A Poet's Last Breath

May 31, 2017
By shannwho BRONZE, Meadville, Pennsylvania
shannwho BRONZE, Meadville, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"7 billion people experienced this day in a different way".

6:30 P.M.
The air is filled with chatter. Crowds of people are gathered among freshly mowed grass outside of what used to be known as a vacation cabin. Ages ago, thousands of people per year would come to spend a weekend away at the log cabin. Whether it be for a family bonding, romantic getaway, or even to spend time alone. If you wanted a place to be to bond and enjoy the sights, the famous Wood Space Cabin was the place to be.

As the sun starts to fade away from the sky, the excitement starts to escalate. This vacation getaway is now being transformed into a historical trip to not only learn about the cabin’s adventures, but the history of its surrounding area as well. Bodies of people are crammed together, side by side, behind a red ribbon waiting to be cut for the grand opening. The chatter escalates by each passing minute.

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please!” The voice belonged to Mayor Lockwood, the main founder of the cabin. The once loud chatter died to a light murmur of voices. All eyes are gazed on the Mayor, waiting and watching for what’s in store.

“I would like to thank you for your patience and willingness for the grand opening. I know you’re all very anxious, so I’ll get right to it. Before this ribbon is snipped, I would like to address that photography is allowed, however please be sure not to sit on any furniture or touch any of the hanging art on the walls. Thank you, and enjoy your time.”

And just like that, the moment they had all been waiting for had happened. With his gigantic overrated scissors, the mayor had cut the ribbon and the people raced inside. The place had cleaned up beautifully. Polished wooden walls and wooden floors, the cabin was surrounded by history. All around the walls hung pictures of what used to be known of the cabin, along with the background story beside it. This new exhibit left the citizens breathless. The wind had been knocked out of them, leaving their voices trapped inside their throats.

There was a sudden shift in the air between the bodies of people and the astonished reactions. Down the hall, a loud feminine scream could be heard. Letting the curiosity take over the human mind, everyone rushed through each other toward the sound of the scream. Feet tripping over feet, bodies tumbling over other bodies until reaching the doorway of an old office area.

Down the hall, in what was known as an old office area, a middle aged woman sank her knees down to the floor, screaming and sobbing. By the time everyone stumbled to the doorway, she raised a pale shaky hand, pointing across the room toward an old desk. All eyes trained past her finger. There, lying beside the desk was a dead body. Not just a normal dead body. A beheaded, with the eyes opened, dead male body. The sight was horrifying, but the smell was even more traumatising. It reeked of the most horrible pungent smell. It had a tinge of a sickening sweetness. It was as if someone put rotting meat in the corner of the room and lightly put a few drops of cheap store-bought perfume.

Screams escalated.

Bodies moved backward to leave the cabin.

Sirens were heard in the distance.

Everything was falling apart just before it could get started.

8:30 P.M.
Within seconds everything flashed in front of their eyes. People were gathered outside the sidewalk as police secured the area. Making sure everyone was at a reasonable distance, bright yellow caution tape surrounded the perimeter outside the cabin.

The citizens were shocked, but law enforcement were even more shocked inside the crime scene. It’s not everyday that you find a dead body in a small community, and a beheaded dead body was definitely something that made them baffled. The head was covered with a white sheet, and the rest of the decapitated man was searched. The investigation could be a long and hard process. Since the floors weren’t carpeted, there were little to no signs of blood. Whoever this man was targeted by, knew how to clean up their tracks.

Luckily for the police, the man had been smart enough to have his brown leather wallet wedged in his front right pocket of his jeans. Criminal investigators had to take a double take at the ID that they had found. They didn’t recognize him at first, but taking a double-take on the ID left them speechless.

Wes McKinnley was a 24 year old brown-eyed and messy dirty blonde hair former poet. Whenever he could, he enjoyed spending his time at the bakery, looking for inspiration for future poems. It wasn’t easy making it at the top of the poetry platform industry. He had a very free spirit that radiated off of everyone. Although he did have a sarcastic side, it was just naturally part of his personality.

