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May 05, 2020

Adventure

I haven’t been myself ever since that night when I came home and found my wife’s body, laying naked in a pool of her blood. I’d been a mess since then. As each night passes, I keep hearing the voices in my head asking me why am I still here, I should be dead. I tried to end my life, but the only reason I’m still alive is because I haven’t figured out the best way to do it. Every option I’d considered would leave me in severe pains before I finally die.

Depression had me within it grasp. I found solace in the alcohols I drank and the drugs I abused. The police had given me their word to catch the guy who did it, but it’s been two days since Natasha died and still no news on the guy that’d murdered my wife.

Looking up at my wife’s photograph hanging up on the wall made me realise something, while my wife is lying dead in a morgue, her killer is out there walking the street. Looking over the half finished bottle of whiskey I held, I woozily tossed it aside. It was time to stop wallowing in depression and self pity. I can’t keep wasting away like this.

I picked up my keys and then left the house. I was going look for the guy that’d killed my wife. As I got into my car, I didn’t know where to look first. Oland was such a big city, the killer could be anywhere. Just then, a thought came to me, I knew where to go.

Stopping in front of Michael’s apartment, I wound the window down to look at the house. I watched as my high school best friend walked down his mini stair to meet me. This was the first time I stopped by ever since my marriage to Natasha. Even though we haven’t been spending a lot of time together, lack of communication could not get in the way of our thirty years of being friends.

 “Sam, I’m sorry about your wife.” Michael said to me, leaning on the window. He was sympathetic. That was like the twentieth time I’d heard something like that in the last two days and I was starting to get use to it.

“Michael, I need your help finding the guy that’d murdered my wife.” I said to him.

 “I thought that’s the police job, beside detective Renley is already working on the case.” He stated.

 “The Detective is a bit slow and I’m done waiting on the police.”

 “You sure about this? Going after a murderer all by yourself, I really don’t think that’s a good idea.” Michael retorted.

“Who said I’m going to be alone when I’m going to have you by my side.” Turning to look at Michael, I raised a brow at him. “…right?”

Michael snorted at my response, I knew there was no way he was going to let me down. Michael got into the car. “Do you know where to start looking?” He asked.

“I will drop by the prescient to see if Renley figured out anything that could help us find the guy that murdered my wife.” 

Michael and I always embarked on crazy adventures in video games together, but that was when we were still kids. Here we are, on a real adventure to find the guy that'd murdered my wife.

After about thirty minutes drive, we arrived at the prescient. Renley stood at the entrance with some of his colleagues, he was engaged in a heated argument. Gloom expression pervaded his face when he saw me. I watched him excuse himself as he walked in my direction.

Leaning on the window, he asked. “What are you doing here?” He took off his shades to look me in the eye. “I thought I asked you not to come, I was going to contact you as soon as I find something.”

You see that’s the problem, I’m sick of waiting. While I wait hoping for him to do something, my wife’s killer is still out there walking free. “I got tired of hearing you say you’re still trying to figure something out each time I call.” I retorted.

Renley’s eyes were drawn to Michael. “Who’s this?”

“…not sure if you two have met. This is Michael, a long time buddy of mine.”

Stretching his hand at Michael for a handshake, Renley said, “Hi there Michael, My name’s…”

 “I already know who you are, detective Renley.” Michael didn’t let him finish.

Renley raised a brow at him as if waiting for an explanation.

 “…been following you on the news.” Michael answered him.

Renley returned his gaze to me, “In your report, you stated that only your wife’s ring was taken that night, did you noticed any other thing missing?”

“It’s just the ring detective, the house was still intact when I came home that night to find my wife lying dead on the floor.”

“Someone came into your house that night, shot your wife in the gut, took the ring from her finger and left without taking a single item from your house… I’d say whoever broke into your house that night targeted your wife. Do you know anybody who’d want your wife dead.”

“Believe me, that’s the question I’ve been asking myself the last two days.” Looking up at Renley, I asked, ”have you figure out anything that could point us in the direction of the guy that’d murdered my wife?”

“A bullet was removed from your wife’s body during the autopsy. The bullet is about nineteen millimetres long and nine millimetres wide. We've traced it to a G26 subcompact glock pistol which was the gun used to put down your wife.”

“Did you track it to a gun store in the city to see where the firearm was purchased from?” I asked.

“No, but right now I am…”

I didn’t let him finish, I quickly start the car engine. I was done listening to Renley, I was done believing his words of assurance that he was going to catch the guy that’d murdered Natasha.

“Wait… Where are you going?” His grip tightened on the window just when I was about to drive off.

I stopped, eyes on the road, I snarled. “I am going to do what you couldn’t, that’s finding the guy that’d murdered my wife.”

Renley knew where this was going. He could tell from the tone in my voice I was dead serious. ”Look Sam, I suggest you leave this to the authorities. You don’t want to do anything rash that could get you in trouble, or worst, killed.”

