Myfictions Blog

The Strangest Crime

The Strangest Crime

              Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

JOB-Just Over Broke. A vicious circle of ten to four where everyone is entangled because of the stability of income and the so-called job security. Many call it as a Dream Killer, too, for in an attempt to make the ends meet, majority of people’s lives gets spent in it. It was 9:15 am and Matthew Johns was rushing up to catch the train for his office. If he missed it, he would have to wait for the next half hour which he couldn’t risk doing since he would be delayed. Looking at his clock, he reached the station and there came the train. In about fifteen minutes, he reached his destination. Located at the heart of New York city, he was an agent in an insurance office. Besides his office job, he was highly interested in writing stories and book. He wanted to make a living doing so but because he was down-trodden by the family responsibility and the monthly bills, he couldn’t follow his passion. He had read several books and summarized them as well. Reading those books had motivated him to write his own books and he had started doing it, but was left incomplete. He would write stories and publish them for which he got good feedbacks but he couldn’t make it his career.

         He wanted to tell it clearly to his mom but every time he went to his mom to make a clean breast of it, she would show him the bills to be paid and the list of provisions to be purchased for that particular month. Because of that, his passion was dumped in the monthly bills and the necessities of every day life. He had a family to feed and that was the reason he didn’t dare to quit his job and follow his passion. His mother was retired from a private office and as a social security check, she also used to get a small paycheck enough to run the house. But her earnings were kept safely so that it could be used at the time of emergency. In that sense, Matthew was the only bread earner in the whole family. This was the reason his wife also could never tell him to follow his dream although she was well aware about it.Besides, they had a daughter, too.

        It was towards the end of December when he was about to get paycheck. December was special for him because that was the month when he would get bonus along with an increment in salary. Though his mother was unknown about his passion, she was well known about this annual bonus and the increment in salary provided by his office. Because of that, the shopping list for December was always long and a bit lavishing one. As usual, he was in his room and his mother, Brenda called him. He knew the purpose behind the call and went to the big hall where his mother, wife and daughter were waiting for him.

“Matthew, the stuffs for this moth are about to die. Have you…..”

Yes, mom.I’m ready for that,” he replied before she could complete her sentence.

“And you didn’t tell me about this year’s bonus and the increment?”

“This year, the company was satisfied with my performance and I’ve been given fifty percent bonus along with an increment of twenty five percent.”

“Amazing.I think this time I can fulfill my desires,” added his wife, Melinda.

“Yes, surely you can. After all, for whom am I doing all these things? Every one of us has the right over it. I’ve thought of buying something for our princess, too.”

  An atmosphere of love and rejuvenation was created inside home.Thereafter, Brenda gave him a long list of things and he went to the Blue Bird Supermarket to complete his mission, accompanied by his wife and daughter. He purchased the stuffs required along with the extra things that were demanded by his mother and wife. He also purchased some playthings and clothes for his daughter. When they were done, they came out and called a taxi. But before that a voice was heard.

“Excuse me, gentleman,” a man called him from back.


What’s that you’ve got in your bag?”

“I’m sorry,” Matthew replied in a confusing tone.

“What’s that you have got in your bag?”

Provisions and other house hold items.”

Nope.You have hidden my $10000 in it!” the man ranted out all of a sudden.

“Are you out of your head? How can you make such a grave blame upon me?”

“Blame? Huh! Just wait. Let me make it crystal clear.”

   Soon there was crowd of people and police officers also arrived. That man kept on insisting continuously that Matthew had stolen $10000 from his pocket and hidden it under the stuffs in the bag which Matthew denied continuously. When it was too much, Matthew opened the bag but to his embarrassment, that man was right as it was found in his bag. He was taken into custody that very moment. His wife and daughter were left stranded in the middle of the city. He was taken for the interrogation and there was no way out to prove himself innocent. Moreover, there was no any CC TV footage in the place where this incident had happened. Therefore, he had to accept it and was sentenced to two years of imprisonment along with a fine of $4000.This news came as a shock to the family but there was nothing that they could do.

In the prison, Matthew started doing some works which helped him to earn money. He had no worries about his family as his mother’s social security paycheck was enough to help them sustain. Also, some portion of his salary was promised to be given to the family by his office until his release which was a plus point. This was the effect of his honesty and dedication that he had shown in his work. Having worked in the prison for several months, he collected some money and sent a request to the prison authority to let him buy a laptop and some books, which was accepted without any hassle. He didn’t have to worry about joining hands to mouth as he got food in the prison even if he didn’t work. He was kept with other three prisoners who spent their time either sleeping or playing basketball, but he busied himself reading books and doing something on his laptop. In the prison, he started following his passion which that he had given up because of the responsibility of family. He went to the library in prison and started devouring books. Also he resumed writing stories. From time to time, his wife and mother came to know about his well being. This way he kept on updating with his family, too.

