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Dance With Death: A Detective Fulbright Mystery

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posted on Jul, 6 2017 @ 07:01 AM
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This is my very first mystery novel and its rather dark. I welcome comments and suggestions. Be brutally honest but please keep it clean and constructive.

Favorable comments will keep me posting but if my writing is terrible i don't want to torture anyone.


edit on 6-7-2017 by AkontaDarkpaw because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 6 2017 @ 07:01 AM
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Prologue

“Death comes for you, mon amie.” Straddling Harold as he lay bound and gagged on
the floor, I leaned forward to whisper in his ear, "I am Death."
I will make you suffer before I kill you. After what you did to my sister and I all those
years ago, you've more than earned this retribution. There's no one here to save you and I will look into your eyes when I send your
soul to Sheol and you will know it is I who condemns you.

His brown eyes watched me as I removed my mask.
“Do you recognize me?”
His eyes widened as he nodded and attempted to speak against the gag.
No, you foolish old man, speaking to me, is unconscionable. Tonight is all about
punishment. My pleasure, your hell.

Holding the butcher knife in my hand, I turned it so that the flat of the blade faced
him, slapping him across the face with it with as much force behind it as my position
would allow. His head whipped to the side and a red scratch appeared where the blade had grazed his skin. Grabbing his chin, I forced him to look at me. Tears leaked from the corners of his eyes, though whether from fear or pain, i could not tell, nor did I care. Seeing it elated me filling me with a sense of pride that I hadn't felt before. I felt powerful, a power that I couldn't begin to express even if I wanted to. This pathetic little man bound beneath me once held a power over me that turned my dreams to nightmares and my joys to ash.
Long before I'm done, you'll be weeping like a baby. Like my sister did. She was only
four. I killed my father for what he did to her. I will do the same to you. His death was
too gentle. Poison was too nice. I won't make that mistake twice.

I ran the knife down his chest, caressing him. Using the dull side of the blade I
watched the white lines forming as I applied more pressure. He flinched but made no
sound. I marked him with the blade for what seemed like an eternity. His chest rising
and falling under me. When the blade caused pain, he’d hold his breath and I pressed
down until the pain forced him to breathe.
Time to see some red.
Turning the blade, I bore down with the sharp side against his flesh. A thin red rivulet of
blood filled the space where the knife had kissed his skin. Leaning forward, I licked it.
Picking up the bag of salt near his head, I licked my finger. Dipping it into the salt, I
rubbed it into the small wound. He gasped against the ball in his mouth. I made a
second cut near the first. Harold turned his face first one way, then the other as I made
more cuts. Each wound rubbed with salt. Some of the cuts I'd lick. Others I’d use the
knife to make the cuts deeper. Squeezing his eyes shut, he'd bucked his hips trying to
throw me off.
There's no end for you until I decide to let you die.
I laughed and clamped down on him with my thighs. I continued to make slices. In
some places I pulled the skin back. His bucking grew more panicked as he tried to
scream against the gag. His breath came in ragged gasps through his flaring nose.
You better not die on me before I'm done. I'm not removing the gag. You'll scream
making your punishmentpp incomplete.

I gave him a few moments of reprieve luring him into thinking I'd finished with him.
My moment of triumph is yet to come.
After his breathing returned to normal, I held the knife near his face. The light
reflecting in the metal made the blade gleam. I raised it above my head and plunged it
into his chest. I drove my fury into him. The blood poured out of him like a crimson river.
I drove the knife into him again and again. His breathing became weaker and more
shallow. I knew it was over. Leaning forward I breathed in his last breath. Taking it as
he'd taken my sister’s innocence.

