Got You!

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The title says it all.  But it is not what you think.  Enjoy this twisted short story.

 

Sara sat in her car and watched the back door of her house.  It was ten after two a.m.  Her car was parked across the street.  Not her normal parking spot.  Her driveway was where she normally parked.  Not that night.  Not for the last two weeks.

It had been two weeks since she began this nightly ritual.  Get home around five-thirty p.m.  Wait for her children to come home.  Take them to her sister’s house to spend the night.  Lie to her sister and her children that she was working overtime.  Go back to work for three or four hours.  Stop by a restaurant on the way to her house and pick herself up some dinner.  Eat it in her car.  Then park across the street and wait and watch.

This was the last night of this, she told herself.  She could not live like this.  It was unfair to her children.  They should not be shuttled back and forth to different houses.  Whatever was going to happen needed to…

A dark figure crouched down beside the steps of her back door.  She could hardly contain her excitement.  Fear and adrenaline pumped through her body.  This was it.  This was the night.  This was it.  She strained to see the figure still crouched down by the steps of her back door.

Go ahead, she thought.  Move, you son-of-a-bitch.  She watched and waited.  Moving her head to the left and right she began to doubt she had seen anything.

The figure stood up.  Its head turned left and right.

Go ahead, she thought.  Go ahead.  I dare you.  Have the balls to go inside.  You chicken piece of shit.  Do it.  Go ahead.  Come on.

The figure walked up the steps to the back door and stopped at the door.

No one is looking, she thought.  No one is out.  No one will see you.

The figure leaned over at the door and was doing something.  She assumed they were breaking in.  The door opened.  No alarm went off.  The alarm system had been fried by lightning a month ago.  She did not have the money to replace it yet.  That is what she told everyone who knew about it.  The system was complex and costly.

The figure walked inside her house and closed the door.

She leaned her head back and waited for three minutes.  Her heart was racing.  She was nervous.  Her chest felt heavy.  You can do this, she thought.  You can do this.  You are ready for this.  You have practiced.  Get it over with.

She leaned over and opened her glove compartment and carefully reached inside.  Her fingers touched and grabbed the handle of a large butcher’s knife.  She took it out and put it in her large leather hobo bag.  She sat there for a few seconds and started her engine.  She then drove down the street and pulled into her driveway.  Pretending to look for something in her car she let the engine run and the headlights shine on the house for a few minutes.

She turned off the engine and got out.  Without hesitating she walked up her driveway to her front door.  She put the key in the lock and turned it.  She paused for about thirty seconds while she removed the knife from her bag.

She grabbed the doorknob with one hand and clutched the knife in the other and opened the door and walked inside.

She turned around and shut the door and was grabbed from behind.  She jabbed her elbow backwards several times.  It hit something hard on the stranger’s body.  It felt like a rib cage.  The stranger’s grip loosened from around her.  The stranger staggered back.  There were a few feet between them.  It gave her a few seconds for her to whirl around.

When the stranger reached out to grab her she thrust the knife forward.  She felt the blade slide through soft tissue up to the handle.  Pulled it out and thrust it forward again, even harder this time.  She did it over and over and over and over.

Aggressively she moved forward thrusting the knife into the stranger’s body as the stranger backed up, retreating.  After a split second pause, she drew the knife back and spun halfway around and drove the knife into the stranger’s side.  The stranger let out a low grunt.  She pushed the knife inside him and held it there until the stranger’s body slid from it and collapsed onto the floor.

She leaned over, breathing hard, catching her breath.  Then she laughed loudly.  “It’s over,” she said.  “It’s over.”  She laughed again.  The stranger was wheezing.  She walked over to the door and flipped the light switch on.  A middle-aged, pudgy man wearing black pants, a black tee-shirt, and black sneakers lay on the floor, bloody and clinging to life.

She walked over and stood over him.  “All you had to do was go away,” she said.  “But you wouldn’t.  Sneaking into my house.  Telling the court all those lies about me.  Wanting me to pay you alimony.  Get real.  Man up.”  He wheezed.  “Now look at you.  I was waiting for you.  For the last two weeks I was waiting for your pathetic ass.  I knew I’d get you.  Now look at you.  You’re going to die with nothing.  I have full custody.  No more sharing them with you.  And the assets were always mine.  You were a worthless, horrible husband.  And an even worse father.  You may have tricked the kids.  But you never tricked me.  Why do you think I threw your ass out?  You’re such a loser.”  He wheezed and whispered something.  “What?”  She looked down at him with disgust.  “Die already.  Or, do I need to finish you off.”

“Can I,” he wheezed, “say…something…to…you?”

She sighed, frustrated.  “Why not?” she said and stood over him.  His fingers moved slightly, motioning for her to come down to him.  She looked around and sighed.  Now, even more frustrated, she knelt down on one knee beside him.  “Hurry up.”  She held the knife loosely in her hand, waving it over him.

A slight smile came across his face.  She shook her head.  “It’s good you can find the humor in this,” she said.

He tried to keep his smile.  But he grimaced as he lifted his head a few inches off the floor.  It shook as he held it up.  His hands were pressed over some of the knife wounds.  “I got you,” he whispered.  She stared at him and squinted.  He really was an idiot, she thought.  What was she thinking when she married this idiot.  He was lying there dying and he had her.  He gave her a half-smile and dropped his head back to the floor and snickered and groaned.  “I told them…you were a bad mother.”  He coughed.  “Look.”  His finger shook as he pointed over his head.  “Got you…bitch.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” she asked, standing up.  He was barely breathing.  “You got me how?  You idiot.  You’re…”

Her mouth dropped open.  She tilted her head and squinted in disbelief.  She was staring down the hallway at a camcorder on a tripod.  A red light was on.  Her mouth became dry.  That asshole was probably sending what was recording to some place else besides there.  Son-of-a-bitch was always screwing around with that digital shit.

She turned and looked down at him.  His eyes were almost closed.  He was barely breathing.  “What did you do?” she asked.  “What did you do?  Where else do you have this going?  Where else?”  He smiled a little.  She began to kick him in the side.  “Where?”  His wheezing was barely audible.  “Where?  Tell me.”  His smile slowly faded.  “Where?”  He was not moving.

