Thursday, May 24, 2007

Still, She Loves

My friends, here's the romance mingler I promised. It's nowhere as intense as the last one, and I think it's more of a romance in it's own way. I don't know. Please feel free to let me know what you honestly think. Thanks again for reading!!!!

Still, She Loves

Lucas Pederson

When Emily died, James’s entire world crumbled into a vague nothingness, void of love, empty of life and happiness.

Luckily, Susan, Emily’s best friend, came along. If it hadn’t been for Susan, James just might have spiraled out of sanity and, well…

He didn’t want to think of what might have happened. Not with his six year old daughter so close by. James wondered if she remembered her mother. Granted Rachel had only been a year old at the time James came home and discovered his wife’s body in the bath tub, cold water spraying onto her stiff naked body. She had slipped in the tub while taking a shower, cracked her head open like an egg on the edge of the porcelain tub and died nearly instantly, according to the coroner. James liked to think she didn’t suffer. He prayed she had not suffered.

Still, James had to wonder if his dear precious daughter could remember her mother. They’ve never talked about it, he supposed. The subject just never came up. Maybe that was for the best. It happened five years ago now, and that’s a long time for a child. For James, though, it felt just like yesterday, and that was horrible enough.


James shook his head, cleaning the thought out of his head. He looked over at Rachel sitting on the floor a few feet from the TV. He smiled. She was a beautiful little girl, all blond curls and bright blue eyes.

“Yes?” He said.

“Why does Harry let Malfoy makes fun of him so much?”

His eyes flicked to the TV screen where a movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was playing and then looked at Rachel.

“Because he knows Malfoy is a jerk. And jerks never win. Good people win, honey, good people like Harry there.”

Rachel smiled and said.

“Oh. That’s what I thought.” She turned back to her movie.

James chuckled and got up from the couch. He walked to the study, where his wife, Susan, sat before her computer, clacking away on her new romance novel. He stood in the doorway, watching her work, and falling in love with her all over again. She would never replace Emily, of course, but he loved her just about as much. And Christ she was beautiful!

Her long black hair, deeply tanned skin, her perfect body, revealed every bit of her Native American heritage. Emily had been blond, fair skinned, and not so lean, but Jesus, how she had made his blood hot just by looking at him! She had been his everything. God he missed her. But Emily was gone, Susan was here. Sometimes he had to remind himself of the fact.

Susan stopped typing abruptly and leaned back in her chair, staring at the computer screen, as if she had no idea what it was. James started toward her, and then stopped himself. Susan was thinking. If he interrupted her process now she’d likely lose her train of thought, derail it in fact. No. It’d be better to interrupt her while she was writing, if he had to. Then, at least, her mind isn’t in struggle mode.

She sighed and rubbed at her temples with the tips of her fingers.

James left the study, closing the door quietly behind him as he went.

Susan had one published novel, a quirky romance thriller that sold roughly a gazillion copies before they started seeing each other, and before Emily’s untimely death. It had remained on the top of the bestseller list for three months before finally dropping. Then she published another book, and that one sold even more. With the money she made, he no longer had to work, which was both a blessing and a burden. Sometimes he got bored just sitting around the house and not doing much of anything. Well, he had his small wood working business. But that wasn’t much of anything. He wished he was a writer too, then maybe he’s be busier.

An hour later Susan emerged from her study and walked into the living room, where James sat reading the morning paper and Rachel began watching another Harry Potter movie from the floor.

James looked up. Susan looked tired, drained.

“Hey sexy.” He said. She smiled.

“Dullard.” She said and plopped down beside him on the couch. She rested her head on his shoulder.
Dullard. She was always using that writer’s vocabulary on him. But he loved it. He loved her.

“Stuck, are we?” He asked and set the paper aside.

“Yeah.” She sighed.

James glanced at Rachel, and then at the TV screen. The movie was still working through the beginning, Harry’s still stuck in his horrible uncles’ house.

James said.

“Care for a refresher, then?”

Her head lifted from his shoulder and he looked at her. They’re eyes fixed. James felt his heart flutter, and his genitals stir in his jeans. Susan smiled. She had such a sexy smile. They kissed deeply. Then she whispered.

“Yes., I think I would.”

