Betrayed due to selfishness

Submitted into Contest #102 in response to: Write about a mysterious figure in one’s neighborhood.... view prompt

2 comments

Crime Sad

TW: murder

Every human in this selfish world has varied perspectives and expresses distinct emotions. Anger which is a salience member of it is one of the commonly manifested emotions. 

 

**

Rumors in the neighborhood began spreading like wildfire about Blake Romero, who remained as an enigma. Soon, the media started to flood at Winsle Falls. A corpse found inside a 3-feet barrel that was not far apart from Winsle Falls remained a mystery. It has been nearly a month since the death of Stephen Walton, a man in his thirties. His heavenly deep blue eyes showed innocence in his gaze. He helped the poor with whatever he had. 

Police officers, pressurized by their Captains to settle this case, pulled day and night, working crazy to solve this perplexing case. They first commenced by investigating the crime scene. To their conclusion, they could only confirm that the killer happened to be a man. 

"Did you check the phone call?" queried Delia, who was in charge of the case. She always tied her silky auburn hair into a low pony. Her bangs obscured her eyes like a sheepdog.

"Yes, Lieutenant. There is only one call, repeated multiple times. The number seems to be not reachable for now," informed John, assistant of Delia.

"So, the owner of the number is likely to be our prime suspect. Send the number to the Police Control Room. Ask them to send me the reports firsthand. Also, inform them not to pass on these reports to the Commissioner or Deputy Chief," explained Delia.

"But..." interrupted John.

"Do you think there will be any further progress in apprising them? You of all know very well that things will only proceed to the worse," replied Delia. Her deep brown eyes showed boldness and ferocity.

"Fine, Lieutenant," answered John in a low voice, as he had no other choice and hung the call. 

The next move Delia had to do, was to begin interrogating the neighborhood and Stephen's friends. She started asking around the friends' circle. To her surprise, there wasn't anything strange about Stephen except, she could sense that none of them seem to be familiar with Stephen. 

Most of Stephen's friends replied, "We feel sorry for what happened to Stephen. He was a kind soul, so we can't believe that he died in such a manner,"

Delia felt a waste of time investigating the friends of Stephen, who barely knew him. They just shed crocodile tears to make their emotion feel realistic. The next place she was supposed to examine was the neighborhood in Winsle Falls.

Winsle Falls was a village of fifteen adobe houses, surrounded by blades of tall grass that swayed gently. The low sun dazzled in the sky, packed with heaps of clouds. 

"Hi, I am the police. I am investigating the neighborhood regarding Stephen's case," said Delia showing her ID while standing in front of Ms.Chloe's half-opened door.

"Oh, please come in," said Ms.Chloe with a bright smile that showed a generous heart deep inside. 

"Well, about Stephen. Did you hear any strange voices on the night of his death?" asked Delia while taking the cup of water given by Ms.Chole. 

"No......" continued Ms.Chloe.

"You can call me by my name. Delia" replied Delia.

"No, Delia. I didn't hear any peculiar voices. But, I know that Stephen often comes to our neighborhood. He gives us fruits and buys us clothes. Stephen is a kind-hearted boy. But, in his misty eyes, I could see that he was going through a problem," replied Ms.Chloe in a gentle voice.

"Why did he come here? And that too, often?" asked Delia.

"He said he was stopping by a friend's house that was in this neighborhood," replied Ms.Chloe.

"Is it? But in the report, he didn't have any friend here," said Delia.

"Walk half a mile from here and turn left. The third house is his. But he seems to be strange. I once knocked at his door to give him the lunch I made. He didn't even open the door, so I left it on his door thinking that he wasn't at home. When I went for a walk in the morning the next day, I saw the food I gave him was still there. I threw the food as it was rotten," said Ms.Chloe.

"Oh...I see. Thanks, Ms.Chloe for, your cooperation," replied Delia.

Delia then moved on to the other houses by order. Most of them said, "Stephen is a sweet boy. He always buys us things and helps us with our house chores,"

When Delia inquired about Stephen's friend, they replied, "He is quite a strange person. He usually doesn't come out. We don't know why Stephan had a friend like him. He used to check by every day,"

Hearing this made Delia feel even more suspicious about Stephen's friend. She then met with the house owners close to Stephen's house. 

"His name.....Stephen's friend's name is Blake. His name is Blake," said Ms.Fiona, an old lady with a shivering voice.

"I see, Ms.Fiona. Did you hear any strange voices on the night of Stephen's death?" asked Delia.

"I don't remember the date. But every day, I could hear sounds of screaming and shouting from that house. It felt like he was in pain. He does seem strange. He doesn't even says hello," replied Ms.Fiona.

Delia now knew that there was something strange about Blake. To kill her curiosity and suspicious feeling, she headed straight to Blake's house. 

(Blake's house entrance)

Delia knocked on the door several times. There seemed to be no response. She didn't want to break the door as it will cause a scene. Just then, she received a call from John.

"Lieutenant, the number is a scammer's phone. I checked the number's call log and enquired about the victims who faced this too. This number is a scammer's phone," informed John.

