Please vote for the piece that you feel is most deserving:

Poll closed Jun 20, 2010.
  1. Northern Phil - When Justice Fails

    1 vote(s)
  2. ilocar - Reasonable Doubt

    1 vote(s)
  3. Robyn - Zee

    0 vote(s)
  4. Dr. RoxoR - The Witness

    3 vote(s)
  5. Legacy1306 - Payback

    3 vote(s)
  6. K.S.A. - Little john

    1 vote(s)
  7. DodgePen - Creativity

    0 vote(s)
  8. snake - Driven Down

    2 vote(s)
  9. O---TY---O - the Court of Aces

    0 vote(s)
  10. Nikhil - Luck Buries Vengeance

    2 vote(s)
  11. Syph - Charity

    0 vote(s)
  12. Delphinus - Noble Death

    0 vote(s)
  13. Gingerbiscuit - Begonias in Little Kettle

    2 vote(s)
  14. Desperado - Tasting Grace

    1 vote(s)
  15. Sappho - End of a life

    1 vote(s)
  16. menehillion - The Hunt

    3 vote(s)
  17. Smelnick - Getting Rid of Mrs. Fetter

    0 vote(s)
  18. phoenixsharpshooter - The Lighthouse

    1 vote(s)
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  1. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
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    Manchester, England

    Voting Short Story Contest (69): Getting Away With Murder

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, Jun 7, 2010.

    Voting Short Story Contest (69) Theme: Getting Away With Murder

    Thank you for all your entries. The winner will be stickied until the next contest's winner is crowned. No more entries are allowed in this contest.

    Voting will end Sunday 20th June 2010 to give you all a chance to read the entries.

    It is possible to vote for yourself, but I would hope in the name of good sportsmanship that you would only do so if you have read all the other stories and given them your honest evaluation. You gain nothing if you base your vote solely on how you feel about the author or whether you have personally invested time and effort in the story. In the end, your conscience is your only judge.

    Any entries under or over the suggested word limit will be flagged as such - they are still entered in to the contest. It is for you to decide whether they are still worthy of your vote.

    Any entry not in accordance with the theme will be dealt with on a case by case basis to determine eligibility. Consider how the author has responded to the theme in making your decision.

    Good luck to everyone.
  2. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    Northern Phil - When Justice Fails

    It is Friday night and as usual I am sat alone in my office. I have in front of me various pieces of paper relating to my latest case. This is another one which has annoyed and angered me. Five weeks ago I was called to a murder scene, it was at a typical semi detached house. A man named David Robertson had been murdered by his wife. I couldn't go into the house at the time as the forensic team was analysing everything and the wife had been taken to the local hospital as she claimed she was suffering from shock. I took statements from the officers who were first on the scene, they said that Irene Robertson had stabbed her husband in self defence after a row had turned violent. They also informed me that a few of Mrs Robertson's comments were about how her husband had been violent in the past.

    After a week of solid investigating the facts of the case began to coalesce, Mr Robertson had been a self employed man who ran a haulage company. Although the business was barely making a profit it did have some major clients on it's books and a rival firm had offered a seven figure sum for the business. Mr Robertson had rejected this offer and some of his employees quoted him as saying that “They did not act honourably.” Now that we had established a motive for Mr Robertson's murder we now needed to interview his wife.

    Under interview Mrs Robertson admitted to stabbing her husband with a random kitchen knife. Forensics confirmed this and also that the murder weapon had been an extremely sharp butchers knife which was thrusted forcefully into his chest severing arteries to his heart. She claimed that he had often been mentally abusive towards her and on several occasions had hit her. Mrs Robertson backed up her claims stating that on one occasion she had her wrist broken by him. Medical records confirmed that she had broken her wrist, but she had told the doctors that this was caused by skiing accident. There were no notes recorded expressing a concern for Mrs Robertson's well being.

    Mrs Robertson explained that on the night of her husbands death it had began like most Friday nights. They had put on a movie and were enjoying a bottle of wine with some chocolate treats. At some point during the night Mrs Robertson had dropped a glass, shattering into a multitude of pieces and pouring wine all over the carpet. After this David Robertson had become overly aggressive with her and when she feared he would hit her, Irene Robertson had grabbed the closest thing to hand, which happened to be a large butchers knife and stabbed him with it.

    I wanted to charge her with murder, it was obvious she had done it so that she would inherit her husbands little gold mine of a haulage firm and then sell it for an exaggerated sum. She was claiming that she was physically and mentally abused by her husband which was always difficult to deal with. I had to question her neighbours and friends about their relationship, everyone I spoke to seemed to say the same thing, “They were happy together.” The people I spoke to were shocked when I asked if there had ever been any abuse in the relationship, they all confirmed there had never been anything like that happen.

    A few days later I had a disappointing meeting with the Crown Prosecution Service. They informed me that we would not be pressing charges against Mrs Robertson. It appears the case for her being a victim of domestic abuse was to strong and there was a fifty/fifty chance that when she killed her husband she was acting in self defence. Since then I have had a few weeks to re-examine the case thoroughly. No new evidence has come to light and I cannot accurately see any collected statement which would conclusively prove that she is lying.

    I cleaned up my desk and collected all my notes and findings inside a document holder. I then tossed these into the bin. I sat there for a few moments and collected my thoughts as I drank a cold cup of coffee. I thought, she may have gotten away with murder, but it appears from the statements that we collected that they passionately loved one another. In my cynical heart I hoped it wouldn't take long for Mrs Robertson's money to dry up and for her to realise what she has lost can never be replaced.

    I left the office that night hoping for a peaceful weekend before another case is handed to me on Monday morning. Knowing my luck I will get a call on Sunday afternoon, just as I'm tucking into my Sunday lunch telling me that I have another case to investigate. Perhaps they will get away with murder as well.
  3. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    ilocar - Reasonable Doubt

    John Baxter had murdered his wife. There was nothing simpler in the world. Still, he smiled as his lawyer, a professed Presbyterian, defended him, even though the man knew he had done it.

    John had no alibi, the police even connected the bullets in his wife’s head to the gun he kept in his desk. The only loose end was the knife that was used to chop her up. John had savored finally shutting that old biddy’s mouth, silencing her incessant nagging for once in her pointless life.

    The Presbyterian, as John had taken to ironically calling his lawyer, stood and gave his opening statement, carefully alluding to the missing knife which was the backbone of their argument. He had made sure that the jury was composed mostly of intellectuals and law buffs, because it was essential that the word of the law was understood in this case.

    After much beating around the bush, the Presbyterian called John Baxter to the stand. He stood and Swore his oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The Presbyterian proceeded to interview him, asking him questions that led the jury in the right direction for their case. Of course, the Presbyterian was on his side, John wasn’t much worried about the questions his own lawyer asked. The prosecution attorney obviously chose to do cross examination. She was a thin doe-eyed double-D, John could hardly keep his eyes on her face.

    “Did you love your wife, Mr. Baxter?” Doe Eyes asked pointedly.

    “I’m sure I did at some point.” John responded, the jury laughed, good sign. They were mostly divorcees too.

    “Yes, very funny. Mr. Baxter, do you mean to say you no longer loved her the night she was killed?” Doe Eyes was a sharp one.

    “Yes, Ma’am. I was actually out consulting a lawyer about divorce that night. I believe that’s in the police report.” John replied.

    “Yes, Mr. Baxter, it is. When you got home that night, what did you find?” Doe Eyes was like a dog with a bone, luckily John had had a practiced story ready since before even deciding on killing his wife.

    “I found her the same as the cops did: a pile of meat in the kitchen.” John replied

    “And then you called the police?”

    “That’s right.”

    “Tell me, Mr. Baxter, what is the first word that comes to mind when you think of your wife?”

    “Easy, annoying.” The jury chuckled again, they were eating out of his palm.

    “Annoying you say, how so?”

    “Well, she nagged me about everything; what I ate, what I wore.”

    “And you just wanted to shut her up, right Mr. Baxter?”

    “Objection your honor! Leading question,” The Presbyterian piped up. John loved the law.

    “Sustained.” The wizened old judge replied, lifting his head to look at Doe Eyes like a drooping burlap sack. “Would you like to rephrase the question?”

    “No, no further questions your honor.” And Doe Eyes floated back to the prosecution bench.

    More witnesses were called and cross examined and ultimately John watched as the case easily fell into his court. The closing statements would seal the deal.

    “As you all know the woman, Miriam Baxter, was killed with the gun registered to John Baxter. He has made it clear that he did not love his wife and found her annoying. It is the job of the jury to take the evidence and make a fair judgment in this case. I’ve shown that Mr. Baxter had the means, motive, and opportunity to carry out this murder, now its up to you, members of the jury, to put this monster where he belongs, thank you.” Doe Eyes sat back down. John was curious how such a stupid little girl managed to get through law school, but he let the thoughts pass as the Presbyterian stood for the final closing statement.

    “My client is not a mindless statistic, he is a human being. Yes he had means, yes he had motive, yes he had opportunity. But, tell me, who among you, the jury, hasn’t had all three of these things? Did you kill your wives and ex wives simply because you could? No, because you’re decent human beings. And so is John Baxter, He has fallen prey to a case of mistaken identity and the proof is in the evidence. Where is the knife? I ask you. Jury, we live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty, let your emotions not sway you. If there is reasonable doubt in your mind it is not your job to act on what you think is true, you must act on only the cold hard facts. And the cold hard fact is, there is not enough evidence in this case to prove my client guilty. Therefore, you’re choice is simple, people of the jury, thank you.” The Presbyterian sat, dobbing at his brow.

    The jurors were ushered out of the room to deliberate. They took a long while but after several hours the beleaguered group came back out. The Foreman unfolded the paper and cleared his throat. He spoke with a heavy southern accent.

    “After much deliberation, we, the jury, have reached a unanimous decision that there is not sufficient evidence to convict Mr. Baxter of any wrong-doing. Therefore, we acquit.” John almost laughed out loud. He loved the legal system.

    John Baxter took his car back to a freshly cleaned home, his eighteen-year-old housekeeper still there, ready for the duties of their other relationship. John went to his study and opened the secret compartment, taking out the blood-stained knife he had hidden there. He was almost sad he would have to dispose of it in a few weeks after the police finally gave up on his case. He kissed the knife and stowed it back in the compartment, removing a condom from another drawer. Boy was that housekeeper going to enjoy herself tonight.
  4. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    Robyn - Zee

    Eric Conoroy stowed the knife in his back pocket, glancing around him. Nobody was looking. He quietly carried to woman deeper into the alleyway, close enough to the street for her to be easily found, but far enough away for him to have time to clear away any evidence he was there. When he was sure there wasn’t anything; no footprints, handprints, any other kind of prints, or anything else, he slipped out of the alleyway unnoticed.

    When he got home, Eric threw his latex gloves into the fireplace, slowly watching them melt and burn. Nobody would know he had killed miss Carrie Lynn Rodes but him. It was intended, but he knew what the detectives would call it. A fit of anger. He was sitting in his favorite bar, having another beer. He knew he was drunk, and that allowed him to walk right up to Carrie and asking her to come back to his apartment, without a backward glance. Carrie had laughed and agreed, brushing her long, black hair past her shoulders.

