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The Reporter (standard:mystery, 43832 words)
Author: MysteryWriterAdded: Aug 13 2003Views/Reads: 2584/2263Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Just a small novella about the death of a lost man and those who searched for the story of his life. email author for audio version

The Reporter 

The winds blew hard that day.  So hard that the roads were littered with
roofing shingles.  It wasn't a hurricane or even a tropical storm, just 
a few gusts of wind off the ocean.  No one expected the wind, it just 
happened.  It stopped within minutes.  Damage was almost non existent, 
with one notable exception. 

The wind broke a window in a vacant house.  More likely the window had
already been broken and waiting for something like the wind to finish 
it off.  A shard of glass, picked up by the sixty mile and hour wind, 
was thrust like a dagger into the old man's heart.  The coroner said 
that with a blood alcohol level of .21 he likely was asleep when it hit 
him.  Even if he was awake, he likely didn't feel a thing. 

His death should have gone unnoticed, he after all was a non person.  He
was in fact one of the nameless, faceless men who wander the streets of 
every large city.  His life ended with a great deal more fanfare than 
his last few years.  The reason was simple. 

High in an office building, with a distant view of the neighborhood
where the old man died, two men screamed at each other.  The older man 
in the thousand dollar suit was the editor in chief of the daily 
newspaper.  Newspapers had begun to slip in popularity.  TV could cover 
the news faster, if not better.  The Daily news had managed to prosper. 

The daily news was a local newspaper but born in the image of the
National Inquirer.  A little news but a lot more in depth garbage.  
That is how the younger man in the hundred dollar suit described the 
paper's content. 

"Look Jamison, I know you were a hot shot reporter.  I know you were
nominated for the Pulitzer. but none of that matters here.  You either 
come up with stories that sell newspapers or you are out.  I don't care 
who or what you are.  You either get on the team or find a new 
paycheck.  Do I make myself clear?" the older man asked. 

"You make yourself clear Ed.  I am going to stay here till my contract
runs out.  You can only fire me if I don't write.  You can't fire me 
because you won't publish the news." Jamison shouted.  He had been 
shaking his head so violently that his long hair fell across his eyes.  
Actually it fell across his thick glasses. 

"News, surely you don't call this crap news.  Nobody cares what some
doctor discovered, not unless it is a cure for cancer or aids.  All 
this man did was discover some kind of tiny little piece of dirt.  As a 
matter of fact if it were some kind of dirt, it might sell newspapers." 

"That Doctor may have found the building blocks of all life.  Ed you are
as big a jerk as they said." 

"Who said I was a jerk?" the older man shouted. 

"Everyone who worked on the Sun." Jamison shouted trying to raise his
voice to the older man's level. 

"I saved that paper.  It was headed into the dumper, just like this one.
 You have to print what people are willing to pay for.  That is 
something you 'Journalist' never understand.  If you want to be a 
journalist switch to TV.  That's where the real news is today.  What we 
do is print the trash people read while they take a crap.  You may not 
like it but it pays the bills." 

"I don't have to like it.  Unless you want to pay out my contract, I
also don't have to write it." Jamison was so angry spittle dripped from 
the corners of his mouth. 

"You, by God, have to cover any story I put you on." The older man said.

"Right, but I can write it anyway I want.  That my dear Ed is in my
contract.  Why don't you buy me out.  I want to leave here as much as 
you want me gone." 

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