"Well, he's gone, gone and went, never to come back!"
I stood there, frozen in place. My mind was an emotional crockpot. The ingredients of shock, fear, and disbelief came together in a fowl stew that rendered me motionless.
I couldn't stand to look at the dead body, lying on my floral pattern, cashmere rug, but at the same time, I couldn't look away. I thought imagining him as a wax sculpture would ease my nerves, but the pool of foam and vomit shattered the illusion into a million pieces.
"This is not good! This is not good!" cried my friend Albert who was pulling what was left of his hair. Although we argued from time-to-time, we could both agree that the corpse resting on my rug was, "not good."
"Out of all the places he could have died he had to do it on my rug," I sighed. Despite looking like an artifact that belonged in a museum, the rug wasn't even a year old. I got it a few months ago at an auction. It was part of a set of four, each based on a season. I wanted to buy them all, but could only afford Spring. I had hoped to sell it to the person who bought Winter and Fall, or to the one who bought Summer, but I grew so attached that I couldn't part with it. Now, its only worth is that it was the rug that held the dead body of Joseph P. Marwell.
Marwell was a bigtime Wall Street investor. He was known for holding the grandest functions and was a major donor to all types of festivals and charities. In fact, I got the rug at one of the auctions he ran! What he was doing dead on my rug, I didn't know.
"You know what this means, don't you?" Albert asked, looking up at me.
"We should call the police?" I asked, grabbing my phone, but he slapped it out of my hand.
“What are you insane?” he yelled at me. "When the police get here, you know what they'll think?"
I shook my head.
"They'll think we killed him!"
"No!" I gasped. "But he left a note.”
I bent down, picked up the note that was next to his body with two fingers, turned it over, and read the writing allowed.
To whom it may concern,
I'm terribly sorry for the inconvenience but I always wanted to die in a stranger's home. Thank you for your understanding.
Joseph Pharmaial Marwell
Sorry about your rug.
"Unbelievable!" Albert pouted. "Just un-be-liev-able!
I agreed. It was unbelievable. To think, out of all the homes in the city, he chose to die in mine. Not only that, but he knew he was going to die on my rug! Couldn't he have dropped dead just two inches away from my rug? Would that have been too much to ask?
"We have the note, the police will understand."
I bent down to pick up my phone, but Albert shoved his leg into my face.
"Wait just a moment!" He cried. "Even with a note, they'll suspect we killed him."
"But the note…"
"Save it! Besides, they'll say we faked his handwriting or held him at gunpoint."
I blinked. "Aren't you being a little bit paranoid?"
"Paranoid? Para-noid? No, no, no! My friend, I am being realistic." He glanced over his shoulder before directing his attention back at me. “Did you forget that Marwell has some powerful friends? Friends that would do anything to keep his…"
His voice trailed off till it turned into an unpleasant gurgling noise. His eyes were transfixed on the body for a second or two before his mind caught up to him.
"Untimely! Yes, they would do anything to keep his untimely death a secret."
He had a point there. With the wealth and stature Marwell possessed, the knowledge of him taking his own life would have catastrophic consequences. People, normal everyday people, would question why the great billionaire Wall Street investor killed himself. It would cause panic, and rioting in the streets, unless, his death could have been explained not as a suicide but as a homicide. Who better to charge with murder than the two men who discovered his body?
"Fine," I sighed.
"Okay then," Albert walked over to the back of the rug, only one step away from the man’s head.
He bent down and reached for the two corners.
“Alright, help me wrap the body!” he said, looking at me.
“Can’t we save the rug?” I begged.
“Forget it, it’s his rug now!”
“But I can get it washed!”
Albert sighed and shook his head.
“Buddy, I know my stains, and believe me, that’s a stain you’ll never get out! Now reach for those two corners, and help wrap this guy.”
My hands trembled, and sweat dripped from my face. I refused to keep my eyes open as I bent down and grabbed both corners on my end. The cashmere felt so smooth in my hands. Oh, if
only I could have had more time to bath in its titillating texture.
Albert coughed, making me feel guilty in an instant.
With a sigh, I gave the rug a final pat before folding it.
It took us a few tries to realize that we needed to fold the rug vertically rather than horizontally.
After that, it was all smooth sailing from there. Sure, it looked like we were carrying a giant cigarette with feet, but no one paid us any mind.
We stuffed him in my car, drove to his mansion, and convinced the staff he passed out from drinking the night away. They propped Mr. Marwell up and carried him inside.
With that out of the way, there's one last thing to do, say goodbye to a good friend. We drove to the dump, and with a heavy heart and many tears, I threw my dear, precious rug away.