Lavender Lipstick~#AugustWriting #shortfiction #Crimethriller #themagicshop

1

It was around three am when lieutenant Marie Donalin was nicely “forced” to leave the latest crime scene and to head home. There wasn’t really much more she could do there anyway and she looked like, as her boss professionally stated ” total shit”. Marie had already worked thirteen hours straight when she got the call that yet another victim had been found dead in their apartment. The body of one Darcy Donato had been discovered by her boyfriend around nine o’clock earlier in the evening. Darcy like the three others, was found stabbed multiple times by a small of pair of cuticle scissors. Additionally like the others, the killer had written on the bathroom mirror in lipstick their signature message.

LETS DO MORE, I’M UP TO 4!

In each crime scene, the killer used a different shade of lipstick. Tonight it appeared to be a traditional glossy red. The CSI unit would analyze it, like all the others and would eventually have the exact make and color of the brand. All three previous messages had been photographed and were now attached to a board down at the station. Marie had been studying all the evidence, diligently for weeks now. She was assigned the case every since the first victim, Patricia Walsh was found in her dorm room. Marie knew the messages and colors by heart. Miss Walsh’s was written in what was later identified as ‘Pink Nouveau’.

LET’S START THE FUN, HERES NUMBER ONE

Three weeks later, victim number two A miss Juliet Wychowski was found. Color-‘Witchhazel Black’ (Which Marie found out later, was sold only around Halloween)

MORE WORK FOR YOU, HERES NUMBER TWO

Six weeks had passed before the body of victim number three, Victoria Jensen was discovered in her place by her visiting parents. Victoria had invited them over for dinner and to see the first place that she had all on her own. The shade of her message hade had been determined to be ‘Burned Sunburst orange’.

THOUGHT YOU WERE FREE? WELL, HERES NUMBER THREE

Eventually, all the colors had been identified as being made by different cosmetics companies and were sold basically everywhere in the country. In each crime, the killer used a new pair of cuticle scissors to inflict the wounds. They weren’t always on the backs of the victims, but the wound count was always past fifty times.

Marie walked up the steps towards her apartment, like some toy whose batteries were slowly dying. She was the result of total exhaustion on all levels-physical, mental and emotional. This case was starting to seriously take its toll on her. All four victims were around her age and she almost felt this inner connection with all of them. Like, they were old classmates from high school even though she had never met any of them before in her life.

Marie loved being a cop and knew this was her “calling” to this world. She came from a family of all male police officers and wanted to prove to them that their “short redheaded sister” could be tougher and better than all of them put together. She proved her point by making detective at an early age and going on to make some highly notable arrests. She earned the nickname ‘Pitbull’ because of her height and of her aggressiveness to never let go of a case once she “clamped her jaws down on the perp”. Three straight months of what the press had now named ‘The cuticle killer’.with no real solid leads had finally started to show its effects on Marie. Her captain was right, she needed to be here at home to recharge her batteries and forget about tonight’s earlier incident. She yawned twice as she opened through her front door and then another time in the kitchen as she looked for a beer in her fridge. She took off gun and placed it down on the counter. Last thing she needed to do, was blow a hole in her couch when she sat down. She took a sip of her beer and smirked a bit thinking back to last year when a fellow idiot coworker did just that. He Sat in his recliner at home, forgot about his piece (which he also had stupidly forgotten to put the safety back on) and consequently, fired off a slug directly into his hardwood floor. The bullet missed his left foot by two inches.

“Frigging moron”

Marie thought and shook her head. She downed the beer and threw the empty can on top of the overflowing mountain of cans that was now spilling out over the rim of her recycling can. One of the cans fell and hit the floor as Marie walked out of the kitchen and down the hall. She flicked the light switch on in her bathroom and her eyes squinted at the sudden burst coming off the only lit bulb in her overhead fixture. Three out of four bulbs were already dead and Marie still hadn’t gotten around to changing them-nor did she care. Hers widened instantly as she looked directly ahead into the vanity mirror. Scrawled across its surface, words written in a bright lavender shade of lipstick.

