The Sin of Hate

Joe Lanzon

Peter Davies hated Johnny Hopkins bitterly. For one thing, he envied Johnny’s steady relationship with the beautiful Marcia. He had tried several times to entice her from Johnny’s grasp. But she had eyes only for Johnny.

Secondly, he envied Johnny’s small, but successful taxi business. It was only one car, however his services were in great demand, as he was a warm-hearted and genial person. Peter had earlier tried at a similar business, but failed. Who wanted a morose and quarrelsome person as his taxi driver? He was always thinking of ways to hurt Johnny, to convert his envy and hatred into action, which would bring Johnny down to earth – something which would not be traced back to him. He felt that while life was unfair to him, it was generous with Johnny. 

He had gone through, in his mind, plans to eliminate Johnny. For one reason or other, they were all cast aside. He finally decided on a plan which would utilize his knowledge of car mechanics. So one cold, rainy January night, after Johnny had closed his garage, Peter managed to prize open the door lock, entered the garage and looked around. How he envied this set-up! He saw the black shining car which Johnny used as a taxi. He got under it and started filing off the front wheel shaft, not cutting it off altogether, however leaving it thinly and dangerously on hold. His job done, he went back to his apartment to sleep.

The following morning, before Johnny entered his garage, Peter positioned himself behind the sharp corner from the garage, hiding himself behind the red letter box. This was the only way Johnny would take to go with his taxi to go pick up clients. When Johnny received a call to pick up a passenger from the train station, he got inside the car, started the engine and brought the car outside the garage. He stopped, went out of the car, closed the garage door, re-entered the car and drove off to pick up his client whistling a happy tune. 

Thinking of his beloved Marcia, he decided that tonight he would ask her to marry him and start a life together. He knew that they were made for each other. They agreed on almost everything! He was looking forward to the end of the day.  

Meanwhile, Peter waited anxiously behind the letter box just after the turning. If things worked out according to his plan, Johnny would be eliminated and he would try his luck again with Marcia. He might even start operating a taxi service himself. As the adrenalin pumped though his veins, he was filled with excitement. His throat was dry, his eyes burned and his heart pounded.

Johnny turned the steering wheel to the left, turning the corner, and as usual, keeping up the speed of the car. It was at this moment, when the front wheels made pressure whilst sharply turning, that the shaft broke.  Johnny saw people before him who, on seeing the car heading towards them, started running in all directions. The car, now beyond control, kept careering at full speed. There was a load crunch of metal – a moment’s silence – screams! People around the incident heard the load impact and came to help. They found two men with injuries – one slightly, whilst the other with very serious head wounds.  An ambulance was immediately called to the scene of the accident. 

The ambulance arrived on site after a few minutes. Medics rushed out of the ambulance and assessed the situation. Lying beside the smashed car, they found a man very badly injured. He was in critical condition. Another man, with some bruises was in shock. Both were immediately put on stretchers by the medics and rushed to hospital. 

The man suffering from shock and bruises – Johnny Perkins – was given the necessary treatment, rested awhile and then discharged falling into the waiting arms of Marcia. The man found in a critical condition – Peter Davies – died a few hours later from multiple internal injuries.