“What am I going to do?!” Ms. Warthington sobbed in terror. She clutched police officer Gray’s chest and gazed into his black, unreadable eyes. He had kept quiet ever since he arrived at the scene of the murder. The police officer glared harshly at the blood splattered on the surrounding walls.
“Keep quiet.” Gray said firmly. “No one is to know about this is that clear? If anyone finds out about what happened to your husband tonight, you may be reunited earlier than you thought.” Ms. Warthington gasped.
“Yes, Officer Gray.” She said in a terrified voice.
Still shocked about Gray’s answer, she looked at her husband’s dead body lying on the floor. She blinked away a tear. She couldn’t believe what had happened over the last few hours. It had all happened so fast: She and her husband had gone to bed when an unknown thief had stolen all her money, jewelry and diamonds, and also murdered her husband in the process. It was too much for her. She staggered and fell to the floor. She felt cold and miserable, as if all the warmth had left her.
“Martha!” Gray exclaimed, hurrying to help her up.
“I’m fine.” she said pushing him away and getting up. “I just need to rest. Good night.” She turned around, bent down and kissed her husband on the cheek, and strode off to bed.
Early the next morning, Martha had still not come over what had happened the previous night. The first thing she did was to lock all doors, windows, and remaining untampered safes. She quickly looked out the window to check that no one was spying on her. Relieved, she went outside to quickly grab the newspaper. Once inside, Martha started reading the headline, in both shock and anger: Billionaire Alex Warthington Killed Last Night! Wife Terrified!
Suddenly there was a loud knock on the door. Deep in thought about the headline, Martha opened the door without checking her key hole. “Ms. Warthington,” a small, chubby man said in a choked voice. He had short, unruly hair and yellow teeth, if not missing. Ms. Warthington, who had not lifted her head from the newspaper, held the door open and silently invited the stranger inside. However, the man stood his ground and said again, “Ms. Warthington.” This time a bit louder. “Yes?” Ms Warthington replied, still keeping her eyes on the paper. The man, now looking fairly agitated, said “Ms. Warthington!” the man clearly meant to be frightening.
“Mmmhmmm?” Ms. Warthington murmured and slowly dragged her eyes off the paper. She gasped. Right in front of her head she saw the unmistakable shape of a gun.
“Yeah, you know what this is.” The man said gleefully. “Now go and get the keys to your safes, tell me where the cash is, and then go and lock yourself in your room without hesitation. If you don’t do what I’ve told you, you’re dead meat just like your husband.”
Martha glared at him for a minute, stuck out her tongue, and then unwillingly did as she was told. Once in her room, Martha began looking for an escape route. The small man had taken away her telephone, so she could not call for help. She gazed around the room looking for something that would get her help. Her eyes rested on the window. Then carefully looked outside at the road. “Hmmmmm.” she murmured to herself.
Half an hour later, Martha was quietly drinking coffee in her living room. She had just returned after climbing out the window, running to the police office, and telling police officer Gray what was happening at her house. She brought back a bunch of police cars with her, to arrested the thief, the infamous Jackson Troll. On his way out the door he hoarsely whispered something that made Martha stop dead cold. “I know who killed your husband.”
Over the next few days Martha could not stop thinking about what Jackson had said. His words chanted in her head until she couldn’t take it anymore. She rushed to the local prison clutching her head and trying to sort out her thoughts.
“Tell me who killed him?” Martha stood inside Jackson’s cell, with a desperate look in her eyes.
“Why should I? Do you see this cell? This is my home for the next two years thanks to you!” Jackson snapped.
“You were about to rob me if Gray hadn’t showed up! You deserve prison. Now tell me who killed my husband!”
“Ahhh. Deserve. The word we all think is the word of fairness. But guess what? It’s not! Take for example what you want me to tell you. Now take your case and compare it with my case. I wanted the money, you want the information. Think about that for a minute. Now, you say that I deserve prison because I robbed you. But how, and I repeat, how do you deserve that piece of valuable information? I mean, like you said, I don’t deserve the money, I deserve prison. You, like all people, have to deserve the information. Now you don’t deserve this information, you deserve the pain of your husband’s death.” He said in a mysteriously gleeful voice. “But, I will say this: if you get me out of here, I might give you a name.” he finished off.
It took several long minutes for Martha to digest the words of this thief. She had a million different questions, but only managed to ask one of them.
“How do you know who killed my husband?” This particular question had been in her head all day long and she desperately wanted an answer.
“That’s a lot you’re asking for now, Missy,” he said.
Suddenly Martha felt a searing sensation of anger and hate. In a swift move Martha pulled a gun out from under her trench coat.
“Wow, wow, Missy. Put that down, will you!” Jackson exclaimed, apparently shocked. Then he added in a hoarse whisper, “You don’t want to end up here as well, do you now Missy?
Martha slowly moved her gun away and then, without saying anything more, stormed out from the cell. The way home took a little longer than expected because Martha had to avoid as many people from the newspapers as possible. Sighting a particularly big group of newspaper people, Martha pulled up her trench coat as far as it would go, and rushed through it, not daring look back.
Once at home, Martha rushed to the garden, the place Alex Warthington’s grave was placed. Running to his grave, clutching his tombstone with all her remaining might, and sobbed. She sobbed for hours, even though it only felt like minutes. As the tears streamed, Martha screamed and pulled her hair.
“It’s my entire fault!!! I am the one who should be dead!!!!” She screamed and pulled hair all night and well into the next day. Ever since the murder, Martha had felt guilty. She thought it was her fault, although it wasn’t.When she finally pulled herself together she had made a plan. She had silently promised to her and her husband that she was going to find the murderer and kill him. It was the only real thing in the world that would make her feel better. And she knew where to start.
Back at the police station, Martha once more entered Jackson’s cell. “I had a feeling you were coming back.” Jackson said, not looking up as she entered. Ignoring Jackson, Martha held the door open and said,” You’re a free man.” Amazingly fast, Jackson was standing in front of Martha, eyeing her suspiciously.
“I’m guessing you want something back, don’t you?” He said, a look of disgust on his face.
“As a matter of fact I do.” Martha said, a look of glee on her face.
“And that is…?”
“The name, idiot.” Martha said, rolling her eyes.
“And why should I tell you?” Jackson asked.
“Because, that was the deal, remember?”
Jackson looked in deep thought for a minute and then said plainly: “No.”
“That was the deal. You said that if I got you out of here you’d give me a name. Do you remember now?” Martha asked, with hope in her voice.
“I do remember, but a) it was no deal, I was just saying it and b) I remember myself saying I MIGHT give you a name. Don’t you?”
Martha was about to explode, but then said in a mysteriously calm tone: “Fine.” She stepped out of the cell door and closed it behind her. Martha stood outside the cell looking very amused with herself, waiting for a reaction. She waited a few minutes and looked as if she had seen a ghost when she heard booming laughter coming from Jackson’s cell.
“What is so hilarious?” Martha asked in a shocked and defeated voice.
“You didn’t read the rules, did you?” Jackson said through gasps of laughter. “When you make a thief a free man, you can’t take it back!!!!!! I’m free thanks to you!” He laughed again, and then headed for the exit.
“Not so fast, Mister!” Martha said, pointing her gun at him.
“Hey, that’s my thing!” Jackson said childishly.
“You’re coming with me.” Martha said gleefully.
To Be Continued…