1. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Winner menhillion Short Story Contest 69: Getting Away With Murder

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, Jun 21, 2010.

    Voting for SSC69: Getting Away With Murder ended in a three-way tie. In the SSC FAQ it states that:

    So, in an unprecedented move, I have done just this. Congratulations to menehillion - a piece that's originality struck a chord with me.

    --------------------------------------------------

    menehillion - The Hunt

    It was the first days of summer. The days were longer, warmer and both inside and out there was an overwhelming scent of a mix between newly cut grass and heavily burned barbeque meat. Both young and old spent their days outside exploring the world around their house, or simply enjoying a glass of wine and a good book. The sun shone upon the just and the unjust alike.


    It was on such a day he saw her. He instantly knew that she had to die, and that he was the one that had to do it. A task he was more then content with. He stood outside the neighbours garden looking in. The family living there were loudly enjoying the summers first barbeque. He closed his eyes and for a brief moment inhaled all the exotic and exciting scents that were spreading from the little house down the street. He saw her slowly making her way onto the new cut grass, and saw how inexperienced and young she really was. She paused for a moment before she started to walk towards the crowd at the outside dining table.
    A hint of panic shot through him as he realized that he could miss his window of opportunity. He crouched to make himself smaller and took the first wary steps through the gate. An oak tree on the right side of the entrance provided perfect shade and cover. As she wandered closer to the family, he knew that it was now or never. She and he, right or wrong, it didn't matter- there was no co-existence. Just as he was to jump out and snatch her in front of all of them, she changed direction and was now headed for the back side of the house.
    He took a couple of steps back out of the garden and back on the pavement. The plan had changed. He was familiar with the neighbourhood as he had lived here all his life. She was in his domain now, and in his domain he was the one who got to decide what happened next.
    Walking became running, running became sprinting and not much later he found himself at the back gate. He took the first steps on the brick tiles leading up to the kitchen door, and then quietly onto the grass. A few worn out bikes and half full trash cans were standing there, but they were no challenge for him to bypass silently. He didn't see her right away but a combination of senses and instinct told him she was close. She was not his first, he was good at this. She would come soon enough.
    His eyes turned cold and evil, a satisfying feeling of fulfilling a purpose exploded within him as she rounded the corner.

    * * *

    She never got to become any older. The weight of his body slammed her to the ground. As the pain sat in, she realized that she would never again play with her sisters, chase her brothers or feel the safety and comfort of her parents. She felt the blade pierce her from behind into her lungs. Her throat filled with blood and she gasped, swallowed and desperately fought for air. She couldn't hold on much longer. As she was to embrace the end, the pressure eased up a little. She lifted her head and she saw he had taken a step back and was studying her proudly. She barely dared to look at him as she mustered all her strength into her legs. The sudden sound of a barking dog provided a split second of distraction. She shot up from the ground trying to reach the safety of the house. It took mere moments before she felt the next blow and he was on top of her again. She was on her back now and numb from all the pain. Her skin was pierced in several places, she felt the ice cold sharp death sinking deeper and deeper. As the lights faded from her eyes the last thing she heard was a high pitched yell.

    * * *

    "DADDY!", the sudden scream of his daughter barely caught Arthurs attention while he was grilling another pack of sausages.
    "What is it this time?", he mumbled as he took another sip of his warm beer and glanced at his wife. "I've spent all day setting up this barbeque, can you please go and see what she wants?"
    His wife answered from behind the newspaper "Well, I already went last time, when she found that bird. Besides..", now leaning forward to reveal a smile "those sausage can burn themselves just as well without you."
    Arthur surrendered and strolled towards the back of the house.

    When Arthur came back the sausages looked like burned sticks that resembled the coal beneath them.
    "You could have taken them off the grill." Arthur moaned.
    "Well," his wife said as she lazily turned the page "you are the one that keeps telling me how that is 'a mans job'. I thought I'd leave it to you" she shrugged. She stared down at what once were sausages and had to swallow a laugh. After all, this was serious business for any man of the house. "Anyway, what did she call you for?"
    "Nah, she just saw some cat killing a mouse" he said. "Now, this steak I'm gonna make is going to set the example for all other steaks. You know, I might even show you how it's done." Their eyes met and they both laughed.
     
  2. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Runner Up - Dr. RoxoR - The Witness

    I took a cloth from my pocket and wiped the gun. I removed the clip, shoved it in my pocket, and grabbed the screwdriver I had brought with me. I shoved the screwdriver into the barrel of the gun and twisted it, digging into the interior walls of the barrel. Anything to slow down the ballistics match. Not that it really mattered though; the gun wasn’t registered to me, and the person it was registered too had been dead for years now. I threw the gun in the nearby river, and preceded to burn my overcoat and gloves in a nearby trash can.

