It was just the perfect opportunity. Disaster had struck unexpectedly in his favor and he intended to grab it immediately. The past few months had become very harrowing as the noose around his neck got tighter that at times he felt out-rightly choked.
To sleep was proving more difficult for Eric and as each day passed, he spent insomniac nights chewing Pepto Bismol to calm his nervous stomach. The unexpected wave of staff lay-offs at the firm was getting a bit too sporadic and uncomfortable and the forthcoming audit would surely give rise to a whole lot of eyebrows and dust trail.
It had been cool running’s over the past years but disappearing without trace was no longer as easy as before. Now it seemed luck was smiling at him with the massive train wreck that had just occurred. The ensuing inferno and mangled wreck had left so many dead and burnt beyond description.
It was simply luck that his appointment in the neighboring city; San Francisco which was a three hours train ride away from home had been delayed and he had missed catching the train by mere minutes. He had tussled with the idea of changing his ticket for a later train or hanging out in town and scratching some itch, when the news of the accident broke.
Eric felt it was providence; even though he really didn’t believe in God. It was time to move on and to cover his tracks as usual. His steps grew lighter as he turned back and caught a cab back into town, his thoughts firing on as he quickly made his plans.
He pondered briefly on which color of contact lens he should use this time around. Should he grow his hair a few inches with a nicely trimmed goatee moustache or a full beard? He had fancied the scruffy yet debonair look of George Clooney a couple of months ago. Paired with scholarly glasses, he could definitely cut the image of a confident man who had it all figured out.
Having to keep up appearances over the past few years and maintaining Emily and his two little girls in style meant dipping his fingers deeply into the company till. A closer scrutiny of the accounts will definitely nail his coffin and he could not afford the beam of light which would shine on him; it could open a whole can of worms which were better left firmly closed.
He was also almost a hundred per cent sure that someone had been watching him very closely of recent. Anonymous little notes had started appearing in odd places with names and words supposedly known only by him. It really was time to skip town.
A little part of him would miss his daughters, he thought. “No matter, they will have to get by without me”, he quickly reassured himself. They were the reason he had tarried a bit longer than usual. Emily was not known for her brightness and she would never think beyond the fact that he died in the train wreck. She would mourn him appropriately.
It was still a sore point for him when he thought of how he had been had. He hated to think of the time he wasted courting Emily and how quickly she had succeeded in hustling him down the aisle, only for it to turn out that his father in law was actually not as wealthy or as generous as he had anticipated.
With only Emily as her fathers sole heir, he had been sure a life in the lap of luxury was guaranteed, and it was a rude shock to help the old man kick the bucket only to find most of his wealth tied up in useless stocks and paying gambling debts. Settling down to a job was novelty and in no time, he was back to his old tricks.
He was feeling very upbeat as he first went to the town’s library to research the deaths and births records. He settled on the name Karl Sutton. It had a nice ring to it. His next stop was at the bank where he withdrew some of his booty and then to his rented storage space where he pulled out another stash of cash he had been tucking away.
Checking into a nice motel, he decided to freshen up and enjoy a bit of the town before buying a ticket to check out to Boston. His mind had settled on Boston; it was far enough.
That was the beauty of it all. Good old United States of America was big enough that a man could choose to get lost if he so wished. From San Francisco/California to Boston was a clear cross country journey of four days by train and a five to six hours non stop flight.
He needed to worm his way quickly into the heart of a young impressionable Boston heiress and the way to go about that would be to gain admission into the exclusive country clubs and to attend the prestigious churches within that location.
His stolen booty would be useful in buying a lee way into these staunch epitomes of success. These days, money could buy you a whole lot, even a complete change of sex and identity if and when necessary.
Nobody cared to question the source anymore, except when you choose to run for a political office. That was not in Eric/Karl’s immediate ambitions. He would like to support those in power from the peripheries and with time such meatier ambitions could be achieved.
He made his way to The Dungeon and Skulls; the towns reputed pub with exceptional nocturnal services. In no time at all, he had two delectable ladies keeping him company at the bar. The red head looked very interesting with her charcoal black sultry eyes, the engaging mole on her upper lip and the very tight pussy-cat jump suit that she wore.
She kept leaning into his sides with her generous unbound bosom which he thought would burst out of the deep cleavage of her suit if care was not taken.
Karl was excited! The night was proving fruitful as he made his way back to his motel room with his lady of the night: Miss Red. Pouring a generous glass of brandy for both of them, he went to the washroom to retrieve his pack of emergency condoms and joined Miss Red, who was sipping and swaying gently to the croon of the music from the radio. She treated him to a nice peek-a-boo strip tease, as his light headed and excited body reclined deeper into the mattress. He felt very languid and did not offer much protest when she used silk scarves that she had extracted from her purse to tie his hands firmly above his head.
She crouched lower and he waited with bated breath for the anticipated titillation. She had him in the position that she wanted him. Pulling off her leather gloves which exposed fingers that had been twisted and mangled by fire burns, she removed her red wig, her fake upper lip mole, her eyelashes and contacts, whilst he watched in amazement.
She wiped her face clean of the heavy disguising make up that she had painstakingly perfected how to apply, leaving no illusions of her identity in his mind. She was his former accomplice and second wife in his line of bigamous marriages.
He struggled feebly as flashes of the burning house he had orchestrated came to his mind, his body felt heavy and his head was getting lighter by the minute. He was sure she had been taken care of in that fire; but that was apparently an erroneous assumption.
Opening her purse, she pulled out a .22 Magnum mini revolver— a tiny little five shot revolver, that packed a good punch. His eyes flashed in desperation as he pleaded and tried to negotiate with her.
Laughing scornfully, she told him that she had been waiting for a day such as this for a long time.
“Shh! Just keep quiet and die like a man.” Blowing him a mocking kiss she bid him good night.
Enunciating each of his aliases for each silent bullet that were carefully aimed: two for his groin – Karl Sutton and Eric Godson, one for his temple – Jesse Everness, one for his chest – Kurt McKnight and one in his stomach – Chase Reeves.
She wiped down every possible tell-tale sign of her presence, finished up her glass of brandy and tossed the snifter into her bag. She left a clear finger print free parcel propped by the noisy radio in the room, it was crammed full of incriminating pictures of his escapades.
Grabbing the duffel bag filled with money, she walked into the enveloping darkness of the night.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
Photo credit: Vector & Illustrations