"Did the scammer have any pattern in scamming? Like, about what he scams?" asked Delia.

"You are right. Most scammers do have a pattern but not the topic. For example, A is a scammer. 'A' scams an old lady by telling her that the money has not yet transferred to her granddaughter. When the grandmother believes it she, gives all her bank details. The 2nd victim, the scammer (A), changes the topic. He tells a housewife that she has won a fridge and a TV. When the housewife becomes happy, she gives all the bank details to the scammer," explained John.

"Hmm...." continued Delia.

"But, this scammer had the same topic. He gathered people to invest in a company. He targeted the people who wanted to invest," elaborated John.

"I see. So Stephen was one of the victims. Did you check the last location of the scammer?" asked Delia.

"Yes, I did. I will message it to you. For now, I am finding the scammer's location using the victims. How is the progress there?" asked John.

"So far, there is no progress," replied Delia and hung up.

She then saw newspapers and posts at the post box. 

"These posts haven't been collected for a long time. Let us check...." continued Delia while looking at the dates of the letters. 

"18th June, 17th June, 16th June......15th June. It has been nearly a month. Matches perfectly from Stephen's death," said Delia.

She then noticed barrels arranged in an order when she peeped at Blake's backyard.

"I have seen these barrels somewhere..." wondered Delia.

"Oh, it was the same barrel Stephen's body...." said Delia. She then thought over again and again, if Blake was the killer, why did he want to kill his friend?

She then called John and asked, "Can you check the victim's names?" 

"I have tracked the last location of the call. It was a garbage bin. There were several phones and broken sim cards. There is a list of victims too. I will check and call you later," said John.

"No. Be on call. Check the name Blake," said Delia.

A few seconds later, John said, "Oh, there is Blake. But the name is joined with Stephen. They invested a lot," 

"That's it. I knew it. Thanks, John," replied Delia and hung the call. When she was about to break the door, Blake said, "Excuse me, what are you doing. He wore a black hoodie with a black hat while his black bangs were covering his frightened eyes. He held a plastic bag labeled from a clinic.

"I am the police. I am investigating this neighborhood due to Stephen's death," replied Delia while looking at Blake's face to see his reaction.

"I see. What do....you....want to ask?" shuttered Blake as if he knew nothing.

"Of course you would shutter. Afraid," said Delia.

"What do...you mean?" shuttered Blake.

"Stephen is your friend as well as an investment partner. But, you didn't visit his memorial hall as well as have any feeling when I said his name," said Delia.

"What?? It has...been long," replied Blake.

"Yes, glad you remembered it. Let me make you remember it more clearly. Stephen was shot at his heart and found in a barrel covered with plastic. Gladly, the hikers who hiked in the morning reported it to the police. The killer was not good with guns as the shot seemed to be slightly missed and made things even complicated. He was wearing a blue shirt and was seen lastly in this neighborhood. The gaze he had at his last sight was no malice but peace," said Delia while Blake interrupted, "Stop. That is enough," 

"Why are you getting so worked up? It is not your fault," asked Delia while putting up a sad face.

"I am not...You don't know anything. I did.....didn't do anything," shuttered Blake.

"Oh, you brought sleeping pills. You have Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I see. For what you have done, you need to face it," provoked Delia.

"I didn't. It was Stephen's fault. He acted innocent and stole my money. He is the one who asked me to invest. I am a victim," sobbed Blake.

Delia then played audio from her phone.

"I saw a man in his thirties pointing a gun towards Stephen. It seemed that they were both hiking." 

This audio is from a witness. It is voice phishing, as the witness requested his safety.

"I did...did not," shuttered Blake.

"Did I ever tell it was you? I just played the audio, thinking that you will be curious about the killer. After all, you are his friend," said Delia.

"I...I.." shuttered Blake.

"Don't you feel bad for him? He was killed instead of having a peaceful death. Many people said he was a kind soul," said Delia to provoke Blake.

Blake started to cry, "I killed him. I was the one who shot him," 

"There is no use in crying. Mr.Blake, you are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent and hire an attorney for further progress,"

July 15, 2021 12:11

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2 comments

Alex Sultan
21:15 Jul 28, 2021

I like the ending to this story, and I think your take on the prompt is fun to read. You wove a crime story that intrigued me from beginning to end. If I could offer feedback, I'd just recommend working on dialogue a bit - read it out loud and see how it sounds, then edit it to make it a bit more natural. Do the police really say '"Hi, I am the police.'? it reads to me like someone impersonating a police officer, compared to a cop saying 'Hello mam, I'm with the Winsle falls police, and I'm here to ask you a couple questions.' or something...

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Melody Frost
00:19 Jul 29, 2021

Thank you for stopping by and reading. I really appreciate your feedback. Actually, when I write a story, I always write the basic dialogue and then change it. But when I was writing this one, I didn't have enough time, so I just posted the one with the basic dialogue. Thank you for sharing your feedback and I will make sure not to repeat it again.

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