The Haunter and the Haunted #8

The Haunter and the Haunted #8

Read Also: The Haunter and the Haunted #7

Chapter 8: Revelations

The lachrymal lamentations of adults and the joyful laughter of unassuming children filtered through the air this cold morning. The county appeared deserted, except for some joggers who braved the deathlike atmosphere. Outside the Springs Hotel, paced Max impatiently. Instinctively, he felt the eyes of a person feasting on him; he got that a lot since he moved here but this was different. It felt violent and it frightened him. Turning round, he staggered into one of the joggers passing by. Regaining full consciousness, he turned to look at the person but was interrupted by Becky’s car horn. He turned round again but his victim had disappeared. Discomfited, he got into her car and they sped off into the morning.

“So I called this meeting to just speak with you about something important,” Max started after making their orders at the Roastee Wings. “What can you tell me about Brian Anderson?” Max asked. Unsettled, Becky replied, “he was my fiancé. I don’t understand. What has that got to do with anything?” Managing a mirthless smile, he responded, “Everything dear. Everything! You believe he was murdered, why?” Tears welled up in Becky’s eyes now; she tittered dryly and breathed, “Hmmm… Didn’t take you for a gossip. Well, he was and I know it. I have no proof yet but I just know it. Some people always thought he was too outspoken, especially the council members. You know, they never exactly liked each other. One could say they tolerated each other.” Almost grinning, Max scribbled down something in his jotter. Then, he asked, “Let’s say I believe you. Could his killer be one from this inner circle?”

Nauseated, Becky fired back, “Hold up! You really want me to relive these painful experiences? What has all these got to do with the happenings in town?” Ignoring her completely, Max picked up his phone, punched in some numbers and excused himself to make a call. Some five minutes later, he returned and took his seat beside her this time. “Honestly,” he began, looking straight into her eyes, “I find your declaration far-fetched. Well, I’ve got something to show you” Rummaging his slit pocket for its content, he found nothing. Appalled, he nearly doubted his sanity.

“What is it?” Becky demanded. “I found a bracelet at Graham’s death scene. “Max divulged. Contemptuously, she drawled, “a present for me, huh?” Tastelessly, Max spat, “It had the initials B.A. boldly inscribed on it.” The color drained from Becky’s face as she stared wide-eyed at her interrogator. In between sobs, she simply sighed. Then, she opened her mouth to speak but no sound was emitted. Pale as a ghost, Becky scurried out of the restaurant. Max didn’t risk a flinch, he plainly took out his jotter and scribbled some more in it.

The sun had gone to rest; the moon took her place as the queen of the skies as the darkness intensified. Max laid on his Polish-style bed, turning over and over again. “I am endowed with contradictions. I can’t seem to let down my guard. Why am I so hard on people? Well, maybe they deserve it. People can’t be trusted.” Max lisped. His monologue was soon interrupted as the phone on his bedside rang. Picking up, he recognised the bitter voice of Becky. “Hey Max, I’m sorry about my outburst today. I needed some space after your revelation. There’s something you must know. The bracelet was my pre-wedding gift to him. He wore it everywhere but it wasn’t found on him at the accident.” Then she paused to catch her breath.

The anxiety in Max right now could be seen despite the poor illumination. Then, she added, “the police believed there was someone in Brian’s vehicle the day he died but nobody knows who it was. That’s all I know, I swear. Stay safe Max!” Almost immediately, she hung up before Max got the chance to utter a word.

Like lightning struck in his head, he ransacked his room for the bracelet which he totally forgot about. Angrily, he cursed out, “damn Maxwell. You’re getting sloppy!” Thirty minutes later after a futile search, he settled himself into the creaking armchair by the door. Like a zombie from World Z, he jumped to his feet and ran to his balcony. “Oh my God. The jogger from this morning must be the thief and without any doubt, the killer. Damn!!!”

In a pitch black alley, behind the steering of an old truck, a croaked voice whispered, “Yikes, I lost the bracelet when I gutted that annoying maid. Well, I’m sorry Max. I couldn’t let you hang on to my property. It won’t be long now. I can’t wait for my next outing.”

 

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