Copyright © 1994 by D. T. Kelly
`Congratulations, you all have been chosen,' Roy Brown said to the four nervous gentleman sitting in the waiting room. `I guess I should let Mr. Comiskey tell you exactly what you are to do. If you will follow me please.'
The four men stood up and walked through the door Roy walked through just seconds before. They continued following him through the corridor and into the executive conference room.
`Mr. Comiskey, the gentlemen you have chosen are here.' Roy was talking to the leather chair's back, with nothing but a puff of cigar smoke to indicate the chair was occupied.
`Thank you Roy. That will be all for now,' the chair said.
`As you wish, sir. If you need anything, just call.' Roy opened the door and was out before an answer was heard to his
`Please, gentleman, have a seat. Would anyone care for a drink?' Mr. Comiskey was still facing the window as he asked this, and made no attempt to put any feeling in his voice.
`Just water, sir,' one of the men answered. His voice cracked uncontrollably, and it was apparent he was not the only one
`Margaret, bring in four waters, and a gin'n tonic.' Another puff of smoke billowed from behind the chair as his secretary
brought in the drinks on a silver platter. When she left, he turned around.
`First, let me personally congratulate you all.' He picked up his drink and took a healthy swig. `You should all be honored that you've been chosen.'
`Beggin' your pardon, sir, but what have we been chosen for?' The question came from Andrew Hedman, the same gentleman who asked for water. The other three men seemed scared to talk, but were all interested in hearing what they won.
`Why, you've been chosen to make ten million dollars. All you have to do is play our little game.' Comiskey continued to puff away at his cigar, an expensive, hand-rolled import from Cuba.
`And what does this game entail us to do?' This time, the question was asked by Shannon Taylor, the only black member of the group.
`All in due time, my friend. First, may I offer anyone a cigar. Perhaps, some food. Marge, bring in the spread of--'
`Thank you, sir, but that won't be necessary. We would just like to know what we have to do,' Andrew said.
`Suit youself, gentleman. Okay, you all have been chosen to compete against each other for a chance at ten million dollars.'
`Compete, what do you mean compete? How are we going to compete against one another? What do we have to do?' there was nothing but impatience in Shannon's voice.
`Patience is a very important quality to own. I suggest you control yourself, Mr. Taylor.' Comiskey leaned back, took another drink, and continued.
`Okay, it's rather simple. All you have to do is kill people. Plain and simple. Nothing more, nothing less. But not just kill people, you have to make sure it is not a routine killing, for if it doesn't make the news at ten o'clock, you don't recieve credit. Please, be creative, the last group of men who played were quite boring, and no one got the money.'
There was a slight pause, then Jack Kinsella spoke up. `I have a few questioins. First, how many people do we have to kill?
Second, what happens if we get caught? And thirdly, how the hell did we get chosen for this?'
`The number of people you kill all depends on how well you do. The contest will take place for one week. I will judge the
murders myself, but only from watching the ten o'clock news. If it doesn't show up on the program, I cannot give you credit.
Secondly, if you get caught, you're on your own. You are not to mention this contest nor the money.'
`And if we refuse to play?' Andrew asked. `Or better yet, what if we decide to rat you out if we are caught?'
`These questions all revolve around my answer for the third question Mr. Kinsella asked,' Comiskey replied. He smashed his finished cigar in the marble ashtray and continued.
`You see, you cannot refuse to play, you cannot rat me out, and you were all chosen for a reason. That reason was that you all are low lifes, with no family or friends to miss you, if you were to suddenly vanish. I say this with all due respect, of course. You still don't get it, do you? If you refuse to play, you will be killed. If you rat me out, you will be killed.'
`I'm giving you guys the opportunity to get out of the life your in now and into one of wealth and beautiful women. Why must you all be so sceptical.'
`But see, if we rat you out, we could get protection and you'd go to the chair!' Shannon said this, and yet this offer intrigued him.
`You're a niave one, aren't you Shannon? That's okay, I won't hold it against you. You see, I have more connections in this country then the president. Also, who's going to believe a low life? Especially one trying to blame a well respected man in the Chicagoland community. Now, if there are no more questions, I shall continue.'
Comiskey paused just long enough to light up another cigar. `First off, are we all clear on the task before us?'
There was a uniform nod by all four men. It seemed the nervousness was gone.