“I'm done waiting.” I snapped at him, then I drove off.

There were four gun stores in Oland and I surmised the guy that’d killed Natasha could have gone to any one of them to purchase the gun he used. If I could find the store that sells subcompact glock pistons, I might be able to access their records for list of people that made purchase for the week. It was going to take all day to drive to all four gun stores in the city. To hasten things, Michael agreed to search two stores while I go look in the other two.

The first store I’d visited based mainly on machine guns, grenade and other military grade weapon, wasn’t the kind of place the killer would visit to get a gun. I called Michael to ask if he’d found anything. He said the store he visited sold the gun I was looking for but no one had made purchase of that particular gun within the week. The last person that’d made a purchase of a G26 pistol came in six months ago.

Six months? No, can’t be the guy.

I visited the next shop barely thirty minutes after I’d left the first one. When I made enquiry about the gun, I felt relieved when the seller told me the gun was sold there. At first he thought I was here to make purchase but when I started questioning him to know if anyone had visited his store to make purchase of a G26 pistol, he felt insecure.

It took a while to convince the seller of my good motive, explaining to him why I needed that information. I played the victim by telling him my wife’s story to gain his trust and sympathy . I pretended so well that I almost forgot I was actually the victim here.

In the end, I got a name, an address and a phone number out of him. Turns out a guy by the name B.J McClain had made purchase from the store four days ago, that was about two day before my wife was killed.

As I sat in my car, I tried to run the name in my head searching for anyone I’d know in my life who goes by that name but I got nothing. I quickly called Michael to tell him about what I’d found. I asked if he knew anyone by that name, he was also blank on his end.

Looking over the address I’d received from the seller, I knew what to do next. After picking Michael, I drove off to that address. When I’d arrived at the place, I realised it was a Hotel, of course, the kind of place a hit man would like to stay for a temporary job. I quickly went in to make enquires. I gave the receptionist the name B.J McClain , then I asked if any reservation was made in that name.

Imagine my disappointment when I was told, the person by that name left the hotel few hours before I came in. it was another dead end and I didn’t hide my frustration. But then I remembered I still have a phone number, I quickly called Renley to see if he could track a person through their cell. I was glad when he told me he could, then I forwarded the number to him.

As I waited for him to call back, the rain started to fall. Few minutes after, I got a call from Renley, he said he’d found an address but he refused to disclose it to me. I was pissed at his response. Detective Renley needed me to fill him in on what was going on and why I needed that address. I told him everything, and he gave me the address I needed.

Without wasting any more time, I hopped into my car. I tried to start the car but the engine was dead, but then I kept pushing. I realised the car was low on gas, I slammed the wheel in frustration. Now the rain was coming down heavily.

 I’d wanted to go under the rain to go buy petrol but Michael berated me to wait out the storm in a restaurant nearby. I snorted to the thought, I felt like I needed to find the guy who murdered my wife that very instant. As much as I’d wanted to keep going, that was impossible, my car stopped and the rain doesn’t look like it was going to stop any time soon. So we sat in a restaurant to wait out the storm, even though that was the last thing I’d wanted at that moment, having to wait, but I had no choice.

“What are you going to do with this guy if you catch him before the police get him?” Michael asked me. His question took me unaware. I hadn’t given it much thought.

“I really don’t know Michael.” I answered him, unsure of my options. If I catch him and hand him to the police, they’d probably lock him up for the rest of his life but he’d still be alive. The thought of my wife’s killer being alive while Natasha is being buried gave me cold chills. As a retired police officer, I knew if I decide to kill him, I would spend the rest of my life in jail but I would get satisfaction at the thought that I got justice for my wife’s murder.

Sitting at that restaurant made me realise what I needed to do. Twenty six years of being in the police force had taught me nothing. I’d been trained to bring in crime offenders alive, but, this guy, he doesn’t deserve to live.

As soon as the rain stopped, I rushed to buy petrol for my car, then I hit the road. I arrived at the place Renley described to me, it was a residential building. I waited in my car, I wouldn’t want to harass an innocent civilian. After about three hours of waiting, a guy finally came out from that building. My eye widened as soon as I recognized him.

 I finally understood what the B.J in his name stood for. Brandon Jacob McClain, a registered drug offender whom I’d arrested ten years ago for trafficking drugs along with his wife. His wife tried to escape while they were being transferred to serve their ten years sentence. I tried to immobilize her by aiming for the legs, but then I missed. The bullet hit her in the groin putting her in the hospital for six months before she finally died.

Brandon must have completed his jail sentence and now he’s back for revenge. Killing Natasha was his way of getting back at me. I watched him enter a car, then he drove off, I immediately followed. The look on my face was murderous, I had a lot of thoughts running in my head about the way I was going to kill him.

 As I hit a pothole, something dropped from Michael pocket. It was the ring my wife wore on her finger before she died. My brows drew together.