    Eric’s small house was only two blocks away, so they walked. Carrie shivered in the cold weather, and he kindly offered her his jacket. She took it, smiling her beautiful, white smile. Halfway to the house, Eric stopped her. She looked up at him curiously, and her chocolate-brown eyes almost made him quit the mission. Almost. But, behind his back, Eric was pulling on the gloves, whispering that he had a surprise for her. She laughed, the last thing she would ever do. Eric swiftly pulled out the knife, stabbing her five times in the chest. With that, the infamous Carrie Lynn Rodes was dead.

    In the shower now, Eric thought back on his mission. Zee was a man on the internet, a man who seemed to know his every move. He controlled every aspect of Eric’s life. Zee had told him to kill the girl, and that is what happened. Why, Eric didn’t know. He only knew that if a mission was left incomplete for too long a period, the mission receiver would mysteriously die. This had happened to his friend only a few months ago, and Eric was reluctant to let the fate occur to him, too. So, he completed his missions perfectly every time.

    Every time but this time.

    Eric was staring at the fire again, when he realized his fatal mistake. He had left the jacket on Carrie. The jacket with his wallet in it. The wallet with his driver’s license and I.D. How had he been so careless, so stupid? Surely Zee would kill him now. But Eric wanted to control his own fate, not the dictator whom he had foolishly let rule his life. He quickly opened his laptop, pulled up his e-mail, and sent five words to Zee:

    I got away with it.

    Sending the e-mail, but leaving his laptop open, Eric pulled out the knife one last time. He looked into the fire, then sliced it across his neck, making a deep incision and killing him in a few seconds. Eric Conoroy was dead, but he had won the real battle. He had, on his own terms, gotten away with Carrie’s murder, and at the same time, controlled his own death, finally defeating Zee.
  5. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    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.
  6. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    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-“
    “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.
  7. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    K.S.A. - Little john

    “Hello Little John”, Mrs. Fields called out to the boy, as he lumbered past her store, carrying a sack of manure. The townspeople had always called him that, even though he was definitely not a small lad. “Good afternoon, Mrs. Fields”, he smiled at her, waved and turned to walk on.

    “Oh John, before I forget, thank you for driving me to the flea market the other day. And thank your father for suggesting I ask you to. But it was such a waste of time. My poor back just can't take long journeys anymore. It was kind of Mr. Grant to bring me back, that nice man,” she said, almost to herself. “Anyway, you can tell your mother that the furniture she was talking about was the worst part of the whole market. Almost all the pieces had been ruined by white ants, and those that weren't were so ugly, I couldn't believe they would actually try to sell it to somebody else. Although, between you and me, there were quite a few gullible ones that did end up buying it.” “Those poor suckers”, he grins. “Well, I've got to get back home. Dad needed this stuff immediately,” he says, pointing to the sack. “Take care of yourself, Mrs. Fields.” He lifts the sack onto his back once more, and walks towards his bright red truck.

    As she watched him make his way down the pavement, she thought that he definitely looked like a giant. He was probably a head taller than Mr. Grant, who was well over six feet himself. And he was definitely wider in the shoulders and the chest. But he was their gentle giant - the boy who was always willing to help anyone. And he had the sweetest smile and the gentlest countenance of anyone she'd ever met. He'd even been nice to Mrs. Fritz, 'Although how anyone could have been nice to that old hag, I'll never know', she thought to herself. “I shouldn't speak badly of the dead”, she muttered under her breath, and made the sign of the cross. They'd found Mrs. Fritz yesterday morning, lying in her bed with a sneer on her gnarled features, her eyes staring off into nothingness. Said she'd died of asphyxiation. “Probably choked on those rotten teeth of hers,” Mrs. Fields chuckled, then shook her head and crossed herself again, walking back into her shop.

    The weight of the sack was easy enough for John to manage but the awful smell coming from it was more than he could take. And that old woman was always waiting outside her shop, looking for new ways to annoy him. She was always coming around to their house “for a chat”, even though she knew wasn't welcome. And she took forever to leave. His mum and dad were just too nice. Maybe he needed to show her how unwelcome she really was. Just like that other bitch. “Oh well, maybe later. I'm sure Fritz could use a friend. Hell must be lonely for her, ” he snickered, putting his truck into gear and heading for home.
  8. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    DodgePen - Creativity

    "Think!", yelled an angry Sarah as she threw one crumpled paper after another in the wastebasket next to her desk. She repeated the process every time she sat down to write a story. Frustrated, Sarah decided to take a break and figure out how she got to this point of being unable to think of a plot for a story.

    Back when Sarah was a child,she dreamed of the day when she would see her name on a book. Just thinking about her books being in the best seller section at the bookstore and being able to speak to thousands of readers was motivation enough. Sarah's biggest goal was to see kids eagerly renting her books at the library and inspiring them through words just as her favorite authors had done for her. Starting out she would write short stories for her family, but sooner or later Sarah knew she had to branch out.

    "Just wait a few years, you're too young to be worried about a career. Enjoy your childhood while you can.", was the response from her parents every time Sarah would ask her parents about publishing her stories.

    As Sarah entered high school,her creativity and desire for writing started to fade. She knew it was important for her to to get into a good college and spent the four years concentrating on her studies. While she still had a small glimmer of hope to be an author, she was often discouraged.

    "Why do you want to be an author?" or "There's no money in that", were the first two responses that she usually got from friends and family. Sarah felt pressure to enter the medical or law field at the direction from her family. In her family the amount of money you made was the measure of success. Writing was different for her though, it was the passion that made her write not for money. However, the pressure was too much in the end and Sarah decided to major in business instead of creative writing.

    The life Sarah had now was never the one she wanted. She regretted being a business major because the success her family believed she would achieve, never flourished. Her 9-5 office job selling insurance was not the life she wanted. Language and writing were her passion not crunching numbers and sales. The biggest regret of all was letting others kill the passion she had whenever she mentioned a career as an author.

    Trying to get back the passion to write was a hard task,one that Sarah knew she would never have again. Time and time again, Sarah would sit at home trying to think of some story to write or plots to map out. It was a fruitless effort because most nights she was too tired from work or thinking about work. The creative mind she once had was replaced by numbers and analytical thoughts. Sellout,was the only word she could describe herself as while she sat at her desk conforming to the wishes of the business lifestyle thrust upon her. She let others kill her passion and her creativity,but her biggest regret was letting them get away with it.
  9. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    snake - Driven Down

    The door opens and i’m in.


    I pause. Breath after breath resonates loudly in the room. As it does, I feel my chest rising heavily up and down, moving with the force of my heart. I turn the light to my kitchen on. The white fluorescence illuminates the scene. My pupils retract and hide, frightened by the sudden change. They then move scattily about the illuminated space.

    This room... It’s new to me, altered. It’s not the same kitchen i walked through previous. Now a veil has been removed, the obscurity lessened, and the picture more in focus.

    Now i noticed things.

    This kitchen... well, it was clean, very clean, certainly tidy, even sterile one might say. I notice this immaculate look, every shelf pristine, every surface shinny, not an imperfection in existence. Strange how all the furnishings seemed orientated to compliment one another in some sort of symmetrical unity. Even the miscellaneous books and cookery tools appeared filed away in uniform.

    It hit me... it just ... did.

    I blink. It shakes me out of the stare and i stammer over to the fridge. The door opens and a wave of ice-cool air grips me.

    I sigh as the cold numbs my senses ... It’s momentary and fleeting. It’s lost...

    I grab a full bottle of scotch out of the fridge and slam it on the table adjacent. I then grab the tray of ice cubes and a glass to accompany. Without a pause i collect my friends and i’m away out of the room...

    My nose runs. I sniff. I sniff it all back up. It was cold out, a nip in the air. But it’s warm now, cosy in here.

    I sit in my comfy chair. They say it’s comfy but it’s not. It’s not comfy, it’s just a chair. I make do, best i can. The TV’s on in front of me, a glass of scotch next to me. On the other side is an empty box of Co-Codamol pills. The box says its pain killer. I don’t care. I just know it makes you drowsy and I want to be drowsy. I want to sleep.

    I don’t think the pills have hit yet, them or the alcohol, i’m still waiting. My eyes stare big, blank and hollow at the TV. They look through the white light, blasting out of the TV box, to somewhere else, to something else.

    I’m driving and it’s dark, pitch black around. There’s a country road in front, small and rickety, partially illuminated by my cars lights. We’re just outside of London and it’s quiet, real quiet. Not a sound in the air except for the car. I’ve got my arm out of the window and a fag in my mouth. My attention is straying.

    I blink.

    I’m back in the room. Some blond bimbo bitch chat’s **** on the box. Her incest commentary grabs my attention. I’m back here, back where i should be. I down the whisky glass and pour another one. The cool liquid slides down my throat. I turn back to the TV and stare...

    The roads appears in front of me again, that endless black sea of unpredictability. For a moment i take my eyes off the road. I stare up at the bright white ball in the sky. It’s a cloudless night, just the moon, with no obstructions. I’m mesmerised, my attention beguiled.

    The smoke from my cigarette lingers in the air, despite the window being open. It hovers and glides past my eyes. Everything’s so still, so frozen. It’s a preserved picture, a stationary moment in time.

    I blink.

    The TV still blares in front. This time it’s a skinny presenter in a suit that barks at me.

    I blink again.

    I sink in my seat. The seat seems comfier than before... this comfy seat, my comfy seat. That’s what I’m doing, sitting in my comfy seat, sitting in my home.

    I blink again.

    Am i? Am i sitting in my seat at home?
    Or am i sitting in my car down in that country lane?

    I realize i’m still driving, still looking at the moon. I’m doing that when a CRASH explodes from out of the peace. It RIPS and TEARS through the silence. Something collides with the front side of the car. It then continues, tumbling and dragging underneath the vehicle, the wheels making a ghastly chewing noise. There is a final bump, the obstruction spat out from below the car, and everything continues like normal.

    I stop the car with a screech.

    My chest pounds.
    My forehead sweats.
    My breath bellows.

    I glance into my rear view mirror but spot nothing. I open the door, and then look back.

    A body lays still and twisted on the road...

    I blink.

    I feel something wet on my hands. The TV and my lounge come back into focus. I glance down. My glass of whisky has been spilt, the liquid covering my hands and lap. My face erupts, frustrated and red. I knock the glass off my lap. It smashes into fragments below. I jump up and scream enraged, pacing up and down, up and down, up and down.

    I squeeze my fists till they click in a tight clenched ball, still pacing up and down, up and down. The skin tightens to an excruciation degree and I feel a capillary burst in my knuckle, still pacing up and down, up and down.
    Paranoid propaganda takes president. The what followed by the who? Every possible scenario becomes a potential, becomes a probably truth. I’m still pacing up and down, up and down.

    I stop. I make a decision.

    I down what remains of the whisky bottle.
    I pop a few more pills.
    I exit out of the door.
    I hop back into my car...

    Now i’m driving and it’s ****ing difficult. The wheels keep swerving; sometimes right, sometimes left. Maybe it’s the car, maybe, but really i know it’s me. My eyes start to see two of everything and my vision blurs. But I think i’ll be alright. I think. I think.

