Reed planned to skip out quick while her partner wrapped up the scene. He was better with the nitty-gritty stuff and more well equipped to handle humanity in general. She swung her leg over the saddle and settled onto the beast but before she started the engine, Croft stepped up and touched the brim of his hat in greeting. She frowned. He was blocking her exit.
“Detective Reed,” he said. “I’ve got the, er, suspect cuffed in the back of my squad car. Do I have your authorization to release her now?”
Reed looked up and caught her reflection in his mirrored sunglasses. Snakes wreathed her head and shadows swarmed. “Take off your fucking glasses when you talk to me, officer.”
His partner was a head case and he was okay with that. He’d worked with far more dangerous souls in ‘Nam and, while Reed was heavily armed, her detective status kept her relatively free and clear of active violence. An old pro at the aftermath, her eyes seemed to take in the carnage like the lens of a camera, her brain processing the images in a dark room, allowing only the details necessary to come to light. Scenes that would double-over the hardest cops barely registered on her face.
So, he knew that the body in the bathroom would not freak her out. In fact, his hope was to get the door shut between themselves and the general public before she started laughing. As he followed her beeline across the showroom floor, he considered renegotiating his contract. He’d only been on the job three months but wrangling Reed was turning out to be a bit more taxing than anticipated. He could could feel his desire to continue flagging. However, the alternative would be pricey. Chief Bright had made sure he understood.
When Hope awoke from restless slumber and found her naked lover hanging by the neck at the end of a rope looped over the limb of one of the younger redwood trees that sheltered their makeshift tent, she sprang into action. Climbing the tree, she crawled out on the limb and sawed through the hemp with her skinning knife until the weight of his body snapped the remaining fibers. He dropped bonelessly to the soft carpet of needles. She swung down and crouched by his side. Wincing at the angle of his neck, she gently straightened his crackling vertebrae and laid him out in a more comfortable position.
I’m having fun putting up these chapter drafts as I roll through them. These are not ready for prime-time but the simple act of posting them, warts and all, is encouraging me to move ever forward. By the time I get to the end (again), I may be ready to go through them (again).
Oh, and it’s time for some blood orange mimosa to celebrate another installment.
She rolled into the lot and nudged aside the makeshift barricade with the front wheel of her ride. The cop on-scene pulled the wooden horse the rest of the way over and touched his hat in greeting as she—seemingly oblivious to his presence— passed. Not so much oblivious, though. She’d seen him, measured him up, and decided to buy him a beer at the bar later, in exchange for a little mojo. Kid looked like he had stamina.
She pulled onto the cement walk in the shade of the awning, encouraging those had gathered like confused sheep to step quickly aside. Some covered their ears against the assault of sound. The engine of her steed was powerful enough to rattle the thick windows and, if left unchecked, reduce them to powder in their panes. She allowed the looks of concern from those nearby to build before she kicked the stand into place and killed his engine.
“Bad boy. You’re a very bad boy.” Her voice was breathy, her tone bored. The soft tails of the cat o’nine lightly slapped the back of his thighs. “Naughty boy. You’re a very naughty boy.”
The young woman cracked her gum, refreshing the spearmint scent in the air. Her heels clacked twice against the cold concrete floor as she moved towards his feet. She paused for a moment of consideration before she spoke again. “Bad, bad boy. Very, very bad boy.”
He felt the tickle of leather along his calves and groaned inwardly. This was torture. And not the good kind.
I’ve decided to post as I write the not-yet-final draft of my novel The Scapegoat Suicides, the first book in The Sublime Detectives series. I believe (for better or for worse) that posting for the world (or my three followers) to read will limit my usual desire to change things over and over and over again so that I can move ever forward.
On the morning of his death, Frank DeBoar had a spring in his step, a whistle on his lips, and traces of lipstick on his dick. Life is good, he thought. Damned good. He slammed the door of his brand new ’72 DeVille, ran his fingers along the chrome of her palomino withers, and winked into her side-view mirror. We look good, he thought. Damned good. Frank shot his cuffs, tugged the hem of his polyester sports coat, then ran thumb and forefinger along and down the lengths of his moustache before he strode across the warm asphalt of the dealership, flashed a grin at a less fortunate man, and silently thanked whatever deity had deigned to bless him with such outrageous fortune.
“Mornin’, Frank,” a woman drawled when he entered the glass-walled showroom.
“Good morning, Beverly,” he replied, in lieu of fuck off. “You look quite fetching today.” Even the woman who liked to introduce him as Frank DeWhore in situations where introductions were not necessary could not ruin his good mood.
I’ve left the Cove for a couple of days, maybe a week. Day Job is slow and I can write anywhere so I’m in the Valley with family. My mother has written a romance novel and is in the process of editing and expanding it. When I called her to let her know that I was heading out and should be there in seven hours or so, she said, “Okay, I’m leaving work. I’ve got to go home and write the scene where her brother gets shot and then I’ve got a dinner to attend. See you after.”
I love that she gets it now. I’ve read the drafts and we talk about her characters as though they are real. When I mentioned that to her, she said, “They are real.” She finally gets it. For real.