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The Crime in Car 13

17 August 2009 One Comment

Third in the “Fish Stories” Series.

Title: The Crime in Car 13

Owner: H. Vincent Wright

CIMG3515 copy

Purchased: Borrowed from his brother Terrance’s house. Found under the red velvet cushion that Audrey, Terrance’s wife uses to rest her feet.


H. Vincent wasn’t sure if he should read another mystery, after all the last time he ended up shivering in the bathroom, his wife coaxing him out with  a cup of Heather tea. H. Vincent, please I don’t want any more stains on the mattress, she told him when she saw the book. And after you are finished, please be sure to tell me what the crime was in car 13. Yes, dear, he replied and waded into the bath, his pale back looking like a sheet of white lightning reflected in the bath mirror.

He really took the book because Audrey had touched it with her lovely feet and he was sure she had read it as well. If he could get the nerve up, he would discuss the book later over their planned dinner date with them. So he read a little, so far it seemed tame, light characters and silly situations. But in the second chapter, Hamlin, a traveling salesman was murdered with a large ashtray. Harold hated reading the next scene where they described the death in detail, but he had to, his wife would need to know and Audrey would be impressed with his ability to analyze the characters in depth. He clutched the bathtub edge as he read:

“The salesman’s body was twisted violently around an old rusted telephone pole. His coat tattered and beyond recognition, like a tattered sail after a storm. His wares were scattered about the street: a set of pink curlers, a bundle of small black combs and several bottles of tonic in a variety of sizes with names such as “Steam Cream” and “Shine Wine”. Next to his wares was a large broken ashtray–a souvenir, “Baltimore” written boldly across the glass. His eyes were intact but now the large orbs simply sat upon the mound of pink flesh that used to be his face, the skin had been flayed away from just below the eyebrows to the lips which oddly still held a lit cigarette in them. Inspector Yanks also was keenly aware of the man’s eyebrows, which seemed to strike a curious pose. Yanks couldn’t decide if it was anger or humor.” H. Vincent stopped reading and screamed a little inside his mouth and peed slightly in the tub out terror.

He jumped out and got dressed quickly for dinner. But he knew he should read on for this surely wasn’t the crime in car 13, this crime was on the street. He dressed and splashed cologne on his neck and sat once again as his wife dressed and read on. He skimmed much of the book and finally got to a chapter entitled, the “Car 13”. Apparently the salesman had not died and  recovered! But his face was hideous, and still looked red and raw, bandages hung lazily from his face. He was taking car 13 to his last surgery that would complete his new face. A large piece of skin had been recovered from a suicide, a man that had ironically jumped to his death in front of the very train he was traveling on.

CIMG3518The salesman sat quietly in the car facing the woman that had mutilated him. He had followed her here and she was completely unaware of his presene, so absorbed in a book held out stiffly in front of her face. She was a mousy housewife who was dissatisfied with the oil creme company the salesman worked for. Several of the cremes had caused a terrible rash on her husband’s face and his face now resembled a baby’s bottom. She was angry that she had to have a crimson faced man hovering above every few nights, spreading his disease about. She blamed the salesman immediately and scooped out his daily whereabouts, then carved up his face in a moment of deep spite. Just then the car stopped quickly and the woman put down her book and noticed the salesman. She cried out. The salesman lunged at her. She s ducked  quickly just as he made a swipe with her with his black bag full of wares. H. Vincent turned the page and soon discovered the pages had skipped from 78 to 82. The top of the following page read,”Hamlin, the salesman, wept with his sore eyeballs as the police officer patted his back.” Where were the missing pages?! How absurd he thought, what will I possibly do? I need to know what happened in Car 13!

Later that evening at dinner, H. Vincent sat quietly and spoke little in the hopes his wife and sister-in-law wouldn’t ask him about the book. Audrey looked lovely in her olive summer dress and buoyant smile–oh, how he loved her and wished he could slip his socked toe beneath her dress under the dinner table. Desert was brought and the book again was unmentioned until his terrible brother brought it up. So H., he said, I heard you were reading that bloody silly novel, Audrey  just read it last week. Ridiculous scene, don’t you think, in car 13? And the whole table laughed gleefully and suddenly H. Vincent felt terribly out of place like they were in a club that had rejected his application. Terrence went on, “What a joke! But it was terribly sick, terribly! But oh, such rubbish writing!” “Oh, yes, H. Vincent, please tell me what happened you seem to have forgotten to inform me, his wife screamed out.

