Fiction Friday: [Coffee & Consequences]

My mind spun and I tried to grasp at any thought, any memory to give me the sense of feeling grounded. Feeling solid. Instead, years of worry and pain bore down on my chest, smothering my urge to scream. My urge to flee. The stranger’s eyes were unyielding as they locked onto my own. His words continued to bounce around my confused mind.

I had noticed him earlier, watching me. My morning paper and the rich, smooth aroma of roasting coffee beans were all that separated the space between us. I took comfort in the tip tapping of fingers on laptop keys as fellow coffee shop patrons worked on future bestsellers or, more likely, checked the latest tweets. Potential witnesses if this man proved to be crazy.

The jingly notes of the Christmas music faded under the crashing waves pulsing in my ears. Blood surged at the insistence of my pounding heart as he walked toward me. By the time he reached my table, the low murmur of coffee shop chatter drowned under the sound of my own heartbeat.

“I’m sorry to bother you,” he had said. “But I have a message. She’s…she’s quite, um, insistent.”

I felt a pinch between my brows as I opened my mouth to speak. After a moment he must have realized that nothing was going to come from my parted lips and he continued.

“Anya wants me to tell you that she hopes you and Darren are happy.”

His eyes swam with kindness and a hint of pride. My mouth eased open further as if to catch the tears swelling too quickly to the surface. A smile spread across his face and I realized he believed he had delivered comforting news from beyond.

Pressing my lips together, I swallow down the bark of fear throbbing in my throat. With great effort, I was only able to curl up the right side of my mouth, but the lie of it was too much and it fell back into a grim, straight line.

“Thank you,” I finally managed to say and he walked away.

His steps were light. Those of a man who had done some good. I knew my steps would never be that free again as the weight of fear now pumped through my veins like concrete.

…she hopes you and Darren are happy.

Heat prickled my skin, but I shivered as I recalled the stranger’s words. Words meant to ease the suffering of loss, but I knew all too well Anya’s true intention. What she had implied.

If she knew that I was now involved with her husband—her widow—then she surely knew that I was the one who killed her, too.

Fiction Friday: [The Pursuit of Love]

[It's October...what better time to get a little creepy! Enjoy!]

Sarah’s skin was cold as ice. And it wasn’t from the chilled air cutting straight through her thin silk dress.

When he picked her up for their date it was easy to see she wanted to look perfect for him. He had witnessed her going on one failed date after another, all the while gathering information to craft each step in his plan to win her over. To make her feel special. To make her his.


Now her unblinking gaze stretched toward the sky and her parted lips passed no air between them. The large swath of purples and pinks circling her neck, a harsh reminder that blood had once flowed through her veins. Her stillness sent a surge of electricity through his body. A satisfaction in knowing that her last happy memory was provided by him.

He posed her—hands clasped behind her head, legs crossed at the ankles—so he could lie next to her with each visit. Share with her the ins and outs of his day. He knew it couldn’t last. That their relationship would eventually end, so he relished in every second he had with her.

In a couple of days, three teenagers would stumble upon her pale white body nestled amongst the warm tones of the fall foliage. For the teens the scars of what they saw would take years to heal.

For him, healing would begin only in the pursuit of his next true love.

Fiction Friday: [Owusu]

It wasn’t a body as much as pieces. Four to be exact. Two arms and two legs. And they weren’t the first sets of limbs to be found. Discovery of the first had sent the media into a frenzy. With the second, serial killer was splashed across every headline and flung from every news anchors lips. After the third, they gave the killer a name…The Butcher. This new find might just send the city into a full blown panic.

The call came in a little after 2 am. They called in Detective Anita Owusu, who wasn’t on duty. She was not a happy camper, drumming her perfectly manicured nails impatiently against the steering wheel the entire ride. The street lights would occasionally glint off the purply-gray polish on her squared shaped nails, drawing her attention.

“What’s the deal?” she asked Suarez who approached her as she arrived. “This isn’t our case. Why are we here?”

Her partner rubbed the back of his neck and couldn’t quite meet her eyes. Her stomach fluttered, nervousness wasn’t an emotion she’d ever seen him wear.


