The Winner

The Winner


We meet a man named Joseph Mahan reading in his study. Reading is a hobby that relaxes him after the horror of his job. Day in and day out, Joseph is solving mysteries. As he flips through the pages and sees the words he is truly thinking of his life.
So it was the clerk at the department store. I sure cracked that case with all the right clues. But I still don't know why he would he kill his own son? For money? No. The kid didn't have insurance. For personal hatred? No. They were still living together. Well, it doesn't matter. I knew the old man did it and now he is away.
Joseph closes his book and gets up from his chair. Walks a few feet to his fireplace and closes the glass. With his book in hand, he turns to his right and puts the book back in the spot he originally got it from. Every book of his must be in the perfect order, just like the rest of his house.
Joseph's home is nothing short of a miracle. Gigantic, with fifty-seven rooms all of wood and marble furniture and tile and carpet floors. His master bedroom has a California King sized bed for nobody buy himself. The other three bedrooms have not been used since he bought his house in 1997. His four bathrooms are all made of marble, with Jacuzzis, televisions and phones. Not me mention the fact that the bathrooms are just as big as the bedrooms.
Since the age of twenty-five, when he bought it house, he has been alone. He never had a wife, never any kids, never even a mother. His mother died on April eleventh of the year 1972 while giving birth to her first and only child. Joseph's father, who never remarried, was the only mother, father, brother and friend Joseph ever had. In 1996, Joseph's father died too. With the inheritance, one year later, Joseph bought a house and a career.
To escape from his problems, Joseph decided to find out what other people are going through. Joseph became a private eye...and the best private eye in New York at that. His office is another branch of his house. It was much smaller and much more appropriate for a working place. But the fact that the gigantic building behind his office is his house is a well-kept secret. "I'm just renting the house," he would say, and nobody would give it a second thought. Joseph found it easy to get people to listen and believe what he says.
Joseph is a real life "James Bond." He was loved by woman and respected by men. What he wanted was his. Every word was more powerful coming from him. His gentle, blue eyes can look like terrifying blue flames when he wanted them to be. His light brown hair is always gelled back without a hair out of place. His face looks as if he never had facial hair to begin with. Joseph is also equipped with a perfectly matching suit in every color for every event an any man would ever experience. Nothing but perfection was good enough for this thirty-two year " Mr. Private Eye!"


While out Thursday night at the most exquisite restaurant in New York, Joseph is sitting isolated, ordering his meal. His soft, cool voice is charming the beautiful waitress. "I will have whatever you tell me to have ma'am," He says with a wink of his left eye along with a click in his cheek.
"Well I would suggest the 'Penne Alla Vodka,' if you like Italian food," the waitress says in a shy tone due to Joseph's comment and gesture.
"If that is what you suggest, that is what I'm having." Joseph says still charming the waitress.
What a beautiful young woman working in a place like this. Joseph leaned back in his chair and picked up his glass of water to take a sip. I am sure she has no idea I am thirty-two. If she knew, then I would have been slapped by now. It is a shame I can't leave with her. Joseph sipped his water and placed the glass back on the table.
He truly was unable to leave with the woman because he was just called on his next mystery. However, he was in no hurry to get to the crime scene. Joseph hated police officers with passion. He knew that if he waited to show up, there would be less people there to deal with. Joseph took a pad out of his left, inside jacket pocket with his right hand. He placed the pad on the table next to his empty plate. Then he stood up and removed his long black trench coat from his body and placed it with his left hand on the empty chair next to him. He sat back down and picked up his pad. On the pad was all the information he was told when he got the call before he left for dinner. He looked at his pad and read what he wrote with his perfect handwriting.
      W 42nd St. & 3rd. ave.
      1 dead white male on his stomach
      Stab wound on his back, no other wounds
      One torn book on the ground next to body
      Pages 157 & 158 torn away
      No suspects found
"Here's your food," a woman's voice said.
Joseph slowly turned the pad face down and put it on the right side of his empty plate while looking up and seeing the waitress with a silver tray in her hand. "There's my girl," Joseph said not sounding too excited. "Please take this empty plate and put that one here."
Joseph handed the waitress the empty plate and she put the platter in front of him. Then she walked away as Joseph began to eat. While spooning the pasta into his mouth he thought about the case.
So we are looking at a murder over what seems to be nothing more than a page in a book. What could that page have on it that is worth murdering someone? Wow, this pasta is good. The fact that the victim was stabbed in the back means he was either unaware that there was someone else in the room or he thought he was in no danger with the person in the room. I forgot to ask if there was anyone else in the house. I also forgot to ask what book the page was torn out of. Well, the only way to find out would be to get to the crime scene.
Joseph signaled for the check and when it came he left a big tip for the lovely young woman who served him. She also wrote her phone number on the back side of the tab. Then he stood up, picked up his coat and slowly put it back on. He checked his pockets making sure there was nothing missing. Finally, he put his pad back in the inside pocket and went off to find another stupid criminal.


