Tag Archives: murder

Stuck

“Hey Mom, let’s go check out downstairs.” I stood at the end of a glass hutch filled with Victorian style China. I was anxious. As much as I enjoyed touring these historic homes, it was getting late and we had been on our feet all day exploring this old New England town. 

“I thought the receptionist said that area was forbidden.” My mother said as she was peering into the hutch. “Wow, would you look at those designs! Looks hand painted!”

I pointed to the stairwell. “It’s not roped off or anything. We have like twenty minutes left, we can make it quick.” I could tell by the look in my father’s eye that he was intrigued. The chance to see something the general public doesn’t normally see excited him. Every house we had been to on our vacation this year he had always asked the tour guide about hidden places, and every time so far he had been shot down.

My brother popped his head in from the kitchen, “Let’s go!”

The four of us made our way down the crickety stairs, it smelled like wet clay. “This place isn’t haunted right?”

“There’s nothing in the information packet.” My father said. 

From the bottom of the stairs it looked like the historical society had just been using the basement as a storage area. There were boxes piled high of different pamphlets from different attractions and a few boxes of uniforms. The four of us were crowded in the tight space.

My brother picked up a pamphlet, my mother began searching for any hidden doors. “There’s got to be more down here.”

When I realized I had to use the bathroom, I said to my family I would be right back. This was one of those old fashioned homes that had an outhouse instead of indoor plumbing. So I made my way up the creepy stairs as I heard my mother getting excited about finding a hidden door.

Once I had done my business I made my way back towards the house. I got to the entryway but the door was shut, I juggled the handle but it was locked. Looking at my watch I discovered that it was past closing time, I didn’t think we had been exploring the basement that long. I sat on the porch steps and waited a while for my family. 

After a few minutes I got up and looked into the windows. It was now dark inside the house and the people who worked there had already gone home. I thought out loud to myself “We weren’t down there that long!”

I made my way around the house checking all the windows and searching for any signs of my parents. I got to the back and saw my brother with a popsicle in hand sitting on the railing of the back  porch. “Hey, where is everyone?”

“It’s about time you found us!” He said, smiling.

“Where is mom and dad?” I panicked and looked all around. Cars where gone and something seemed off about my brother.

“Oh, they’re still inside. They decided to stay.”

“Stay? What do you mean?”

“Well come on, I’ll show you.” My brother dropped his popsicle and jumped down from the railing. I walked up the porch steps and watched him disappear into the back door. He didn’t open the door, just walked right through it.

“Hey! How did you do that!”

He stuck just his head out of the door. “What do you mean?”

“You’re just a floating head on a closed door. What’s going on?”

“We died, we can do anything.”

“Died?”

He stepped all the way out now and I could see how pale he was. I tried to touch his arm, but mine went right through. 

“Yeah, you left the basement and mom opened the hidden door. A man who looked like a rip off Freddy Kruger jumped out and slashed all of our throats with a machete. All died instantly. Mom and dad decided to stay in the house.”

“Oh.”

“So come on, I’ll show you.”

He disappeared into the door again, and I tried to follow but ran face first into the door. “Hey! I didn’t work!”

My brother didn’t come back. I waited and waited. I looked into the window again and could see no signs of him. If we really were dead, maybe he could only be in or out of the house. I began to pinch and slap myself. I didn’t think that I had died as well, but I couldn’t really remember much after leaving for the outhouse. That’s when it hit me, I ran to where the outhouse was. 

That’s when I saw my lifeless body, blood spilled out from my neck. It looked like I hadn’t even made it inside to the toilet yet. I looked all around, and couldn’t find any signs of life. All the cars had gone except ours. I went to our little mini van and tried to open the doors with no luck. Dad must still have the keys and he’s stuck in the house. 

I sat down on the gravel driveway and cried. How long will I be stuck out here, alone?

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Fake Blood

“All that blood looks good on you, really brings out your eyes.” Manuel tossed his rag aside.

“Right, it’ll be in all the winter fashion magazines. I’ll start a new trend.” The actress barely moved from her chair and waved for the assistant. The clumsy twenty something ran over quick to give her a small sip of water from a straw.

