Accident

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

A fatal accident. Two realities collide. The drivers have not met before, yet their fate was orchestrated by the same master.
Is there more to the accident then meets the eye...

 

 

Accident

By

Sharief Hendricks

Brakes locked, tyres screeched, brown station wagon swerved, Mini Cooper driver screamed, panic, then impact! Two vehicles collided. A fatal accident.

The scene was red, as blood dripped from the passenger side of the smashed red Mini Cooper. Emergency lights flashed and reflective police barrier tape preserved the scene. EMS personnel hurried between the two vehicles, crushing pieces of glass under their safety boots while they dodged metal shrapnel as if they were walking in a minefield. Radiator steam filled the night air, as onlookers whispered amongst each other trying to get a glimpse of what happened.

Gene, a female medic announced, “Mini Cooper driver, deceased, when first EMS arrived on scene at 09:15 pm, Thursday 16th May 2010. Female, caucasian, 23 years of age, Mary Eckstein confirmed by her driver’s license issued 2009 in Johannesburg.”

Dawie, her male colleague handed her the silver foil blanket used to cover the dead.

“Dawie, how is the driver of the station wagon doing?” 

"He's ok. Good thing he was wearing his belt and braced himself for impact, which probably saved his life,” said Dawie.

Two SA Police detectives arrived on the scene two hours later. A short black man Detective Sithole and a tall white man, Lead Detective van Heerden. They left the police issue Hyundai Elantra idling with the bright lights on.

Sithole walked to the station wagon and looked inside through the open driver-side door, while van Heerden examined the Mini. Sithole interviewed the Metro Police Officer who was first on the scene.

“Unjani baba” (how are you, sir?).

“Yebo Unjani (yes, hello) detective.”

“Sizwe Dlamini," said the Metro Officer before Sithole had asked his name.

“Tell me what you found when you arrived on the scene?” Asked Sithole.

“Well, I arrived on the scene at 9:05 pm and found the station wagon and the red Mini. As I exited my vehicle, I saw the driver of the station wagon leaning inside the Mini as if he was trying to help the driver or trying to get her out of the vehicle,” said the Metro officer.

“You questioned him, how was he?” asked detective Sithole as he took out his black notebook.

“Well he was understandably in shock, but he didn't look shaken up, you know what I mean," said the Metro Officer.

“No officer, I don’t know what you mean,” said Sithole.

“Well, he was in shock because he was not responding to my questions, but he didn’t look scared, he looked almost relieved in a way.”

“Relieved?”

“Yes sir, relieved, maybe when he reached inside the girl was still alive and that was a sense of relief for him.”

“Did you ask him what happened?”

“Yebo (yes) detective, he said he applied the brakes, but it did not respond as the road was wet.”

“You confirmed it.”

“Yes, it stopped raining around 8:30 pm this evening, but there were still some wet patches around.”

“Ok officer Dlamini, good work.”

The lead detetctive made his way over to the driver of the Stationwagon who was sitting on the pavement with his head in his hands.

“I’m detective Jacques van Heerden, South African Police,” what’s your name?”

“Martin, um, Martin Wellman.”

“So, Martin, tell me exactly what happened tonight, and you should know that the occupant of the other vehicle is deceased, so you need to be very clear, alright.”

“It was an accident detective, my brakes didn’t respond, or it did, but my tyres locked on the wet road, I don’t know, it all happened so fast,” said Martin, as he put his head into his shaking hands.

“Ok Martin, slow down, take a breath and start from the beginning.”

“I still can’t believe this is happening, I can’t believe someone died. I was on my way back from the gym, the 'robot' (traffic light) changed from green to amber and I applied brakes, but the car just kept going, the brakes didn’t respond, I panicked. I couldn’t stop the car, so I tried to swerve out of the way, but the Mini was already in front of me. I remember closing my eyes and bracing myself for impact just as I was about to hit her. Adderley Street is normally quiet this time of night. I checked on the driver of the Mini, but I could tell by looking at her that she was dead,” said Martin as he shook his head slightly in disbelief.

“Ok, Martin that is fine, have you been examined by the medics?” Asked detective van Heerden to which the shook-up driver replied, “yes.”

