The Act of Murder

This is my horrible attempt of an opening chapter for a mystery/crime story – Enjoy!

***

Her voice resonated throughout the quiet dimly lit room of men sat at the edge of their seats, before a loud roar of applause cut through the silence and showered Cara Reinsworth; her rouge lips curved into a smile. The air was filled with the desire of the many men seated before her, all admiring the the way her velvet red dress hugged her figure so tightly and the manner in which her golden hair enticed them in the same way their own filthy golden wealth did to them.

As she walked off the stage many eyes continued to follow her; all like wolves hidden in the shadows of the light, preying on little red riding hood. But Cara preferred her own twist on the tale. As she gracefully made her way down the stairs her eyes surveyed the room for an interesting night, she savoured the hungry eyes that beckoned for her attention and begged her to bless them in early hours of the morning. She relished the prospect that so many filthy rich men desired her pure presence and that within minutes she’d have them at her feet and their money between her fingers. Yet she knew that tonight like many others, she had little control over the cast of this story; she only had a role to play and one job at hand.

Thomas sat there, patiently. The gangsters, dirty tricksters and dishonest scammers all surrounded him, gawking at her; he was practically invisible and perfectly integrated into the shady scene. The night was young but smoke clouded the room; glasses were being filled and hushed secrets of racketeering floated amongst the heavy waves of drunken laughter and yelling. Those who were not huddled suspiciously together were seated and captivated – not by her beautiful voice but her tempting lips. He ran his fingers around the rim of the bottle as he vigilantly observed her. He was about to play a risky game, one he knew was reigning champion at but one mistake and that title would be snatched away within seconds. The game was simple enough – capture the queen however the there was a whole chequered field stretched out before him. Every move was vital. She sang her last note and sauntered down the stairs, and glanced around the room. This was Thomas’s cue; he had one shot to initiate the game. He diverted his eyes to the seat opposite him and placed his hat across the table and waited. He didn’t look up, not even when the sound of her tapping red heels approached him, not even when her fingers curled over the gold bars of the chair. His hands gripped the cold glass of the empty bottle and her voice finally reached out to him.

“Hey there handsome,” He looked up and raised his brow,

“I was wondering when you’d come around,” he said coolly, gesturing to the seat opposite him.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, what did you think of the show?” She asked as she sat down and fluttered her eye lashes at him. The game had begun and just as he had anticipated she was already advancing the field, just as prepared to invade and attack as he was.

“Amazing,” he answered simply, she shifted in her seat and tilted her head. She was bored of hearing all the same things but her performance had not yet ended and her funds was better still when it was tainted by her own corrupt lies and cheats.

“Why thank you,” she giggled, just as she had rehearsed many times before.

“But your voice,” he said as she stirred her drink delicately in her cup, “It really is beautiful,”

“Oh you’re too sweet,” she smiled, quickly getting fed up of the conversation.

“How about we take this somewhere private,” He suggested tactfully sensing her irritated mood and placing his playing piece across the board.

“Why of course! I have a great hotel room specially reserved for you….” Cara drifted off…

“My name is Eddie, Eddie Hills,” Thomas said nonchalantly.

Thomas watched cautiously as Cara floated around the room, wisps of her curly blond hair hanging behind her, the hotel room was lit with candles and the busy, chattering city was muffled by the quiet of the room. She walked behind him and ran her hands up his back and let them waver on his shoulders, before she whispered in his ear, “We both know why we’re here,” she started, “I know what you want and I’ll be happy to give it you at a price,”

“You deserve nothing less,”

“Oh I know but I need to know I can trust you,”

“Whatever it takes,” he said, knowing he was getting closer to the trophy, he subtly reached into his pocket,

“Tell me something important, oh I don’t know… tell me about where you get your goods?”

“My goods?” Thomas questioned.

“Don’t play dumb with me Eddie, we’re both know you’ve got the best business in town next to Henry and his band, so just tell me and I’ll know I can trust you and we can start enjoying the night already,”

“And why would a lady like you want to know such things?” Thomas could feel he was on the verge of attaining what he had been waiting for the whole night. The last piece of information. The confession he had been after all along.