“What are you doing with my wife’s ring?” my voice was awfully low.

I didn’t quite understand the expression on his face after. I watched him put his hands in his trouser, then he pulled a gun on me. At first it felt like a joke, but when I looked up at Michael, I saw betrayal in his eyes. I felt a prickle in my stomach when I immediately recognised the gun in his hand. it was the G26 firearm Renley had described. Blood slowly drained from my face.

“Oh my God! It was you.” I mouthed, my eyes were wide and wild. Tears spilled on my cheek, my eyes were bloodshot, I turned to look at him. “Why?”

“I got a call from Brandon few days after he was released from prison asking me to do something for him. I met him at an address he gave to me, that was when he handed me the gun and a photograph…” Michael showed a little remorse, then he said, “…a photograph of your wife. He said I should get rid of her, then he offered me a prize. I swear I rejected his offer but then the money he offered…”

“How much did he offer to pay you?” I asked him almost immediately.

“100000$”

His reply sent a shiver down my spine, I was devastated. As I turned to look at him, I tattled “You betray me for a 100000 US dollar?” I scowled at him.

“Sorry bro, nothing personal. I needed the cash.” His hand tightened on the gun he held to my head.

My eyes were drawn to the gun in his hands. “What are you going to do? Shoot me?”

“If you try to do anything stupid, maybe I might.” He coaxed.

My hands were trembling as I steer the wheel, it wasn’t out of fear. It was out of the rage I felt at that moment, Was it pain… or hatred?

Looking up at the car I was trailing made me realise it wasn’t Brandon who deserved to die. The look on my face became murderous as I rolled my eyes to the corner to look at Michael. I couldn’t believe he’d pretended to be helping me all this time.

I quickly left the wheel and slapped the gun off Michael’s hands, it fell to the back. As he struggled to pick it, I pressed him against the window, squeezing his neck with my arm. The car skidded of the road and crashed into an oak tree. A branch broke through the windshield and pierced into my chest, pains exploded through me, blood spilled on my chest. I was slowly starting to lose consciousness. As everything slowly went out of focus, I saw Michael struggling to get out, his head was bleeding. Then everything went dark.

I woke up in a hospital, a heart monitor beeping continuously in the room, my head was hurting. As I laid there, I couldn’t feel my legs and there was a big hole on my chest, that’s when I realised I’d been placed on life support.

The doctor entered the room, he started saying something to me which I could make out the words clearly. The doctor said my spine was broken, ribcage destroyed, severe injury to the heart and my legs were going to be amputated. The doctor said my chances of surviving were slim but he didn’t mention anything about Michael, he must have gotten away, lucky guy.

Again, he’s out there roaming the streets while i'm lying here, nearly reaching the point of death. Its funny isn’t it? Early this morning, I was wishing to die but now I’d found my wife’s killer, I am praying for a second chance, at least to get revenge. I knew I was praying for something impossible.

The last thing I heard was the faint continuous sound from the heart meter before I slowly closed my eyes. As everything slowly went out of focus, I saw nurses rushing into the room. My world went dark. I smiled. Death wasn’t so painful after all, it felt just like going to sleep.

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9 comments

00:19 May 13, 2020

This story was really good. Maybe it's just first time nerves, but I don't understand why you would be nervous! Other than a few grammatical and spelling errors, I couldn't find anything wrong with the story. It gave me chills. Keep writing and stay safe! -Brooke

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Jeffrey Pope
23:14 May 14, 2020

Thanks for the comment, it mean a lot to me.

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Jeffrey Pope
23:13 May 09, 2020

This is actually my first submission and I am feeling kinda nervous Writing.

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Rhondalise Mitza
00:24 May 10, 2020

Hey, don't worry about it! I read your story and thought it was really an interesting take on the prompt; I never would have thought of that. You had a few little grammar things but they could have been typos; I know computers do crazy things sometimes. There were no glaring mistakes and you had an overall solid story! If it could have been a little longer you could have gone into some character development, used flashbacks to show the relationship between the main character and his wife, but I know the word limits are tough to work around s...

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Rhondalise Mitza
00:27 May 10, 2020

Definitely keep writing though and while it's okay to be nervous about putting your writing in a new space, you've already taken the first step and that's so brave. Congratulation for that and for writing a good, interesting short story. Best of luck for the contest, too.

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Jeffrey Pope
05:07 May 10, 2020

Thanks, your comment means a lot .

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Kelechi Nwokoma
21:43 May 12, 2020

Don't fret over it. My first two submissions were also on contest #40. I was also nervous by my joy of putting my two writings out for the world to see exceeded my fear. Just keep on writing👍 Your story was good, btw😉

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Jeffrey Pope
00:06 May 13, 2020

Thanks for reading my first draft, I felt motivated by your comment.

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Kelechi Nwokoma
00:55 May 13, 2020

You're welcome

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