I wrote the first story, ‘A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BLOGGER‘, and published it on my blog early in 2015. It was about a woman meeting her killer through her blog.
TWO FREE SHORT STORIES
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BLOGGER (Story 1)
Spotting an interesting post from a new male blogger, I click on ‘Follow’. Oh! Too Late! Just as the highlighted word changes to ‘Following’, I catch sight of his avatar photo. God! He looks like a criminal. Why did I click ‘follow’? Oh yes! I need to follow bloggers so they’ll follow me. At least that’s what I’ve come to understand. Anyway, I’d noticed he lived in the same county as me, that’s a bonus if you want me to follow you. Hey, but what if I’m following criminals, thugs and every other wrong-doer?
My friend Jayne had warned me, “Be careful what personal information you put on there; you never know who’s looking at it.”
She doesn’t understand. To access some websites, you have to give more away than you want to. I begin to reconsider all the recent people I’ve followed and engaged with. Most of them thanked me for following them, or ‘liked’ something I’ve done, but a few haven’t responded in any way. What are they waiting for? Why do they bother posting if they’re not going to respond when anyone shows an interest in their blog?
That last blogger I just followed is writing a Crime Thriller. He says he’s never written about murder before and, in his post, he was asking for help to visualise the scene. I’ve read the ‘comments’ to his post, and his reply to each contributor was always the same. “Sorry, this didn’t help.” No variation in his words at all. After 19 helpful hints, he still wasn’t able to write about it accurately. Some of the suggestions put forward seemed really useful, to me at least. Oh well! I suppose you just can’t help some people.
I exit that page and move on to my notifications. Oh that’s good! Several new people are ‘following’ me and I have a fair amount of ‘likes’. There’s also a list of comments to reply to. I check out the websites of my new followers and add a few comments of my own. Then later, I go back to the growing list of messages I have to answer. I’m in the middle of the sixth one when the telephone rings in the hall.
No response, just silence.
I let out a sigh of frustration, and wish these irritating sales people would leave me alone; they’re always interrupting me when I’m busy with something. I knew it was one of them again because there’s always a silence before their automated message starts. I don’t give them a chance to get going on their sales pitch these days, I just hang up as soon as I recognise the silent period.
Since I’ve already been disturbed, I make my way to the kitchen for a mid-morning drink and then spend the next couple of hours doing a few chores. I also prepare a casserole, so now I can work a bit later and still enjoy a good meal when I’m finished.
Later, back on my computer, I finish replying to my blogging friends, and then start writing a new article.
“Ring ring” The shrill sound of the telephone cuts into my creative thoughts again.
Once more, that annoying silence from the other end . Cursing, I replace the receiver in its cradle and in the same moment, hear a loud shattering crash from the kitchen. I freeze momentarily. Hell! That sounded like a window breaking…
Tip-toeing from the hall, I cautiously head toward the kitchen. Oh no! It’s not the window. It’s a pane in the back door. Thousands of glittering glass pieces, like sparkles in sand, lay randomly scattered on the floor where they’ve landed. Now, I panic… I’m terrified. My heart jumps in my chest almost reaching my throat and I’m glued to the spot. I’m acutely aware of my awakened nerve endings, primed for flight.
Holding my breath, I listen… No sound now. I look frantically around… The door, thankfully, is still closed. Looking through the broken pane to the garden beyond, I can’t see anyone. Everything outside looks quiet… seems normal. Yet! Someone, or something, has broken the glass.
Carefully avoiding stepping on the shimmering fragments, I slowly inch closer to the door… Is it still locked? Frantically checking behind me while drawing ever nearer, I feel and not see, the glass-less door burst violently in with the propelling force of the intruder… He’s holding aloft the most frightening knife I’ve ever seen…. My shrill screams pierce the silence but I know there’s no-one to hear. As he plunges the jagged blade deep in my flesh, I recognise him. The horror on my face is clear; it’s that criminal-looking blogger and he’s going to kill me. It’s obvious now. There’s only one way he can visualise, and then write his murder scene.
End of short story
Carole Parkes – Copyright September 2014
The second short story was written by Doug Lafuze, an up-and-coming writer. He spotted my short story and liked it so much it inspired him to write a complimentary story entitled ‘VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE’. This was the same story I’d originally published, but written from the killer’s perspective.