“I told you, just as something to make sure you pay me fairly,”

“Hah,” Thomas mused, “Maybe I could double the price, triple it even, all I need is a little honesty to seal the deal, perhaps even an alliance, you’re a beautifully smart woman… so tell me what you really do ” Thomas tempted. Cara smirked, she was indeed tempted, and this was something new. But she dithered at the offer, Thomas sensed this and immediately knew he had to act. He suavely lifted her chin gently to meet his eyes; two could play at that game.

And in that moment the blue of the ocean met with the deep green of the forest and both absorbed each other. Cara was taken aback. She was sent here to meet what was meant to be a foul rich old geezer who’d have nothing but money and women on his sleazy mind. Instead however, the empty chair and that signal came from dapper man with weary but honest green eyes and a dashingly handsome face. His dark blue attire made him look a million dollars and his charisma could have won him a million more. And all of this was abruptly realised within sudden seconds for Cara, for unlike others he seemed far more aware and slick with his moves. Perhaps this was why he was so good, perhaps this is how he gets his goods? That had to be it. But Cara suddenly realised who she was really playing with-

A scream shattered the silence and ricocheted through the hotel and echoed through the night. Both Thomas and Cara found themselves immobile – the scream had come from next-door. They both exchanged a confused expression; they both knew that voice as familiar. Cara had heard it over the phone and Thomas had only heard it hours earlier…. – They both rushed out the room and stood at the door adjacent to their own. Thomas knocked on the door but just as quickly as the silence had fleeted it returned again. Impatiently, he kicked in the door and stumbled into the cold room. Instantly, both Cara and Thomas was stuck by the distinct metallic smell of blood. A man who lay on the floor, eyes rolled back, lifeless.

Eddie Hills was dead.

The air that late December was thick with booze and nicotine and death and perhaps even chemistry. A tiny spark had ignited a flame between two souls that vanished from the scene that night. When Thomas turned back Cara was nowhere to be seen; confused by the happenings of that night he replayed the tape that was hidden in his pocket and listen to her voice. He was so close yet so far; and now with Eddie dead he seemed even further. However he knew he’d see her again because the story, the game, the crime and the capture; all had to go on for both of them. But the roles they play were yet to be determined…

From That Moment….

This piece was influenced by a scene in Good Fellas

From the very first moment I heard her shaky voice down the phone line I knew something was wrong. The words would barely leave her mouth, but I could hear her breathing uneasy; when she finally told me she had been attacked, I didn’t even think twice about asking for details. I knew I had to get to her. I just needed to get to her. She told me where she was I reluctantly hung up and rushed into my car.

I don’t remember how fast I was driving; I don’t remember what I was even thinking about; hell – I wouldn’t even be able to tell you if I knocked someone over on my way there, all that was going through my mind was the kind of danger she might have been in. The cigarette between my lips was doing nothing to calm my nerves, no matter how much of it I puffed while I sped through the streets and raced closer to her. The world around me blurred into a haze and a million thoughts battled to be heard in my mind but I gave none of them any attention. I kept repeating the location she recited to me in my head, again and again and never let it slip from my mind, not even for a single second.

When I finally spotted her by the phone booth, my heart dropped. I jerked my car to a stop in an instant and threw my cigarette on the floor; I opened my car door, got out and closed it again in one swift movement. Two steps and I already had my arms around her, her soft sobbing echoing the quiet streets.

“What happened? What happened? You alright?” I asked as I gently guided her towards my car, feeling a sudden rush of panic and concern. I opened the car door before she had even reached it – I just needed her to be inside it; to be safe. I also jumped over the back seat door and sat in beside her, not bothering to even go around.

