Simple Reason~ #JanuaryWriting #3tc #themagicshop

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Doctor Elizabeth Jasper felt her back burn up as she sat down on the black leather interior of her ’44 Oldsmobile.  She rolled the window down and remained there for a moment as the heat that was trapped inside slowly escaped. Despite the intense temperature of a car that had been parked in the desert sun for hours, Dr. Jasper wasn’t ready to drive away just yet. This was a big decision. She had debts to consider. A new mortgage on a small house that had to be addressed. Her son with a disability that required expensive treatments. These were real things to grasp, things to worry about. The tangible fears of where her next paycheck would come from, stopped her from leaving this place for the final time.

Then the discovery that made her walk out in the first place, raised its emotional hands and grabbed her by the neck once again. The sickening thought of her being involved in something ungodly, snuffed out all her financial realities.  A realization she had made hours previous that was still turning her stomach inside out.  All of the research that she had been doing,  hours of calculations and the endless theoretical brainstorming discussions were all intended for one single, dark purpose.  The eventual construction of one very real, atomic bomb. She was hired (and paid quite handsomely) to merely come up schematics and mathematical probabilities for some undisclosed, scientific projects. As it turned out, she was merely a small cog in a much bigger machine.

The sweat began to flow into her eyes as she sat there, waiting. The undeniable core of her identity questioning the doubtless hesitation in leaving. Her belief system in the sanctity of life and the role of God that men take-on, was suddenly being challenged by the basic needs of  suburban survival. She looked up at the New Mexico sun as it brightened throughout the heavens. A simple reason was what she silently prayed for in justifying any final choice that she would make.  The world was slowly changing around Dr. Jasper. She however, remained immobile in her ambiguity on what decision could she possibly live with for the rest of her life.

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Written using the following prompts:

January Writing Prompt – A simple reason was she needed – Day 30/31

Three Things Challenge #30 – bomb, desert, jasper

Daily Writing Challenge #24~ #3tc #daily-prompt #themagicshop

5

Hallway

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Owen Murphy felt like he had been walking down this hallway for hours. His legs hurt and he was starving. The last meal he remembers having was breakfast earlier this morning with the rest of the inmates. Usually, after their morning meal all the prisoners were led out to yard for some fresh air and exercise. Today, (was it still today?) Murphy was escorted away from everyone else by police guards, Venezia and Rooker. They led him out of the cafeteria and down multiple flights of stairs. That’s where he first saw the beginning of this hallway. The one that he was now currently walking through

“Seems like you got someone looking out for you, Murphy” Venezia sneered through his tightly pressed lips.

Murphy remembers how confused he felt hearing such an odd comment.

Rooker had then chimed in. “It’s like this, Murphy. You’ve been picked to be part of spme new rehabilitation research. All ya gonna do, is walk down to the end of this hallway. The staff is waiting for you to take you to their research room at the end. If you whatever research they have in store for you, the DA will look into either reducing your sentence or in some of the previous cases, DISMISS IT ALL TOGETHER”.

At the time, Murphy remembers almost giggling at Rooker’s words. Why choose him? He was already serving a life sentence for killing his wife and three kids. He really had no feelings toward’s their deaths, remorse or anything else. His days of “rehabilitating” were long gone. What reason could they even think for picking him in ANY type of rehabilitatatin? Whatever it was, he did’nt give a shit. Walking freely down a dirty hall was better than wasting away in his cell, anyday of the week.

He had been assured by both guards that this entire thing was legit and that all he had to do was simply walk forward towards the room at the end that would conduct the research.

Seems like that talk had happened days ago and not hours. Or was it even just thirty minutes? Murphy had lost all track of time as he continued his trek. He had looked back at both guards a few times, even asking them if they were still there once out of his sight. They answered a few times then stopped altogether.

It was cold in the hallway, raw with a smell that unnerved Murphy. No windows, no other rooms either. Just the endless rows of cement blocks and pipes overhead. He started to get frustrated and decided that he was going to get to this damn room even if his feet were bleeding from callouses. He stood up straight with a new resilience and started walking faster.

