Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chapter 10 - “A Body for a Ghost”


by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

(Copyright 2011 Kevin Paul Shaw Broden)

Chapter 10 - “A Body for a Ghost”

The Packard Touring Car took the corner sharply and went faster than it was intended to, especially on the streets of Manhattan. Harris J. Brown refused to believe what his son-in-law had told him only minutes before.

Donald Raymond held tightly to his seat as Brown sped down the road barely missing two pedestrians and a fruit stand. He hated having to tell his father-in-law that his son Adrian was dead, and really hated the fact that he was also lying about how it happened.

Margaret and he had quickly worked up a story that morning. She had gone over to visit her brother with a friend only to find the door open and Adrian dead on the floor. They hoped Brown and the police would believe that a thief had shot his son. They couldn’t tell him that Adrian had been a masked vigilante.

Ten minutes later they pulled on to the street of Adrian’s apartment. The road was crowded with onlookers wanting to know why police were coming in an out of the building. Two men in white smocks were carrying a gurney between them with an ominous shape beneath a sheet.

Even before Donald could get his door open, Brown was out of the car and rushing toward the truck the men were loading the body in to.

“Damn you, out of the way. That’s my son, let me see!”

He pushed one of the men aside and yanked back the sheet.

“Oh, Lord. What happened here,” he shouted, “who did this to my son?”

“That’s what we intend to find out, Mr. Brown.” He angrily turned and saw a police detective approaching him flashing a badge, “Police Detective Monroe.”

“You know who I am?”

“Yes, I just got done speaking with your daughter and her friend. They had the terrible experience of finding the body.”

Donald had joined his wife who looked more concerned than frightened. Her friend Vivian, on the other hand, was shaking with terror. Margaret hugged her husband.

“How are you,” He asked her as they made eye contact. She was more upset for having to lie to her father and friend than the death of her brother. After all she had over twelve hours to deal with that all ready.

“I’m surviving.”

“Who would do such a thing to Adrian,” Vivian said through tear-chocked breaths, “he was always so nice.”

“I’m sure the police will figure it out,” Donald tried to reassure her.

“Oh, yes, the police,” Margaret said as if it was a forgotten thought, “that’s Detective Monroe talking with daddy. We should ask if there is anything else we can do.”

They approached her father and the detective and found them in deep discussion.

“They need to take the body to the coroner to complete their report,” Monroe was trying to lead Brown away without much success.

“I will not allow my son to be further molested after everything that has happened.”

“Sorry sir, but I must insist.”

“Do you know who I am,” Brown rose himself up to face the policeman.

“You’re a father grieving over the loss of his son. That’s all you are to me.”

Brown growled at the detective, but the fire was going out of his belly.

“Daddy, please!” Margaret came up to her father. “Don’t make this any worse. It’s going to be hard enough telling Mommy what happened without you getting arrested.”

Brown looked at his daughter and he seemed to shrink several inches, she was right of course. He was going about this the wrong way.

“Raymond,” he shouted at his son-in-law, trying to stoke that fire once more and handed over the keys to the Packard, “get my daughter away from this horrible place. I’m going with Adrian.”


“No argument out of you young lady, and don’t say anything to your mother. I’ll tell her,” his voice fell to a whisper and then climbed into the truck, next to the body of his son.

Seeing that made Margaret cry again, but she held it in as the Police Detective turned to them.

“Mr. Raymond,” Monroe addressed Donald, “may I speak with you and your wife for a moment.” His tone was clear.

“Vivian, would you mind waiting for us in the car,” Donald said to the distraught girl who only nodded and headed for the Packard.

There were several people on the street that lived in the apartment building, and they were all staring at them. The Detective saw that and lead the couple to a more secluded location.

“You’re brother died sometime last night,” Monroe informed them, looking up from his notebook and putting it away.

“Yes?” Donald asked.

“His neighbors are rather closed lipped. They’re good at keeping secrets, but did say he was visited by a couple late last night.”

Donald and Margaret exchanged glances.

“A young couple much like yourselves.”

“We were at home…” Margaret realized she had snapped a little too quickly, and the Detective recognized it.

“Yes you were. I had one of my men call back to the precinct and found that you were being visited by some of my fellow offices about the same time. A break in, I understand?”

“That’s correct,” Donald covered for his wife, “a man had gotten into our apartment but was gone by the time the police arrived.”

“Gone from your penthouse apartment?”

“Yes,” they knew he didn’t believe them.

“Well, it does provide you with an alibi.”

“Why would we need an alibi?” Margaret said, she was getting scared again.

“You wouldn’t Mrs. Raymond, but I believe the body was moved.”

“Moved? How would the body have been moved?” Donald asked now sounding worried.

“For one thing,” the Detective looked at him, “there wasn’t enough blood for someone who had died that way. He bled out someplace else.”

“Oh, God,” Margaret whispered.

“I should put this into my report,” Monroe looked at them both, and saw their fear growing.

“Of course you should, Detective,” Donald was trying to act strong, “there was a crime committed.”

“I should put it in my report,” the Detective repeated, “but he wouldn’t approve.”

“He?” Margaret looked up at him.

“Who wouldn’t approve?” Donald asked.

A razor thin smile grew across the Detective’s serious face.

“The Masked Ghost.”

They were both stunned by the worlds.

“Go home Mr. and Mrs. Raymond. The day is only beginning.” With that he turned and walked back to his men leaving the couple frozen in shock.

To Be Continued…

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