While walking to his car, Joseph thinks about his past cases. Walking further down the street, his car comes into view. His brand new, blue Porsche Carrara GT is his only true friend. He steps up to the car and unlocks the door. While opening the door he turns to see people that stare at him in envy. When he sits in the car he puts the key in the ignition and turns the engine on. The smooth hum of the motor running relaxes Joseph as he starts to head for West Forty-Second Street. With the soothing sound of the engine and the brisk night air, Joseph's mind wonders.
I remember the first time ever doing something like this. It was not the first time I was afraid. All I knew about being a detective is what I read in books. It is much different when you are there yourself. It is much more graphic. It is much more suspenseful. It is much more nerve racking. And it is much harder to solve the case. The most difficult case I ever had was my second. The first was open and shut. A man shows his wife because she was cheating on him. What a psycho, but the second was mystery tangled inside of an enigma. Why would a man steal something that was already his? Well, I'm here now, so it is time to think about this case.
Upon his arrival at the crime scene, Joseph is greeted by a man he worked with once before. A detective named James Rivers cries out to Joseph over the loud voices of news reporters. "Joe, we need you over here...big time!"
As Rivers calls out, the reporters turn around and charge at Mahan with questions. One reporter calls out, "Mr. Mahan, will you solve this case?"
The other reporters are asking. "How long will it take to solve this one?"
Finally, Joseph answers their questions. "I will solve this one when I feel the criminal thinks he is getting away with it!"
Rivers lifts the crime scene tape so Mahan can get under. "I'm so happy you're here Joe. You're actually rather late," Rivers says trying not to hurt Joseph's feelings.
As they are walking through the small house, Joseph realized that there were no cops around. "Well Jay, considering that there are no blue shirts here...I'd say I got here just in time," Joseph replies in his soft voice.
"Ah, still have a fear of cops?"
"I fear nothing. I'm just bother by cops."
"Well, you aren't too far off from being one, you know?"
"I'm not a cop. Cops are just as stupid as the criminals. I outsmart the criminal and lock him up," Joseph said starting to take a louder tone.
"Well, here we are: dead with stab wounds," Rivers says shaking his head and sucking his teeth while looking down at the dead body.
Joseph looks down and sees a man. He must have been about 230 pounds and only five-foot-eight. This was considered short because Mahan is six-foot-two. "Well, I can examine him later...just make sure he doesn't leave," Joseph says to James trying to crack a joke.
Joseph examines the rest of the crime scene. The body was in a perfectly straight line from the door to enter the room and his desk. The book was right next to his right hand. Joseph picked up the book to examine it. It was a red hard cover novel. There was no name on the front or spine of the book. Joseph looked at the inside cover and there was still no title. Then James spoke, "I looked at every page. "There is nothing that gives even a hint of what it is."
Joseph did not listen as he opened to the middle of the book and started reading. After reading half a page, Joseph knew what book it was. "I have this book in my library. There is supposed to be a title on the dust jacket, but someone took it off," Joseph said placing the book in the exact spot he picked it up from.
Then Joseph moved over to the desk. It was a fully wooden desk and large, black, leather, puffy chair. There was nothing on the desk but a typewriter and a page sticking half out of it. Joseph sat in the chair and pulled it up to the desk. "What are you doing," James asked. "Just getting a feel for how the man worked," Joseph replied. "So, he must have been sitting here typing... Then he pushed away from the desk. That is why this chair was out and to my right side..." Joseph stopped to think. "Okay, this is simple. This man moved away from his desk and when to answer the door. As he opened the door he wasn't afraid of the person he saw and as he went to sit back down he was stabbed from behind. Easy don't you think," Joseph asked leaning back in the chair putting his hands on his hips to be cocky.
"Well, that is great theory, but..."
Joseph cut him off. "No! That is not a theory! That's what happened... And if you still don't believe me, I'll prove it to you."
James took a step back due to Joseph's loud, angry tone. "Don't get me wrong Joseph, I do believe you but what about the book, and how can you prove it?"
"It's very simple my boy." Joseph pulled the chair back up to desk. "Let's say I'm sitting here typing, okay? Now there is knock on my office door. I pushed away from the desk to the right. Next, I get up toward left. I go to the door and open it." Joseph does every action as he says it. "Now I say, 'Hello.' I turn taking two steps. While I take those steps, the killer pulls the knife from his pocket and bang. Right about here I am stabbed and I would fall right where the body is." Joseph turned to his right to face James putting his hand on his hips again. "Any questions?"
James was scratching his head. "Okay, now I understand. However, what about the book?"
Joseph points to a shelf of books. "Look over there. There is no gap for this book to be. But follow me." Joseph walks to behind the desk. He gets down on one knee and points to a red dot on the wooden floor. There were two drawers that the blood could fall from. There was a large drawer and a smaller one on top of that. "You see this? This is drop of blood that fell from either the hand or the weapon. So here is more proof that he was stabbed before they looked for the book. Then after killing the man, the murderer came here, opened the drawer and took out the book.
"That sure is how it happened..." James said turning away from the desk. "...but why would the killer take a page and not the whole book?"
Joseph stood up and wiped off the knee he had on the floor. "Well, obviously there was something important on this page, and not anything on any other page."
"True, but what was on the page," James asked.
"Well, how about we go home. I will check the book from my library and when I find it, I'll call you," Joseph said tapping James on the shoulder.
"That sounds like a plan," James said looking down at the corpse on the ground. "What about the body?"
"Chalk it and we will check it out when we know more." James nodded to Joseph and walked out.
Joseph stepped outside and saw that all the reporters were gone. He looked up and saw the orange sky of the setting sun. Joseph took a deep breath of the clean air. Joseph took a silver cigar case out of his right outside coat pocket. He pulled it out with right hand and opened it with his left. He bit the one cigar sticking out and pulled the case away and stuffed the case back in his pocket. Then he went into his right pants and pulled out a lighter that looked just like a small gold block. He flicked up the cover and pushed on the button to reveal that it was actually a flameless cigar lighter. Then James stepped out of the door and stood next to Joseph.
"I just made the call. Next time we come here the body will be gone. Are you sure you're done looking," James asked while taking a cigarette out of his pocket.
"Yeah, I'm sure," Joseph said while igniting his lighter in front of James to light his cigarette.
"Thanks," James replied to the gesture. "So now that the reporters are gone, how long," James asked puffing his cigarette.
Joseph removed the cigar from his mouth. This should take me a few days...a week at the most." Joseph looked at James for a reaction.
James just nodded. They were having their smokes in silence for a few minutes. James quickly finished his cigarette and flicked it off the few steps on the sidewalk. James tapped Joseph on the shoulder and walked down the steps and turned to the left. James walked about half a block away to his silver Honda and drove away waving as he passed Joseph. When James was out of view, Joseph took two black leather gloves out of his left coat pocket. As he put on his gloves, he turned and walked back into the house.
Now it is time for me to solve this case. Everyone is gone. So, the question I have to ask myself is: Where did the drop of blood come from, the top or bottom drawer?
Joseph walked behind the desk and opened the bottom drawer again. Empty...empty as can be. Joseph looked closer to maybe find a hair. No hairs either. Then he opened the top drawer while pushing the bottom drawer closed with his knee. As he opened the top drawer a rancid odor came from it. Joseph turned his head as a reaction to the stench. Then he looked back down and found a knife. A knife with blood on it.
Bingo! I found the murder weapon.
The knife was all black steel with a thin layer of rubber over the hard handle. It was double edged with half of both sides serrated.
All I have to do now is match this up with the victim's wound.
Then he heard a car pull up to the house. A door opened. Then the door closed. The car drove off. The footsteps of someone were easily heard on the concrete steps. Joseph quickly ran to his left where there was a closet door. He quickly opened and closed the door as someone walked into the house. He heard every step as the person was getting closer and closer to the room where his hiding took place. Then Joseph heard the steps in the study. He then heard something like liquid hit the floor. Joseph put his head up against the door for a better sense of what was going on. Another sound followed...a click. Then finally there was a flash of light and heat. The footsteps of someone running away were the next sound. Joseph slowly opened the door just enough to see out. Then he saw a fire.
Joseph quickly flung the door all the way open. Then he started to run for the exit. As he got closer to the front door, he saw it was closed. Now up against it, he looked out of the small window in the center of the door. Then he saw a man standing directly in front of the house in a long black coat, much like his, a classic style had and a cigarette at his side between his right middle and ring finger.
Well that's weird. Most people hold a cigarette with their pointer and middle finger.
Then Joseph felt the heat getting closer to him. He couldn't go out the front door or the man outside would for sure kill him.
He would kill me, especially if he is the one who set the fire.
Joseph looked to the right and saw a window. He ran and jumped with his right hand covering his eyes. With a crash of glass, Joseph sailed out of the window. Landing cleanly on his feet Joseph ran out to the sidewalk and down the street away from the house. "Hey, you there! Stop right there!" The voice had had been a man who standing in front of the house.
Joseph ran to the end of the block and turned left down Third Avenue. He ran, saw a man walking out of the building and quickly caught up as he held the door open he ran into the building. The arsonist was chasing Joseph around the corner and continued down the street unaware that Joseph went into a building. When the man was gone, Joseph slowly walked out of the building and went back to where his car was parked. As he turned back onto Forty-Second Street he saw the house up in flames. The crime scene was destroyed.
Joseph stood amazement as everything was burning. No more knife, no more body, no more blood. No more book... No more nothing.
Well, I can still read pages 157 and 158 when I get home. But I have to survive long enough to get home.
Joseph walked around his vehicle to the driver's side. Got into his Porsche and drove off. While on the move, Joseph reached over and opened his glove compartment. He pulled out a cellular phone and quickly looked through the stored numbers for James Rivers. As he found it, he pushed the send button.
C'mon James. Pick up your phone!
"Hello," a voice said on the other side of the phone.
"James! Is that you," Joseph asked nervously.
"No it's not. As a matter of fact, if you keep driving you will see James on your left," the voice said calmly.
With every block Joseph passed he looked to the left. Then after four blocks he thinks he saw James. A silver car was long ways in the middle of the street on fire. Joseph slammed on the breaks. "Who are you? Who the hell are you? If I find you I won't bust you! I will kill you!" Joseph was never so loud or upset in his entire life.
The only person that Joseph was able to talk to was dead. The only person Joe could tolerate died slowly in an inferno. Then the voice responded to Joseph's comment. "Actually, Mr. Mahan, I was hoping you would say that. Please, try and kill me. But you must first solve this case." With that there was a click as the phone got cut off.
Joseph pressed the send button again to redial. But the recorded voicemail answered the call.
Joseph lifted his foot from the break and slammed his foot back down on the gas pedal. The car quickly picked up speed as it went down the street. Joseph was in a rush to get home and solve the case.


