Tuesday, 24 November 2009

MULTIPLY Wordsmiths Challenge #18: Death on a sunny Afternoon


Superintendent Jack Matthews hated crime scenes, especially when they were messy, and this was a messy one; unbelievable that a husband could stab his wife on a Sunday afternoon for no apparent reason and then shoot himself in the head.

“Jim, any clues as to what happened” he asked one of the medical staff.

“No idea Jack, probably just another marital conflict situation. It’s beyond my understanding. Seems that they were spending a quiet Sunday afternoon in the garden and then something must have lit the spark to start things off.”

Jack had a quick look around; nothing really suspicious, although it seemed strange. Outside in the garden there was a cup of coffee with a biscuit, not even touched, next to a camera poised on the narrow bricks of the garden wall. Jack had an idea and pulled on his thin white rubber gloves, before taking the camera in his hand. It was a digital camera, and perhaps there might be a photo or something to show what happened. He switched it on, but no photo, just a small video, one of those movie videos that you could take with a camera.

“Let’s see what we have here” he said and called his assistant. “Seems we have a small film taken this afternoon, probably the last of the deceased couple.”

Arthur his assistant came over. “That could be the solution to the murder” he said. The two men then watched the film. Although a small camera it was good quality and it even had sound.

First of all they saw the wife

“No, not now, I don’t want you film me” and she put her hands in front of her face.

“Come on” a voice could be heard, probably from the husband “you look so good in this light, and I really want something to remember you by.”

“Don’t be silly Frank” the wife said “I am leaving and that is all there is to say. You do not need anything to remember me by. You should have thought of that some time ago. Now it is too late.”

The film then became quite slurred as if someone was moving the camera around. Then the man’s voice could be heard again.

“I told you I am not sharing you with anyone and if I cannot have you then no-one else will.” It seemed that the camera was getting nearer and a full close up of the wife's face was on the picture.

“No, Frank, what are you doing. Put that knife down.”

It was then that the film came to an end.

“Looks like a closed case sir” said Arthur. “We even have it on film.

“Certainly does Arthur” said the superintendent.

If they had seen more, they would have known that the wife, although bleeding quite heavily from her injuries, managed to stumble into the living room and take a gun out of the cabinet. She pointed it at her husband.

“Now it is your turn Frank”

Frank was quite shocked, not expecting that his wife, Christine, would recover from her injury, and struggled for the gun. He wrestled it away from his wife and made a decision.

In the meanwhile his wife fell, and Frank saw she was dead. He loved her so much. He saw the cup of coffee and chocolate biscuit outside on the garden wall, through the open garden window. He walked over to the cup and looked at it one last time, heart shaped with the words “I love you” on it thinking those were the best days of our life together. He put the camera on the wall next to the cup and walked back to the living room.

“I love you too” he said “more than you will ever know. If I cannot have you, neither will he” and he shot himself in the head. He no longer wanted to live.

Superintendent Jack Mathews decided that this was a clear case in agreement with his assistant. It would disappear in the records as any other marital drama. When he got home that evening, he opened his desk and removed the two flight tickets to Hawaii, tore them up and threw them away. He was sad, he quite liked Christine, Frank’s wife, and was sure they would have had a future together, but she became just another death statistic in marital warfare.

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