As I walked up the steps to my apartment I found a bright orange eviction notice stapled into the cracked paint of the brown door. It came as little surprise as I’d been avoiding the landlord for two months. I only left in the middle of the night for minimal groceries and to find the remnants of half smoked cigarettes outside the bus station entrance. Anything as not to be caught in her gaze and questioned yet again why the rent remained unpaid. With as little noise as possible I opened the lock to the apartment, leaving the orange notice stapled to the door, and closed it behind me. Continue reading
Note to blogger: Consider embedding the two youtube videos for which I’ve given links at the end.
Duels are often the most exciting and memorable scenes of a novel. Here are some tips Continue reading
Chapter One: Deed of the Seed
There it was again, that neighbor’s door down the hall, slamming. The old woman huffed as she looked out the peep-hole. A hard looking man was striding along the passage. As he passed, her peep-hole went dark, just before the silenced bullet went through her eye, into her brain, and out the back of her skull.
At the other end of the hall, apartment #423, where the door had slammed, sat a corpse. The elderly man had three bullet holes in him, groin, heart, and right between the eyes.
Another resident, coming home slightly inebriated, slipped and fell in front of the old woman’s door, where her blood had flowed underneath into the passage. He screamed, scrambled to get out of the blood, and totally freaked out, completely wasting his good buzz. Someone called the police. It would be another two weeks before the body in #423, would be found by the super collecting for rent. He screamed too.
Detective Fred Thompson, was assigned the old woman’s homicide. He had already spent four days knocking on doors, asking questions, investigating every aspect of her life, and had absolutely nothing.
Miriam Joanne Radcliff (Henderson), 67 years old, widowed, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, had no enemies, and pretty much no friends (she’d outlived most of them). She lived on Social Security, and a small pension from her husband of 43 years.
Nothing she possessed had any value worth stealing, and nothing in the apartment had been touched, so robbery was not the motive. Her insurance policy would barely cover her funeral, so wealth wasn’t a motive either. It appeared to be a random killing, and that always led to fears of a serial killer, but there were no similar reported cases in the five state area.
“Fred, how’s the Radcliff, case going?”
“Well Captain,it looks like another dust catcher. I can’t find a single reason why someone would kill her, and forensics has nothing either, a 38 caliber bullet
with no striation matches in our system”
Captain Parks looked tired, and hung his head a second before answering: “Give it a couple more days, then turn in your report Fred. God, I hate dead end cases,
makes us all look incompetent.”
“Yes sir, will do.” But Fred had no idea where to go next, he’d be spinning his wheels the next three days.
It had been eight days since he turned in his report, and was still in a sour mood over it. Captain Parks, came bounding out of his office heading straight for his desk. “The superintendent at the building where the Radcliff murder happened, just found a body a few doors down from hers. Get over there, the coroner approximates the death about two weeks ago, they may be related.”
Fred was almost glad to hear of another murder, one that might lead to answers. “On my way Captain, as fast as traffic will let me.”
Chapter Two: Ants at a Picnic
The C.S.U. (crime scene unit), was scrambling over everything like ants at a picnic when he arrived. Finger print dust hanging in the air, vacuum cleaners sucking up every particle of dirt. Cameras flashing like a strobe light show. Evidence gathering in the modern world of science. He looked at the nearest tech and asked: “What do we know so far?” The tech looked at him, shrugged, and went back to his scrambling. Guess he would have to wait for the official findings, but he would take his own look around.
Dave Merre, the coroner, walked up to him: “Hey Fred, you draw this one?”
“Yeah, it might be tied in with the one down the hall, Dave”
“That would make sense, they seem to be about the same day, I’ll know more later, when I run lab tests. The caliber of bullet looks to be a 38 also. But this one looks to be personal. After all, who shoots a man in his jewels if they’re not pissed at him?”
Fred felt a little queasy at the thought of getting shot there, what man wouldn’t. “Yeah, as personal as it gets Dave, as personal as it gets!”
Okay, who had this guy screwed over bad enough to warrant dying like this? Was it a professional hit, and old Miriam, just collateral damage? How do you tell her loved ones that; “sorry, but she should have minded her own business”. Glad he didn’t have that duty, the P.R. department had one hell of a suck ass job.
