“We have a…situation,” a bald man stated as he ran into the roadside office, breathing
As the stainless plate shone on his desk, revealing his name, John Smith replied
nonchalantly, “What is going on with the Mayday that you got here?”
“Detective Jim Delgado just confessed his guilt about half an hour ago, but he demanded that someone
explain how he committed the murder, and he asked especially for
you,” still breathing hardly, the bald man replied.
With his bronze lined eyeglasses flickering from the last strand of afternoon light from the west
window, Detective Smith stood up immediately and walked toward the mahogany closet that was located
near the office’s entrance. There, he took out a heavy black jacket, and paced toward the door.
“Where are you goin’ now? I need you to hear more of the details!” the bald man urged with a
sense of grief.
“I am going to visit Delgado at the jail. Did you not say he wanted to see me? I want to have a nice
long chat with him,” Detective Smith replied as he left through the door. Snow started to fly into the office
as the door slowly closed.
“This is going to be another of his stupid ‘competitions’,” Detective Smith thought to himself as
he climbed into a taxi. Cold snow was falling from the endless sky of northern England,
and accumulating on the roof tops of the homes and buildings of the rural town and the already leaf-less
trees. The cab steadily drove to the Custody House that was located roughly thirty minutes away from
Smith’s office. Smith observed a smattering of people walking briskly on the snow-covered side walks.
Always the detective, Smith tried to associate names with the faces he observed.
“What brings you to the Custody House?” the cab driver asked with a heavy German accent, a
sense of excitement in his words. It was apparent that he knew about the recent murder case and
the accusations against Jim Delgado.
“To meet an old friend, and possibly have a final word with him. You know him; he is the
hysterical man who calls himself the world’s greatest criminal consultant. This time he crossed the line,”
the detective replied numbly.
“Then you must be the guy that Delgado asked for. Be careful, he is as slippery as an eel.”
A moment of silence followed. John Smith answered with an undesirable tone, “Just stop here,
and keep the change.” When the cab stopped, the detective left a 10 pound note on the
Stepping onto the sidewalk made slippery by the accumulating snow, the detective plodded
toward the Custody House, a solitary figure alone in his thoughts.
The Custody House was not exactly a “house,” but rather a simple concrete structure with a
covered entrance and underground dungeons. The Custody House was protected with high surrounding
walls with tops spiked with barbed wire to discourage the desperate criminals from escaping.
Smith entered through the small door that was opened at the front gate. “Thank goodness those short-
sighted news reporters are not here. Life is a lot easier without them,” the Detective thought.
Taking his jacket off and putting it on top of the clothes hanger, Smith was eager to meet Delgado.
“The entrance of the cells is right after the red door there,” the registry lady said. “Take care
when you are walking down the steps and the floor, they’re slippery.”
With no reply, Detective Smith paced toward the red door and entered the black oblivion of the
After a few minutes, the detective’s eyes began to adjust to the darkness, and he spotted a dimly
illuminated dungeon from roughly about ten yards away.
“Can the jailer not put some salt on these bloody floors? Even a strong man walking on this floor
can slip off on these stones and crack his head open,” the detective thought.
“You know, you don’t have to hide your thoughts. I can see all the grief on your face,” a voice
shouted from the dungeon cell beyond.
“Since you know what I’m thinking, then you must know why I’m here” the detective replied,
Smith walked toward the dungeon cell, a man with a white tuxedo suit appeared from behind the
bars of the dungeon cell. “Yes, yes, you are going to tell me your deduction of how I did it, right? And by
the way, the jailers did not bother to put salts on the freezing floor because of they are disgusted by the
blood, both aged and recent, that has spilled upon the stones,” the suited man replied.
Despite the attempt to repulse him, Detective Smith said quietly, “Well, I thought I was going
to have a nice chat with you before your capital sentence is carried out. I assume now we can skip to the
The suited man grinned, “You have not changed at all, Mr. Iceman.” He started to walk in circle
in front of the visitor. “Now, tell me, tell me how I did it.”
With the tiniest indication of anger mixed with excitement, Smith started his oration.
“First of all, your murder was the result of long term procedure.”
John Smith took out an employment card that had the suited man’s face on it. “The first step of your plan
was faking an identity to get a position in the industry that the victim had worked in. After taking a position as
a cafeteria worker, everything else was just a waiting game for you. With an unnoticeable drop of mercury in
the victim’s meal every day, the poison was able to condense in her body over time and eventually….” The
“What is going on? Aren’t you goin’ to tell me how your wife died?” The suited man laughed.
Smith continued coldly, “As the victim started to experience pain and a swelling of her throat and
throughout her body, the poisoning was starting to take effect. She died on her bed, while I watched her suffer
in her final minutes, while you were in America…on vacation.”
“Nice, nice, what an interesting deduction of my ‘murder’ case.” Jim Delgado was laughing
hysterically. “Tell you a little secret, I was not involved in the murder of your wife.”
There was another moment of silence from Smith.
“How is it possible?! Her death makes no logical sense unless you were involved! …Her demise
was not even a little dirty trick to destroy me?!” John Smith finally shouted with rage.
“No. It was merely an allergy and the resultant severe infection that killed your wife. I faked my
identity to steal an important document from the mill’s owner. I was hoping to get something
exciting out of you, but apparently you are the same as those boring people!” Jim Delgado continued his
“You parasitic monster! You’re lying. You were the one who took my wife as a host. Taking
her life bit by bit, you also caused my suffering!” John Smith’s face twisted with anger. Suddenly, as he
moved away from the cell, he slipped on the floor. He felt his forehead split open and blood poured from
“You know what? I like the name of parasitic monster…because I am one. And you, Mr. Iceman,
were the host that I was feeding on. It is just so enjoyable to watch you lose control of your emotions and
run from place to place to find the ‘obvious’ clues that are not even there. Oh, my gracious, how do
I even find another person like you to be my next host? Thank very much, thank you for the endless joy,
my host! And you didn’t even know it.” The laughing ceased, and the suited man walked back to
his bench in the shadow of the cell.
After staring at the corpse, the man in prison picked up a worn book from the edge of his bench;
the book had a title: “Book of Lies.”
Outside, the endless snow continued with no one’s intervention.
Ruichuan is a sophomore. He says, “This is a short story that I wrote for my science class during my freshman year.”