Mystery Monday #8 – February 12, 2018

Mistaken Identity Pt. 2

By: Robin Gagnon

Walking to his office the next morning, Victor was greeted by a few officers and a couple detectives standing outside his door.

“Can I help you?” he asked in surprise. “Is there something wrong?”

“We want to ask you a few questions regarding an investigation,” one of the detectives replied, cutting straight to the chase. “We want to know what your connection to Mr. Duncan is.”

“I am legally allowed to work that case,” Victor defended himself immediately. “Mrs. Duncan came to me about a missing person.”

“This is no longer a missing person’s case,” the detective informed him. “It’s now a homicide case. Mr. Duncan was found dead behind the bar you were at yesterday. We also have a search warrant for your office.”

Victor was left both surprised and speechless, as the officers cuffed him. He was then taken to the station and left in a dark room with a single artificial light. There was also a two-way glass mirror and he was left baffled by the accusations against him. He hadn’t killed Mr. Duncan, but perhaps the bikers had persuaded the cops that he had done it after he fled the bar last night.

Finally, a detective came into the room and threw down a bunch of case files that they had recovered from Victor’s office. All of the manila folders contained missing person’s cases that he had been paid to investigate. He looked up at the detective in confusion.

“What is this for?” Victor asked. “These are cases I solved years ago.”

“Each one of them was found dead after,” the detective replied coolly, as he took a seat on the edge of the table. “Mr. Duncan was the most recent and we caught you on camera at the pub.”

“I was just doing my investigation into Mr. Duncan’s disappearance,” Victor argued, becoming frustrated. “And I didn’t kill any of these people. What’s the point? Where’s the motive?”

“We saw you on the cameras dumping Mr. Duncan’s body,” the detective explained, looking a tad bit smug. “After you were seen fleeing the pub, you came back later that night.”

Victor looked shocked, “What are you talking about? After I left the pub, I went back to my office and then straight home.”

“Can you prove that? Do you have an alibi?”

Victor looked away and mumbled, “Well, no.”

The detective left the room and Victor ran his hand through his dark hair, as he tried to wrack his brain and figure out what could have happened.

Several hours later, a cop came in and took off his hand cuffs. He was led through the station and towards the doors, where the detective from earlier was waiting.

“What’s going on?” Victor asked. “I though I was under arrest?”

“We found the murder weapon,” the detective replied simply. “And the finger prints on it didn’t match yours, so we don’t have enough evidence to keep you here.”

“Thank you,” Victor replied in relief. “But why did you say that you saw me dump the body in a surveillance footage? Was that just a ruse to get me to talk?”

“No,” the detective answered flatly. “We do have footage of someone that looks exactly like you dumping the body.”

Doubt filled Victor’s mind as he asked simply, “Can I see the footage?”

“We can’t show you that,” the detective replied instantly. “It is evidence in a active homicide case.”

Victor shivered under the detective’s gaze as he left and was certain that the man still believed that he had murdered Mr. Duncan and the others.

When he had arrived back at his office later that night, he turned on the light switch to find that it was a mess. The police had raided it and put nothing back, leaving folders and office supplies scattered around the room. It was going to take ages to clean this up. He shut his office door behind him and got to work cleaning, while he thought about the accusations that had been made towards him.

None of it made sense, he thought to himself, as he reorginized his filing cabinets. How could they have seen him on the security cameras after he had left? He supposed that the police really were bluffing and had come up with it after the bikers had told them that he had been there, but somehow he doubted it.

He paused and sat down amongst the mess in his chair to ponder the explanation behind the odd case. Was it possible that he had a doppelganger, whom was wandering around and committing these crimes under the ruse that he was him? The thought left Victor scratching his head, as he formed a new idea.

He picked up the receiver of the black, old-school phone on his desk and dialed a familiar number. He turned around in his swivel chair to face the wall, as the spiralling black cord stretched across the desk.

An elderly, female voice answered on the fourth ring, “Hello?”

“Hi, mom,” Victor greeted gently. “It’s me, Victor. I was working on a case and it had me thinking of something to ask you.”

“What is it, love?” his mother asked cheerfully, probably sitting in her recliner by the window, as she watched her favourite game shows.

Victor took a deep breath before asking, “Did you hear anything about me having a twin brother before adopting me?”

His mother paused in silence for a moment before replying, “Why, yes, I think you might have, but he was adopted out to a poor couple that could only afford one child. Why do you ask?”

Victor’s stomach swirled in unease as he lied, “It’s nothing important, I was just wondering. I have to go, but take care.”