“It was this guy who lives across to me,” she cried out. That was when I finally noticed what a mess she was… her beautiful black hair was ruffled and tangled like a nest, her pretty clothes were torn and covered in dirt and her gorgeous makeup was smeared across her face. A sick feeling churned in my stomach as I reached out and touched her ripped dress. “Wh-wha- what did he…” I stuttered unable to even think clearly, an image flashed into my mind but I blinked it away, not even wanting to imagine what had happened. Her face changed from upset to frustrated and angry as she began to explain what had happened. But before she could even finish or I could allow myself to listen I found my feet slamming at the pedals and car’s tyres screaming across the ground like I never did.

I didn’t hear what she said to me. I couldn’t hear it. Not over the hum of the engine, or the roaring of the wind that swept past us, the world suddenly seemed to be so damn loud and everything just drowned out her voice. When I reached her road, I slowed to a calm halt. I turned to her, her eyes hidden behind a pair of shades and her body limp and tired. It hurt me to see her like that; in a soft voice I told her to go inside. I watched as she walked in front of the car and disappeared into her house… in the mirror I noticed him standing there with a smug look on his face. An inferno was ignited within me. One hand pushed open the car door as the other gripped my gun. As I strode over to him I felt anger run through my veins and tense every inch of my body until it reached my mind where it erupted with rage. He grinned and began walking up to me, his mouth moving but all I could hear was my girlfriend’s broken cries. I grabbed him and suddenly… I saw him looking at her, I saw him touching her, I saw him forcing himself on her…

I blink again, and he’s on the floor, face covered in blood, wailing out in agony. I abruptly feel the weight of the guns in my hands and the sticky crimson blood that stains the bottom of it. I grit my teeth and hit him once more, relishing the sound of the cold metal colliding with his skull and – hopefully – breaking it. I warn him to stay away in an aggressive roar and stagger backwards and point the gun at his friends too before I regain my balance. The terrified expressions on their faces cue me to leave and I walk towards her house, I hold my breath until the sight of her calms me and cools me down. Her deep blue eyes wash over me and I once again hear my unfamiliar calm soft voice asking her to hide the gun and then repeatedly asking if she is okay…

For Better Or For Worse…

It’s there. It’s always there, that constant urge to just grab everything and run. But the black veil that hides my face and the extravagant white dress that hugs my body tightly tells me it’s too late… or is it? I may have already signed the papers but I never signed my soul away. I may be bound by love, but I have yet to confess. I can still run, I can still run out the door, find my freedom, find my rights. By walking through that door, I’d have already claimed my first right. They couldn’t force me to come back.

 

But why am I running away from them?

 

They who have supported me since my first breath? – They who loved and cherished me when I was young. What reason do I have to cut the strings that they have woven for me so carefully? Oh but I see now. I understand how when they cried “But it’s your choice!” they lied. For they had already confined me in a box; with walls built up of expectations – the expectations to just do the right thing. They told me what I could do – what I have to do. What I should believe – What I have to believe. They never let me explore the possibilities. They never let me find my own calling. And I…

Well, I never defied them. And perhaps that was my error. Perhaps this broken, withdrawn, pathetic face that stares back at me is merely the result of my error. My one error that will damn me to hell…

 

There is time yet.

 

I can escape.

 

I can find myself.

 

Await my calling.

 

I can make my own choices.

 

I pull my veil off, I tear the bottom of my white dress, I tear my necklace off; drop my bouquet; and I run through the door to my freedom! – Suddenly. Wedding bells ricochet through my halls; a hand grabs my arm violently! I find myself being dragged away from the light of the door, further and further away from my own revelation of happiness…

 

My hands are cuffed and restrained to a single solid pillar.

The stain glass window lets little light in.

My white dress has become black for I cry. I sob. But it won’t end. The wedding bells, the music, the chatter. All within in this empty holy building.

And my wedding ring… are the very handcuffs that tie me forever to this place of other people’s prayers…

Diagnosis – Love Sickness

“Your Creative-Writing assignment is to write a short passionate piece on the most romantic experience you have had – No fifty shades of grey please!” My teacher announces with tone of sarcasm in his voice as he gives a quick look to Jake who frowns. But I’m distracted, barely even looking at them.