edit on 6-7-2017 by AkontaDarkpaw because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2017 @ 07:04 AM
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“You've danced with Death, mon amor.” I whispered into the silence as it crashed
around me, “you'll dance no more.”
I breathed deep.
One nightmare is over. Maybe my dreams will be more pleasant from this moment on.
The floor was covered in blood as I'd expected. Harold’s living room had been
redecorated with streaks of red. It reminded me of The Scarlet Letter, as if his
apartment now bore his shame.
After removing the ropes and gag, I'd placed them in the black bag I'd brought with
me. I didn't want the police finding evidence tying me to his death. Using several cloths
I'd brought with me, I wiped off my hands and shoes. Afterwards, I checked myself over
in the bathroom mirror. The wet spots on my clothing wouldn't be recognized as blood.
Taking out a small vial of myrrh, I dabbed some onto my forehead, hands, heart,
groin, and feet. My voice echoed in my ears.
“Akrasiel, Akrasiel I seek your appraisal. With oil of dread you anoint my head. My will
be thine make my blade shine. With oil of death my hands take a last breath. Thy work
is now my own, for evil you cannot condone. With oil of myrrh my heart is pure, thus I
follow your path of wrath. Thy purpose and mine are now united never to be divided.
Anoint my groin that my soul may join thy power to my lily flower. Anoint my feet to feel
the beat of your footsteps upon the path that means destruction by your construction.
For all my mortal life no matter the strife from this day forward I walk the path of the
tortured and betrayed that of me, you will say I obeyed.”
I walked out into the hall with my bag over my shoulder. Leaning over, I switched off
the light being careful not to step past the blood free zone. I turned towards a noise coming from outside the door. I froze. My heart raced. It sounded like footsteps. I
crouched down. I ran into the kitchen. I pressed my back flat against the wall. I waited.
A key turned in the lock. The door swung inward. A woman stepped inside. She
crossed the room. I slipped out. I hurried down the hall. Elevator doors opened. I stepped inside. The doors slid shut. A scream broke the silence. I smiled.
edit on 6-7-2017 by AkontaDarkpaw because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2017 @ 08:02 AM
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Chapter One


Harold, dressed in black slacks with a red polo, looked like any other man of sixty-
three. He stood facing the glass windows, his hands clasped behind his back. The
distant snow covered mountains rose into the cerulean sky.
Glancing at his watch he sighed.
The board meeting will be starting soon. I hope they will leave me alone this time. If
only they'd take no for an answer.

He turned to get some water before the others arrived.
Neil walked into the room. Setting his notepad and pen down on the table in front of
one of the oversized leather chairs, he joined Harold by the little coffee counter. Neil
smiled as he pushed his wire rimmed glasses further up on his nose.
“Looks like it's going to be a beautiful weekend. They say it's supposed to get up into
the 60s tomorrow with no clouds in sight. Are you going to play golf in the morning?”
Picking up a styrofoam cup he poured himself some decaf. Holding the coffee up to his
lips he blew into it, watching Harold over the rim of his cup. Taking a sip he grimaced.
“I've got a game set up with Hensley, Viceroy, and Willard. If it's going to be that nice,
we might play eighteen holes. Most times we'd only play nine but my wife is out of the
country for the weekend, so no one will be home to nag me.” He smiled. “You're lucky
you're not married yet. Enjoy it while you can. Once you say ‘I do’, she will rule you.”
Harold brought the bottle of water halfway to his lips. He paused staring off into space
for a moment as his thoughts turned to his wife of almost fifty years. “Funny thing is,
women have a way of making you enjoy being ruled.” He took a drink before walking
towards the other end of the room to take his seat.
Neil laughed. Placing his coffee on the table, he plopped down near Harold.
Zack entered the room. Helping himself to a bagel with cream cheese, he turned to
take his usual seat. He curled his lip as he caught sight of Neil and chose a chair
furthest from him.
“Harold, did you hear about the forest fire in Cali?” Zack asked.
“I heard about it on the news before coming in for the meeting. Didn't it just start?”
“Yah, about three hours ago,” Zack replied wiping his mouth with a napkin, “I think they
said it's already traveled twenty miles.”
“William’s running late as usual.” Lydia said hurrying into the room.
“Let me help you.” Neil bolted out of his seat. He took the file folders and notepads
out of Lydia's arms.
“Thank you. I think I would have dropped everything if you hadn't helped.” She placed
the reports and pens on the table. Walking to the mini fridge, she grabbed a bottle of
water before taking a seat across from Neil.
His eyes followed Lydia as she walked across the room. Her brown hair fell around her
shoulders in gentle curls held back by decorative bobby pins. Smoothing her brown skirt
before sitting down, she met his gaze. He bowed his head and looked away.
“Hi everyone,” Suzanne sang out sashaying through the door.
“Is that a new dress, Sue?” Lydia asked admiring the blue short sleeved dress.
“Yes it is.” She turned in a small circle modeling it for Lydia. “I got these black and
white pumps to go with it. Aren't they cute?” Sue asked posing.