They left Rachel to watch her movie and hurried up the stairs to their bedroom. James locked the door behind him, just in case his little girl came investigating. That probably wouldn’t happen, Rachel loved the Harry Potter movies. She’d sit there on the floor until it was over.

Susan giggled as he took her in his arms. Again, they stared into each other’s eyes.

“You’re so beautiful.” He said.

She smiled up at him.

“So are you.” She said and they kissed.

Her tongue slipped into his mouth, his into hers. Joined, they became one in that instant. When their lips parted James wasn’t surprised by the throbbing erection wanting to burst out of his jeans.

Susan helped him out in that regard though. She unbuttoned his pants, unzipped the fly and pulled them down as he lifted off the blue t-shirt she was wearing. They stood, he in his boxers, his penis large and swollen, she in her bra. He could tell how taut her nipples were, even through the bra’s white fabric.

They embraced, kissing. He undid her bra from the back, as she gently gripped his manhood in one caressing hand. James shivered and then she left his lips and pulled down his boxers, her breasts jiggling nicely as she did. She came back up kissed him and then before he knew it they were on the bed. She stripped off her own jeans and her plain cotton panties. He pulled off his t-shirt. Then she was on top of him, and when he slipped inside of her sweetness, he couldn’t suppress the shuddering moan that escaped his mouth. The air about them seemed to thicken with passion. A swirling happiness that consumed them both at sent them into a world where only they existed.


“Whoa.” He said. Susan stopped, looking down at him and smiling.

He needed to stop, needed to let himself settle a little before continuing on. Otherwise he’d blow it, literally. But he only needed to stop once, thank God.

As Susan climaxed, so then did James let himself climax too. He liked the feeling of them both having orgasms at the same time, it made everything else small by comparison. And it just felt so good, so right.

Just as they were finishing up, both very satisfied, there came a loud shriek…from inside the room.

Susan’s eyes widened. James laid there, his heart suddenly quickening in his chest. His first thought was that of Rachel, somehow she had gotten into the bedroom and caught them making love. But then the shriek came again, something so shrill and so menacing that not even a six year old girl could produce it. Susan rolled off and James sat up quickly.

“Wha-“ He began and the words melted from his lips and died in the air.

Beside him, Susan gasped.

Standing in front of the door, was Emily, James’s dead wife. She was crying, he saw. But, but that couldn’t be. Emily was dead; she had gone to whatever after life awaited her. She wasn’t a ghost. And if she was then how come he hasn’t been aware of her until now? It made no sense anyway you looked at it. Ghosts weren’t real either. Yet, here she was. Emily. She wasn’t transparent. She looked solid, not like any ghost he has heard of.

“James,” Emily sobbed and took a step forward.

He shook his head. This couldn’t be happening. But it must be, because Susan was seeing Emily too. Susan spoke, her words slow, trembling.


Emily’s eyes jerked to where Susan sat naked and gaping.

“You!” Emily cried. “You stole him from me! You stole my husband!”

Both James and Susan sat there, totally abashed. Emily bared her teeth at Susan and hissed like a snake. What the hell was that about?

“Emily? Is it really you?” James asked, and was great pleased to see her face soften a bit. She looked at him, nodded and began to sob again.
“But-“ Emily interrupted him curtly.

“I’m dead, I know. I’m dead.”

“Oh my God, Emily.” Susan said in an awestruck voice.

Emily straightened at the sound of Susan’s voice. Her face contorted into one of malice and rage.

“Shut up you bitch! Shut up!” Emily roared and the entire room shook violently. The windows exploded inward, spraying shards of glass everywhere. Susan screamed, started to get up off the bed and suddenly she was flying through the air, as if tossed by some mighty, giant hand.

Just before she collided with the dresser, her body was jerked away and thrown back onto the bed where she sobbed uncontrollably. Emily began to giggle shrilly.

“Stop!” James shouted, and Emily’s giggling dried up at once. She looked at him, her eyes beginning to weep again.

James stood from the bed, slipped on his jeans and slowly walked toward his dead wife. His heart ached for her, but something was different now. Emily had never in her life been as cruel as she had just to Susan. Something was off here. This couldn’t be Emily.