Why do I take so much notice of her?

What was she diagnosed with? It can’t be that bad right? Because I watch her in class; we only share two classes together but either way, she always has that look in her eyes every time I see her. That passionate look, like she’s seeing the whole galaxy shine before her on a single faultless summer night. It made me wonder what else she was passionate about, it made me think about how often her face lights up with excitement. I felt like I knew her, yet here I was still not knowing her entirely. I wanted to know her from her breadth and height. I wanted to explore the depths of her darkness and investigate the light that vanquishes the abyss that she conceals with her smile. Is it normal to be so obsessed? Ah! – I need to stop.

I blink away my wonderment reluctantly and stare out the window instead, but I find myself gawking at her again. Her lips move but no words come out, the teacher announces something, and she smirks. There she goes again; she always knows the answers, whispers it to herself but never announces her intelligence to others. That really bugs me; if I were that smart, I’d make sure others knew! But not her. And I kind of like that. She’s humble. It’s annoying, but I find myself liking that about her. Weird.

I like her hair too, sometimes she has it in twin tails, like she’s still in never land; other times – like today – it’s just down naturally, messy yet so attractive. I’ve never really taken much notice of a girl’s hair but hers is just…It’s like velvet trails from her head and frames her face perfectly and hangs from her shoulders in the most elegant way. And her face, man – her face is gorgeous. All her features are so soft yet sweet. Her face is round, and her chubby blushing cheeks are constant victims of pinches delivered by her friends. I kind of wish I could pull her cheeks too… that sounds kind of weird. Perhaps, I should have kept that one to myself. The point is…

She’s perfect.

Everything about her is perfect. Even the way she falls asleep and drools during class presentation days. And the times where she has random angry outburst or goes on a rant to her friends – I find it amusing. Oh, and her awkwardness! That, along with her innocent voice, shyness and bushing are the definition cute. She’s probably not that humble either – as much as I try to make myself believe that. In truth she’s simply she  a wallflower. Sure, she comes in everyday like as if she’s someone new; different moods mean a different look, but I think that’s interesting. And so what if she carries around a box of happy pills, and has scars cascading down her arms? She tells everyone that they’re battle scars… but that doesn’t make sense to me, since all she ever emits is peace, wisdom, and a tad bit of clumsy dorky-geeky-ness .

How can anyone hate her? How can she hate herself like that?

Regardless, she’s perfect, and all I want, to is to know her better, know why she’s so cute, why she’s so shy when she’s a bloody philosopher-author-photographer-in-the-making; I want to know what kind of guy she likes and what goes through her mind every second of every day. I long to know what it’s like to have her stare back at me with those big brown eyes, filled with love and lust and affection. I want to know what it’s like to love her. I just want to know her –

“Three words, go!” – My teacher suddenly interrupts my thoughts bringing me back to reality. I realise he’s talking to her. I swallow and sit up, quickly finding myself immersed in the lesson… or just infatuated with her all the same.

“Uhmm… Non-existent, Imaginary… um… hopeful?” She smiles bashfully; the teacher shares the same surprised look as me but then returns the smile and spares her any further embarrassment. Yes!! I grin to myself – I have chance, however slim – I have a chance!

“You boy, three words to describe your experiences of love!”

“M-M-Me? ” I stutter. My teacher nods and urges me to go on and share on my gory details. “Well…” I stall as everyone waits patiently for me to answer. My eyes look desperately to the door and then the clock – there’s no escape this time. I sigh, all my experiences have been pretty bad but I suppose I have no choice but to share that with the class. I sigh and search for the right words. Let’s see… well I’m traumatized for starters and:

“Scarred and…” my eyes drift towards her… “Shy, and … so… and so unfathomably beautiful…”

The words leave my mind and escape via my mouth before I can even comprehend what’s happened. Suddenly conscious, I realise I am amongst a silent class who have turned back to stare in confusion. I steer clear of the possible awkward eye contact and doge my vision up at Sir. He grins at me fully aware of the inducement behind my words.

