Thursday, February 7, 2013


I remember it like it were yesterday.

It began like any other Tuesday morning. Mild in temperature, sunny in climate, and slightly windy in wind. I was taking a stroll in the backyard, looking at what my neighbours were doing minding my own business, when I heard the slow tinkling of music, which meant that the mailman had arrived.

No, wait. I guess it was an ice-cream truck. Also, maybe it was a Saturday. I don’t remember clearly.

Irrelevant little detail.

What was relevant was that I found an unusual looking letter in the male mail. It was from an old friend. It seemed to be an emergency, and he wanted to meet me immediately. I don’t know why he sent a letter if it was really that urgent. It must have been really important, I reasoned, so I quickly got dressed and headed downtown.

He mentioned that he wanted to meet up at Johnny’s. It was a shady local bar. Not like the ones in movies, though. This one was under a tree, and so it blocked most of the sunlight.

His name was Jack. One of those generic names that are usually made fun of a lot. Jack of all trades. The thing-that-is-used-when-changing-tyres-jack. Jack-knife. Jack of hearts. Butter-knife. Yeah, I remember he was the butt of all jokes in school, the poor guy.

He was already there when I reached. He looked stupid. And worried. But mainly stupid. He was wearing a crisp printed cotton shirt underneath a cardigan-like-thing that only someone named Jack would wear.

‘What’s up, Jack?,’ I asked.

‘My name is Sam,’ he said, rather huffily. I guess it was the taunting at school that made him so grumpy.

‘So what’s the problem?,’ I asked, as I signaled to the barkeep to get me a beer, whilst admiring the woodwork and stools and such.

I don’t know why Sam thought I was disinterested. He was a weird guy. He spake of his tale in a slow, grim tone.

'You look as sad as Joe Finch in the middle of a divorce,' I said, as I lit a cigarette with a lighter I found at the back of the bar.
'Who the hell is Joe Finch?'

'I dunno. But I'm sure as hell he would look just like you'

'But why would he be sad during a divorce?'

'Did I say sad? I meant happy. Typing mistake'

'What??,' he asked, with a dumbfounded look. ‘Never mind. It’s the Smiths again. I don’t know what they are up to this time, but I reckon it's something terrible. I heard gunshots coming from their apartment the other night. So I thought I’d give you a heads up’

‘You what?! And you decided to send me a letter?? Wow, sometimes your intelligence scares me. Lucky for you, I came right away, huh?’

‘Actually, it’s been 9 days,’ he said.

At this point I just freaked out and left. I don’t remember some of the events that followed, but somehow I ended up in a rusty looking shack. It reeked of something noxious. It also leaked of something dihydrogen-oxious.

Good thing I packed enough food for 3 people.

The place looked like it had recently been refurbished. Some knick-knacks were out of place, and most of the furniture looked chewn-up in places, but overall, it had a pretty homely feel.

I rummaged through the things in various rooms, looking for clues as to why I was there, but to no avail. I almost gave up hope as I made my way into the last room, where I was shocked to see someone already there -– Jessica. She saw me too, but didn't say a word. This was strange.

Jessica was not usually this silent. This was probably due to the duct tape plastered onto her mouth. I asked her why she didn’t do something about it.

‘My hands are tied,’ she said. And indeed they were. Literally.

Also, she didn’t really say this, as her mouth was taped. Pay attention.

It was a pity, really. Whoever did this to her was either keeping her hostage, trying to extort some information, or simply felt that she talked a lot. That reminds me – I did. She did talk a lot.

I undid the tape, in spite of myself. Fidgeting with the curtains was beginning to bore me.

‘This is a setup!’ she cried, ‘I’ve been framed!’

‘Framed for what?,’ I asked, rather indifferently.

‘For this!’ she sobbed, pointing in the general direction of a dead body lying nearby.

‘Oh, I never noticed. Hmm. Well, this complicate things a bit. What are we going to do with all the extra food??’


Will Jessica be able to prove her innocence? And what of our mysterious hero? Will he be able to recount all the gruesome tales of that day? Or will an unknown third party ruin everything?

Stay tuned to find out. 

Update - Click here for the sequel!