But as he walked toward her her composure slackened, her eyes turned out tears like waterfalls. She began to trembled and sob before him. Both of the women he loved were sobbing now. James stopped a about five feet from her. Yes. It was Emily, but oh, how angry she was. He could see her anger pulsing just under her skin, could actually see it!

“J-James.” Emily sobbed and dropped to her knees. She looked up at him crying, unable to speak now as the sobs racked her.

From behind him he heard Susan also say his name.

James, now not afraid, but confused, took a few steps forward and knelt down in front of his dead wife. He reached out and touched her tear soaked face. She was cold, but not icy, as he had expected. All the movies and books were wrong about that. Ghosts aren’t always icy cold. Emily gasped at his touch and clasped his hand to her face. She closed her eyes, and James found himself closing his own; images of their past life wafted by in his mind. Images of their wedding, of Rachel being born. All were good images, strong images. Then he opened his eyes. Emily was staring at him, her mouth quivering.

“I still love you, James.” She said.

All his strength, everything, dissolved just then. He broke down, unable to quite the weeping that spewed out of him. They embraced, becoming one with each other once again. They kissed, long and good. Yes. Good.

When they parted, Emily looked over at Susan, who was still sting on the bed naked, still crying. Emily sighed. Her eye drifted back to him.

“I-I had to come back to tell you I love you. I still love you, even though I’m dead.”

James was both horrified and pleased to hear this.

“I love you.” He breathed.

This brought a bright smile to Emily’s weepy face. They hugged again, kissed, more passionately now, and then parted. They stood from the floor, holding each other’s hands.

Emily turned to Susan on the bed. She smiled. Susan, her crying almost completely gone sat, eyes wide, shaking. Emily said.

“I’m so sorry. I-I’m just so sad that this happened. I miss all of you so much.” Emily’s eyes fixed on Susan.

“Thank you for taking care of my family, Suse. Thank you for giving James someone to love.”

Susan started crying again, although not in a terrified way anymore. This, James saw, was pure simple sorrow. They were best friends before Emily died, James never thought about how much Susan must mss Emily too.

Emily nodded at Susan and turned back to James. He saw that she was fading a little, growing transparent before his eyes, losing her solidness.

“I’ve gotta go now.” Emily said.

“Em.” James managed and tried to take her hands in his again. This time he grasped only cool air. Emily smiled.

“Tell our lovely little Rachel I love her. Tell her I will always be with her.” James agreed at once.

“And you James, I will always be with you.”

Emily faded into a fine mist. And just before that mist evaporated into nothing, James swore he heard the voice of his dead wife saying:

“I still love you.”

The End

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Another mingle with Romance

My friends,

I think I will be posting a new romance mingler either Thursday or Friday, since my last rather awkward experiment below turned out not to have enough romance. Romance isn't sex, I know that, although it does play a key, that I know as well. This next attempt will have more romance in it, but it will also mingle with another genre, and since I love horror, it will have a horror aspect to it.

The story itself is nearly finished, but I have my day job to contend with this week more so than last week. This week is my long week, so since I have Thursday and Friday off, the story will appear either of those two days. So keep a look out for it.

I want to thank everyone again for their very helpful and very honest feedback. It's helping me along, you see. You are all special to me and it's a joy to have you all reading! Thanks for being my friends, thanks for wanting to read. Later.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Haunted Romance

Here's the romance story I promised, sorry it's a little late. But be warned, it's no regular romance story. Even though it might seem that way at first....Enjoy, my friends. And remember, I want honesty. Thanks again!

Haunted Romance


Lucas Pederson

They kissed and a zing of pleasure passed through him. Her hands went to the buckle of his belt, undid it, and then her fingers were on the button. He moaned deep in his throat, he couldn’t help it. Its been a long time since he’s had a woman and he wasn’t quite sure how to act, or what to say.

Their lips parted and she had his pants down before he even fully realized it. Then, yep, there went his boxers. He stood before her naked.

“Oh.” She gasped.

Then she had him in her mouth, and oh, how wonderfully exquisite! This time the moan slipped out of his mouth and lingered in the warm air of the night. He tilted his head back, smiling, giving into the feeling, the love, the passion, the-


Kevin jerked awake, breathing heavily in the cool darkness of his bedroom.