    I’m without plan, or any real idea. i just need to go back. I need to check, police present or not, I want an answer. Curiosity lead me with a collar tight around my neck.

    My eyes shut.

    I slap my face and reassert my efforts to concentrate on the road ahead. My eyes strain, as i focus forward, focus forward, focus forward.
    Chevron after chevron emerges out of the blacked unknown. Like a clock keeping time they continue to pass by, pointing me in the right direction. Their presence is hypnotic, one followed by the other, over and over. i’m mesmerised, entranced.

    Chevron after Chevron passes.

    I blink, and then I slap myself.

    Keep focus on the road. Remember:
    Focus Forward. Focus Forward.

    But my eye lids tighten. They feel heavily now, really heavy, like weights hang off them.

    Chevron after Chevron passes.

    My head starts to dip as well.

    Chevron after Chevron passes.

    My hands relax around the wheel.

    Chevron after chevron passes.

    And my eyes close...

    ...I finally relax.
    And somewhere far away I can hear a crash.
  10. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    O---TY---O - the Court of Aces

    The gunshot went off, like a crack of lightning in the atmosphere. Garrison fell to the ground, his powdery white beard following his jaw into a crooked smile.

    John stood there, dumbstruck, unable to move or even breathe. Suddenly then, the man with the bowler spun around, staring directly at John with cold eyes. The Sock mask covered almost all of his face, but John knew, he knew who it was.

    “You… y-you…”

    The words seemed to float up to John’s lips, rather unpleasantly. He could say no more, he could do no more.

    The very next moment, the man brought up his revolver, and without hesitation the hammer was locked, and the trigger squeezed. Another shot rang out in the night and John lurched backwards as the bullet soared through his shoulder. The pain was kept at bay for a moment by the pure shock.

    “I… I can’t believe this… y-you were his… his brother…”

    The final words of John before he blacked out, the warmth of the darkness blanketed him. He wasn’t dead; he knew it couldn’t possibly be that easy, that simple. No, he was simply passed out, the shock combined with blood loss just got to him in a matter of moments. Soon though, small streams of light began to break through the darkness and John was coming to.

    He bolted upright, sitting on what appeared to be a hospital bed.

    “He’s dead!” he shouted, a moment passing before he realized he was in the clubhouse. John looked around; the news apparently had already reached the ears of everyone.

    The girls’ eyes were puffy and red, obviously from crying an exceptional amount. John sat back, relaxing slightly. Everyone was looking at him, the silence was almost eerie.

    Finally though, Bethany broke away from everyone and walked slowly up to John. When she was close enough John could feel a hand resting lightly on his shoulder.

    “We know John…” she said quietly, looking back at everyone in the room who seemed to avert their eyes. “He… he was shot…”

    John nodded almost eagerly in agreement. “I know… I saw it happen,”

    This piece of information was obviously unknown, for people began to listen in.

    “John? Y-you saw it happen?” Bethany questioned urgently. “When we found you, you were out cold.”

    “I was shot…”

    Bethany looked around once more, making eye contact with a few people before looking back at John with a worried look on her face.

    “John… there was no bullet…” she said quietly, almost as if he was insane.

    John looked back at her, his eyes examining hers. She was obviously telling the truth, and in that case, John was sure of whom it was. A scowl drew across his face. John immediately jumped up from the table and started for the door, only to be stopped by Kyle.

    “John, do you know something we don’t?” he questioned, keeping the boy from leaving.

    John pushed past violently, getting to the door before cocking his head to the side.

    “What are you all standing around for? This is a war… so get your gear already…” he said sternly before walking off, the doors shutting directly behind him.

    Everyone exchanged glances before Kyle spun around and nodded.

    “What are we waiting for?” he said, leaning against one of the marble white pillars. “He is in charge now…”


    John watched himself in a mirror with a scowl seemingly carved on his face. Anger flowed through him right now, and it seemed that tying and re-tying his tie was the only way to get his frustration out.

    Just then, a knock came at the door and John glanced over to see Kyle leaning on the molding.

    “I understand you’re in charge now, and that your angry, but you have to remember not to let that take control of you…” he advised.

    John spun around to face him.

    “You didn’t watch him die…” he said with poison in his voice as he brushed past.

    Kyle shook his head, following after the boy. “Listen to me,” he continued, grasping John’s shoulder and forcing him to look him in the eyes. “Your only 17, I’m sure Garrison didn’t plan for it to come to this so soon, so maybe I should take-“

    “No!” John cried, cutting Kyle off and backing out of his grasp. “No… I know what you’re thinking… and trust me on this; I know what to do…”

    Kyle let out a breath, letting the silence pause for a moment before starting up another sentence. “Ok then Boss, what is the plan?”

    “The same plan as any soldier in a war… we get away with murder,” John replied smoothly, grasping the Buskin mask in his hands with a smile.
  11. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    Nikhil - Luck Buries Vengeance

    “Here comes the vessel. Oh wow! Nice model it is. Would be a waste to wipe out this thing but it would be much more fun wiping it out,” spoke Drake as he saw a bright white dot on the screen and let out a maniacal laugh except that the laugh was artificial, not the one that comes from the heart to the lips. It was too dangerous to attempt an attack at the vessel looking at the conditions. But he was determined. It was after months of planning that he had decided to do the task. But still even with the great planning, the risk was still great.

    The vessel in question was a superior model of the existing SJ206 model equipped with A1 Grade Security Systems. It was heavy but its armor was strong and the defense systems were top notch. Drake simply had no chance if he did not have his personal Star Sol craft. It was a customized spacecraft built by Drake over the years. It was suited to him and had his same characteristics: stealth, style, beauty and the obnoxious habit of eavesdropping. It was the surveillance system of the spacecraft that made it unique. He could overhear all the transmissions without being discovered. He could gain limited but yet effective access on a target craft. He could easily know the exact systems of the craft for both defense as well as offense. But this was simply due to the fact that there was no craft using systems as his. It was just because no one knew what kind of systems he used. If they had known his systems, they could have developed counter-defensive systems.

    To sum up, Drake was a space-pirate. This all began when he was ten years old and space piracy had reached new heights. The current Judge or the Chief Justice had created the new law which allowed him to arrest any person suspected of anti-government activities and hang him/her without a trial. This law was welcomed with open rebellions which were no doubt suppressed. His parents were one of those who were ill-fated to be framed for being space pirates. This incident sparked up the desire in his heart for vengeance. He decided to take vengeance the same way his parents had been accused of. He sought out the local pirate (not exactly a pirate but with links to pirates, he somehow survived the onslaught of the law) and asked him to find him a suitable pirate group. He was soon in a small pirate clan that carried out miniscule raids on weak travelers with negligible security. This continued for a few months when a tax-collector of the Main Space Piracy Group saw him carry out a raid. He took the boy to the Boss and talked to him about the boy.

    Very soon, Drake was assigned his own ship (even though it was really crude). He carried out raids successfully one after another and was soon recognized as a great space pirate in-the-making. He learned the subtle art of space piracy. He was not gifted as a space pirate but it was his determination that made him a space pirate. He did not support space piracy against the common but against the government which was heavily corrupted. He entered into debates at the Council of Piracy and convinced many. This made the pirates less evil in the common people’s eyes. They saw the pirates as protectors as they had also started to donate money to the space colonies neglected by the government. Their popularity grew in the commons’ eyes. The common people in turn helped the pirates in any way they could and kept their talk away from the government. These happenings made Drake a popular member of the pirates. All the time, his expertise about space-crafts grew with every raid and he had built a space-craft of his style, the Star Sol which had become his trademark.

    But today was an important day. He was not here on a raid assigned to him. He was here to take care of some personal unfinished business. The business which had started twelve years ago and had still not finished. He needed to assuage his hunger. And inside the vessel was the Prime Minister of the Confederation. But it was not the Prime Minister who was Drake’s target. It was his associate, the Judge who was his prime target. Although, he would have loved to finish away the Prime Minister in the process, who too was a corrupt and money loving old fool.

    However, Drake had never encountered such a high-security vessel during any of his raids. One small mistake on his part or the smallest piece of luck would mean the end of his life and probably his vengeance too, an unfinished vengeance. His plan, nevertheless, was hence. The vessel was guarded by six Star Fighter spaceships and the vessel itself was covered with a triple layer of Alpha Shield Systems. The third layer was hidden but it could not escape Drake’s surveillance systems. The Shield System had the capability to rebuff any weapon Drake currently possessed which included 3 SRMs (Short Ranged Missiles), 2 MRMs (Medium Ranged Missiles), 1 LRM (Long Ranged Missile), Ion Cannons and Plasma Turrets. His plan was to access the security systems and turn off the Shield Systems but in the instant the Shields are turned off an alarm will be sounded. This made things difficult for him and there was a light Turbo Star for quick escape. But since the ship can only accommodate one person, it will no doubt be the Prime Minister. Drake had no interest in killing the Prime Minister, so that was no big deal. Once the alarm is sounded, he will target the only vulnerability in the vessel. At the bottom of the jet was a wiring. If this were to catch fire, the systems would fail. Why it was there, Drake had no ideas. His next task would be to somehow launch his missiles at the vessel and escape. The last part was easy as there was a wormhole scheduled to close after a few minutes of his planned departure and if any of the patrol spacecrafts managed to enter the wormhole, he would destroy them off.

    The vessel was slow owing to being highly armored. The other reason that slowed down the vessel disappointed Drake. The vessel was actually one of the best crafts in war, but now it was turned into nothing but a luxury suite. There was a disco, beautiful rooms, architecture and blah, blah, blah. “A shame,” thought Drake.

    Even though the vessel would reach in about fifteen minutes it was still very, very far away. He rechecked his plan again and thought about the defect in the ship. None of the true models of SJ206 had the wiring. It could not be a mistake as every part of the vessel was armored. Was it bait? No, of course not, only the experts with great systems would have noticed that as it was very small and at the base which is usually best protected. They cannot hope that everyone would fall for the bait but what if…? “No more thoughts, plan’s been decided,” Drake reminded himself.

    Soon, the vessel entered the range within which he could access it. He easily accessed the security systems of the vessel. Now, he could easily look at whoever was there in the vessel. His Human Detectors easily showed him all the humans on a 3D Map of the vessel. The thing that remained was to identify the humans. It was easy considering the top officials had EM-Cards for identification through which he traced the Prime Minister and the Judge. The final task was to wait when till the vessel reached the distance from where he could come out of his camouflage and do a hit-and-run task.

    “I have waited for years for this,” thought Drake and stifled a yawn. He flexed his fingers and decided to see what the Judge was doing in the last moments of his life. What he saw shocked him: no less than sixteen Cruisers were following the vessel and the Judge was boarding the Turbo Star. The craft for the use of the Prime Minister being used by the Judge, sixteen Cruisers headed for the vessel and the small vulnerability in the vessel could not be a co-incidence. These things happened so fast that Drake couldn’t balance himself.

    After much thought, Drake muttered, “So, a coup. The Judge is escaping and the Cruisers are going to finish the vessel. The Shields have already been turned off by that traitor and the vulnerability was a manipulation from the Judge. Those Cruisers are no friends of mine in having allied themselves with the Judge. I have no choice now but to follow the Judge” And then, the Turbo Star was ejected from the vessel and escaped towards the wormhole.