`Okay, I will supply the weapons and ammo. The contest will begin as soon as you leave this building. It will end when either all of you are imprisoned, three of you are imprisoned, or next saturday, which ever comes first. One more note, you cannot win if you don't kill someone. By this I mean, don't try and outsmart me by not killing anyone, and just waiting for the others to be captured. If that happens, I guarantee you won't like the end result.'
Comiskey finished his drink, and took another puff of his cigar. `Oh, I almost forgot. If you all survive till next Saturday, I shall reward the winner, judged by me and my assistant, Roy. The losers, well, lets not cross that bridge till we have to. Also, so I know who killed who, you must tag your victim by carving you first initial into his body. Are there any questions?'
Andrew sat up and asked, `How will we know where we stand? Also, what happens if the news does not reveal that there was a letter carved on this person. How will you know?'
`I will contact each and every one of you each night between 11:00 and 12:00. Make sure you're home. Also, don't worry
about me knowing about the initial, I have certain ties with the coroner. I'll know, don't worry yourself over it. Are there any more questions?'
`I have one,' Niko Weldon, the fourth man, said. `Say, just for argumentative sake, that saturday roles around, and all of us are still in the game, and you can't choose because all the murders are good. What happens then?'
`That's already been thought out and taken care of. In the rare event of a tie, Each remaining contestant will recieve three million dollars. Plain and simple. Also, you will never be bothered by me again. Are there any other questions?'
There was a pause as Andrew grabbed his water and finished it. Nobody else moved.
`Okay then, before I let you leave, I feel it is my duty to give you guys a couple of tips. First, you might want to alter your
appearance before you kill someone, for you never know if someone will see you.'
`Secondly, you are not limited just to the city of Chicago. You can go wherever you so choose. I would advise against leaving the state of Illinois. If you kill someone in Indiana, for example, and someone else kills a man in Chicago, both with an initial on it, there would be so many federal agents crawling around here that you won't be able to take a shit without looking one in the eyes.'
`Thirdly, I would advise against killing someone of fame or fortune, because even though it will get plenty of press, it would also get many investigators out here. This would make the odds of you getting caught much higher, not to mention making your future kills harder to get away with.'
`Last, and most importantly, do not, repeat DO NOT kill one another. If this occurs, the killer will automatically be disqualified and punished. If there is nothing else, I shall send you on your way.'
Comiskey stood up and the four men followed suit. They followed him to a room just off the main corridor and in the back of the building.
Inside the room was a whole cache of weaponry. `You may take what you like, just log it in with Roy on your way out. If there is nothing else, then I shall leave you. Good day to you all, and most of all, enjoy yourselves.'
`Good evening, I'm Sandra Holt, Channel Six news. Our top story this evening has to do with a bizarre murder. It took place at Wentworth Park, on the southwest side of the city. At approximately eight o'clock this evening, the victim, a sixty one year old woman, was walking her dog in the park. With no warning, the victim was attacked and brutally beaten with a tire iron. As the victim laid unconscious, the attacker allegedly cut off her toes, then proceded to stuff them in her mouth. To top all of this off, the alleged attacker then carved his initials into her forehead. He then left her to die. A jogger found her about ten minutes later, and called the police. The police apprehended the offender about an hour later, in a local bar. He allegedly dropped his lighter as he was fleeing, and it had his name on it. The man has been identified as twenty four year old Nikolas Weldon. He is being held tonight without bond in the Cook County Jail.'
`On lighter note, a little boy is one happy camper tonight as his dog was returned to him........
`One down, three to go,' Comiskey said to the remaining contestants, using his conference phone. `I must say, he was mighty creative, but also very stupid. A little word to the wise gentleman, don't bring anything that can identify you. Let's all learn from Niko's mistake. And gentleman, good luck.'
Comiskey hung up, and grabbed the bottle of Jim Beam from the cabinet. To him, there was only one thing in the world better than death and suffering, and that was a fifth of anything that would get him drunk.
`Good evening, I'm John Hudson, and welcome to the ten o'clock news. Our top story tonight involves a possible copycat
killing. It happened in north suburban Skokie at approximately four thirty. Sources say that the police are baffled at the nature of this crime. The victims, whose names haven't been released, arrived home from work when they were attacked. The body's were found by one of the victims friend, who was coming over for dinner. The police haven't released any facts to the nature of the crime, only that it's one of the most brutal they've had in Skokie in almost ten years. The one detail the police have reported to our news team is that both victims were allegedly branded with some kind of branding iron. We'll keep you up to date with the facts of this story as they come into the Channel Six news room.....'