“Turn that fuckin thing off.” His wife, Helen, mumbled beside him and rolled away. Nothing new there.

He shifted his position and felt a hot, sticky warmth in his boxers. Uh-oh. Kevin glanced over at Helen, swallowed and quickly slipped out of bed. I had a wet dream, he thought dazedly as he shuffled for the bathroom, his penis erect, protruding out before him like a large hitchhiker’s thumb. A wet dream. And it wasn’t the first.

Kevin cleaned himself up, threw the boxers in the wash machine along with various other clothes, and turned the thing on. When it whirred to life he turned and hurried into the kitchen to eat a quick breakfast. Helen would give him grief if she knew about his wet dreams. She always gave him grief about everything, as a matter of fact.

As he ate, the dream resurfaced in his mind. Floating there like a fine steamy mist. Every night for the past year the woman in the dream would come, but every time it would be different. Different sex positions, sometimes oral sex. Helen has never given Kevin oral sex. She claimed it degrading to woman, absolutely disgusting! Mostly, though, the dreams would consist of her, the dream woman, and him sitting down and talking. Even then he’d awaken with hot spunk filling his boxers. She always told him she’d like to get to know him better. She wanted to be more than just lovers. Hell, he didn’t even know her name so how could he go any deeper than lengthy conversations and sex? Ah, but she knew his, didn’t she? Oh yes. She spoke it more than once in many different dreams of the past. Still, how come he didn’t know her name? After a moment he chuckled to himself.

“Just a dream.” He told the empty kitchen. A dream.

“She’s not real.” Yet, she felt very real. Perhaps it was only him wanting her to be real that made it feel so real.

Kevin finished his cereal and left for work. And at various times of the day, his mind would drift to the most recent dream, and then the woman. The sexy, deliciously loving woman in his dreams. On the car ride home, after making a little pit-stop, he didn’t much listen to the radio, but heard her voice, saying:

“Oh.” Over and over again.

Once he was home, however, the dream and the woman faded back into his mind. That was okay, though, because now he needed to think of Helen. Today was their tenth anniversary, after all. And besides, he truly did love Helen. There were times, of course, he wished he hadn’t married her. Times that grow more frequent with each passing year. It was during these times he actually loathed her completely.

Kevin entered the house, smiling, because, loath or not, this was a special day, and he really did love her still. He loved her more than she knew. Gripping the box in his dirty jeans pocket, which he had picked up while at the pit-stop, Kevin started forward.

His heart sank a moment later when he heard the vacuum cleaner whir to life. She was cleaning…again. The woman seemed to always be cleaning. Perhaps she did it to avoid him, he didn’t know, but it drove him fucking nuts every time. Because every time she started to clean, she ignored him.

He let go of the small velvety box in his pocket and sighed. He’d have to wait now. Helen hated to be interrupted while she was cleaning, God knew why. Well, they were supposed to go out for dinner at nice restaurant tonight. Maybe then he’d give her her gift.

Instead of going to her and saying hello, he went upstairs and took a long hot shower.

Five o’clock that evening, Kevin dressed in a pair of tan kakis and a white dress shirt. They got into her car with out a word to one another. This was the way Helen liked it. Kevin’s car wasn’t good enough for a night out. His was a work vehicle, too trashy in Helen’s eyes to be out and about with her in it.

He turned the ignition and the engine started. He looked over at Helen then, sitting there frowning out the windshield. She was forever frowning. She was gorgeous, as always, but tonight she looked brilliant in her blue summer dress. His eyes floated to her breast, back up to her face. It took him a moment to realize she was looking at him now, glaring.

“Well?” She said. “We going, or are you gonna stare at my tits all day?”

Without a word, Kevin put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway.

Half an hour later they pulled into the restaurants’ parking lot. A nice little Italian job by the name of Biolli’s They’ve never eaten here, but Kevin heard the food was excellent.

They got a booth and sat down.

“May I get you two something to drink while you look over the menus?” Their waitress asked, pleasantly smiling at him.

Kevin smiled brightly back and began to say: “The finest wine you carry.”, when Helen piped up.

“I’ll have a Diet Coke.”

