Basking under the sun on the sundrenched beach was Marcus Saw, the hotshot crime
writer of the century. He had made millions from his crime novels and he was
taking a breather from work before he started work on his next crime
He was happy with himself, just
having received a one million advance on his next writing project but his
idyllic state was rudely interrupted by his personal assistant who appeared with
a rather dirty looking envelope.
As it was marked private, Benjie left it beside him. Lazily, he tore the
envelope and read the contents.
He sat upright. "Hi, Uncle Marcus, Mum said I could be at your summer house
for the holidays as you are holidaying in Bali and won't be needing the place
for at least six months. Some schoolmates will be joining me for the Easter
break. I promise to take care of the place. You will find the premises spick and
span on my departure."
"NO! They mustn't be there. They would go snooping in the wine cellar".
Marcus sprang into action. He hurried to his hotel suite, shouted for his PA
to book three airline tickets, one for him and his PA and the third for his
latest lady companion.
Within minutes, they were at the airport, ready to return to KLIA. In the
plane, Marcus was moody and irritable and Sally knew better than to question or
to comment. She kept quiet and pretended to be asleep due to exhaustion.
Marcus kept playing the scene over and over in his mind. His newly divorced
wife of ten months had visited him one late evening at his summer retreat. She
was dissatisfied with the divorce settlement and wanted more. She did not make
an angry demand, neither did she fight him. She was quiet but firm. In a very
calm but in a sinister tone she said, "Triple the settlement and whenever I want
or I'll tell on you. I've spent the best years of my life during your days as a
poor struggling writer. Now that you are a billionaire, you are casting me
aside. I bear you no ill-will. I'm too old for you, not attractive enough to
grace your table. I don't want to work for a living. I want to lead a lifestyle
of the rich and famous."
Marcus knew he was caught for she knew everything about him, all his
misdeeds, indiscretions, his shady deals, his connections with the underworld.
You named it, she knew about it. She was never a part of his secret dealings but
she was in the know. Her knowledge was lethal to his future, to his reputation.
She could destroy him with a word to the right ear.
Fuming and feeling helpless, he was stupefied for a while but then his sly
mind hatched a plan. He invited her over for dinner and as he put it "for old
times' sake". She came, unsuspecting and as the evening dragged into the small
hours of the morning, they ran out of wine and he suggested going to the wine
cellar to retrieve their favorite wine. So they did. While in the darkness of
the cellar, he knocked her
unconscious and dumped her into her favorite wine cask, the 1977.
He closed up the house and took off for exotic destinations until that
morning when he received his nephew's letter. He had to return to dispose of the
"wife" before anyone discovered she was missing.
Pretending ignorance, he asked his personal assistant to send a birthday card
to his wife and to have her favorite flowers delivered to her "official"
Faking an excuse that he wanted some quiet and peace to start on his latest
project, he hired a black Sedan to drive to his summer retreat but of course
before that he made several calls to many places: to his favorite hair salon,
his favorite fashion designers, Rizalman and Chandran, his usual watering hole
and of course to his local mamak stall, greeting every one loudly and
heartily. Only then did he hit the highway to his sanctuary.
On reaching it, he saw a police car and the pompous
looking Chief Inspector, Encik Rosman who had never liked him, directing
His irrepressible nephew, on seeing him, ran towards him, hugged him and
said," Guess what we found in your wine cellar? Your ex-wife in your favorite
wine casket. She must have fallen into it when she was trying to fill up her
wine bottle. Don't worry, Uncle Marcus, the police would find the person
responsible. Uncle, I've just had a brilliant idea. This could be the theme of
your next novel."
Marcus's face turned ashen but he kept
his composure. He smiled weakly and greeted the police inspector, offering to
help in whatever way he could.
A month later, splashed on the front page of The New Straits Times morning
edition was the headlines: "Crime Writer Detained for Murder of ex-wife".