“Officer Dlamini is going to take you to the Randburg SAP for an official statement and a standard alcohol test, nothing to stress about ok. We just want to get it right, I can tell that you have been through a lot,” said van Heerden to show sympathy towards the young man and also to get him to relax and perhaps open up as to what really happened.

“How old are you?” Asked van Heerden, as he opened his little black notebook that was nearly full, just two pages left. 

“Twenty-three next week,” said Martin, as he fixed a thick strand of hair that fell over his left hazel brown eye.

“Do you live with your parents?” Asked van Heerden.

“My mother,” said Martin.

“Does she know what happened?”

“Err, yes, she knows exactly what happened and she is on her way”

Sixteen days and a lot of investigating and developments later, Sithole and van Heerden arrived at the Wellman house.

“Good morning Mrs.Wellman,” said van Heerden when she received them. He immediately noticed how well kept and presentable she was. Hair in place, smart dress, almost as if she were expecting them.

“Good morning detectives, come in please,” said Mrs.Wellman with a beaming smile almost like one would have when your important package you ordered online arrived. A bit odd given the type of visit. Then again, some people are just genuinely friendly, or bored out of their mind and any type of company will do just fine.

“Thank you," said Sithole.

“Are you here to see Martin again, he’s in the shower,” she said as she pointed towards the black leather couch much like a waiter would when showing you to your table.

Jacques van Heerden looked at Sithole and replied, “actually, we are here to see you both, but we will start with you if that is in order.”

“Ok, I don’t see how I can help but I will cooperate,” said Mrs Wellman, while straitening her shoulders.

Van Heerden remained standing until she replied as he watched her pleasant demeanour change to a baffled expression on her pale perfectly kept facial skin, that did not reveal a single clue as to her age.

“Do you know the girl that died in the accident?” Asked van Heerden.

“No detective I’m afraid I don’t know the poor soul. I only know what little my son told me about her, I understand they almost the same age.”

“Did your son tell you the name of the deceased?” Asked Sithole as he surveyed how immaculate the furniture was kept.

“No, he didn't, I am not sure what that has to do with anything,” she said, making direct eye contact with detective Sithole.

“It has everything to do with it,” said van Heerden as he jumped in to break the little stare down between interviewer and interviewee.

“I do not understand,” said Mrs.Wellman with a confused look on her face.

Sithole leaned forward and asked, “does the name Mary Eckstein mean anything to you?”

“No, should it?” The detectives did not respond to her enquiry and just gave each other a slight glance.

“Does the name Arthur Eckstein mean anything to you?”

She looked up at Sithole and said softly, “no, no, it cannot be, it can’t be.”

“Please answer the question Mrs.Wellman,” said Sithole, as he pressed her for an answer while she showed signs of weakness. She lifted her hands to her face and dropped her head to her knees and started to cry, “yes, I know Arthur Eckstein. He is Martin's father. He abandoned me twenty-three years ago when I fell pregnant with Martin,” then she realized the connection and asked, “the girl that died in the accident, are you saying that was Arthur’s child?”

“I am afraid Mary Eckstein was the daughter of Arthur Eckstein, Mrs.Wellman, It is very important that you tell us the truth”, said van Heerden as he prepared her for the tough questions, he was about to bombard her with. “Did your son know Mary Eckstein?”

“I don’t know, but he recently asked a lot about his father. He became obsessed with finding him. He found all my old photos,” she said almost regretfully as her facial expression became strained. Her perfect pale skin now only a shadow of what it looked like when the men entered her house. It was littered with red patches, from crying and distress.

“Is Martin on any medication?” Asked Sithole as he handed her a tissue from his blue striped shirt pocket. She looked up at the detectives and with a fearful tone, said, “you don’t think this was an accident, do you?”

“Never!” She said, “get out of my house, Martin would never do that, he wouldn’t!” Said the protective mother jumping to her feet and flaling her arms around.

“Calm down Mrs.Wellman, calm down, we just want the truth, we only want to understand what happened and why,” said van Heerden reassuringly as he placed his hand on her shoulder. This kind gesture surprised her for two reasons, one, that he showed her compassion and two, that his arm could reach her shoulder from where he was seated.

