It was once said that the wind whispers woes of those unheard. I don't know who said it and it doesn't matter who did.
On this stormy night on Thonhill, I stand by the edge and wait. I was to meet a young man with a red cap, he was to hand me a bag and disappear quickly. And so he did. The bag held unfamiliar contents. That made me - the middleman, in need of cash.
I was without a wife, not to say that I never loved. I did. We were to be married but she took ill, and we spent the rest of her days paying medical bills. After she was gone, I lost more than I could think of, I lost a future that I was building.
And here I am today - two years later, a man with a questionable moral code and even more questionable bag. I didn't think too hard. I didn't have the luxury nor did I have the time. My pockets were deep for only pennies and dimes. So I got back to my car and drove into the night.
That night I did not sleep well. For I was in possession of an unknown item. And to have it being delivered discreetly made it more ominous than I’d like to think. After my few hours of sleep, I picked up the mysterious envelope at my door and read my further instructions in regards to the bag but was interrupted by my neighbour.
“A man with a red cap was found dead”, said my 45 year old neighbour - standing in the porch with a lit cigarette at 6am in the morning. “Gun shot to the head. Nobody seems to recognise him in town.” How queer I thought, when I should have been frightened. “Tragedy befalls life”, I said, as I locked my door and headed out.
As per the note I was to deliver this bag discreetly, at the doorstep of a house way up on 22nd High road. It said, ‘Flat 19, blue door with the golden knob. Payment to be picked up on the following day around the second junction on 22nd High road at ‘The Hearty Burger.’
Order the extra large fries with BBQ sauce and a meaty beef burger without lettuce and extra mayo to take away.’
I was really beginning to question this job. But I had no way of contacting the man. Someone I knew said they knew someone who had a special job that pays well. And that’s how he got hold of my address. Since then I’ve been contacted via mysterious envelopes.
I could go to the police but I have no idea of the contents of the bag and what position that would put me in. And I’m not sure who I am dealing with. Two more days of this and it will all be over, I think to myself as I get on with the job.
I leave the bag at the doorstep with some relief. I am almost through. But I had an uneasy feeling about all of this.
I drank my whisky, until I passed out. The next afternoon, I gathered myself together and walked into ‘The Hearty Burger.’ I was nervous and very much on edge. I go up to the counter and there’s a lanky man named Jim. “Welcome to the Hearty Burger. Can I take your order?” I looked at him and gulped. I reached out into my pocket and read out, “ I’d like an extra large fries with BBQ sauce and a meaty beef burger without lettuce, extra mayo to take away.” Jim looked up at me and smiled, “ Sure, that will be 9 dollars.”
I stood by the take away counter as a young man brought me my order in a bag.
I peaked in to see a huge sum of money in a transparent plastic, along with my food. I decide to sit and eat the food I payed for.
Just as I was finishing, I hear two middle aged women talking by the next table. “Diana was found dead. Can you believe that? I wonder what she was mixed up with. I didn’t know High Road was unsafe. I’m thinking of moving. Apparently nothing was stolen. Just an empty bag found at her door step.” I completely froze. High road - Bag at the doorstep. I’ve definitely gotten involved into something very dangerous. I could still go to the police? I got the letters. But what if they don’t believe me. What if they think I’m making this all up, it does sound crazy!
I pick up my things and head for the door. I bump into my old classmate, Jerry. “Hey John! What a surprise! What are you doing this side of town? You don’t look very well. I am so sorry about Abigail. It was an absolute tragedy.”
I say to him, “ Yeah that was two years ago. I must leave, I’ve to go meet my mother.” And spring towards my car.
I get home somehow and pour myself a couple of drinks. I begin to pack my bag. I have some money now, I could get out of town, at least for a while. But I’m too drunk to drive. And so I spend another night before the television, emptying yet another bottle of whisky.
Suddenly I’m woken by the sound of the telephone. Oh shoot. It’s 11am. I slept on the chair. I pick up the phone and I hear mother cry, “ I wouldn’t think you would turn into a killer John, never. Not once. Not even after all the things you’ve been through. I know you’re struggling but murder! Jesus Christ John.”
“I never killed anyone”, I yelled back. “What are you talking about!”
“The young boy at the Hearty burger. He was murdered. The same afternoon that you were there. Jerry, your old classmate saw you leave in a rush. Some employee named Jim testified saying you looked highly suspicious.”
“This is ridiculous! I’ve been put in some sort of trap. I never killed anyone. I just wanted to make some money. All I did was pick up a bag and deliver it.”
By then, the police knock at my door. I hang up the phone. “I’m innocent! You’ve got to believe me!”
The police man cuffs my hand and says, “ Thats not what the evidence shows. You’ve been at the wrong place at the right time. It’s no coincidence.”
I tell them the story of the mysterious envelopes. But to them, it seems staged. A psychotic man, with no real motive, out on a killing spree. I fit the description of a killer, for I had all reasons to be vengeful. And I made no real money.
I’ve narrated my story to numerous people who’ve tried to understand my case. But to them, it’s just a story. That’s all it is to them. I’m guilty of all murders, as per evidence. A bitter man used as a scapegoat.
I was a desperate man, I knew, people knew, and so did the murderer who planned his perfect exit. The wind whispers woes of those unheard, to have a voice and not be heard. I’ve spent a year in jail, questioning the judicial system. The guard walks up to me with a bag and says this is for you.
I open it to find an extra large fries with BBQ sauce and a meaty beef burger without lettuce, extra mayo from ‘the hearty burger. There’s a note signed with it. It says, 'Love, Jim.'