Thursday, January 10, 2013

Another discard

Still slow and steady on Murder by the Mile. Adding new material and discarding old. Speaking of which, here's another discard.

He had taken a terrible chance this time and nearly got caught because of it. He wanted to get this over with. The old woman had shaken him. So he had stalked the old man yesterday and found Merriman Smith lived alone. The house had been easy to get into; the back door wasn’t locked. Once there, he had waited quietly for the old man get home.

      He knew how to wait. It seemed he had done that his whole life. Waiting for joy, waiting for happiness, waiting for closure, waiting for his life to be different, waiting for a sign. A sign of what he was to do. It all started with that story in the Tulsa World. A simple story on the financial page, but he had seen Cyrus Fowler’s name. He read it, not understanding the financial terms, but getting the gist of it. Fowler was winning an award from a professional organization.

      He felt his world spin as he looked at the photo of Fowler, a man who was nothing more than a murderer winning an award. How could they? How many people had died because of Fowler? What justice was there in the world if a man such as that could win the approval of his peers?

      When he read future and saw that Fowler still lived in Ryton and still worked for the same bank, the first inklings of what he needed to do finally came to him. Not that he started planning yet, but slowly he understood why his life had stalled. He couldn’t move on until what started all those years ago was finally finished. Justice would free him. Then his life would finally begin.

      Oh, how he longed for that release!

      He couldn’t enjoy the killings. He saw that now. His glee over Cyrus Fowler had been wrong. He was doing only what was necessary. He was doing the right thing. While in the long run, the world would be better, he had to recognize that innocent people would be hurt. He regretted that, but he had to take the long view. He could see more clearly than they what the results would be.

      Naturally since the other people didn’t have his vision, they couldn’t help opposing him. He had to be strong and smarter. Obviously the police were his enemies. And perhaps that librarian. How had this Bernard Worthington happened to show up before he could finish? He had thought he had chosen Worthington by chance.

        He had forced Fowler to walk through the woods, and by that time, Fowler had started to understand this wasn’t a kidnapping. He regretted now he hadn’t explained to the banker why this was necessary.

      Fowler had tried to run, forcing him to knock him out. Then he had to drag the banker closer to the road. He could have hanged Fowler anywhere, but when he learned about the Many Mile Marathon – where people pretended that what they did actually helped other people – he decided it would make a statement. That the statement was unclear was no one’s fault, but his own.

      He had to complete this. Only their deaths could justify his actions. He hoped the old man would die in the hospital. He would rather hang Merriman Smith, but if he couldn’t, it would work out. It wasn’t the method that was as important as the deaths themselves. Six people had to be brought to justice. Two had been. If Merriman Smith died, he would be halfway to peace and freedom.

      He would be more careful next time. But he had to keep moving forward. Time was his enemy and the friend of his enemies. He had been careful, but the longer it took to accomplish the murders, the more chance there was that the police would finally connect them and warn the remaining targets.

      And what of this librarian? Had contrary fate chosen Bernard Worthington to oppose him? That made sense. What good purpose hadn’t generated opposition? He must be wary of the librarian and be ready for opposition.

      He must be ready to kill Worthington at all times. For now, he could afford to wait, but if Worthington showed up again unexpectedly, then he would know the librarian was his opponent.

      And he would end Bernard Worthington’s life with no regrets.

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