Minutes (hours?) later, Murphy spotted a man walking slowly towards him off in the distance in the shadows.

Oh, thank god! Hopefully it’s whoever is conducting this test finally here to greet me.” Murphy desperately thought.

He yelled out down the hallway towards the approaching man.

“Hey! Are you with the rehabilitation group? I was sent down here by the guards. I’m supposed to be working with you”

Murphy’s words echoed all the way down the hallway with no response coming back from the stranger.

The stranger was now only about fifty feet away. He appeared to be young, maybe in his twenties. Short cropped hair, close to a crew-cut. His grey uniform looked somewhat familiar to Murphy.

“Hey, Buddy?” Murphy stood out and stuck his arm out to stop the young man from walking any further past him.

The young man looked at Murphy somewhat startled by his appearance.

“Are you with the..rehabilitation research people?” Murphy asked, hoping for some type of informative answer.

The young man stared back at Murphy with confused eyes.

“Rehabil-Who? Don’t know anything about that. I was just told by a couple of the prison screws to start walking. They told me that theres these Eggheads at the end who might help me get out of this joint. I just started walking a little while ago. They tell you the same thing?”

“Yea, they did” Murphy said in defeat. He glanced closer at the man’s uniform. Suddenly, he remembered where had seen the clothes before. On the right wall of the small hallway that led into Warden Keller’s office, there had been some vintage photographs hung up from the history of the prison. Murphy remembers seeing one of the photos, was of a lineup of prisoners out in the yard from 1955. The young man standing in front of Murphy was wearing the same exact prison clothes that those men were wearing in that picture.

Murphy was silent, not answering the young man’s initial question. He felt his mind slowly slipping into a state of disbelief and anxiety.

“You ok, buddy?” The young man asked Murphy with genuine concern.

Murphy slowly nodded yes, his hadn’t blinked his eyes once since his realization of what couldn’t possibly be true.

“Well..You take care of yourself now. I’m gonna get going here. I’m looking to be free soon. I heard Brooklyn made the world series. Maybe, I can catch a game if they let me out by the weekend.” The young man smiled at Murphy and proceeded to walk away.

Murphy watched him shuffle back down into the direction of the hallway from where Murphy had just walked from. He stood and watched for the longest time as the young man eventually disappeared out of his line of vision.

The hallway stretched out in both directions for what seemed like miles. Murphy contemplated for a moment walking back to Venezia and Rooker, the two guards who sent him here. He then thought differently with an overwhelming feeling that, both guards are most likely long gone. There was probably no new rehab research center either, Murphy thought.

He looked down towards the Hallway in the direction he was originally walking. For whatever reason, out of all the low-lifes that were housed in the prison above (?) him, someone had chosen for him to finish out the rest of his sentence down here.

Owen Murphy did the only thing he had left in his life and started walking again down the hallway.

Farm-girl~#3tc #poetry #themagicshop

4

The dawn has begun again

She knows her role

A daughter of the farm

Full-time hours before her needs

 

 

Many mouths scream for breakfast before her own

The buffet for livestock

This life of haystacks and grit labeled her

Fourteen working full-time

 

 

Sweat before the school bus

The unattainable sits around her here

polished nails, current clothes

Differences exclude the exhausted

 

She dreams of the dance

A lighted stage free of mud

Boots become ballet shoes

She’ll leave that barnyard for the ballet one day

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This piece was inspired by the three thing challenge prompt: hay stack, scream, ballet shoes

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/three-things-challenge-06-sept-2018/

Murder most Dull~ #3tc #shortfiction #mystery #themagicshop

1

The body of Ashley Marie Lyons was discovered in the study at around Nine PM. Jenkins, the butler had stopped in the check on her ladyship and knew right away she wasn’t sleeping. Her skin was cold to the touch and she wasn’t responding to him calling out her name. He had always been a “true-crime” buff and often had his imagination run wild with the darkest of ideas. This time, Jenkins felt that Mrs. Lyons had been the victim of foul play. Letting this thought get control him, he immediately called the police instead of an ambulance.

Chief inspector Sullivan from homicide showed up at the Lyons estate ten minutes after the first set of uniformed police had arrived. He was a twelve-year veteran on the force and had the best arrest record out of all the homicide detectives.

