Prompt Day #359: The town clock tower has been defaced: someone has replaced the mechanism’s large hands with human arms. Who is behind this unspeakable crime, and why?
Ok, this one, I completely admit, sucks. I did not put much effort into it and I did not make much of a story out of it. Instead, I treated it as a High school essay. I answered the question put forth in a very reporter-like style. I know. Just hang on, I have a few to get through today to catch me up. Tuesday will be my last one and so I need to get back on track as fast as possible.
When the large clock tower in the center of the Stony Point chimed nine, everyone in the town came out of their houses to gawk. The centerpiece and one of the village’s oldest buildings, the clock tower hadn’t worked in over ten years. As far as anyone knew, no one had been hired to fix it, so the chimes were haunting enough on their own. The screams that followed shortly after the ninth tone were not due to the ghost of a clock come back to life as much as they were more about the human arms that had replaced the old hour and minute hands.
It was Sheriff Johansson who found the note attached to the door of the tower and entered it into evidence…just after a copy was printed in the Stony Point Herald as was standard for small town crimes. The police force, having been cut down to the bare bones of just Sheriff Johansson and two deputies. The town was going under that’s for sure. The only thing to look forward to was the gossip found in the Herald. Disembodied extremities which had been attached to a clock tower which had also been repaired was a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes (the new cute one on TV, not the old curmudgeonly one from the books).
A picture of the note was blown up on the front page the following day.
Hello dear friends. I have decided that what this town needs is just some TLC. A little fixing up. I’ve volunteered myself to take care of these things for you. You’ll have noticed by now my repair of the clock tower. I won’t charge you for this of course, as you can see someone has already paid me an arm and a leg for my services. You’ll find I’ve repaired many things in town as time goes on. I’ll do my best for this city that has given so much to me.
The body or the torso was found the next day floating in the river on the eastern edge of town. Not only were arms missing but the legs and head were as well. It was a man’s torso which was ultimately identified when Chuck Patterson’s mailman noticed he hadn’t been picking up his mail. Patterson was a retired town councilman whose wife had recently died of cancer. Chuck had been a little down, and had confined himself to home. So the townsfolk told themselves they couldn’t be blamed for not noticing his three day absence.
Sheriff Johansson combed the town for the remains of Chuck Patterson. His legs were found supporting an old park bench that had been damaged in a dunk driving accident three years back. The car finally stopped in the park’s duck pond but not after taking out the bench, a swing set and several mallard ducks. The bench at least was now standing, thanks to the strength of two femurs and two lower leg-feet complexes.
His head proved hardest to find, but a passing motorist phoned in a strange sign just five miles outside of Stony Point that appeared to have a human head attached. Sheriff Johansson found it. A hand painted sign reading Stony Point, your destination for dilapidation! Just 5 miles a and Chuck’s head was sitting on a makeshift platform which completed the message.
Further investigations found no more body parts and no more bodies, except for Ira Ward’s body which was found hanging from the same clock tower. Ira had been the town supervisor under Chairman Patterson. He was in charge of repairs and basic upkeep. When the town’s budget was reworked, Ira was one of the many who were let go. It was theorized that Ira blamed Chuck for his dismissal and the subsequent decline of the town’s facilities.