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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: CRUX HARBOUR

A Mystery on many levels is just beginning to unfold in Crux Harbour, where things are not exactly what they seem.








I’d been home for an hour and had managed to shove a TV dinner down my throat before I sat down at my computer to start hashing out the next edition of my crime column for the Interglobal Press. I had just claimed the coveted position in journalism as a syndicated columnist.

I was listening to my voice recorder and perusing my notebook looking for the best opening hook, line/ headline for the latest serial killings to rupture the peace of the city when an unexpected knock at my door scared the crap out of me. I live in a secured hi-rise apartment building with a state-of-the-art security system and a security guard in the main lobby. Nobody was supposed to be able to get through.

I went to the door and shoved my eyeball in the peephole. Even though I had not seen the caller in ten years I recognized him and was totally taken aback that he was knocking at my door. In a letter, he had advised me that my father had passed away and I had sent him an E-mail telling him to take care of business and let me know when it was time for me to sign any necessary papers and claim my inheritance. Apparently, he was not satisfied with my response and deemed it necessary to fetch me in person.

I opened the door and greeted my Father’s solicitor, Mr. Wellings with mixed emotion, mostly annoyance.

“Caseman. It is very important that I talk with you.” He said when I opened the door.

“I already gave you my answer to the situation, but since you are here, I suppose you better spit it out,” I replied and stepped aside to let him in then ushered him into the sitting room, settled him in a chair and poured us each a scotch, neat.

“I am really busy Wellings. You’ve got ten minutes to convince me I shouldn’t call the security guard and have you hauled out of here.”

“Look, Casey. I know you never got on with your Father, but it is imperative you come home and sort out his affairs in person with some guidance from me. He made some very clear stipulations in his will.”

“Sounds like something he would do, mean as bull caught on a barbed wire fence to the end and into the hereafter.” I snarled.

“You got it wrong kid, but I can’t explain it in ten minutes. All I can tell you is that if you don’t come back you could end up… well… in very deep trouble.”

“Ok. You bought yourself a little time. Make it good.” I replied. A little more time added up to an hour and by the time the lawyer was done, I had a whole new attitude, not about returning to Crux Harbour to stay but to settle things. It seemed there was a considerable enigma around my father and his death, one that went back a long way. My internal curiosity was compelled to at least examine it, then it struck me that there might be a story in it.

“Alright, Mr. Wellings. I will return to Crux Harbour with you, but don’t expect me to stay any longer than necessary.”

“Wise decision kid. There’s a train leaving first thing in the morning. I’ll meet you there.”

“Well, it is late now. You might as well sleep here. We can get to the station together. I have a guest room.”

“That would be kind if it’s not too inconvenient.”

“Coming here was the inconvenience, Mr. Wellings. But I must admit I am intrigued. Now tell me more about my father. It seems he was more of monstrous creature than I thought.”

“No, he wasn’t Casey, but he was a desperate man who started something long ago that haunted him the remainder of his life and now it may have come to you, but then maybe it is done with. I don’t know for sure.”

The next morning, I was on the train with Mr. Wellings headed home. I felt anxious, but did not know why. Why should going home cause me distress, especially since father was gone? I always thought it was him that was my nemesis but as the train rattled along the tracks, I was beginning to think there was something more to it, something I knew or sensed that was not right about… not right about what. Then my thoughts went to the day I left home for college.

I never told my Dad, I would never be back, but he sensed it I am sure. We had had enough fights over the years for him to realize/understand that I was very close to hating him. I hardly ever saw him sober and though he never hit me his words were as searing as any beating and I always thought he blamed me for mother’s death but as it turned it was not me, he blamed.

“What was it about mother’s death that tortured my Father so deeply. I know she died when I was born.” I said after a long silence.

“Not exactly when you were born kid. It was a week later.” Wellings replied.

“What do you mean a week. I thought she died giving me life.”

“No son, but I will not discuss this here and now. It is one of the reasons I implored you to come back to the Harbour.”

“How did my mother die then?” I demanded.

“She was hit by a car. It was a hit and run.”

“Why in the hell did my father let me believe she died in childbirth, then?” I asked angrily, raising my voice a little louder than I intended.

“I think it was to protect you, Casey. I believe your father thought if you knew you might be inclined, when you got older, to look too deeply into what really happen and that would have brought more trouble down on you than he wanted.”

We arrived in Terrace Bay Just after two pm. There was a car there waiting to drive us the remainder of the way to Crux Harbour, a little over an hour along a road that was paved but not well maintained. I wanted Wellings to get on with it, but he refused to discuss the matter any further until we were at his office and preferably the next morning. To make sure I couldn’t badger him anymore that day he dropped me off at the house, my father’s house, my house. He also suggested I visit the Sentinel office so the editor would know I had arrived.


Submitted: June 06, 2019

© Copyright 2022 Donald Harry Roberts. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Vance Currie

You posted this as a short story, Donald, but it seems to be the first chapter of a book. It is sufficiently intriguing to draw a reader into reading more chapters. This chapter tells us a lot about the protagonist and sets the stage for a good mystery.

Thu, June 6th, 2019 11:10pm


Excellent read, DH!

Fri, June 7th, 2019 8:09pm

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