Monday, May 2, 2011

The Tall Dark Man

I have always enjoyed writing and have always been encouraged in it. I remember a particular time in life when my ninth grade English teacher raised my self-confidence in writing to a new level. We were given this prompt: "It was a dark and stormy night..." After she read through all our entries, she kept mine to read to the entire class. What an honor for a ninth grader! Thank you, Miss Thomas!

Here it is from August 21,2000:

It was a dark and stormy night when the tall dark man in the long black trench coat stepped under the street light. The time was approximately midnight. The man waited with a small briefcase in his right hand.

The light in the window across the street finally turned on.

The man looked at his watch and walked at a fast pace to the phone booth nearby. Closing the door, he dialed a number. His words were short: "Yes. I have it. No, no one killed. Yes." He looked suspiciously around, then opened the briefcase. He pulled out an envelope and some matches. After putting them in the inside pocket of his coat, he closed the briefcase and left the phone booth.

He went back to under the street light and opened an umbrella that had been mysteriously left there. He lit the match, burned the envelope, looked up to the window, and walked towards the apartment.

He stepped into the foyer and took off his coat. A maid came to assist him. He sat by the fire and lit a pipe. A tall woman about the same age walked in and sat down in a winged-back chair.

He looked at her and said, "I've burned the last remaining evidence. No one can ever find out."

She stood and threw his pipe into the fire, "I've called the police. They're coming to get you. You burned the wrong envelope." She held up her hand and revealed another envelope. "This has the original ransom note in it. The hostage is still in the basement. Return the money, and no evidence will be found showing you as the kidnapper."

"No, I'll never," he said as sirens were sounding outside.

He clutched the handle of the briefcase as the police came in and arrested him. They opened the briefcase, but only a hair comb lay in there.

"Ha, ha, ha," he laughed. "You have the wrong man!"
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