Life Imitates Art

Prompt Day #10: Your main character is handed a dossier that reads “The Beehive Murders.” What’s inside?


Life Imitates Art

“What is this?” The man stared at Alex impatiently. “I don’t do research. I don’t want to know the background between you and the hit. Just tell me who; give me a picture and tell me how you want it done.”

“It’s not exactly like that. They, uh, they told me you were the best there is.” Alex said. He was out of his element and knew it. He’d never imagined himself in this situation but here he was, and frankly, it was brilliant.

“Damn straight I’m the best there is or ever was and I get paid that way, you know what I’m saying?” The man said. Then held out the hefty folder marked The Beehive Murders to Alex. “I don’t need all this shit.”

“Yes, you do need it.” Alex gently pushed it back towards the man. “This isn’t just one hit, as you call it. It’s a series of hits and they have to be very carefully crafted. They have to match the murders described in this dossier and in the order they are described.”

The man looked at Alex, surveyed him carefully, and then laughed just once. “You can’t afford this.” He got up and put his jacket on. Alex grabbed at his arm.

“Please. I can, or I mean, I will. If you do this exactly as it’s described, I will be able to pay you whatever you ask, plus a bonus. Will you please just sit down and listen to me?” This felt like his last chance. He’d done as much as he possibly could on his own. There was only this option. The man looked around the dark pub warily, slipped his jacket off and sat back down.

“The folder contains my novel and all my notes on the characters, their backstories, and details of each murder. I sketched crime scenes and everything. It’s all in there.” Alex said tapping the folder still lying on the table.

“A fuckin’ book? You expect me to read a fuckin’ book? Oh, man, this is gonna cost you big time.” The man said.

“And I will pay you. The thing is, I need you to read it and then commit murders in order, exactly how they are described in my book. You pick the victims, pick them to match the characters in my book as best you can. Is this something you could do?” Alex asked.

The man leafed through the pages of the folder. “I ain’t never done nothing like this before, brother. Can I ask you why you want to do something like this? What’s the plan that I ain’t getting’?”

“Look, I had to self-publish the book, ok? I couldn’t find a publisher to take it. It’s a great book, it really is. I thought that if I self-published and self-marketed, it would take off, maybe even get a movie out of it. But my Amazon sales are dismal.” Alex took a long drink of his beer, giving the man time to process. The man showed no emotion, no expressions. “So, you start killing people like in my book, I go to the cops and point out that these killings seem very similar to a book I wrote recently, it gets to the press, everyone buys the book. Voila, I am an overnight best seller and a very wealthy author.”

The man sat still. He did not speak, he did not move. He sat processing everything Alex had said.

“So I just have to become a serial killer while you become a published author?” The man asked.

“But the thing is, once the book gets popular, you stop and it’s over. You’re not really a serial killer.” Alex assured him. The man had opened the file and was slowly flipping through it.

“Where am I going to find concentrated African Bee venom?” He asked Alex?

“It’s all in there. I told you, all my research. That’s the best thing, I did the research, I have a reason for all that stuff on my computer, all you need to do is get it and I’ll make sure I have an alibi.”

“Let me look through this…hefty bit of research you got here and I’ll let ya know.” The man said.

“So, uh, how will you get ahold of me? I mean how will you let me know?” Alex asked.

“Alexander James Markwell, born May 5th, 1989 in Green Bay Wisconsin. Parents’ names are Franklin and Vivian Markwell living in Green Bay Wisconsin…”

“Ok, I get it. I get it. You’ll be in touch.” Alex said.

“With my cost estimate and the down payment requirement. Be prepared.” The man said, dropped two bucks on the table for his beer, and walked out. Alex watched him leave. He smiled. Finally, he would be recognized for his art.