BET YOU CAN’T WAIT TO BE NUMBER EIGHT

She slowly backed out of the bathroom, glancing all around for someone. She quickly turned around to her empty apartment. Nothing but still air and the dim glow of the bathroom light. She ran back into the kitchen and got her gun. Then she called for backup . Instead of checking out the rest of her place, she stayed put in her kitchen. Her gun held forward directly in front of her and the safety removed. Her hearts beat was pushed into overdrive. The adrenaline was tingling her entire body. She felt some comfort in hearing the sirens of oncoming units. Her mind was already filled hundreds of ideas regarding this case. Now, she felt as if her head would explode with all the new ones created by what had just happened in the last ten minutes. Marie stood there in her dark galley kitchen drowning in thoughts with one disturbing realization floating to the surface.

The fact that he had announced that Marie would be victim number eight and he was only on number four. She knew that there would be three more women out there who could potentially be the next set of victims in this case. How could she possibly protect them when the killer could easily get to her?

She stood in the darkness and felt her exhaustion slowly being replaced by something else, a feeling that she wasn’t used to. The overwhelming discomfort of uselessness and fear.

August Writing Prompt- Lavender Lipstick-Day 18/31

Melted ice cream~#AugustWriting #shortfiction #themagicshop

1

Jack Dougherty put the last three dollars he had in his wallet on the windows ledge of the “Mr. Happy Cream” ice cream truck.

“Gimme another chocolate-vanilla swirl” Jack said with a bit of an edge in his voice. The driver stared at Mike coldly then turned around to get out a wafer cone to fill.

“Well, Jackass he could have easily just given her another one”. Jack thought to himself. The her he was thinking of was a blonde haired youngster going by the name “Allison”. At least, that’s what Jack heard her the friends that she was with call her. Jack had been sitting on a bench in Cedar park still recovering from his latest hangover. Like dozens of other nights before Mike hit the tavern early yesterday and slowly begin to soak in the never-ending flow of booze. This is what Jack did whenever he finished his work day at his stagnant job and was away from his ordinary wife. Drinking was his way out of this inescapable trap-period. No lottery was going to be won by him and no genie would stop by with three wishes for Jack to enjoy. Life for him was simple gratification at the edge of a bar and the penalties of his diversion being felt the day after. The driver handed Jack the freshly made cone. A chill came off it as he grabbed it and brought it down from the window.

“Hey Allison!” Jack said to the little girl who was still looking down at the ice cream cone on the hot pavement. The one she bought for herself with the money her Mom just gave her. She got one long lick on it before the whole thing toppled over and hit the ground. The tears from her eyes happened instantaneously. She had looked up at the driver in the truck, her face red and slightly now swollen. He gave her a shrug of apathy, ignored her dilemma and then proceeded to read his newspaper. Jack had witnessed this whole thing from afar and wanted to jump inside the truck just to yell directly into the driver’s face.

“HEY! YOU COULD GIVE THAT KID ANOTHER ONE, ON THE HOUSE” Jack loved the idea of doing this but, came up something more positive.

Allison looked back at her Mom who was sitting on a bench watching her the whole time. She gave Allison that look that all moms give to assure their child of their safety. Jack stood at the side of the truck and handed Allison the new ice cream cone. He watched as her face turned from apprehension to one of sheer joy. The tears were long gone now.

“Thanks, mister!” She squeaked out as she took the ice cream from Jack. He looked down at her and smiled. He had thought hopefully Allison is not familiar with the smell of residue Whisky and she wouldn’t notice it coming from his breath. Allison turned around, ran past the melted ice cream that was now slowly spreading out into a puddle on the ground. Jack looked away from her just as she sat down safely next to her mother on the bench. The Mom waved at Jack and he responded back happily.

“Your ice cream looks good” Jack said to the driver with no emotion in his voice.

The driver looked over his newspaper at Jack. “It is. Good and expensive to make”. His tone was sympathetic, as if making ice cream was the last thing he wanted to do in this world.