Manuel shooed him away, “Okay Charlene, we’ll need to let some of the glue dry. Think you could hang tight in your dressing room until they call?”

“Guess I’ll have to. There’s a tour soon and they don’t want the fans to see that it’s me they’re killing off.” The actress stood up carefully. “Suppose I’ll just go watch TV or something. Come on Mike, keep me company.”

Manuel watched the two leave his trailer from the backdoor, the assistant mumbling that his name wasn’t Mike. He began cleaning up his pencils and paintbrushes, screwing the caps back on the fake blood containers and putting sponges near the sink. His next appointment was going to be the triplets from “The Sisters.” He knew that he was in for a rough afternoon, but at least the makeup wasn’t so extensive as Charlene’s. 

A couple hours later Manuel heard a knock on his trailer door. He had done the triplets makeup and a retouch on Jose from the buddy cop movie and was just cleaning up before heading home. “Just a minute!”

“Mr. Cheve we need to speak to you.” It was a voice Manuel didn’t recognize. He put his rag down and opened the door to find the director of the Zombie Show and a police officer. 

“Can I help you, fellas?”

“We’re aware that you’re the last person to see Charlene Bernese this morning, we’d like to ask you a few questions.” The officer said politely.

“Last person? She didn’t make it to the set?”

The director sighed. “Unfortunately not.”

“Do you mind if I come in and look around?” The officer already began up the steps, he was determined.

“Please, by all means. So what happened?” Manuel stepped to the side so the two men could enter.

The officer didn’t say a word. He put on gloves and began searching the makeup desk. It seemed he was looking for something in particular.

Manuel turned to the director. “Mr. Jefferies, what’s going on? Where is Charlene?” 

The director let out a sob he had been holding in. Once he gained composure he sighed again. “They found her when she didn’t show up to set on time. In her trailer, the TV was on, she was sitting in front of it. Face was mangled and blood everywhere.”

“Special effects, that was my job today.” Manuel was confused, his orders were to make it look like She had been almost eaten by a bear.

The officer found what he was looking for. “Sir, we’re going to need to take this in.”

“My fake blood, why?”

“The blood found on Charlene was not special effects blood. I’m going to need  to take you in for  questioning as well. The blood was her own, we believe this is hers as well.” The officer put the jar in a plastic bag and held out cuffs.

“She left my trailer with her assistant, Mike or something. Are you sure he didn’t have anything to do with this? All I did was apply makeup like I was ordered to do by you Mr. Jefferies!” Manuel was becoming upset. He had been in his trailer all day.

“She didn’t have an assistant, Manuel. You’re the last person to see her alive.”

The officer motioned for all of them to leave the trailer. “As of right now Mr. Cheve, you’re the last person to see Charlene Bernese alive.”


Detective Kripke

Detective Kripke’s telephone rang loudly at 4:06 AM. It was an old rotary phone, he liked it very much and refused to use any new technology in his own home. Of course he kept a cellphone for his police work, though often forgetting to charge it. He knew if his house phone rang that it must be an important call. Usually meant a murder or theft. 

This particular morning he was dispatched to the other side of town. Neighbors of a huge blue Victorian house heard loud thumps around 3:30 AM. Noises always came from this particular house, the owner being an expiramentor and inventor, but this was no ordinary bump in the night. They had rang the doorbell a few times, but there weren’t any lights in the house so they decided to call the police.

Detective Kripke jumped out of bed and stumbled over his Old English Sheepdog. “Henry, didn’t you hear the phone? Why are you lying right there!?” But Henry didn’t move a muscle and the detective hurried on with putting some decent clothes on. 

“Henry, have you seen my badge?” He yelled out, but still the dog lay. It was four o’clock in the morning after all. 

When the detective finally arrived at the scene he was met with the fire marshal and the chief of police. 

“Hello, Jeff. We’ll need you to work your magic here. Neighbors only heard some loud thumps, didn’t see anyone. There’s a couple in the bed upstairs, throats were slit. There is a nursery, but no baby, the neighbors didn’t know what that was about. Uhm, what else can we tell him, Bob?” Fire Marshal Edwards turned to the police man.