Upon Joseph's return to his house, there was a woman standing at the front door to his office. Joseph drastically slowed down his car to proceed with caution. Joseph leaned forward in his car to see who was standing there. He recognized the woman as soon as he saw her face. It was the wife of detective Rivers.
Joseph turned into his long driveway and stopped in front of James' wife. Joseph rolled down his passenger side window to talk to Mrs. Rivers as she walked closer to the car. "Hello Joe, is my husband with you," she asked. Her soft feminine voice made Joseph comforted about the face the James was dead. Joseph leaned over in his car to answer the question. However, when he opened his mouth, nothing came out. "Is something wrong with you?"
Then Joseph was able to speak. "Why don't you get in the car, we will drive up to the house and was can talk." With that said the woman just nodded and got into the passenger side of Joe's car.
Mrs. Rivers opened the door and put her purse on the arm rest between the two seats. In the light of the car due to the open door, Joseph got a better view of the woman. Her platinum blond hair was perfectly straight and it shined with the light. She was wearing a red dress that was sticking out of the bottom of her black mink coat. As she sat, she ran her hand down her backside to sit on her dress. Joseph noticed her diamond wedding band. As she slammed the door, she put her hands together and was spinning the ring around her finger. Each spin made the diamonds glimmer a different color.
As Joseph was driving he tried to make friendly conversation with the widow. "So, Mrs. Rivers, what makes you think James would be with me?"
Confused, the woman replied, "Because you told me he was with you."
"No I didn't." Joseph replied in shock.
"Yes you did."
"When did I say this?"
"Twenty minutes ago when you called my house."
"I don't who you spoke to, but it wasn't me."
"Please...I know your voice."
Then Joseph was right in front of his house. The double glass doors revealed the shining diamond chandelier that stood right above the inner hallway. Joseph stopped the car, turned and took the key from the ignition and looked as the woman was sitting next to him. "Listen to me... There is something very wrong here. I didn't talk to you and James was never with me. I went to a crime scene today and someone burnt it down. Then I called your husband and I got someone else. Whoever this other person was, it was the criminal we were looking for."
Mrs. Rivers looked confused. "You were looking for him... You're not looking for him anymore?"
Then Mahan realized that he would have to tell her the whole truth. "I am still looking for the criminal, but your husband is not... Your husband's car ignited on his way home... I believe someone killed him."
A tear formed in the woman's eye as she put her head in her hands. Then she started to cry. "Joe, can I please come inside, just for a minute?"
Joseph put his hand on her shoulder. "Sure, anything for you Mrs. Rivers," Joseph said as she leaned in to cry on his shoulder.
Then she looked up at Joseph. Her blue eyes mesmerized him. For the first time, Joseph realized that the woman he was sitting with was the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. "Please Joe...just call me Lisa."
"Okay, Lisa," Joseph replied. Then they both stepped out of the car and into the house.
As the front door opened there was a blast of light that shinned the street outside. Joseph put his hand out allowing the lady to go first. As she stepped into the house, she got the feeling of coldness because of the marble and tile surrounding her. Directly in front of her was a circular staircase leading to the upstairs bedrooms. Further into the hall and to the right was a kitchen. And to the far right was the dining room. To the left was a ballroom, a billiard room and a study. The basement had a gigantic wine cellar and an even bigger library. As Joseph closed the door behind him, he put his hand on Lisa's back and pushed her toward the dining room. Every step she took seemed to echo off every wall in the house. As a matter of fact, they did.
When she made it to the dining room she noticed three doors. One exited to the dining room to the hall she came from. The other was an entrance from the kitchen. The final one was on the opposite side. That lead to another hall and even more rooms.
There were mostly bathrooms, open living rooms, walk in closets and other standards. It also entered the indoor swimming pool. As well as another staircase to the upper level. Finally, the only entrance to the basement. "Please, let me take your coat," Joseph said as he pulled the mink off Lisa's shoulders.
This revealed the rest of Lisa's dress. It was a long one-piece red dress. It had shoulder straps no thicker than a piece of linguini. Because of the thin straps and the fact that the dress was backless, Joseph was able to tell that Lisa wasn't wearing a bra. However, despite the amount of skin the dress showed, the front of it wasn't low cut. It was just under her collar bone. The dress was tight on Lisa showing her perfect figure. She had perfect curves like a woman sees only in dreams. And this was the woman of Joseph's dreams.
Joseph walked out of the dining room from the far exit and Lisa heard him open a door. The clang of metal on metal gave her the assumption that Joseph was hanging up her coat. When he came back into the dining room, his hands were empty and his coat was gone. Lisa's assumption was correct. Joseph unbuttoned the jacket to his black suit. Then he walked over to the closest chair to Lisa and pulled it away from the table. "Please Lisa, make yourself comfortable. I'm going to have a cup of coffee. Would you like one?"
Lisa shook her head. "I never really liked coffee."
Joseph pointed at Lisa. "Tea it is."
Lisa sat down and Joseph pushed the chair into the table as she sat down. Then he exited the dining room into the kitchen where he was able to make the coffee and tea. As making the drinks he heard the door to the kitchen open. Joseph was unable to turn to see who entered because he was getting mugs out of one of the cupboards. Then he walked over to the oversized sing and turned the instant boiled water spout. He put the mugs down on the steel counter and turned around to get a tea bag and a bag of coffee grinds. In the process he was interrupted by Lisa. Her hands were placed on Joseph's biceps and she turned him to face her toe to toe.
Joseph place the tea bag in one mug and the grinds into the other before he turned around. As they were facing one another there was an awkward pause. Even though Joseph was used to this type of pause, he felt weird being with this woman. Then he glanced at her left hand again and realized the wedding band was gone. She leaned into Joseph with her lips puckered and her eyes closed. As her lips touched Joseph's he widened his eyes in shock. Then he slowly closed his eyes and he was melted into her passion.
He pushed Lisa away. He looked deep into her eyes to tell her that what she did was wrong. However, her blue eyes only tempted him more as he mauled her with more kisses. He started kissing her face then started to kiss the left side of her neck. She looked up and moaned with delight. Lisa put her left hand on her shoulder and pulled the dress strap off and the dress fell half way down her bosom. Then Lisa did the same to her right-handed strap. Joseph moved his kisses up and was kissing Lisa's lips again. Then he heard the sound of something move.
Joseph looked down to see that her dress as folded down at her waist. Lisa's perfect, perky, sphere shaped breasts were completely revealed. And while kissing Lisa, Joseph put his hands on her back. He moved down her soft skin to her buttocks where the dress zipper was. He unzippered it down and the dress fell right to Lisa's ankles.
Joseph moved his hand to Lisa's hips. Then he picked her up and plopped her to the right on the cold steal counter. Lisa's red G-string underwear didn't protect her from the cold, but she didn't feel it anyway. Joseph then removed Lisa's underwear leaving her naked on the kitchen counter.
Joseph looked at her and quickly, sloppily removed his suit. First, he loosened his tie and pulled it over his head. Next, he pulled on either side of his button-down shirt ripping off some buttons. As he pulled the shirt up from within his pants, his pants got looser around his uncovered waist and fell slightly. Lisa, still sitting on the counter, leaned forward and undid Joseph's belt. Lisa quickly undid the button and zipper and his pants fell to his ankles. He threw each piece of his suit on the tile floor and in almost no time, he was just as nude as Lisa.
Then Lisa slid down off the counter and put her back against the cold, hard tile floor. Once again, Lisa was too wrapped in passion to feel it. Joseph on top of Lisa and they began to make love slowly and passionate. Then Joseph got a weird feeling. A feeling he never felt before. Joseph actually cared about the girl under him. Joseph fell in love.
After a short time of love making Joseph whispered into Lisa's right ear. "Up the stairs in the front hall. Last door on the right. I'll meet you there."
Lisa was moaning as she nodded. Joseph got off her and she ran to the room he instructed her to go to. Joseph picked up his and Lisa's clothes before following her upstairs. Upon entering the room, he threw the clothes on the floor.
This room was much cozier. It was Joseph's bedroom. Lisa sprawled out on her back right in the center of Joseph's bed and he got on top of her. Then Joseph continued with what he was doing in the kitchen. When it was over, they both fell asleep.


