A small duffle bag, filled to the brim, sat with its top left sloppily slumped over on the queen-sized bed. The bag, still in need of a tight squeeze while the interlocking zippers made their way around the polyester fabric, was to be taken with a passport, extra cash, and plane tickets to somewhere far away, but plans were abruptly canceled when its owner was dragged away in a body bag.
A paragraph placed in the obituary section of the newspaper online described Mark as a man who kept to himself and who suffered from a heart attack just before going on vacation. They were all kind words, however, the story they tell isn’t exactly the truth.
The group of suited men that found their way inside my house a few days ago had apparently reached Mark, the man who first alerted me to the major embezzlement scandal that cost so many lives back in Springfield. He died that day sending a message to my computer at the Newsroom so I can skip town and write the story that would bring down the local government.
Mark’s sacrifice was a brave and noble one, but it made me the only survivor left of the costly cash misappropriation scam that went too far. All I had after Mark was a folder full of evidence and a one way ticket heading into witness protection after I wrote the story and testified against these officials.
My friends and family would have found my name in the obituary the other day if it weren’t for Mark’s warning. Instead, my last days as a reporter would be spent hidden in a safe house in Washington DC with the help of my secret contact, and I would have to live with the fact that Mark had given his life to save mine.