    “Tut, tut, that was my plan; He shouldn’t have escaped for the wormhole. Now, if I chase him straight the Star Fighters will see me. The Turbo Star was well positioned, not me. I would have to go around but there is no time for that. I’ll take the risk. Cheers to me,” spoke Drake and pushed the Thruster.

    The vessel was still not intercepted by the Cruisers when Drake had moved for the wormhole. He was fast, no doubt, but the Star Fighters spotted him and turned towards him leaving the vessel unprotected. He immediately connected lines with the Star Fighters and faked a voice, “I am your commander. The traitor, the Judge is escaping and I am on his trail. There are Cruisers behind the vessel. The Prime Minister’s life is in danger…”

    “Like ‘ell, yeh ‘xpect us ter leave yeh alone. Stop kiddin’ aroun’ mister fake commander. There’s no Cruise….,’ the Captain was speaking when his radar located something, “No, ‘ell fer us boys, there are sure some Cruisers behind us. Turn aroun’ now!”

    With the Star Fighters gone, Drake entered the wormhole. After a second of random madness, he ended up in open space. The nearest planet was Xerxes, a military base of the Confederacy. He had to stop the Judge from reaching Xerxes otherwise armed forces at the planet would endanger his life. It would take about 15 minutes travel to reach the base and he had spotted the Turbo Star. The little ship was faster than his own so he had to activate the Turbo Thrusters (He did not use the Turbo Thrusters frequently as they would later result in snags in the Surveillance System).

    Drake pursued the enemy ship but still couldn’t get to shooting range. And as Drake had expected, his systems reported many enemy space ships. He bit his lip, but he couldn’t miss such a chance. He now almost had the pest. Very soon, the ship was in his range. He aimed the Plasma Turrets (they were best used manually as Plasma is filamentous substance and you could use your brains) at the traitor and fired them near the left wing. The filaments being highly unstable released energy that interfered with the systems of the ship which was solely built for the purpose of speed and not defense. The filaments were suddenly broken as other crafts neared the scene of battle. They were no doubt enemy ships who had the hand in the coup. There were about five crafts which fired energy balls at Drake who easily out-maneuvered them. After dodging the crafts he adjusted Ion Cannons to automatic mode as more crafts came in to stop him rampaging. While the Ion Cannons were automated, Drake could focus on maneuvering the craft with safety. He had now reached an altitude of 7 km which was enough for the ground-stationed troops. Now, the Ion Cannons could not aim well owing to the fact that Drake was doing too many acrobatic maneuvers to avoid enemy attacks. The Anti-Spacecraft Guns did not stop firing at him while the turrets were not good. Anger swelled up in Drake’s mind which obscured his sense but he took a deep breath and looked at the situation carefully.

    There were those ASC guns and those SAM (Space-Air Machines) Turrets. “Next those ships in the air”, thought Drake, “Just six, surprising, very surprising.” And then Drake made a vertical loop and simultaneously dropped a bomb at the ASC Gunship and fired the Ion Cannon (manually) at a space craft. Coming back with a Helix Orbit, he dropped another bomb at the final ASC Gunship, fired a LRM at a far stationed SAM Turret and with a corkscrew sped off towards the Judge/Traitor/Enemy who was making a descent (no possibility of parachutes here as the craft was really small, just enough space for a man to sit uncomfortably).

    And in an instant, Drake tapped the MRM and aimed at the Judge. The missile was launched and headed towards the craft before being NULLIFIED (exploded before meeting the target). “There are Nullifiers (affect MRMs and SRMs) here too,” thought Drake and wished that he had customized the missiles too. And then a shot fired at his spaceship detached the Ion Cannons and Plasma Turrets but he survived.

    The only option that remained with him was to crash into the Turbo Star. He would survive as his craft was quite bigger than that small ship. And then he would be taken prisoner but at least he would have the satisfaction of killing the Judge.

    “And let’s face it, I can make up a story,” Drake told his conscience which prodded him with unpleasant questions about his future.

    He activated the Turbo Thrusters and landed on the runway. He immediately disabled the Lifter which automatically lifts you in the air when you reach a speed. He was speeding up really fast and was going to accomplish his dream.

    “Did you think you would get away with the murders of innocents, my parents and the Prime Minister? Well the answer is a…” Drake was speaking but he could not finish his sentence as there was an explosion which destroyed him and his spaceship. His desire of revenge had been buried under a pile of rubble. The Judge had indeed gotten away with tons of murders, material and immaterial.
  12. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    Syph - Charity

    There was a loud purr as the engine of the old VW Passat protested against its rude awakening in the dead of the night. It was a quiet car and would be perfect for the purpose required of it tonight. The vehicle would ferry a cargo of a sensitive nature.

    The Man in the driver’s seat pulled on his driving gloves. Undetectable. He lifted the clutch and the car rolled out of its lockup. He was focussed on what he was going to do, the charitable task he would undertake for a friend. That was his alibi and to an extent, the truth.

    They had been meticulously planning for two weeks. It would come as a surprise in the darkness and they could get away with it. The brilliance of the plan was they could pull it off and ensure it was a cold case.

    The Man in the driving seat continued his journey, slightly above the speed limit not to draw attention to his car. The overcoat he wore was thick and uncomfortable but he knew that it had to remain on his person. He shuffled in the seat and flashed a glance at a pair of drunks stumbling dangerously near to the road.

    The Man was not in the mood. He wouldn’t stop for those idiots.


    The Man glanced at his watch as he quickly and skilfully reverse parked into the large driveway. He was five minutes late. He muttered unintelligible words under his breath as he killed the engine. The Man knew his accomplice would be ready and losing patience. It was thirty minutes before sunrise.

    He stepped out of the car, unlocked the boot and made his way to the front door. The air was warm and moist, from showers earlier that night. The Man reached the door, pulling the “stolen” key from his pocket and sliding it into the lock with a crescendo of clicks. He turned it slowly to the left and the door slid open.

    A balaclava was pulled firmly on his head.

    The stairs were located across the landing. The floor was stable but the Man was careful not to trip or tread heavily on the carpeted floorboards. He paused at the bottom of the stairs and paused. The muffles upstairs were quiet. He took each step with enormous care, his eyes locked onto the top step. But the Man was not the prey, he was the predator.

    He saw her as he reached the top step, but she didn’t see him. He pulled the plasticuffs from his back pocket and took a deep breath. Primal adrenaline roared through his blood vessels and his breathing and heart rate increased. Fight or flight. Both were an option.

    She was dressed for work; wearing a blue blouse with a knee-length skirt. Her hair was worn in a bun on the top of her head. The Man was surprised how good she looked in the morning. Any man would recognise her elegant face and fantastic figure. No wonder she had cheated.

    Her blue eyes met his. They widened and she screamed. The Man chose to fight and darted for her as she turned on her heels toward the bed to further rouse her boyfriend. It was futile. The Man grinned briefly.

    The plan fell into place. Silence. He had her.

    ‘It worked,’ The Boyfriend whispered, one hands tightly clasped over the woman’s mouth. ‘Shut up Anna!’ The other hand roughly pulled her elbows together.

    ‘Put these on her. I’ve got the gag.’ The Man replied handing the plasticuffs to his accomplice. The woman let out as weak moan and her eyes began to water as the thin plastic tightened around her wrists. It was a violent bestial restriction.

    The handkerchief in the Man’s hand fitted tightly in her mouth as she tried to spit and scream. Again the Boyfriend killed all her protests. A thin strip of black cotton finished the gag as it was pulled tightly between her teeth and tied behind her head. The tears were flowing now.

    The woman thrashed her arms and kicked in an attempt to free herself. Only muffled screams could be heard. The Boyfriend lost it.

    ‘Anna, I know about the affair,’ he raised his fist into the air. ‘I have undeniable proof of it.’ Anna flinched as a strong hand shielded her from the blow. Piercing eyes met. ‘I’ll be honest though, my friend here is going to end your infidelity. This is what you get for betraying our monogamy Anna. You brought this on yourself!’


    The Man entered the house again, this time wielding a hammer. He slowly plodded upstairs. The Boyfriend was on the bed, his head in his hands.

    ‘You know what Dave? I think I loved her...’

    ‘There is no going back now.’ The Man replied placing the hammer down and pulling the driving gloves tighter against his hands.

    ‘I know. Make sure you smash a window on your way out,’ He stood up in resignation. ‘Make it quick... for both of us.’

    The Man nodded and with no further inkling of hesitation, raised his fist and struck the Boyfriend in the temple. He collapsed on the bed. The Man turned on his heels and raced down the stairs.


    Thud. The Passat slowed as the small country road transformed into a gravel path. The sun had risen but the morning was overcast and dull. Thud. The direct sunlight would disappear very soon providing him with the perfect cover.

    His destination was within sight. Thud. It was a small pit by a great old oak. If only he could ask the tree to reveal its secrets. Would this be its darkest day or one of many from sapling to giant? The woman had somehow started accepting her fate. He had resorted to early morning radio at the start of the trip, she had groaned and squealed and kicked so much.

    The car rolled slowly to a halt. The Man opened the door, leaving the engine running and made his slow walk to the boot of the Passat. The balaclava returned to his face, its itchy familiarity was unpleasant. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. The boot opened and the woman stared up at him with bloodshot eyes. A lamb ready for the slaughter.

    One gloved hand reached for the V-shaped collar of her blouse, the other grabbing the long sleeve covering her left arm. The woman tried to scream again through her wet gag and her hands reached around her body. He dragged her out toward the pit. The leaves crumpled and cracked under their feet as he led Anna to her execution.

    She was sobbing with soul-rending fear as the Man stopped and forced her to her knees. He couldn’t look at her as she crumpled into a ball and he pulled her to her knees again. The Man rubbed his eyes and cursed. He had to use the hood. The Man couldn’t bear to look at her eyes when he did it.

    The woman knelt there with her chin on her chest, her hands limp against her back as he stooped to her level and pulled the small black hood over her head. She was faceless now. A dark round veil on the head of a smartly dressed woman. ‘The Lovers’ by Magritte sprung to his mind. The Man sentenced such thoughts to their destruction as he readied himself to do the unthinkable.

    She trembled. Poor girl.

    He reached into his deep pockets and raised the hammer above his head.


    There was a knock at the door. Daniel Armstrong got up out of his chair and flicked off the television. An ice pack hugged his temple and he experimentally probed it. It was still stinging. The wooden door of the hotel room opened slowly. Why are these doors so damn heavy? He recognised the tired scrawny man in front of him as Detective-Inspector Jones.

    ‘Sorry to disturb you Mr Armstrong. I’m afraid I’m going to have to interview you now. We usually don’t rush these things but we must recover all the information concerning Miss Evans abduction.’

    ‘Of course...’ Daniel smiled. It was not the weak smile of a worried boyfriend but a smile of victory. He had succeeded.
  13. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    Delphinus - Noble Death

    Did I ever tell you about something I did when I was very young? I killed a girl. Don't recoil in horror like that, it's not as bad as it sounds, let me explain. If you wouldn't mind not interrupting this time, I'll continue.