Joseph was first to wake up. He was lying on his back. He looked to his right and saw his bedroom door wide open and the hallway light was causing Joseph to squint to see. Then he looked to his left and saw Lisa sound asleep with covers all the way up to her neck. Joseph lifted the covers to see the rest of her body. She was still naked. Joseph knew she didn't get up in the middle of the night.
Then he lifted his right wrist to see the time. Joseph's "King Midis" Rolex revealed that it was only nine O'clock in the morning. Joseph got out of bed to his right and picked his underwear up from off the floor. As he put them on, he walked over to the far right where his closet door was. Then he got a spotless, silk, red robe out of the closet and put it on. While tying the belt around him he walked over to Lisa and kissed her cheek before exiting the bedroom.
He walked to the steps and slowly walked down to the hall. He was still too tired to be out of bed. However, he wanted to finish what he started yesterday. The light of the bright sun was blinding Joseph as it gleamed through every window.
At the base of the steps, he was facing his front door. He turned to his right and went into his study. He looked on the right wall of books and picked up one of the books. It was Wax House written by Nicholas Scoopa. Then Joseph turned to page 157. Because the pages were back to back in the book, it was only one page.
It was a bit of information about two characters. One named Kenny and another named Thomas. They were in a wax museum running from a murderer with a knife. Then there was something that might be interesting. It was a paragraph at the bottom of page 158. Joseph was reading to himself.
Okay, so in this part two boys: Kenny and Thomas are running away from a killer with a knife. Thomas falls and screams for Kenny. Then Thomas is stabbed and Kenny screams for him.
Joseph realized that if this actually ever was to really happen it would sound like someone's full name. "Kenny Thomas," Joseph whispered to himself quietly.
Well, it is no one I ever heard of. However, it may be someone that has a criminal record.
Joseph put his book back on the shelf and walked over to his desk. He pressed a small button on the lower, right hand corner of the table, and up from under the wood rose up a computer. It was already on because Joseph never turned it off. He went on the website only for only police men.
Because of Mr. Rivers, Joseph knew a name and password that would get him on the site. After he was on the site he went to a search box and typed in Kenneth Thomas. As it was searching for the person, Lisa Rivers walked into the study.
Joseph stood up and quickly pushed his computer back into the table. Then she turned to her right as she heard something slam. Then she saw Joseph. Lisa was also wearing a silk robe only she was wearing one of Joseph's blue ones. "What are you doing Joe," she asked rubbing her left eye.
"Nothing, I was just reading," he replied walking away from his desk trying to cover up the fact that he was on to something in the mystery.
Lisa walked over to him and put her hands on his shoulders. Then she looked up and gave Joseph a kiss on the lips. He kissed her back calmly. "What do you say I make us both some eggs for breakfast," she said in a cute manner.
"That would be splendid," he said rapping his arms around Lisa holding her tight.
Then they kissed again and she exited the study while saying, "I'll call you when it's ready."
Now that Lisa is awake, Joseph can't look up anything about his mystery. Because Joseph is unsure if he can trust Lisa he follows her into the kitchen.
Well, my computer is still working so while it is looking for a match, I'll just follow Lisa around.
When Lisa made it into the kitchen she seemed to know where everything was. She took out a big pan and laid it on the counter walking over to the refrigerator looking for a stick of butter for the bottom of the fan. In the meantime Joseph took out his steel coffee urn from a cabinet and started to put coffee grinds in it. After plugging in the urn, Joseph went into the dining room and sat down thinking about the case. Lisa was alone in the kitchen making the eggs. While thinking, Joseph smelt something familiar. Lisa was also making bacon, but Joseph was too involved in the case to be tantalized by it.
So on that page is a story about a murderer. So is the case. Someone was stabbed in the back. That's the same. And now we have a lead. Kenny Thomas. But what if there is something I'm missing? I need to read more on that page. As long as Lisa doesn't know why I'm reading, I can read the book right now
Joseph got up from the table and exited the dining room from the hall exit so he wouldn't have to walk past Lisa in the kitchen. As he got to the study he went back to where he placed the book. He took it off the shelf and snuck back into the dining room without Lisa even knowing he was gone.
Joseph sat down and shimmied to get comfortable. He placed the book down on the table and grabbed the arms of the chair. Then he pulled himself closer to the table. He finally picked up the book and opened it to page 157. Because it was in the middle of a paragraph, the page didn't start on an indent.