Following Marino’s voice, she looked over to find him standing next to Jackson in the tall grass. They glowed, spotlighted by the work lights that formed a harsh line against the blackness surrounding them. Suarez grabbed her arm when she took a step toward them. She waited for him to speak, but instead he pushed up her sleeve, revealing the tattoo on her left wrist.

“What’s going on, Suarez?”

Instead of an answer, he studied her face for a moment before dropping her arm and heading toward the scene. An uneasy feeling trailed behind her as she followed him. Marino and Jackson stood awkwardly as they drew closer.

“Sorry for bringing you down,” Jackson said. “It’s just…”

He exchanged an uncomfortable look with Marino. Then, they both looked to Suarez.

“Just show her,” Suarez said.

She hated being treated like the odd man out and after all her years on the force she didn’t deserve it. The three of them not only knew something, they worried it would upset her. The idea that it was because she was a woman made her angry.

“You got me outta bed for this, so let’s see it,” she said with an edge.

Marino and Jackson parted, allowing her a clear view of the limbs that lay in a square on the grass. The legs parallel to each other and the arms, the same. Slender and delicate, they were undoubtedly female. Just like all the others. Suarez passed her a pair of gloves and Owusu knelt down next to the morbid display as she slid her hands into them. The first thing she noticed was how clean the cuts were. The media’s moniker was even more accurate than they knew.

Starting with the leg on her left, she scanned them each carefully before settling on the left arm at her feet. She was used to tamping down any outward indications of panic, but it was gathering and swelling to a level that she couldn’t control. She tried to swallow, but her throat had gone dry. The sound of her jackhammering heart pounded in her ears.

“Owusu?” Suarez sounded tinny and distant.

She jumped up and ripped the glove off of her left hand and pushed up her sleeve. Holding her arm out in front of her, the butchered limb lay below, out of focus. She studied the black Enso circle that surrounded the open heart made of barbed wire at her wrist. She had designed it herself, an overly stylized reminder of her past. Of how protecting her heart needed to be a priority. Even more telling, the tiny “m&d” that filled the small gap where the circle didn’t quite meet. An homage to the first to break her heart. Her mom and dad.

She looked down at the ground and back to her wrist several times. The tattoo on the bodiless limb was an exact match. There was no doubt. She lowered her arm in an effort to hide the shaking, but she wasn’t able to stop the tears. She watched as they splashed down, striking the victims hand. A scream formed in her throat as they rolled down toward the perfectly manicured, square shaped, purply-gray nails.

Fiction Friday: [Victim | Killer]

I dig my nails deeper and rake them across the skin. These are my last moments. I have to make them count.

I’m placing a lot of faith in the procedural dramas I love to watch. Loved to watch?  Whatever. They’ll do it. They’ll scrape under my nails and I know they’ll find you.

So I dig. And I claw. And I pack as much DNA into my nail beds as I can.

My lungs start to burn from neglect. My eyes bulge in their sockets and I struggle to blink. My heartbeat has grown so weak, I can’t even feel the thump of it in my chest.

I want to be proud of staying clearheaded enough to ensure that you’ll be caught. But, as coal colored circles make their way toward my pupils, it isn’t pride I feel. It’s complete and utter sadness for the life I won’t have the chance to live.

Damn, I think.

Then the darkness overtakes me.

She digs her nails even deeper into my arms. The burning is going to go away, but I doubt the scars ever will.  

Choking wasn’t the best choice, but it wasn’t like I’d planned it out. This was a long time coming, so when the opportunity presented itself, I had to take it.

Ugh, she won’t stop digging. I wish she would die already.

Her perfect face is flushed in various shades of red. It’s pointless for her mouth to be open so wide. She can’t scream…or breathe. I swear I can see the light dimming in her eyes.  

This is her fault. She ruined our relationship. She’d been my perfect little baby. I raised her alone and we’d been so close. Then, she became a woman, became my competition. Men used to look at me the way they look at her. I…I think she’s gone.

Damn, I think.

This doesn’t feel as good as I thought it would.