“No.  No.  No.”  She dropped the knife and fell to the floor.

 

If you enjoyed this story, send it to a friend and follow me on my blog. 

 

Thanks

Stephen

 

 

 

 

 

Helpless

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The feeling of having no control is what does you in.

 

My hands were sweating.  I casually pressed them against the sides of my pants.  I glanced down at the meat case.  A large roll of salami was squeezed in between two rolls of assorted sausages.  My mouth was watering.  I could literally taste the sweet and salty salami as I chewed it slowly.  I was not sure how long I could stand by the meat case.  I was not sure how long I could control myself.

The butcher came back to the counter from the back room.  He put a white package of veal cutlets on the counter.  He told the woman standing at the counter in front of me that, “If those don’t melt in your mouth, you bring them back to me.  I’ll eat the rest and give you a refund.”  She laughed and said that he knew he had the best cutlets around.  He thanked her as she left the counter and called, “Next,” and looked at me.  I had stepped up closer to the counter.  “What’ll you have?”  I told him a roast for twenty people with double portions for all of them.  In his booming voice he told me I had an army to feed.  “I know just what you need.”  He left the counter to go in the back room.

With no one standing behind me I eyed the roll of salami in the meat case.  My hands were no longer sweating.  They were soaked.  The tips of my fingers tingled from excitement.  My mind raced with anticipation.  My heart pounded.  Fear and excitement were so intertwined they were one.  A wave of desire washed over me.  Instinct took over.

Before I could reason with myself on why not to take it, I had grabbed the salami from the meat case and was running for the door.  Behind me I heard the butcher’s rough voice yelling for me to, “Get back here!”  My high heels clacked against the floor.  I felt my shoes slipping on the clean floor.  My heart was in my throat.  The door was ten feet away.  I had to turn slightly to my left.  When I did my foot almost slipped out from under me.  I recovered my balance just in time to stop from falling.

The bag boy was turning around to see what the commotion was about.  As he turned his head to look I shot by him.

I stepped on the mat in front of the door.  The electronic door had opened a few inches.  Not enough for even my small frame to get through.  I turned sideways and went through the small opening that continued to widen.

Once outside I ran toward my van.  It was parked along the curb up from Marty’s Butcher’s Shop.  I pressed the key fob without breaking my stride.  Grabbed the van’s door handle.  Yanked the door open.  Jumped inside and started the engine.  Slammed it into D and gunned the gas.

Down the road with no one following me I laughed and laughed.  I did not slow down for miles.

Feeling confident that the police had not given chase I glanced at myself in the rearview mirror.  I laughed for a few more minutes before I cried for thirty minutes.

I am a thief, shoplifter, kleptomaniac, and whatever else describes me.  I don’t know why.  I don’t need the things I steal.  I just steal them.  I am afraid what will happen to my husband and children once I’m caught.  It’s just a matter of time.  I know I must stop.  And I am building up to the last time.  Then I will quit forever.

I checked my watch.  I needed to head back home in an hour.  I had to pick up the kids from school and start dinner.

I stopped outside of a clothing store and told myself, “One item and be gone.”

 

If you enjoyed the story, send it to a friend and follow me on my blog. 

 

Thanks

Stephen

CHARLOTTE 

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This is a twisted short story.  Enjoy. 

 

There are days when we all need a little encouragement.  Fitting words at the right time may be just what we need to feel better about ourselves.

CHARLOTTE WALKED OUT OF the store feeling better than she had felt in years.  She was carrying a shopping bag with her old clothes inside it.  The old her was in the bag.  The new her was wearing what she just bought.

Her red dress was a perfect fit.   It showed off her curvaceous body.  Her satin and leather red stiletto heels made her legs look gorgeous.  She walked around the side of the store and stopped next to the building.  Alone, she let out a silent cry.

No matter what she thought and tried to tell herself, it was not working.  That good feeling would not stay with her.  An overpowering feeling of worthlessness and ugliness kept overshadowing it.

Her husband’s words kept coming back to inflict more and more pain on her.  She could not fool herself.  The wounds were too deep for her to ignore.

Thirty-eight years old.  Fourteen years of marriage.  He always had a wondering eye.  But he would never stray.  That was what she told herself.

Three months ago her desired reality ended.  He came home and told her he had a confession to make.  He had an affair with a twenty-five year old.  It was not planned.  It just happened.  That was what he told her.  It was also what she wanted to believe.

But, since the affair, he never missed the chance to let her know that if it were not for her he would have never done it.  She was not sexy enough to hold his attention.  She was too fat.  She was not beautiful enough.  She needed to work on herself.  She needed to keep him interested.

Charlotte leaned against the building and lifted her leg and removed one of her heels.  Her hand was against the building while she balanced herself on one foot.  Something was inside her shoe.  It was irritating her foot.  She turned the shoe upside down.  A small stiff piece of paper fell to the ground.  She slipped the shoe back on and looked down at her feet.

A car horn beeped.

Startled, Charlotte looked up.

A large black Mercedes was stopped next to her.  The passenger window came down.  A gray-haired man leaned toward the open window.  Suspicious, Charlotte stared at the car and looked around.  “Two-hundred for one hour,” the man said.  Charlotte was not sure she heard him and squinted.  “Two-fifty and that’s it.”  Her mouth dropped open.  She had heard him.  If this was a joke at her expense, it was not funny, she thought.  “Six hundred for two hours and no more.”

She was speechless.  How dare he.  She was too annoyed and disgusted to respond to the man.  She walked off.

“Okay,” the man said, following her in the car.  “Three-fifty per hour.  But I get two and half hours.  Anything I want.”

She was taken back and stopped.  She was still disgusted.  But she was confused and amazed too.  Had this man confused her with a prostitute?  Was he serious or toying with her?  Seven hundred dollars for two and half hours.  He had to be kidding.  She was fat.  She was not beautiful at all.  Her hips were too big.  Her husband told her this.

