Richmond was a small town which was growing rapidly mainly due to the gold mine which was nearby. It was quieter than expected and had little records of real crime, which include the likes of murder, kidnapping and even fraud. The crimes were the petty ones.
This was why their own son Piet brought the town to a standstill with the slaughter of the Triad family supposedly.
Although this case boosted the survival of the Express Mail, it undermined the judiciary system especially when it dropped the case due to insanity.
The morning paper’s headline screamed“Killer let it all out”
In a small building in the heart of Richmond, a slightly stout man in a small office shook his bald head as he read the story. He rose to reveal his beer infested belly pouch covered by his pink shirt complete with a black tie. His black pants did not even seem to be a perfect fit.He paced around the room as if in a deep thought before glancing back to the newspaper.
As if he had found a solution, he picked up his jacket before heading out.
“What the hell were thinking?” the same bald man threw the newspaper in front of Piet who was stuck on the couch. He picked it up and quickly scanned it before putting it down.
Matt Martin did not seem impressed by Piet’s silence.
He banged on the coffee table fuming,
“What did you think you achieve by this, huh? Personal satisfaction?”
Piet remained silent as if deaf and not concerned.
“You are going to play this silent game? I'm cool with it”
Matt rose before saying,
” You know, the DA are not happy with it and now your insanity is now under question ...”
“I'm not insane,” shouted Piet.
“Continue like this and you going to spent a century behind bars,”
Matt Martin was the one who defended Piet during the long trial. No one was prepared to defend him. as he was the family lawyer, he had no choice but to defend him
“I would rather spend time behind bars rather than to be defended by a lawyer who thinks I'm guilty,” Piet remained on the couch. Piet never trusted Matt especially when he failed to wait his case. However, he had no choice but to abide by him.
Matt had been under a lot of pressure. His client had been found guilty but survived jail time as he was under the influence of crack. He went to rehab instead although he never really spent any time in it. Instead, he vanished.
This did not go well with the prosecutor along with the relatives of Triad who felt cheated.
They tried at all cost but to no vain, to have his insanity rule revoked so that he is send to jail.
Five years had passed and all seemed to have been forgotten till Piet‘s exclusive interview. The DA under pressure from the town which seemed to want to rid of its unclean people, finally cracked.
Piet seemed unaffected while Matt was a mess. Sometimes Matt wanted to quit but the thought of leaving a case incompletely restricted him.
“Can you please calm down before you have a relapse,” said Piet who was quite serene as ever.
“You want me to calm down? You realize that you are heading to prison unless a miracle happens?” Now Matt was a mess.
Piet stood up before saying,
“You realize that I’m going to prison? What kind of a question is that, even a kid knows that. Gosh what’s wrong with you?” He paused as if taking a breather before continuing
“During the night of the murder, people were focused about the evidence, fingerprint and stuff. They never thought of asking me where the hell I was during that time or how I really was.”
Matt gave him a rather rude and confused stare and he got his answer.
“I was at Josh’s place, really stoned and out and not at home as everyone believes.” Surprise was written on Matt’s face,
” Why didn’t you bloody tell me back then?”
“I would have if I really had an idea what had happened. I woke up with murder claims from entirely everyone. They even actually made me believe I was there. If it was not for Josh who told me a couple of weeks ago, I would ...”
Matt did not seem impressed and convinced at all.
“Like you would have, why would he tell you after five years?”
“No! He told me like two weeks and called me because he is still pissed that the case is still hanging like that.”
Matt was still confused, “why now?”
“Don’t know and that is your job to find out why. Thought you should know so that maybe you will believe me this time coz it’s really frustrating when your bloody lawyer doesn’t believe a shit you saying”
Piet reached for his back pocket and produced a small piece of paper to Matt.“This is where he lives at if you don’t trust me.”
Matt grabbed it before heading out.
inding 1511 Newman Flat was not that difficult although the real problem lied in finding Joshua Dale. What really puzzled Matt was why Piet never told him about Joshua or why Joshua kept it as secret? Something was definitely fishy.
Matt knew Richmond quite well as he was a real product of this town.