Mrs.Wellman broke down and started to cry uncontrollably and destroyed her perfect makeup in the process.

Suddenly the door burst open and Martin walked in, “leave my mother alone!”

“Hey, relax, calm down!" said van Heerden with a seasoned policeman tone as he raised his voice and then said calmly, “we know everything, Martin.”

“Ok, I did it! Just leave my mother out of it,” he said as he looked at his mother half ashamed like a naughty child that got caught.

Sithole stood up and took Martin who was visibly shaken up by the arm and sat him down next to his mother.

“We know you bought the same Volvo station wagon that your father used when he tried to kill you while you were still in your mother’s womb.  Your father, Arthur Eckstein loosened your pregnant mother’s safety belt and drove into a tree. Yes, we found it in the police archives in Pretoria. We know that you joined the gym a month ago when you found out that Mary Eckstein was your father’s daughter that he chose to have with another woman. We read your Sterkfontein Mental Medical Institute report."

Hearing the details from the detective, Martin resigned his conscience to the fact that the police conducted a thorough investigation and that they did not need his confession after all.

With a resigned look, Martin gave a nod of his head in agreement, as his mother sat looking at her precious son as her lips trembled violently. She tried but couldn’t get any words out.

“We also know that your friend, Jerry’s, girlfriend, Sindi Ghadi that works at Home Affairs, gave you Mary Eckstein’s information and that was when you began to stalk her.”

This revelation widened Martin’s teary and tired eyes as it accentuated the puffiness under them. The ordeal weighed heavy on him and like Jacques always told Sithole, “the eyes always betray you.”

He continued to reveal the fruits of their hard work that this case demanded, as any other detective might have simply accepted the accident theory and moved on.

“What you didn’t know is that Mary Eckstein helped solve this case for us from the grave. She opened a case at the Randburg Police station about a suspicious Volvo station wagon following her a week before she died. That’s how you knew where she would be that fateful Thursday night when you killed her.”

"Why didn’t you believe that it was an accident, it was perfect?" asked Martin, almost pleadingly.

"The Metro Officer said, when he saw you by the Mini, you almost looked as if you were relieved, that’s what did it for me," said van Heerden.

Mrs Wellman in disbelief grabbed her boy and hugged him to protect and shield him from reality and said, “no! he didn’t!” but it fell on deaf and disinterested ears.

“Don’t worry mom, please don’t say another word.”

“Martin Wellman, I am recording this as your official statement and it replaces the one you made at the Randburg SAP,” said Sithole, to which the guilty nodded once again.

“Just tell me one thing Martin,” said van Heerden, “was Mary Eckstein alive after you crashed into her with your car?”

After a slight hesitation, the shocking response came, “yes! yes, she was.”

“Martin Wellman did you kill Mary Eckstein?”

Martin responded to van Heerden’s question with anger and gusto this time.

“Yes, I killed her!”

“I closed her nose and mouth as I told her that her father, my father, tried to kill me and my mother with the very same car twenty-three years ago, to make his accident look like an accident. So, if my conception was a regretful mistake, nothing but an accident, then her death had to be an accident too, after all, parents should treat all their children equally," said Martin as he looked at his mother, “She had to pay for the sins of our father.”

Jacques van Heerden handcuffed his suspect as his mother sat motionless and watched as the nightmare unfolded right in her living room.

“Martin Wellman, you are under arrest for the murder of Mary Eckstein," said van Heerden as he led the killer out the door, while Sithole struggled to hold back the grieving mother.

A year later Mrs.Wellman was sitting at the Sun City Prison visitation rooms. Her son was sitting opposite her. Mother and son were only separated by a stained glass. A single tear rolled out of her left eye down to her chin as it glided over her perfect pale skin and she made no attempt to wipe it away. That tear was a symbol of her love for her son and she needed him to see it no matter how stained the glass barrier that separated them was.

“Mom, I’m sorry I put you through this, I don’t think you should visit anymore.”

“No, I will never stop visiting you my baby, I’m the reason you are in here. I should have forced you to listen to me. I hate myself for not imposing my will on you more strictly. I was always too lenient on you since you were a baby. I always allowed you to do things your way, now my biggest regret is that I allowed you to do it your way again, this time.”