The man opened the car door.  “Are you in or out?” he asked.  Seven one hundred dollar bills were in his hand.  He extended his arm out of the door.  “I’m not the cops.  I’d have to tell you that.  It’s the law.  You ask.  I have to tell you.”

“Are you the cops?” she could not believe she asked that.  Why did she ask that?

“I’m not the cops,” he said.  “Get in.  We’ll have fun.”

She looked around.  At the far end of the street were women walking in heels and short dresses.  Cars stopped and the women would go up to them.

She stopped herself from giggling.  Then she looked up and saw the street sign next to her.  She had wandered onto a known street where women of the night hung out.

“In or out, sweetheart,” the man said and held up another one hundred dollar bill.  “Eight large for two and half hours.”

She stared at the man and swallowed.  She found her feet moving toward the car.  Her hand took the car handle.  She opened the door and leaned inside the car.  “You can’t hurt me,” she said, in a shaky voice.  “You have to tell me what you’re going to do before you do it.”

“You high-priced women,” he said.  “You make the big bucks and still want to call the shots.  Alright, whatever you want.  It’s your show.”

She stepped into the car and shut the door.  The Mercedes drove off.

Charlotte’s life could go in any direction.  You choose.  (You can let me know with your feedback.)

1. Charlotte began a new career.

2. It was the last time Charlotte was ever seen or heard from.

3. Charlotte went back home after being with the gray-haired stranger and left her husband.

 

If you like this story, send it to a friend and follow me on my blog.

 

Thanks,

Stephen

The Apartment

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The Apartment is a three-part story.  It is a mystery that can happen to any of us.  Let’s hope it does not.  Enjoy part three.

 

PART 3

 

TWO UNIFORMED POLICE OFFICERS stood in my doorway.  Their facial expressions were difficult to read.  For getting a distress call from a citizen, they did not appear ready to help me.

“Ma’am, are you Francis McCray?” the African American officer asked.  His name tag read Beacon.  I told him I was and that I had called the station about the apartment across the hall.  His brow furrowed.  The other officer glanced at him and back to me.  At least four more officers were behind them moving back and forth in the hallway.

“Where is this body that you claim to have seen?” Officer Beacon asked.  I pointed across the hallway to Stephan’s apartment and told him Stephan’s name.  “It is?”  He stared at me.  “You told the operator you saw a body in the apartment across the hallway?”

“Yes,” I said, wondering why his tone was more accusatory than factual.  “I’ve already talked to the other officers that were here.  They may have been detectives.  They were in suits.”  All the suits were gone.  “Instead of questioning me you should be asking your fellow officers about what they did.  They were treating Stephan.  I’m sure they’ve taken him to the hospital already.”

“Miss McCray,” Officer Beacon said.  “We are the police.  There have been no other officers dispatched at this scene.”  I was speechless.  He looked over his shoulder down the hallway toward Stephan’s apartment.  I told him I could show him where Stephan was lying.  “Ma’am, stay here, please.  I’ll talk to you again in a few minutes.”  He turned and casually walked across to Stephan’s apartment.  Other officers had come onto the floor.  There must have been ten in the hallway.  They were blocking my view of Stephan’s apartment.

I heard Officer Beacon say to other officers, “Go ahead.”

I was halfway in the hallway and leaned to see what was going on.  Three officers entered Stephan’s apartment.  One of them said, “Police Department.”  He repeated this three or four times.  Several officers in the hallway looked around at me.  One told me to go back inside my apartment.

I sighed and went back inside my apartment and closed the door.  I felt like a prisoner in my own home.  I looked through the peephole.  I could not see much.  My view was blocked again.  I anxiously waited.  I wanted to know how Stephan was doing.  But, I was a bit confused.  Why did Officer Beacon say claim to see?  That was an odd thing to say.  There was no claiming to see anything.  I saw it.  I had the blood on me to prove it.  I looked at my hands and clothes.  There was no blood on me.  It did not matter.  Stephan was badly hurt.  Officer Beacon needed to have his officers talk to those detectives that were there earlier.  He acted like he did not believe me.

I could hear the officers calling out, “Mr. Oden,” inside Stephan’s apartment.  That was Stephan’s last name.  I looked out the peephole and waited.  A few minutes went by and Officer Beacon was back at my door.  I opened it before he knocked.  I was ready to give my statement.  The last officers did not take it.

Officer Beacon stared at me with a stern expression.  I asked if Stephan was gone.

“Ma’am,” he said.  “There’s no one there.  He’s not home.  We checked the entire apartment.”

I could not comprehend what he was saying.  Stephan was home.  He was on the floor.  Or, he had been home and was on the floor.  Clearly the detectives had taken him to the hospital.

“He was home,” I said.  “There was blood on the floor.”  He looked at me.  There was no change in his expression or demeanor.  “I’ll show you.”  I walked out of my apartment and accidentally, out of frustration, brushed by him and ran to Stephan’s apartment.

I stopped cold in my tracks at Stephan’s doorway.  Other officers were standing around.  Some were looking inside Stephan’s apartment.  Stephan’s body was gone.  There was no blood.  The floor was clean and dry.  I was speechless again.

When I turned around Officer Beacon was standing there.  He looked at me like I was crazy.  I promised him and the other officers that Stephan was on the floor.  I told them about the big holes in his chest.  Their glances at one another told me they did not believe me.  I kept pleading with them to ask the other officers, the detectives, the ones in suits.  They saw Stephan, I told them.

“Miss. McCray,” Officer Beacon said.  “You could go to jail for making a false police call.”

“I’m not lying,” I said, angrily.  I told them about the detectives again.  “You need to go talk to them.”

“There are no other detectives to talk to,” Officer Beacon said.  His tone sounded as if he was irritated.  “No police officers have been here.  I’ve already called to verify that.  No one from our station has been here tonight.”  He took his card from his pocket.  “If you see something else that’s suspicious and legitimate, call us.”  Reluctantly I took it.  “But I would advise you to not make anymore false calls.”  I told him I did not do that.  He did not respond to me.  “Miss McCray, call us if you need us.  You have a nice night.”

