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The Last exit to Easton

by Syed Arabi Khalique 12 months ago in fiction · updated 6 days ago
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The ashes of ones mistake

"The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. And through that window, you could bear witness to a crime, bloodtrails of which can still be found in today's society" Terry Benedict, Captain of Philadelphia PD.

Right outside Easton, PA there used to be an old abandoned barn. The barn was connected to an adjacent farm but ever since the last owner's death in 1959, it remained forgotten. It was a big barn, capable of housing someone's entire livestock. Even though it was old and haunted, to some eyes it would still be beautiful, surrounded by lush greenery and a small, flowing stream.

It was on a stormy night when a cloaked man entered the barn, 23 years after the last man that entered it. The cloaked man was gasping as he ran in, as if he had been running for a while. Laying down in a corner, the man took heavy breaths. Taking out a small bottle from his coat, he opened it and started drinking. Outside, a storm was raging, with the lightning illuminating the wild landscape and the thunder rumbling the night Earth. Inside, the mysterious cloaked man stood up, taking out a small brown notebook from his side pocket. He glanced over the pages and smiled.

There were sounds of cars coming, engines roaring against the backdrop of rain and thunder. He heard it and quickly lit a match, holding it to the book and then dropping it to the ground. The book caught fire, and as there was hay around, the entire barn was in flames soon.

If a talented writer or a poet was to see the scene, he would have rejoiced, for even though a storm was raging and a barn was burning, there was something almost bewitching about the burning red flames, soaring through the high winds and rain, the lightning and thunder only adding more to the beauty.

160 miles away from Easton, in the city of Baltimore the night before, a bride was getting ready for her wedding, which was happening at her brother's mansion. She was putting her final touches, and when she finished she looked at the mirror. The bride looked elegant, with a marveling radiance around her. There was also something really innocent about her, perhaps the watery blue eyes...

This was to be her day, the day she married the love of her life. All the decorations outside, with the sparkly light and the songs, gave her this feeling of elation, the perfect wedding for a perfect life.

Suddenly a knock on the bride's door. It was her brother, followed by her aunt and cousin. Something had happened and everyone was hesitant to say anything until the brother gave the news. The news was grave and the bride fainted upon hearing it, that her father had been murdered.

Detective Lewis Osuran, with the Philadelphia Police , was called late afternoon. A man had been murdered in a wedding house, and the suspect's car was sighted in Philly. He was agitated, to say the least, since he had been working all night but the caller, who was the Deputy Police Commissioner, gave him the importance of the case. The victim's son was a rich and powerful man, with many significant political connections. It was simple, the suspect had to be caught or otherwise the Philly police department could come under great scrutiny.

On the way to the spot where he was told the car was spotted, an officer radioed, saying that the car was not there but was found abandoned near a barn in Easton. Lewis heard that and quickly changed his course.

The wedding was at a standstill. They didn’t know what to do. It would be disrespectful to carry on with the wedding when the bride’s father was just murdered. At the same moment, anyone who knew the man would say that he would say to carry on with the wedding. He wanted his funeral to be filled with people smiling, and what a better place to do that than a wedding.

However, the bridegroom objected. He couldn’t go with the wedding the very day his father-in-law had been murdered, so upon his saying they postponed the wedding to the following day and the funeral to be held whenever the body had been returned from post-mortem.

Upon reaching the car, Lewis asked the officer near the car what was happening. The officer briefed him, saying that the man couldn’t go that far in that horrible weather, so the officers were out looking the mystery man. Just as they were talking, the barn erupted in flames. Lewis ran towards it, with the officer radioing for backup.

A man could be seen escaping from the barn. Lewis instinctively started chasing the man, who was wearing a black cloak. Against the stormy background, They both were running. Even though Lewis was in great shape, he was finding it hard to keep up with the runner. Just as he was about to give up, the runner tripped, falling down and hitting the ground hard.

Lewis grabbed him by the collar and picked him up. The man in the cloak caught Lewis by surprise, stabbing him with a butterfly knife. It didn’t, however, end well for the mystery men either, since he was shot by the other officer almost instantly.

The stab wasn’t that bad, so Lewis was able to get up and look over the body. The man was a tall, dark haired eastern European man, probably Russian. They checked his pockets, and they found a very curious notebook.

The notebook had only one page used, but what they found was gold.

There were instructions on it which will be given verbatim.

1) Go to 22nd Berevil street and ask for Jimmy Henson.

2) Tell him about the offer we gave him, and if he doesn’t take it, kill him.

3)Then look for a small brown notebook, on which you will find the information about the location of the body.

4) Go to the location and then burn everything to ashes. The notebook and the body and everything you see in sight.

5) Report to me exactly 7 months later, the money I gave you before should be enough for now. You come 7 months later with the job done, you will receive what you asked for, and a small gift as a sign of goodwill among us.

He read the page and understood one part of it, Jimmy Henson had a reason to be killed.

The next day, Lewis went to the wedding. It was a grand wedding and the mansion was fit for it. Dignitaries with their beauties, and old hags with their dogs all were present at that wedding. He was looking around all the corners, when he found Mrs Henson.

Explaining the situation to her, he got the key to their house in 22nd Berevil street. The house was only 8 minutes away walking, so he walked.

On reaching the house, he immediately started searching for clues, anything that could point to why Jimmy Henson was murdered. Four hours went by and nothing was found, until he happened to come across a partially burnt piece of paper in the fireplace. The remaining paper only had 1 sentence, “ Please stop blackmailing me”.

It became clear to Lewis as to what happened. Jimmy was blackmailing somebody, who couldn’t take it anymore and paid somebody to take care of him. Lewis realized, rather ruefully, that the police work just began.

The Philadelphia police tried their best, so did the Baltimore police but they couldn’t find identity of the man who ordered the murder of Jimmy Henson. Jimmy’s son used all his connections but it yielded nothing. No clues or witnesses or even theories came out of those investigations. Only thing that did come out was a burnt body from the barn, the very body the note mentioned for the Russian to burn. It was burned completely and gave the police nothing on the perpetrators. At the end the body was buried as John Doe.

The case closed as the culprits couldn't be found but if you were to ask Detective Lewis who had Jimmy Henson killed, he would say it was the Devil.

fiction

About the author

Syed Arabi Khalique

I am a cyber security student who loves writing about the weird and the unusual, sometimes grotesque even.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insight

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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