Three to Zero

Submitted by Nora King to Contest #4 in response to: Write a story based on the song title: "Beside The Sea"... view prompt

Let's start simple. My name is Veronica, and I'm going to tell you a story. A story that I should have told twenty years ago. Here it is.


9th June 2010

Owner of Jacobson-Parker Holdings Found Murdered

Robert Parker Jr was found murdered in his family home last night. The deceased man was found stabbed in his bed. The police have no suspects.

Robert Parker Jr inherited the company, Jacobson-Parker Holdings, 21 years ago when his father, Robert Ailene-Parker, was also murdered.


I crumple the newspaper and throw it in the bin. There's no mention of the Jacobsons. Or Megara Ailene.

The whole thing is about Robert Jr and Robert Sr. Well, it was bound to happen at some point. Robert Jr deserved it.


I look at my watch. 3:05 P.M. Zach's running late, as usual. I had told him to meet me here, at the market by the shore, at three 'o clock.

The market is a busy place, with people coming in and out of stores with glass displays of stands of beads and shell necklaces, and street vendors selling ice-cream and deep-fried potatoes. It looks the same as it did, all those years ago, when I used to come here with-

"Hey!" I jump and look behind me. Zach, who's standing there, keeps talking. "Kind of sad, what happened to Parker Jr, wasn't it? Stabbed to death in his own bed. I wonder who found him, you know? All covered in blood and-"

"Do you have it?" I interrupt.

"Yeah." He throws a box at me. I catch it and look at it.

"Coffee?" He'd thrown me a box labeled Nyler's Coffee Powder.

Zach nods. "I was running out of brownie boxes. You know, the kind with walnuts-"

"Thanks," I say, already walking away from him, towards an old woman selling ice-cream.

She smiles at a woman handing her change, then looks at me. "Veronica!" she exclaims, smiling. Then she lowers her voice. "Where is it?"

"Nice to see you, Callida. Here." I hand her a cloth-wrapped bundle that was in my bag. As I hand it to her, the cloth moves a little, revealing what is underneath.

"Glad I could help get the job done." She looks at me one last time before opening the freezer of her cart to get some popsicles out.

I go back home.


10th June 2010

Second Parker Sibling: Missing

Sarah V. Parker was the younger sister of the late Robert Parker Jr. She was set to inherit his company due to his recent demise.


The article didn't mention the Jacobsons or Megara Aileen, but it did mention that Charles Parker and Janice Parker, the last Parker siblings, were to inherit Jacobson-Parker Holdings.

I sigh, drop the paper, and look up at the ceiling of my cramped, dingy, two-room apartment.

I wonder if Charlie and Janice will end up dead, just like their other siblings.


I look around me. I love the beach, especially during the evenings, when the water glistens under both the sun and the moon, and the sand shines most. It almost pained me to think of what would happen here soon; how the fresh smell of the ocean would soon turn rotten.

I mean, because of factories and pollution and stuff, of course.

I turn and make my way up the beach, away from the waves. A few yards away, I see Callida's cart.

What is she doing at the beach?


11th June 2010

Last heirs to Jacobson-Parker Holdings dead. Charles Parker found dead at the beach, Janice Parker dead due to lead poisoning.


Still no mention of the Jacobson family, or of Megara.

The Parkers deserved what the got.

If no one else will mention the Jacobsons, I will, and if no one else will reveal how Robert Parker Jr gained his father's company, I will.


May 1989

Kevin Jacobson and Robert Ailene-Parker were business partners. They owned Jacobson-Parker Holdings together.

Robert Parker Jr poisoned his mother, Megara Ailene, and killed his father, Robert Ailene-Parker, to get the company.

Sarah Parker was forced to kill Kevin Jacobson and his wife by her sister, Janice. They died of lead poisoning.

Charles Parker killed the Jacobsons' son, Reginald, who was the original heir to the company. Reggie's younger sister, Tia, ran away.

She was found dead a few weeks later.


11th June 2010

This apartment, the one I'm in right now, it belonged to Tia, in the few weeks she was hiding.

Where I am now, who I am now is because of the Parker siblings.

My phone rings, pulling me out of my thoughts. Zach's calling, so I answer.

"They know," he whispers. "They know about the lead powder in the coffee. I called them, the police, after I realized what you used the powder for. I saw the knife you gave Callida. I called the police. They'll find you any second-"

There is a loud knock on my door that startles me. I drop the phone.

A voice came through the door, clear and loud. "Sara Veronica Jacobson, you are under arrest for the murder of your siblings."

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