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The Morris Family Killings
The Death of a Friend
“No Jarvis, No!”, my loud shout went in vain as I saw Jarvis Rivaldis fell down of the edge of the railing.
The masked man in black tracksuit tried to aim his Masker K-70 semi-automatic at me, but I was fast enough to pin him down with three bullets from my Beretta 10.
I hurried to look down from the edge of the railing. The fall down towards the edge of the Ashleytown forest was no less than 100 feet. Jarvis’s body was just faintly visible as a thin dot from where I looked.
I closed my eyes. This would be a scar for the rest of my life, and something I will never really forget.
“I could have prevented this, if I had not gone chasing for the truth,” I thought out loud.
It had been two days since that talk with Jarvis near our office coffee machine.
“Is it necessary Daniel, that we proceed without involving the others from the investigating group?” He asked me as he took a sip from his cream filled mocha.
“The insider’s angle is what bothers me Jarvis, and I have a nagging feeling someone just might be watching every move of our group. Yet if it is just two of us, we could perhaps get to the culprit faster,” I replied taking a bite of my favorite cheese and corn sandwich.
Jarvis and I were working on solving the mystery behind the murders at The Morris family house. The Morris family was a big joint family where two brothers – Michael and Brad Morris and their wives and kids stayed together.
It was a big, old family mansion. Michael was Sr. Detective in Jersey City Police and Brad was his junior by two ranks, in the same division. Both brothers were famous for their dedication to work and for the tales of their bonding.
Then came a devilish twist in the tale. A few armed people attacked their house, killing everyone, including the two brothers and also burnt a big part of the house, carrying lots of family Gold and cash.
The news caused a big ripple in Jersey City and the adjoining areas’ police circles, and the cops resolved to bring the matter to an end soon. A core team, which had me as a senior mentor and included my junior Jarvis and four more folks, including Detective Miss Bretty Thompson and Inspector Williams Harvey, was assigned to the task.
The case, seemingly a straightforward one, presented bizarre twists and dead ends during the investigation.
I also felt someone shadowing us at times and outwitting us. Yet I had never anticipated losing my trusted junior and one of my closest friends – Jarvis.
The deadly blow and the dark factory room
I knew that however strong my emotions, I had to gather strength and proceed on the case. Jarvis and I had been pursuing some suspicious gangsters near Ashleytown near Newport Industrial area. We had a shootout with them and had pinned down two of them. Jarvis very nearly caught the third one, but as his luck ran out, he fell down the deep abyss to a volley of bullets. I had to continue on the trail and report the things to my seniors as well as share some cryptic written notes which if deciphered, could give some more clues.
I started walking towards the nearest tube station at Galimord. I had walked for 10 minutes when I felt someone following me. I looked around but didn’t see anyone apart from a group of college guys and an old man with a stick and a dog on a leash. I started walking further. Then, something suddenly hit me from behind, and it went all dark.
My eyes felt heavy and I felt a burning sensation behind my ears. The blurring gradually disappeared and I could make out where I was. It was a small room which smelt of diesel and chemicals. The high ceiling and the old pipes made it clear that it was a factory room. I could make out two masked men with pistols on two chairs at some distance. One of them was smoking heavily. And at some distance, there was a man in a white coat with dark Goggles who was pacing quite fast.
As they became aware of my consciousness, this white coat man came near me, and in a heavy accent, garnished with a heavy dose of Kepriger whiskey said in a low voice “Good evening Sr. Investigator Daniel, relish your stay in this smokey room!”
Time for a shocking revelation
Perhaps it was the blow on my head, or my deep rooted emotion for Jarvis that made my brain slower. Yet, the sound was familiar.
“Don’t strain your mind, Mr. Daniel. Let me make it easier for you,” said the white coat guy as he started taking off his dark Goggles.
“No, it can’t be.” I closed my eyes in disbelief.
“Was it a ghost? How could he be alive”
“Brad Morris – dead for the world, but lives on as Peter Bogart.”
“So you were not dead and went into hiding. Were you the killer?”
“Mr. Daniel, killer is so commonplace a term. Perhaps, surgeon might be the apt term here.”
My mind was shocked beyond wits. I recollected that freezing winter evening on the 29th of December a couple of years back when the Morris family had invited many of us to the birthday of the youngest son of Michael. Apart from the ambiance, the decorations, the majestic cake, and the great food, what stood out was the bonhomie that the Morris brothers displayed. Once an Indian gentleman, who lived in the neighborhood of the Morris family had even compared their living style to the way some of the cohesive Indian joint families lived together.
