A fine mess: the beginning

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This story begins with a car accident. Joe was stupid for leaving the scene - someone had been killed. But what was done was done. He was just too afraid. Could have been you or me.

It didn't take long for him to bleed to death. They didn't find his body in the car for several days, parked as it was alongside the road way out in the country. By the time they did, it was just nasty.

When Joe didn't come home the night of the accident, his wife, Susan, had called the police. They said that he had to be missing for twenty-four hours in order to warrant a search, but they also said that they'd keep their eyes open for him. She tried to calm the children, but she was already very worried. This wasn't like him at all.

Everyone who knew the officer who found the car called him Max. He approached the car cautiously. He'd driven by once and seen someone in it, but couldn't discern any movement. It was a small town, it was strange to find his friend like this. Max had known Joe all his life. They'd gone to school together, played football together, even married women from the same family. He tried to remain calm and professional as he reached for the handle of the driver's door.

The head was leaning against the window so the body fell out of the car when the door was opened and crumpled to the ground. It was covered with caked blood. There was one white feather tainted with blood that fell out on the road.

All Max could manage was, "Jesus...."

He walked back to the patrol car and radioed the station. The coroner was there in minutes together with the chief. He went right over to study the body while the chief talked with the deputy.

"I've never seen the like. Why would Joe do such a thing?" Max couldn't keep his eyes from the scene that laid before him.

"Margaret said that she saw the whole thing," the chief said. "The kid rode right out in front of Joe's car. There wasn't anything he could have done. It wasn't his fault."

A tear rolled down Max's cheek. "I've know him all my life. This isn't like him. Who would have thought?"

"I suppose he couldn't live with himself having killed a kid. He could have stayed alive for his own kids, though."

The coroner came over.

"He'd been drinking when he died. And an odd thing - we found the razorblade on the car floor. The blade had only one set of prints. One hand. No way could he have used it on both wrists. This is a clumsy murder, but it is murder."

The child had a name. His name had been Tommy. He was seven years old. He was riding his bike home from school. He darted out from between two cars and the oncoming vehicle never even saw him let alone had the chance to stop. A little bump and it was all over. The driver looked in his rear-view mirror, horrified.

Joe had driven for hours, reliving the accident over and over. He thought of offering his soul to the devil to have the thing taken back. Then he prayed to God to help him. God heard him and sent him an angel with a razor blade, who of course didn't have fingerprints. He handed the blade to Joe, then took it back and asked Joe to extend his arms for sacrifice. The angel sliced down the forearms, proud to know how to kill a man with style.

You might ask, how do I know it was an angel? Because it was me. I was an angel. I would have let Joe continue to suffer, but God was more merciful. I tried to make it look like suicide, but it was actually God being merciful. God saved Joe from suicide. This was the first of the angel killings.

It was me with the razor blade. I was hitchhiking when Joe picked me up and gave me a ride to the edge of town. After I slit his wrists, I placed a feather in his lap and got out of the car. I always wore gloves. I was the angel of death. I was being merciful. That's how it started.