The Cover-Up (Ginger Man 9L)

Charlie decided he’d had enough of his early-morning, sleep-deprived hallucinations. He knew he’d get no rest until he’d finished writing the story, but that didn’t mean continuing to provide all the detail that Mike (the real Mike, not the hallucination he had just seen) had included when telling him the story so many years ago. So he sat back down on the sofa, and took up notebook and pen once more.

“Please go.” The Sleeping Jaywalker looked up at the sound of the voices coming from behind the woman tied to the chair. He saw the fortune teller — and next to her, the nurse he had seen after his first night of sleepwalking.

“These men will kill you,” pleaded the nurse. Charlie ignored the explanation of how the nurse and fortune teller had been confronted and eventually murdered by the men who now surrounded the Sleeping Jaywalker. But the Sleeping Jaywalker shook his head, knowing that there was no escape now.

The man in the suit explained that the man in the leather jacket was to slit the woman’s throat. “You’ll be wearing gloves at the time, and when you’re done, we’ll give the knife to our sleeping friend here.” The man in the suit patted the Sleeping Jaywalker on the back. “You two are approximately the same height and body type, so the cut marks will look like they came from him. And the DNA evidence he leaves on the knife will be far fresher than anything left by any of us. By the time they find you, we’ll be in Los Angeles, with alibis placing us there all week.”

The man in the suit began walking away. “We know the police have witnesses placing you at each of our crime scenes this week.” His footfalls echoed in the empty warehouse. “I know you’re asleep, but they say your subconscious can still hear. If that’s so, I’d recommend finding a good lawyer.”

The man in the leather jacket walked behind the woman in the chair, his knife catching a glint from an outside streetlight. The Sleeping Jaywalker knew it was finally time for him to act.

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