    It had been a bleak winter. Snow had fallen nearly every day – and in the south of England, that's hardly common. I was twenty-two years old, and still living in the same flat I'd been living in since I dropped out of the university a couple of years hence. I'd got to like the area, you know? I think large towns suit me better than villages or cities, and my face was pretty well-known in the bars and clubs after such a time. Hell, I was practically a resident.

    I can't really remember anything before I found myself in the pharmacy to buy hangover pills. Whether that's because of the hangover itself or sheer bad memory eludes me. It must've been a Saturday, because I thought I should stock up on condoms and aspirin while I was at the pharmacy: party hard, die young, et cetera. The pharmacy owner was a jovial old chap called Mr. Herman. You know the type: plump, jolly squires, probably core conservative voters, completely reliable, utterly reasonable chaps and unswerving friends. Mr. Herman had at least three chins: he was a jowly man with an enormous girth, who had the awkward tendency to wear clothes at least four inches too small for him. I don't think he'd fully accepted his own mortality, which is always a damn sad thing for a middle-aged man not to accept.

    Why are you writing all of this down? Jeez, stop that, I'm not exactly speaking in a suitable manner for narration, am I? Okay, go ahead, but I'm talking in one of those weird dramatic voices from now on.

    Strange how it all segues together, isn't it? One event follows another and yet, and yet sometimes it doesn't seem to. The sparse illumination of the street lamps overhead after I left Herman's Pharmacy was barely adequate to raise me from the combination of hangover-induced depression and sleep-induced lethargy in which I found myself. Some dim fragment of intellect that hadn't been killed off by my habits vaguely pointed out that it was dark enough for the street lights to be on. What the hell kind of time was it, I wondered? I checked my wrist. Ten in the morning. I hated winter. Figuring that none of the proper clubs in town would be open, I headed towards the Noir Bar. The Noir Bar was – and still is – a strange place, filled in equal measure with starving young artists and ageing winos. As I arrived, a car drove past, pumping out the Stones and showering me with slush. ****ers! I flipped the bird at them, wiped down my (granted, already stained) suit, and shivered as a stiff winter breeze penetrated my shirt, before opening the door to the bar proper.

    Inside, the Noir Bar entirely failed to live up to its name. Despite being such a poky little hole, the bar was decorated in one of the most grandiose manners I'd ever seen. I think I took you there once. It's a mausoleum of dreams and creativity, outfitted in wood panelling, dim red wallpaper, and an intricately-carved bar. Beverages you can get there number in the thousands, from the ubiquitous (Jack Daniels), to the obscure (Insane Balrog's Red Hot Chilli Tequila). I wonder whether the landlord cries himself to sleep at night thinking of the wasted money he spent on all of those expensive spirits, only to have a load of no-good students and alcoholics become the frequenters of his bar, or whether the spirits were bought to cynically attract that very crowd of losers and pseudo-intellectuals.

    Back to the point. Once I entered the Noir Bar, slightly blinded by the heavy lighting and cloud of cigarette smoke, I scanned the room. At the bar, looking bored out of his soul, the server glanced at me with empty eyes. At a table in the corner a ugly, shrivelled man sat opposite an equally ugly obese woman, both leaning on a stained table covered in emptied beer bottles and giggling amorously. I tried not to think about them.

    The barman didn't seem as though he'd make the best conversationalist, and the ugly couple were just too repulsive. Avoiding making eye contact, I ordered a whisky on the rocks, then took a chair in the opposite corner to the couple. Why I decided drinking whisky at eleven or so was a good idea, I don't know. Down that path madness lies. But at least the boarded-up windows meant that nobody off the street would notice me, and at this time, I reasoned, all the students would be in class, or at least on campus. I was virtually sure to go unnoticed by anyone who might recognise me. Or so I thought.

    I'd half-finished my whiskey and was considering lighting up when the door of the bar creaked, and a chick, my age or maybe a bit younger, walked in. She was more interesting and less depressing looking than the bottom of my glass, and she was fairly attractive, so I looked her over a little. She had very dark hair, cut to her chin at the sides but much longer at the back. It was held up with a blue ribbon. She wasn't exactly caked in make-up, but still, you could tell she was wearing it. I passed an eye over her clothes. They seemed cheap but they were worn well, which makes all the difference. The arty type. Hang on – my eyes flicked back to her face. She seemed familiar, but I couldn't quite pin her down.

    She moved across to the bar and talked softly to the barman, who seemed to be more interested in his job for some reason. ****ing pervert: he must've been at least twice her age, but anyone could tell he was eyeing her up. I think she could tell, actually, since after she'd been handed a glass of red wine, she went and sat as far away from him as possible. 'As far away from him as possible' happened to be the table next to mine.

    There wasn't really anything to see after that point: the perverted barman couldn't see her any more, and slumped back into an even deeper look of boredom and depression. I went back to drinking my whiskey, drained the glass, and left. Or would have, if I hadn't been interrupted by the girl. I'd stood up, and was just about to walk out, when she looked up from the wine she was cradling and stopped me.

    “Hey! Tim Leary, right?”

    ****. I thought she looked familiar. I wish I could remember who the hell she was.

    “Jane Wright, we met at that party a couple of years back?”

    Damn right I knew her: I'd done her while she was pissed. I felt kind of bad for forgetting her name, but at least I'd recognised her. My moral values remained intact. I sat down across the table from her. And to think I'd almost made the perfect getaway.

    “Oh, yeah, yeah. I thought I'd seen you before, but you know...”
    “Where've you been these last two years, anyway? Last anyone heard of you, you'd been dragged off by the police.”

    **** it, **** it: not in public, woman.

    “Oh, you know, hanging around, stuff. Living. Shouldn't you have graduated last year?”
    “I did, I just decided to get a Master's.”

    Phew. Time to change the subject. Let's talk about you, honey.

    “Oh, what in?”
    “Romance Poetry,” she giggled nervously: it was pretty cute, “it sounds pretentious, but I actually really love that stuff.”

    I didn't know a god-damn thing about Romance Poetry. But she was hot, maybe I could get her in bed again.

    “Why do you like it so much?”
    “I guess... it's the sublime. The elevated language. They were all so charming back then, so charming, I wish there were people like that nowadays. Byron seemed like a great guy. I like that mean but charming streak he had.”

    Who the **** was Byron? Of my numerous regrets, being a Physics student and not an English student seemed the worst. I couldn't think of anything to say, really, so I just grinned like an idiot and said the first thing that came into my head.

    “Yeah, there's not enough guys like him around nowadays... gentlemen, I mean... wouldn't it be great if you could find a charming man like him someday?”

    She gave me this weird horny glance from under her well-groomed eyelashes. Hell yes.

    “I think so.”
    “So anyway, I was just leaving. Want to come with me?”

    She did indeed.

    Apparently all her important lectures had been in the morning, and she didn't feel like studying, she felt like hanging around with the odd, ugly guy she once had a one-night stand with. No accounting for taste, I suppose.

    We ended up trawling through damn near every restaurant, club, and bar in town until nearly midnight. Halfway through it I was sick of hearing her squeaky voice and a little tipsy from alcohol; by the end of it I was ready to kill her in righteous vengeance (not literally, idiot). I wanted a quick ****, not a damn romancing. At last we ended up staggering towards my place, which, as I don't think I mentioned before, was directly above Herman's pharmacy. The damn shop was lit up like a Christmas tree despite the time, and our shadows were cast long against the street in the moonlight and the light from the shop front. She looked up at me, I looked down at her, our eyes locked, she stood on tiptoes, I put my arms around her, and our two shadows came together at the lips. It was pretty electric. We unlocked and she giggled childishly and she leaned next to my ear.

    But I didn't even like her!

    She whispered “I love you.” and something deep inside me snapped.

    I slapped her around the face, hard, and she fell to the floor in tears. She whimpered a little.

    “Guess what? I don't love you. Burn in hell, you annoying bitch. I didn't ask for you to talk to me, and I didn't ask for you to follow me around all ****ing day. Just. **** off. Go commit suicide or something. I'm sick of your face.”

    Why I did that, I really can't remember. I just had some sort of wrath build up in me: the devil's wrath. But I really did find her annoying. I really was sick of her face. I sure as hell didn't love her. I just told her the truth. Wouldn't it have been less honest to lie to her, like lots of guys do? Wouldn't it have been less honest to **** her again and again for her body, hell, marry her for a constant source of slavery and sex? I'm convinced I took the nobler path.

    She ran away after my little tirade. In tears. Good, she deserved it. I went to bed and fell asleep quickly.

    The next day I woke up at ten with a terrible hangover again, sunlight streaming through my blinds. It didn't seem so bad, really. The previous night's events seemed far away and long ago. I had a hot shower, took some of the hangover pills and a little aspirin, got dressed, and felt a lot better. I skipped out of the apartment in a glorious mood, ready to start a bright new day, headed to the newsagent's a couple of doors down to buy breakfast and coffee, and felt generally fantastic.

    In the queue at the newsagent I spotted a local paper. The headline read Local Girl Kills Self In Abandonment Tragedy. The photo below was of Jane.
  14. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    Gingerbiscuit - Begonias in Little Kettle

    The reverend Biddle sipped on a cup of hot, sweet tea and munched ruefully on a fruity biscuit, feeling sorely put upon by the events of the past twenty four hours. He did, however, strongly believe in the curative properties of a good cup of tea and he had no doubt that in a few short moments the horrors he had endured would soon be put behind him and forgotten about. He looked at the broken Grandfather clock. Mid-afternoon. Most of the village would also, by now, be sitting down to their own cups of tea. The hullabaloo would no doubt abate in due course.

    As the village Reverend he was a well respected figure of the community, regularly sought out for advice on many matters and called upon annually to judge the village turnip competition – a position of much prestige in Little Kettle. He had no idea how his position ordered him such a high standing in the village. Perhaps it was his proximity with the Lord, perhaps it was his age and wisdom or perhaps it was his legendary Battenberg cake; but whatever it was, he enjoyed the respect and had no desire to lose it. Which was why it was so important that nobody must ever know the truth behind the previous day's events.

    It was a truly lovely day and the Reverend stared vacantly through the window at his sun-kissed rear garden. The begonias had come out lovely this year as indeed had the whole garden. It was such a shame that beneath that glorious symphony of colour lay the final resting place of Colonel Pepper, whose life had been brought to an untimely end by the Reverend's best hedge clippers.
    A pang of guilt flashed through the Reverend's chest and he took another sip of his hot sweet tea to try and calm his shakes. It was all a terrible mess and the Reverend felt awfully guilty about the whole thing but then, nobody need know the truth. Nobody of course except for a vengeful God, and since the Reverend knew that he would one day be judged by his maker, there didn't seem an awful lot of point in 'fessing up.
    So he didn't. He just kept it quiet and waited for the Colonel's disappearance to be noticed.

    It had been one o'clock that morning that Mrs Pepper had come a-banging on the Reverend's door. The whole village had been roused and were standing at the end of the garden path, bearing torches and pitchforks. It seemed that the villagers were of the impression that he must have been taken by the evil spirits that dwelt in Kettle woods.
    The Reverend counted himself rather fortunate that they were so superstitious a people that this was their first conclusion, though not so fortunate that they wouldn't go into a haunted woods without a clergyman.