Just like that, the officers left the hallway.

I would call the station and the hospitals every day to find out where Stephan was.  I could not find any numbers for his family members to let them know what happened.  Even internet searches did not turn up information on Stephan or his family.

It would take a week of Stephan missing before the police took it seriously.  It helped when Stephan’s family ramped up the pressure on the police from their end.  They were on the news and talking to newspapers.  The fact was that Stephan had disappeared.

It was the eighth day after Stephan went missing that the police wanted to know more about the people in suits who I had seen earlier that night.  And, they wanted to know more about Stephan.

 

I hope you enjoyed part three of this short story.  If you did, send it to a friend and follow me on my blog.  I look forward to seeing you next time.  Have a great weekend. 

 

Thanks

Stephen

The Apartment

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The Apartment is a three-part story.  It is a mystery that can happen to any of us.  Let’s hope it does not.  Enjoy part two.

 

PART 2

STARING INTO STEPHAN’S APARTMENT at his body did not seem real.  But, there were my cell phone and keys on the floor right next to him.  It felt like a television show.  Scenes like that did not play out in real life.  That is what I told myself.  I had imagined it.  At any moment I expected to wake up.

I felt a warm sensation on the inside of my thigh and jumped.  I quickly glanced down and back up.  I was so terrified I had urinated on myself.  Go get your cell phone and keys, I told myself.  Go get them.  In my mind I was screaming at myself to go get them.  But my body was not moving.  I caught myself panting.  I swallowed and vomited again.

My hands shook.  My knees wobbled.  I took a step across the hallway, got to his door and stopped.  I listened.  Whoever did that to Stephan could not still be in his apartment, I told myself.  There was no noise coming from inside.  I reasoned that if someone was inside they would have grabbed me when I walked in.  Or, they could have gotten me when I was trapped beneath him.

Still I tiptoed back inside.  My keys and phone were ten feet away.  They may as well have been one hundred.  It looked like a long ways to go.

From somewhere I got the strength to keep going.  I was surprised to find myself standing beside Stephan’s body.  I slowly bent over and picked up my cell phone and keys.  Squeezing them tightly, I ran from the apartment to my door.

At my door I fumbled to find my door key among the many keys on my key ring.  Hands shaking, I told myself to focus.  Get the key in the lock.  It seemed to take forever.  I finally got the key in the lock and opened my door, ran inside and locked it.

I immediately called nine-one-one.  I told the operator what I found.  He asked me questions about Stephan’s body.  Were they gunshot wounds?  Was he conscious?  Did I do CPR?  Was I in a safe place?  Did I see anyone hanging around Stephan’s apartment?  Keep my door lock.  Police were on their way.  Don’t open my door except to the police.  Stay on the line.

I told him I would.  I peeked out my peephole.  Stephan’s door was still open.

Someone walked by my door.  I jerked my head back and stood still.  Seconds later I exhaled quietly and was trying to catch my breath.  I must have been holding my breath without realizing it.

I composed myself and looked back out the peephole.  Another person walked by.  Then more people began walking in front of my door.  I could not make out who they were or what they were doing.  What the hell?  Were they the police?  They did not look like the police.  Who were those people?  Maybe they were the police.

The operator asked if I was still there.  I told him I thought the police were there.  He asked if I could see them.  I told him they were not wearing uniforms.  They looked to be in suits.  He told me the police were not there yet.  He said that he needed me to stay inside and keep the door locked.

An eye looked directly at mine through the peephole.  I jumped back.  Knocking on my door followed.  A male’s voice said, “Detective Pall, Los Angeles Police Department.”  He put a badge up to the peephole.

The operator spoke into my ear and told me the police were there.  I could let them in.  I opened the door.

A middle-aged man with a serious face stood in front of me.  He looked tough.  He had to be close to six feet.  He had dark hair.  He wore a dark blue suit.  His coat was unbuttoned.  Two large semiautomatic pistols were in holsters on each side of him.

He introduced himself as Detective Pall.  He wanted to know what I saw.  I told him everything.  It was not much to tell.  The basic facts were I found Stephan on the floor and tried to render first aid.  Then I called nine-one-one.  That was it.

He told me to think carefully and to make sure I was not leaving anything out.  I told him there was nothing else I saw.  He told me to stay inside.  Someone would come and talk to me soon and take an official statement from me.  I asked him if Stephan was going to be okay.  He told me they were working on him and for me to wait inside.

I waited for about ten minutes.  I looked out my peephole several times.  But, someone was always standing in my view.

Finally, there was a knock on my door.  I ran from the kitchen and unlocked it and snatched it open.

 

I hope you enjoyed part two of this short story.  If you did, send it to a friend and follow me on my blog.  I look forward to seeing you next time.

 

Thanks

Stephen

The Apartment

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The Apartment is a three-part story.  It is a mystery that can happen to any of us.  Let’s hope it does not.  Enjoy Part One.

 

PART 1

I STEPPED OFF THE elevator and walked down the hallway.  I was deep in thought.  When I turned the corner I almost bumped into her.

She had thick black hair and wore dark sunglasses.  Her skin looked pale under a light coat of foundation.  I smiled at her and said, “Hello.”  She smiled back, but did not speak.  Her thin lips were covered with flesh tone lipstick.  Her posture was perfect.  I admired her long neck and graceful looking body.  I had never seen her before.  She was coming from down my, and my neighbor’s, hallway.

Ahead I could see my neighbor’s doorway.  His door was open.  I could see the white wall inside his apartment.  My first thought was that he left the key in the lock.  It would be like him to go inside his apartment and forget to lock it.  He was absentminded sometimes.  He was a brilliant computer programmer.  But his head stayed in the clouds.  Nice man.  So, I looked after him when I could.  He paid me back by fixing and updating my computer for free.  My apartment was across from his, but a little to the right.

I went to his door and was about to knock and call out his name.  His name was Stephan.  I could not help but peek inside his apartment while my knuckles headed for the door.