“That about covers it. Forensics team is working on photos as quickly as they can, they got the rookie doing fingerprints though.”

“He’s not a rookie.” The fire marshal glared.

“He ain’t no seasoned vet either Ed.” Bob glared back. It seemed they had had this argument before. He turned to Jeff and winked. “You’ll find everything you need in the main bedroom.”

“Alright, guys. I’ll get in there and do what I can.” Detective Kripke was happy for the excuse to get away, he knew their arguments could get heated.

He walked into the house through the front door, and gave a little whistle. He stood still for a moment to gather in the sounds and smells and sights of the crime scene. Once he was satisfied he started for the stairs, took his first step up but hesitated. I don’t think he started there Jeff thought to himself. No, he looked around down here first He walked over to the living room. Nothing was taken. He walked down the hall to the kitchen, again nothing looked moved. There was an office and a guest bathroom, still nothing was moved.

There was a scratch at a door in the hallway near the kitchen. Jeff walked slowly to it and pulled a rubber glove out of his pocket. What do we got here? Another scratch at the door as he opened it slowly. “Well you’re not what I expected.” A fluffy gray cat stepped out. “You got any other friends around here?” The cat ran to the steps Jeff dismissed earlier. He followed the cat up and into the crime scene bedroom. “Hey buddy.”

The forensics team had already gone. All that was left were the two bodies on the bed and a pitbull at the base of the bed. She looked sad. “Oh, sorry. Sweetie.” The detective walked around the bed and examined the bodies. “Can either of you tell me what happened here?”

The fluff ball of a cat jumped up to the dresser and stared at the detective. Jeff walked around the bedroom, went to the open window, peeked into the closet, looked back over the room and walked back down stairs to the fire marshal and chief.

“Alright fellas, I’ve got it.”

The fire marshal looked surprised. “You’re always so quick. And you never touch anything! What’d you come up with?”

“So Trevor in there. The dude in the bed. He owed money to his bookie. That was months ago, and him and the wife fought constantly, she faked a pregnancy. So they got all cozy again, Trevor made the nursery for her. Hoped they’d fixed everything. But he forgot to pay the bookie you see. And she found out about it. She got so mad in the heat of everything and she’s the one who slit his throat first in the middle of the night. For some reason thought it’d be cool to just go back to sleep. Then some guy all in black came in, through the front door of all places, found out the guy he was sent in to kill was already dead, and took the knife out of the wife’s hand, slit her throat too, and hopped out the window. The thud that the neighbors heard, was him jumping down on to the trashcan.” Jeff pointed to the side of the house near the driveway to the back garage. There it was, a smashed trashcan.

“Huh, so we’ll need to find the bookie’s information. Great work detective. It fits with the team’s findings. They said he was dead three hours before her. That’s just crazy to think. The neighbors thought they were just the nicest people too. Seems like everyone has weird secrets.” The Chief shook the detective’s hand. “Go home and get some rest. You can fill out your report later this afternoon. Thanks, Jeff. You’re a real help.”

“No problem at all.” Detective Kripke shook both men’s hands again and departed.

Once he got home he got back into his pajamas and laid down in bed.

“What was all the commotion?” Henry the sheepdog jumped up into the bed with the detective.

“Brutal murder. The old lady killed her husband over some petty argument, and a hitman was sent there, found his target already dead, so he just killed her too.”

“Wow.”

“The pets where pretty upset. A big fluffy cat and a really gentle five year old pup.”

Henry made himself comfortable at the end of the bed. “I bet they were. Any idea what happens to them?”

“The cat said the wife’s sister would probably take him, and the dog would probably go to the next door since the sister is allergic.” Jeff was tired, and ready to fall asleep.

“Bob and Ed realize you can talk to us yet?” Henry said sleepily.

The detective yawned. “Nope. No questions asked.”


Tracy’s Story: The Murder

​You could chew the air, the day was so humid. The weather reporter said with the heat index, temperatures would feel as if it were 115 degrees. Tensions were understandably high but I didn’t expect my day to go the way it did.

