"I murdered a man tonight."
Cheyenne found the single line in her Instant Message box when she sat down.
As a reporter, she knew this was a message she couldn't ignore. But it had to be a prank. Who in their right mind would boast about something as insane as murder?
Cheyenne set her dinner, a grilled turkey sandwich, on her desk before taking a seat. She clicked into her personal blog, intent on getting her thoughts down. A frown tugged at her brows at the incepted flashing of her IM box. Opening it, she dropped the half eaten sandwich, her heart in her throat.
It had to be a hoax, she thought reading the single line aloud. "I murdered a man tonight." With trembling fingers, she closed the box.
Suddenly the Instant Message dialog box popped opened again and the message came back on her computer. Cheyenne growled at her keyboard. Whoever sent the IM apparently had something to say. As a reporter, her curiosity often put her in situations no sane person would find themselves in and this could be one of "those" circumstances. Her mouth was dry and her stomach was quivering as she began to converse.
"Why?" she typed.
"The man lied to me and I hate liars."
"What did he lie to you about?"
"Someone hired me to murder then refused to pay me when the job was done. This man thought because I committed a crime I couldn't or wouldn't go to the police. He laughed in my face and recommended I squirm back under the rock I slithered out from under."
Cheyenne gasped, stunned by his admission. "So you killed two men? What did you do then?"
"I wanted to know if anything he told me since we met was true. He laughed and admitted the man I murdered had been involved in an affair with his wife. He wanted to teach them both a lesson. I guess he isn't laughing anymore."
"Why are you telling me about all of this?" she paused before her fingers hit the right keys to form her sentence. She didn't know where this conversation was going yet.
"I wanted someone to know why the men had to die. In fact I want the whole world to know the real reason I killed them."
Cheyenne froze, fingers poised on the keyboard and a knot of certainty in her gut. She had just taken a confession of murder and now years of being a professional were kicking in. She knew she had to get all the facts. The police would need to know everything she could find out in the next few minutes in order to catch this monster. "What's this man's name?"
"Congressman Howard Betts. You'll find his body on the steps of the House of Congress in a few hours, or at least someone will find his body."
Cheyenne scooted her chair back, staring at the computer monitor. Her heart beat swiftly in her chest as she stared at the screen. Her eyes were wide with shock. She was horrified by what she saw. In her IM box a photo popped up. It was a close up of a playing card. The card was stained with blood. She thought she could see part of a man's face, but it was only his forehead and hairline. The card was pierced by a large nail through it and the man's head. It was a gruesome sight. As a reporter she knew this story would be top news in a few hours. She also knew the public would never get the real story behind the Congressman's murder unless he explained to her why he killed him. She inched her chair back to her desk. "Congressmen lie for a living, why would you expect him to tell the truth?" she typed. "But you claimed you killed another man tonight. What was his name?"