Monologue Mania Day # 220 by Janet S. Tiger In Defense of Hoarding (cont.) Sept. 20, 2014
In Defense of Hoarding (cont. see Day # 219)
A monologue by Janet S. Tiger © all rights reserved firstname.lastname@example.org
(Lights up on the Crime Scene Investigator from Day #219)
That's a good question. Why did I go to that box?
I have no answer. Maybe you might feel that it was just dumb luck. I would like to think Bertha's spirit helped. But the answer is irrelevant.
When I started, I had been given a contract by the town to work for four weeks, 8 hour days, with Saturday and Sunday off.
I ended up working 16-20 hour days, 7 days a week. With extra help from the townspeople.
The last weekend before I was to leave, they came and told me they had raised enough money for another two weeks.
My family protested, but it wasn't that I stayed, it was more like I couldn't leave.
I kept coming back to the receipts for the bills and then one night, just before falling asleep, I had an image of the receipts, and when I woke up the next morning, I went to the most recent boxes. There was a clue, but what the hell was it?
Then I looked again at the most recent receipts for the utilities - there were none of Bertha's notes on the last month.........what had happened?
She had the killer staying with her.....had she given him the bills to take to town to pay?
Shivers went down my spine, I knew that this was the thread I'd been looking for......I called the Sheriff, and we looked at the receipts together. It had been over a year, would anyone remember? In the TV shows, someone always does. In real life, not so true. Especially a year later.
Then, the Sheriff thought of something. There was no video camera in the gas and electric building, but the County Water office was brand new, and it had opened just before Bertha's death. And....it had a video camera.
But who saves that video for a year? No one. Not even on TV! Yet there was another coincidence - the new building had decided to save one tape =with all the dignitaries and opening ceremonies from the first day, and the first week of use, and put it in the town archive!
It was like putting together a dinosaur and suddenly digging in the right spot to find the entire spine! The Sheriff got the tape and we went to look at it........one whole week of people paying their water bills. I think watching paint dry is more interesting, but I got to know everyone in that town! The Sheriff knew each citizen as if they were a member of his family........Maudie Adams, the librarian and her blind husband, Carl Jenkins, the livery store owner, Peter O'Reilly, son of Emily and Jack, who did a lot of chores for his folks.
I became immersed in the town, even more so than when I was going through Bertha's dressers. And then, on the fourth hour of watching, I saw the Sheriff sit up. On the screen, a man in a baseball cap, his face not visible. A non-descript shirt, jeans, no unusual limps or gait, only the ordinary dirty hands of a farm worker.
'That's gotta be him', said the Sheriff. 'Let's see if we can zoom in......' and we could, and the receipt number was there......886254.....
(She holds up the receipt from the pile)
Bertha's receipt.......just like in a movie........we knew who the killer was! He was......right there, on screen....with Bertha's water bill!
(She wipes her eyes, this clearly affects her)
Only.......it's not a movie, and the video is grainy.......and this man looked like a thousand others, and the cap over his face made any closer look impossible.
Another clue that led to a dead end........and I only had hours left to figure out how to avoid it.......
(Lights down. End of scene)
-------------------------------------- Janet S. Tiger 858-736-6315 www.JanetSTiger.weebly.com Member Dramatists Guild since 1983 Playwright-in-Residence Swedenborg Hall 2006-8 ----------------------------------------------