At a sudden loss for words, Kevin gapped at her. Helen impatiently gestured fro him to order his drink. He sighed and looked up at the waitress.

“I’ll have a Bud Lite, if you got it.”

The waitress smiled, nodded and jotted down his order on her pad. Guess they do, he thought absently. The waitress left, and Kevin turned to his lovely, but sour wife. She sat there, scowling down at the menu. He knew what she was going to say before it even spewed out of her mouth.

“This place is so expensive.”

To Helen, everything was expensive. Kevin frowned and said.

“It’s a nice restaurant, honey, not Hardee’s You’re paying for good food.” He honestly didn’t want to rouse another fight, God knew there has been plenty, but he couldn’t just sit here and let her ruin their anniversary like she was ruining their marriage.

She looked up and the glare returned to stare him down. In some ways he was terrified of her. He just didn’t know what to expect sometimes. He wondered what ever happened to the Helen he had married ten years ago. That happy, care free young woman, who always opted fro a great time. Did he do this to her? Did he make her this sour woman who’d rather clean and bitch at him than have a good time with the man she married? God, he hoped not. Yet, he wondered. Was it his fault?

“You’re nothing but an alcoholic.” Helen snapped.
“It’s one beer, Helen. First in three months. Relax. Besides,” He smiled. “It’s a special day.”

Helen looked at him for a long time before she shrugged, looked down at her menu and said.

“Just another day.”

Kevin gaped at her. He wanted to reach across the table and slap her has hard as he could. How could she be so damn cold?

Their drinks came and the conversation died. Kevin ordered another Bud Lite after his first, and then another, and another, one more. He didn’t eat anything, and instead of pulling out the velvet box to show Helen what he bought for her, something he couldn’t afford when they got married, but could now, Kevin settled back and thought about the woman in his dream, and how he wished she was sitting there in Helen’s place right now. Why, wouldn’t that be wonderful. Yes, it would.

They got home at around eight o’clock, Kevin a bit tipsy from too much beer and not enough to eat. Helen marched up the stairs, mumbling to herself about what a wretched night this had been. Kevin watched after her as she went, thinking all the while how much he hated her just now.

“I’ll be up in a minute.” He called after her.

Helen paused a couple steps from the top, spun, began to tell him something, probably for him to stay the fuck downstairs until she’s asleep, and then she lost her balance. She went tumbling down the stairs. Kevin screamed. He started up the stairs to catch her when he heard the thick sickening snap of her neck break. Helen rolled into him and he gathered her up quickly. She was limp in his arms as he moved her from the stairs to the bottom landing.

Kevin laid her on the landing, sobbing. Her head was craned in an impossible angle.

“Oh Jesus.” He gasped and felt for a pulse. Nothing. He listened for breathing. Again, there was nothing.

He stood, and backed quickly away from her. Dead. His Helen. His Helen was dead. Kevin, feeling hot tears prickle his eyes, went for the phone to call for an ambulance. Half way there, he stopped. What was he thinking? If he called anyone they might think he did this to her. It was absurd, sure, but still, people especially ones of authority, wouldn’t see it as absurd and would dub him a murderer in a day. He turned to look at Helen’s twisted body there on the bottom landing, and shivered. What the hell was he supposed to do with her then?

Kevin plopped down on the couch and cupped his hands over his face.
An hour later, he fell asleep sobbing on the couch.

“She’s dead.” He told the woman standing before him naked, the warm night air lifting her raven dark hair.

“Who? You’re wife?” She asked.

“Yeah. She fell down the stairs.”

The woman smiled a little, but said nothing. That was okay, Kevin knew what she was thinking. Helen, in a way, deserved what she got. Then suddenly the dream woman’s face brightened.

“Kevin.” She said after a moment. He looked at her. They were standing in his living room now, and looking at the body of his dead wife. How they had gotten here was beyond him. But suddenly he thought hew wasn’t dreaming anymore.

“Yes?” He said.

“I can be real again.” She said and turned to him. She was still naked and he thought about how he’d love to ravage that flawless body, even in the presence of his dead wife.

“What do you mean?” He asked.

She smiled and nodded toward Helen.

“I can live in her body. Her own spirit has moved on. She’s truly gone. But I can have her body as my own, if you want that.”