The Newman Flat was an old building probably one of the earliest high-rise building. Due to the lack of maintenance, the walls were quite cracked on the outside while graffiti seemed to embroil the walls. The stairs were quite deadly, as they seemed to vibrate with every step.
Despite it being old and rusty, the tenants were quite law-abiding citizens. Except graffiti and some petty crime, it was a safe place.
Matt quickly dashed up the stairs while looking for floor 3 which Josh resided in.
Although he took less a second to knock, it took him more than two minutes before he heard the unlocking of door locks. The door was opened to reveal a rather dark face with a mope of a hair.
“Listen man,” the face fumed. “I told you I’m going to pay you next week so go and tell ... “He stopped after realizing something quite formal about the guy before inviting him inside.
Without waiting any time, Matt introduced himself although the man did not say anything.
When he enquired about Josh, the man showed a little bit of interest even though without saying anything. When Matt mentioned Piet that was when he released a nerve breaking call.“Josh, some law dude wants see you about your pal Piet.”
He quickly left leaving Matt to admire the room, which in which he was in. Save for the makeshift sofa and a table, it was empty.
“Can I help you?” a soft voice broke his tour to reveal a medium built light lad with a bald head. He was surprisingly soft and remarkably clean and smart unlike the room which he was in. he was really mannered too as he led Matt to the sofa.
Matt introduced himself before telling him what Piet had told him.
“Can l ask why you came out of the blue and say that after five years?”
“Five years?” this time Josh was now confused. “Kind of told him a long time ago about a year or two ago. That guy hasn’t changed at all.”
Matt’s silence said it all.
“Wouldn’t worry about this as he has got trust issues and I can tell that he doesn’t trust you either”
He rose and disappeared into another room before emerging with orange juice.
He offered him stating that he does not drink. Matt declined nevertheless.
“Anyway Piet and I were not really on good terms but I was not going to let me rot in prison. It turned out that he didn’t need my help.”
“What really happened between the two of you?”
“Lots of things happened but I really know that he never killed them and some of the shit they said were really bull!” he threw himself onto the sofa.
“Like what?” Matt followed him somehow aroused although he still thought it was a waste of time.
“Firstly Piet used to hang out most of the times at around 8pm either here or at the mail. He’s many things but murder doesn’t fit in these ‘lot of things’.”
“The press said that he got sick after eating his tuna which was laced with mild toxic while the others took the ones which were laced with poison.”
“So?” Matt was still not impressed.
“Well last time I checked, he was really allergic to fish, really allergic to them. He always has this rash and scary shit on his skin and not forgetting the blackouts. Therefore, he was supposed to be dead or half-dead. You want to know what the bloody paper said he had minor stomach bug coz he ate the one which was less toxic.”
“What’s your point?” Matt was not convinced at all.
“Tina can kill or even stun him for several days not that you believe me. Besides Piet never wanted them to see him stoned although they knew it. That was one of the reasons he would crush here.
When he usually got really high, he would just a blackout and crush wherever not getting all violent.”
Matt could not believe what Josh had said. To him, it seemed more of a cover up. When he asked whether Piet was popular, he got a predictable answer.
“Piet being popular? Seriously!? What do you think?”
For the first time, Matt was in full agreement with him. Josh went on.
“Piet is rather secretive about certain issues for instance he wasn’t born a Triad but rather a
Blarke before he got adopted when he was thirteen.”
“Am I supposed to believe you?” Matt was now sure that he was being duped. In response, Josh unearthed a rather sarcastic smile while aware of the upper hand that he had.
“He didn’t tell you!? Why am I not surprised that he doesn’t trust you either? Listen that guy knows loads of staff which could have closed the case long ago. The real question would be why he wanted this circus to go on?” Josh rose from the couch as if he was about to escort Matt out.
Matt noticed this development and slowly wheeled himself to the door. He was neither shocked nor amazed although embarrassed as a thousand questions raced into his mind.
He stopped right at the door and suddenly asked as if to cover his embarrassment,
“Does he still do drugs and stuff and also since you are his buddy, you can tell me why you think so?”
“As for the drugs, I don’t really know. Haven’t seen him in five years even though I talk to him every now and then. You are his bloody lawyer; you should know this entire stuff.”
With that, the door was neatly shut in his face.