Manslaughterer – Chapter One

Here is the first chapter of our second story. Look out for the next chapter next Friday!

     It was 2 A.M. and Rick was driving his old beat up car down the highway, street lamps intermittently illuminated the inside of the car. Next to him in the passenger seat was Russell, he’d known Russell since he was a child and had also known that at some point Russell would get him into serious trouble. Tonight was that night. In the back of the car, slumped over and covered in a bloody sheet, was a dead body.

     It had started two hours ago when he’d gotten a call from Russell who had urgently pleaded with him to come over. Begrudgingly he did, although soon he wished he hadn’t.

     “What’s going on?”

     “I have a problem, through here.”

     He was led into Russell’s living room where sure enough his ‘problem’ lay in a bloody heap against the wall. Rick had somehow managed to remain remarkably calm, he stood staring at the lifeless form with an admitted amount of terror but mostly curiosity. They remained in silence for a time until Russell ran out of the room muttering “I think I’m going to be sick.” Rick was left alone with the lump of former person. He was not surprised that Russell could have gotten himself in such a situation, he was after all completely incorrigible. However that didn’t make the fact it had actually happened any less shocking. Russell had returned and had taken his place next to Rick staring down at the body.

     “So?” he inquired.

     “So, you have a dead person in your living room.” replied Rick.

     Russell drew in a big ponderous breath. “What are we going to do?” he asked.

     “We? There is no ‘we’. You are going to call the police.” Rick sounded alarmed that Russell considered him to be a part of this problem.

     “I can’t call the police.” Russell stood looking indignant

     “Why not?”

     “Because they’ll think I did it.” remarked Russell as though it were self evident.

     “Why would they think that?”

     “Because I did do it!” he said exasperated.

     “What even happened?!”

     Russell’s original answer of “I may have accidentally shot him in the face.” was not really adequate and he was pressed to recount the full version of what had happened. How the man was a drug dealer who he was trying to score from and how he had taken offence to (an admittedly hilarious) joke about his mother and pulled out a gun. There was then a struggle, he had accidentally pulled the trigger and sent a bullet excavating through the mans skull. He had then called Rick because he didn’t know what else to do and that’s all there was to it.

     “You have to help me.” pleaded Russell.

     “No, I don’t.” Replied Rick intently.

     “After all the things I’ve done for you.” said Russell ruefully.

     It was a low blow, trying to guilt him into being an accessory to murder, but he was not wrong. Russell had after all helped him through the toughest periods of his life, but even so, this was a step beyond that. He didn’t know what to do so he simply stood there in silence.

     “Are you going to call the police then?” Russell asked mournfully

     “No.”

     “What then?” interrogated Russell.

     “Well I can’t just go home with this shit on my mind,” said Rick anguishing between both sides of his conscience, “I can’t believe I’m going to say this…”

     He stood there contemplating in his mind whether he was actually going to say it.

     “Yes, damn it I’ll help.”

     “Thank you! For a moment I didn’t know what you were going to do.”

     “Just get something to wrap him up in and be quite.”

     Russell returned with a bed sheet and they wrapped him in it like a mummy. They had decided that their best course of action would be to dump the body in a lake, which lake, they did not know. Russell grabbed the legs and Rick the head and they carried the body outside and towards Rick’s car. It was heavier than Rick was expecting and it slipped from his grasp and clattered onto the floor.

     “Careful!” hissed Russell.

     “He has a hole in his head, I hardly think he minds.” retorted Rick.

     Russell was entrusted with putting the body in the back of the car, Rick sat in the front and started the engine.

     “What are you doing?” Asked Rick

     “I’m putting him in the back?”

     “When I said put it in the back I didn’t mean sit him up and buckle his seat belt!”

     “Well, I don’t know. I’ve never done this before.”

     “We’re going to need something to weigh him down with,” said Rick contemplatively, “a cinder block maybe… and some rope.”

     “Where are we going to find those things?”

     “I don’t know, go look.”

     “I don’t think they’re readily available items, Rick.”

     “Just go look!” Russell scoffed and walked off into the night. “And a shovel,” Rick fiercely whispered, “just in case.”

     Russell returned with a ball of string and a brick. “It’s all I could find.” By now Rick was well accustomed to Russell’s incompetence and they decided they’d figure it out on the way. After all they couldn’t sit here for ever.

     “So,” asked Russell, “where now?”

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