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…