The Illusion of Age

Posted by Kyle Jacobson , Saturday, September 18, 2010 10:23 AM

       For this week's sumptuous saturday, I am going to post a murder mystery that I just entered for a contest honoring Agatha Christie. It's a murder mystery type thing with the motif of "Entrapment". If you are looking for something on my normal funny, please check back every Monday and Wednesday, or feel free to browse past posts.
                       Thanks and hef fun,

“The mouse sits, feeling like it’s got the cheese, when in reality it’s the cheese that’s got the mouse.”

            It feels good holding well earned money. It might not hold the same value as a man who breaks rocks up all day for thirty bucks, honest money. I earn money the only way that I know how. I do stop to think sometimes if I am too old for this? Yes, I am. But this isn’t the end of it either. It can’t be the end. I have to leave my legacy. It killed me to think of taking on another job. Every time I thought of working, I couldn’t help but think of my wife. She needs me now more than ever. It would just one more. And that damned paper. I stared at the paper and the paper did nothing. It didn't move or leave me alone. I wish it would just burst into flames. But, that would make life simple, and that's not right. The paper never slept and didn't let me sleep either. God knows I will be seventy next month, this is my last opportunity for a final job. A grand finale. I was well aware of the risk. That was what made me hesitate. The one thing this business had taught me was to be very wary of those who prefer to stay anonymous. They obviously have something to hide; there is always something very risky attached to such luring offers. Like this one. The job seems perfect. Every detail immaculate. This could be my legacy. With the extraordinary prospected money sum, I  could finally stop risking my life and move far away with my sweetheart, Sue. I’ll do it for her. Ever since the moment I met her, I hadn't the heart to take her money. Was it her long, beautiful brown hair and her enticing gray eyes, showing like  a continuous rainstorm. I'll do it for her. 
          It was only two days until the rendezvous at Gloria Park as requested in the cursed letter. He'd be wearing a patriotic  pin on his lapel. Funny. In this vocation, patriotism isn’t something we hold in the highest esteem.
                                *** Two Days Later***

            Ugh. I feel sick. Nervous never used to be a part of what I do. I assumed it came with age. If I had been calm enough to have eaten something, it definitely wouldn't have still been in my stomach. Am I ready for this? Is this bigger than me? Doubts. There were always doubts. Get rid of the doubts and get rid of the nerves. Parker Thomas. That’s me now. At least for today. It was time. I walked over to the fridge and downed a couple cups of skim milk to calm me down. Sue claimed it was healthier to drink skim. I hated skim. And health isn’t something I’m too worried about.

     I walked over to the door; placed my ray bans on my recently sweated brow. The door swung open as I pulled on the handle. The creaking sound just added to the nerves and frustrated me. I can't get frustrated, it's not who I am. I really do have to get that door fixed. Yet, it seems so trivial to think of such things now. Even our reserved, kept-to-themselves neighbors seemed like they were staring at me. That doesn't sit well... Has this job turned me paranoid. My hands have never shaken so badly. 
     The distance to the wasn’t bad from where I lived. I decided to ride my bicycle; another of Sue’s “solutions” for a healthy lifestyle. The constant pedaling wasn’t bad until the first hill, reminding me that I'm growing weak and fragile. But, what must goes up, must come down, right? The brim of the hill confirmed that idiom.  
     I could see the park growing bigger as I gained speed on the incline that took me down to the park. I scanned the available buildings and set up the scene in my mind. The plan was simplistic. This contact had clearly done this before. He tried to explain it in the letter, but I only understood a third of it. All I had to do was convince a young man that his investments are better placed in our oil company, the san bernardino oil co., or something cheesy like that, easy enough. He would then chord transfer, or wire-something-transfer the money from his account to a dummy account set up prior. During the transaction, we would extract the money mid transfer and relocate it in a second dummy account. This takes the trail cold, he had said. When they try looking into it, they can only see that money being sent and never received by the end party. No way of relocating where it was stolen to. I think he said some stuff about firewalls and counter-routing, but I'll take his word for it. I could only wish to have known more about this technology stuff.