H. Vincent signed and began to weep, he wept over his love of Audrey and his hatred of anything frightening and his terrible marriage to his brooding, carnival of a wife. I’m not sure, I’m not sure. And then he vomited, filling their desert plates with a loose brownish fluid. The night then came to end.

CIMG3379 copyTitle: The Crime in Car 13

Author: Stephen Chalmers

Penned: Chalmers’s first  book in a series of crime novels that sold like hotcakes even though much of the readers were disappointed. Car 13 was named after the author had an incident in a railroad car. The actual car was named “car 23” but as the Chalmers left the train, he noticed someone had scrawled, “Car 13”, on the outside of the car in dark red paint. It has been aptly named he decided soon after for as he sat in the train out of sheer boredom, he began counting things in the car about him. There were 13 buttons on the man’s coat sitting across from him. He thought this was odd, as one would assume  the buttons would an even number but maybe the man’s position on the seat obscured the 14th button. Two children next to him appeared to have an assortment of toys, books and candy–13 in all. Their mother had 13 pieces of jewelry on: two earrings, two necklaces, a brooch, 4 bangles on one arm and and 4 rings, equaling 13.  A magazine lay on the seat as well, the cover showed a pile of 13 books on a table and read, “Summer Picks.” All of a sudden the train slowed down and stopped for a moment and Chalmers looked out the door. He counted 13 crows on the tree outside and 13 rocks in pile right next to the tracks.

Later after leaving the car, he felt sick to his stomach and lay down on his chaise lounge and watched the ceiling for awhile. He counted 13 cracks in the ceiling and decided to grab a pen and write. He felt compelled to write a book, although he had never actually written a novel before. But the pages seemed to write themselves and in a matter of weeks he was finished. He read the completed work yet had no recollection of the actual writing itself–the weeks seemed to have flown by like a crazed dream. He found the story itself quite strange and non-sensical and he unenthusiastically sent it out and oddly enough it was immediately accepted. He thought it must be due to the compelling title. The next book he published was called “The Tin Thumb” and sold possibly 3 copies. He wrote 5 other so called “mysteries” after this but somehow “Car 13” would remain the most popular even if it was widely accepted to have a weak premise and stale characters.

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One Comment »

  • Haremp said:

    チカ ちょっとずつステップクリアしましたね うちは子の間テディベアピクニックというのが公園であって サンタさんが来ました タイは会う前からチカのように張り切って サンタのひざのうえに座るとか お願いすると張り切って どうなるかなーと思ったら タイはその通りやってましたー あいつ強いぞー タイが”Can I have a Spiderman costume plseae?”と言うとサンタが”It’s all sorted.It’s already in my sack”と言ったそう そして”You can have 2 things”とか これはちょっと余計 笑 言ったらしい もしくはタイが勝手に作って私達に言ったか それとは反対にJJ 菊のように怖がっていました 去年はひざの上に座っていたのに 今年は近づこうともせず 私の腕にぎゅーーーーとつかまってしました 近づけようとしようもんなら さらにぎゅー顔をぐちゃぐちゃにして泣きました 結構おもしろがってた私よー マイアもちょっと怖がっていましたよ 小さな声で”I would like scrapbooking stuff plseae”って そうしたらサンタ”Are you sure?”だって 5歳にしてSBスタッフが欲しいって 少しずつ買いだめして私の部屋に隠しています チカはマイアと似てる マイアは毎週金曜の夕方に行っていたクリケットのゲーム 先週と今週だけ泣きませんでした 試合中に泣くのよ 行く前は やったークリケット楽しみー って言ってるくせに 試合中に泣く 毎日泣く を繰り返していました やっと泣かなくなったと思ったら もう終わり という 先週まではもう次のタームはサインアップしないと言っていたのに 昨日はまた次もやると言っていた また来年になったら変わっているかも なおpさんの写真どれもステキよぉ 心温まります yoko

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