The Mystery Box
Sara lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment with her two cats, Princess-a Blue Russian, and Scarface-a Tuxedo. Since it was Saturday, she took a lazy day for herself. She laid on the couch and was watching Lifetime curled up in a tan blanket while both of her cats rested on her. She dozed off for a few minutes.
When she woke up, Sara walked into the kitchen to get a glass of orange juice. As she walked by the dining room table, she noticed a small, unmarked package sitting there. 'How did that get here', she thought. She picked it up and noticed that it was light. She smelled it wondering if maybe it was a candle, but no smell came from the box. When she shook the box gently, she could hear something small moving around inside the box.
Sara picked up the phone and called her friend Grant to come over. He showed up about fifteen minutes later and she explained to him how the package was just sitting on her dining room table, with no idea of where it could have come from. "It wasn't there this morning when I laid down on the couch with the cats."
"I wonder how it got here." He began checking all the doors, but they were all closed and none of them looked tampered with. "Was your front door unlocked?"
"No, I unlocked it when you showed up. The sliding glass doors are not locked."
"But you are on the third floor." Grant was baffled by how the package had come to be. "Maybe we should open it."
"I don't think so. Maybe we should call the police."
There was a knock at the door. When Sara opened the door, two policemen were standing there.
"Are you Sara Benefield?"
"Why yes, I am. How can I help you"
"Do you know someone by the name of Dawson Gumphrey?"
She took a deep breath and with worry in her eyes, she said "that's my ex-husband. I haven't seen him for months."
"I hate to tell you this ma'am, but he was murdered last night."
She nearly collapsed when the female officer caught her before she fell to the floor. "I can't believe it. Do you know who did it?" The officer sat her down in the chair next to the couch.
"We have a few leads but no suspects in custody yet. When was the last time you spoke to him?"
"I would have to say around April of last year. We haven't really spoken since the divorce. You see, he used to hit me and that is why we got divorced." She cupped her hands over her face as she cried.
Grant walked over to her with a box of tissues. He placed his hand on her shoulder as if to comfort her. "Officer, just before you got here, Sara found this box on her table and doesn't know where it came from. Would you mind opening it, please." He handed them the small box.
The tall muscular officer took the box, grabbed his knife from his side and opened the box slowly. He was shocked at its contents. "Where did you say you got this box from?"
"I was taking a nap on the couch and when I woke up it was sitting on my dining room table. Why, what is in it," she asked.
He showed it to his partner. "Ms. Sara Benefield, you are under arrest for the murder of your ex-husband Dawson Gumphrey." He began reading her her rights as the female officer raised her up out of the chair and turned her around to place the cuffs on her.
She spoke shakily, "What was in the box? I don't understand."
"You will once we get you down to the station."
The ride to the police station was long and stressful. She had no idea what was going on. What had they found in the box to incriminate her? Who killed Dawson? These questions eluded her. How could they even think that she possibly had something to do with his murder? Several thoughts ran through her mind such as who did she know that could have done it?
Once they reached the police station, they took her out of the car and placed her in an interrogation room. After they uncuffed her, they left the room and said a detective would be in soon. She sat down for a while lost with her thoughts that were running ramped. She got up and was pacing the floor when the detective walked in. She placed Dawson's file on the table in front of Sara along with a notepad and pen.
She was short with long blonde hair put up in the back. She wore a navy, blue suit with heels to make her look taller. "My name is, Dixie Lot. I'm here to find out what happed to Mr. Gumphrey. What can you tell me?"
"Well, today I woke up and had a small package sitting on my dining room table, unopened. I called my friend Grant over to help me figure out where it came from. I was going to call the police when I got a knock at the door telling me about Dawson. Like I told the officers, I haven't seen or talked to him since April of last year when we divorced. He used to beat on me."
"Ah, there it is. You killed him out of revenge."
"No! I don't know what happened to him."
Dixie opened the file on the table and pulled out pictures of Dawson's body. He has been stabbed several times. Whoever done it was very angry with him.
"Just tell me something. What did y'all find in the box at my apartment?"
"Like you don't already know. It was the bloody knife that killed your ex-husband. We are checking it for prints and DNA now."
"Good, you won't find my prints on it because I never opened the box."
"You are going to be difficult aren't you Ms. Benefield." Dixie got up and left the room leaving the file and gory pictures on the table.
Sara started looking through the file for clues. The more she read the sicker she got from the pictures. She turned them over, so she didn't have to look at them. Dawson didn't have a girlfriend that they had noted down. Even Grant knew that they hadn't see or talked to each other in over a year. Why were they blaming her when she had them to open the package?
When Dixie finally returned, she said, "we found footage from a bar last night that he had visited."
"And..." Sara cut her off.
"And he was seen with a woman that looks a lot like you except that she had black hair instead of brown."
"What do you think happened?"
"Well, we don't know for sure yet, but he left on his motorcycle with this woman. Where were you last night?"
"I was at work at the bookstore."
"We aren't going to rule you out yet but as of right now, you are free to leave. Don't leave town." she demanded.
Sara got up and walked out of the room. She turned around, "can I borrow your phone to call a ride?"
"Someone named Grant is in the lobby waiting on you already."
She walked down the hallway and immediately saw Grant sitting in a chair waiting for her. "Thank you for coming."
"I knew you didn't do it. Let me take you home."
They rode in his gray Honda back to her apartment. "Do you mind taking me to Moonshiners bar where Dawson was at last night?" They rode past her apartment and went on to the bar. When she walked in, the bartender recognized her almost immediately.
"You're the one who left with Dawson last night."
"No, I'm not. I'm his ex-wife. Where is the woman who left with him last night?"
"I'm looking at her."
Frustrated, Sara decided to walk around to see if she could find the woman. The bartender wasn't the only one who recognized Sara as the woman she was looking for. It wasn't until she ran into Dawson's friend Bobby that someone actually believed her.
"Sara. I haven't seen you in ages." He laid down the pool stick.
"Bobby, I'm looking for the woman that left with Dawson last night."
"I had never seen her before, but she resembles you almost to a 'T'. Why are you looking for her?"
"You don't know? Dawson was murdered last night, and they think I did it."
"I can see why. I think maybe she was a drifter."
"Will you go talk to the police for me?" she asked almost pleading.
A few days went by. Sara kept to her routine, hoping they find this woman so that she herself wasn't the prime suspect. She didn't hear from the police, but it was all over the news. A few customers at the bookstore even thought that Sara was the woman when the news played the video footage from the bar. She continued to ignore them and tried her best to get her job done without interruptions.
Her cell phone rang but she didn't recognize the number. "This is Sara."
"This is Dixie, the lead detective on your ex-husbands case. We finally found the woman in the video one-hundred and fifty miles out of town. She had stolen his bike which made it easier for us to find her. Let me tell you, this woman truly resembles you, I almost mistook her for you when we found her. She admitted to murdering Dawson and said that he had hit her. That's all it took to set this woman off."
"Thank you for calling. I'm glad she admitted to it. Did she say anything about the box that was left in my apartment?"
"Yes, she said she climbed up the balconies to your apartment and snuck in while you were asleep to frame you because she knew y'all looked so much alike."
"Thank you again, for all your help. Bye."
About the Creator
Tabitha Kristy Spears
I like to write fantasy stories and create a new world that doesn't exist yet or maybe it already does exist. I am happily married with an adult son and a teenage football player. I have several cats and dogs that I have rescued also.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Wow 😳 good story!