Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Expose (08/22/13)
- TITLE: A Deceitful Death
By Matt Guddat
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Smoke hung in the air and a stench gripped the atmosphere. Jimmy withdrew his hands from the table tucking them close to his stomach. His chest was tight and he was finding it hard to breathe. His heart rate had increased noticeably and acute panic was tempered by disorientation.
“What have you done to me fool?”
The stranger made no attempt to answer the question.
“Did you want my money? Or was it revenge? I know you’ve been following me.”
Still the stranger held a tight lip unimpressed by the sight before him.
“You have no courage to kill me with your hands do you? Who did you pay off?”
The man folded his arms, kicked his foot sideways and let his shoulder lean against the doorframe. His complexion was tempered and controlled yet his eyes were hiding something.
“Mr Allan,” spoke a rough voice, “it seems you and I have a long history together.”
“I know nothing of you. Who are you?”
Loud wheezing kept any silence at bay.
Jimmy hung his head loosely as poison rolled through his senses. A dulling effect was coupled with agony. A television could be heard chattering in the corner of the apartment. Dust gathered on aging furniture and picture of a happy Allan family hung over the fireplace, both dated and faded.
“I suppose you will meet your family soon” the stranger continued.
“What do you know about my family? They died long ago in a car accident…”
“Yes Mr Allan,” he motioned for Jimmy to stop talking, “due to a drunk driver. I know.”
Jimmy fell from his chair with a thud. He grabbed at the table leg and pulled himself to his knees. He was unsure why. It would have been more comfortable to lie on the hardwood floor than to contest for his life. Locking eyes with the stranger he spoke slowly. “Well? Put me out of my misery.”
“Oh Mr Allen it doesn’t work like that. See I was there the night of the crash.”
“You know nothing fool.”
“Oh but I do Mr Allen. I know that the crash was your error. You changed lanes without checking your mirrors didn’t you?”
The room seemed to close in around Jimmy and the temperature dropped suddenly. The television continued to hum and traffic passed by outside, uncaring of the present situation. Not one to fear, Jimmy was now breaking into a sweat, but it was not the poison that caused it this time.
“With no witnesses it was a simple escape to blame the drunk driver. After all, who would the courts believe, a drunk man or a law student?”
“So you have come to repay me? Don’t play with me! I know you can’t prove anything and you’re not the driver, he was an old man.”
“No I was not. I never knew the man and it was not I that poisoned you.”
Light streamed through venetian blinds casting its rays on Jimmy’s forehead. Smoke escaped out of a nearby window while a musty odour overstayed its welcome. Jimmy cocked his head and for a moment all incoherence subsided. “Who are you then and why are you here? Who did this to me?”
“Ah Mr Allen you did this to you. Don’t you know or remember? That night you drank the poison of deception and cruelty. You punished an innocent man for that which he did not do.”
A rush of fury filled Jimmy and he found himself standing before the stranger ready to attack.
“And me? My name is Deception and I have come to expose your secrets,” he calmly stood aside and motioned Jimmy out the door, “now if you please.”
Memories came back like a tidal wave. Fury gave way to an all familiar panic and Jimmy realised his suicide was through. But there was more? He had assumed it would all be over. Nothingness. Blackness. What was going on?
“Where are we going?”
Deception frowned impatiently, then spoke in a matter-of-fact tone, “To The Judge. Before him every thought, motive and action will be exposed.”
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