I stopped myself from knocking.  His feet on the floor inside his apartment grabbed my attention.  He was lying on the floor.  I called out to him and pushed the door all the way open.  He had suffered a medical condition was what I thought.

I ran to Stephan and knelt beside him.  I shook his shoulder and called out his name.  His body rocked.  I yelled out for help and shook him again.  No one lived with him.  I was yelling for other residents to come.  But, it was a holiday weekend.  Most residents were gone.

I shook him again and yelled for help.  No one came.  I shook him harder.  I saw the blood come out from under him.  Had he fallen on something?  Had he cut himself?  Hit his head?

Stephan was a large man.  He was around six feet and two hundred and sixty pounds, or more.  He was mostly overweight.  He had had some medical issues.  That is why I assumed a medical condition.  I thought he hit his head and was bleeding.  There was a lot of blood.  He needed help.

Weighing fewer than one hundred and thirty pounds, it would take every ounce of strength I had if I was going to roll him over onto his back.  That was a big if.  But I needed to be able to see how to help him.

My fingers and nails dug into his shoulder.  My feet were sideways and braced at the bottom on his body.  I leaned back to get leverage.  As hard as I could, I pulled like hell.  My back was killing me.  His body began to roll back toward me.  It was slow at first.  Once momentum took over there was no stopping it.

Unprepared for his weight to crash down on me, I slammed backwards to the floor.  His body flopped on top of me and trapped my feet beneath his back and buttocks.  It took a few seconds before I could sit up.

Two gaping holes were in his chest.  Jagged tissue and bone fragments lined the holes.

I furiously began to work my legs and feet free from under his body.  I grunted and swore and pulled and yanked them free.  Then I looked at the holes again.

I clapped my hands over my mouth and jumped to my feet and ran from the apartment.  Vomit shot from between my fingers and the sides of my hand.  It sprayed my door.

I went to put my key in the lock and realized I did not have it.  I knew where it was.  My entire body was shaking.  I yelled for help again.  No one came.  I touched my pockets for my cell phone.  Damn, I thought.  I knew where it was, too.

I did not want to turn around.  But I had to.

I stared into Stephan’s apartment.  On the floor beside his body were my keys and cell phone.

 

I hope you enjoyed part one of The Apartment.  If you did, send it to a friend and follow me on my blog.  I wonder what happened to Stephan.  I look forward to seeing you next time.

 

Thanks

Stephen

You Owe Me

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Just because someone takes a late night walk does not mean they are careless.

 

I WAITED NEXT TO the bridge near the concrete beams and trees.  I waited for him.  A streetlight was a few feet away from me.  On a clear night it would have given my location away.  Not that night.  The fog was thick.  It was like the clouds from heaven had descended to earth forever.  My lungs were heavy from the moistness.

The night was perfect.  Few people ever walked this way.  Most were too afraid.  Bad things happened around there all the time.  The police did not even patrol the area with one officer.  They, too, could become easy targets.

He walked home this way because it was always dark and gloomy.  Even when there was no fog, the leaves on the trees darkened the path.  They blocked out most of the moonlight.  I think when he took this path it made him feel tough and crafty, like Jack The Ripper.  Not that he could kill anyone.  This was not speculation.  It was a fact.  He had his chance to do so and chickened out.  Or, it may have never entered his mind.  If there ever was a picture of a coward, it would be his face.

Two months ago he kidnapped me when I took this shortcut home.  I had taken it twenty times to be exact.  Night after night, at twelve a.m., I took the path.  Then, one night I was walking along and thinking about the night I had planned ahead.  That was all I remembered.

I woke up tied to a bed.  He was on top of me.  He had his way with me for hours.  I saw his face so clearly.  I knew he was not going to let me live.  He had to kill me or risk going to prison.

Imagine my shock when he finished with me and let me go.  Just like that.  He let me go.  Hours of suffering degradation and humiliation and he let me go.

I never went to the police.  Publicity was not what I wanted.  How could I explain walking in that area so late at night?  There would be too many questions to answer.  Questions I could not answer.  Even if I did answer them, my answers would not make sense.  It would be too much exposure for me.  It would be too much embarrassment for my mother and father and siblings to live with.  So, I let it go.  I suffered and fumed privately.

Three months later I saw my rapist at the grocery store.  He did not see me.  So, I left the store.  I waited outside in my car and followed him around.  I did this for three days.

I discovered he was a professor at a college.  I found out where he lived.  I saw his family and children.  He was so happy.  His family looked happy.  What a great family man he was to those looking in from the outside.

I decided to kill him.  Not for raping me.  I knew something like that, or worse, could happen if I took the shortcut home.  I was not angry or revengeful about that.  I was going to kill him for not finishing what he started.

I took that shortcut for twenty miserable days.  I hated the anticipation.  I hated hoping and praying that tonight was the night.  I hated closing my eyes when two men approached me.  My heart would beat faster.  Knowing the moment of truth was upon me.  Was this the night?  Whatever they had planned for me was out of my control.  I was excited and scared out of mind.  There was nothing I could do except to accept whatever was about to come my way.

Then the footsteps would pass me by.  I would look over my shoulder and see the backs of the men.  Not once would they look back at me.  I would sink deeper into depression.

I needed someone to put an end to it for me.  I did not have what it took to put an end to myself.  My life was in shambles.  I just wanted it to end.  I wanted to leave my hell on earth where it belonged.

He could have ended it all for me.  That is why I waited for him.  He owed me that.  He pleasured himself with me.  Not once did I resist.  I even said to him, “I know you can’t let me live.  Please, make it fast.”

He laughed as if he knew what I wanted.  He seemed to enjoy torturing me and proved it.

He drugged me and took me back to the path where he had kidnapped me.  Still alive!  I woke up half-clothed and humiliated.

He was going to pay for not finishing the job.

 

I hope you enjoyed this short story.  If you did, send it to a friend and follow me on my blog.  And, if you meet a stranger in a dark place, you may want to avoid them.  I look forward to seeing you next time.