“Okay, someone give me the background, who the hell is this guy?”
The first officer on the scene came up to him to give all he had garnered so far. “Yes sir detective, Officer Hansen, responding unit. The victims name is James Trenton, according to the super. He has lived here six years, always paid his rent on time, and lives a quiet life. Never had any complaints by other neighbors, or any problems with the building super. We’re running a background check on him now.”
“Alright Hansen, have everything you’ve got on my desk ASAP, and good work.” Hopefully the background would offer some clue, because right now it looked like they had as little as the murder down the hall.
Looking at the body, there was a strange sense that the victim was smiling. How could you smile when you just got shot in the jewels? He looked around the room, searching for things out of place, something missing. Nothing, it wasn’t robbery, wasn’t something that someone was searching for. The only thing made sense is it had to be something personal, a cold, calculated, killing. He would wait for morning, to get started looking at this guy’s life, and had a feeling it wasn’t a good one.
Chapter Three: Trenton’s Story
As Fred walked towards his desk, he saw that everyone else had been busy overnight. Looked like Officer Hansen, had dropped off his written report, and the background information that was in the system, and it had been organized already. He liked Hansen even more for doing that, saved him some time. There was also the coroner’s preliminary report. Time, and cause of death, bullet calibre (38), and ballistic match to the Radcliff, homicide. So there it was, the two murders were linked, but the coroner couldn’t be certain which was shot first of the two, margin of error on times of death. Flipping through the CSU report, it came as no surprise that there were no fingerprints, and nothing else which could be considered evidence of the killer’s identity.
Now let’s find out who Mr. Trenton is.
D.O.B. 10/12/1943, that would make him 70 years old.
Couple of speeding tickets, couple of parking tickets,
One DUI arrest, 1978. One in 2010, lost his car, and drivers license.
Married twice, both ended in divorce. A few domestic disturbance calls. Not a very nice guy apparently.
Here’s something interesting. Was considered a suspect in a rape case, in 1961, of a 15 year old girl. Was released without charges on lack of evidence.
No children from either marriage, and no relatives listed. Guess I’ll have the records department look to see if he has any brothers and/or sisters.
Arrested seven months ago for assault. He slapped a waitress on the ass at a bar down-town after he had a few. DNA recorded, and 1 year suspended probation.
Credit score of 620, no loans for him.
I guess I’ll have a couple of the flatfoots find out if his ex-wives are still alive, and interview them if they are still around. But I doubt either one of them even think of him anymore, but you never know with women, they can carry grudges a long time.
That evening found Fred, down-town, at the Bare Bones Beer Bar, otherwise known as the 4B’s. He wanted to check on the assault of the waitress, and see if she had a jealous boyfriend. As he entered the drinkery, he noticed it was as low class as one could find in the city, heading towards the bar, he motioned to the keep. “Hello, I’m detective Fred Thompson, 4th Precinct, homicide. I’d like to talk to a waitress working here named Julie Madson. Is she here, or do you have her address if she isn’t?”
The bar-keep looked at his badge, then answered: “Bo Michaels detective, and yeah, she’s right over there.” As he pointed to a dumpy mid thirties brunette serving a table near the corner.
“Ugh, thanks Bo, I’ll try not to tie her up to long, just have a few questions about an incident a while back.”
Bo grunted something as he went to tend to a customer. Fred headed to intercept Ms. Madson.
“Hello Ms. Madson, I’m detective Fred Thompson, 4th Precinct, homicide. I’d like to ask you a few questions about an assault on you by James Trenton, about seven months ago. Do you mind answering?”
“Not at all, what did that old fart do now?” she asked with a hint of disdain in her voice.
“I’ll get to that in a bit Ms. Madson. Are you married, engaged, or currently attached Ms. Madson?”
Laughing, she smiled at him and answered: “No. Why, are you interested detective? I don’t have time or energy for a social life, hell, this job, even with tips, barely keeps a roof over my head, and food in my gut.”
“Sorry, but I don’t have time for a social life either, so I commiserate with you. One more question. Do you have any family who might want to avenge you, for being assaulted by Mr. Trenton?” This time she didn’t laugh, but looked stricken.
