Chapter San: Sold
It was a crazy weekend for Mr. Zan, with his shop being burnt to the ground in a matter of seconds, and his wife leaving him, he was not the same person. It was one fucked up thing after another, one giant mess to clean up, never ending pain and yet, he enjoyed his life.
Robert was his first name, but even his ex-wife, when she was married to him, rarely called him that. Mr. Zan was his name, and he had learned to accept it. A quick divorce and settlement, he began to rebuild his life piece by piece. No matter what life threw at him, he was ready for it. It was a crazy world for Mr. Zan.
Another thing Mr. Zan enjoyed was, on occasion, to carve little toys out of wood. It was very fascinating, taking a somewhat dull blade and re-using it to make something special. He also occasional sold these toys at his once successful store, known for having "different" children's toys. Mr. Zan never once worried that someone would burn down his store, but it happened, and he was ready to find out who did it and why they did something so heartless.
Mr. Zan sat in his comfortable black leather armchair and contemplated his next move. He was using his favorite knife to carve a large block of wood into a small toy; a tiny wooden elf, which were his favorite to make, especially around Christmas time. He was in a generous mood around that time, usually mass producing the things and giving them away for free to every customer.
Mr. Zan then pictured the man who did this to his store, not sure who would do such a thing, but seeing them grin ear-to-ear as they did so. Torching every tiny part of the store, including all of the wooded toys he had worked so hard on. A tear rolled down his cheek as he thought about all of the years he had spent making his own personal collection.
Seeing as he had no other choice, he had to find the man himself. The police have done nothing so far, not caring about a humble young man and his small little toyshop, or the prized possessions that it held inside of it's tightly secured doors. It was just another fucking day for them, and Mr. Zan wanted to make sure he could find the bastard who did this and make him his own very special toy.
He carved faster and faster, chopping and shredding tiny wooded pieces off of the block, turning what would be a cute toy elf into something else. He smiled, looking down at his new creation; what appeared to be a human skull, but not as well done as his other works. A new interest sparked in the mind of Mr. Zan's head.
After weeks and weeks of searching, and weeks of weeks of the police doing absolutely nothing except calling him and telling him that they almost had the case solved, but it was not quite ready. He was used to it, and at this point, didn't even answer the phone, knowing very well who it would be and what they would say.
Mr. Zan looked through his collection of knives, each having their own individual qualities, but he decided to go with his very first carving knife for this job. He smiled as he cleaned the knife off a bit, and then watched it glimmer in the bright light of his workshop. Mr. Zan quickly pushed all of his other knifes off into his knife drawer, and then pocked the carver.
He then flipped open his phone book and quickly went through the pages until he found the one he had folded from earlier, quickly thumbing to it and finding the name circled in red sharpie. He picked up his phone and dialed the number belonging to the name, and then someone answered.
Someone was speaking on the other end, but Mr. Zan couldn't hear them. He was too busy thinking about what he would do once he found this man, and then how he could profit from the plan. Mr. Zan went through it over and over in his head, hanging up the phone as the man on the other line continued to talk, before grabbing his coat and car keys.
Now, Mr. Zan was also a very patient man, but when it came to someone like this, he had absolutely no patience for. While he had the patience to track him down, carefully and calmly, he did not have the patience for the police's lackluster job of finding him. He could become a detective himself, but he never thought twice about it.
Mr. Zan's motives seemed reasonable, maybe to the mentally unstable, but he considered them something that he needed to do to go on living this somewhat mundane yet at the same time exciting life of his. It was time to finish this job once and for all. Mr. Zan slowly stepped out of his car, quietly shutting the door and walking towards the back door of the man's house.
He kept his right hand near his pocket with the knife in it, just in case he needed to use it earlier than according to plan, and slowly opened the backdoor, which seemed to be already unlocked, saving Mr. Zan the trouble of having to try and break in. He crept along, slowly and silently, and then saw the man lying on his couch, casually watching television.
It was perfect. All of the work was already done for Mr. Zan, all he needed was to finish it. He approached the coach from the back, and then reached for his knife. Then, a somewhat familiar song blasted from a radio in another room, as a woman walked out bobbing her head.
Mr. Zan recognized the song Dancing Queen by Abba instantly, but he didn't let that bother him. This man had a wife, girlfriend, daughter…something. Mr. Zan's plan had to change now, but it was too late, as the woman noticed him instantly and screamed. The man jumped up, but before he could do anything, Mr. Zen stabbed him in the shoulder.
The man pulled the knife out of his shoulder quickly, blood spraying everywhere, as he ended up crashing into his own television. The woman screamed again, and ran for the phone, but Mr. Zan managed to grab hit leg and trip her, before grabbing a nearby lamp and whacking her across the face with it. She was unconscious quickly, but that still left him with the real target.
Mr. Zan smiled again, cleaning off the now bloody carving knife and approaching the man, who was trying to crawl away while holding his wounded shoulder. The song continued to play in the background, as Mr. Zan pulled a piece of wood out of his coat pocket. The man stopped moving back as he noticed Mr. Zan stopped in his tracks.
Soon, the now puzzled man observed as the toy store owner began to quickly carve something out of the wood, leaving wooden shavings on the floor below him. Mr. Zan smiled as he held out his hand, showing the man the thing he had made; it was a small elf, one that he had carved many times before.
The man, reluctantly and slowly, grabbed the wooden toy out of Mr. Zan's hand, but then looked back up to see that he was nowhere to be found. The song ended, and the man was left on the floor with a now blood-covered toy elf.
Mr. Zan entered his car once again, and then drove away to a safe location. Once he arrived, he pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket which read the address he was just at right under the owner of the house, who he had called earlier. Mr. Zan pulled out his favorite carver once again, seeing it now very dull from its numerous uses. He didn't mind; it was just another obstacle he had to get over in his life.
A few weeks later, he received a call from the police telling them that the man who had torched the shop was found, and he had committed suicide. He burned himself alive, taking the entire house down with it. His girlfriend had managed to make it out, carrying a small wooden toy elf similar to the ones Mr. Zan made all of the time. He just chuckled and hung up the phone, not saying another word to the police.
Whatever happened to the man, whether it was a suicide, or he had found the wrong man, and the real man who torched his store also torched that man's house, remained a mystery to Mr. Zan. He just began to sell the rest of his wooden toys, and they were all bought up instantly. Mr. Zan looked as his carver one last time, seeing that it was no longer dull; it was ready to carve up a new batch of toys. He decided against it, throwing his once favorite knife away forever.
The now dead man's girlfriend was found murdered, torched to death, a few days later. And soon, all of the buyers of Mr. Zan's toys began dying in similar fashions, all over the country. The police came to Mr. Zan's house late one night to discuss what was happening, but they found him face down on his floor, surrounded in blood, and his favorite carver sticking out of the back of his head.
No matter what happened to Mr. Zan, he always had a smile on his face. His death was no different.