 

Stephen

 

 

DARK SECRET

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DARK SECRET is a short story about what happens when everyone wants what they want.  But, no one considers the consequences.  DARK SECRET is in the realm of my books in The Ripple Series—suspense and intrigue.  I hope you enjoyed meeting the interesting characters in DARK SECRET.  This is the final chapter.  Enjoy DARK SECRET-PART 7.  Thanks for stopping by.      

 

PART 7

“MR. BROWN,” DETECTIVE VINCENT said.  Detective Vincent and Detective Marren were holding him up by his arms.  “Are you okay?”  Tim told them he just needed to walk.  “Mr. Brown.”  Tim mumbled that he needed to wake-up.  “Mr. Brown, you almost hit the floor.  We caught you just in time.  Why don’t you have a seat?”

“I just need to walk,” Tim said.  “Just let me walk for a minute to digest what you said.”

They slowly let go of him.  He looked stable.  Tim walked away from them.  They watched him and glanced at one another.  Tim stopped by the wall and turned around and pointed to his throat.  He fell to the floor, holding his chest.

Detective Marren rushed to him and dropped to one knee.  He told Tim to hang in there.  Detective Vincent had already opened the door and yelled, “Medical attention!”  Someone yelled back that medics were already there.  Detective Vincent told Tim he would be okay.  “The medics are on their way.”

Within a minute, two medics rushed into the room with a gurney and equipment.  They happened to be at the police station filling out paperwork.  They were about to leave when an officer ran outside and told them they were needed.

The medics gave Tim first aid.  Then they put him on the gurney and put an oxygen mask over his nose and mouth.  They told the detectives they were taking him to the hospital.  They left the room with Tim.  His eyes were barely open.

The Detectives looked at one another and simultaneously said, “We need to follow him to the hospital.”  Tim’s answers were not making sense to them.  Nothing about the case was making sense.  They knew Tim either had the answers they needed, or he had an idea of what happened.  Nothing put him at the house at the time of the murder.  But nothing was making sense.  At the moment Tim was their best hope in clearing things up.

The detectives ran and grabbed their guns from their desks and ran to their car.  The ambulance was just leaving.  Detective Marren sped after it and caught up to it.  They talked as they followed the ambulance.  They theorized that Tim was lying to cover up something.  The questions were what was he lying about, and why was he lying.  And how many people were involved.

The medics quickly got Tim to the hospital.  The ambulance stopped at the hospital’s entrance.  The medics jumped out and ran around to the rear doors and opened them.  Tim sat up.  They told him to lie back down.  Tim said that he was feeling better.  They told him he should get checked out.  He refused treatment and told the medics he was fine.

Tim stepped out of the ambulance.  The Detectives were waiting for him.  Tim was shocked to see them.  He tried not to show it.

“Thank you for helping me back there,” Tim said to the detectives.  “But, like I told the medics, I’m feeling better now.  I think it was all too much.  Just too much to take in all at once.”

The detectives nodded and told him they understood.  But, they were going to have to ask him to come back to the station.  They had a few more questions for him.  Tim sighed and wanted to refuse.  But he knew how that would look.  “Are you up to it?” Detective Vincent asked.  “We can give you a ride home afterwards.”  Tim wanted to say, “Hell no, I’m not up to it!”  “We could do it later if you’re not up to it.  We can’t force you.”

Tim did not like what he was feeling.  Were they up to something?  Were they trying to implicate him?  If he said no, was he saying he was guilty of something for not helping them immediately?  His wife was missing, after all.  Who would say no to people trying to find her, except someone guilty of something?  “I’ll go back with you,” Tim said.  “Then you can give me a ride home afterwards.  I just want to find my wife.”  He sniffed.

Detective Marren opened the back door for him.  Tim got in.  He wondered what they knew.  What were they not telling him?  He could feel it.  This was not just a few questions.  He leaned his head back as the car drove off.

“You know, Mr. Brown,” Detective Marren said.  “I’m going to do something we’re not supposed to do.  Because I know you’re upset.  And, I would want someone to do this for me.  I’m going to let you in on some information.”  He turned around in the passenger’s seat and looked back at Tim.  “We believe the perpetrator, or perpetrators, left DNA behind.”  He paused and stared at Tim.  “A lot of DNA.”

Tim pursed his lips and nodded.

“There was some in the kitchen,” Detective Marren said.  He did not tell Tim about the orange juice bottle that was left on the table.  It was out of place.  “In the bedroom.”  He did not tell Tim about the condom wrapper left on the nightstand.  “In your bed.”  He did not tell Tim about the drops of blood on the sheets and in the bathroom sink.  “And the victim had skin and blood under her fingernails.”

Saliva filled Tim’s mouth.  No matter how much he swallowed, it kept coming.  He wanted to spit out the window.  But there were no buttons to press to put the window down.  The car was getting hot.  He could not focus.

“We’ll have some answers for this case really soon,” Detective Marren said.  Tim nodded.  “Meantime, we’re looking for your wife as we speak.  We’re going to get you some answers, shortly.  I promise.  You can hold me to that.”

Tim vomited against the back of the front seat.  Both detectives felt some hit their heads.  Tim dropped his head and vomited on the floor.  Panting and groaning, he vomited again.

Detective Vincent drove the car onto the shoulder of the road.  Detective Marren jumped out and helped Tim out of the car.

“Are you okay?” Detective Marren asked.

Tim nodded, bent over, waved his hand, and threw up again.  He began crying and dropped to his knees.  Detective Vincent had come to where Tim and Detective Marren were.  The detectives glanced at each other.

Tim hung his head and kept crying.  It hit him hard.  He knew what happened.  None of it made sense, until now.  What he initially saw in the bedroom had come together.  The scene flooded back to him.  His wife lay naked on the bed on her stomach.  Her legs spread far apart.  Not looking like herself.  He shook his head and cried loudly.

The detectives quietly looked on.

It was not supposed to end this way, Tim thought.  How could he have been so stupid to trust that moron.  Why did he hire him?  He knew better.  The guy was an idiot.  Why?