    So, of course the good Reverend had been roped into leading an expedition into the woods and found nothing to protect them from but a couple of owls and a confused looking badger.
    It had been a VERY long night.

    He drained the last of his tea and had to admit that he DID feel a little better. Maybe it was time to get on with some work. That would surely take his mind off matters.
    He sat down at his desk and loaded a fresh piece of paper into his typewriter. 'Forgiveness' seemed like an appropriate topic for this week's sermon. However, no sooner had he finished writing the heading for his work than there came a rapping upon his front door, which quite made him jump.

    Now who might that be? He thought to himself, with no small feeling of concern.
    He had a look through the window and saw, with horror, the unmistakeable black and white patterning of a police Panda Car.

    “Heavens!” exclaimed reverend Biddle upon spying said car. “They're onto me.”

    His mind raced with thoughts of running through the back door and leaping the garden fence but he soon cast them aside. There was nothing to link him to the Colonel's untimely demise. Besides, he was still in his cassock, it wouldn't be dignified.

    When he opened the front door he was met with a tall, brusque looking policeman. Upon his starched uniform he wore buttons of brightly polished brass and the badge on his helmet was polished to a similar sheen. His time-worn face bore the pride and dignity of many a decade in the service of Her Majesty and beneath his uniform moustache his mouth was curled into a tight smile though his eyes displayed little friendliness.

    “Ah, Reverend Biddle I presume?” said the policeman in a befittingly brash tone. “Inspector Grimley.”

    “How do you do?” said the Reverend. “And how may I help you Inspector?”

    “Thought I might pop in for a little chin-wag,” said the Inspector. “Do you mind?” And without awaiting invitation he pushed past the Reverend, into his house.

    “No, not at all,” said Reverend, closing the door behind him. His knees had begun to shake and he was entirely convinced that he was doomed. It was the clink for him and no mistake. When he entered the living room he found the Inspector already sitting in his favourite chair with his helmet on his lap.

    “Lovely begonias,” said the Inspector at length. “Never understood gardening myself.”

    “No?” said the Reverend.

    “No,” said the Inspector. “It just seems unnatural to me to spend all day digging holes.” He turned fixed his steely eyes on the Reverend, making him feel quite uncomfortable. “Dogs dig holes when they want to hide a bone. You're not hiding any bones are you?”

    “Goodness gracious me no!” exclaimed the Reverend. “I just like to have a bit of colour about the place. Would you like a cup of tea?”

    “Quite,” said the Inspector. Reverend Biddle dithered off into the kitchen to make a fresh pot of tea.

    Inspector Grimley remained seated in the armchair.

    “I assume you know why I'm in the village,” he called into the kitchen.

    “Well, I would imagine it's about this beastly colonel Pepper business,” came the reply.

    “'s right” said the Inspector. “I thought you might be able to help me.”

    “Oh really? I don't see how.”

    “Hm, well I've just been chatting with your neighbour Mrs Finch. She seemed to think she saw the Colonel in your hedge last night.”

    “Did she really?”

    “Yes, she did. She also said she heard a lot of digging sounds coming from your garden.”

    “Really?” came the Reverend's voice. “Perhaps foxes eh?”

    “Not with a spade, Mr Biddle!”

    The Reverend returned from the kitchen carrying a cup of tea in one hand and holding his other behind his back.

    “What's that behind your back?” asked the Inspector.

    “One lump or two?” asked the Reverend, ignoring the question.

    “One please,” replied the Inspector and then,” Aaaarrghh!” as Reverend Biddle brought a frozen leg of lamb straight down onto his head with a sickening crack.

    Oh good Lord what have I done? He thought. He bent down and checked the Inspector's vitals.

    Yup, he was dead alright.

    Reverend Biddle started to flap his arms and skip maniacally around the living room. What on Earth was he thinking? Now he had killed TWO people. One accident he could almost forgive himself for, but to kill one of Her Majesty's Officers in cold blood – that just wasn't cricket. And it was no way to raise money for the church roof.

    He fought to calm himself down. It would do no good to flap around in a panic. He was going to have to deal with this. There was a chance nobody knew he was here.

    And then there came another rapping at the front door. The Reverend froze. The body of the Inspector was still slumped in his favourite comfy chair. It would take a while to move him. Maybe he should just answer the door and turn himself in. Give it up and hand himself over to the crown for judgement.
    No, God would judge him for this, and the Reverend felt certain that he would have to take into account his countless years of charity work. Only last month he raised nearly thirty-five pounds in a fun run for the Orphan's Fund. That was surely worth a temporary lapse of judgement.
    If he just stood still then maybe whoever was at the door would leave.

    “Yoo-hoo, Gerald are you there?” came a female voice from outside the front door.

    Who on Earth is Gerald? Thought the Reverend.

    “Gerald, we've got to be going! We're playing bridge with the Berkleys!”

    He heard the sound of the front door opening and somebody creeping over the threshold. She must be his wife, thought the Reverend. He crept back into the kitchen and waited for the scream. It didn't take long.


    The woman's screaming was cut short by a sharp blow to the crown from Reverend Biddle's frozen leg of lamb.

    Trembling, Reverend Biddle sat back down on the settee. He looked at the woman who lay crumpled and lifeless on the floor. She certainly was a BIG lady. Well, she was probably overdue for a heart attack anyway, thought the Reverend. He'd just sped up God's work a little that was all.
    And then he threw himself back on the settee. Oh who was he kidding! He was a murderer, plain and simple. In the last twenty-four hours he had killed three people! That was good going by anybody's standards. He chewed on his fingernails. No amount of tea was going to help him get over this. It had been an utterly wretched day. And he usually loved Saturdays.

    He sat on his settee for hours just staring into space, chewing on his fingernails and bemoaning his circumstance. What on Earth had he been thinking? He was never going to get away with this. It was eternal damnation for him and no mistake.

    He wasn't surprised at all when there came yet another knocking at the door. Limply he opened the front door.

    “Mrs Pepper." He greeted his visitor with little enthusiasm.

    “Reverend” Said Mrs Pepper by way of acknowledgement, similarly lacking in humour. She pushed past him into the living room. He had never liked Mrs Pepper. She was a nosy old battle-axe and nobody in the village thought too highly of her.

    Though they DID fear her.

    The Reverend closed the door and waited for the inevitable scream.

    But none came. He found Mrs Pepper sitting on the settee. She didn't seem in the least bit concerned about the two dead bodies in the living room.

    “Aren't you concerned about the dead bodies?” asked the Reverend.

    “Not really,” replied Mrs Pepper. “It was a necessity.”

    “Well... I suppose,” agreed the Reverend.

    “Here's your money anyway.”

    Reverend received a large wad of cash with grateful but reluctant hands. Eight thousand pounds in total. More than enough for new lead in the church roof with a bit left over for a good old game of bingo. He just wished he could have raised the money in slightly less sinister circumstances.

    “I'm terribly unhappy about this business Mrs Pepper.

    “I do hope you're not thinking of coming clean Reverend.” Mrs Pepper shot him an icy stare. 'Don't mess with me sonny,' those wicked eyes said.

    “Well no,” said the Reverend. “But what if somebody SUSPECTS something?”

    Mrs Pepper laughed, a cold, heartless laugh. “For goodness sake, you're a man of the cloth with a proven record of charitable selflessness. Trust me, nobody will ever suspect the truth that lies beneath your lovely begonias.”

    “But will God ever forgive me?”

    Mrs Pepper shrugged. “If he exists, I expect he will. All you did was kill a dirty old man who liked to watch from your hedge as Mrs Finch did toe-touches in her nightgown. The world is well rid of him. And it was for a good cause. The preservation of our lovely village church.”

    “I suppose. But what about these two?” he asked, gesturing at his two hapless victims.

    “They were a necessity. If you'd been captured it would have set back the Raise the Roof Appeal by a year or more. And the villagers need a place to pray. I'm sure God would see it the same way.”

    “I see,” said the Reverend. It was all starting to make a twisted sort of sense and in a flash it dawned on him the reason why he commanded such respect from the villagers. It had nothing to do with his wisdom or the clarity of his advice. Nor was it down to his (exemplary) baking. They all knew something that he was only just coming to realise. As the village Reverend, he could easily get away with murder.

    “What shall we do with the bodies?” asked the Reverend. He was still frightfully new to the serial killer business after all.

    “That's your problem,” said Mrs Pepper. “And you might want to lose the murder weapon as well.”

    “Yes, quite,” said the Reverend. “And then I was wondering if you would perhaps care to come over for lunch tomorrow. After the service?”

    “Yes,” replied Mrs Pepper. “That would be nice. As a lonely widow, I could do with the company.” she smiled, a wicked, evil smile that the Reverend was more than surprised to find himself returning.

    “Good,” he said. “I was actually thinking of having lamb.”
  15. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    Desperado - Tasting Grace

    A man enters a dark room, someone struggles and screams. He laughs a bit as he sits down in a chair the leg’s creek. He lights up a cigarette and he sucks it back hard. He is shirtless just wearing gym pants, his hair wet from a shower. He looks into the darkness that we don’t see. He laughs a bit as he blows the smoke into the air, and he says “I wrote you a story you know . . . ” He unfolds a piece of paper and begins to tell his story . . .

    I have always been a heavy eater, but I always have managed to stay in shape. I never did eat at Macdonalds. No, I indulge in high class restaurants. Anything French, German, Swiss . . . I will jam it down my throat. It has always been like a lust, like a sexual lust. Sorry how rude of me, my name is David. I am a very successful man. I work at an accounting firm. I have no wife, no children, no family I truly care for, no friends, I have no life. Eating, fitness, and work. That is all I do. I stick to the essentials and I believe that is all I need to do. I fall in love with my meals, respect my body, and get a fat pay check at the end of every month. I guess I am not all that social. I never was. I never was very emotional either. That is until I met Grace . . .

    It was a bright Sunday afternoon. I wore a black dress shirt, dark jeans to match. Aviators covered my eyes to shield from the sun, I was told it was “the type of glasses that are in.” I was just driving, going to my favorite restaurant. It is called Ocean and Vine. I could almost taste the slow cooked Berkshire pork chops mixed with a fine red wine. Being memorized by the thought of the delicious meal, I almost ran a red. I slammed on the breaks, I squeaked to a stop and frightened the women about to pass the crosswalk. She passed, and her eyes met mine. She wasn’t something to drool over, yet for some reason I was. She had a plain shape, and face, but those eyes, those beautiful hazel eyes had me grasped. I couldn’t look away. She was so innocent. Something inside me wanted to destroy that. So I parked my car, right there I parked my car on the side of the road and like a deranged lunatic fueled by desire I ran through the traffic. She walked ahead of me down the street, her shoes hitting the ground, she grasped a yellow purse that clashed with her blue top. I grabbed her by the shoulder, and she spins around startled. I stood there stunned for a moment, looking into those eyes, as she looked back in fear. I loved it. I loved her.

    “Hi, I am really sorry to be approaching you like this . . . ” I blanked for a second, not knowing what to say, I was never good with social interaction, then I somehow made the pause look all too natural as I said. “But you look so beautiful.”

    She was shy I could tell, I doubt she got very much attention from anyone. She was as average as could be, but something drove me to her. She replied with her cheeks colored red. “Well thank you very much sir.”