       As several months passed, he demanded staying in a solitary confinement and it was provided after some objections. Once he told his wife to bring the half completed book which he had kept in the desktop at home and she brought it the next time she visited there. He started working on that, too and got it completed within a few weeks. He posted that book in series form on his blog which received a huge response. This helped him earn a good deal of money, too. That earning was almost as twice as the earnings of his entire year at the job in office. Later on, that was printed in hard copy after the demand came. The popularity and success that he couldn’t gain outside the prison was gained being inside the prison. He was able to create a good income following his passion. Even the prisoners in that prison were great fan of him after reading his book. The prison library alone had kept several copies of his book on the demand of the prisoners and the officers.

       The two years of imprisonment proved to be a blessing in disguise for him. Everything happens for a good reason and going to the prison was not good for him, it was best for him. In fact, he had recreated himself and had taken a new birth. Those two years passed and the time of his release came. His wife, along with daughter, had come to receive him. The prison authority was happy to release him and he bade good bye to all. He went home and his mother was happy to see him again. In the light of the fame that he had earned in the prison, she forgot about the reason why he had been there and so  did his wife.Coincidentally,the month he was released was December only but this time his mother wasn’t keen on making a list of stuffs for home. She showed him a list but that was the list of foods that she wanted to give him, prepared by her own hands. Now his life was completely a changed one. He didn’t have to get involved in the rat race of ten to four for his income pipeline was generating income for him though he didn’t work. And of course, he didn’t have to wait December for making some extra purchases of his choice.

     A few days later, some familiar old scene was noticed at his home. Brenda gave him a long list of things and he went to the Blue Bird Supermarket to purchase them. This time he went alone. Also the check wasn’t signed by his boss. There was his own sign. Having gone through the task of shopping, he went to the parking lot. You might be wondering why he was there.Well, he had purchased his own car and he went there to take it out. As he was about to open the door of his car, he saw a man who smirked on seeing him. He felt that he had seen that man somewhere. The man stood in confusion as he was also in the same condition.Abruptly, something came to Matthew’s mind and he yelled,

“Hey you, stop there!”

The man also seemed to get something in his mind and got startled and he also started running away as Matthew followed him. The man took him pretty far away like the game of cat and mouse and then gave up after he could run no more .Matthew nabbed him and he tried freeing himself, but in vain.

“You…you were the one…who..who…had put that $10000 in my bag? Two..two years back,” while he said this, he was panting badly.

Me? What…are you talking about?” The man was also panting badly as he said this.

Don’t lie,” Matthew increased his grip on the man’s back.

“Ouch! Please leave me,” he begged.

“Why did you do that to me?”

“I was option less. I thought if I kept in your bag, I could get it back somehow.”

“Yes, here you are. Do you accept your crime?”

“Yes, I…I do but please ease your grip on my back,” he was still panting.

“Don’t worry. I won’t do anything to you. I knew that it was you. I came here chasing you to thank you.”

The man couldn’t believe what he had heard. Matthew was sent to jail for the crime that the man had committed and in return he was being thanked. He couldn’t get grip of that situation. Matthew patted and caressed him on his head and went away from him. In fact, Matthew had seen the man putting that money in his bag. He was quiet because he wanted some solitary time to fulfill his passion. That solitary time was never possible in his hectic life, outside the prison. He had analyzed every pros and cons before taking this risky step. The popularity that he had gained through books and writings was enough to over cast the deliberate crime. Inside the prison, he got that atmosphere which he, probably, couldn’t have got being free in his entire life. Life in prison is obviously hell, but he was there deliberately to make heaven out of hell. Sometimes captivity emerges out the creativity in people which freedom fails to do.Perhaps, that was the freedom in captivity which he had obtained by committing a deliberate crime.Nah,not deliberate crime.The strangest crime.

Sandeep Kattel

Blog Writer

Sandeep Kattel is a Lecturer of English at various collleges in Nepal .He has been writing stories for a long time, but he started publishing them only recently.He is also working on his two books - Family Cafe, which is a novel and another book Defying Odds Optimizing Caliber ,which is a motivational book.He is interested in writing short stories related to contemporary issues.

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