“So you’re a ghost then?” He asked. “That’s how you got into my dreams?”

“I’m a spirit.” She said. “A ghost is lost. I was never lost, I love this world better is all. Besides, I fell in love with you the first moment I saw you when you and that woman bought this house.”

“Two years ago.” He said, remembering the day.

A tornado had taken their old home in Manchester. Not long after, they came here, to Ryan, and bought this beautiful two story house.

“Yes.” The woman spirit said. She looked at Helen. “I never did like her, even then. She was so mean to you.”

“She wasn’t always that way.” Kevin said, then added. “I’m not sleeping anymore, am I?”

“No.” She said. She went to him and they embraced. They kissed for a long time. Kevin felt his groin stir with excitement and pushed her gently away.

He looked at Helen and sighed.

“Okay.” He said.

“What?” She asked.

“Take her body. But can you live? Her neck’s broke.”

“When I enter everything will be restored.” The spirit woman said and started for the body.

She stopped and gave him a happy smile. Yes. He was in love her all right. And he believed she truly loved him too. The spirit woman turned away and walked to Helen’s corpse.

They sat at the very same booth at the very same restaurant. They smiled at each other, unable to keep their eyes off of each other. When the waitress came around, he ordered for them a finest bottle of wine.

After they had ate and most of the wine was gone, Kevin brought out the velvet box meant for his one true love. He opened the box and reveal the contents to the pretty dark haired woman sitting across from him. She gasped. Kevin smiled. Before coming home from work, he had stopped at the jewelry store and bought Helen a four carrot diamond anniversary ring.

The woman took the ring and slid it onto her ring finger, now void of any other rings. This was to be a start for them

“Will you marry me?” He asked quietly.

She giggled happily.

“Yes. I will, I will. I love you so much!”

They leaned over the table and kissed. Once seated again they stared at each other. A few minutes passed and Kevin asked.

“By they way, what’s your name?”

She giggled again. Her green eyes fixed on his.

“Just call me Helen.” She said softly and took a sip of wine, her eyes never leaving his.

Kevin nodded.

Helen, he could live with Helen.

The End

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mr. Romantic

My friends,

I've been dabbling in the romantic genre for a few months now. I am under the impression that there are very few male romance writers out there. Kate has told me of a couple and I just bought an interesting one by Nicholas Sparks today.

I think there are less male romance writers out there than woman because men have a harder time with the subject of intimacy and sex. Perhaps we are embarrassed to write about something so deeply passionate and difficult as the romance genre. Perhaps (should I say it? sure why not.) we men are scared of romance in an odd subconscious way. For some of us it's very much conscious. A lot of men have trouble either being romantic with their partner, or have no clue how to go about it, which I think are one in the same.

As for myself, I don't do too bad int hat department, I don't think. My wife does brag from time to time about the day I had spread rose peddles on the floor, forming a path upstairs, which had been twinkling with various candles I place here and there. She had gotten home from work, walked in and followed the path upstairs, where I was waiting, massage oil read, the bed sprinkled with more rose peddles. Okay, so it's not that original, but hey, I think it turned out pretty good. And for the four years we've been married I've done quite a few romantic things up until this date.

But writing a romance? Nope. I've never even tried. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I'm such a fan of horror I can't bring myself to read any romance at all.

For my next post I will posting a short romance story. This is a first, so please, don't laugh...well, at least not before you read it. There will be one difference, however. I am going to mingle the romance genre with another, as an experiment.

I will post the story either Sunday or Monday. Let me know if you want to read it. It's always great having all of you take a gander and throwing out your feedback. I'm so grateful to have such caring friends. So grateful...

Sunday, May 6, 2007

First Sentence Contribution: Lights Out

This, my friends, is something different from what I normally write. Take a look see and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Lights Out


Lucas Pederson

Beyond all I’ve seen before, this was the worst.
Kevin covered the little girl’s body up with the white sheet and stood up straight. He looked at me, his eyes red and puffy from crying. Murder was horrible, as was rape, but both combined upon a nine year old girl was horrifying, sickening. Even I had a hard time keeping back the tears and the sobs, and the vomit that wanted to spew out of me in gouts.