I started the day off in first period science just like any other day. For some reason, school officials hadn’t thought to turn on the air conditioning yet. Mr. Erickson didn’t feel that opening the windows would help and had two large fans attempting to circulate the air. While they did create a small breeze, they drowned out anything he was trying to teach us so he gave us a pop quiz instead. The quiz should have been handed out on Friday so none of us were prepared. Mr. Erickson yelled over the fans that we were to do the best we could and once we turned them all in we could study for the rest of the period. For the first time all year, he had rolled up his sleeves and revealed full length arm tattoos. I’m sure if administration had an issue with that the teacher would have just walked out, he was just that kind of guy.

My next period was gym class. Ms. June didn’t bother making us get into our gym clothes, she just told us the hour was ours. Many of the class sat around talking. A few, including me, decided to catch up on homework for other classes.

Math was where my day started to get complicated. Jess and Brit shared the class with me and even though we had been great friends in elementary school they had both become jealous of me. I studied and got good grades. I didn’t judge my friends so even though I didn’t become popular like them, everyone actually liked me. My boyfriend, even though he lived two hours away and went to a fancy academy, was loyal and affectionate. It was like a typical high school story unraveling through no fault of my own. Or at least I had thought.

Jess exercised every morning before school, Wednesdays she would swim laps in the pool. Her thick dark brown hair was still wet in the pony tail. She was very fit and very short which made for a perfect body on top of the cheerleader pyramid. Boys just wanted to stare at her chest and hope to get into her pants. She was too busy working on her body to realize that that was the only thing those boys cared about too. 

Brit sang beautifully and I admired her. Except she wouldn’t share her talent with the school’s music programs. I thought it a bit selfish, but she decided she would get famous her own way. She made a demo CD and handed it out to the kids that would hang around her at lunch. But no one cared. They just wanted to be near her and she soaked that up, believing she had made a name for herself. 

The three of us got grouped together at the start of the year and I could tell neither of them were happy with the arrangement. They would be civil during class time but if we got sent home with a project neither one of them would call. Jess usually sent the email detailing what they wanted me to contribute by the end of the day. I would complete the algebraic problems, they would create the presentations and by the next morning Jess would email me again with dialogue. To Mrs. Kuriant it was as if we were the perfect students. I was okay with this agreement we had since this was one of the only classes Jess and Brit were good at and we always pulled through with an A. 

Today’s math lesson should have been a mini intro to calculus but with the heat Mrs. Kuriant borrowed one of the loud fans from Mr. Erikson and let us work on anything we chose. About half way through class Jess handed me a note. It was in Brit’s swirly handwriting telling me that they didn’t need my help with our next project, they would just send me the dialogue for the presentation the day it was due. I had a feeling in my gut that this wasn’t true, they were going to make me look like a fool and I was sure of it. Instead of making a big deal about it I walked up to the front desk and asked Mrs. K for the project outline, saying I had misplaced it. She only handed out one to the group, usually to Brit, but maybe in this heat she didn’t remember who she gave it to. She didn’t question the situation and went to her filing cabinet for the master copy. 

I looked back to the girls I used to call friends. Instead of working on the project or other homework, Brit was braiding Jess’s hair while she filed her nails. One would think after the note they gave me that they would be angered that I came to the teacher, but it was as if they didn’t even notice. Mrs. K was back quickly from the copy room and handed me the assignment I was to do all by myself. The girls’ plan to sabotage me was already beginning to fail.

I went back to my desk and slide the project information into my folder and pick up the homework I had started in gym class. The bell rang and I made my way to the basement for health class. 

Ms. June was also my teacher for health and the classroom was directly under the small gym. There weren’t any desks since she also used the room for the workout video classes. It turns out that Richard Simmons did wonders for the football team. Since she started making them watch the Sweatin’ to the Oldies they had a no lose streak. 

On the bright side, being in the basement had one advantage. It was the coolest floor of the whole high school. Ms. June actually taught her lesson on the effects of meth on the immune system, all of us sitting on the floor or yoga mats with our notebooks scribbling down notes. This was another class that I shared with Brit and Jess, but I didn’t have to interact with them. I noticed the girls were giggling a lot and not too long after Jeff, who sat behind me, handed me a piece of paper. It was another note, this time with the more manly handwriting of Jess. 