Jack started to walk away, his head still filled with cotton. He looked back at the driver one more time and shouted back.

“Oh, by the way Mr. Happy Cream? You’re an ASSHOLE.” The driver gave Jack the middle finger and then went right back to reading his newspaper.

Jack shuffled towards the park’s exit thinking that his plan today was to deal with the hangover simply by continuing to drink through another day. He was going to use his last three dollars to buy a pint of anything at the local liquor store and drown in it. Instead, he made a little girl happy. He stopped right before leaving and looked back once again at Allison and her Mom. Allison raised her arm and waved in enthusiastic delight. To see her do that and enjoy her ice cream gave Jack that he hadn’t experienced in a long time. Jack smiled back at her and decided right then and there, it was time for someone to help him. He realized that he needed to stop escaping into a bottle and find another way to deal with reality. He left the park with thoughts of finding more alcohol slowly melting away, like fallen ice cream on a hot paved ground.

August Writing Prompt-Melted ice cream-Day 17/31

Simply Them~#poetry #love #themagicshop

6

She needed his quirkiness

Tired of packaged creeps

A show of losers on repeat play

Juliet knew it in act two

She knew it from his pizza topping

He needed her normalcy

Bored of the perpetual flakes

A parade of the basically insane

Han knew it in episode five

He knew it from her sincerity

She was a solid print

He was a colorful design

A woman of substance

A man of dreams

Mismatched pieces that pleasantly connect

They opened doors for each other

Worlds of wonder for her to visit

A lesson in stability for him to walk through

Learning and laughing in each other’s arms

A story they enjoy writing together

Steady as a rock

Light as a cloud

Defying the statistics

They have in each other what the world wishes for

Two souls who love the other one in all of their uniqueness-simply.

Cantankerous cuties~#AugustWriting #shortfiction #themagicshop

4

Oliver and Susie sat in Brooklawn park watching life as it went on around them.   It was a comfortable spring day and it seemed like the whole world was out enjoying God’s gift of sunlight..  Youngsters ran around this one area, the joy of being able to run and play obvious to everyone watching them.

“I used to run faster than all of those kids, when I was their age”  Oliver grumblingly said to Susie.  “I could have beaten all of them in any race at any park”.

Susie turned to Oliver her face scrunched together in disappointment.

“Ollie, I’ve known you my whole life.   You could NEVER run as fast as the kids, even when you were young.   What does it matter now?   Those days are over.   This is what’s left for us now.”

Oliver kept staring at all the activity that was going on the grassy knoll in front of him.

“You’re right, Susie-I know that’s true.   I don’t have to like it.   My legs are killing me now.   They got me on these new pills for my arthritis.  I’m now up to eight different pills a day for everything else.   Half the time, I can’t remember to take them”.

Just then a ball got thrown passed them in close proximity.   Neither Oliver or Susie just looked at it not moving their tires muscles to get it.

“Look,  at my right eye”  Susie said as she turned to face him, opening her right eye as wide as possible.   The once beautiful dark brown that Ollie would often look at was now a milky white.  “Cataract in this one eye.   They don’t want to remove it yet.   Still, my vision ain’t what it used to be.   I’m tired of looking through a cloud”

They both turned their heads away from each other.   An ice cream truck pulled into the park’s entrance playing  its chimes for everyone to hear.

“I’m also on this new diet”.  Susie continued.  “They want me to lose a few pounds.   At my age??  I can barely move as it is, my feet aren’t what they used to be and they want me to lose weight!  They’re lucky I’m still alive for them, those Meshugganas!’

Oliver once again looked back at his lifelong friend.   His eyes too were getting old, but he could still see the slight sadness in Susie’s face.  Their time on this planet would be ending soon and he could tell that she knew this.  Howls of delight continued on from all the young players having a delightful time.

“Look at them”  Oliver grumpily said as he faced forward and watched as more kids joined the area.  “They don’t know realize how good they have it.   To be able to jump and run like that.  It goes by so quick.  Before you know it,  they’ll be sitting here  unable to move”.