Tim silently recalled through his tears when he hired Darren to kill his wife, Carol.  Darren was to make it look like a home invasion gone wrong.  Didn’t that idiot look?  How could he not tell the difference between Bonnie and Carol?  They look different.  How could he not?  Bonnie was beautiful.  Her body was better.  “Bonnie.  Bonnie.  Bonnie.” He whispered.  The detectives heard him and watched him.

You were not supposed to be there, Tim thought.  I had taken care of it.  Just like you wanted.  Bonnie.  You killed Carol for me, Tim said to himself.  You killed her and you were waiting for me at home.  Damn!  Damn!  Damn!  That stupid asshole Darren mistook you for Carol.  What an idiot.  What the hell?  Darren.  Why didn’t you look?  Just look!  You stupid shit!

Tim wanted to die.  Now he understood what Bonnie was saying to him before he left town.  “I have a big surprise for you when you get back,” she had said.  “You’re going to love it.  You’re going to love me for it.”

Tim lay down on the asphalt and curled up in a ball.

 

I hope you enjoyed Part 7, the final part, of DARK SECRET.  If you did, send it to a friend and read a few chapters of The Ripple Series by clicking here on The Ripple Series.

 

Thanks,

Stephen Wallace

DARK SECRET – PART 6

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DARK SECRET is a short story about what happens when everyone wants what they want.  But, no one considers the consequences.  DARK SECRET is in the realm of my books in The Ripple Series—suspense and intrigue.  I’ll bring all the parts of DARK SECRET to you in the next week, or so.  I’ll introduce you to some interesting characters, to my writing and to one of the many stories that I will bring you.  Enjoy DARK SECRET-PART 6.   

 

PART 6

TIM SAT ALONE AT a table in a room inside the police station.  He looked up at the clock.  With all that had happened, he forgot he was wearing a watch.  It was four-fifty a.m.  He had been there for an hour.  He was supposed to be there for some routine questions.  He was exhausted and needed sleep.

A green blanket was wrapped around his body.  An officer had given him the blanket when he was brought to the station.  He leaned his head on the table and pulled the blanket tightly around him.

Unable to sleep he stood up and left the blanket in the chair.  He walked around the room, again.  Come on, he thought.  How long did he have to be there?  He was in mourning.  DAMN IT!  He just found his wife dead.  How much more inhumane can these people be?  This was not the way to be treated after experiencing the worst tragedy in a person’s life.

Officers walked back and forth outside the door.  A small window in the door gave him a glimpse of the activity.  He thought about going to the desk at the front of the station.  There was an officer sitting behind it when he came in.  Maybe he would tell him he was leaving.  Maybe then whoever wanted to ask him questions would ask him.  Then he could go home, or to a hotel, and get some sleep.  He was trying to cooperate.  It was no secret that when a spouse dies the other spouse is always investigated.  But, this was taking it too far.  He looked at the clock again.  It was a few minutes before five.

That was it, he thought.  He was…

The door opened.  A man around six feet and stocky with dark hair walked into the room.  A badge was on his belt.  His holster was empty where a gun would be.  “Sorry about the wait, Mr. Brown,” he said in a deep tone.  “I know this is a trying time for you.  I’m Detective Vincent.  I just have a few questions for you and we’ll let you go.”

Tim nodded.

“Please, go ahead and have a seat for me,” Detective Vincent said.  “Can I get you a cup of coffee or anything?”  Tim told him no and sniffed.  “I’ll get right to it.  Then you can leave.  Again, I’m sorry.  But we have to ask these questions while they’re fresh in your mind.”  Tim nodded.  “Thank you for understanding.”  He opened his notepad.  “Did you enter the room where your wife was?”  Tim told him he had.  “Did you touch anything in the room when you entered it?”  Tim told him just his wife’s foot to wake her.  But she did not wake up.  “But, nothing else?”  Tim told him no.  “Did you get a good look at your wife when you tried to wake her?”  Tim said that he could not.  He believed he turned his head.  “So you didn’t see her face at all?”  Tim told him no.  “How did you know she was dead?”

Tim sighed and covered his face with his hands.  He looked up with tears in his eyes.  “I know you have to ask me questions,” Tim said, annoyed.  “But if you’re trying to ask me about my DNA, it’s going to be in the house.  I live there.  I mean…did I touch anything else in the room?  Why are you asking me these kinds of questions?”

“Mr. Brown, we have to eliminate you as a suspect,” Detective Vincent said.  “That’s all this is.  Police procedures.”

Tim pushed his hands through his hair and pursed his lips and shook his head.  “I just knew it,” Tim said.  “I knew she was dead.  She was…She was laid out naked.  Legs and arms spread apart like some…” he shook his head, “She would have never laid in bed like that.  She’s a lady.  Not some…” he bit his lip and shook his head.  “And, she wouldn’t even answer when I called her name.  I just knew.”  He put his elbows on the table and put his head in his hands and looked down.  “I just knew,” he whispered.  The door opened.  Tim looked up at the door.

A man came into the room.  He was around five ten and smaller than Detective Vincent.  He had a badge on his belt, too.  His holster was also empty of a gun.  “Mr. Brown,” the man said.  “I’m Detective Marren.  I’m sorry.  But I just have a few questions for you.”  Detective Marren looked at Detective Vincent.  Detective Vincent gave him a nod to go ahead and ask his questions.  “I’ll make this quick.”  Tim swallowed and wiped his eyes with the back of his hand.  “Do you know a Miss Bonnie Forr?”

Tim squinted and looked confused.  “I can’t recall that name,” Tim said.

“Never heard of her?” Detective Marren asked.  “Take your time and think about it?”

“No,” Tim said while shaking his head.

Detective Marren paused and exhaled.  “This is where we have a slight problem, Mr. Brown,” he said.  Tim sat up straight.  “The woman you found dead in your house was not your wife.”  Tim gasped and recoiled.  His mouth hung open.  “It was Bonnie Forr.  We matched her ID with her body.  Her purse was inside your house.  We don’t know where your wife is at the moment.  We’re looking for her.  We need your help to find her.  Do you have any idea where she could be?”

