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Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason


"Understood."
"Three of the men in khaki are restraining the struggling man in orange. The man in the
business suit nods, the man in orange is forcefully strapped to the gurney by the three men in
uniform. The business suit nods, the man in the white smock inserts a needle into the orange
man’s arm. The business suit man nods again, and the two remaining men in khaki
simultaneously push the plungers on their syringes. A man dressed all in black, except for a
round white collar, enters the room and speaks under his breath while motioning in a ritualistic
manner. The man in orange dies. The white smock man tests for vital signs. How many
murderers are in the room?" Bonnie said.
"Including the prisoner?" I said, cleverly I thought.
"And there it is," Bonnie said, shaking her head.
"In for a penny—does logic exclude the man who pushed the empty syringe?"
"There it is again: which one is that?"
"I don’t know," I shrugged.
"Neither did he; how many murderers are there?"
"Two," I said with an ‘it’s obvious’ shrug.
Bonnie dipped her head and said, "Look at the nature of each individual’s actions."
"The priest wasn’t relevant," I stated categorically.
"I just told you the answer."
"Six," I said with conviction.
Bonnie grimaced as I listed the doctor, the three guards to hold him… I had to clear my
throat… and the two on the plungers.
"O n whose orders?" she sighed.
"The warden didn’t physically do anything," I deadpanned.
Bonnie closed her eyes, breathing deeply.
"Okay, we’re back to one—the man wouldn’t have died without the warden’s order," I said,
chewing on the inside of my cheek.
She raised her eyes as if in prayer and said, "Could he have done it by himself?"
"Seven," I stated as if this was my first deduction.
"Finally," she exhaled haplessly.
"Except was it a murder?" I said, with furrowed brows.
"Jesus John! Did he commit suicide?"
"No," I answered innocently.
"Did he die of natural causes?"
"Nope."
"If your friends held a defenseless person and you killed him with a club," she said in a rush,
"what do you think the police would charge the guy holding onto his left arm with?"
"I see your point, but we don’t know why..."
"You know all you need to know!" she gushed, exasperated.
"I know multiple syringes are sometimes used so that no single person feels they killed him,
but the fact is only one of them did it."
"Without both of them present, the event would not ha ve taken place. Otherwise, there
would be only one syringe. As both of them entered the room willing to be the killer, and they
subsequently pushed a plunger and a man died?" She left the sentence hanging.
"But if one guy had refused, another guy would have done it, and the orange guy would still
be dead."
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