This killer had the biggest knife ever. Watch as I stop his spree before his very eyes. I
      have a great plan. I will get him back for all he killed whether he likes it or not. I will be
      able to stop this. I have the perfect plan to stop him once and for all. All I have to do
      is stand like the wax dummy, wait for the man and just grab the knife out of his hand.
     Kenny looked at me and said, "It won't work. You are crazy!" I looked at him and
      laughed. I knew it would work because I figured it with all the possibilities.
I looked at Kenny and smiled as I told him, "It will work Ken. I know it the way it
      will happen. I all goes well, it will definitely work out. It is all based on
      how stupid this killer is. It really depends on how you trust me. So tell me… With us
      both it would be easier. So will you help? Huh? Will you please trust me?"
Kenny smiled back and realized how it should be. We act like dummies and then
      strike. But I won't do it… I'm chicken. I will just give my reputation up to save my life.
      It was all done. My plan is all right. The hard part was next… I have to get Kenny to do
      it. This killer wouldn't be mine. It would be Kenny's victim. Not mine.

Page 158

How will we lure him? We can just wait for him to walk by, but that would take
      long. Maybe I can find something to try. Maybe it would work. The chances of it
      though are minimal. I'll be the lure and I'll just dress differently to let him think it's
      not me. I will just have to make sure I stop at a certain time so Kenny doesn't kill the
      wrong person. "I have it Kenny. It is me! I will lure him here. I will just change my
      clothes inside out. Then only a detective will be able to tell who is dressed like that. The
      problem is the only option that I have is to turn my jacket inside out. That would make
      me look a little different. It will work like a charm."
Kenny just has to not kill me. If he can make sure he doesn't kill the wrong
      person. "Kenny just be sure you kill the killer. Don't kill me. I will stop one room
      before this. After you do it, meet me in that room. Got it? Kenny nodded.
The rest was all up to me now. This is it. I might die today. I might not even
      make it home today. All this on my birthday for all days of this to happen. I have no
      choice. I just want to live to Monday. Considering today is Sunday. To think I was born
      sixteen years ago today. 11/12/86 I was born. And now, sixteen years later, I will die on
      that day. I was born at one O-clock in the morning. I wonder if I will die at that time
      too. There it is, I can see him at the room just across from me.
; There was the criminal, the man I must get to do. The man that has killed my
      friends. I committed a terrible crime and justice will be served. All I have to do now is
      draw attention to me. Making a scene would be the only way to do it.
Success, the killer was chasing me like a wild man. On the move I tripped and
      screamed out to Kenny. Then I felt a knife went through my lower back. Then I heard
      Thomas call my name. Then I lost consciousness. The next thing I knew
(The story continued on the next page)

