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The Harvey Shulman Case

The full moon cast an almost eerie glow on the parkland. The air was crisp and penetrating. Tall bare trees stood like sentinels, their branches rustling ever so slightly, heavily weighted with age, crusted in thick coats of bark. Metal striking the hardened earth, followed by a human grunt, broke the silence. Over and over it occurred, more insistently now. A flashlight shone for a brief moment, then the earth was again struck repeatedly. Each successive blow widened and deepened the elongated hole.

The digger stopped when he heard the sounds of an oncoming vehicle. He lay down in the opening, concealing himself, and waited. He saw a thin beam of light shine from the window of a moving car. It was the police scanning the grounds for intruders. The vehicle inched nearer, the beam swinging in several directions, then the vehicle passed the cluster of trees and disappeared around the bend in the park road. A few minutes later it returned, moving faster, and continued back to the entrance.

The first sprinkling of snow began to fall as the digger pulled himself out of the hole and dragged forward a large tube-like shape. With much effort, he laid it alongside the opening. Pausing only a moment to catch his laboured breath, he rolled the tube into the hole, then replaced the disturbed earth until the ground appeared smooth. He stomped on the freshly dug earth and then shovelled more into place and stomped it flat. Whatever soil was left he spread over a wider area. The snow was falling faster and soon would cover the churned ground. With luck, time would remove all traces of what he had buried.

With axe and shovel in hand, he exited the park and headed to his car in the parking lot of the large grocery store across the street. The balaclava insulated his head, and his heavy work clothes kept out the cold, but still, when he reached the car, he was shivering and it wasn’t from the cold. He unlocked the trunk and threw the tools inside. Snow had already covered the surface of the road, and according to the weather forecast, would be centimetres deep by daylight. He drove away.