“Detective, the last of my family, my brother, died two years ago in Afghanistan.”, as she broke down in tears. This interview was over.
I suppose I’ll pull that old rape case, and see if there’s any more there than I have been able to find so far, this is turning out to be another dust collector.
The next morning , Fred, was sitting in front of Captain Parks, desk, as the captain arrived for work. Captain parks didn’t break stride, but walked straight to his chair and sat.
“Captain, why didn’t you tell me you know Mr. Trenton?”
“Because Fred, I wanted you to come to me at the end of your investigation, so I could answer your questions. So ask away.”
“Why Captain? After all these years, and why Mrs. Radcliff?”
“James Trenton, brutally raped Agness Miller, in 1961, when she was 15 years old. She gave birth to a son in early 1962, and was shunned in her town as a slut for having a baby out of wedlock. Five years later she found a good man who loved her, and married Jason Parks, ten years older than her. She tried to be a good wife, and mother, but she suffered psychological issues that kept her withdrawn into herself. She became an alcoholic at 28, and committed suicide at 30. Jason Parks raised me as his own, and made sure I was loved, but I never stopped missing my mother. When I joined the police department, I read about my mother’s rape, and found the only witness, had recounted her story, and disappeared, one Miriam Joanne Henderson, 15 years old. I found out later, through years of investigation, she was in love with James Trenton, and had been having sex with him at that time. That is why she refused to testify.”
“Now, as to why, after all these years. I had no proof, until seven months ago, when he got arrested and we got his DNA. I had it checked against mine, and it proved he was the man who raped my mother. So I went and confronted him, and he laughed. So I shot him in the balls for the rape, the heart for destroying hers, and the head, so the last thing he would see, would be justice being served, by the seed of his own injustice. Then I shot Miriam for letting him get away with the rape of my mother.”
“Captain Parks, I’m placing you under arrest for the murder of James Trenton, and Miriam Joanne Radcliff. You have the right to remain……”
For three hours I’d navigated through the snow-covered roads. The remains of a cold diner coffee and the buzz from the No-Doz kept me alert, or so I thought. The headlights danced against the white veiled crags, the granite glistening. Four miles of loose dirt roads and another thirty to go. I reached for the radio, expecting no more than static. A sonorous jazz routine emerged from the speakers; reminiscent of Bourbon Street or Toulouse in the Continue reading
How dare they call you their own?
How dare they label you dark?
How dare they shun you?
Africa they caress you with curses
Engrave you with recurring scars
Soil on your natural beauty
Fail to recognize your beauty
Put on make up to cover your face
Terrified to be identified by your face
Africa they masquerade you white
They hide from your tongue
They masturbate in other tongues
They forsake your existence
They put you on exile
For how long will they do that?
Showering presents at your dusty feet
Gifted presents of destruction
Africa you slit the throats of your sons
And you laugh hysterical afterwards
Africa you massacre your heir
Quenching thirsty rivers with floods of blood
Overflowing flooded with corruption you endure
Thirst of hunger
When will the tears end?
Cry oh! beloved Africa
To learn more about Mbongeni Nyadza please visit Meet the Writers.
View from the Open Sea (433 words)
Our dreams are but crystal drops falling from eyes tearing with joy or sorrow; their pings can be heard for miles around; their echoes bounce back to bless or to haunt. One droplet, the best droplet, shone as a white flare for a moment in time; smiles frozen on celluloid; romantic poses pasted into a sticky album and boxed away for latter days…It was just a tiny, liquid drop of youthful expectation collected in a bucket yet it promised the biggest prize. Of all those constrained in my little sea, on that cornerstone I fashioned my house knowing that, one day, I could look back and see it still shining like a beacon Continue reading
The misshapen feckless man picked up a stool, and brought it to the table where she lay. He panted, allowing his shoulders to hang, and his posture to subside. He unbuckled the strap from her forehead, exposing the leather-burns, and removed the gag from her busted mouth.
Her comatose body lay there, tranquil. Her chin fully relaxed, leaving her lips slightly open.
Starting at her hairline, avoiding the bruises, he wound a wavy strand around his forefinger.
