
over again, would you do it the same way?
I reckon I would.
Anyhow, they put me in here…
and here I been
for a great, long while.

Posted in Actor, Author, Dramatic Male Monologues, Film, Quotes and One Liners, Role

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