`Well, Mr. Kinsella I congratulate you on your creativity. Never before have I seen such precision with an axe. I have to ask, though,' Comiskey continued. `Where did you come up with the idea of sewing the heads back on the opposite bodies? Very original, and very time consuming. It surprises me that no one saw you leave nor caught you while it was happening. But I commend you on a job well done. The branding of your initials on there asses was also very clever. Did you use their fireplace to heat the branding iron? Job well done, for the rest of you gentleman, it's going to be tough to top it. Good bye.'
`Our top story right now is a hit and run accident in the suburb of Lombard. A young man, identified as eighteen year old Jack Kinsella, was walking home from his girlfriend's house at approximately four o'clock this morning when he was struck down in cold blood. The car is believed to be a late model Ford Fairlane, partial license plate number --407. Police are asking for any help. If you have information, please call our toll free number, it's 1-800-555-7676. Coming up, do the Bears have what it takes to win the Super Bowl? Steve Jackson is here with his opinion. Also do you have what it takes to fly an aircraft? Find out when we come back....'
`So, it seems we are down to two contestants.' Comiskey took another puff of his cigar and continued. `Poor ol' Jack, seems he would have probably won with his killing. But, now its up to you two. You only have four days left, so I suggest you get you asses' in gear.'
Comiskey went to sleep and dreamt happy thoughts. In the morning he ate his usual breakfast and left for work. On the drive, he heard on the radio that they are still searching for the car that hit Jack. He gave it a smile and pulled into the parking lot.
`Shannon, what are you doing here?' Comiskey asked when he entered his office. ` Did you come to discuss a murder you
Shannon nodded, not taking his eyes from Comiskey's cold ones. He hadn't taken a shower in three days, and it was apparent to anyone who might be in the office.
`Well then, usually I'd say for you to go home and I'll see it on the news, but since you're here, c'mon in my office and share it with me.' Comiskey opened his door and Shannon entered and sat down.
`Now, tell me about this murder..' Comiskey said as he closed the door.
`Good evening, I'm John Hudson, and I welcome you to the Channel Six ten o'clock news. Our top story this evening involves a beautiful tv actress. Twenty nine year old Diane O'Flannery was walking to her car in the parking garage of the John Hancock Building when a gentleman confronted her. Trying to subdue her, the man was surprised when she pulled out a taser and shot him in the chest. The man, thirty six year old Andrew Hedman, was taken to a local hospital for treatment. He is now in custody of the Chicago Police. Sandra...'
`Thanks John. In a sadder story, respected businessman Charles Comiskey was brutally murdered in his office this morning. This gruesome murder, is believed to have been committed by the same man who brutally murdered the couple in Skokie a few days ago. Police believe this because of the initials carved on Mr. Comiskey's body. Even though the police have the bloody chainsaw believed to have been used in this murder, they are still baffled as to who commited this act of violence and why they did. Mr. Comiskey would have been forty one next month. All of Chicago mourns his death.'
`Mr. Taylor, Hi this is Roy Brown, Mr. Comiskey's assistant. I'm calling to tell you that, upon review of your murder, and the fact that you are the only one left, I hearby deem you the winner of the contest. There was some speculation to the fact that you might have broken the rules by killing Mr. Comiskey, but upon further review, Comiskey said not to kill each other, he didn't say you couldn't kill him. So we are awarding you the ten million. I must admit, the manner in which you killed him was quite bizarre. To first but a bullet into a man's head, and then to cut him in half with a chainsaw is brutal. But to hang the halves of the body to opposite walls using railroad spikes nailed through his arms and legs, that's just purely insane. And that's just what we were looking for in this contest. The money will be hand delivered by myself this afternoon. You've definitely earned it.'
by D.T. Kelly
["D. T. Kelly finds himself writing very spastically, spitting out many stories at once, and the months without a single word. He
enjoys reading novels by Orson Scott Card and Douglas Adams. He is also a firm believer that dreams make great stories."]
Copyright © 1994 by D.T. Kelly