After reading the page again Joseph realized that he must have been right. The only explanation is that the boy's names must relate to someone's full name. Then Lisa walked into the dining room backwards and Joseph quickly closed the book and put it next to him on the chair.
"Breakfast is ready," Lisa said turning to reveal two plates in her hands.
Joseph put his palms together rubbing them quickly. "Put that plate right here my love. I sure am hungry and I can't wait to eat." Lisa smiled as she put a plate in front of him.
The plate had two over easy eggs, two pieces of toast with butter cut into sticks, and three strips of bacon. Lisa put the other plate right across from Joseph. Both plates looked identical. They were both eating the exact same thing. Then Lisa went back into the kitchen.
After less than a minute, she came back with two cups of coffee in her hands. Her cup must have had milk in it. His cup was black. "Here you go Joe. Black, two sugars, just how you like it." Lisa knew how he liked his coffee because of the few times when Jason would ask him over for a cup at his house.
Lisa looked at her new lover for a second wondering why he wasn't eating. Then he looked up her with a look of disappointment. Then she realized her mistake. "Oh how stupid of me. I forgot forks, spoons and knives. I'm such a dummy," Lisa said running into the kitchen again.
When she came back into the room she handed Joseph one fork, one knife and one spoon. And she put one of each next to her plate. "Now we're ready to eat. Thank you darling. This is fantastic," Joseph said smiling at the cook as she smiled back at him.
"So what do you think about the case," Lisa asked taking a bite of a piece of toast.
So the boy was stabbed in the lower back. The victim wasn't stabbed low at all. He was stabbed right under his shoulder blade on his center-left side. The name is a great clue, but there has to be more. Then again, I don't even know if these pages will solve the whole crime for me.
Joseph swallowed the piece of bacon he had in his mouth and looked up at here. "I have no idea. But I promise you when I find your husband's killer I will…"
"I'm not talking about my husband," Lisa snapped cutting off Joseph's sentence. "I'm talking about the first victim," Lisa said with a slight laugh in her voice.
"Oh, well, the answer is the same. I have no idea."
That's weird. Why is she interested in the death of someone she didn't know? Yet she laughs about the death of her husband? There is something wrong. Lisa is hiding something.
Now the only thing on Joseph was thinking about wasn't the case…it was Lisa. Can she be involved? Could she have killed her husband? Why would she be making love to me immediately after her husband's death? Then Joseph had a great idea.
All I have to do is mention something. If I mention the book and she does so much as blink, she is involved. That's it, I'll just look for a twitch of nerves.
"It did discover one thing," Joseph said picking up the book off his seat.
Lisa's face lit up as she leaned forward. "Really? Great! What have you learned?"
Joseph was flipped through the pages as he spoke, "Whoever did this wants to get caught. You see, at the crime scene I found this book. And there is a clue on pages 157 and 158 that is rather simple to figure out. I will have this case solved in not time at all."
Lisa put her head down and leaned back in her seat. She then pushed her half-filled breakfast plate toward the middle of the table. "Well, that's good. I hope you catch the guy soon."
Lisa then picked up her plate and took it into the kitchen. Then Joseph heard water running. Joseph knew that Lisa was running the water on her plate as she put it in the sink. Then Lisa came back to the dining room with a frown on her face. "Are you okay," Joseph asked without sounding concerned.
"Yeah, I'm just remembered I have work today. I'm going to go. I have to get home and change before I go to the office. Can I come back here tonight? I don't want to sleep alone."
Joseph did feel afraid for Lisa's safety. Even if she was involved, sleeping with the detective would for sure get her killed. "Sure, I should be home when you get out of work."
With that Lisa walked out of the dining room and up the steps in the hall. Joseph continued to eat his breakfast with a smile. He knew that Lisa was nervous about something. Joseph knew for sure that she was involved and now he can catch her. Ten minutes later, Lisa walked down the steps fully dressed and returned to the dining room with one hand in her purse. "Okay Joseph, I'm going to leave…if I can find my keys. Ah, here they are." Lisa pulled the keys out of her purse. "I just want to thank you for last night." Lisa hugged Joseph and walked out the front door.
With Lisa gone, Joseph quickly finished his breakfast and brought the dish into the kitchen. He placed the dish on top of the dish already in the sink and ran water on it. Then he returned to the dining room. He picked up the two cups of coffee in one hand and his book in the other. Joseph went back into the kitchen, put the cups of coffee in the sink and then tucked the book under his arm. Joseph left the kitchen and walked down the hall into his study and turned his compact computer up to see what connection was made with Kenny Thomas.