    She was polite. I enjoyed that quality in people. I tried my hardest to adapt the quality as well. I don’t think it came through that well. I was a straightforward kind of person. So I reply “Well how would you like to come to dinner with me? I feel awful about freighting you back there. I would appreciate it if you would allow me to make it up to you?” She had no plans I knew that, she was likely going home with a Jodi Picoult novel. So I waited for her to reply, she was trying to think of an excuse. I could tell she was enchanted by the sent of my expensive body spray, white teeth, dark hair, and completion.

    Her eyes met mind once again as she bit her lip in confusion, and pondered at the invitation I had extended. “Well I guess I really have nothing better to do. Where are we eating?”

    “The Ocean and Vine, it’s very nice. It is very high class.” I paused for a moment to adjust my glasses. “My name is David. What is your name miss?”

    “Grace.” She said it with a smile, her lips a little bigger then normal. I wanted to kiss them, I wanted to hold her, make her mine. Why? Why so soon, why already? I never had a relationship that really lasted, everyone who got to close realized I was . . . crazy.

    We ride together as the sun goes down, approaching our destination rapidly. The blue lights outside the restaurant that read Ocean and Vine manage to cast a blue glow over the sidewalk and parking lot below even when the sun hasn’t fallen beneath the horizon for the day. On the way we talking of the useless things you always talk about, movies. All arrays of entertainment, you know the things you make conversation with, but don’t really matter. I park the car far. It was part of my master plan. I grabbed her hand as we walked toward the restaurant. She giggled as she held onto my hand. I was what every girl dreamed for. I was a fairy tale. Someone who came along and swept her off her feet. I say please and thank you. I tell her she’s beautiful, I seem to be honest, wealthy, all that stuff the ladies eat up. I was the perfect lie.

    The waiter doesn’t even greet me anymore. I found my way to my table. I pulled the chair out for Grace, and I sat down across from her. Her smile lit the whole room. She wasn’t used to this. She was used to Wendy’s, to Pizza Pizza, all that garbage that destroys the body. The waiter placed the menus in front of us. He smiled at me . . .

    “What will you be having to drink this evening sir?” He asked as he pulled a pen out of his pocket and a small notepad.

    “Grace is there anything you would prefer?” I asked politely. She shook her head still holding that smile, still blushing from earlier. I continued looking up at the waiter “We will have wine. Let us try the bouchaine pinot noir, cherries, plums, and orange blossoms sound delectable in a wine.” The waiter smiled as he went off to fetch the wine. I looked back at the innocent little Grace, the plain, but beautiful Grace. “So Grace what do you do for a living?”

    “Well I am an author. I mean I haven’t really published anything, but I have been working on it. I write short stories in my spare time.” She pauses for a moment as the waiter with the big smile fills her glass with a dark wine, then fills David’s. The waiter gave us time to converse before he asked for our order. “I have been interested in journalism and stuff like that as well.”

    I smiled at her and nodded my head as I sipped on the wine. “Really, that’s very interesting.” It really wasn’t all that interesting really, I didn’t know at the time what drew me to this girl. “I work as an accountant. I make quite the penny, but it’s not really as interesting as the profession you’re choosing.” I laughed to lighten the mood. Then I go on to ask. “Do you have any family? Whom are you living with here? A boyfriend?”

    “No, I ran away from home at a young age. I live in an apartment that I have paid for with a few dead end jobs to be honest. My family life was not all that great. So I decided to run away a while ago, and never look back really.” She replied as she took a sip of wine, I could see sadness in her eyes. No, one knew who she was. Nobody cared who she was, not until me, not until today. Not until I became her dream, her fantasy, her twisted lie, her god damn delusion.

    “That sounds terrible.” I said as I put my hand over hers, the waiter stepped in to interrupt.

    “So do you know what you will be having tonight?”

    “Slow cooked Berkshire pork chops would be amazing tonight.” I smiled at Grace reassuring her she could choose anything off the menu it was on me.

    “I will have the tiger shrimp.” She smiled at the waiter who scribbled her order down and stepped away to fetch it.

    I started more conversation “So your childhood sounds rough? I can’t believe you have no one who loves you, or cares. It must really be terrible.”

    “Well I’m not one to complain. I try to make the best of it. I get most of my emotions onto paper. It calms me down. I mean I honestly don’t even know if I have a social insurance number, I was probably born in a barn.” She laughed at the figure of expression she used, and I did too. She was perfect.

    “Well hopefully I am providing you with a fun night so far.” I said as I sipped my wine and she fallowed suit. “You know you can have a couple drinks. I will drop you off where you need to go. I have to drive so I think I will only have a glass or two.” I smiled as she took a long sip and laughed a bit. The waiter put our meals down in front of us, and I smiled. The conversation was over. I never talk during a meal. I want to savor every second of it, every minute. Devour it slowly. It was always like a ritual for me. So we feasted.

    Before I knew it we were on the road, she was pulling my hair. It’s amazing what liquor does to females. She kissed my neck and she whispered in my ear. “Lets go back to your place.” She giggled as she pulled away and rested her hand on my lap rubbing my thigh as she licked her lips.

    I parked the car into the garage of my home. It is big it doesn’t echo, it’s perfect. I could bring anyone home, do what I want and no one will ever hear. She kissed me as I unlocked the door, and I managed to make my way up stairs to my bed room. There is no furniture in there a small t.v. on a black stand, a bed with black bed sheets. I kissed her and I laid her down on the bed pushing my lips to hers. She kissed my neck nibbled my ear, and my desire was growing. That animal instinct I always try to hide was growing. We kissed harder, pushed me harder. I slid my hands up her shirt feeling the soft skin on her stomach. I kissed her and made my way to her neck, I kissed it, sucked on it. I couldn’t hold it any longer. My pupils enlarged, it takes over, my mind. My twisted little mind, I sank my teeth deep into her neck. The crunching sound was satisfactory and the blood rolled down my chin and I chewed on the raw chunk of flesh that was now missing from her tiny little neck. She tried to scream, but her blood choked her. All I could think was thank god these sheets aren’t white.

    “I wrote that for you. I sat up all night typing this lovely story out for you. You said you wanted to be an author.” David smiles as he flicks the light on. Across from him Grace sits in a chair, her blonde hair stained with blood. Her neck is taped, and covered in cotton to stop the bleeding. The life, the fire that was in her hazel eyes has been sucked out. She looks at him as tears’ roll down her cheeks. “Aw, c’mon baby crying isn’t going to help now is it. Look where you are? Clearly if I cared about your feelings you wouldn’t be in this position now would you?” David smiles, he doesn’t take the rope out of her mouth so she can speak. He was never much of a conversationalist while he ate . . .

    “Yes, I will tell you why! That is what they always ask in those horror flicks before the man cuts them into little bits isn’t it?” David pauses to take a cigarette out of his pocket. He lights it with a steal lighter. Smoking was his only imperfection in his eyes. Everything else was absolutely perfect. He never made mistakes, that’s why he was such a good accountant. “You possibly wouldn’t be in this position if you hadn’t told me no one knows you exist, no one cares for you. See that is what sealed the deal here. Really it is your own fault that you are in this position. I don’t make mistakes, I am an accountant I can’t really afford to can I? No, no I cannot. See if you had of told me that you have a family who loves you . . . then I probably wouldn’t be here considering cannibalism.” Grace screams, but it is muffled by the rope in her mouth. David calmly takes a drag off his cigarette. He smiles and shakes his head at Grace who struggles and tried to escape. She isn’t going anywhere. “Look at how pathetic you are! Hell Grace you even urinated on yourself while you were passed out. Look here is the thing Grace, maybe you can’t tell, but I am rather insecure I would say. What I am going to do to you is eat you, no not sexually silly girl.” He flicks ashes over the top of her blond hair and they leave specks on the top of her head. “No, I am going to cook you, and eat you. I am going to then take your bones over several states and bury you somewhere. Arizona sounds lovely. It’s hard to trace that back to me you know. Especially if no one even knows or cares you are alive. See Grace I don’t make a mistake I am a very calculated person. I am going to get away with murder.” David laughs as he blows the smoke of his cigarette into Grace’s beautifully damaged face. He pulls a knife from his pocket “Don’t worry, It will be quick. I never play with my food.”

    That night Grace was killed. David baked her in a nice chilly, made her into very delicious dishes and devoured her over time. Then he went to Arizona buried her body in the desert and drove home. David got away with murder, he killed an innocent woman. David went to work, he ate, he exercised. He continued his routine. It’s amazing how far people will go, just to get their . . . taste of grace.
  16. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
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    Manchester, England
    Sappho - End of a life

    Her smile was captured in one of the last photograph of pure happiness. The eight year old girl sitting astride the brown pony, long brown plaits hung over her chest and clear blue eyes showing the pleasure of being able to ride upon the powerful animal.

    Lucy didn’t know it then, but that was the last photo taken of her alive.
    Her step-father George put the camera away and watched her as the pony went into a slow trot.

    “George, look I’m trotting. Giddy up Danny Boy.” She shouted out proudly.

    George gave her a thumb up, his dark hazel eyes kept on the small figure.

    On the way home, Lucy prattled on excitedly about her experience on the horse and how her friend Jorja would be so jealous of her. George feigned interest and gave occasional nods. To Lucy this day was the best she had in ages nothing could be better. Looking out of the window she noticed that George was taking her a different way to home. She was unfamiliar by the surroundings there was a lot of trees and the road was no longer tar.

    Turning her heard she spotted a small wooden sign. “Fairview National Forest” was engraved.

    “This isn’t the way home, what are we doing here?” She asked confused.

    Pulling the car into a clearing, George turned off the engine and unbuckled his seat belt. Turning he unbuckled Lucy’s seatbelt. “We are going to have a snack before we head home. Hop into the backseat we can eat together. There is something I want to do with you.”

    She climbed into the backseat unaware of what was going to happen. Her innocent face looked into his darken features as he pushed her against the seat. A startled scream escaped her throat as he straddled on top of her, she felt pain and the heaviness by the large hands on her small chest.

    “George stop, it hurts, please sto..” Her cries were cut off from the palm of his hand. Struggling to breath, she closed her eyes.


    Laying on the hospital bed, the machines hooked up to the almost lifeless body. After all the intimidate family and priest left. A figure walked into the small room. The sicking sweet smell of death lingered in the air beckoning for the body on the bed to give up the fight.

    “How does it feel knowing that secret between us has lasted for twenty five years.” Came a harsh whisper. “You know, the time you murdered your little eight year old step-daughter Lucy in the forest. When you forced yourself onto her , killing her, taking her innocence. She told you to stop but you kept going. “

    “Of course you didn’t do anything. She was the one that directed your hand to touch her virginal flesh, she wanted it didn’t she? Did her innocent eight year old mind, made you think that she sat on your lap because she wanted you to have sex with her?” A laughing snort escaped as the voice took another breath.

    “No she didn’t want to have sex with you. You sick bastard. She thought you were her friend, tell me how did it feel murdering her? Murdering the child that looked up to you, that followed you around and asked endless questions about the world. Because to her you were her hero, how did she know the evil intent behind your eyes. That sweet trusting little girl of course didn’t physically die that day, but you know and I know you killed her and of course you got away with murdering her life and soul.”