The Lyons estate had been passed down from generation to generation. They were one of the wealthiest families in north America and anyone who died among them always received some degree of inheritance. The current owner of the Estate was forty-three year old Archibald Lyons. It was his wife, former Vegas showgirl Ashley Marie Stark who had been found dead. The two of them had been married or less than a year and everyone who knew them suspected Ashley of being a “Goldigger”. She was known to be fast and Archibald was stuck in neutral. Clearly an example of oil and water in a marriage.

Dr. Quinlan, the medical examiner was finishing his preliminary examination of the body as Inspector Sullivan entered the Study.

“Well, Dr. Q, what have you determined so far?”

Sullivan always called him just ‘Q’ having been a fan of James Bond for many years.

“There’s no wounds to indicate murder. No stabbings, gunshots or any type of bruise from any type of blunt force”. Quinlan spoke this as started to look at Penelope’s neck.

“No strangulation. Usually there would imprints from hands about the throat or some type of noose. But..no nothing.”

Quinlan took a step back, removed his glasses and delivered Sullivan his summation.

“A young active lady like this, unless she was poisoned couldn’t have just died like this. I’m afraid you were called for no reason, Inspector. No murder here. I’ll know more after an autopsy.”

Sullivan felt both relieved and yet bothered. He had this “feeling” about certain life circumstances and he was often right about unnatural deaths. He decided to question the husband, Archibald, in the library.

Thirty minutes later, Dr. Quinlan was getting ready to leave. He had finished whatever initial paperwork that needed to be done so the coroner’s office could soon take the deceased. He wished to say goodbye to inspector Sullivan and proceeded towards the library. Quinlan was stunned to see the good Inspector leaning against a bookcase almost passing out as Archibald was speaking to him. Quinlan rushed over to him to make sure he wasn’t going to fall and hit the marble floor.

“Sullivan! My dear boy, are you ok? Wake up! ” he said this as he started to shake his shoulder. Sullivan stood straight up rather abruptly and shook his head.

“Q? I’m fine…just interviewing Mr. Lyons here. He was just telling me some things about his life that might shed some light on this quite sad incident. But, we were just finishing up. Let’s go, it’s time to head back to the precinct”

Sullivan and Quinlan walked down the steps of the Lyon’s estate which led down to a rather long paved driveway.

“What happened back there, Sullivan?” Quinlan curiously asked as the two them walked down to there vehicles. Sullivan stopped short and looked back at the mansion. The county coroner’s office had finally arrived and two medics were taking the covered up body of Ashley Marie out to their wagon.

“Q…for thirty straight minutes, I listened to Archibald Lyons talk about his extensive knowledge of how spools of thread are made in most factories, how he preferred to play Gin Rummy with Ashley when she wanted sex and what type of glue is used on envelopes depending upon what country their made in. I’m ruling this case as involuntary manslaughter”.

Quinlan’s eyes widened with disbelief. He had known that Sullivan was pretty dead-on with his hunches but, there really was no evidence of a crime this time around.

“Sullivan..Sometimes, I wonder about you. How pray tell, is this a case of involuntary manslaughter?”

Sullivan smiled. His face about to reveal his little discovery.

“I was almost a victim myself back there. My chat with Archibald basically revealed to me that his wife, the victim Ashley Marie….simply died of boredom.”

Epilogue

A week later, an autopsy was performed on Ashley Marie Lyons. The autopsy had discovered that she actually had a rare undiagnosed congenital heart condition which led to her death.

However, this didn’t explain the death of Rita Marie Bindi that occurred roughly a year later again at the Lyons estate. Miss Bindi, a former exotic dancer had gotten engaged to Archibald Lyons six months after his first wife had passed. Rita’s body was found the same way as Ashley Marie. But, in this instance Archibald unfortunately got to witness his latest partner die right in front of him. He went on to explain that he was merely showing off his latest collection of imported pieces of cabinet hardware and Rita just passed away. She was wearing a black see through nightgown and looked to be about ready to have a night of romance. Cabinet hardware presumably was not her priority for that evening.