Susie yawned.   She would need a nap soon.  “Ollie, did you think about being this old when you were their age?  Of course not.  Let them enjoy the day as it is now.  Besides, you got me next to you, NOW.  What more do ya need?”

Oliver smiled,  leaned in and gave her a peck on her nose.  “I love you, lady. It’s time for me to go.  Same time tomorrow?”

Susie was tingling from Oliver’s kiss.  She also loved him as a dear friend and companion for almost the entirety of her life.  “God willing,  Ollie..I’ll be here.   Theres nowhere else I would want to be right now in my life.  Well, maybe a cruise somewhere with a nice deck.”

The two of them started to laugh together out loud.   Their cantankerous nature now replaced by the genuine joy of being able to still laugh with each other.

Two people who were sitting next to them on a bench, stood up and started to walk away.   The people had things to do and places to go.   Each one of them started to leave the park in opposite directions.  A visit at the park was now over for thirteen year old German shepherd Oliver and twelve-year-old Cocker Spaniel Susie.   They both were walked out, on their elderly paws by their owners, yearning to just play once again like the puppies that watched earlier.

August Writing Prompt- Cantankerous cuties-Day 15/31

Karma’s Chat~#AugustWriting #poetry #themagicshop

7

Another morning and another list

Check the names, dream the traps

Such fulfillment from my work

Let’s start easy with the adulterer

He left his wife for this young flavor

I’ll lay the new model with his neighbor

Bedroom doorway, front row center

A warranted sight for this cheat

Up on deck, a greedy sloth

Corporate head, stolen wealth

Laborers cut, pensions vanished

They stretch a dime, He burns a Benjamin

I’ll place a call and end it all

Uncle Sam should visit this neglectful evader

More names pop up everyday

Endless lessons to be taught

Treat people wrong, I need my job

My quest for comeuppance is such a joy…

August Writing Prompt-Karma’s quest for comeuppance-Day 14/31

Coffee Curfews~#AugustWriting #Rhyme #themagicshop

3

Everyone knows them and they’re always around

Those strange acting creatures aptly named the Run-downs

They always act slowly as if in a malaise

They cry that their tired throughout the whole day

You see them lethargic throughout your workplace

They shop at your malls shuffling at a snail’s pace

To get them awake they drink all things caffeine

But consuming too much can make them silly and mean

Keep an eye on them and watch their java intake

A coffee curfew is one you should make

August Writing Prompt- Coffee Curfews-Day 13/31

Peachy Kisses~#shortfiction #AugustWriting #themagicshop

4

IMG_20180811_080038.jpg“Oh, THAT one is definitely going to be in the book”   she thought to herself in the cab as it sped away from the Capital Hotel in lower Manhattan.   Sapphire Jackson already had a name for the inevitable book that she was going to write.  “Strange stories from a normal woman”  would be the working title,  and it was about as accurate of a title it could be in her mind.  To her, this was just a job -period.   You left your morality at home when you put on the wig and glitter to head out to your next gig.   It had been about three years since she started this profession and was planning to call it quits by next year.   By that time,  she’ll have enough money to head back to school and finish her degree.   Thats what started this current “career” in the first place, that basic overall financial need to survive in this world by any means necessary.   She leaned her head back and rested it on top of the cab’s back seat and thought about the guy she had just finished with back at the hotel.   All of her clients had their different quirks and habits.   Some wanted to just get right to the sex with no talking whatsoever.  Others actually just wanted to chat with her for fifty minutes saving the last ten for actual intercourse.   None of it really mattered.   She always got the cash up front and from that point on she was there to do whatever to please them, the paying customer.   She had her share of weirdos too,  just like her fellow associates in the business had as well.   These clients were going to be the ones that would be later introduced to the literary world one day.   There was the guy who wanted to be called only by the number “88” for some reason throughout their entire session.  Then there was “Mr. Hoppy”.  