• Whispers of the Dying
    By: Jay Rumer
    The scent of lavender was strong in the air. Tears stained the faces of all those present and snow marked the ground we walked on. The sadness, the grief, all the emotions swirled in the air, like the buzzing of mosquitoes.
    A man in black walked past
    “I’m sorry for your loss.” remorse cloaked him like a cape.
    “Thank you for coming.” I answered my own face blank.
    “Your father was a good man,” he continued.
    “I know,” I said, more defensively then expected. A new wave of tears arose that needed to be choked back. I had to stay strong for my mother. she was having a hard time as it was. She stood at the side of the field staring at the fresh earth at her feet with tears in her eyes and on her cheeks. My brother, Matt, was beside her, comforting her. Both dressed in the grim color of death. After the last of the people had shuffled back to their cars, I gathered my things and walked to the car with my brother and mother, the crunch of snow thunderous beneath our feet.
    “I’ll drive,” I told my mom. She didn’t look like she could handle it. I slid into the driver’s seat. The wheel was cool under my hands I pushed the key gently into the slot and turned it on.

    “Thank you so much ,Kenny,” my mother said.
    “Don’t mention it.” I replied. The rest of the ride home passed in silence even after we turned into our drive and I parked in the garage, still they remained silent.
    “I'm going to go sit in the sun room, you two be good.” mumbled my mother after we stepped into the house. That woman just couldn’t stop worrying. If she didn’t have something to worry about, she would go insane. The door bell startled me but Matt ran to get the door. I hurried so my mom wouldn’t wake up. She needed her rest. Soon after leaving,
    Matt came rushing back into the kitchen looking flustered. “Kenny, come on, follow me!” I hurried after him and was surprised to see a cop in the frame of our door. His green eyes seemed lost in thought and my question seemed to catch him off guard.
    “Can I help you?” I asked him.
    Puzzled, he replied, “Yes, um my name is Paul Forman. I work for the county sheriff’s office. I’ve been sent to ask you boys a few questions. I’d ask Hannah, but I don’t think she’s up for too much talking.”
    “What kind of questions?” I asked him, confused. He stood for a moment looking just as confused as we felt and then said,
    “Can we go in and sit down? It’s mighty cold out here.”
    I looked at him. His badge looked real enough, and he knew my mom’s name. I replied,
    “Yeah come on in. One question for you before we start though. How do you know my mother?” Shocked he walked in and said,
    “We went to high school together and…yeah.” I continued on into the living room. We were far enough away from the sun room that mother wouldn’t hear. I sat in dad’s big lazy boy and Matt sat in the couch next to it. Paul sat on the smaller couch across from us.
    “So, what can we do for you, officer?” I asked slightly nervous. He stared in an unusual way for a moment, then looked at me and started with,
    “Did your father have any enemies?” I couldn’t believe my ears. “ENEMIES?” That would imply that someone had something to do with my father’s death. That wasn’t possible. The people from his work had told us it was a freak accident.
    “What do you mean enemies? Did something happen? Do you know something we don’t?” I asked, jumping to my feet.
    “Well, we have reason to believe that your fathers “accident” might not have been such an accident.”
    “What!? How does that work?” interrupted Matt.
    “Now listen son...” started the cop
    “SON! I am not your son, don’t ever say that to me that again!” yelled Matt. He ran out of the room and stormed up the stairs.

    “Matt!” I called after him. He didn’t reply so I sat back down and faced the cop.
    “No, I can’t think of anybody who would do this.” He sat there with his blank
    “Anyone that was angry at him, a co-worker, a neighbor maybe?”
    “No, nobody…I’m sorry I couldn’t help more.”
    “Well maybe you can.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Never mind it’s a silly idea.”
    “If it can help, I’ll do it, just tell me what it is.”
    “Ok, here is my idea. We get you to keep an eye on all the people who knew you dad and you can see what you can dig up.”
    “What! You want me to spy on people that you think might have been responsible for the death of my dad? What are you nuts? Besides, I'm only sixteen!”
    “Yeah I realize that. I just thought it could work. Maybe you could figure out who is responsible.” I sighed and paused before I replied
    “Wait… Do you really think this would help?”
    “Yeah I think so kiddo.”
    “Don’t call me kiddo either, alright?
    “Sorry, force of habit.”
    “Do you even have kids?”
    “Well no…but…”

    After he finished I showed him the door and went back into the living room to think things through. This guy actually expected me to spy on my neighbors for clues. What is this, the Hardy Boys? I couldn’t believe I actually agreed to this. It was just crazy. Matt walked in to the room and sat across from me, his eyes red and puffy.
    “You know he didn’t mean it like that.” I said in an attempt to cheer him up.
    “Whatever, I don’t care. That guy was a jerk anyway.”
    “He wasn’t that bad”
    “Are you kidding? He barged into our house like he owned the place, asks us if we think someone killed dad, because THEY seem to think that someone did, then he gets the nerve to act like he knows us. That wasn’t cool and you know it.”
    “Listen I know it’s tough for you. Dads gone and you two were close; you need to have a little bit thicker skin if you’re going to make it.”
    “Thicker skin!” he yelled
    “Boys, is everything ok?” called my mother from the other room.
    “Yeah mom.” We called in unison.
    “Listen to yourself,” he continued quieter
    “You don’t seem to care at all! Do you even care that he’s dead? Do you?!”
    “Of course I care. Why would you think I didn’t? What’s your problem?
    DING DONG The door bell rang out loud and clear and I walked towards it.
    “We’ll do this later.” I said. I opened the door and was confused. In the door stood Paul, “the cop,” in his hand was a .38 caliber handgun
    “Hey kiddo,” he sneered and fired the gun at my chest. My eyes went red and I slumped to the floor, the searing in my chest unbearable. I looked over at Matt who lay on the floor bleeding from his neck. Sickening gargling sounds could be heard coming from him. I saw my mother run into the room screaming at the top of her lungs.
    “Hello Hannah.” said Paul; his sneer grew as he fired not once but four times into my mother. The first hit her in the chest, the second her neck, and the last two hit her in the head.
    “I told you, you should have left Allen for me. Now you know how I felt. Now you all know.”
    He laughed a sick laugh, and then fired a single round into his own head.
    All I could think was, I’m pretty sure this never happened to the Hardy Boys.