My partner sighed and walked away, hands stuffed in the pockets of his tan slacks. I watched him go through the front door, and then turned back to the small shape under the white sheet, now so blood soaked it was nearly scarlet in most places. I swallowed down a hard lump in my throat and squatted down beside the body. I didn’t want to lift the sheet again, I didn’t want to see that poor little mangled body lying there. I didn’t want to see the blood, or her battered face.

But I had to. If I was to look for clues, I’d have to lifted off that bloody sheet and look, damn it. No matter how much I didn’t want to. I started lifting it off the girl’s head, her blond hair now the color of puréed strawberries, clung to the sheet as I pulled, when someone spoke next to me.

“Leave it alone, Curt. Just leave it alone.”

I started and stood. Standing beside me was John Harding, my captain. I frowned at him. It wasn’t like the cap to stop an investigation like this.

“What do you mean stop?” I asked, genuinely bewildered.

He looked at me, and I suppose I knew the answer all ready. It was there, in his sincere hazel eyes. I sighed and waved a hand down at the shape under the sheet.

“I’ve gotta do it, John. I gotta look for clues.”

“Let forensics do it.” John said, his voice rough. Then-

“C’mon. Lets go outside.”

I stood taken aback. It wasn’t like the cap to put a halt on an investigation to let forensics do the dirty work right away. Usually we called forensics in for homicides anyway, hell most every time, but they mainly dusted for prints and looked around with UV lights until we needed them to take samples form a body. At least, that’s how we worked. I know other departments in different states and counties let the forensics people do the searching for clues bit. It probably didn’t matter either way, but I liked to look for the clues. That way I knew I didn’t miss anything vital to the case.

“She was raped.” I said and saw John flinch at that.

“How do you-“

“How else do you explain her being naked, John?” I asked curtly.

“Easy Curt.” John said. He put a hand on my shoulder.

“Let’s go outside, let the For’s handle the searching.” The cap liked to call forensic folk For’s. Ah well, whatever tripped his trigger.

I didn’t want to go outside, but I let myself be led that way without a fuss. Maybe it would do me some good to take in some fresh air. Maybe.

I spotted Kevin sitting on the hood of my car, a Toyota Camry. His head was down and I could tell from the stoop the man was crying again. Kevin had two daughters of his own at home and I imagined he couldn’t believe someone would do this sort thing to a little nine year old girl. What kind of twisted fuck could be so evil? I knew of a few, now behind bars because of me, but I knew a few all right.

I walked over to my partner as the cap spoke to some of the forensic fellows. Probably telling them to do the searching this time. It still baffled me though; John never stopped me from doing my job. But of course, we have only had one child murder in this county since I’ve been here, thirteen years now. But that one hadn’t been as bad as this. I don’t think anything could be. Still, I had to wonder why he would stop me like that.

Kevin looked up as I approached. He quickly wiped his eyes and slid off of my hood.

“Sorry.” He said, still wiping his eyes with backs of his hands.

“Don’t be.” I said. “Things like that, they’re hard to look at.”

“Yeah. But I shoulda toughed it out.” Kevin said.

“Doesn’t matter anyway. The cap’s getting forensics to do the dirty work. All we gotta do is wait.”

“Forensics?” Kevin said, frowning, his tears subsiding.

I nodded.

“But we-“
“The cap wants them to do it this time. We’ll act as back-up, I guess.”

“Back-up.” Kevin said, his face twisting in a grimace. I knew what he felt. We were supposed to be the ones up front. We were supposed to do the job. Forensic was supposed to be the back-up.

“Yep.” I said and turned to look at the nice suburban ranch style house.

The girl hadn’t been apart of the family that lived here. Which was odd, because the girl was killed here. IT made no sense, plus, we didn’t have a name to go by. Someone had kidnapped the poor thing, brought her to this house while the real family was off on vacation, Disney Land, and raped and killed her. I hope for the little girl’s sake she had been dead before the sonofbitch did the raping. Actually, I hoped for all of our sakes.

I wasn’t married and I didn’t have any children, but it still sickened and frightened me when it was a kid that was forced to suffer. Even an adult is sad to see, however not as emotionally frightening.

“So what do we do now?” Kevin asked me.