Yes, I was a little freaked out at first when I read Doug’s version, but to cut a long story short, Doug and I agreed to co-author a novel based on these stories. ‘YOUR LAST BREATH’ was published at the end of 2015 and quickly earned 5***** reviews. We are both really proud of it.
VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE (Story 2)
The words, Chapter 19, stared back at Ray from his white computer screen as it had now for almost two hours. He had the idea he wanted to use for the latest chapter of his crime thriller novel, but he just couldn’t picture it in his head so he could put it to words.
“This is maddening!” he muttered as he picked up the brown glass bottle of beer that sat sweating beside his monitor and took a swig.
“Maybe I can find some inspiration on my blog.” Ray said aloud as he sat the bottle back in its water ring beside the monitor and took his red mouse in hand. He closed the start of his new chapter and clicked on the link to his blog that was on his ‘desk top’. He typed in his password and waited on his page to load.
“Oh, a new follower, with a female name. I must check her out!” Ray said excitedly upon seeing the notification. He clicked on her link and it took him to her page. As he checked out her profile picture and some of her writings, he thought to himself, “Nice looking lady, she would do just fine! Let’s see what I can find on this little dish”. He opened another webpage and typed her name into the search bar. It only took a few seconds for a wealth of information on his new follower to appear on the screen in front of him.
“ I love the internet! Let’s see what your Facebook page tells me about you honey.” he said as he moved his mouse to click on her Facebook link. Her page opened before him and he perused it slowly.
“Let’s see, marital status, single, very nice. Lives in. . . . wait, that’s just a few miles away! You, my dear, are perfect!” Ray said gleefully. He clicked on her profile picture and scrolled through her past pictures.
“She’s perfect, she will give me exactly the inspiration that I need for chapter 19! Those eyes are exquisite! They will show me everything I need to see!” Ray said as he hit the back button a few times to get back to the search results. He scrolls down to the bottom of the page and clicks on the words ‘Name Search, $1.99’.
When the page opens, he types in her name, and enters his credit card info. In a matter of moments, he’s looking at her home address and phone number! He picks up his cell phone that is laying by his left hand and dials her number. After a few rings, a soft female voice says,
Ray let’s her voice sink into his brain but never says a word. She soon hangs up and leaves Ray alone with his thoughts. The words for his next chapter start to form in his head, but they feel disconnected and incomplete. He needs more inspiration, and he knows just where to find it! He springs from his chair and grabs his car keys from the counter as he sprints to the garage. Hurriedly, he throws the garage door up and walks past his car to a work bench at the back of the garage. He opens the lid on a red tool box, sets the top tray on the bench, and rummages around inside it for a moment before pulling out a large knife that was hidden beneath the wrenches. He lovingly admires the long shiny blade as he runs his finger down the sharp edge and smiles. Satisfied that the blade is sharp enough for what he has planned for it, Ray opens the door of his old Pontiac and climbs in, tossing the knife onto the passenger seat.
It only took twenty minutes for Ray to find her house out in the country. It was a pretty white house that sat surrounded by tall trees and fields of corn. Ray parked his car in the field closest to the house and used the corn to creep up close. It only took a short moment of looking in a window to see his victim moving about inside. When he was confident she wouldn’t see him, he calmly walked out of the corn and across her yard without even looking around. He looked in the first window he came too and saw her carrying a basket of laundry towards the back of the house. Quietly he made his way to the back yard and it’s beautiful garden and carefully looked in one of the windows. He watched her put the clothes in the washer and start it, but he had to duck back out of sight just as she turned around. Ray played this game of watch and hide for almost two hours as she went about chores and even put together some kind of casserole. Finally, she settled back at her computer and Ray decides that the time has come.
Quietly he makes his way to the back door and looks around. A shovel stands just a few feet from the door, leaning against a black plastic wheel barrow.
“That’ll do.” Ray thinks to himself.
Shovel in one hand, knife in the other, Ray stands there beside the back door. His heart is pounding in his ears, no matter how many times he’s killed someone now, he still gets extremely nervous just before. He breathed deep a few times to get his breathing under control, but it took several moments before he finally got his heart rate settled down. With his nerves settled, he sits the shovel against the house and removes his phone from his pocket and dials her number one more time.