“That wasn’t three words, but I’ll let you off since you’re such a hopeless romantic!” the class all laugh under their breath not fully knowing the intent behind his words. Then, as if nothing has happened he resumes with the lesson. Asshole – he knew! He picked me on purpose!

I slowly drown in my seat and hide behind my book; embarrassed… One last look, I promise myself. I turn cautiously. My chest tightens as I realise she’s already staring at me; our eyes meet, she stares at me in puzzlement, her face is flushed bright pink. – She knows too!? She quickly hides her face behind her fringe and avoids me…she hates me. She hates me! She definitely must hate me!

However, from behind my book I see her glancing at me.

Though as much as she tries to hide it, she’s smiling now and I find myself smiling too.

She’s contagious. And my diagnosis?

… love sickness…

Running Further…

It’s dark.

I can barely see anything beyond the flickering light of the static of the TV; a dim light seeps in through the glass on the old fashion door and the curtains shut the rest of the world out. Besides the muffled voices from behind the closed door, there is only silence. Just silence and me. My heavy eye lids are struggling to remain open, so I let them shut slowly, as the quiet atmosphere slowly induces me into slumber… but suddenly a sniggering can be heard, my eyes shoot open and I examine the darkness around me… something shuffles, several things shuffle, a chuckle echoes – a cold icy hand abruptly grips my leg and begins forcing me to the ground which is melting into thick, gloopy black liquid beneath me. I scream, yet nothing manages to escape my lips. What the hell, what the hell. No. No. No! I grab at every piece of furniture, but my grip is hopeless against the grip of the hands which is crushing my bones. I kick at it with my other leg, and as I do… a fate even worse befalls upon me…

A million hands come stretching in from the darkness, grabbing at me, yanking me, there’s laughter, chuckling, deep and menacing. I scream but my voice remains stifled, my body feels heavy and then numb as each hand leaves black ink on every inch of it. And… I feel nothing, not fear, not despair, nothing. Tears stream down my eyes but my eyes feel glazed over with emptiness. My hollow corpse gets dragged into the ground and everything fades to an abyss…

 

A white light shines down on me; I squint at the whiteness that surrounds me and goes on as far as my eye can see. Where am I? I find myself in a plain white sun dress, the skin on my legs and arms bare. The air is crisp and cold, fresh almost. I breathe out a wisp of mist when I hear familiar giggling. I turn to see my friends standing behind me smiling playfully, and I can’t help but stare back at them. One of my friends step forward, she brings out her hand towards me invitingly, and I take it gently, and as we touch, a warm sensation entices my body, I’m safe now right? I let out a heavy breath and squeeze her hand; my lips somehow curve into a smile. My friend suddenly lets go of my hand and points towards me, the rest of them do the same. I blink confused, their faces are nonchalant and blank then a shadow falls upon me, I look up and see what looks like white roses coming flooding down towards me like rain from a storm. They come down on me, their soft petals grazing my skin, I close my eyes and hold out my arms and embrace the shower. My friends are laughing with me as they stare in awe at the strange beauty of it all. I open my eyes and grin back at them, however something in the atmosphere changes…

A strange sick feeling swims up from my stomach to my throat, and I gag and cough. What’s happening?

I look down in horror as I realise the flowers have withered and turned brown and sharp thorns hail down on me and pierce my skin, I yelp out in pain! My friends are laughing louder, harder than before; a patronizing smile sweeps their faces. Stop it… Stop it! Stop! I stumble backwards and trip, falling hard on my bottom; I wince in pain and gasp when I see that I am covered in the black soot again. I stumble to my feet; whilst their laughs continue to echo onwards; I stare at them bewildered, hurt and confused. I back away slowly, but their laughs continue to increase in volume. I sob as I feel the urge to throw up, feel the sadness envelope me, and feel the loneliness suffocate me. I turn and run, and I run, and I don’t look back. My cuts and wounds open wider but I don’t stop, they won’t stop. None of it ceases even as I run further back into the depths of the abyss…

And I never stopped running…