The picture of Wes’ driver’s license reflected up at the investigators, sending a chill down their spines. The main focus was who, and why? After bagging the body and securing the area for the evening, detectives didn’t plan on resting after that. Leaving from the crime scene, the detectives headed back to the office to get straight to work. It was going to be a long next few days of interviewing citizens and cracking the small clues.

Three Days Later; 7:30 A.M
After 72 long hours of interviewing, searching, and analyzing, law enforcement managed to narrow their suspects down.

Annabelle McKinnley, former wife and now known  widow of Wes, had made it on the top list of suspects. Based on similar statements from multiple witnesses, it has been rumored that the two hadn’t had the greatest marriage. Annabelle wanted children, but Wes had felt that with his career, he wouldn’t be able to balance both. The theory conducted by investigators is that the woman wanted to get rid of her husband for good, and proclaim his money as a widow.

The next suspect on their list had been Wes’ fellow co-writer, Wally Eaton. The two writers never really had a close friendship, but they shared a passion for writing. The town’s hushed gossip had been that this fellow writer envied the success of Wes, and wanted to get rid of him to gain his own title of fame.

However, as it goes with rumors of wanting fame, it can’t be true without a reliable source as conformation. Luckily, they already knew their source. That source would be the friendly baker of the town, the one that Wes would turn to for inspiration and to vent to. That baker would be the amazing baker, Bonnie Dagger.

That’s what initiated a trip for two detectives to a bakery for a slice of fresh coffee cake and  some questions.

9:00 A.M
All eyes were focused on the two detectives as the little bell to signal they had entered chimed. Tension was still in the air, after all it had only been three passing days since the unsolved murder. The watching eyes shifted back to their freshly made pastries in front of them. Although their eyes aren’t watching, their ears still tune in to listening.

As the two approached, baker Bonnie kept an unfazed dazzling smile on her face, as if the two were in regular outage clothing instead of suited up with gear for protection. They skimmed through  the hanging menu behind the counter before both deciding on coffee cake.

After ringing up the totals, she gave the gentlemen a warm smile and said, “Is there anything else I can get you?” The gentleman to her right side gave a courteous nod and cleared his throat.

“Actually, yes Miss Dagger. We would like to ask you some questions about Wes McKinnley. We heard you were the closest one to him in this town, so we thought you could help confirm or discard some rumors as to what happened to him.” The detective said in a low voice.

Bonnie complied willingly and easily. Unnoticeably, however, the corner of her mouth began to twitch. She complied with every question, denying the allegation of the co-writer. She did however, seem to agree with the allegation about the wife. Bonnie seemed to grow more fidgety with each passing question about Wes. Her hands were clammy, her breathing was heavy, as if she was overwhelmed with being questioned of her deceased friend.

“Bonnie.. Bonnie why am I here.”

“I’m sorry I never called, or visited.. You know how the writing business goes…”

“I didn’t know what you were going through.. Bonnie, wha- what are you doing?!?!”

“-um, Miss Baker? Miss Baker? I’m sorry, I know this is a lot to take in. We know you’re in the process of grieving, but we’re trying to get justice for Wes. It’s what he would’ve wanted.”

Suddenly there was a slam of palms on the slick glassy  countertop. The palms belonged to Bonnie, and a sudden side of her that no one has witness unleashed. It was as if fumes of anger were pouring out of her ears.

“No! He let everything get to his head! The poetry! He.. he hadn’t visited me in a year… Yet he still visited town!  All the spotlight filled his brain… That’s why he didn’t deserve his head on his shoulders…” The last of her outburst was a mere mutter, but still audible for the detectives to hear.
And so the truth revealed itself. It gave a complete different outlook on the town’s perspective. Everyone pointed fingers toward the wife. It made the most sense. She wanted kids, he didn’t. He had the money, she had the capability of taking it. They thought that baker Bonnie had nothing against the man. However, there was that one little thing that drove her to insanity by a thread. Isolation. Bonnie appeared to be friendly, sociable and likable. She was making herself out to be someone she strived to be. Because alone, she couldn’t hold off on her mental issues of isolation for much longer. Some people break sooner than others.

The poet’s last breath wasn’t a pleasant one, but he will always be in the town’s memories as the case finally had been solved and put to rest. 

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