           I pulled my bike to the side of the old barber shoppe, and began searching for the patriotic pinned man. After a couple close scans of the park, I quickly realized that something was wrong. He wasn't there. I looked again. No one. Just a few little girls jumping out of swings onto the ground and their mother lying on the ground reading some form of romance novel. This is weird. It was five minutes after the posted time. Something was really wrong. Before I could react, I felt a cloth yank my face backwards. I couldn't see a thing. Two hits to the legs with something very hard and very fast, took me to my knees. They, whoever they are, dragged me across the pavement, further into the alleyway. Is this how it was going to end? Me, an old man, sobbing and completely helpless? I couldn't pick out voices, the pain rang in my ears. I couldn't hear anything, and at this point I didn't care what I heard. The world seemed fake, surreal. They threw me around like I meant nothing. I felt like nothing. Am I nothing? My head hit something hard and more tears travelled down my rough, aged face. I heard a door slam open. They dragged me inside what felt like a large empty building. The stairs into the place hurt the worst. No mercy. The small sounds echoing throughout the vacant space. Why did I have to do go for this job. Anonymous! How could I have been so STUPID! I'm sorry Sue. The words soon became audible. 
        "I'm so sorry. So sorry, Sue." I was sobbing uncontrollably.
        "Shut up old man!" This man was  clearly the brave one. Not a single inflection of fear. These people sure  weren't going to stop at torture. This would be my legacy, dying at the hands of thugs and criminals. I couldn't help but laugh at the irony. The tears still streaming. 
Another voice chimed in, "I don't know if you remember me Anthony, but I could never forget you."
How does he know that name? I had rarely given out that name. "Who are you?! What do you want from me!?" 
        "You stole everything from me. EVERYTHING!" The man hit me across the jaw. I felt the cool blood drip from my mouth. "Think back ten years ago. Does Gafling Insurance mean anything to you? DOES IT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU!?!"
        Gafling Insurance meant everything to me. It had been my biggest con. I was late in rising to the heights of my infamy, but it had been my glory. Sometimes referred to as "The smoothest con." I once heard that people had studied it. There had been a young man, full of the entrepreneurial spirit. It had been so easy. He ate from my hand like a starved child. Back then nobody meant anything to me; it was just a thrill, a way to survive. 

          The fury escalated in his voice, "I had it all! MY LIFE WAS PERFECT!"
I recognized that voice, it was Pete Frank. That young man who I conned to the ground.
        "When you came into my life, I was married to the most amazing woman you could dream of. Do you know what love is Anthony!?"
His words found their mark. There were no more tears, only the dry sobs of a guilty conscience. I had no idea who he was, just another number. That's all he was. Was... But, now he seems so real. 
        "They pinned your silly little fraud game on me! I went to prison for TEN YEARS! I lost my job, my wife, my kids, my reputation! EVERYTHING! I am the hollow shell of a man who used to have unlimited potential. A man who loved life and cared about his future. I feel numb. I feel dead. Now it's your turn to feel what death feels like old man!"
The monologue was over. My time was up.

          I could hear my bones cracking under the pressure of the bats and fists being swung at me. Memories flashed into my mind. Everyone I have hurt. Everyone I have loved. What did it all mean? 
My body went numb and became cold as they exacted their revenge. 

       "I love you Sue."

I never would get to tell her my real name. It was Zachary. Things like that only matter when it’s too late. The little things. How could I have deceived her? I kept so many secrets from her and still I kept her heart in my hands. She gave me nothing but trust. How I would take it all back now if I could. I would show her how much I worshiped her. How much I truly loved her. Death was only too fitting of an ending for a man who has cheated it so many times. I wonder what i’ll have to pull to get into heaven? It’s worth a shot right?

                                               The End


1 Response to "The Illusion of Age"

Kevin Says:

This is really, really good, Kyle. I'm impressed.

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