The following story was published on my blog in November 2009 for Cormac Browns Friday Flash Fiction. It was my first go at his weekly challenge. The story was quite well received but I didn’t actually give it a “proper” ending. I’ve changed it in a couple of places (including the title) and gave it a conclusion. So, here it is. Hope you enjoy…..
A Christmas Crime.
The old camera had been in a box for decades, the pictures never developed, and now with the prints in his hand his blood ran cold from looking at the images that came from it.
In his dark room, Roger Cassidy studied the photos, concentrating on the same thing in the four prints.
“It can’t be. Holy shit, this is big. This is big……this is really big. Oh Fu…”
Roger picked up the phone and dialled. It rang a few times before a groggy sounding voice answered.
“Graham, its Roger. We’re in deep mate. We’ve got something big, and I mean fucking huge!”
“What? Who is this?”
“It’s me. It’s Roger.”
“Sorry, mate. I don’t know any Roger. Now could you kindly put the fucking phone down and never ring me again at………3:28 in the morning.”
Graham put the phone down and stared at the silencer attached to the gun that was pointing at his forehead.
“Well done Graham. Now, we need his address, and then you live.”
Graham gave the two men Roger’s address but they reneged and left him with a bullet hole for an eye socket.
The line went dead. Roger stared at the phone and pressed the disconnect button.
“What’s going on here?”
Roger dialled another number and waited as it rang and rang. “Come on Tim, answer.”
In Tim’s bedroom the phone rang next to his bed. On the floor lay a broken glass surrounded by dampness. On the bed lay a motionless Tim. A shroud of blood stained the pillow where it had escaped from the exit wound on the back of his head.
“Oh, fuck this for a game of soldiers.”
Roger ran back to the dark room grabbed one of the photos, returned to the living room and picked up his jacket. Walking to the front door of his apartment, putting on his jacket, he looked at the photo again. Shaking his head he opened the door only to hear footsteps and two voices.
“The second floor it said number eight was on. Come on.”
Roger slammed the door shut and leant against it, panicking.
There was a hiss outside his door followed by a cracking of wood and flying splinters. Roger felt a searing heat on his right ear as the bullet shot past it.
“Fuck.” Roger dived to the floor as three more bullets cracked through the door, followed by the door exploding inwards. Two men stood in the doorway. They were both wearing long black trench coats and Santa hats.
“We want the camera.”
Roger got to his feet, his back to the man stood near the front door, the photo he had taken, crumpled in his right fist.
“It’s in the dark room, down the corridor, with the three developed photos next to it. Just take it and get out of here, please. I don’t want any trouble.”
“I think it’s maybe a little too late for that, Roger Cassidy. You’ve seen too much. If people find out, our boss is finished. The whole world will change forever. Evil will struggle to survive in society.”
Evil? Roger thought. He didn’t hesitate, knowing that these men weren’t here to sit and chat. He took his chance and ran into the lounge straight for the window. There was a hiss followed by an instant searing pain in his right shoulder. Roger didn’t let up and ran at the lounge window, crashing straight through it and taking the christmas tree with him. He was flying through the cold night air, the wind battering his face. He looked down and cursed. He’d not made the jump that he’d hoped for and was heading straight for the wrought iron railings that surrounded the apartment block.
Back in his apartment the two men walked back down the stairs with the camera and the three photos. They’d done the job they were sent to do: or so they thought.
Outside the lifeless body of Roger hung from the railings, his arms hanging down by his sides, tinsel hanging from hin neck. Clenched in his fist was the photograph. Soon enough the world would know the truth.
* * *
“Sir, you’d better take a look at this.”
Detective Frank Collingwood turned towards where the voice had come from. He walked over to the railings, where the SOCO team were working.
“We found this on the ground, sir,” an officer said, holding a crumpled photo in a gloved hand.
Det. Collingwood took a pair of rubber gloves from his pocket, put them on and took the photo. He unfolded it and as he did took an involuntary breath.
“Holy moly!” he whispered to himself, “It’s true. It’s really true. Santa does exist!”
Have a great time. Eat, drink and be very Merry! Even the “Scrooges” out there! 🙂
Post addition – My dad is now officially home. Thanks all for your well wishes.