Tim shook his head and looked confused.  The color in his face disappeared.  It was pale.  His mouth opened.  Nothing came out.  Muscles in his face began to twitch.

“Mr. Brown,” Detective Marren said.  “You don’t know where your wife is.  And, you’re sure you have no idea how this Bonnie Forr came to be deceased in your house?”  Tim shook his head.  His breathing was getting louder and louder.  “Does your wife know her?”  Tim squinted harder and bit his lip.  He was breathing loudly through his nose.  “Mr. Brown.  Are you okay?”  Tim looked away.  “Mr. Brown.  Mr. Brown.”

“I don’t…” Tim said, wobbling in the chair.  “I’m not feeling well.  This is taking a toll on me.”  He was close to hyperventilating.  The detectives stood up to go to him.  Curious expressions were on their faces.  “Where’s my wife?  What’s going on?”  Tim stood up.  His knees buckled.

 

I hope you enjoyed Part 6 of DARK SECRET.  If you did, send it to a friend and read a few chapters of The Ripple Series by clicking here on The Ripple Series.

 

Thanks,

Stephen Wallace

DARK SECRET – PART 5

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DARK SECRET is a short story about what happens when everyone wants what they want.  But, no one considers the consequences.  DARK SECRET is in the realm of my books in The Ripple Series—suspense and intrigue.  I’ll bring all the parts of DARK SECRET to you in the next week, or so.  I’ll introduce you to some interesting characters, to my writing and to one of the many stories that I will bring you.  Enjoy DARK SECRET-PART 5.   

 

PART 5

THE TAXI STOPPED AT the end of the driveway.  Tim gave the driver a twenty for a fourteen dollar fare and told him to keep the change.  The driver thanked him and waited for Tim to exit his taxi.  Tim closed the door and waved as the taxi drove off.

Tim carried his carry-on bag up the steep driveway.  He stopped at his wife’s SUV and put his hand on the hood.  It was cold.  He took a deep breath and exhaled and headed for the front door of the house.

He stood at the front door and leaned back and looked to his left and right at the windows.  Curtains were over them.  The house was dark.  He expected a light to be on inside.  It was three-thirty in the morning.  It should be dark, he thought.

His hand shook as he put the key in the lock.  It was a bit chilly.  But it was also warmer than normal for that time of year.  He pushed the door open and went inside and turned on the lights.  He closed the door and stood near it.  It was quiet.  He was not use to the house being so quiet.  The heat was off.  When it was on it was loud.  The house was a little cool.  Normally she would have it warm, he thought.

He walked quietly down the foyer.  Not wanting to wake her.  He turned on the light in the family room and stopped.  It was too quiet.  He looked around and continued down the hallway.  The carpet seemed difficult to walk on.  Each step felt as if he was sinking into the floor.  His feet suddenly felt like deadweight.  Like cinder blocks were attached to them.  His heart beat quickened.  His breathing was laborious.  He hesitated to go forward.  Several times he told himself to keep moving.

He got to the bedroom and looked in.  Light from the hallway barely lit the inside of the room.  But it was enough for him to see.  His wife lay naked on the bed on her stomach.  Her legs splayed far apart.  One leg from the calf down hung off the bed.  She did not look normal.  She did not look like herself.  That was not how she slept.

He swallowed hard.  He wanted to say her name.  But he could not get it out.

Unable to call out her name he walked up to her with his head cocked.  He stopped a few feet away from the foot of the bed.  He turned his head to the side to avoid looking at her.  Slowly he leaned forward and reached out and took hold of her foot and lifted it.  Her foot was limp.  He shook it.  She did not respond.  He shook it again.  It moved as if there were no bones in it.  Panicked, he let go of it.  It dropped to the bed.

He dropped his bag and half-closed his eyes and backed out of the room.  Once in the hallway, he ran back to the front door and snatched it open and ran outside.

He took his cell phone from his pocket and dialed nine-one-one.  The operator answered and asked what his emergency was.  “My wife’s dead,” he said, crying.  The operator asked him what happened to her.  “I just got home and…walked in.  She’s dead.  I felt her foot.  She’s dead.  There’s no movement.  She’s laying naked on the…Oh…I…I…She’s dead!  I need the police!  I need the police!”  The operator told him to try and stay calm.  She asked if he knew how to do CPR.  “She’s dead!  I need the police!  Help me!  Help me!  Please!”  She asked if he could tell her what happened to her.  “I think someone killed her.  She would never lie like that.  She would never…”

Sirens were coming down his street.  Lights were flashing.  “Sir,” the operator said.  Tim was yelling he needed help.  His wife was killed.  Someone killed her.  “Sir.  There’s a car coming to you.  They should be to you.”  She could hear the sirens in the background.  “Do you see them?”  Tim was on his knees crying.  “Sir.  Sir.  Can you see them?”

“I don’t know,” he said.  “I…I think so.  I see them.  Oh…”

“Stay on the line, sir,” she said.  Tim was crying, loudly.  “Sir.”  Tim sat down on the concrete driveway.  His head hung down.  His phone fell from his hand.

Three police cruisers drove up his driveway and stopped in the middle of it.  Six officers with guns drawn jumped out of the cruisers and rushed toward the house.  Tim’s head stayed down as the officers yelled instructions at him.  He put his hands up.  But he would not look up.  One of the officers zipped tied Tim’s hands for his safety and theirs.  They thought he could be the owner of the house.  But, his lack of identification and cooperation made that hard to determine.  One officer thought he may have been in shock.  He put Tim in the back of a patrol car and stayed with him.  He asked Tim who he was and what happened.  Tim would not talk.

Two officers checked the front and back of the house.  The other three entered the house.  The ambulance arrived a few minutes later.  It stopped at the end of the driveway.  Two medics rushed up the driveway carrying a gurney and first response equipment.

After securing the house the officers watched the house until two detectives showed up.

 

I hope you enjoyed Part 5 of DARK SECRET.  If you did, send it to a friend and read a few chapters of The Ripple Series by clicking here on The Ripple Series.

 

Thanks,

Stephen Wallace