From my apartment’s balcony on the 20th floor, I’m looking at people as they pass on the road below. People, cars, everything looks very small from here, as small as a dot on a dice. In the past I would have liked to have vision to see the tall palaces and mansions people frequently talked about; to see children smile and adult emotion. But I never thought, gazing down, from the top of those palatial roosts, things would be this filthy. I now know why politicians and sovereigns always view their subjects as insignificant; Continue reading
Dark, dismal days, as the sun tries breaking through a sulphuric haze overlaying our little town. Four years now, right in the middle of the battle lines drawn between two religious factions. Both claimed they were fighting for God, but all they were doing was raising hell for us.
I am Mareek, son of the once mayor of Abbul, a quiet little town where mostly local farmers sold their goods. Now a war torn assembly of remnants, looking more like piles of rubbish, Continue reading
M. A. Barr is a full-time student finishing up an A.A. Pharmacy degree at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, Florida. After taking a Creative Writing class, he discovered a love for the art of prose and storytelling; writing 100 word stories daily on his blog: Twisted Dreams in Pen & Ink.
When asked about what first drew him to storytelling, he answered, ”The love for writing grew with my friends that introduced me to sci-fi/fantasy genre books, and nights spent creating stories and characters with them. It only grew from there. I found even more friends that actually got me to start doing this project with them of writing 100 word stories daily. Honestly, at the start, I really just wrote maybe once or twice a week. That all changed after the Creative Writing class and when my Professor (Ms. Greer) sat me down and asked ‘Why the heck are you doing Pharmacy when you write so well?’” This inspired him to start his blog, and put more focus on developing his “storytelling chops” by writing 100 word stories daily for a year. “I’m still learning. I started late. I’m putting this project out there to get criticisms, to let others use it as a story prompt if they want, and to entertain people.”
Asides from being a full-time student/full-time writer, he works in the Pharmacy at Mease Countryside Hospital part-time. He moved from the Philippines to America four years ago and takes care of his grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. “It’s one of the reasons I bring up memories a lot in my stories. I dedicate and read a lot of them to her.”
Visit M.A Barr’s blog at Twisted Dreams in Pen & Ink.
Contributions to The Writer’s Gallery:
Nariman Parker is an aspiring blogger and amateur photographer from Cape Town, South Africa. As a keen observer of people and circumstance, she presents everyday images from her unique perspective and with her written pieces, she spins the complexities of human relationships into engrossing tales that leave her online viewers engaged and moved (to smiles, to tears, to terror….)
Her blog FLASHES was first published in August 2012. It is an offering from this truly modern woman struggling to make sense of everyday life and love with levity and a dash of nostalgia.
Married for 22 years, she is an eternal romantic, but with a racy twist.
After qualifying from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelors degree in Psychology, Linguistics and Afrikaans & Nederlands, she spent 12 years in education, teaching on two continents. She is currently working in Marketing.
She has a love for all things SA, especially for her Mother City, Cape Town.
Contributions to The Writer’s Gallery:
Yolanda was born in Madrid Spain, and immigrated to Australia with her parents when she was four-years-old. She speaks and writes Spanish fluently and dabbles in Italian. She is a Licensed Conveyancer in Sydney, Australia.
Yolanda has many interests. One of them is the theatre, performing and attending. She is a member of a community theatre at which she performs. She also enjoys photography, and traveling.
“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.” Oscar Wilde
Read more of Yolanda’s work on her blog: Love Pain and Other Catastrophes
Contributions to The Writer’s Gallery:
Rusty Rimes was born in the Southwest United States, in 1957
He received his highschool GED at the age of sixteen, and has continued with self education the rest of his life. Which has lead to a favorite saying: “If you don’t know something, go learn it.”
Rusty loves all things beautiful, despises all things cruel. Enjoys Classical music most of all, but has an eclectic appreciation for all forms.
His wish for humanity, is simply to love one another with open concern for each persons well being.
Follow Rusty Rimes on
About Amy Glamos
Amy Glamos is a freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys writing poetry and short fiction, while juggling motherhood and all the fun challenges that come with it. Her poems have been published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and her short fiction has appeared in eFiction. She is currently working on her first novel, as well as a chapbook of poetry. She lives with her family in the foothills of Colorado, though her heart lies in the Midwest, where she was born. Her blog, http://www.muffinsandmetaphors.blogspot.com, chronicles the daily life of a writer-mama who dabbles in the art of baking.
