The Last Monologue

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
If you could listen to a recording of your friend being murdered, would you do it? This story, containing various forms of narration, is a tale of blood, sex, and murder.

Submitted: April 13, 2016

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Submitted: April 13, 2016

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The Last Monologue

By Joseph Logsdon

Within the walls of that lonely, forgotten house, there seemed to be an absence of light. Hank sipped his drink, far beyond the point of drunkenness. He stared at Tom’s body, emptiness inside his mind, nothing but the past to comfort him, and even that seemed to provide little consolation. There was a look in his eyes, perhaps a slight expression of guilt and regret, both emotions directed towards his own shortcomings. One drink turned into three, three drinks turned into six, the seventh drink being the one that finally broke him. Hank clenched the glass in his hand, raised it in the air, and with all his might, he tossed it against the wall, under its influence no longer.

The body was on the bed, bloodied and broken, five decades of life completely wasted. The blood was still very fresh, youthful in just about every sense of the word. Whoever had killed him, for whatever reason, hadn’t been gone long. Hank turned his head towards the floor, drops of blood on his shirt, on his pants, just about everywhere on his clothes. He had moved the body from the basement, where it was first discovered, all the way to the bedroom. Hank hated the way his eyes, those dead eyes, stared at him, judged him, condemned him for all of the horrible things he had done. They seemed to be mocking him, repeatedly so, with no purpose other than to make him feel guilty.

Hank held the tape recorder in his hand, moments away from pressing the button. He had to do it, what pain it could induce of little concern. Hank needed to listen to everything that had happened, from the start of the tape, most likely the worst part, all the way to the end of the tape. There was evidence within the recording, maybe just the right amount to put someone in prison. His fingers, normally very reliable, started to twitch violently. The button was right there, a total of three inches away from his face, and yet, it seemed out of reach. His nervousness, brought on by years of self-doubt, slowly hindered his goal. Never one to give up easily, Hank pressed his thumb against the button. Hank could hear soft breathing, small gasps that were full of an incredible amount of nervousness.

Hello, Hank, it’s good to see you. It’s been, I don’t know, something like ten years, I’m guessing. Well, how does it feel, now that I’m dead? You said you wanted me dead, now you’ve got your wish. We were always fighting, at odds with just about everything that moved. Not too long ago, I was going to come visit you, I’m sure you’ll remember. How was I to know that you lived in a different place? It’s funny, right at this very moment, I’m dead, you’re alive, and still, I don’t think we’ve ever been so close.

I never really wanted things to end this way. You’ll recall, I got involved in the writing business, seven years ago in fact, I believe around the time you were getting married. At the expense of sounding like a fool, let me say that I was very jealous. I was foolish then, out of my mind, not quite the man that I am now. You made your money dirty, by cheating people out of everything they had, everything they had saved, I’m guessing so you could make a cheap buck off of them. Those friends of yours, I remember seeing them at your parties, they try to act like human beings, people that actually care about what’s going on, but in reality, they’re anything but human.

I want you to know that I don’t blame you for what happened. It was yesterday evening, a little after midnight, I believe. I had walked into the saloon, just like I always do, not really thinking about what’s happening, what’s wrong with the world, or anything like that. I was sitting at the bar, ten drinks ahead of basically everyone around me. This girl came up to me, I should say woman, and she wanted to have a drink with me. She seemed to really get me, you know what I’m saying? She had these huge, deeply expressive eyes, kind of like, oh, what’s her name, Bette Davis. She looked at me; I looked at her. It was a magical moment, really just between two lost souls.

“You look stressed,” she said to me.

“I’m a writer, I’m supposed to be stressed,” I replied.

“Oh, you’re a writer, how interesting,” she chuckled.

“Is there something funny?”

“Well, not exactly, other than many people claim to be writers,” she stated.

“These days, I’ll tell you, everyone seems to think that writing is easy, just like ideas somehow come into your head, randomly and without much thought,” I commented.

“Do you think I could be a writer, hypothetically speaking, that is?”

“Baby, with your looks, you can be anything you want to be,” I said, perhaps taking it a little too far.

“You’re getting awfully bold,” she said.

“That’s the way I am, bold and beautiful,” I chuckled, taking another sip from my glass.

“I mean, of all the men I see here, I can honestly say, you’re the only one with any real integrity. These men, you know what I’m talking about, they think they can get into my pants, no introduction, no polite conversation, nothing more than a quickie in the alleyway. I know I just met you, I really shouldn’t even be asking this, but will you be nice to me?”

I knew what she meant by that. She placed her hand on my arm, now more flirtatious than she had been before. Something came over me, I’m not sure what, but something made me want her. She had this lipstick on, blood red lipstick, red enough to make your heart stop beating. I felt obliged, you could say even compelled, to kiss her, and I did just that. Waves of passion came over me, these incredible waves that touched my soul, my very nature.

“You’re impressed, I gather?”

“Where did you learn to kiss like that?”

“Bible school, back when I was a girl,” she answered.

“Well, maybe you need another lesson,” I stated.

Before I could kiss her again, right out of the corner of my eye, I saw you. You were standing in the doorway, I recall, very angry over what we had done. She also looked at you, terrified, and I then knew what had happened. She was your girl, of course, not too different from your dozens of other girls. Why, I have to ask, couldn’t you have just let her go, just that one girl? I could’ve made her happy, had you only saw reason.

“It’s my boss, he’s going to kill me,” she cried, biting her lip.

“Why would he be upset?”

“Hank owns me, what I dress, what I wear, my very sexuality. We’re both dead, you for certain,” she cried.

“Hank’s my friend,” I stated.

“If you’re his friend, dare I say it, he’ll probably do worse. You have to get out of town, I mean right now, before he decides to kill you,” she cried.

“What about you?”

“I was born in Hell, I’ll die in Hell,” she cried.

“Is it really that simple?”

“It is, for me at least,” she said.

I ran out of the bar, not really even checking to make sure that she was okay. I came back here, with you on my mind, in my conscience, my soul even. I knew you wouldn’t come here yourself, that instead you’d send a professional killer, some guy with years of experience behind him; in fact, I can already hear him coming down the stairs. Guys like you say stuff like, “It’s just how the game is played,” or stuff like, “It’s not personal, it’s business.” This time, my old friend, it can’t be anything but personal. In your eyes, I’m the guiltiest man in the world, less valuable alive than dead. I’m just a dead man, long since out of his element, finally at a crossroads, two of them clearly death, and the others, this is a surprise, also death.

Tom suddenly stopped speaking. Hank listened closely, multiple expressions on his face, at least one of those expressions being happiness. He heard two gunshots, each one fired from the same weapon. The recording ended, Tom’s life along with it. Hank had finally received the vengeance he had been looking for, hours of suffering finally behind him. He rose to his feet, walked towards the door, not one ounce of remorse within his heart.

“True to form, you died as you lived: a complete waste of space,” Hank chuckled.

The End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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