Category Archives: mystery

Enigma – a 1920’s Harlem Story

He stepped into the building, lowering his head so that he could clear the doorway without bumping into it. The rain water dripped off the rim of his Dobb and made a small puddle beneath him. The thick, wooden door closed behind him on its own. His dark trench coat was soaked with rain. His hat covered his eyes making himself appear even more mysterious as he stood there in the middle of the hallway.

Two officers walked towards him in the midst of a conversation of their own, “so I says to him, I says ‘no way in hell I’m taking the bait’ then you know what the guy says to me?”

The slim, white man answered his short, round accomplice, “what did he say to ya?”

“He says, ‘well, I took the bait already, and your wife loved it’.”

“What? I’da punched him square in the face!”

“Boy, I tell ya! If Sarg wasn’t there, I woulda done it! I sure woulda done it!”

The two, finally noticing him, stopped in front of the man as he stood motionless, silently waiting for someone to address him. The two officers looked at each other, then at the tall, mysterious man.  “Uh, can we help ya?”

Lighting lit up the sky, illuminating his face momentarily. Thunder boomed seconds later. He spoke in a deep, sonorous voice. “I need the homicide department.”

“Homicide?” the short round officer asked quizzically with his eyebrows folding together like an accordion,” and what’s the reason for that?”

“There’s been a murder.”

The Lightning lit up the sky again, illuminating the pistol he had tucked in his coat and the shotgun clenched inside his sleeve.  “Alright, buddy, hands in the air! Right now!” said the tall officer, drawing his pistol out.

The other officer soon followed and instantly, the whole building was alerted and flocked to the commotion, drawing their weapons as well. The man stood still, looking back and forth between all of the officers as the rain pummeled the building. He didn’t move. “Hands up or we will blow your freakin’ head off your shoulders!”

“Give me a reason! Just give me a reason why don’t ya!” the short round officer chimed in, the gun in his hand quivering as he tried to keep calm. The Sargent entered into the hallway. He stood a few feet in front of the man, staring him right in the eyes.  Both had the same build. Broad shoulders, wide chest, made more like linebackers than anything else. He was ready to wrestle him if need be.

“There won’t be no dead bodies in this precinct. Not on my watch! Sir, remove the weapons and sit them down in front of ya’.”

His southern accent was as thick as molasses. The precinct was in suspense. Some officers began to sweat; others nervously looked at what was going on. You could tell who were the leaders and followers. The man finally began to move and immediately, the click-clack sound of revolver hammers echoed. More hands shook. Thunder ensued. The man paused, seemingly making eye contact with all the officers at once.

“Slowly!” the sergeant bellowed. The man obliged. Lighting illuminated his face again. He was as dark as the clouds behind him. Slick, shiny skin like patent leather and smooth to the touch. The guns made a thud as he he kneeled and dropped them to the floor.  “Alright, boys! Cuff him!” Said the sergeant.  The officers rushed to him. Momentarily, the crises were averted.

He sat in the interrogation room.  The officers peered at him behind the double sided glass as if he was a zoo animal.  They examined him with their eyes, drawing their own conclusions and surmising every negative thing that could have happened to bring him here.  Inside the small room, he was handcuffed to a table with one chair across from him, waiting for the detectives to come in.

He leaned his head down, slowly inhaling and exhaling. What he did, he had no choice but to do. Suddenly, he heard footsteps. Not a man’s walk though, no, this was too seductive. It was too delicate. Stilettos, not Stacy Adams. As soon as he glanced up, she spoke with more of a smirk than a smile. He sat back in his chair and peered outside the double sided glass. He knew the officers were there. He had been in rooms like this before. He glanced at the door; it hadn’t moved since he sat down in the room over an hour ago.

“So, here we are. Again”, she said, running her manicured fingertips across the table.

“Here we are.”

“Awww, you don’t seem. Excited to see me. What’s wrong, baby?”

He squinted his eyes, looking back and forth between the glass and the woman, wondering if the officers saw what he did. To the officers, he had begun speaking to himself. They grew silent and were intrigued even more, “hey, hey sarg, you gotta come see this. This guy. He’s losing it.”

“You just can’t leave me alone, can you?” he said to the woman.

“No no nooo, I can’t. You see, you’ve got something… I need. Something I crave.” She stood up and began walking towards him, switching every bit of her behind as she took each step. “Something,” she ran her fingers across his shoulders, stopping to whisper in his ear, “I would kill for. Something I already have killed for. Power. Unmatched power.”

He jerked away from her. The police officers were utterly perplexed, yet, they could not stop watching. “We may need the shrink on this one, boys,” the Sargent said as they watched on.

Inside the small room, she pushed the man’s head away and distanced herself from him, “Oh, come on!  You know how great we would be together. Picture, me, with my intelligence. You, with your power. We would be perfect together, can’t you see?”

“I killed you.”

She stopped, shooting a sinister gaze at him from across the table, then quickly switching into a menacing smile, “you foolish man, you know you cannot kill a spirit. I will live forever. I seek kings and what I seek, I receive. You will be no different.”

“I will never give into you!”

He tried to stand up, but the cuffs jerked him back down into his seat. The officers jumped into action and ran into the room. “What is the meaning of this?!” the Sergeant demanded as the man rubbed his wrist. The woman smiled as they all stood in the room. He looked into their souls, a cold hard stare that would’ve shaken a statue, hung his head back down, and said nothing.

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