A Smooth Study
“A Smooth Study” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Omerbayeva Alima Kairatovna, Nazarbayev Intellectual School of chemistry and biology, Pavlodar, Kazakhstan.
A Smooth Study
My name is Charlie Raleigh, I am a private detective who collaborates with the police. I solve crimes, and then publish them on my blog (of course, all personal details are changed).
Today is the day when I was thinking about one thing that has been bugging me. I’ve decided to publish it, because it may help you to realize all love between a mother and a child and why we shouldn’t jump into conclusions.
It all started with catchy headline, which I read in a magazine. “Mysterious death at Belt-Parkwey ST.”, dwellers have found a dead 36 year old lady in her apartments. A crime like this, I thought, that’d be right up my street. At the crime scene, I found the body. No signs of violence, moreover, I did not see any blood on the victim. The main clue for me was a pair of washed mugs on the coffee table. That meant, she wasn’t alone that fateful day.
I began to look for information about the victim. Her name was Cara Jordyn Miles, a journalist. She reported news for the BBC. That wasn’t enough to have even a very small nugget.
After 5 days another strange death happened following the same script. 32 year old Nataly Jaffrey was killed and nothing disappeared from her apartment. There was just a lifeless body without any scratch or bruise. I started to think that she just had heart problems.
The same day I had a meeting with Mr. Pattington (the policeman who I promised to help with this affair), “All that I know is that both women had worked for Fwell Company. I need time to reveal the affair”.
“Mr. Raleigh, Charlie, I don’t have extra time for you. I am paid not to know for whom women had worked. I ask you, please, put more efforts, more… anything. Innocent people die!!!”
“Yes, I understood you.”
Mr. Raleigh thought that where were clean mugs, but no signs of violence. Victims had drunk something, but mugs were cleaned by somebody afterwards. So, they, maybe, did not even drink something, because they wouldn’t have the opportunities to clean them… Both of them worked for Fwell Co.. Both of them were under their 40s, but they did not know each other. Nothing disappeared.
Next morning I decided to pay another visit to the police station.
“Mr. Pattington can I have a look at Ms. Jaffrey’s apartment, please. I think I will find more details if I conduct a study independently”.
“Okay, but keep in mind, don’t let strangers to enter the house. Grab the keys”, he took a set of keys from the drawer.
Ms. Jaffrey’s apartment. Empty, abandoned apartment. Nothing was changed since my last visit, and that’s great. The whole space was occupied by a huge sofa. Under the sofa I found a piece of beige silicon. This was the only and all evidence that I had.
The affair was not developing. I was stuckat that point, but I continued to solve murders independently.
Two weeks passed. “Mysterious death”, newspaper headlines shouted again. I went immediately to Vihoken St., Arizona. 38 year old Jessica Cuise was dead. Policemen said that she was injured because of glass cuts. I was not allowed inside, but I got into the house in the middle of the night.
I was looking for evidence. Splinters of glass on the floor. There was no connection between this affair and murders that hadn’t been solved, until I found a piece of silicon with hair on the carpet. Silicon was smooth.
Finally, I gave up. Everything went in a wrong way. I didn’t expect that it would be so complicated to solve this puzzle. Then I did what I used to do when I was in despair. I went to a karaoke pub. There, when I was singing “Whiskey man” by The Who, a sudden idea illuminated my mind. “He always joins me when I drink, and we get on just fine
He always joins me when I drink, and we get on just fine... All victims had drunk something, this liquid may have killed them. The murderer gave them poison in mugs, then carefully kicked out the evidence. Cleaned mugs confirmed this, but how did parts of silicon were involved in the murders?!
I decided to discuss my insight with Mr. Pattington.
“Good morning, Mr. Pattington. How are you doing?” I said.
“Bored, but full of beans, Charlie. What’s about you? Any news for me?”
“Actually, yes, sir. Do you remember two murders that happened about 2 weeks ago?”
“Of course, we finished with it, death could have been caused by problems with breathing and, hmmm … cardiac arrest is a quite possible thing nowadays. Accidental coincidence.”
“But that is not true at all. I mean, mugs are the key. I do think that victims drank something which was inside these mugs, something like poison.”
“Charlie, please. I need to deal with other problems. I am not a private detective. I’m in work up to my ears. We’ve made an official conclusion.”
“Mugs… They were…”
“Stop!”- Mr. Pattington shouted out loud. “You need to sort out your priorities. Stop adding your personal opinion when the verdict is already passed. Forget about mugs, forget about poison. That’s enough.”
“I have been worried about one thing the whole day. How could the police infer that deaths were accidental coincidence?”
Mr. Pattington said nothing turning away from me and there was nothing to do just leave.
The next day, a young boy came to the police station. He asked where he can find Charlie Raleigh or Erick Russel Pattington. Mr. Pattington called me immediately. When I arrived, everybody was looking directly at me, except the boy.
“What worries you, Mr. …”, said Erick.
“Fwell. My name is Joshua Alex Fwell. I am here to admit to murders.” There was a dead silence. “First things first, I am 19 years old. I have killed 3 women.”
“Are you talking about Cara Jordyn Miles, Nataly Jaffrey and Jessica Cuise?” I asked.
“Yes,” he answered. “You may don’t know how were they killed and why. This story started when I was probably 5 years old. My father, Wesley Fwell was a director and the founder of the FwellCo.. He was married to Sarah, Sarah Garrison. She is my mom. Father never loved her. He preferred to make new “mates” with other women instead of spending time with his wife and son. I remember that father promised his new girlfriends glory, popularity and luxurious life. My mother was suffering, but she couldn’t change anything. The company was closed, father lost everything. He ruined everything. My parents separated, and I swore to avenge suffering of my mother.
Prescott is a quite city, but it has full of opportunities, isn’t it? I learned how to work with makeup and how to create masks with my favorite smooth silicon. I can make myself a different person. Then I used to wear a silicon face several days in a row.
I found 5 last girlfriends who were with my father until he lost his company. I didn’t forget about my revenge. I wore a silicon mask and found them. We were “dating” and when they were ready to talk face to face, to spill their guts, I offered them to have a drink with me. They didn’t expect that what they were drinking. It was not alcohol, it was a poison which quickly and irrelevantly kills the person. I liked the moment when victims saw how I took off my silicon mask. I asked them only one question “Do I remind you someone… you’ve dated?” Shocked ladies died on place. After that I carefully disposed all evidence I could think about.”
“But why did Jessica Cuisehavecuts ?”
“Because she didn’t want to drink. She resisted, and suddenly I hit her head with a glass mug. I didn’t want to do it, it was messy, it was her own fault, if only she had drunk it, everything would have been nice and neat”
“But there are 2 women in the list who are still alive. What made you confess?
“My mommy…my mom died last night".” He started crying.“She was my everything. I can’t live without her, everything lost its sense. Please, take me to jail.”
This is how that case was officially detected. Joshua Alex Fwell was imprisoned for up to 25 years. He could not withstand enclosed spaces and gone crazy. Mr. Pattington was promoted. After that crime I took a vacation to spend more time with my family and moved to New York to gain experience in criminalistics, because even Prescott, the quietest city in the USA, have changed.