“It’s alright mom”

“No, it is not, you should have done what I told you to do and drove over that whore when she left the gym. There were no cameras and she always left her Thursday night yoga class when everyone else was still in the shower. There would have been no witnesses and the sheer weight of that old Volvo would most certainly have killed her. There would not have been as much as a scratch on it. Most important of all, you would have just driven off and you would not have been anywhere near the scene of the crime.”

“This accident was in the making for twenty-three years my boy. You should have listened to your mother Martin."

“I always told you, mother knows best.”

 

The End


Submitted: May 19, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Sharief Hendricks. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

Criss Sole

Great twist at the end.
It took over 20 years, but looks like they got their revenge. Too bad Martin was not more careful. They almost got away with it.
Great story!

Thu, May 21st, 2020 12:46pm

Author
Reply

Thank you so much for the kind comment Criss.
I was so nervous because this is the first time I ever posted anything and yet I have written so many stories but never had the confidence to post them.

This is the first feedback I ever received for any of my work and it is a kind one...
I feel so confident now to polish them up and post more...

Thank you so much

xxx
Sharief.

Thu, May 21st, 2020 5:57am

Vuyo

Fri, May 22nd, 2020 7:14pm

Vuyo

great story I really enjoyed it. Please give us more

Fri, May 22nd, 2020 7:22pm

Author
Reply

Thank U so much Vuyo...
I most certainly will...
Next story out this weekend...
If you enjoy my work pls click on fan and as a fan you will see all my postings as they are published...

Thanx

Sharief

Fri, May 22nd, 2020 12:40pm

JoeCool

Wow! I didn't know you had it in you, Bro. What a story! So vivid and detailed. You did remember to bring in the Hyundai,LOL. Awesome story, kept me reading all the time. Impressed with your level of skill. Much success to you.

Joe

Mon, May 25th, 2020 12:43pm

Author
Reply

Thanx so much brother, did not know that you are on this site ?

Thanx so much

this means a lot to me...Hope you going to read the second one too called
The Long Weekend,


Thanx

Sharief

Mon, May 25th, 2020 6:07am

bloodman

I enjoyed that, I liked the officers. I could see them on TV. Great job.

Mon, July 13th, 2020 6:37pm

Author
Reply

Thanx so much Bloodman.

Appreciate the comment !

Mon, July 13th, 2020 1:09pm

Serge Wlodarski

I guess I'm lucky, my mom made sure I learned how to cover my tracks. Good story.

Tue, July 14th, 2020 9:46pm

Author
Reply

Thanx Serge !

hahahaha - Appreciate the read brother...yes, mommy knows best !

Flippen cold here cant even get to a driving range...Urggh

Wed, July 15th, 2020 12:59am

Serge Wlodarski

It's warm and sunny here in the Berkshires. Come on over!

Wed, July 15th, 2020 12:37pm

Author
Reply

Have clubs , will travel !

Wed, July 15th, 2020 6:33am

Sharief Hendricks

I just posted the updated version of my very first story on Booksie, "Accident"

It was in much need of editing and polishing.

Thanx to all the amazing writers here at Booksie for all your advice, especially Joe Stuart, Sue Harris and Jeff Bezaire !!!!

It is so much better now....

Fri, July 31st, 2020 2:39pm

Jeff Bezaire

The story starts with an awesome, strong opening! It really pulled me in and had me excited. Good visuals.
You brought a nice authenticity to the piece when they spoke the other language. Using brackets to indicate what was said was a good way to go, too.
Another masterful twist at the end. I really didn't see it coming - the mother was very convincing, and her grief for her son perfectly masked her disappointment. Nicely done!

Wed, November 4th, 2020 1:23am

Author
Reply

Hi Jeff

So good to hear from you again !

Thanx soooo much for taking the time to read my story and for your amazingly generous and confidence building comment !!

Yes, this was my first story ever and also my first I ever published anywhere, and Booksie was the perfect place.

Each time I got tips and advice from YOU on my newer stories, I went back to "this one" and used it to edit and improve it, so I have YOU, and a few other generous Booksie authors to thank for how it reads today.

Thank you Jeff !!

Fri, November 6th, 2020 4:55am

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