edit on 6-7-2017 by AkontaDarkpaw because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-7-2017 by AkontaDarkpaw because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2017 @ 08:05 AM
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Swinging her hips like a pendulum, she walked to the mini fridge. Bending over she
grabbed a bottle of water. The creak of leather could be heard behind her as the men
moved to get a better view. Straightening, she took a seat next to Lydia.
“Sorry I'm late folks,” William said popping into the room. “City council meeting ran
long. Harold, why do you insist on having our board meetings on council days?” William
removed his tweed jacket placing it on the back of the chair closest to him. He sat down
as he loosened his tie and unbuttoned the top two buttons of his blue dress shirt.
“Lydia, now that everyone is assembled, why don't you get us started?” Harold asked
giving her a nod.
“Yes sir,” she replied. She handed out the pens before grabbing the easel that stood
in the corner. Clipping a pie chart to it she proceeded to give a rundown of the
company’s profits, losses, and safety issues for the quarter. Once finished, she returned
to her seat. They talked for another half hour before adjourning the meeting.
Zack and Neil pounced on Harold as soon as the others had left.
“Harold,” Neil began sitting down on the edge of the table, “have you given any more
thought to selling?”
Standing in front of the windows, Harold faced the men shaking his head. “I've already
told you, this company is my life. I'm not ready to sell.”
“You need to start thinking about the future, Harold. You're two years away from social
security and you could retire now.” Zack pointed out. “The money that you're being
offered is enough for all of us to retire on.”
Harold placed his hands on the table. “I'm not selling.”
“We realize that you built this company, that you breathed life into it but there comes a
time when you have to let go.”
“Let's not forget that without my procurement abilities, you wouldn't have the
company you have today. What would happen to your profits if I stopped getting
contracts?” Zack asked with a palms up shrug.
“Are you threatening me?” Harold’s voice rose as his nostrils flared.
“No. No, nothing of the sort.” Zack replied with a laugh and a placating gesture. “I'm
just saying that without me, your bottom line would suffer.”
“That may be true,” Neil said before pointing to himself, “but I'm the one making sure
that all the foremans are keeping up with deadlines. I ensure everything runs smoothly.
Beamer Enterprises would be nothing without me.”
“Now wait a goddamn minute! I built this company, not either of you. You weren't
here when I laid its foundations. You weren't here when I had to stay long hours away
from my wife and kids, to keep things running smoothly and meet deadlines. You
weren't here when I ran Howard Matthews out of business and took his contracts. You
weren't here for any of that and you dare to pressure me?” Harold smashed his fist
against the table making Neil and Zack jump. “I won't have it. I'm not selling and there's
nothing the two of you can do about it. Partners.” He sneered.
“Time will tell.” Zack said as he headed for the door.
Neil watched him go. “Harold, I really think you should accept the offer. Zack's
already had to bail you out once. I don't think you want him to have to do it again.”
“I know. My life has been tied up in this company for almost as long as you've been
alive.” He ran a hand over his salt and pepper crew cut. “It's been my second wife and
edit on 6-7-2017 by AkontaDarkpaw because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2017 @ 08:08 AM
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Cynthia's never once complained. I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I accepted
the offer.”
“Think about it, or you may find that you have no choice.” Neil said walking out.
After they'd left, Harold went to his office next to the conference room. He opened
the bottom drawer of his desk. Pulling out a small glass and a bottle of scotch he
poured himself a drink. He grimaced as it slid down his throat leaving a fire in its wake.
Checking his cell phone, he considered calling his wife but thought better of it. He’d
hear from her once she got back into the states.
Instead, he’d call his friend. He grabbed his schedule and dialed the number from
the office phone.
Harold counted the rings he heard as he drummed his fingers on the desk. After
several rings, his friend answered.
“D? Hey, it's Harold. Are you free to meet with me this evening?” He frowned. “That's
ok, maybe—“
“Tomorrow? No. Yah, that'd be great.” A smile crept across his face. “My wife won't be
in until Sunday morning.”
Harold tapped his chin. “The rope worked well last time, so I want to use that again but
I'd like to try a different gag.”
“The hunting knife didn't really do it for me. Maybe a butcher knife would be better?” He
licked his lips.
“Thanks, D.”
Putting the phone down, he poured himself another drink. The spreading warmth in his
belly matched the fire in his groin.

He wrote the meeting with D into his schedule. After downing the scotch, he walked
out of his office.
edit on 6-7-2017 by AkontaDarkpaw because: (no reason given)




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