The Detective Story

by Ruichuan

“We have a…situation,” a bald man stated as he ran into the roadside office, breathing

hardly.

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

back seat.

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

underground dungeon.

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,

feeling insulted.

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

main topic.”

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

detective stopped.

“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

laughing.

“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

the wound.

“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.”

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