A Crime Writer’s Life of Crime – an Open Speech
Basking under the sun on the sundrenched beach was Marcus Saw, the hotshot crime writer of the century. He had made millions from his crime novels and he was taking a breather from work before he started work on his next crime trilogy.
He was happy with himself, just having received one million advance on his next writing project but his idyllic state was rudely interrupted by his personal assistant who appeared with a rather dirty looking envelope.
As it was marked private, Benjie left it beside him. Lazily, he tore the envelope and read the contents.
He sat upright. “Hi, Uncle Marcus, Mum said I could be at your summer house for the holidays as you are holidaying in Bali and won’t be needing the place for at least six months. Some schoolmates will be joining me for the Easter break. I promise to take care of the place. You will find the premises spick and span on my departure.”
“NO! They mustn’t be there. They would go snooping in the wine cellar”.
Marcus sprang into action. He hurried to his hotel suite, shouted for his PA to book three airline tickets, one for him and his PA and the third for his latest lady companion.
Within minutes, they were at the airport, ready to return to KLIA. In the plane, Marcus was moody and irritable and Sally knew better than to question or to comment. She kept quiet and pretended to be asleep due to exhaustion.
Marcus kept playing the scene over and over in his mind. His newly divorced wife of ten months had visited him one late evening at his summer retreat. She was dissatisfied with the divorce settlement and wanted more. She did not make an angry demand, neither did she fight him. She was quiet but firm. In a very calm but in a sinister tone, she said, “Triple the settlement and whenever I want or I’ll tell on you. I’ve spent the best years of my life during your days as a poor struggling writer. Now that you are a billionaire, you are casting me aside. I bear you no ill-will. I’m too old for you, not attractive enough to grace your table. I don’t want to work for a living. I want to lead a lifestyle of the rich and famous.”
Marcus knew he was caught for she knew everything about him, all his misdeeds, indiscretions, his shady deals, his connections with the underworld. You named it, she knew about it. She was never a part of his secret dealings but she was in the know. Her knowledge was lethal to his future, to his reputation. She could destroy him with a word to the right ear.
Fuming and feeling helpless, he was stupefied for a while but then his sly mind hatched a plan. He invited her over for dinner and as he put it “for old times’ sake”. She came, unsuspecting and as the evening dragged into the small hours of the morning, they ran out of wine and he suggested going to the wine cellar to retrieve their favorite wine. So they did. While in the darkness of the cellar, he knocked her
unconscious and dumped her into her favorite wine cask, 1977.
He closed up the house and took off for exotic destinations until that morning when he received his nephew’s letter. He had to return to dispose of the “wife” before anyone discovered she was missing.
Pretending ignorance, he asked his personal assistant to send a birthday card to his wife and to have her favorite flowers delivered to her “official” residence.
Faking an excuse that he wanted some quiet and peace to start on his latest project, he hired a black Sedan to drive to his summer retreat but of course before that he made several calls to many places: to his favorite hair salon, his favorite fashion designers, Rizalman and Chandran, his usual watering hole and of course to his local mamak stall, greeting every one loudly and heartily. Only then did he hit the highway to his sanctuary.
On reaching it, he saw a police car and the pompous looking Chief Inspector, Encik Rosman who had never liked him, directing operations.
His irrepressible nephew, on seeing him, ran towards him, hugged him, and said,” Guess what we found in your wine cellar? Your ex-wife in your favorite wine casket. She must have fallen into it when she was trying to fill up her wine bottle. Don’t worry, Uncle Marcus, the police would find the person responsible. Uncle, I’ve just had a brilliant idea. This could be the theme of your next novel.”
Marcus’s face turned ashen but he kept his composure. He smiled weakly and greeted the police inspector, offering to help in whatever way he could.
A month later, splashed on the front page of The New Straits Times morning edition was the headlines: “Crime Writer Detained for Murder of ex-wife”.