Kenny Thomas had no police record. According to the database he doesn't even exist. The only information to get on his was if the government knew anything about him. It was now time to go to the next website. Any government site would do. So after trying out a few of them, Kenneth Thomas was found.
Thomas was a straight "A" student in all twelve years of school. He attended elementary school in the Bronx and then moved to New Rochelle. In New Rochelle he went through junior high and most of high school. Then he moved to Brewster, New York to attend as a high school senior. Then he signed with the army in 1999. In 2001 he died in a field of action.
Well I guess this isn't the guy I'm looking for. He is dead. Did he fake his death?
The next thing Joseph was looking for was a picture of Kenny. A half hour and twenty web sites later, a picture was found. The picture had him with a shaved head because it was his army picture. Little black stubbles were the only hair he had. He has tan skin and the largest biceps Joseph had ever scene. The bad news was that Joseph has never seen him before. And the man that chased Joseph after setting the crime scene on fire didn't have biceps like the man in the picture. As far as Joseph knows, Kenny Thomas is truly dead.
So what is so important about those pages? Why were they torn away?
Joseph is sitting in his study totally puzzled when his house phone rings. He moves his right hand over to the phone without taking his eyes off the computer screen. While still typing with his left hand, Joseph uses his right hand to put the phone to his ear. "Hello?"
"Is this the private eye," a voice asked.
"Who is asking?" Joseph moved back in his chair removing his hand from his keyboard.
"I am sure I am talking to the great detective Joseph Mahan," the voice said very confidently.
"Well, you are correct. However, this is my home, if you'd like to speak to me on a business level, you must call my office line."
"Oh, but I want to talk to you on a personal level…a very personal level. I just find it funny that less than twenty-four hours after your friend dies you decide to take his wife."
"Who is this?" Joseph stood up and go loud. "I already spoke to you on Mr. Rivers' phone. You don't remember me? I'm very upset with you."
"I already told you I would kill you when I find you."
"Well, why would you do that? Is it because I killed James or because I killed Lisa?"
"What," Joseph started to fear for Lisa's life.
"If you go to your office you will see that Lisa is on her death bed. Maybe you should help her. Just don't get killed on your way there. You…" Joseph hung up the phone and ran out of his front door still in his robe.
Without even shoes Joseph ran down the blacktop driveway to the front of the house. As fast as he could run, breathing heavily, Joseph felt like he was running forever. Every stone and pebble digging into his bare feet seemed as soft as a pillow. No pain could get through to him. After what felt like an eternity he made it to the end of his driveway. He looked left, then right, and didn't see anyone. "Lisa, where are you? Say something, anything," Joseph cried out to the fog of the morning air.
In the distance to the right toward Joseph's office he heard Lisa answer. "Joseph, is everything alright?"
Joseph started to run to his right. Running full speed he started to see a silhouette. Then he realized that it was Lisa. When he was no more than five feet away from Lisa, Joseph heard a gunshot. Joseph looked at her in awe as she fell perfectly forward. Landing flat on her stomach, Lisa fell to the ground.
Joseph stopped. He took a few steps over and put his bare knees on the blacktop driveway to his office. Joseph turned Lisa over to see her face. She was bleeding out of her stomach. She was spitting blood out of her mouth. And she was blinking her eyes violently. "Lisa?" Joseph said quietly as Lisa looked around. "Lisa? Can you hear me?" Joseph was not kneeling next to Lisa as he started to cry.
"Don't worry Joe. This was…supposed to hap-happen. I know too much… I-I was involved. I know the secret of Wax House… It isn't on the page. It's in the middle of the two pages." With those last words, Lisa fell asleep and was never going to wake up.
Joseph looked straight ahead as he stood up with more anger in his eyes than ever before. He didn't look in any other direction and didn't care if he was in a sniper's crosshairs. Then he ran through the trees and grass. Each step was kicking mud up onto his bare feet up to his knees.
Jumping over bushes and other obstacles, Joseph made it back to his house in a straight line. As he walked in through his opened front door, he left wet muddy footprints in his path. Slamming his front door closed, Joseph ran up the stairs and turned right down the upper hall. Then he was in his bedroom. Joseph was hit in the back of the head with something hard. He took one step and lost conciseness.
When he awoke he was still in the same spot where he fell. Nothing in the bedroom seemed to have moved, except for the letter on his bed. Next to the letter was Wax House. There was a hand written letter on Joseph's bed. Joseph didn't care about the forensic evidence that may have been left there. He only wanted to read the letter and find out what it said.

Dearest Has-been Detective,
         It was a long shot, but a good one, you must admit. I hit her in one
     shot. That is actually better than Oswald shooting Kennedy. But what I
     want to tell you is something about what Lisa said while she was a corpse. She
     told you my little secret. That the clue to crack this whole case opened is in the
     book Wax House in between pages 157 & 158. Good luck cracking that code
     because those pages are back-to-back in the book. I just want you to know
      that. I want you to crack the code. I want you to find me. If you find me,I
     win. I will win! And just to save you some time, I'm going to tell you that I
     didn't touch anything in your house. And I'm not in your house any longer.
      You can go back to solving the case now. And also, I did you a favor because
     now you won't be distracted by the wife of your best and only friend.
                       The Winner

This letter is a very big part of the case. However, it doesn't tell me anything new. I knew there was something important on those pages, but I didn't know it was between those pages. How can you go between two back-to-back pages? Maybe they can split.

Joseph picked up the book that was also on his bed right next to the letter. Squeezing the page with his thumb and index finger he tried to move his index finger forward to split the page. Nothing happened. Reading the page again there was no other code found.
Between… between… damn it the pages are back-to-back. This is impossible. What can I do? I have to do something, anything. Lisa is dead. James is dead.
"God damn it!" Joseph fell to his knees and slammed on his bed with his two fists and his thoughts were brought into words.
Joseph was starting to lose his cool. The perfect, soft spoken, gentleman that we all knew is changing before our very eyes. Joseph's hairs are falling out of place. The color of his skin was slowly changing to white. His cool, calm face was changing into a fierce grin of anger. Then Joseph snapped out of control.
Joseph rose to his feet and spun around. Charging to his closet and raiding it looking for suit. The closet door was right next to the exit door. Throwing other garments behind him, Joseph saw the navy blue suit that he wanted to put on. Joseph flung off his robe as it fell to the ground. Joseph quickly put on his suit and then ran out of the opposite end of the bedroom to where the connecting bathroom was.
Joseph opened his mirror door and fumbled his toothbrush before clenching it in his hand. Then opened a drawer to the left under his sink, he pulled out toothpaste. Turning off the cap and squeezing the toothpaste with his whole hand as he put it on the toothbrush. Joseph turned his sink on and quickly put the toothbrush through the water. Then he turned the water off and put his back to the sing as he shoved the toothbrush into his mouth.
Usually Joseph would admire his marble and tile bathroom. However, Joseph couldn't see any beauty at the time. The white tiles looked like just a barren wall. The black marble counter looked like dirt. And his gold sink lost all of its shine. Joseph turned around and put the sink back on while spitting into it. Washing his toothbrush he threw it back into the opened mirror.
Joseph ran back into his bedroom and grabbed the book. He continued running out of his bedroom, down the hall, down the steps and into his study. Joseph plopped down into his chair and opened the book for the last time. He knew that this was it. If Joseph didn't solve the code now, he was nothing.
Quickly he read the page again without anything coming to him. He quickly read it again. It still didn't help him. Now just losing his mind and loosing control, he quickly read down only the middle of the page.
After getting half way down the page he slowed down. It started to make a sentence. He went back to the top and read down the center of the page very carefully. Joseph grabbed a yellow highlighter out of his left drawer and highlighted the book right down the middle where the sentence was.