    Stepping close to the dying figure Lucy hovered above him, her long brown hair tickled his face. George slowly nodded his head as to confirm he was listening.

    “It’s your fault my life turned out the way it did. Working in dead end jobs, having two kids removed from me because you put me in that asylum. You even convinced my mother that I was insane and abusing the kids. I’m glad I can say this to you before you die as I’m not the one to judge you and I know you are going to hell for your unspoken crime. I hope you rot there for all eternity.” She hissed.

    George started to gasp for air, his eyes widening with each gasp. She waved in front of his eyes the tatty photograph of the girl on the horse. “This was the last photograph of me alive. And this is the last thing you will see while you are alive. The girl you murdered.”

    The murderer was now facing his death sentence. While his victim was a survivor and now free from her tormentor.
  17. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    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.
  18. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    Smelnick - Getting Rid of Mrs. Fetter

    Several months back, I never would have fathomed old Mrs. Fetter sitting here eating dinner with me. Her plump little bottom barely supported by my small and wooden kitchen chair. Crumbs were rolling down her front as she spoke and chewed at the same time. Her little dog, aptly named Fluffy, was sitting on her lap, catching the crumbs as they fell. The stupid dog was yipping like a fool, but I stayed calm. After tonight, I wouldn't have to worry about either of them anymore.

    "I'm so glad you finally got a proper welcome mat for your door, Johnny" she said, her words slightly muffled by the turkey she was chewing "Isn’t it nice to be above all that riffraff? It only took two years, but aren’t you glad you finally started seeing things my way? It’s a much better way of life you know”

    She’d been babbling on and gossiping about the other tenants for almost half an hour now. Just like every Tuesday night for the last several months. I would go as far to say that sitting here listening to her babble was worse torture than putting up with her high class bull**** for the last two years. It had to be done though, in the end the suffering would be worth it. Establishing the routine of eating dinner with her once a week was all part of the plan. Appeasing to her petty demands and complaints was all part of the plan.

    Only a small morsel of food remained on her plate and she greedily shoved it into her mouth. For a moment she grew silent, and I grabbed my chance to get a word in edgewise.

    “Greta, I’ve been dabbling a little with writing some short pieces of poetry. I was wondering if you’d let me recite some to you?” I asked.

    “Been wasting your time writing poetry, have you? Explains the state of your living room I suppose.” She sniped back “Oh I suppose I can listen to a few poems before I go.”

    I led her into the living room where I had everything set up just right. There was a nice recliner sofa chair in the corner, with a dim lamp and a ticking alarm clock on a small table beside it.

    “Just recline back Greta, and I’ll go grab my notebook” I said as I walked out of the room into the hall. I grabbed a stack of papers from the desk that had random writings on them. Only one of them was something that I had written. The rest were merely poems I had printed from my computer. A thin textbook sat on the corner of the desk, and I picked it up and opened it to a bookmark I had placed in it. I just needed to triple check that I had remembered what to do. If I made any mistakes, I would be caught.

    After reassuring myself that I knew what I was doing, I went back into the living room, and sat down on my couch. Mrs. Fetter had actually dozed off while I was gone. This was perfect, I thought to myself, she’ll be easy to put under. I nudged her awake. She startled awake and then looked at me and remembered where she was.

    “Oh dear, I’m sorry Johnny, you’re chair is so comfortable and that turkey has made me drowsy. It’s not proper to put your neighbours to sleep Johnny, you know that right?” She complained

    “I know Mrs. Fetter, I’m sorry. Just relax and take some breaths now. I’m going to start reading. For the best effect, try to concentrate on the ticking clock while I read. I find that with this poem especially, it helps you get right into it.” I replied as I began to read my poem

    “Ticking time, tick tick tiiiick, down down downnnn. Deeper down. The clock clicks and ticks as time winds down, deeper, dowwwwwnnnnn” I read aloud, watching as Mrs. Fetter listened to my words and the clock. Her breathing was slower and her eyes were heavier. I continued reading “Deeper down, heavy lids. Falling Under, down downnn dowwwnnnn. Deeeperrrr, Doowwwwwwwnnnnn”

    I started reading slower and slower, repeating the main phrase of the poem “Deeper, Down, Deeper, Down”. Soon her eyelids shut and her breathing was as shallow as can be. I stopped repeating the phrase, and said “Greta, do you hear me?”

    “Yes Johnny, I hear you” she replied in a flat voice.

    “That’s good Greta. What’s my real name Greta?” I asked, knowing that if she answered correctly, she was truly under my spell.

    “It’s Jerry, Jerry Livingstone” She replied

    “Perfect!” I said out loud. My work could now begin.

    An hour later found me showing Mrs. Fetter out the door. “I’m so sorry I went to sleep Jerry, I really don’t feel bad since it’s your fault for serving turkey, but still, I’m sorry.” She said on her way out. “I’ll have to come by and read them some other time.”

    “I’m sure you will Mrs. Fetter, have a good night!” I said as I shut the door. I smiled to myself and crossed my fingers. I won’t know until the morning if my plan worked. I was like a kid on Christmas night. I went straight to bed, knowing that the sooner I went to sleep, the sooner I could wake up and know whether or not my plan worked. I set my alarm for the morning and crawled into bed. I don’t even remember turning off the light, and then I was fast asleep.

    I awoke the next morning to my alarm buzzing. With my normal level of annoyance, I pushed the clock off the nightstand and the buzzing stopped. I dragged myself out of bed, and staggered to the washroom, to wash the sleep out of my eyes. As I looked in the mirror and groaned about yet another work day, my excitement about last night’s events clicked back into place. I was suddenly very eager to head off to work. I shoved a breakfast of cornflakes with milk down my throat and threw on some pants and a shirt. I think it was the fastest I ever got ready for work. After I finished dressing and combing my hair, I grabbed my briefcase and headed out to door to the hallway. I walked down to the elevators and got on. I hit the button for the main floor, and waited for the slight drop before going down steadily. As I whooshed past the floors in the steel box, I fidgeted with excitement. The elevator stopped and I stepped out and my heart leapt. There were paramedics and policemen making their way out the door. Outside on the street were an ambulance and a cop car. I walked over to the security guard and asked him what happened.

    “Morning Jerry, tis a shame actually.” The old guard replied “ Old Mrs. Fetter kicked the bucket last night. Can’t say I’m that sorry to see her go, but at least no one’s going to jail for this one. She committed suicide they say. Drowned her poor little dog in the toilet and then she just laid face down in her tub and she drowned. The cops suspect murder, but I overheard that they haven’t found any evidence of anyone else ever being in her apartment. Tis strange you know. Someone going out that way. I wonder what could compel a person to do that to themselves."

    I quickly thanked him for the info and turned away. I had to; otherwise my huge grin at the thought of her dead would have possibly given me away. I had done it; I had successfully gotten away with murdering her. I was smiling as I exited the lobby of the building and entered the street. I wasn’t just smiling because Mrs. Fetter had died. I was also smiling because I now had an effective way to rid my life of those I don’t align with, and I had the perfect target in mind. The days could only get better from here.
  19. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    phoenixsharpshooter - The Lighthouse

    Dawn was approaching quickly. The stars had begun to fade, and Jacob Smits stared out at the grayish ocean. He felt the salty air as it ruffled his business jacket. It was black and well-fitted, as was the dark shirt underneath. Black was always the best color to wear when he did his job. Blood showed up too easily on light hues and sometimes things did get messy.

    This time, the kill had been clean. He had used a strangling cord, so his gloves were stained, but everything else was still pristine. Of course, that would change when he disposed of the body. That was always messy.

    Tonight, or rather this morning now, was his last job. When he had started rubbing out lives, it had been a means to an end. He had needed the money, without it he would have been one of the poor souls on the other end of a strangling cord. Heroin was an expensive mistress. He had left her and her debts behind years ago. After that money had been repaid, he considered his job to be a way to retire early, and so he had continued murdering until now. Finally, he could stop.

    He looked down. His meaty hands were tightly clenched on the cold, iron railing of the lighthouse balcony. This had always been his favorite place to chop up a body. It was just so secluded up here. He forced his hands to relax. Killing someone was a lot like being in a car wreck. One’s mind and body were simply wound tight for a little while after.

    Carla would be happy to know that he was done. He had not told her yet. It was to be a surprise. He had met her in the clinic, while ridding himself of his former inky queen. She had been bucking her own demon. For her, it had been the bottle. She was always the lucky one. His job had been a problem for their relationship at first. After a few months of break-ups, she had finally believed he would not do this forever. They had been married for five years now. Five years, and he still melted every time he saw her blue eyes. Their beauty had been what gave him the courage to ask her out, that first time. They had something to do with every time after that, as well, but that first time had been all because of them. In her thirties now, she would still be perfect in a bikini on an island somewhere. He loved her. He always had.

    Turning around, Jacob looked at the body. It was still lying in a heap where he had left it. He sighed and left the tang of the Atlantic as he reentered the top of the lighthouse. It had not functioned for years, now. The bone-white tower was just a landmark to most people these days. To him, it was a workshop. Here, there was no need to hurry with this part of the process. The beach beneath was rocky, cumbersome to be on, and if someone did happen to find their way out there at the wrong time, they would never leave again, save in a plastic bag. Jacob made his way over to his victim and rolled the body over on its back. The spread-eagle position was the most conventional way he could think of to begin cutting. The blood would cover a larger area, but he didn’t want to trip over any random parts. It always made him feel sick to fall into a pool of red death. Doing that always ruined his clothes.

    Now that the former resident of Earth was turned over, her auburn hair revealed her face yet again. Her eyes were still open. They were still so radiant, even in death. He had never seen such blue eyes until he met Carla, that day in rehab. A few months after, she had promised to be faithful to him for the rest of her life. She had lied. She probably never knew that he had known about her infidelity until the cord had caressed her neck. Maurice had been the one. He had helped the kid out several times, and that help had been repaid by the little **** putting his prick in Carla. It hadn’t happened once, but several times. Well, several times that Jacob knew about, and probably many more than that, too. Maurice was already floating out in the Atlantic somewhere, in at least twelve different pieces. The man’s cock was still on land, in a way. Although, now, it resided within his bulldog’s stomach, so still calling it a cock may be a bit of a reach.

    The sun peeked over the horizon. It was time. Jacob leaned down until his hazel eyes were inches away from the dazzle of Carla’s sapphire ones. He stayed in this odd position for a short time. Then, barely louder than the wind, he spoke his first words since he had climbed up the stairs of his workshop for the last time.

    “Baby, I’m done.”

    She had waited years for him to speak those words and he had honored her wish. Too bad she hadn’t honored his. He stood up in one quick motion. A tear rolled down one clean-shaven cheek. He really had loved her. Jacob looked outside to see that the sun was now most of the way out of the water. The water itself was golden. The beach was a wonderful place to be when the sun rose from its nightly grave. In three rapid strides, he made his way back to the edge of the balcony. He lifted his left foot up on top of the railing and placed his hands on either side of it. Then, he pushed off with his leg as hard as he could. For the first time in years, he felt weightless as he began to fall. He breathed in the ocean’s breeze once more and knew that, for the last time, he had gotten away with murder.
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