The Man

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A very short story about a murder, don't make presumptions...

Submitted: September 26, 2013

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Submitted: September 26, 2013

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The Man

The man fell to the ground, clutching his chest as a deluge of crimson blood escaped between his bone white fingers, soaking into his cheap rental tuxedo and pooling on the dirty pavement in the shadow filled alley. The still smoking gun fell to the ground with a clang that seemed to echo for hours in the narrow street, and three people heard it, although one lay dying, and he would never tell anyone anything again. Charles Stone, the unfazed gunman, was strolling casually towards the small light at the end of the alley; apparently in no hurry to flee the scene. Arche Stolens, the unfortunate witness, hid behind a filthy dumpster that reeked of months worth of rotting food and the vomit of drunken vagabonds that stumbled down the alley searching for a suitable place to pass out. Arche’s heart raced and sweat streaked down his face, falling to the ground in salty drops that disturbed the dust slightly. His entire body shook as a vicious battle raged within his mind, “Stay here Archy, you’ll be fine. Just walk away and forget this ever happened.” These thoughts were being beaten out by an even louder voice that was yelling in his ear, “Go help him! Don’t leave him there to die, go save him!” Arche ran from his hiding spot and toward the man just as Charles turned the corner at the end of the alley and walked into the darkness of another alley way, vanishing with supernatural quickness. The dying man coughed and more crimson bubbled out from his bluing lips and ran down his chin, dyeing his chin scarlet like some perverse grin; if he tried to say something it only came out as a wet gurgle that cut through the silence of the alley like a soft rumble of thunder.

The man died.

Arche told the police his story about the lone gunman, and after eight interviews and a night spent in an interrogation room he was released; released with a word of caution by the presumptuous lead detective, “look out for the shooter, he’s probably after you now too. If I were you I would find somewhere to hide for a while, you know, just lay low.” Arche left the police station and went straight to his favorite restaurant; he hadn’t eaten in over a day. He sat down at his table and thought about what to do next

Charles ate his steak, almost crimson in the middle, and mulled over what to do next; one thing was clear though, Arche Stolens, that unlucky bastard, had to die. Charles did not like killing, but its necessity was obvious; he had to protect himself, what else could he do? He finished his lunch and stepped out into the damp afternoon air that smelt like rain and the dark, heavy clouds corroborated his prediction. He put on his black fedora that complimented his crisp black suit perfectly, lit a cigarette, and strode out into the empty street; pondering his next move carefully.

Arche sprinted up the driveway and threw open the bright red door of his rental apartment that functioned as his hideout; which apparently was not working because Charles Stone was strolling through the grass in an immaculate suit, gun in hand. Arche bolted the door and ran into his bedroom slamming the door behind him and looking around frantically for some sort of weapon. Arche heard footsteps in the living room and stopped moving, staying completely quiet; somehow Charles had walked right through the locked door like some sort of demon. The bedroom door opened and Charles raised the gun. Arche froze. The gun fired. The man fell.

The man died.

The presumptuous lead detective pushed open the awful bright red door and looked at the scene before him, yellow pill bottles littered the floor and the witness from a few days ago lay on the floor, curled in a ball. Overdose. The note next to him though was the most interesting thing, scribbled onto the paper in almost illegible crimson script was the confession to the murder in the alley. No Charles mentioned. The detective read the note, looked around, and called out, “Wrap it up boys, no mystery here.”


© Copyright 2017 Henry Yale. All rights reserved.

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