The Perfect Crime

The Perfect Crime

6 mins

Darkness and silence surrounded the cemetery as I stood in the vicinity of a tombstone, on which the letters "BRIAN FRANK" were scribbled in bold. I thought for one final time, took a deep breath and slammed the shovel on Brian Frank's grave. After a few minutes of hard work, I had his corpse -- the skeletal remains of a corpse -- carefully placed inside my bag. After putting his empty coffin back six feet deep, I tiptoed out of the cemetery, poised to try a last attempt at saving my life.




   60, Clove Street, Durham, England 

Mr. Hammond looked at the glistening board as he spoke, "I have heard a lot about your art, Doctor."

Just a couple of years back, researchers in Oxford had found a way to enter the realm beyond life without actually dying. As the news spread, Death became the new fad of the rich and the powerful. Being the only "skilled" doctor in my small town, it wasn't difficult for me to learn the methods. As I had predicted, I got renowned in no time and clients started pouring in.

"Errr... Yeah," I replied sheepishly, trying hard not to smile on the praise I rightfully deserved. "But I hope you have heard about the cost," I added after a brief pause. 

"Don't worry about the price, Dr. Moxley."

I pointed at a huge chair surrounded by complex machines, none of which I intend to explain in this story.

"By the way, Doctor, do you know about any good charitable trust in Durham?"

I named a few, then added, "May I ask the reason for your enquiry, if you don't mind?"

Mr. Hammond looked at me from head to foot, then answered, "I was born and brought up here in Durham, but had to settle in London due to business. I wanted to do something for the town that made me who I am today, so I decided to donate all my wealth to a charity."

"What about your family, Sir?" I asked, pretending to talk for the sake of talking.

"Don't have one," the old man replied with a grin. "No liability, no tension!"

Being a family man, I couldn't disagree more. But my mind was elsewhere. I faked a phone call and asked him to come after two days.

The reader may be inclined to think that the narrator was a rich man, but the reality was quite the opposite. The expensive equipment of the resurrecting process reduced the margin of income to a very meagre sum. I was tired of looking my family in the eyes each day and seeing nothing but disappointment, tired of these rich, bargaining aristocrats, and above all, tired of being just a doctor.

In those two days, I drafted a will that made me the sole heir to his property and sneaked it between a bundle of papers. When he came on the assigned day, I asked him to sign on all the papers, calling them "a formality". I pretended having urgent work to hurry him up. And voila! The trick worked. 

Then, I poisoned him to death, giving him false hope of revival. I had already printed a letter supposedly written by Mr. Hammond himself, in which he announced his plans of meditating in the Himalayas while giving away his wealth as directed by the will he made. As far as his corpse was concerned, I hid it in an ice bath.

But things did not go as smoothly as planned. Even though I told the cops that I had no idea about his will and that because I told him about my financial crisis, he might have named me the sole heir, I could sense that the cops were not convinced. Fearing that I was incapable of executing the perfect crime, I decided to enlist the help of someone experienced.

And then, my eyes wandered to a headline in an old newspaper. "Brian Frank is Jack The Ripper," it said. A by-line read, "Inspector Felix solves the 150-year-old mystery." I had found a solution to my problem. A three-step solution.

          * PRESENT TIME *

"I will definitely help you. After all, you brought me back to life," Brian Frank a.k.a. Jack The Ripper said after hearing my story. The first step of my plan looked like a success. "I cannot really refuse the money, you see, now that I am alive."

"But you said that people now know me, so will they not recognize me when they see me?" he asked after a few seconds.

"I'll surgically alter your face. Plastic surgery," I replied.

"What is that?"

I explained to him in layman terms.

"The world has changed a lot in these years," Brian spoke as he looked around the room. "I will need to be updated about these changes if I need to beat the policemen. Again." He grinned as he stressed the last word.

"So, how's hell?" I asked, changing the topic.

"It is not as bad as people think. The food is bad though. Really bad." We both smiled.

I provided him with all the information and reading material he needed to come to terms with the modern era. His keen eyes spoke volumes about his intellect. He decided to live in my clinic and seldom went out, that too, in a hoodie. Whenever I would visit, I would find him in the lab chair, engrossed over different topics, with an eerie calmness on his face.

In a couple of days, he was ready. Mr. Hammond's corpse was thrown in the Atlantic, his fake diary was printed and made to fall in the cops' hands. I was finally safe.

The second step of the plan was executed perfectly. It was time for the final step.

I tiptoed inside my pitch-black clinic, a knife in my hand. I saw Brian's silhouette standing near a table and walked quietly towards him.


The knife plunged into the abdomen and came out crimson. But alas! The knife that struck was his and the abdomen was mine. Brian switched on the lights. My eyes bulged wide as I looked at his face. My face.

"I made a few friends in Durham, Tyler. One of them gave me this gift." He pointed at his new face. "I observed your personality, your traits and made a hypothesis. The hypothesis was that you would not hesitate to finish me off if given the chance; the hypothesis was true indeed," he said with a half-smile, kicking my knife out of my reach.

"One's future is determined by the choices he makes and the actions that follow. You made the right choice: To kill me. No, you really did. Any sane man would want the whole money for himself. But your actions, my friend, were as clear as a crystal to me.

"On the other hand, look at my choice: To live your life. And my actions? This." With that, Jack The Ripper plunged his knife into my chest and I lost all contact with my body.

But the story is not over yet, not at all. 

For some reason, I don't have any thoughts about my family that is living with my murderer. I don't have thoughts about money. For some inexplicable reason, my mind (if my soul has one) has risen above all materialistic things. But there indeed is something I would love to have -- payback. Whenever I am resurrected, and I am sure I will be, Jack The Ripper's countdown to death will begin. But until then, I WANT GOOD FOOD.

The End

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