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PRELUDE (Because I can)
The call was made three minutes and forty-three seconds ago. There was only a few more seconds to wait. The needle on a clock always used to travel at a pace so unbearably slow that I seemed to be able to count to one hundred before the needle moved again. That number was reduced with every new time I'd perform that special deed that left my senses numb and my mind finally quiet. Seventy-five, fifty...ten. The time revolved normally around me now, perhaps even faster if I didn't look at it. If anything at all, I was waiting too long for them to show up.
“Ding!” Two formally dressed officers entered through the door of the gas station. The leader strode towards me while the woman behind him glanced around the room and took to her own work.
“N.Y.P.D, we've received a disturbing phone call regarding loud yelling and crashing coming from this area. Do you know anything about that, Mister....?” the officer asked quickly.
“Christopher Green, sir. I don't know too much but I think the boss was having a fight with his wife over the phone just a few minutes ago. After he hung up, he went storming out through the back. Thats about all I know, sorry,” I replied confidently, although still with that delightful hint of “sincere” concern that put the icing on the cake.
“Alright, Chris, you're going to need to tell me now your boss's name, phone number and address so that we may be able to reach him, can you give me that information?”
“Uh, yeah sure, I think there's a folder in the back like that. I'll go grab it,” I offered. The man nodded and I rushed from the counter to the back room to retrieve the folder I had already set on Richard Downed's desk. It was neat, with all the information the officer needed to solve the already failure of a case on the first page. I brought it to the front and handed to the man over the counter hastily. He opened the folder and skimmed the front page, then looked back up at me. I made sure to keep my attention on the file for just a few seconds, and left my thumbnail in between my teeth; made sure he thought I hoped nothing had happened to my employer, and after it being long enough, I acted as if I didn't know he was looking at me, looked up at him and said, “I hope thats good enough. If I knew where he was going I would tell you, but if I were to guess, I think he was going home.” An obvious suggestion, but innocent; convinving. The man took a short moment to adjust his tie.
“Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Green. You've been a great help.” The officer turned away without another question and paced to the door again. “Come on, Deb,” he called to the searching woman. She lifted her head unsurely but followed him.
“Ding.” They left, shutting their cruiser doors behind them, turning on their lights and sirens, and speeding away. Just like the clock, I used to have a hard time working fast, proving difficult to never forget a single detail. Its hard to work fast and do a good job; working at your own pace isn't an option...expecially when you're trying to beat a four minute record.
I crouched down, put my black gloves on and opened the bottom shelve. Safe and sound lay the body of Richard Downed, a bit of a flesh wound to the neck; maybe a new pair of glasses could be in order. I clasped an arm around his collar, another wrapped around his stomach and lifted him from the cupboard. He was of medium build, and middle age. It was a quick and easy job to carry him through the back door and place him in the back of the large delivery truck parked in the dimmly lit alleyway.
I sat in the worn seat of the vehicle, everything was finally...so quiet. If only I could bask in the moment...but I would have the time in three minutes and thirty seconds. I started the truck and sped out of the drive onto the highway. Only one more thing to do before I would be able to enjoy my hours of silence in my apartment.
Only a minute was able to be spent on my drive to the Downed's home. Even with the police speeding towards the home, they would still have to look for street and house numbers. I knew exactly where it was. And I got there before them. “Time to get you home.”
I opened the doors and took Downed back into my arms and strode to the house. I knew at this particular hour, Mrs. Downed would be watching television in the upstairs bedroom, so I was almost home-free. I stealthily turned the doorknob and walked in the house, going to the closet immediatly and quietly dropping Downed on the carpet. I threw a jacket from the closet over his face, then slid the door closed, deciding to leave it open just a crack...didn't want to make it too hard for the half-wits to figure out.
Lastly, the evidence. All I would need was a simple object with her fingerprints. Thats all that mattered to the New York Police Department. The first thing for me to notice was the home phone. It would have his fingerprints as well, but, that wouldn't be abnormal for a knife used around the house. I took the knife out of my bag, unwrapped it carefully and brought it to the kitchen counter. A simple roll of tape was enough to lift the prints off the telephone and replace them onto the knife handle. Shortly after that I put the knife in the sink, and it was done. The police were close to arriving and I had fifteen seconds to spare after starting the truck once more. Within that time I was on another street, and a good criminal would know not to stick around to witness the outcome. I already knew what would happen, how it would come together, and that it wouldn't fall apart. Perhaps if CSI actually existed I should be worried, but this now...this was nothing...nothing but an ugly habit to clear my head.
After a trip back to the gas station, I returned home. The empty apartment I'd lived at for two years this coming August. It was dull, a beige carpet throughout the bedroom to the livingroom, hardwood floor in the small bathroom. It was all I needed, all I wanted. I liked alone, although...I never really was. Only at times like this, where my mind was silent and refreshed, was when I was really alone. Their voices couldn't enter at times like these. What went on in other people's minds was something I wish I never knew...this was just my way of dealing with it.
It was a simple task to beat that record of four minutes by now.

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