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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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Cosmopolitan Incognito Murder Mystery Story

He could not relate, sitting down in his chair with a glass of scotch, breathing fumes from the fireplace. He imagines in some far off time his mind on end with mental illness, collapsed into itself from years of dilapidation. What it is for so many years to be on the brink of a self absorbed destruction. So persistent in self destructing into oblivion, an eye witness to tearing oneself into an abomination. Him in his vulnerable temperament, he made haste in his proceedings. He undid his cuffs and the drapery in the suite. A bleak existence, with fidelity no more, it was simply out of the question. There he would remain for the eve in his chair by the mantle. A cognitive figure with a pastel soul, a pale face surrounded in vain, vanity and darkness.

He made way up the street the next day with swiftness comparable to that of the cracking whip of lightning. During which the fog still had not rose by midday. He reached seascape leaving the city by way of first entering a taxi cab, then a ferry from the island to the mansion in the Palisades. There he looked out off the cliffs on the coast, longing for a cold calling. Upon entering the gated driveway of the estate there was the utmost impression that the air was the pheromone scent to a ferocious killer’s mind. The door was left open, the scene surrounded by tape and photographers, a soapbox for hovering detectives. To which he was introduced to the widower of Mrs. Newsome, hunched over with his head in hands and tears in his palms on the bed. There lied dry blood on the wallpaper, dents in the queen-sized headboard, ripped curtains pulled down from the arched window. On the chestnut dresser was a black and white picture of her and her ugly dog. A tote bag was left on the carpet with her driving gloves inside. All that was missing was a sum of jewelry adding to 7500 dollars, composed mostly of gold and topaz.

Her still body was in the bathtub, full to the brim with water. The patterned tile flooring was cracked with signs of struggled footing. Oxycontin was in the medicine cabinet. She had blood on her fingertips and handprints around her neck. Afloat purple and lifeless, with vigorous bruises beneath her open mouth, and jagged lacerations near her throat to assure no pulse. There were pauses in breathing and lapse in heart rate until the last breath. He studied the servants, hitting conversation points and watching mannerisms, pauses in sentences and all eye contact. All of which kept composure with the precision of his bedside manner.

The ferry ride back was met with a timing of stillness that crept on the thoughts of his mind. All that occurred had the austere makings of a nursery rhyme murder. He is only a stranger in a man’s home, a peeping tom of virtue intrusive in the dubious account of a man’s private affairs. He is just some arbitrary proprietor with a mind full of discrepancy and conflicting thoughts. He is left to brashly speculate and conclude from the golden expectations left for him. A murderer was amongst others, trembling with hostility and a living testament of those with no remorse for wrongdoings. He stood there gazing off the railing with eyes fixed on the distance. He drew a breath. The rain started a downpour.

When he made landfall the clouds had parted and the sun sank with a painted sky. The rim of the moon ascended for a night’s first sighting.  He decided he only wanted to walk for the time being. A sparrow sat out on the dock by the waterfront. Nothing now but the sounds of footsteps in his mind. The handles on the clock passed by with the living daylights doing nothing but falling apart into night time. He basked in the thin moonlight unto the underpass of the bridge, overstepping puddles of water and their reflections of the head beams of cars. The starch collar on his crisp overcoat kept him warm after the cold rain.

He awaited the arrival of the subway car, with nothing but numbness in the subway station. The train howled with wind as a ghost in the tunnel, something imminent was certainly about him. The melancholy flower blossoms with the trimming memories of the phantom of yesteryear. A young woman who has tried to lower him in the bottomless pains of subsistence, he peers as a pillar in time. He boarded the subway car and gave himself a long stare in the reflection of the glossed window and questioned the ordinance of all living things. His eyes looked aged anciently, his face decrepit and brittle. He could see right through himself into the substance of nothingness, the car double timed. Outside everything of the passenger and the window was only a blur of a bending of space and time.

He recalled her and the evening hours when he passed doorman Jennings and the revolving doors of his building. His mind bled pleadingly, his mind longed for the memory of the spirals she weaved around his heart. They were wrapped in another inside the elevator. She used to have ribbons in her hair and curls pressed against his face and chest. The lights in the lift went off. She used to leave a light on for him. Fate would have it in its twists and telling that he would reach his floor with a looming shadow over his head. A whispering of the past remembrance struck a match to his blood and flushed the little color from his face, as from the remnants of an aftershock.

He fell to his chair unbuttoned and with the familiar glass of scotch. He sat alone completely for a moment. Then there was a ringing. He looked over to the telephone dial, another ringing. Someone at late evening hour was sending him a line. He picked up the receiver on the telephone dial, and nothing but silence. Not an usher of a tone was muttered and he stood still barely able to grasp the bearings of what has unfolded before him. The line fell dead. The scrapped remains of his being sank into a deep sleep that evening. He dreamt of the heavens and the constellations above, he was guided by the torching light of the bright northern star.

By the time the switching digits of his clock had alarmed him to wake for the day proceeding, he had been frightened awake by the nightmare of yet another telephone ring. A ruby red ring had been confiscated on midtown bank steps along with several hundred dollars and gold pieces of jewelry in a depository box by a man suspected of using a pseudonym in relation to the murder. He called for a cab to midtown. The taxi sped between cars and the openings between buildings of five lanes of traffic with his tired eyes and the fresh cowlick in the hair on his head.

The suspected belongings were bagged and held by police standing by the awning. The bank teller’s descriptions were minimal and inconclusive at best to the identification of a proper suspect. He would have been better off relying on the physical outlines withdrawn verbally by a blind mute. The pseudonym was less convincing than the very man himself who had walked in the bank as it proved only the slight fact that he does in fact exist and very well planned the crime in advance. The letters of the three names he used were flipped in spelling to make the name unrecognizable, indistinguishable, and latched more facts that the man would not be coming back to the bank. The despairing day was called when the twilight chimes of dwindling sunlight in the dusk fell down on the sidings of the bank and buildings in midtown.

He was expecting to retire early this evening and hesitant to leave the phone line in the wall when he would at last arrive home. He called one more cab. When he arrived at the doorstep of the revolving doors, no doorman was present. He did not waver a thought at the lack of presence, as often the doormen change shifts with breaks at random timings. It was not until he had reached the hallway leading to his room that he noticed a light under his door that he did not leave on before stranding off that morning. He put his hand on the doorknob and turned it slowly, it was left unlocked. His room was in shambles, the broken glass of the scotch covered out and the chair overturned in the corner. Dozens of papers and collections of pennies, old letters and pictures thrown about. He stepped out onto his balcony where the doors were swung open. His front door was suddenly pulled shut from outside. He turned around and ran to the keyhole to see if he could make out a figure. All that was seen was a man in black with his back turned to the door climbing the stairs. Someone or something was after him.

He ran after what he had seen and in seconds was in a chase up the winding stairs, trying to poke his head out. He finally caught up on the rooftop between glass fixtures and boilers overlooking the canopies of similar setup buildings below. The figure from afar turned to face him, the sound of the pipers calling and a clash of noise. With a gust of wind his soul to ashes in the wingspan of a white dove instance.

Ryan Miller