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The Truth

A Short Story

By TestPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 3 min read
The Truth
Photo by John Doe on Unsplash

Richard Bransen was a famous actor. He was lying down in his bed with golden posts, reading the morning paper.

His maid, Isabella Dunken, was at his beck and call.

"Would you bring me a cappuccino please, dry?"

"Yes, sir," she replied, and curtsied as though they were in the middle ages —she had an odd fondness for Victorian times and always dressed to the nines.

Bransen was many things, but generous was indeed one of them.

***

At nine o'clock, Bransen was meeting with his ghostwriter, Donathen Hughes.

There was a knock on the door.

"Come in."

"So, we left off with you at the twelfth storey window, tempted to push your grandfather out of it."

The air was ominous.

"Did you?"

The man glared at his ghostwriter, shocked and befuddled.

"How dare you ask me such a question?"

Stone-faced, Donathen asked once more, "Did you?"

Twitching, Richard Bransen stared at the floor.

"Well, he was quite abusive to me, you know. When I was a child, he would let my mother beat me with absolutely no remorse. He never lifted a finger. Then, when I was older—"

He stopped mid-sentence, knowing he was not answering the question.

With furrowed brows, Donathen's eyes blazed into him, daring him to answer.

"Well, no. Not technically."

"Not technically? I would think this question requires a yes or no answer, sir."

The man chuckled deviously.

"You would think so, wouldn't you?"

He took a swig of his whiskey, even though it was only midday.

It helped him bear the company of this loudmouthed bastard who was writing down his entire life for the public.

Yes, the man had hired Hughes to do this job, but it didn't excuse his nosiness and downright arrogant attitude...

He put the drink down aggressively on the coffee table with a loud THUMP.

"Fine. If you must know, I hired someone."

The writer looked confused.

"Hired someone? Who exactly did you hire?"

"Leonara Thumpkin."

"Her whereabouts?"

Donathen had his notepad out, as if this was a juicy bit of gossip he had to record, rather than an actual admittance of the nature of the brutal murder of a 99-year old man.

"Dead."

"Dead?"

"Yes. She pushed him with too much force, and fell down right after him."

"Seems odd, if she's been hired to do such a job."

"Odd is an understatement. Are we done here?"

"Sure. Sure. We're done here. Fine."

Donathen Hughes stamped out of the room, wondering if he wanted to come back.

The man seemed dangerous, and hired hitmen—well hit-women—do not simply fall out of 12th storey windows by accident.

It was preposterous.

When he arrived home, Donathen searched for the apartment complex online—Mired Homes—and found the story of that particular incident. Then he typed down the name Leonara Thumpkin.

She had faked her own death, but that was a day after the alleged suicide of Burt Bransen—Richard's grandfather.

It was an entire internet scandal.

He had to dig for hours, but he eventually uncovered the truth. These days, she went by Sarah Thompson, and was a successful real estate agent in New York City.

Honestly, the nerve.

Why would Bransen lie, unless he knew something, or didn't know something?

He called Richard Bransen right that moment.

"Sir, did you know that Leonara Thumpkin is still alive and well? She's working under a different identity now."

"You're fired."

"B-but—"

BEEP. BEEP.

Bransen had immediately hung up the phone.

I know too much...

His phone rang once more. He picked it up, wondering who it might be.

"Hello. This is detective Ben Hodges. We hear you are working with Richard Bransen."

"Yes. Yes. I'm ghostwriting his memoir. Well, I was. I just got fired."

"That's probably for the best. We have reason to believe the man is a murderer. In fact, we are almost certain of it. The details are confidential, but you could be putting yourself in serious danger."

"Uh-uh, okay. Thank you, sir."

Hughes put down the phone in shock.

That bastard.

thriller

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