The Man Across the Table

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
What if the person you were sitting across from was a killer?

Submitted: May 24, 2010

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Submitted: May 24, 2010

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Across the table I see a man. He looks to be about in his mid 30’s, maybe a little younger. His eyes look heavy, as if he could fall asleep at any second. There is something strange though behind those eyes. It looks as if…as if he his holding a secret. This man…this man looks familiar. Where do I know him from? Because I just couldn’t resist, I look at him and ask if he’s okay. He doesn’t respond. Again, I ask if he’s okay. This time he looks at me.

“I killed a man,” he tells me,

I look at him and for some reason his comment doesn’t bother me. In fact, I actually laugh at him. Clearly, he must be kidding.

He looks at me again. “No, I really killed a man. I shot him. I shot him right in the head.”

Whether I believe him or not isn’t my current thought. Now, I’m merely curious as to the details. So I ask him how and why. He gives me a blank stare and with no emotion whatsoever, he simply says, “Because I can.”

It is then that I grow uneasy. I walk away and go back home. For the rest of the night, my mind races with thoughts of what this man could’ve done, if he was in fact telling the truth.

The next day I return to the same café. I sit at my usual table and see the same man across from me. He looks at me and kindly smiles.

“Hello,” he says. “I’m John.”

I nervously respond, “Hi, John. I’m…”quickly I think of a fake name “… I’m Frank.”

“Nice to meet you, Frank. I was hoping you’d be here today.”

“Really? Why?”

John laughs. “To tell you I killed again.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Because Frank, I can tell what you’re thinking. And now I can see that you’re just dying to know who I killed and why.”

“Maybe I do…maybe I don’t.” John shakes his head, clearly not believing me. “Ok, I do.”

“Look at you. Staring at me, judging me. Thinking I’m some monster. And yet, there you sit with you’re curious twisted mind wondering how I killed someone. And why does it matter to you? What good will this knowledge do to you?”

John had a point. I didn’t know why I wanted to know.

“Look at you!” John says with a disgust look. “Thoughts just racing through that brain. Are you married, Frank?”

“What?”

“Are you married? It’s a simple question”

“Yes. Why?”

“Where is you’re wife, Frank? Did you see her this morning?”

I begin to get a sick feeling in my stomach. “Why does it matter to you? Why are we talking about her?”

John laughs again. “Because I think I killed your wife last night.”

I sit there, frozen. I never did see my wife last night. She went out with her girl friends. But I know she’s okay, she has to be okay. I quickly reach into my pocket and grab my phone. I call, she doesn’t answer.

“What did you do to my wife?!” I yell.

“I told you, I killed her. Would you like to know how?

Without hesitation, I firmly look at John. “I’m gonna kill you!”

“Frank, Frank, Frank. Don’t be silly. That’ll be like committing suicide. Reach into your pocket, Frank.”

I reach, and inside I find my wife’s necklace covered in blood. “How did this get here” What did you do? What did you do?” I yell at John.

With a sadistic smile, John looks at me and says, “ I didn’t do anything, you did.”

Just then I feel a pat on my shoulder. It’s my friend, Eric. He calms me down, looks across the table, and then back at me. He asks, “Why are you yelling at a mirror?”


© Copyright 2018 Steven M. All rights reserved.

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