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Some are strange, real strange.

By Grant WhitehurstPublished 3 years ago 6 min read
Photo by Andreas Selter on Unsplash

“I need you to take me out to the desert and leave me to die alone.”

He was fully settled in the backseat and I didn’t know how to answer such a statement. I could tell he was in pain.

“I’m wounded and I’m dying. Just follow the GPS. I’ll let you know where to stop. Don’t try to take me to a hospital. If you do, I’ll kill you. Just follow the GPS.”

I didn’t argue. I drove out Redwood Road and turned right and drove toward Faust.

“Take this left.” It was an unpaved road. “Here’s a hundred. Slow down and take your time.” He dropped the bill in the empty passenger seat in the front.

“Thanks,” I said without looking over to confirm the amount of the bill.

“Take this next left. Here’s another hundred.” He dropped another bill next to the last one. I kept driving and said nothing. My life had been threatened and I really didn’t know what to say or if I should even speak.

“You got any classical music?”

“Yes. It’s in the console. CD’s. You want me to pull over and put one in?”

“Yeah. That’d be nice.”

I stopped in the middle of the road. No other cars were anywhere in sight. We were in the desert. I found a compilation CD and put it in. I drove on. I never looked back to see my passenger.

“That’s nice. You got good taste in music, my man. Thanks.” We drove on for several minutes.

“Make a left here.” This road was narrower than the last and I had to drive slower. “Here’s another hundred. I know this road is rough on your car, but there’s a certain place I need to get to.”

We came to an open gate. “Go on through. It’s my gate.”

We came to a pile of tailings from an old mine. “Go to that hole up there.”

Just ahead, the headlights illuminated a square hole in a rock. I drove forward.

“This is good, Greg. Thanks for everything. Here’s the rest of my cash. I won’t need it.” He dropped several more bills on the seat.

“By the way, my real name is Terry. Mel is an alias. Take care of yourself and I apologize if I bled on your seat or made you uncomfortable.”

He got out and I saw him step out in front of the car and walk towards the hole in the rock. He looked back, holding his arm across the upper part of his torso. I could see the blood stain, now. He looked back, smiled feebly, winked, and I could just hear him say, “Goodbye.” He disappeared in the hole of the rock.

I’d done for him everything he asked, but somehow I felt I could have done more. I turned the car around and drove home, about forty-five minutes away. When I parked, I picked up the bills and counted them. They were all hundreds and amounted to thirty-five hundred. I would have been thrilled, but the sight of him looking back with a smile and waving goodbye, haunted me. Instead of going in, I backed out and went to an ATM and deposited the money.

When I got back to my house, I inspected the backseat. There was no blood. But I did find a black notebook. I picked it up and leafed through it. Only five pages had writing. The rest were empty. I went in, showered, and went to bed. I didn’t sleep well.

Three hours later I was up and driving back to the mine. I knew it might be a deadly mistake, but I had to check on him. I had a bottle of fine liquor and two bottles of white wine. I also had thireen Tylenols with codeine.

I got to the mine just as dawn was breaking. I approached the opening and called out, “Mel.”

I got no answer. I stepped in and said in a normal volume, “Mel?”

I heard him answer with a grunt. I looked over to the right, and saw him sitting on the bare floor leaning against the wall.

“You left this book in my car. I thought I’d bring it back to you with some liquor and pain killers.”

“Damn. You may be the first friend I’ve ever had. Thanks.”

I handed him the book, the liquor and wine, and the pills. He produced a little flashlight from a pocket of his vest. The vest had many pockets and no doubt, many things inside each one.

“Here. Hold this light for me.”

I held the light as steady as I could, remembering the abuses I’d suffered for not holding it still for my Dad, decades ago. He examined the pills.

“These are good. This Kentucky Brown is some smooth liquor. It and the pills ought to do the trick. Sit down and let me tell you about the book.”

I sat next to him leaning against the rock wall as he was doing. He took a drink of the wine and wiped his lips with the back of his hand. The light of day was lending the cavity more light.

“I’m a hired killer. Not a hit man. Being a hit man takes too much work and planning. People call me. If they need someone killed that truly deserves to be killed, I take the job. Most of my clients were the wives of wealthy men that abused them physically and most often, mentally. The writing on the five pages in this book are simple enough. They’re phone numbers and addresses of my last five clients. They owe me. I don’t press them. They’ll pay me. They just need a little time to get they’re affairs in order. They all owe me 75 grand. I have a collector that picks up the money for me. My clients never see my face.”

He took another drink of wine and lit a cigarette.

“I’ve always known to never underestimate a target, but that last one was so small and frail. I guess the little shit learned in prison the value of keeping a shank on him at all times, cause he sure got me with it.”

“You didn’t have to come back here, but I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know. So I’m gonna do you a solid, Bro. I’m gonna call Danny and he’s going to deliver the collections to you. The story is, and remember this good, is that I’m in an undisclosed area recuperating and only you know where it is. That’s the story. All you gotta do is check with him once a week at the Shady Strip Dance Club. There’s a bar stool reserved for him at the end of the bar every Tuesday night at fifteen minutes til close. He’ll always be there. You just walk up to him and say, “I’m Mel’s doppleganger.” He’ll either hand you an envelope with seventy grand in it, or he’ll say, ‘See me next week, Mate.’ He keeps five grand for a collection fee.”

He took another drink of wine and thumped his cigarette at another hole in the cavity where it disappeared. This was obviously an old mine that hadn’t been worked in a while.

“That’s all there is to it. Keep it simple. All you say is, ‘I’m Mel’s doppleganger and nothing else. You don’t even say Thanks. Got it?”

“Sure, Mel. And thank you.”

“Now get out of here. I’ve got some very personal business to take care of. And don’t come back. You can’t help me without getting me thrown in prison, and I ain’t goin’ there. Now go on, scram.”

I left fully understanding Mel’s decision and felt good about going back with the pills and alcohol. It would make it easier for him to take the next steps of his plan.

When I got to the Shady Strip Club, I went directly to Danny and said, “I’m Mel’s doppleganger.” He handed me a fat brown envelope and said, “It went smooth this week. All five outstanding are in here. Tell Mel to call me.”

Remembering Mel’s last words, I only nodded and left, saying nothing. I left town two days later.


About the Creator

Grant Whitehurst

61 years on planet Earth

Graduate of Mercer University

Served my country. Showed a willingness to die for it. U.S Army

I study the paranormal, UFO’s and aliens, cryptids

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