NOTE: The following worked perfectly well when printed in its original alignment. Excuse the lake of formatting as screen resolution and window size may vary.

This killer had the biggest knife ever. Watch as I stop his spree before his very eyes. I
      have a great plan. I will get him back for all he killed whether he likes it or not. I will be
      able to stop this. I have the perfect plan to stop him once and for all. All I have to do
      is stand like the wax dummy, wait for the man and just grab the knife out of his hand.
      Kenny looked at me and said, "It won't work. You are crazy!" I looked at him and
      laughed. I knew it would work because I figured it with all the possibilities.
I looked at Kenny and smiled as I told him, " It will work Ken. I know it the way it
      will happen. I all goes well, it will definitely work out. It is all based on
      how stupid this killer is. It really depends on how you trust me. So tell me… With us
      both it would be easier. So will you help? Huh? Will you please trust me?"
Kenny smiled back and realized how it should be. We act like dummies and then
      strike. But I won't do it… I'm chicken. I will just give my reputation up to save my life.
      It was all done. My plan is all right. The hard part was next… I have to get Kenny to do
      it. This killer wouldn't be mine. It would be Kenny's victim. Not mine.

Page 158

How will we lure him? We can just wait for him to walk by, but that would take
      long. Maybe I can find something to try. Maybe it would work. The chances of it
      though are minimal. I'll be the lure and I'll just dress differently to let him think it's
      not me. I will just have to make sure I stop at a certain time so Kenny doesn't kill the
      wrong person. "I have it Kenny. It is me! I will lure him here. I will just change my
      clothes inside out. Then only a detective will be able to tell who is dressed like that. The
      problem is the only option that I have is to turn my jacket inside out. That would make
      me look a little different. It will work like a charm."
Kenny just has to not kill me. If he can make sure he doesn't kill the wrong
      person. "Kenny just be sure you kill the killer. Don't kill me. I will stop one room
      before this. After you do it, meet me in that room. Got it? Kenny nodded.
The rest was all up to me now. This is it. I might die today. I might not even
      make it home today. All this on my birthday for all days of this to happen. I have no
      choice. I just want to live to Monday. Considering today is Sunday. To think I was born
      sixteen years ago today. 11/12/86 I was born. And now, sixteen years later, I will die on
      that day. I was born at one O-clock in the morning. I wonder if I will die at that time
      too. There it is, I can see him at the room just across from me.
There was the criminal, the man I must get to do. The man that has killed my
      friends. I committed a terrible crime and justice will be served. All I have to do now is
      draw attention to me. Making a scene would be the only way to do it.
(Everything after that is irrelevant)

I have three days. I will find this man and I will kill him.
Joseph went into his lowest drawer and pulled out a thirty-eight revolver. Joseph flicked the chamber open. Joseph was able to tell it was fully loaded. Joseph flicked the chamber shut and ran back upstairs to his bedroom. Joseph threw the gun on his bed. Then he began to clean up.
Joseph picked all of his clothes off his floor and hung them back in the closet in perfect order. He took off his blue suit and hung it back up. Then he put his robe next to his bed and put his gun on the end table on the left of his bed. Then Joseph slib back under the covers and went back to sleep.
Three days came and went and with each day Joseph's beard got longer and his color less and less. He changed and became more and more paranoid. Joseph went into his closet and put on a white suit with a black shirt. He picked up his gun and stuffed it under his jacket in the back of his pants. Then he left the bedroom and ran outside to his Posche. Hitting the gas peddle had hard as he could blazing down every block until he was at the ashy crime scene. Screeched his tires before stopping, Joseph came to the moment of truth. Parking his car and getting out was the hardest thing he had ever done. From now on, Joseph was a sitting duck. He went to what would have been the front door of the crime scene. There he waited.
"Joseph?" a voice said to his right.
"Are you 'The Winner?'" Joseph asked turning.
Joseph turned to a shadow smoking a cigarette held between his middle and ring finger leaning up against the burn panel of the house. "Yes. I'm the one who led you here. I take it you found the clue in the book. However, it was false. I didn't kill James. I did burn the crime scene and I did kill that bitch Lisa. After all, I had to." The shadow pushed off the wall and started to walk towad Joseph. As the street light shined on the man's face, Joseph had taken two steps back and his mouth fell opened. "How could I be married to someone who would sleep with my best friend?"
The man was James Rivers. "How did you do this? Why would to drive me to this! We had it all James," Joseph screamed into the midnight air in anger.
"That is why I did it Joe. You had it all, everything I wanted. I had nothing. You even had my wife. Working with you turned me into the perfect criminal. I'm the only master mind that could defeat the perfect detective. Well, I know you hate cops, so I will just kill you here and walk away like nothing happened." James put his hands on his hips and changed his voice to mock Joseph. "Any questions?"
Joseph put his head down in shame while glibly reaching behind himself for his gun. "Actually, I do have question. How will you kill me with a bullet in your shoulder?" Joseph said quickly pulling out his gun and clipping James' right shoulder in one pull of the trigger.
James looked at his shoulder then turned back with a smile. "You know I favor my right hand. But I learned to shoot with my left." James quickly grabbed for a gun and fired as Joseph jumped through the ashy door and into the burnt house. Joseph fired two more shots out at the wall. They went right threw the weak ash and Joseph listened for a reaction from James. "You got me! You're a good shot Joe."
Joseph didn't trust his words so Joseph went over to his bullet holes and looked out and saw that James wasn't hit at all. Joseph looked and fired the remaining two rounds of his chamber and saw one make James turn to him. The other shot went through James' head. Joseph won.
Joseph slowly walked outside the house and looked at James' corpse on the floor. Joseph laughed at what he had done. Joseph slowly walked back to his car and got inside. He used his hand to fix his hair and he drove home.


Joseph went back to the very same restaurant he was at four days before. He sat in the same spot and was waited on by the same waitress. "Hey you. You never called me," she said taking out her pad and a pen.
"You know I came here to order the Penne Alla Vodka for dinner and piece of you for desert." He charmed the girl once again.
"How about we skip the meal?"
Joseph nodded and he was back to his cool, calm and collected self.