Contributions to The Writer’s Gallery:
Dyane Forde’s love of writing began with an early interest in reading, and of words in general. She was always amazed at how linking words together in different ways had unexpected and pleasing results on others. People enjoyed what she created! This sparked a life-long desire to write in different styles; short stories; novels; flash fiction and poetry. She enjoys trying genres and forms of writing which are different from what she’s used to; every story or book represents new joys and challenges. Dyane views writing as an amazing and intimate communication tool, and becomes a means through which she seeks to connect with others on a level deeper than intellect.
Dyane is a social worker by profession. Learning to see the world through other people’s eyes, as well as sharing in their pain, has influenced and enriched her as a person, as well as her writing. She is also a wife, and mother to two children, a cat named JackJack and a dog named Sparky.
To find out more about The Purple Morrow and upcoming books, please click here.
Contributions to The Writer’s Gallery
— Just Desserts (Christmas Story)
Marco G. Casteleijn
Marco G. Casteleijn grew up in a small town in the Netherland, and a good way to escape was to read, especially when a library was built. Marco graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry (NL), a MSc in molecular biology (FI) and a PhD in bioprocess Engineering at the University of Oulu, Finland. Marco is currently working on pharmaceutical proteins, their development and delivery at the University of Helsinki, Finland where he resides with his heroic wife and three magical children.
The narratives found in research are creative and intuitive, and can be as fascinating as a good book. Marco has been writing short stories and poetry since high school and continues to do so. In addition, Marco has published several academic peer reviewed articles in respectable journals. Marco is currently working on his lyric sequence “My Opaque Dreams”, while poetry and short stories along the way.
Contributions to The Writer’s Gallery:
Award winning author, journalist, and social activist, currently a post-graduate student at York University, where she has already obtained a BA in Communication, an MA in Culture and Genocide studies, and a graduate certificate in Migration and Forced Refugee Issues She also has a certificate in International Journalism for International Writers from Sheridan College.
Salih is the publisher and editor of two Kurdish magazines. In 2010, she founded the Anti-Genocide Project to bring together the voices of genocide victims living in Canada. She is the author of 12 books, and has received several international awards, including the 2013 Naguib Mahfouz Award for the Novel and Short Story from the Nagham House and the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. In recognition of her short stories, she was a two-time recipient of the first award at the Academia Mutamenti–Amita Festival of Art and Literature in Italy, in 2001 and 2002. She is appointed for 2014 Writer-in-Resident at George Brown College by PEN Canada.
Salih has participated in a number of international workshops and conferences, most recently a field study on the Holocaust with York University and “TheWomen of the Middle East” conference on agency and activism with Albany State University in New York. Kaziwa’s academic interests include genocide and culture, culture and communication theory, Kurdish studies, gender and ethics, and cultural psychology. She has been a member of numerous human rights organizations such as United Nation Association of Canada, Amnesty International, Egypt Human Rights Organization, Kurdistan Human Rights, Pen Canada and Writer in Exile.
Website : www.kaziwa.com
–Contributions to The Writer’s Gallery
Douglas Metz is a poet and writer from New Jersey with a penchant for things macabre. In addition to writing he enjoys doing spoken word performances and recordings. His poetry, stories and recordings can all be found on http://unknownpoetry.wordpress.com.
Contributions to The Writer’s Gallery:
— Feast of Friends (short story)
— A Void to Avoid (short story)
— Shadow Dancer (poem)
This post is aimed towards genres such as horror, thriller, suspense and action ( pretty much any genre where the need to grip the audience’s attention is necessary!)
Keep in mind, while reading this post, I am not expert writer. However, I have had more than my share of rough critiques, and I’m grateful for them. Without them I would not have been sought after by publicists for Nadia, and commended on my vigorous technique. My hope in writing this post is to help some of you learn a bit of what I’ve learned.
Write in an active voice!! Do not attempt to write these genre’s in a passive voice. It will not sit well with your audience. We choose to read these genres with an expectation that we will be blown away, not put to sleep. Continue reading