His mother wished him a good night and hung up. Instead of putting down the phone, he called the police station and informed the police of his discovery. He wasn’t one hundred percent sure if his theory was correct, but if it was, his life could be in danger.

As he got up from his chair, a knock sounded at his door and he cautiously moved toward it. People didn’t normally show up at this hour, since he advertised that he closed at six. Before he could open the door, it swung open and revealed a man that looked just like him. The man had dark hair and the same blue eyes, but his were much wilder. He stared at Victor with a wicked grin of yellow stained teeth.

“Hello, brother,” he greeted after a moment of shocked silence. “It’s so nice to finally meet you.”

“You’re my twin,” Victor mumbled almost to himself. “My mother just told me that I had a brother, after I figured out that there may be a possibility that I have one.”

“Of course your mom didn’t tell you about me when you were younger,” the man seethed. “After all, I was adopted into a poor family, not a rich one like yours. After my father lost his job and my mother got addicted to drugs, I ended up on the streets. My mom had told me about you before she got sick and when I got older, I decided to seek you out.”

A memory of a day back when he was in high school, flashed through Victor’s mind. He remembered being out at a party with his friends, when a boy who looked just like him, declared that he was his long, lost twin.

“Imagine my surprise when you told me that you had no idea who I was and that you didn’t have a brother,” the man continued, looking more and more crazed. “I started to follow your life and began to learn how more well off my own twin was. So, when you went to college and then started your own PI firm, I decided that I’d make you suffer like I did.”

“What are you talking about?” Victor asked in panic, as he tried to move to the drawer of his desk to grab his gun that he had hidden there. “And I’m sorry that I didn’t remember you when we first met.”

“It’s too late for apologies,” his twin spat, looking crazed. “No one even knows I exist. The police will eventually just find a way to pin my crimes on you and then you can see what it was like to live my life.”

Victor opened his desk door slowly, as his brother talked, but when he reached inside, he found that it was empty. He figured that perhaps the police had found and taken it earlier, however, he didn’t recall them stating that they had found a gun.

“Looking for this?” the man in the doorway asked, with the sound of a gun cocking. “Were you really going to shoot your own brother?”

Victor put up his hands nervously and tried to reason with him, “I didn’t even know you existed. No one told me about you and if I had known that I had a brother, I would have let you stay with me and my mom. She was a good person.”

“If she was such a good person than why didn’t she take me in too?” the man spat, shaking in fury. “She had enough money to take us both, so why did she abandon me and leave me with those pathetic excuses for parents?”

“I’m sure she didn’t realise what you would end up going through,” Victor tried to explain rationally. “She probably thought you’d end up living in a nice home.”

“Shut up!” his twin yelled. “Stop making excuses for her! She had the opportunity to care for me with my twin brother, but she rejected me. You’re just as bad as she is!”

Victor’s breath caught in his throat and he flinched, as a shot rang out. He waited for the pain or the light or whatever he thought was going to come afterwards, but nothing did. He looked up to see his brother dead on the floor and the detective from earlier standing in the hallway with his gun out. Two officers were behind him with their guns drawn as well, but all three of them holstered their weapons when they were satisfied that the danger was over.

“Are you alright?” the detective asked, walking over to Victor with an apologetic look. “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you earlier. I just didn’t expect for your twin to be involved.”

Victor looked down sadly at his troubled brother and replied, “I didn’t even know I had one until tonight.”

The detective patted Victor on the back in sympathy and, later that night, Victor went back to the pub where things had all started. He wasn’t wearing his biker outfit anymore and when the bikers saw him, they immediately sat up and stared at him threateningly.

“You have some nerve showing up here,” the blond man with the handle bar mustache spoke up, as Victor ordered a glass of whiskey. “How are you not in jail?”

“Because I didn’t kill Mr. Duncan,” Victor replied simply, looking stressed out and sad. “My twin brother, whom I never knew existed, did it.”

Victor took a photo out of his dress shirt pocket and slid it across the bar towards them before apologizing, “I’m sorry about what happened to your friend. I was truly only trying to find him and I came back here tonight to clear my name. I’ll have you know that the man who did it is dead now.”

The bartender handed Victor his glass of whiskey and he took a good swig, as the bikers looked over the photo of what was once his twin brother and his happy family before it had become broken. Victor slumped in his seat and stared at the brown liquid in his clear glass.

“Sounds like quite the story,” the blond biker commented finally, sitting on the bar stool next to Victor.  “Care to tell?”

Victor looked up at the man in surprise and realised that the man looked sorry for him. After downing the rest of his whiskey, Victor launched into the tale about the twin brother that he never knew he had.

 

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