You never can be too careful
He was a young man, maybe 25. He had brown hair that was kept long on either side of his face. At this moment you couldn’t see that though because he was wearing a black do-rag. Designed to contain a man’s hair. He was about 5.7. He had a dust of freckles under each eye. He was wearing latex gloves. They had blood on them. He took them off and dropped them into the wastebasket. He pulled a second pair of gloves out of his pocket. He put them on. He went to the dish dryer and grabbed a bowl, no spoons. He went to the fridge. He looked around as if he didn’t know what was in there. He pulled out a gallon of milk, half full. He turned to his left, he opened a cabinet. Cans, opened another, flour and cooking material. Third cabinet. Cereal. He smiled. He stopped smiling. He pulled out a box of corn flakes. Put it on the side. Special K. He tossed that box over his shoulder. Honey nut Cheerios. He poured the cereal into the bowl. He smelled the milk. He poured it over the Cheerios. He opened the dishwasher, he pulled out a spoon. He smelled it. Shrugged. He walked into the family room. She sat on the couch, he put his feet up and munched on the cereal.
The Garage was bare except the washer and dryer in the corner and an industrial freezer. There wasn’t even a car in here. All of these frozen goods were stacked on the floor beside the freezer. Bacon, chicken, steak, ice cream and hungry man, boxes and boxes of Hungry man. The Young man came into the garage from the house. He had a person slung over his shoulder. They were wrapped in a heavy mylar and ducted taped around the head, the shoulders, the chest. Etc. He tossed the body in the freezer. The lower part of the body made it in. But the person’s head drooped over the side. He shoved the head down. The body fit easily. He stacked all of the food stuffs on top of the body. Then he closed the freezer.
The Young Man went through a wallet. It had an older Man’s ID in there. There was money in it too. 100 bucks.
The Young Man was at the Wal Mart. Everyone was wearing a mask. He was sporting a med mask. He wore gloves. He stood at a cell phone kiosk and holding a shovel. A girl walked up behind the counter wearing a mask and gloves.
“Can I help you?” She asked.
“Yea, can I get a burner phone? He said. “Can I buy this here too?” He held up the shovel.
“Yeah sure. Any specific brand?” She asked.
“I’m not picky. He laughed. “It’s for my drug deals.”
“Anything to keep a roof over your head. That will be 52.40. How you paying?” She asked.
“The ole fashioned way.” He said. He pulled out the cash. He gave her 60 dollars. She gave him his change.
“Thanks for shopping at Wal Mart, stay safe.” She said.
“Thanks and you too.” The Young man said.
He was back at the house, in the family room, sitting on the couch. He dialed a number and let it ring. His mask slung under his chin.
“Hello, tips hotline?” The phone said.
“Hi, I’ve got some information.”
“Well, I hope so.” You could hear the smile in her voice.
“I found a dead body.” He said.
“Excuse me?” She said.
“I found a body in the woods, I had to wait to call, I only just got home, I don’t carry my phone with me when I jog.” He said quickly.
“Where did you find the body?”
“In the park, there is a paved roadway. Maybe two hundred feet away there is a stream. Do you know the place I mean?
“Yes, I think so.” She said.
“Now I didn’t see a whole body. But I saw a hand sticking up out of the ground.” He said.
“Ok, well what’s your name, sir? Would you like to make a statement?” The hotline asked.
He hung up the phone.
The Young Man was wearing a hoodie and his med mask again. He stood looking into the forest from the roadway. There was a whole group of people watching. People with their dogs. Couples walking past. The cops were swarming around this spot in the park. There were cop cars everywhere. It was raining.
“Do you know what’s going on here?” An Older Man in a mask inquired.
The Young Man smiled. “Circle jerk probably.”
The Old Man laughed. “I needed that, thanks, this year has been a real kick in the nuts. Why are you wearing that thing on your head?” The Old man asked.
“Well, I unconsciously touch my hair, I just trying to keep it out of contention for germs.”
“Makes sense.” The Old man walked away. “Stay safe kid.” He waved.
The Young Man waved back. In the forest, the Cops had dug a few holes, but they had refilled them. All the cops stood in a circle talking. They dispersed picking up things here and there. Radio’s, shovels, etc. They all began to walk back towards the vehicles.
A short white female cop with a ponytail walked near where the Young Man was standing.
“What’s going on?” He asked.
“Nothing, a prank call.” She said as she kept walking to her vehicle.
An alarm pulsed loudly. The Young Man sat up on the couch. He looked at his apple watch and turned it off. 1:30. Still dark. He got up. He still wearing his gloves and do-rag. The Young man looked out the front door. There was no one. He went to the car and popped the hatchback trunk. He went inside and a moment later he came back out with the body slung over his shoulder. He walked to the car and then around the back. He kneeled to place the body in the back. Behind him in the street, the sound of bikes. A Man and a Woman on bicycles rode by. They both wore masks. The Young Man’s eyes met the Woman’s. Their gaze was unpleasant in both directions. The Couple rode on. He got in the car, started it up.
He drove through the park and stopped the car on the side of the road. Roughly where he had been standing just a few hours before. He got the Body out of the trunk. He slung it over his shoulder. He grabbed the shovel with his left hand. He walked two hundred yards with the body. He dropped it on the ground. Near one of the many holes, the cops had dug. He began to dig.
At the house, the Young Man washed the dishes he used. He replaced the meat in the freezer. He left the door to the house unlocked. He began to walk away from the house. He walked to a wastebasket 200 feet away. He took off his gloves, dropped them in. He kept walking, in two blocks he found another trash bin. He snatched off his do-rag, he tossed it in the trash. His hair spilled around his face. He took a set of keys out of his pocket. He got in a non-descript faded blue ford, the car was more than 20 years old. He opened it and started it. He drove away.
The Young Man walked up to a large white house in an upscale neighborhood. He unlocked the door. He went to the kitchen. There was an Older Woman standing there, cooking breakfast. She was handsome. She saw him and smiled.
“I’m just making some breakfast, hungry?’ She said.
“I’m starving.” He said.
“How was hiking?” She said. “Hell of a spring break this year.”
“It was good Ma.” He began to rub his index and thumb together.
“Why are you doing that with your fingers?” She smiled.
“I was wearing gloves and a mask most of the time we were out there. There were a lot of people. You never can be too careful.” He said.