I wasn’t sure I wanted to open it or what they could possibly want to say. I continued listening to Ms. June and her advice on what not to buy at the store that made it look remotely like meth ingredients. It’s like she was inadvertently giving the druggies instructions, not that they could figure it out since I never saw any of them pass a science class with more than a D. Towards the end of class I decided to open the note. It was an attempt at blackmail. Jess and Brit said they had information on me that could turn my whole life upside down. There were some choice words there that couldn’t be said in a church. Plenty of name calling. But there wasn’t a reason, I couldn’t find the motive in their little hate note. I assumed it was just the jealousy, crumpled up the note and threw it in the trashcan behind me. 

A loud bang came ringing through the classroom. Ms. June stopped her sentence mid speech for a second and decided it was just the generators kicking in. We all were relieved, maybe the administration had finally decided to turn the air conditioning on. The noise was so loud since the generators were next to this basement classroom. Ms. June continued on with the lesson until the bell rang. 

We all filed out of class and that’s when we noticed the smoke. It filled the hallway to the stairs and students started freaking out. Girls grabbed all their things and ran, the boys almost tripped up the stairs after them. Ms. June went towards the generator room. She opened the door and a hot blazing fire leapt out. She quickly ran for the fire alarm and followed the rest of the class up the stairs. 

I’m not sure what made me stay behind, maybe it was the shock of it all. The fire quickly reached the walls and wooden hand railing. I looked from the classroom and that’s when I realized the two bodies behind me. Jess and Brit hadn’t left with the rest of the class, and there was terror in their eyes. I motioned for them to follow me up the stairs and Brit’s fist went flying into my cheek. I yelled that this was no time for them to start the fight they started in the note but Jess put up her fists as well and yelled back at me to move out of the way.

The three of us ran down the hallway to the stairs while they tried everything they could to pull me back to get ahead. Midway up the steps they began calling me horrible names and still clawing at me. That’s when I reached into my shoulder bag, next to my notebooks was a mini baby powder bottle. I’m not sure why I did it, but I grabbed that bottle, opened it with my free hand and flung it at their faces. The fire surrounding us on the hand rails followed the powder and before I turned back to run, I could see their faces behind the flames.

I didn’t look back again and they didn’t emerge outside with the rest of the students. The whole west wing of the school was engulfed before fire crews showed up. Teachers backed every one as far as they could so the mixture of fire and humidity didn’t make us students melt completely. Ms. June took her roll call papers from her clipboard and tried to account for everyone in the class. She noticed Jess and Brit were nowhere but didn’t think much of it, assuming they had run off to find other classmates.

The next few days were cancelled. The fire department determined the cause of the fire was an electrical short in the generators. It turns out that there was an excess of fans being turned on to beat the humidity. Teachers went on strike, calling for better conditions and accusing the administrators of being the cause of the fire. It was almost a week before the authorities noticed Jess and Brit were missing and for some reason they didn’t think to check the spot of the fire for a few more days. Ms. June was questioned first, I don’t know the outcome but the cops must have decided she didn’t know anything so they started questioning the other kids in my class. 

There were rumors flying around that they did it to each other. That Jess finally realized that Brit had more talent and Brit couldn’t handle the pressure of Jess being the cuter one. Another rumor was that they had actually just run away to be with each other. Maybe they had just been locked in the classroom. With each passing day the rumors got more ridiculous. That’s when they found the bodies. 

Cops put out bulletins once school resumed asking for any information on the investigation as it now was a murder case. They had found out that baby powder was used as an accelerant to burn their faces, this made them fall back on to the ground and the heat was too much, and they died of suffocation. They came to interview me but I had nothing to give them. Although I knew what happened, I didn’t feel it was a murder. My self-defense against their bullying. I had no evidence to bring to the cops. I had disposed of the note long before the fire started, and me and the two of them had no other form of communication. Even their cell phones had no evidence. The cops couldn’t figure out a motive for murder and thanks to my flawless answers they didn’t have any suspects. For all they knew, these girls just disappeared. It could have all just been a dream.