This was her nickname for the guy who wanted to do everything dressed in a head to toe Frog’s costume.  It was some damn crazy things, but as long as their cash was good their requests  could get as freaky as they wanted for sixty minutes.  She had two basics rules for all of her transactions-No drugs and no bondage.  She wasn’t into either one of those scenes,  ever.   The one she had earlier tonight definitely fell into the category of  “different”.   About ninety minutes ago, She was greeted at the room’s door by a short, clean well dressed man in a three-piece suit.   He was polite to her when he opened the door and smiled when he handed over the stack of hundred-dollar bills.   She started to tell him the list of her specialities and he interrupted her halfway through the second item.   He told her that what he wanted was nothing like any of the things that she (or any other people in her industry) was known for doing.   He then told hold to go sit down in the lounge chair, the one in the corner of the hotel room.   She agreed and carefully sauntered over to sit down.  The man then  walked over to her and handed her a large brown paper shopping bag.  He went back over to the bed,  sat on the end of it and told her to open the bag.  Sapphire opened the bulky bag and saw that there was about eight to twenty  fresh picked peaches in there. The aroma was sweet and almost, enriching to her senses.  She looked up at the man who was still completely clothed and giving off what seemed to be an almost innocent, warm grin.  He then told her exactly what he wanted her to do with each individual peach and she agreed.   For the next sixty minutes,  Sapphire took out each individual peach and simply gave it a slight kiss on its skin.  She didn’t take a bite from any of them or even use tongue in the kiss.  They were just slight pecks from her lips and nothing more.  She asked “Joe” (he told her his apparent name by the third peach that she had taken out) if he wanted her to do more intimate things with the peaches.  Perhaps, she could strip and rub one along the top of her entire naked body.  He quietly replied “no” and told her to continue doing it exactly as he had asked.  They was very little conversation from him and when the hour was up,  she put all the peaches (15 in all)carefully back in the bag.  He then softly took her hand and walked her to the door to leave.  He thanked her for a “lovely evening” and then said good night.  He never took a stitch of clothing off,  nor did he unzip his fly to expose anything.  He sat there like a perfect gentleman, fingers clasped together on his lap and enjoyed watching her give a kiss to each and every peach.

Her cab now was stuck in bumper to bumper midtown Saturday night traffic.  Sapphire didn’t mind.  It had already been an easy night for her.  She was looking forward to heading home, taking off all things connected with “Sapphire” and becoming Sarah Gibson again.  It would be a night of Netflix, her favorite cozy socks and a bowl of Rocky-Road ice cream.  These were the things that made her happy and really, that whats should matter at the end of the day.  Her motto in life was always “Whatever makes you smile, that doesn’t kill ya”.  She thought this once again as the cab started to finally move forward.  If watching some lady kiss a bunch of fruit was the thing that made you smile with no harm being done-Then she’ll gladly pucker up and smooch away a whole orchard of peaches. That is, if you pay “Sapphire” in advance for the service.

August writing prompt Peachy Kisses-day 11/31

img_20180528_0657101071288597.jpg
.

Natures Reflection~#poetry #AugustWriting #themagicshop

4

Branches dig deep

Actions take root

Grass spreads out

Families grow up

Birds soar higher

Youth seeks adventure

Flow of a river

Stream of emotions

A limitless sky

Our endless dreams

Layers of earth

Levels of reasoning

Force of a wind

Passion blows you away

Nature’s reflection

Humanities perception

August Writing Prompt-Natures reflection–Day 10/31

Amethyst Tears~#poetry #AugustWriting #themagicshop

6

Shattered night

A siren’s scream

The street awakens

Death has shopped in this neighborhood gain

For thirty years he pleased the unardorned

An immigrant’s gift to this new world

His passion to decorate people

A monster’s touch ends his dream

Questions are asked, answered by stares

Witnesses immune to the act

Life has become this, a weekly sacrifice

This evening- the jeweler was chosen.

