The Incense Salesman
And the Wind Continues to Blow
The first robbery occurred on White Road. It targeted the smallest house, the one owned by a single man and his twentysomething son who weren’t at home at the time of the robbery because they were out doing this or that – they wouldn’t specify exactly where they were, partly because they wanted to see if the local police force would accuse them of robbing their own house, which they did, probably just because the men in question were both African American. Treeburg is a very Caucasian town, you see; hell, one neighborhood off the back end of Stonetown Road was colonized by a gaggle of German families who flocked to the states around the 1950s, and if that doesn’t do some explaining for you, then you need to get your head checked.
Nothing of any real value was stolen, mostly just knickknacks, artsy decor pieces, and action figures from the twentysomething’s collection in the basement – unboxed action figures specifically, the ones of lower value. At first the dad and son wished they had been home so they could have dealt with the robber themselves, but after the second robbery, they changed their tune and decided to be thankful.
The second robbery occurred in a house on Fricker Drive a few weeks after the first robbery went down. There was just one guy living there at the time, a man in his mid-twenties who took care of the house for his parents in exchange for room and board. The parents – and the guy’s little brother – all moved to Boca a few years back, and when their Treeburg boy wouldn’t answer their phone calls, they started calling the neighbors. Only one guy answered their calls – that guy being Mister Williamson, the one who owns the majority of the houses on Fricker Drive – and when he went over to check on the boy, Mister Williamson found that he had been deceased for quite a few days. Or weeks, but probably days; Williamson is a head doctor, and even though the boy died from blunt force trauma to his head, Williamson couldn’t make an accurate analysis. Williamson is a very sensitive human, you see, and the smell inside the house made him wish the robber got him instead. He couldn’t bear to spend much time wafting it in.
On the bright side, the victim likely didn’t feel any pain, as (according to the certified examiners) he was taking a dip in a deep brown bottle when he had his run-in with the robber; but, it was still a tragedy, a tragedy only made more uncomfortable by Mister Williamson’s subsequent attempts to buy up that house over the phone. The family did end up selling it to him – they couldn’t bear to come back to the place where their son died (along with his lack of ambition), plus they didn’t want to spontaneously interrupt their lives just to come clean out whatever junk their failure of a son left behind. But I’m beginning to digress.
Again, nothing of any real value was stolen during the second robbery (aside from the young man’s life); only decor pieces and the random mancave stuff the guy had scattered around the house. At the time of the second robbery, this detail was seen as a simple string of coincidences, a string which the detectives assigned to the case adamantly refused to weave into a pattern because of the inconsistencies prevalent in the cases, namely that one robbery involved a murder and the other didn’t – the burglars were clearly different perpetrators with different motives. However, when the pattern was seemingly repeated in the third robbery, the one that happened tonight in the first house on Barnstatter Path where all the police officers are gathered, they decided it couldn’t hurt to look at all the potential possibilities.
Normally such a police presence isn’t called for in Treeburg no matter what crime is committed, especially for a simple break and entry, but this is the Milligan household that was broken into and entered, home to Bill Milligan, the founder and proprietor of Buyify, the world’s leading ecommerce/social network platform. Moguls from all over the world set up profiles with Buyify to keep tabs on one another and run businesses which they all buy and sell from each other, and Bill Milligan gets a cut of every transaction, no matter how many zeroes are involved – and there are often a lot of zeroes involved. Stated simply, Bill Milligan has pull in this small town, and now that the robber’s existence has affected him directly, he wants the perp bagged, tagged, and roasted in an oven like the turkey he is. This means the police want the robber bagged and tagged as soon as possible; unfortunately, that’s not going to happen tonight because they only have one witness to question: Gill Milligan, the only Milligan offspring and the legal heir to the Buyify throne, and he slept right through the invasion. That means he had nothing to offer the officers but disappointment, and so the robber got off free again.
Now, with all that said and out of the way, the actual story can begin.
Hello Commons, this has been the second subchapter of the eighth story from Convenient Incidents, an anthology of fifteen interconnected short stories which revolve around a man by the name of Hilter Odolf Williamson.
Convenient Incidents is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Convenient Incidents is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like Convenient Incidents and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here OR you can buy the ebook for even cheaper here.
If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~