Murder on the Beach
The waves rolled gently by, the atmosphere peaceful, as the pickup parked by the seashore in the dead of the night. I climbed out of the vehicle.
Impatiently pushing away an errant lock of hair from my face, I looked around the beach to ensure that there was no one around.
Good; no human being in sight.
And even if there were, the little they would see in the dark wouldn’t be enough to identify me. They would just see an unassuming man — six feet, dark eyes, dark hair, tanned skin, and a regular-shaped face. I looked like almost anyone who had decided to come to the beach that day.
I stood in front of the truck for a while, enjoying the view of the water — the little I could see bathed by the moonlight. I nodded and muttered to myself, “The best time to do this sort of business is when the beach is quiet.”
And I was right. For if it were morning, the exercise junkies would have noticed me. If it were any other time in the day, the small number of tourists, visitors to the inn, or even the students who enjoyed playing with their love interests by dusk would have seen me. And they wouldn’t have been happy about the package I had for Blue Shores Island.
But the night shrouded me in anonymity as I trudged to the back of the van. I opened it with gloved hands and carried out a long object wrapped in a black bin bag. I slung it over my shoulder — the item was almost as tall as I, but years of weightlifting made me stronger and more muscular.
Slowly walking to the middle of the beach, I contemplated on the best place to drop the package. Placing it on the sand would be the best bet; it should be close enough to the water but far enough from the incoming tide. Once I picked a satisfactory spot, I put the body on the ground, feet closest to the sea and head pointing to the fence of an inn at the other end of the beach.
Gently and carefully, as if I had all the time in the world, my hands began to peel off the bin bag. First, it removed the bag that wrapped around the legs. Then it tore off the bag that covered the head and torso. Afterward, I burned them and threw the ashes into the sea, soiling the inhabitants of the island just like they soiled me.
I could have walked away then — simply driven the pickup out of the beach and Blue Shores Island that minute. But that would have never been enough. It wouldn’t have been equal payment to those who ruined my life, neither would it have created the effect I wanted. It would have only been a dead body found by the seashore.
But I wanted to make a statement, to send a message across.
They had to know that I was looking for them. They had to be sure that I wasn’t going to stop with this man. Until then, I wouldn’t be satisfied. Only then would the game begin.
So, I tore the man’s clothing, left him naked for all to see — let him be naked like I’d been when the fire had singed my clothes and left me to run destitute on the streets. I took the knife on the car seat and plunged it into his heart. Let the knife be a warning. Just like I’d seen one on my dad’s heart that fateful night, so will they all suffer a similar fate. I brought out a small piece of paper from my pocket — I’d carefully typed my message in it — and placed it in the man’s palm on the ground.
Then, I pulled off my coveralls and gloves to reveal smaller versions of the same clothing. After sentencing them to the same fate as the bin bags, I walked briskly to the truck and drove off.
As the pickup truck drove out of the seashore, through the streets of Blue Shores Island, and over the bridge, my mind kept thinking about the dead man on the seashore. He hadn’t given me enough information, he could mutter only one name. My fist clenched on remembering the time I wasted torturing him. I wouldn’t make that mistake again. The next person had to talk; he must tell me what they did to my family, how they did it, and why.
It happened twenty-five years ago. The case was closed, but I would reopen it.
One of two things would happen — justice would be served to the murderers of my family or the hammer of vengeance would come upon their heads.
My name is Daniel Peterson. Let them pay for what they did to me.