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This short was inspired by the 3 things challenge words: Poison,Noose, Inheritance

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/three-things-challenge-02-sept-2018/

Always a Scent~#3tc #affair #themagicshop

4

The sound of keys being inserted into the door’s lock told Linda Wojcik that the proverbial “shit was about to hit the fan”.  Her Husband, Peter of three years had come home early from work for a very specific reason.  Through some various reliable sources, Linda had found out that Peter suspected her of having an affair with another man. Today, as it turns out was time for Peter to investigate these claims.  Twenty  minutes earlier, Linda had gotten a text warning from her Best friend, Angela Stancyz that Peter sped out of his place of employment to head straight home.  Linda jumped out of bed, screamed at her lover to leave immediately and she then proceeded to clean up all evidence of this latest daily tryst of hers.   The sheets were pulled up and the pillows were puffed smooth.   Linda then checked her bedroom floor and then the bathroom’s.  Her lover ran out in such a rushed state,  Linda had to be certain nothing was left behind.

The front door slammed open just as Linda spotted her lover’s Sock on the floor in the living room in front of the couch. (the couple’s feats of passion had started here first) like a cat pouncing on a mouse, Linda dove on the floor and grabbed the incriminating footwear seconds before Peter rushed in.

“ALRIGHT, WHERE IS HE?”  Peter shouted at Linda as he started to frantically look around the apartment.

“Why are you on the floor? WHATS GOING ON HERE, LINDA?”  Peter had stopped in the kitchen and was now standing there as if he was considering the next place to look in his home.

Some beads of sweat starting to appear on Linda’s forehead.   She held the Sock in her left hand scrunched up to avoid being seen.   Still, Peter was very good at noticing things out-of-place.   A towel not folded properly or a picture frame hung crooked,  Peter had a keen sense for the out of the ordinary.  Linda had to get rid the sock-and fast.

“I fell Peter, That is all  nothing to worry about.” Linda stared up at him with the same brown eyes that she had used to seduce Peter four years previous. Little did she realize then that being married to him would turn out to be incredibly dull.

Peter shook his head in disgust and headed down the hall into their bedroom.   This was Linda’s only chance.   She got up on her feet and started to head towards the kitchen garbage.   Her lover would have to just buy another pair of sox.   A small price to pay after what she had given them within the last two hours.   Linda was three steps away from the kitchen’s entrance when she heard Peter step out of the bedroom and into the hallway.  She stopped short in her tracks, frozen from total panic.  Her mind started racing.

Think,  Linda think!

She looked down at her leggings for pockets, which there were none.  Her heart was pounding with even more intensity  as Peter got closer and closer.  The sock was now moist from the panicking sweat in Linda’s  hand. Her eyes darted around the apartment finally stopping on the large vase that her mother in law had given as a wedding present. Linda ran over to the end table where the vase stood and crammed the sock down into its base. She then spun around and faced Peter just as he took his last step out of the hallway.

“Linda, my darling. I am so sorry, that I accused you.” Peter’s tone had drastically changed to one of genuine remorse. He took some gentle steps towards Linda with his arms outstretched. The trial was over and Linda felt herself slowly feeling relieved and calm.

Peter embraced Linda and kisses her on the lips. He pushes her away with a look of confusion. He had smelled something familiar, A fruity scent that came off the side of Linda’s neck.  It took a minute for Peter to recognize the aroma, it was of Apricot.  Then Peter remembered where he had smelled this before.  It was a particular favorite body spray of his twin sister, Petra.

Peter looked at Linda with this sudden look of quiet shock and accusation.

“Linda….You and…Petra???”  he whispered to her.

Linda stood there first looking stunned and then guilty.  She backed up into the table almost knocking over the vase that still had a sock crammed inside.  Her cheeks now appearing to give off a slightly embarrassed glow of red.

“What can I say?” Linda purred.

“I really like your family, Peter”. Linda then smiled knowing full well that she may have hidden the physical evidence of her affair really well but, the scent of a lover always gives you away.

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This short was inspired by the Three Things Challenge prompts: sock, vase, Apricot

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/three-things-challenge-29-august-2018/