Sunday, May 12, 2013
Sitting on the rooftop, I watched the commotion happening on the ground. Ambulances, police and fire were all on the scene as the inner city apartment complex glowed amber as flames licked the sky.
A smile curled upon my face as I watched the firemen run towards the building, hose at the ready. I could hear them shout, just not clearly, and suddenly the hose spurted forth the cooling liquid, dosing the flames.
I could see the embers floating in the night sky. They glowed so brightly, coming to rest on the street below. It was so pretty. My mother would have enjoyed the colors mingling, dancing together on the darkened background of the tar road.
Ah, my mother. The woman who gave me life. The woman who loved me unconditionally, regardless of the headlines I made. She always stood by me, even visiting me during my incarceration after my Valentine’s Day murders. She always believed in me.
I watched as the firemen continued to shout to each other, battling to be heard over the roar of the flames. I could see them clearly despite the thick black smoke. Soon they would discover that I had struck again.
It amazed me how the massacre on St. Patrick’s Day had never been pinned on me. I was never questioned over it. It was as though the authorities had forgotten about me. It was as though I was nothing to them.
This time around, they would remember my name. My face would be plastered over televisions the city wide; maybe even across the entire country.
Leaning back on my hunches, I turned my gaze from the firemen to the police who were interviewing neighbors.
I could hear very clearly the hysterics in which Mrs. Alderman from next door was in. She continued asking where my mother was.
“Do you know if she was inside?” I heard the officer ask. Mrs. Alderman shook her head, tears streaming down her frail face. The officer asked her a few more questions including had she seen anyone acting suspiciously. Once again, Mrs. Alderman shook her head, barely able to contain her hysterics as she watched the blazing fire engulf the house.
I smiled, scrambling to my feet and making my way to the other side of the roof. I climbed down the ladder of the fire escape and returned to my car. Climbing into the driver’s seat, I turned the key and felt the smile on my face broaden.
Rounding the corner I turned on the radio, listening intently for a news report. I knew once the fire was under control, the firemen and police would comb the burnt out house, searching for clues as to what possibly could have started the fire. My mother was a smoker so I made sure that what ignited everything was a still burning cigarette. But I didn’t want to make things too easy for them so I left a very particular message that could be pinned on any one of her four children but especially on my bother, Todd.
Todd only ever went to Mother when he needed money. He was always in financial trouble. His wife left him because of his debts and gambling addictions. This was well documented and the neighbors knew it.
I parked the car, and climbed out, popping open the trunk and removing the corpse of my brother, Todd.
I shifted him into the driver’s seat, his head slumping on the steering wheel, his wrists slashed as a sign of guilt over what he had done.
I quickly tossed a heart shaped box on the seat next to him. The box contained the heart that I had so brutally cut out of Mother while she slept. The clue I left for the police on the wall of her bedroom would be helpful in locating it.
I smoothed his hair back, staring into his lifeless eyes. “You should have treated Mother better,” I told him, closing the door and walking over to my car. As I opened the door, I heard more sirens in the distance.
I climbed into my car and drove home to await the phone call from the police.
It wasn’t until the wee hours of the morning that my phone rang with an Officer Jenkins asking me to come down to the station.
Throwing on a pair of jeans and T-shirt, I obliged, my insides churning with excitement.
Once at the prescient I looked around at the busy police officers and detectives running back and forth from desk to desk. Then a burly looking man approached me, introducing himself as Officer Jenkins.
He took me into a small room and told me that they found the body of my mother in her burnt out home.
My reaction was as genuine as I could make it. He told me that she had been murdered and that the house was burned down to cover up the crime.
“B-b-b-but who would do something like that?” I stammered, tears welling up in my eyes.
“You for starters,” the officer replied, pulling out my file which included the Valentine’s Day murders.
“Those charges were dropped,” I pointed out. “And I certainly didn’t kill my mother. I was in Burkesdale on business all week. I got back last night. Check with my office.”
Officer Jenkins called in another officer to verify my story. I drummed my fingers on the table top as I waited. Sure enough a few minutes later the officer returning, confirming what I had just said.
Officer Jenkins seemed surprised but continued to question me, asking if there was anyone I knew of that had a grudge against my mother.
“Well, Mr. Alderman, the man next door, always had a beef with Mother over an over-hanging tree that crept into his yard. Then there’s my brother Todd who used Mother like a cash machine. Come to think of it, Todd called me the other day asking for a loan because Mother had cut him off.”
An eyebrow arched on Officer Jenkins’ forehead. He thanked me and ushered me out of the room.
As I walked through the rows of detectives I caught sight of their computers. I paused, reading the screen with joy. They had found it; the poem I left for them. Well, rather, the poem that Todd had left for them before he butchered Mother.
My lips moved as I read the words. “’M’ was for the murderous look she gave me. ‘O’ meant only that she was weak and old. ‘T’ is for her terror as she fought me. ‘H’ is for her heart that I now hold. ‘E’ is for her eyes swiftly dimming. ‘R’ means rot, and soon rotting she will be. Put them all together and they spell ‘MOTHER’, a word that means a corpse to me.”
“I’m sorry you had to see that, sir.”
I jumped, turned around. A young attractive police woman stood behind me, her chestnut brown hair framing her round face. Her dark green eyes were like two sparkling emeralds that were placed in her eye sockets.
“It’s alright,” I told her, waving my hand dismissively at the screen. “It just confirmed my suspicions. I think my brother, Todd, is behind this. Pissed off that Mother cut him off financially.”
The young officer nodded and promised to call me with any other news. She handed me her card and told me that if I thought of anything else to give her a call. I promised I would, accepting her card and walking out the police headquarters front door.
I climbed back into my car and placed my hands on the steering wheel. I clucked my tongue before looking upwards as though I was praying to the Heavens.
“Happy Mother’s Day, Mother,” I said before starting the ignition and driving off.