    What I had just executed was a perfect plan. Flawlessly scripted out, down to the last detail. I made sure that this would never get back to me, just as I did with the rest of them. But this incident was different than the others. Sure, I got paid as I always do, but this was also personal. For the sake of time, let’s just say nobody insults my credibility without seeing what I’m capable of up close and personal. And that is what happened here. I did what I do best, and all that was left for me to do is escap-

    What the hell was that? A noise, about hundred yards behind me. I hear it again.

    Someone is here. Someone saw me and saw what I had done. Didn’t I sweep the area beforehand?

    Of course I did, I always do. Unless I slipped up, not hard to imagine either with how my emotions were coming into play with this job. Damn it, this is bad. I pull out my other gun, and slowly make my way roundabout to the noise. I’m not about to be caught, here, after all these years on the job. As I get closer, I cock my gun, and think of how to best approach the situation. All of a sudden, I see a figure bolt out from the bush. I leap from my position and race after it. Whoever this person was, they were quick, but weren’t capable of sustaining such speeds. As I got close, I leapt onto the person’s back and took them to the ground. Whoever saw me, they were quite short. I stand up, and turn the body over, and see the witness.

    It was a small boy. Eight years old, tops. He cringed with fear, as tears ran down his sullen face. This poor boy looked homeless, or at least destitute. But there was no time for sympathy. “What were you doing here?”

    The boy quivered, he was unable to speak. I needed answers. I grabbed him with both hands, came face to face with him, and said “What did you see? Who sent you?!” The boy collapsed like putty in my hands, with body-jarring sobs that made it difficult for him to breathe. I took a step back, and in my frustration started to curse and punch the hood of my car. How was I so careless? This would be the end of me. Were others with him? Did anyone else see? I put my head in my hands in anguish and disbelief.

    “I saw what you did to the other person.”

    My head shot up. The boy had spoken. He was still crying, but could manage to get out some audible words through the sobs. I asked him if he was alone.

    “Yes,” he sniffled, “I was here looking for scraps of food or anything.”

    Well, I was right about the poverty aspect of the boy. I wondered what my next step was, as something like this had never happened before.

    “Are you going to kill me too?” The boy stood on this. There was a look of defiance in his features, young as they may be. He reminded me of someone from my childhood, some friend of mine or what not. I made my decision.

    “Well, that depends. Are you going to tell anybody?”

    “No, sir, not as long as you let me live.”

    “How do I know I can trust you?” I asked the child.

    “Please sir, I promise I won’t tell anybody, I really do” he pleaded.

    “OK, here is what I’m going to do,” I said. “I’m not going to kill you, but just to make sure you don’t tell anyone, you’ll come with me and be under my surveillance for some period of time.” The boy understood, and proceeded to wipe his nose on his dirty sleeve. I cringed at this, as he would soon be riding in my Mercedes. I put the boy in the car, started it up, and drove off.

    “What’s your name?” I asked him.

    “Jacob,” he mumbled.

    “Alright, Jacob, my name is Gregory.” This was a lie. No one has known my real name in years, even me on occasions. “Where are you from Jacob?”
    “I live in the city, with my older sister at my Uncle’s apartment, but he’s usually not there, so it’s really just the two of us.” I’ve heard stories similar to this before; it’s heartbreaking stuff.

    “Do you have any hobbies, Jacob, interests?” I asked.

    He perked up at this. “Baseball, sir, I love baseball,” he said enthusiastically.

    I even smiled a bit at this. “Ah, baseball, now that’s a fine sport.” We went on talking for the next two hours or so that we were in the car. By the end of it, I actually started to enjoy the boy’s company, and he enjoyed mine. He was good-natured boy, and he made me laugh.

    We pulled up to a house set deep into the woods, as far from civilization as possible. We both got out, and the boy just stopped and stared. I asked if anything was wrong.

    “Oh no, I’ve just never lived in a house before.” I could feel these emotions in me swell up, an experience that was quite novel to me. Then, the boy walked over to me, and hugged me around the legs. I hugged him back. I can’t remember the last time I had hugged anyone.

    “Alright, now before we head inside, can you go back down the driveway a bit and get the mail?”

    “Sure thing!” The boy turned around and walked away, humming a tune as he went.

    I can’t do this. I don't want to do this. But I must.

    I reach into my jacket. Tears start to pour down my face, as I pull out the source of my livelihood. I hold it up, take aim, and pull the trigger.

    The boy collapses to the ground. I collapse to my knees.

    I had gotten away with one murder tonight. And I would almost certainly get away with this one as well.

    But I wish I wouldn’t.
     
