A Box of Chocolates
A Box of Chocolates
It has become a tradition. Before starting any of my assignments, as I like to call them, I go to a store and I get a box of chocolates. At first, I used to get any type of chocolates. Not anymore. Nowadays, I always get myself a box of Whitman's Samplers. The yellow, crossed-stitched box in which these chocolates are packed may seem quiet and unassuming, but the flavor of these delicacies is to die for. I just love to feel them melt in my mouth while I think of my next task. Usually I eat the whole contents of the box, and then I ask one of the clerks to wrap it up for me. It never fails to surprise the clerks when I ask them to wrap a box full of nothing! They always ask stupid questions such as "are you sure you want me to wrap them up for you?" or "have you noticed that the box is empty?" They must think I'm nuts! Well, in my line of work you have to be a little crazy. I definitely know that I am not mad, but several people could think I am. It is always the same thing: everyone judges you based on what you do for a living. Stereotypes. Fucking stereotypes. If you play sports, and make a living out of it, you must be stupid. If you teach a course at some fancy university, you must be smart. If you kill people, and receive money for doing it, then you must be mad. But I'm not. I'm not mad. It's a lot crazier to have a nine to five job and get barely enough money to survive. That's totally insane! Not my case. I get paid around fifty-thousand per job, which allows me to have a great life. Besides, I only kill bad people. I would never hurt a decent person. If someone is willing to pay fifty grand for your death, you must be a scum bag. I know that for sure. What do I use the wrapped box of chocolates for? That's easy. Before I execute any of my victims, I always give each one of them a box of chocolates. The box is empty, of course. Why do I do that? Well, it's like my signature. You wouldn't expect Salvador Dali or Julian Barber not to sign their masterpieces once they are finished. Nobody must know what I do. I am a silent artist, but the least I can do is let the world know that all the killings have been done by the same person. That's the least I can do. Thinking of these things while I eat the last chocolate on the box has made me a bit late. I still have to wrap the box and head to K-road 8926, which is the address of Derek Sterlingman. Probably, another scumbag. Probably, a man who has devoted his life to making others suffer. Nobody pays fifty grand for a killing unless it is to get rid of a scum bag. I am doing a service for humanity. I better get this box wrapped so I can finish this assignment quickly.
Derek Sterlingman was born in 1963. He was the father of Virginia, 10 years old, and Jennifer, also 10 years old. Fortunately, at the time of the murder, they were at school. Sterlingman, a respected professor of humanities at a fine university, died this morning. The police officers found an empty box of chocolates next to Sterlingman's dead body. That links his death with 5 other killings in which each of the victims was found next to a box of Whitman's samplers. Derek lies next to the box with a bullet stuck in his forehead. He was a beloved husband, an excellent father, and an inspiring professor. He will be missed by many.
The bell rings. As soon as I get the door, I know it is him. My three little dogs start barking the minute they see him. I get the keys and open the gates. When I saw him for the first time, I was a bit disappointed. He was short, skinny, and dull. Someone you would forget ten seconds after you saw him. Perhaps, that was an asset in his line of work. "Come in", I said. He comes inside my house, and tells me he has a package for me. The minute he enters the room, I tell him he should have been here an hour ago. I tell him to have a drink with me, but he refuses. I can feel his nervousness. I wonder if this is the first time he has done something like this. The minute I give him the envelope with the money, he is even more confused. He wants to know why I am paying him to finish me. He claims that it would have been much cheaper to take my own life away instead of hiring him to do so. He is mistaken. He has no idea what he is talking about. As soon as I discovered I had cancer, I did lots of stupid things. The only thing that can save my daughters and my wife is my life insurance. I explain this to the man, but he refuses to listen to me. He tells me that it is not how he works, and threatens to leave without completing the job. He tells me he only kills bad people, and there is nothing wrong with leaving an inheritance to the ones you love, especially if you are about to die of cancer. He is right. There is nothing wrong with that. Then, I remember his face. Jack Simpleton. He was a student of mine at Bark Sire College. I remember him distinctly. I remember he dropped out of my class. He was a bad seed, but I could never forget one of his essays. He wrote something about stereotypes. Something about classifying people based on their lines of work. Eureka! That's the answer! The minute I tell him I am a lawyer at a respected firm, he tells me to open the box. I stare at the empty box of Whitman's samplers for a minute or two, thinking of the twins and my wife.