The One Hundred Dollar Bills – 2 & 3 –

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The wind blew another few bills and spread them on the ground. Spencer picked them up one by one and looked around. They surely belonged to somebody, maybe to the guy sleeping on the shore not far away.

Just to be honest, Spencer knew he wasn’t a perfect guy. He often got drunk, liked a good smoke now and then, nothing too strong, and enjoyed women’s company a lot. However, he had the kind of integrity to give back what didn’t belong to him and help people in need.

“Hey, pal, is this money yours?”

Another hundred bill was fluttering partially caught under the man’s foot.

The guy didn’t answer. Spencer didn’t give up and bent over him. Maybe he was high on something. “Hey, buddy, can you hear me? You lost all this money…” The man didn’t move. Spencer shook him by his shoulder and the guy rolled on his side, uncovering a large bloodstain sucked into the sand.

Then Spencer went into his emergency mode. He searched the guy’s vitals. The stranger didn’t have a pulse. Spencer pulled up the stranger’s shirt and saw a big wound in his abdomen. He knew what to do. He called 911 and performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for the next 3 minutes until the lifeguard came and took over without success. A couple of police cars arrived and the law enforcement secured the perimeter. Two fire trucks blocked the streets and the whole area was filled with police officers in no time. The ambulance was waiting for the detectives to finish with their work and take the body to the morgue.

Spencer gave his first declaration at the scene and handed the money to the detective who was writing the report.

“Death by stabbing with a sharp object, maybe a kitchen or a butcher knife.”

“Butcher knife?’ Spencer asked pretty animated. “My new roommate is a butcher.”

“And where is your roommate now, sir?”

“I don’t know. Maybe he was still sleeping in his room when I came to the beach this morning. I didn’t check.”

“Do you mind if we go and talk to him, sir?”

“It’s all right. Maybe it’s the best if we walk. I live two minutes away.” Spencer really didn’t want the neighbors to see him coming out of the police car.

“Let’s walk, then,” the detective approved, and one officer joined them.

The young man grabbed his surfboard and walked back to the cottage. The sun was pretty strong already. Spencer turned the key in the keyhole and stepped inside in silence. The policemen pulled out their weapons and made a sign to the young man to wait outside. Spencer went outside and walked around the house, stopping under his roommate’s open window.

Next second, the butcher landed on top of him, crashing him to the ground.

“What’s wrong with you, man?”

Jeb was totally wasted. He remained flat on the dirt and mumbled, “No one makes fun of me on social media. No one. I have nine hundred followers and this guy mocks me all the time. Not anymore.” The detective cuffed him easily. “I’m arresting you under the suspicion of murder. You have the right to remain silent. Everything you say may be used against you in the court of law.” The second police officer was holding a plastic evidence bag with the knife.

Spencer followed the small cohort to the street. “This guy seemed normal,” he confessed to the detective. “He was supposed to bring me his background check today or tomorrow. Paid his first and last months, has a job, never uses the kitchen. Cool. I assure you, he looked normal. I had him in my house for three days.”

Waiting for the police car to come, Jeb sat down on the sidewalk. “Would you call my boss and tell him I can’t go to work today?”

“We’ll take care of that at the station, sir.”

The butcher spat on the ground. “I really didn’t want to kill that guy. I wanted to scare him, that’s it. He pulled a knife, I pulled my knife and…” A trace of saliva made its way on the man’s chin. “Do you have a beer?”

“No.”

A police car stopped in front of them and the officers helped the man get in the back with no problem. The atmosphere was calm and the street was quiet, only the new guy watching from the second floor of the next door house shouted, “If you need a lawyer, call me! Chris Andrew. My number is online.”

“Yeah,” Spencer yelled back, “they will give him a personal laptop at the station.”

The neighbor closed the window.

Spencer dragged himself to the neighborhood store to get something to eat and a six-pack. He still had a month to find a new roommate.

 

The End

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Somebody Is at the Door -3-

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“Is anybody there?” I ask, but the words don’t come out of my dry mouth. They are still inside me, weak and unable to move. I wished my dog was here, but he escaped from the back porch and run away right before the storm. I called and called in vain. And then I had to close the door to stay away from the unleashed wind.

“Help!” This is my only word I know, my only thought.

The front door shakes and I lean on the wall, watching.

Somebody Is at the Door -2-

shadowThe front door shakes. It may be the wind, I lie to myself, but I can see a shadow through the small opaque glass. Whoever is on the porch may think that nobody is at home, I think. My feet freeze in the middle of the hall. I don’t care that a cough makes my throat swell. I press it back in my chest and endure the pain. The shadow grows. A smell of rotten fish escapes from under the door and I need air, fresh air.