Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mr. Miller and the Mysterious Mistress

(Continued from Jessica)

I had no idea what I was getting into.

The recent turn of events had a very unsettling effect. The house seemed to have a creepy, dark undertone. The sun was setting in the distance, and the clouds cast a gloomy shadow on the sky.

Jessica went to the bathroom to freshen herself up. In the meantime, I sat there admiring the posters in the room. There weren’t any, so I finished quite fast.

When she came back, her hair was tied loosely in a bunch, and she looked less distraught. She was also wearing a white shirt underneath a leather jacket, and blue jeans, which I did not mention in the previous post as it was not relevant.

It is not relevant in this post either.

‘Aren’t you even going to check who he is?,’ she asked, looking exasperated, as I tried to finish my lunch. ‘Never mind, I’ll do it. Let's see. He’s roughly 5 foot 11. Well-built. No signs of struggle -- Looks like he was taken by surprise.’

She proceeded to check his pockets for more clues.

‘Expensive-looking leather wallet. Driver’s license states his name as Travis Miller. All the cash is intact. No cellphone. Single gunshot wound on the chest.’

She then started looking for things around the room that might help reconstruct the crime. There was an empty shell casing on the rug. And a handgun. On closer inspection, it looked like there were 2 sets of prints on the gun.

‘I’ll check with my friends over at forensics and see if I can get them to analyze this,’ she said. In the meantime, see if you can dig up anything on Travis.

‘Wait, what’s your interest in Travis?,’ I asked, curious.

‘Part of an undercover job. Can’t talk about it,’ she said, looking uncomfortable.

‘But aren’t you off the force?,’ I said. She flinched, trying to suppress her memory of that incident.

Then there was an awkward silence. Tension slowly built up in the air, as neither knew what to say next. Suddenly, my phone rang. But I left it at home, so I didn’t know this yet.

‘So maybe I had some unfinished business to take care of,’ she finally said, ‘What’s your motive, anyway?’

‘Doing a favor for a friend. Can’t talk about it.’

‘Fair enough. Do keep me posted. This case means a lot to me,’ she said, parting with a half-smile. I nodded in acknowledgement.

After she left, I started snooping around the house for a little while longer. Something didn’t seem right. Why wouldn't the killer hide the body? Why would the gun be left at the crime scene? I made a note of everything that seemed useful, and left, taking a cab back to my hotel room.

By the time I got there, I was really hungry, so I made a stop at the bar and ordered some snacks and a drink. Oddly enough, I spotted Sam at one of the tables.

He looked different from when I last saw him. His face was narrower and skin a little darker. He was in a grey hoodie, loose black jeans, and worn-out canvas shoes. I went up to him to let him know of the latest developments.

‘What’s up, Sam?’ I said, as I thumped my hand on his shoulder.

‘My name’s Joe,’ he said, in a voice that sounded like a cross between a whimper and a grunt. ‘Joe Finch. And I have a job for you.’
I had a strange feeling I'd heard the name before.

‘Huh. How do you know who I am?’ I asked, puzzled.

‘That’s not important. What's important is that I know about the body in the shack and that you are working on it.’

‘Go on,’ I said, now that he had my complete attention, ‘how are you involved? And why do you need me?’

‘My wife thinks that I killed him. I knew that the two of them were having an affair, so I set up a private-eye on him. Somehow, she came to know of this, and now she thinks that I killed him in jealousy, and wants a divorce.’

This just got more interesting.

‘Personally, I don’t care about the divorce. Heck, I’d probably be happier. But I want to get this murder allegation off my head. If you can prove my innocence, I’ll pay you twenty grand in cash.’

‘I guess I can’t really say no to that. I’ll let you know if we narrow down on any suspects. How do I contact you?’

‘You don’t. I’ll get in touch with you when you have the details,’ he said, and disappeared as quickly as he appeared.

‘I guess I've had one drink too many,’ I thought to myself. I paid the bartender and went back to my room.

Once there, I saw my cellphone lying on the bed and picked it up. I’d missed a call from an unknown number. And there was text message from Jessica. The forensics report was back, but something was not right, and she wanted to meet up as soon as possible.


What exactly was Jessica worried about? Where the hell did Joe Finch come from? And can I come up with a third question for the outro? Only time will tell. Stay tuned!

Update - Click here for the sequel!

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