Here's the exciting conclusion to my short story "Tech-nesh". If you haven't already read chapters 1-5, don't spoil the ending for yourself, they are in my earlier posts. Thank you to all who have been staying with me through this, its been a lot of fun writing it and reading your helpful, kind comments. Enjoy!
He drove to the only place he could think of, a new subdivision near his apartment. Only a couple of homes were under construction in the deep cul-de-sac that Ben pulled into. The empty house frames loomed in the dim street lamp light like wooden skeletons.
Ben closed his cell phone, pleased with the performance he had just delivered to the 911 operator. The police were on their way, now to make good on his story. Ben popped the trunk and exited the car. He lifted the trunk lid and shifted the body so that he could lift it and lay it on the sidewalk where Ben had told the police he had been attacked. The neck twisted abnormally, raising Ben’s suspicions. He pressed two fingers against the cool skin searching for a pulse. None could be found. Ben leaned into the trunk to lay his head on the man’s chest. No heart beat. Shock washed over him momentarily as he pieced this together. Then he shrugged, Just as well he thought. This could all be explained away to the police.
Ben began to lift the body when he felt a wallet sized bulge inside a back pocket. Curiosity grew inside him. What does a mass murderer keep in his wallet? He wondered, as he pulled it out. With it came a small envelope. He opened the black leather to reveal a police detective badge and ID. Aw, a crooked cop Ben thought scandalously as he examined the name on the badge. It read Mark Bolin, homicide. Ben opened the envelope hoping for an explanation. He unfolded the note inside and began to read it in the dim glow of the street light.
I hope you can forgive me for using a letter as my first contact with you. What I have to tell you will come as a complete shock and I have struggled for the right way to do it. When I first found you, your husband had just passed away. I came to the funeral but it just didn’t seem to be the right time and then you moved suddenly and I had to find you all over again. I even came to your office a couple of times but chickened out.
Stacy, I know you think you lost your family to that bear attack when you were little but I wasn’t killed, I ran into the woods and got lost for a week before I was found. I would love to explain everything and finally get to know you if It is something you want. So I leave the ball in your court. I will wait in the café on the corner of Walnut and Elm this Saturday at 12:00. I hope you will come. We are our only family.
Your brother, Mark Bolin
The earth under Ben’s feet seemed to shift and jerk; the dark scenery spinning all around him as the truth unfolded. Her brother? He thought, frantically looking between the photo on the badge and the dead man in his trunk. There was an unarguable resemblance to Stacy. How is this possible? All his assurances, all the clues were now unraveling, painfully in his mind into mere assertions. Those pilfered files in his apartment weren’t the articles collected by a sick mad man but pieces of detective Mark Bolin’s case file that had managed to survive from a hard drive wipe. And now he’s dead, never to finish the case, never to meet his sister. “Oh, Stacy” Ben clutched his fingers into his unkempt hair while a hole expanded inside him from the loss of something he never had, for someone who never even knew of his existence. He was no longer the hero of his own unlikely love story. “I’m the bad guy”, he spoke slowly as the realization sank in, pulling him to his knees. His head began to pound with anxiety and dread acerbated only by the urgent sound of the police sirens that were fast approaching.