Cut back to the current state, and it was hard to make out what was the truth – that love and affection, or this devilish act of a cunning and dangerous man!
“Mr. Daniel, what happened? Are you fearing for your own life too?”
“No Brad aka Peter Bogart, in my line of duty, life is always a variable. It could be there one moment and gone another. I don’t mind being killed. Yet, if I am killed, I would regret to be killed by a contorted mind, whose act of killing someone who loved him more than himself will not be acceptable even to the devil himself.
I would have preferred being put to permanent sleep by a gangster who was always into wrongdoings rather than you.”
“Well, none of your rants bother me. Yet, how would you know what I went through all these years? Michael was the one who was always the darling of the police hierarchy. He had so many more medals, so many connections.”
“What was my fault – was it because I solved a few less cases than Michael, or I was not a smooth talker? I, too, was hit by bullets in action. I, too, had to endure hardships. Yet people like Michael, you, and Jarvis stole all the limelight. The time for justice had come, and the guilty had to pay. So Michael had to go. And so did our family for making him a God.”
I could not control myself “You son of a bitch!” But, I felt helpless as my hands were firmly tied with ropes.
As the death nears…..
“And Jarvis was in our path – so he went, and now you must go, too.”
Brad continued, “Within half an hour, this whole place will go up in flames. The cops would find burnt chemicals and discarded equipment and a body charred beyond recognition. And even if you survive, tackling all those burns will be a nightmare for you. You will hardly have the time to convince your seniors to follow someone who has died for a single family case.”
“As far as I am concerned, I have got a chopper ready with loads of cash, and I will escape to the blue and green waters of Seychelles Islands – far away from the madness which guys like you and Michael had become kings at.”
“The real joy of life awaits me, and you won’t be able to do anything.”
“Bye, Mr. Daniel.”
I could see Brad moving out of the door followed by one of the masked men, as I saw the second man taking a container with some inflammable stuff, and coming near me. It was as if death was close to me, so close…
At first, the shots seemed as if I was imagining something. Then, the noise grew. I heard some footsteps and then, the whole room was filled with smoke.
Trapping the wolf and untangling the mystery
The smoke cleared and out of the broken door of the room came my colleagues – Detective Bretty Thompson and Inspector Williams Harvey.
William untied me and gave me a Beretta 10.
“Hurry Daniel, hurry,” a breathless Miss Bretty said to me as she took aim for a possible henchman in the hiding.
Soon, we were out of the room, towards a courtyard which looked like a fabrication unit.
We took aim against the fire coming from the other side. The shootout continued for almost an hour.
William had asked for additional police cover and it arrived by then.
A few henchman were neutralized and rest were caught along with Brad.
Two days after the incident, Williams was briefing us as to how he followed me and how he was able to save me and help catch Brad.
“When you and Jarvis deviated, we were clueless for hours. Yet somehow we caught you pacing towards the tube station at Galimord. We were about to catch you when we saw you being hit by this old man with a dog and a walking stick. Our instinct told us to follow this man, who directed three more masked men in dark grey overalls to pick you up and put inside a KIA Sedan. We started following at a distance until we came across this old chemicals factory for Rubber adhesives. We got the police support, and also the cryptic note that you had mailed to the forensics that morning which was deciphered and messaged to us.
It had written, “Peter needs change B.”
We did some phone calls and came to find that one of the nicknames of Brad was B. Moreover, some of Brad’s daily-use things were missing from the Morris house.
Then we took the risk and burnt Brad’s heinous plans to ashes. His chopper has also been seized and he would now only dream of vacations behind bars, for the rest of his life.
“Yet, I pray for the soul of Michael Morris and all the other slain people.”
“Yes, if only men paused before such crimes.”
Peeush is an Information Technology professional with over 15+ years of experience. A keen enthusiast of writing thrillers, mysteries and action stories, Peeush has also been a regular at sites like Wikinut, Literacybase and Blogjob.
He has an ongoing 17 part story series on a Spy-Miniwar genre on Literacybase. He has also tried his hand at drama, memoir writing, short comic stuff, and has Online blogs and articles about sports – especially cricket, business, politics.
He is keen on writing about diverse stuff like children’s story and to become a much more versatile and valuable writer.
Looking forward to your patronage.
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