My Arm

It took them about a week after my death before they found my arm hidden in the rocks by the levee. A group of teenagers found it around midnight on a Friday night when one of the girls had lost her earring. That was about two weeks after I was supposed to leave for my trip, or so my family had thought. The last time I saw them I was getting onto a bus with all my photography gear. My plan was to travel around the country taking pictures of anything and everything. I told my family there would be little contact for the whole month; I just wanted my creative vision to flow. I saved money for a year so on my journey there would be nothing to worry about. I intended to stay in cheap motels, travel using only public forms of transportation, with a goal of arriving in California. Once I arrived in California I would take the money I set aside for a plane ticket and fly home.
The teenagers waited until the morning to call the police at the risk of being caught after curfew. The police blocked off the entire levee and bike path leading up to it to search the area for the rest of my body. They didn’t know what I did, that it was several parts scattered around the quint city area. I was places in all of my favorite places to visit or hang out. If the police had figured that out they would have known it was someone close to me that killed me and they would have found the person. However, they were clueless. They weren’t even sure whom the arm belonged to since there weren’t many identifying marks. That was until one of the coroners found the scar on my thumb.
It was about six years ago that I attended an event at an outdoor ropes course. There was one obstacle about fifteen feet in the air called a pirates walk. A line ran from one telephone pole to the other with two lines overlapping in the middle. The object was to get from pole to pole, the obstacle being that one had to successfully step over the cross without using hands. I had mastered the task and ready to come down to the ground to let someone else in my group try. Sitting in my harness, the facilitator motioned for me to come down and shouted out to not touch the ropes. Unfortunately, I was skittish being that high in the air and I touched the ropes for more support. Once I was on the ground, one of my group members noticed the blood streaming down my hand. I had a big gash in my thumb from touching the rope.
The picture of my hand with the scar on my thumb was posted all over the news and in papers. It was a week after they found my arm, that my little brother finally noticed the scar. Suddenly police were constantly around my house. They questioned everyone in the immediate family but never got any suspects.
A month after they found my arm, my mother was reviewing the reports she begged the police for. Sipping the lemonade on the front porch she came across the word Levee.
“Oh my…” She ran to the phone and called the police. “The levee, she hung out at the levee.”
“Ma’am we searched the area, there was nothing else to be found. Not a single clue.”
“Because you only searched one place.”
“No ma’am, like I said…we searched that entire area.”
“I have a list of all the places she liked to go.”
Within the hour the police had search teams in all my favorite places. My other arm was hidden under a balcony concealed in the side of a cliff in the state forest park. Both of my legs were found in some bushes near the local skate park.
Eventually all the pieces were put together. The investigators finally realized it must have been someone I was close to and went over all the reports in the people I knew. After not finding any leads they went to all of the people and interviewed them again. The investigators put together some facts. I had left on the bus ride to whatever destination I decided to stop at, which was unknown. My parents had gone about their lives going to work and tending to the garden. My brother who had his summers free sat around the house playing video games. My boyfriend had seen me off at the bus stop and then started his new job the next day. My best friend had left a few days before me to a backpacking trip around Europe. The body parts were pieced together and it was determined that the cause of death was strangulation. The time of death was only an hour after I had left the bus stop.
The investigators broadened their search to an hour radius. That is when they found my back pack in the lost and found at a truck stop about half an hour outside the city. The news was shocking. The city, my friends, and my family were all heartbroken that I had never really begun my journey.
It was two months after they found my arm that they held my funeral services. My boyfriend stood up to give a eulogy.
“I loved her. Given the chance, we would have been together forever. She was my best friend and I would have done everything for her.” He was nervous and his eye twitched. That is when my mother stood up, sobbing. She had realized something. He didn’t leave when she and my father left the bus stop. He said he had something else to do. He was stunned when she called about my arm, but not upset. He hadn’t come over to the house after the news for comfort.
“Why? Why did you…” My mother’s words broke into more sobs. My father held her arms. The investigators who were standing near the back of the funeral home perked up. They were there to hopefully find someone who looked suspicious. My boyfriend chuckled and stepped around the podium next to my closed casket.
“I wanted to.”