Bewildering Stories

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Brian Pilkington Solves a Crime

by Asgrimur Hartmannsson

Brian Pilkington arrived home to find his wife had invited her friends from church to read the Bible and praise the Lord. “Halleluja Amen!” they would say, loudly, at varying intervals. Either that, or “Praise the Lord, Amen!”

Both of their cars had bumperstickers on them, with texts like “Jesus Saves” and “What would Jesus do?” There was even a graven image in the likeness of Mary the Mother on the dashboard of his wife’s small Honda.

Mrs. Pilkington had at least four copies of the Bible, one in French. She went to church every Sunday, dragging her husband with her, and she would appear at every bingo, every bazar and every small gathering outside of church that promised some Bible reading.

And she would never turn on the TV except to watch the “Gospel Channel,” where she would watch all the preachers, Benny Hinn, Jimmy Swaggart and Robert Schuller. And she would donate money to all.

The Pilkingtons were in dire financial troubles because of this. When Brian told his wife about it, he got the same answer as always: “If the Lord wants us to be bankrupt, then bankrupt we shall be.” Amen.

Brian thought the good Lord couldn’t care less about anyone’s financial position. But Brian cared deeply about his. A month or two of the same, and he’d have to sell the house to pay the bills, because his wife had donated all the money to “a greater cause.”

This would have to stop. And Brian knew just how: he was going to introduce his wife to the Lord in person.

During the night, when she slept, he awoke and strangled her with a rope. He then dragged her body to the garage, stuffed it into the trunk of his car, and drove off into the night, armed with a shovel.

Far away, in the wild, he dug a hole deep enough so the animals would not get the body. It was almost daybreak when he finished filling in the hole.

But as he did, he could hear voices from over a hill. He looked over it, and spotted two men talking behind a big black car. They had just finished burying something, just like himself, and were loading their tools in the trunk of the car.

Brian wondered what they could be doing there, far from town. What could they have buried? As they drove away, he went over there to investigate. He dug up what they had buried, and when he found it, he smiled to himself.

They had been burying a body, just as he had.

It was a middle-aged man in a suit, a large stain of blood on his chest, and on top of the body was lain the murder-weapon: a small 25-caliber handgun. Brian thought it over a while. He then decided to go back to town, and anonymously tip off the police through a payphone.

Sure enough, the police easily found the body, because he had not bothered to fill in the hole again. And they found the gun; and because the killer had not bothered to wear gloves when he fired it, his prints were found on it. Due to his rather eventful criminal history he was quickly apprehended and found guilty.

To escape the electric chair, he blew the whistle on a pretty widespread criminal organisation, putting many men deservedly behind bars. The crime rate in the town went down noticeably afterwards.

Brian’s wife however, was never found. There were strange rumours of her stepping into a big black car in the middle of night, but they were never confirmed. Brian feared his deed would be discovered during the investigation of her disappearance, giving him the appearance of grief for the duration. Nobody ever suspected him.

It would be a year before he got over it, but in time he accepted being alone. He was frequently heard saying: “God works in mysterious ways.”

Copyright © 2003 by Asgrimur Hartmannsson

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