I thought briefly about which door I would open. How about lucky number three? No, my lucky number is eight. Three is the closest choice to eight but it is an odd number and I prefer evens. So door two it is. The man in the top hat waits patiently, grinning, as I step in front of Door Number Two and take the latch in my hand. I open the door and peer inside.
The blue and yellow cloth hangs on either side forming a small box of a room, hiding the other prizes I could have won from sight. In front of me lays my prize and I gag from the sight and smell of it. I choke back bile in my throat for nearly a minute and when I’m finished retching I look behind my shoulder in shock, but the man with the cane is inexplicably gone. I turn back to the prize in disbelief.
There is a table and chair set in the confined space. The corpse sitting in the chair is what draws my immediate attention, both the sight of it and the ghastly smell. The corpse is starting to bloat and has turned a pallid shade of grey. Glossy eyes stare out of dead sockets and a macabre smile is cut across his face, the corners of his mouth cut wide back to each ear. The caked blood on his face almost resembles red clown paint around his mouth. Almost.
On the table lay a handgun and a sealed envelope. I pick up the revolver and open the chamber. The gun is loaded with six bullets. I snap the chamber shut with a sharp click and put it back on the table before taking the envelope in a shaky hand and breaking the wax seal. The letter inside reads as follows:
Congratulations on your choice of Door Number Two! Not what you may have expected? I so do love surprises! And for you my friend this night will be full of surprises and it has only just begun! You see the man sitting opposite? A preview, hint and example. Your mother lives on the south side of town at Willownest Extended Care Home for the Elderly. Your sister lives on the north side of town with her husband in a lovely beach front home. I will be paying them both a visit tonight. This is where you come in. I dare you to stop me. But where will I be going first? A hint perhaps, in the form of a cliché.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I know you, I know how you think. And I think you will choose correctly. Good Luck!
The body of the letter is printed by a typewriter, the ink smudged in many places. But the name is written calligraphically with gently curving lines. Jokerface.
I took a deep breath. This was too insane to be happening but I knew that I couldn't take that chance, there was too much at stake. So the question stood:
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?