Again Ray says nothing, but after she hangs up, he puts the phone back in his pocket, picks up the shovel and uses it to shatter the glass in the back door. Quickly he reaches inside and unlocks the door knob before turning and placing his back up against the house and listens for her to enter the room. Silently he stands there, knife at the ready listening intently. He hears her footsteps in the hall as she hurries to the kitchen, and he grips the knife tighter. He wants her to come near the door, maybe even open it herself, so he stands there, listening and waiting.
Ray stood there, back flat against the house listening, for what seemed like an eternity. He started to worry that she had fled to the front door, but if she had, surely he would have heard her footsteps again. He has heard only silence since she entered the kitchen. He was just thinking about peeking around the door when he heard it. It was faint, but he heard someone stepping on tiny bits of broken glass. She was approaching the door!
The sudden adrenaline rush he got from realizing she was so close to him caused Ray to not be able to wait. He gripped the knife even tighter in his right hand, and grabbed the door knob with his left. In one swift motion, he turned the door knob and violently shoved it open as he quickly entered the house.
She stood there before him, horror with a hint of recognition flowed quickly across her face. She opened her mouth to scream, but he was on her before she could, and he plunged his knife deep into the soft flesh of her stomach as he placed his hand over her mouth. The fear left her face and was replaced by shock and pain. Emboldened by the look on her face, Ray shoved her back across the kitchen until she came up against a counter. He withdrew his knife and again shoved it into her stomach. He could feel her warm blood trickle over his bare hand as he drew near her right ear and breathed her in. He could smell her shampoo, her perfume, and her fear. Once again he withdrew his knife and plunged it deep into her. She gasped quietly in his ear as the blade penetrated her once more. She started to sag lifelessly to the floor, but Ray forced a knee between her legs and pinned her against the counter. He pulled his head back and looked her in the eyes. They were quivering rapidly from the pain the knife induced, her breathing was rapid and shallow. Ray looked into her quivering eyes and he found what he was looking for. The badly needed words for his chapter flooded into his brain. He slowly twisted the knife and fed on the pain and fear coming from her eyes. He removed his hand and kissed her open lips, never breaking eye contact. Slowly, and most deliciously, he pulled the knife from her stomach and held it up for them both to see. Her dark red blood trickled down the blade and over Ray’s hand. A smile crossed his face as he placed the knife to her throat.
When the blade touched her throat, tears rolled down her cheek as she started to cry and shake her head no. She mouthed the word please as Ray shoved the knife into her soft white flesh and pulled it across her throat. Her warm blood sprayed across his face from the opening in her neck. She gasped for air as her lifeblood sprayed from her throat with each final beat of her heart. Slowly, her eyes fluttered shut and her head dropped forward as the flow of blood eventually slowed to a stop.
Ray lifted her lifeless head by the hair and looked her in the face. Convinced all life had left her body, he withdrew his knee, allowing it to fall lifeless to the floor. He stood there, blood dripping from his chin and clothes, and watched the last little bit of her crimson blood puddle on the white tile floor beneath her head. He breathed deep the smell of her blood, and the stench of death that hung in the air over her body. He knew that smell very well and he loved it. It empowered him, and sparked his creativity. He breathed deep again and slowly he turned and walked back out the same door he had barged through just a moment before. Without trying to wipe off any blood, he made his way back to his car.
Twenty minutes later, back at his home, dried blood cracked and flaked from his fingers as they furiously pecked out the words to chapter 19. The sweat from his brow trickled through the dried blood on his cheeks and fell onto his pant legs, leaving red dots here and there. A few managed to find their way onto his desk. He wiped his brow with the back of his hand, smearing blood across his forehead as he feverishly typed out what he felt was his best chapter so far.
End of short story
Doug Lafuze – Copyright February 2015
These two short stories, though raw and unedited, inspired the creation of our co-authored book ‘YOUR LAST BREATH’.
If you enjoyed these short stories, you may consider reading more on the free ‘Look Inside’ feature on the Amazon book page.
You an also purchase our book from Amazon HERE
It’s available in both Kindle and paperback format. Also FREE to read on Kindle Unlimited.