Last week’s prompt was Investigate.
Nicci Hargie wrote another wonderful response:
Outside the courthouse, I tried to compose myself by drinking in the air in gulps of despair. A faint aroma of old perfume told me that someone was standing close behind me. I turned to find myself face to face with his mother. Unexpectedly she reached out a pulled me into an embrace. I was powerless and the huge sob I had been suppressing escaped. Finally, she untangled herself from me and looked at me intensely. “He really liked you, he was so excited about meeting you, please, don’t take on so my flower it was nothing you had done, in fact, the messages you exchanged, well, I’ve never seen him so happy”. With that, she turned and walked away leaving me grief and guilt stricken. If only she knew. I fussed around in my handbag to find a clean tissue when I finally looked up she had disappeared into the ambling crowds of shoppers. A pub caught my attention, the demon of drink was luring me back into the folds of murky nothingness. Soon I found an empty booth and sat with a martini cocktail, I needed it to hit me fast and hard. Ever since that morning my mind had been churning what ifs and whys at an alarming rate. I started to think about Karma, what goes around, comes around and all that. The day of my date I had been absorbed in replying to a saucy message that had just been sent to me. Hypnotized by his words, I crossed the road whilst grinning like a lunatic. Not for one second did I see the blue transit that had to stop so abruptly that the driver seemed to propel towards me with massive force only to be stopped by his seat belt. I stood transfixed on how his head suddenly jolted back leaving him in a grotesque position. I should have done something. I didn’t. I ran. Was this payback? I lose the man that I was destined to share my future with, because I was selfish and a coward. The slurp of my straw caused me to look at my drink. What drink? My glass was empty, how? I stared out of the window at people passing by, all on journeys. How many of these people have they unwittingly killed like me? When will karma creep up ? I needed the ladies. With the cubicle door closed I began to realize that the martini I had swallowed in one was causing my head to see-saw slightly, I needed food. Outside the door of the lavatories, I listened as a woman walked in speaking urgently on her Mobile. “I don’t care, I’ve done my bit, now it’s down to you, no loose ends you hear me?” I knew that voice, it was the mother. What was she talking about? A memorial perhaps? I waited a while after she had left as I couldn’t face seeing her again. That evening I stared absently at the tv. Thoughts of the conversation I’d overheard earlier whirring around my head. I will send her flowers I decided. I idly flicked through the channels and froze at the local news channel. A 47-year-old father of three had lost his battle after an accident involving his van had left him in a coma for six weeks, I couldn’t take in anymore. I knew who this was, the police were appealing for witnesses to come forward. It didn’t take long for me to realize I had killed two men. The whole room spun, I start to perspire heavily. What to do? My only friend I know was my anti-depressants. A week had passed and Alec Down slipped into the main doors of a small apartment block climbing the steps to the third floor he finally reached his destination. Taking a card from his pocket as well as keeping a look out he silently worked on freeing the locking device. A quiet click awarded his perseverance. Slowly he pushed open the door. As expected for this time of night the place was in darkness. This would be the last favor for that bloody woman. This had become such a complex situation he just wanted out. What kind of woman would kill her son by switching his drugs with harmless sherbet? He thought. And how were they to know he wouldn’t be at home when he administered himself with the worthless powder? Why she wanted the girl dead was beyond him, but as she had stated she didn’t like loose ends. How had this come about? The husband had been bumped off thanks to a little alteration to his seatbelt, it was luck though when he’d had to break hard for some random stranger that had stepped in front of his van. Now to secure the entire inheritance to go to his ‘lady boss’ he needed to secure the death of her son. Simple really anyone could have done it. Now the final nail in the coffin would be the only possible witness that could if required offer in-depth answers if needed.
He stepped in through the darkness of the small lounge. The smell alone told him his services were no longer required. Minutes passed and the man silently slipped into the street and disappeared into the night.