The phone rang on Tom’s desk. He sat there in front of his computer and let it go on for a long time. The sound cut into him, the persistent tune repeating and repeating.
“Hello?” he said picking it up.
“Tom? This is Mike. Can you head out to 12 Kitchener Road, we have had a report of a man hanged from a tree up on the hill.”
“Yes it looks that way. He’s a young man by the name of Simon McDouglas. Local school teacher, twenty-eight years old.”
Tom took the car out, making sure his camera was in the locked box in the trunk. He drove out slowly, not wanting to go to the job. Kitchener Road is a steep road that winds up into the hills. Tom had been there six months ago, another suicide, a fifteen year old boy hanged himself from the rafters in a back shed. The town’s people called it suicide hill. Tom slowed his car when he neared the top of the road. There was an ambulance and a police car, four men stood about in the darkness. Something large was in the branches of the tree.
Tom climbed out of his car slowly. The men all turned and watched him. He took a camera from his car and hung it around his neck.
“No photos okay Tom” an old grey haired cop said. “It wouldn’t be right.”
“No, okay,” Tom replied.
“Young school teacher, only been in town for six months, hanged himself. A man walking his dog found him in the tree.”
Tom looked at the body, the face was twisted in the agony of choking. His eyes bulged. You could tell he was a young man, a little overweight. Tom knew him, he had been a nice guy, there was some talk of misconduct at school.
“Why haven’t you cut him down?”
No one spoke.
“He’s been dead for hours,” an ambulance driver said finally.
“Still, can’t you get him down?”
“The detective wants to see him,” the cop said. “Then we’ll get him down.”
Tom moved away and began to cough. The late night air hurt his lungs, something inside of him wanted to come out, he had to work hard to stop from vomiting.