Sapphires of sadness and Amethyst tears now lie on cement

The beauty of his craft soaked in his blood

And the purest jewel of them all will shine no more

August Writing Prompt- Amethyst Tears-Day 8/31

One Lonely Lantern~#creativewriting #AugustWriting #themagicshop

0

She knew that what she was about to do was not right throughout that entire drive there.  Kathryn Walsh (Katie to her friends) knew deep down in her soul,  even now after almost finishing this forty-five minute trip that this was just the wrong thing to do.

But, Kathryn was dead on the inside and she had to do something.   The man she had married was gone.    He had been gradually replaced by a cold cement block of a person over a span of four years.   In the beginning,  she would tingle at his touch.   Their eyes would burn into each other with an unspoken need to please each other.  They would often make love throughout the weekend, always satisfying each others requests. Those days were now long gone.  Both of them were now merely strangers occupying the same house.   Life had given them both just too many balls to juggle and their passion for each other became non-existent. Kathryn dreamed for that original man who tingled her in the beginning to return but, he never did. This “new guy”   had accepted the comfort of his wife just breathing and in the same room, Kathryn wanted-needed  more.  Still, that didn’t justify what she was about to do tonight.   A married woman should be patient and supportive through all of the rough spots and smooth sailings.   At least,  this is what Kathryn felt  throughout most of her  life.  Even when her own parents separated when she was sixteen,  Kathryn blamed her Mom.   Now,  she thinks back and regrets those actions.   It could have been the overwhelming well of total loneliness that her Mom was stuck in that she just didn’t understand as a teenager.  She understood it now, today.  That constant place that only you can understand.   The isolation you feel when no one comforts or listens to you, even when your partner is a few feet away. The constant thoughts of being anywhere else but in the skin of  yourself that crept into Kathryn’s  thoughts daily.  A dark place of solitude was forced on her and she had to break out, at any possible cost.

The rain started to let up just as Kathryn’s car approached the hotel. Greg had told her it was remote and it looked clean. He was right on both counts she thought and pulled into the hotel’s entrance. She parked her car in one of the furthest spots away from the main office.

“Just in case, who know.. someone might see me here …at a hotel 35 miles away from my house”   Kathryn thought with just a tinge of guilt starting to surface.   She loved her husband on some level, she didn’t doubt that for a second.   But, she needed to be wanted and complete again-period.   That’s what she had to keep reiterating to herself.

Just then, a grey Honda accord pulled into the lot.   Kathryn recognized it as Greg’s car. He had arrived,   just like he said he would.   The Accord pulled into a spot and stopped. Greg got out and smiled at her and  Just like that, as she had felt years before Kathryn tingled again.

They both proceeded into the main office to check in for the night.   The manager handed Greg the key to room one.

Thoughts of how wrong she was started again in Kathryn’s head.   She also knew that she had never felt so broken and lost in her life.  She wanted to be loved again for just one night.   Her heart started to beat fast in romantic anticipation for the first time in years.   To have this unexplainable feeling once again in her life,   simply overshadowed all the possible consequences.

She smiled at Greg.  He smiled back and opened the door for both of them to enter room one of “The Lonely Lantern” hotel.

August Writing Prompt-One lonely lantern-Day 7/31

img_20180528_0657101071288597.jpg

Jupiter Glow~#poetry #AugustWriting #themagicshop

5

This box lights up our darkened room once again.

My brothers flank me,  all of us uniformed in pajamas.

Three of us sitting in the then acceptably called “Indian style”.

A smell of freshly popped corn fills the air and soon quiets my hunger.

The clicking of plastic turning stops at our destination.

My mom sits on the couch,  a steady gaze of protection on all three of us.

I feel my shoulder get a  punch of love by my middle brother.

He soon pays the price with a stern warning.

It’s almost time to leave this place.

It begins,  our transportation has arrived.

Childhood gets propelled into new dimensions.

Suddenly our living room is engulfed in stars.

My eyes widen with anticipation for an unknown tale.

A dangerous planet or a mysterious alien.

Then I see my ship, spinning me away from sixties suburbia.

My dreams are alive in that Jupiter Glow.

 

August Writing Prompt- Jupiter Glow-Day 6/31