“Don’t know yet. I’ll go talk to the cap and-“

Crack! Crack! Gunshots, from inside the house.

I froze, for a moment unsure if I really heard those two identical cracks. Then-


“What the fuck?” Kevin breathed next to me.

“Ah shit.” I said and drew my piece. I started for the house.

Uniform officers were doing the same. Not far behind me I heard Kevin saying something about the little girl’s murderer. Could that be? Could the guy have been hiding in the house the entire time? No way. We did a thorough check of the place before settling in, it was standard procedure, but maybe-

Screaming from inside the house. A man, screaming for people to stay back. There was something about that voice that sounded familiar. A uniform mounted the stoop, got just inside the doorway, then-

Crack! Half of his head exploded into a reddish cloud. Bits of bone and flesh and brain matter sprayed into my face. I shrieked, I couldn’t help it, and moved away, wiping the crud off of me frantically.

“Jesus.” Kevin said, somewhere close.
Men were shouting, some were screaming. I felt more than saw all the commotion about me. Officers running back and forth, some to their cruisers to radio in the situation. We didn’t need back up, there was more than enough here, but when a shooter went berserk, we had to radio it in.

I got as much of the brains and blood off my face and turned to Kevin.

“The back door. C’mon!”

He nodded. I was happy to see all the sadness was gone now. What replaced it was a coldness we police often get when faced with a difficult task. His side arm was drawn.

We ran around to the back of the house and to the back door. I tried the knob. Locked.

“Shit.” Kevin said. “What now?”

I shrugged. There was only one thing to do.

I took a couple steps back, and kicked the door in. I went in first, Kevin covering me. I entered the kitchen. No one there. Outside I could here people shouting. It was like a damned circus out there.

Crouching low, I made my way to the archway and peered around the corner, into the living room.

There, I saw the shooter, the murderer I had no doubt. Three forensic people lay sprawled and dead as could be around the like wise dead little girl. The man with the gun had his back to us, so he must not have heard me kick in the door. That was good. I moved slowly into the room, straightened. I might have been safer behind the corner of the archway, but I had a better shot right here, in the open.

I didn’t have to look behind me to know Kevin had my back.

“Freeze asshole.” I said.

The man, dressed in a familiar grey sport coat and grey slacks, jumped. In his right hand he held what appeared to be a police issued Berretta. What the hell?

The man turned around slowly, and even before he did, I knew who it was. Captain John Harding.

I squinted, not sure I believed what I was seeing.

“Cap?” I said.

He brought the gun up quickly, but not quick enough. I shot him twice in the chest before he could pull the trigger. His face switched from one of lunacy to one of surprise, and he crumbled to the floor.

I ran over to him and kicked the gun out of his hand.

“Curt.” The captain said and spewed up a gout of blood.

“Mother fucker.” Kevin said, awestruck.

“Curt. I had to, I had to do it. She made me.”

“What? Who?” I asked.

“The…the girl. She wanted me to rape her and kill her here, and shoot everybody.”

The cap shuddered, hitched in a ragged breath, and then blew it out as his body fell limp. He was dead.

“Shit.” I said, shivering.

“The cap.” Kevin said. “He-“

“Don’t say it.” I said. “Not right now.”

It was true though, two days later the semen samples revealed the DNA of one John Q. Harding. We never knew why the cap had raped and killed the little girl, who’s name we found out later was Victoria Flemming, or why he had started shooting his own people. Perhaps some details are better left in the dark. Better to leave the lights off, than to flip the switch and uncover something too vile to look at without going insane first. Much better.

The End

I'll be posting the links to great stories, as they come in, below. The new one by Kate Sterling has been added under Susan Miller's wonderful contribution. If you haven't done so all ready I suggest you go do it now. You won't regret it.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Results are In! First Sentence Assignment

Hopefully more will contribute to this little assignment, but so far we have one who wrote a pretty neat little story. Go check it out and leave you feedback. It's really good! I've decided to drop the deadline on this assignment. So, if you still want to contribute you can at any time. Thanks to all! Oh, and I will be contributing to this in due time, if you are wondering. Later! An original Susan Miller masterpiece! Go now, and let your senses tingle. Yum. Go see for yourself. Those green eyes! Prepare to be frightened.