  3. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Runner Up - Legacy1306 - Payback

    A figure walked hastily down the Victorian hallway. His dark brown duster brushed silently along the ground, he straightened his American 30’s-style hat. He looked as if he was from a black and white detective show, where a clever private eye nabbed a vicious criminal. But Detective Dave Landers wasn’t a private eye. He hadn’t nabbed a criminal. He was a senior detective at Scotland Yard, and the criminal had gotten away. The local boys had never seen anything like it. The girl had been killed seemingly without a struggle, without a trace of fingerprints, hairs, or any other significant evidence.

    Dave continued his stride down the hall, ignoring the portraits of commissioners and detectives from long before his time. He ignored the gaudy light fixtures designed to look like old-fashioned lanterns. Dave continued to a weathered door, set in some striped wallpaper that may have once been fashionable. The door had a glazed window, impossible to look through. It had embossed on its surface in black letters three words:

    Detective David Landers

    Barely sparing the words a glance, he burst into his office. He weaved his way through the piles of books and papers scattered around the room, the carcasses of past jobs. His battered ebony desk was seated near drawn curtains, giving the illusion he had an office with a window, though he knew he didn’t.

    Dave sat down at his desk, sweeping his eyes over the discarded files sitting atop it. His view rested on a single folder, clearly a recent addition. It was on top, separated from the rest of the junk on his desk. He didn’t need to open the file. He did it anyway, immediately wishing he hadn’t. It was a report on the job he just came from. He didn’t think they would have it so quick. He had chased rumors and false leads for a week, finally returning to the Yard today. He hadn’t caught the girl’s killer. He knew he never would.

    An alley in York, a week ago

    “Bloody He-“
    “Wow.”
    “Too bad.”

    The city cops’ admissions of horror were interrupted as a silhouetted figure appeared in the alley. It was Detective Dave Landers, the man they called when things got “sticky”, as they were now. Dave straightened his hat, lighting a cigar in that clichéd fashion that he had, and he said, “Looks like it’s time for some law-type work.” Dave strode purposefully deeper into the alley, sliding easily under the security tape. One of the Yard’s many forensic specialists approached him. He said, “No fingerprints. No evidence. Nothing. Blood’s everywhere.”
    “Glad a forensics specialist was here to figure that last one out for us. Wasn’t quite sure…” Dave replied sarcastically. He continued, “We get an ID on the body?”
    “Nah. It’s terrible. Her face was stripped clean, fingerprints gone, even her teeth were pulled. We could identify her using her hair or cell structure, but that could take weeks. The Yard’s just not prepared to put that much into a single case. There are serial killers all over the place- forensics doesn’t have the time or money to invest in this freak scenario. Besides, by the time we have enough info to build a profile, killer’ll be long gone.”

    Dave knew he was right. He also knew who the body belonged to. It was Scarlett Landers, his sister. They spoke occasionally, but never on good terms. Their parents hated her. She ran away at thirteen, wasn’t heard from for five years. Then, she called Dave. He had been a struggling city cop then, making his name alongside London’s finest. She lived with him for a while, though he rarely saw her at the flat he owned in Birmingham. Eventually, he had come home to a note. It said that she had left with a man, and that she had “borrowed” about a hundred pounds. He had been furious, though he had been unable to hunt her down. He knelt down beside the body, slipping on a latex glove he had removed from his pocket. It was hard to kneel in this blood. It made the rough cobblestone alley slippery. Careful not to disturb potential evidence, though he knew there was none, he flipped the body over so he could see its face.

    The cop had been right. Dave whistled through his teeth, both amazed and shocked. The face was just… gone. A red coat of blood and severed muscular tissue were all that remained, where a once beautiful face had been. Dave stood up, throwing his cigar on the ground. He turned back, heading back to his car. The forensics specialist approached him again. He asked, “Any ideas?”
    “Run some ultraviolet scans around the body. See if you can find something.”
    “We tried it, chief. Nothing.”
    Dave rounded on him. “Try. It. Again.” The intimidated cop stumbled back to his van, presumably where he kept his supplies. Dave got into his car. He grinned, patting a stack of about a hundred pounds in his back pocket. Detective David Landers had gotten away with murder.
     
  4. Joules03
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    Joules03 Senior Member

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    Great choice, I loved that story. Congrats menehillion! And congrats to the other two finalists.
     
  5. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    All three are good stories.

    Congratulations guys.
     
  6. menehillion
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    menehillion Member

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    thanks guys! :D
     
  7. Dr. RoxoR
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    Dr. RoxoR Member

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    haha im just happy my writing was considered, great job everyone, especially u menehillion!
     
  8. Nikhil
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    Nikhil Contributing Member

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    All the stories were excellent. Great Job!
     
  9. kogarasumaro143
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    kogarasumaro143 Member

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    wow!
     

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