**Hey folks this is a reprint of part 4 of The Man With the Hazy Suit that originally ran on June 26, 2010. I have been few and far between regular posts this summer, and that is the same thing that has killed some of my favorite TV shows, like Alias. So I am going to rerun the whole story and finish it strong! Thanks for reading for the first time or rereading if you have been here before. The Choose your own adventure aspect is not available anymore.**
Previously in the Man in the Hazy Suit:
Police detective Thompson was wrapping up a crime scene when he found a scrap of paper in the dead man’s posessions. The paper led him to the bus station and a locker that was filled with legal pads, all written by the deceased man. Sergeant Thompson is currently reading the legal pads which are spelling out a strange narrative and a chronicle of a serial killers murders, that somehow the man writing the story knows before they happen, if only by moments. So far our writer has witnessed 3 deaths with apparently more to come. With another murder looming, The dead mans narrative comes back around to Detective Thompson.
When we left our story last time:
The Man in the Hazy Suit watched the two girls with the same detached indifference that he showed on this street before. He stood stock still, his head slightly cocked to the right, showing me an almost profile of his face. His old fashioned fedora sat on his head, pulled lower over his eyes, as if he were in a strong wind and didn’t want it to fall off.
He turned a bit more to the right and winked at me. I had a bad feeling he had chosen someone else that I would see on the news. He grinned and began to walk down the street, leaving the girls behind. I woke up in a panic. I knew these girls and maybe I could stop what was going to happen.
I ran to my kitchen, barely noting the open front door and found the business cards for the two cops that had visited me a few days earlier. I dialed the number on the card and asked for Patrolman Thompson. I was going to prevent these murders.
Now we join our story already in progress:
I dropped the notebook. I remembered that call. A hysterical young man saying he knew a couple of girls that would be killed in the next few minutes. I thought he was crazy, but I still had to check it out. He had given me the address of an auto parts store not too far from where a couple of college kids were killed a few days ago. We checked but there were no girls there.
I called him back and he was very insistent. He had told me their names and where one of them lived. We checked and they were both fine. I remember telling the kid later at his house that it was just a bad dream from watching the news. He had nodded, not looking very convinced. That was the end of it. I drank some of my now cold coffee and picked up the notebook again.
The police were not much help. I think they were just patronizing me. I knew something was going to happen to January and Faith but I didn’t know a way to prevent it. I called Faith the next night. She answered but blew me off. I had told her that she was in danger and she should stay at home for a few days, and away from the auto parts store.
She scoffed at me and told me I was being paranoid, after all, why would she ever be at an auto parts store? And without my even asking, she said she was not going to go out with me. I felt really rejected. She had hung up on me and I could imagine the disgusted look on her face. I guessed that she would never go out with me now.
I stared at the phone for a good ten minutes before muttering an explicative and turning off the light, heading back to sleep. The Bagel Hut called the next morning at 7:30. I had overslept. I told them I would be there shortly and stumbled out of bed towards the bathroom, thankful I had slept without another dream.
I flipped on the radio on the way to the bathroom to hear some morning banter between the local DJ’s. All I got was some static and muffled voices. I looked at the radio. There was something not quite right about it but my still sleeping brain could not decipher what it was. I turned the dial and finally got some music. I then went and got ready for work.
All of that day at work I had a hard time concentrating. I would get orders for customers but always in the back of my mind, something…tickled about the radio. I couldn’t remember playing with the knobs. But I must have. I just couldn’t place what was wrong.
I tried not to think about it but it wouldn’t go away. I knew I was distracted and so did my boss. He kept asking me if I was ok. I kept telling him yes, that I wasn’t sleeping well but he just kept pestering me. I was very annoyed by the end of the day. I drove home with the remembered smell of gasoline in my nostrils. That was really strange.
I made it back to my apartment just in time to change into my Taco Barn uniform and get to work over there. I didn’t really want to go in that night, but my landlord didn’t care about my moods, just the rent on time. I got changed and looked at the radio again on my way out.
Something still not right, but I couldn’t figure out what. The Taco Barn was a zoo on that Friday night and I didn’t have time to wonder about the radio. I was actually working rather well this shift. I left after closing that night and my boss there told me I had been better today than in the past few weeks. I thanked him and headed home to bed and, hopefully, another dreamless sleep.
I wasn’t that lucky. I knew I was asleep but I was in the hazy world again. This time I was walking fast, heading towards a small house on what must have been the other side of town. I couldn’t see the Man in the Hazy Suit. But I could feel him. He was near, and plotting something lethal.
The scene changed then, in no more than a blink, the Man in the Hazy Suit was walking next to me. Long coat flapping in our haste, gas can clutched firmly in his right hand. I stopped. He slowed but kept going, eventually looking over his shoulder at me and gesturing with his head that I was to follow. I tried to call out but found that I couldn’t speak. All I could do was chase after him. Maybe I could tackle him and make him stop whatever terrible thing he was plotting.
I thought I was keeping him in sight until I turned the next corner and saw him knocking on the door of a house in the middle of the street. The lights came on in the house and on the porch. The Man in the Hazy Suit looked at me and grinned as Mr. Stevens, my boss from the Bagel Hut opened the door and got a length of pipe in the forehead for his trouble.
I tried to throw up but it did no good. This was still a dream. I took a few more steps forward, trying to wake myself up but I couldn’t. I got closer and could smell gas. A moment later the Man in the Hazy Suit stepped out of the door and closed it behind him. He was missing his gas can and the pipe.
He walked casually off of the front porch and down towards the sidewalk, adjusting his fedora. Then there was a, well, a fwump sound and Mr. Stevens house started on fire. I tried to scream but it wouldn’t come out. A few minutes later I woke up in my apartment screaming.
I sat up an flicked on the light. I could smell gas again. And there was a black fedora on the chair across the room. I didn’t own a fedora. I began to scream again knowing the Man in the Hazy Suit had to have been here.
Join us again next week for more of The Man in the Hazy Suit!