Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sample Sunday--Murder Creek

Here's the first chapter from my Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Murder Creek available at Amazon and B&N for only 0.99. Links are on the right below the list of donating authors. I hope you enjoy.

No doubt about it, the whores on the corner were forming a lynching party.

In two minutes, they’d call in their homicidal gang-banger pimps and Shyin Long’s half-Finnish, half-Asian ass would be turned into bullet pulp. Or quite possibly burnt rump roast.

Breathing her last breath in this place would ruin the epic end she’d always envisioned for herself, like dying in a hail of bullets after being chased to the ends of some exotic island with smelly flowers.

Here, the air stunk of delusions and cheap perfume wrapped around mildew and sewage. And she wasn’t surrounded by worthy enemies, but tall buildings that smothered the intersection like irate bookies owed money by the single street lamp.

The whole area promised death, each alley a murderer’s pathway and a victim’s labyrinth. Mulched up newspaper and fast food wrappers fertilized the pavement, rolled up to give the illusion of ripples from either rain water or a healthy stream of urine. Not exactly a clean landing pad for her corpse if she were killed out here.

“Hey, uhm. Just, waitin’ for a ride and all. Not stayin’,” Shyin mumbled, doing her best to sound non-threatening.

The prostitutes, of course, were taking her excuse and distance, as a sign of weakness, filling the air with the stench of doom.


Shy surveyed the scene, trying to look casual while calculating a good place to dive for cover.

The ‘workin’ gals’ hung off the curb, whispering to one another, probably deciding the pecking order of who would smack her first. Against her better judgment, Shy turned from them to whisper into her cell.

“My feet are killing me, my nose is frozen, and I stick out like a yellow sprinkle in a batch of chocolate.”

The laugh on the other end of the line made her want to reach through the phone and strangle her back-up man.

“I’m serious, Clyps. This guy better show because the natives are already E-Baying my jacket.”

Clyps cleared his throat like he was trying to bring himself under control. He failed hard, and she absently wondered what he’d look like missing a few teeth. Not that she had much of a “before” to compare the “after” with. The Agency didn’t allow face-to-face meetings between operatives and their handlers.

“He’ll show up, Ice.” He tried to convince her over the phone. “The police haven’t cracked his pattern but I have. Father John picks the girls from three different streets: Third, Main, and Sixth.”

“And that means what?” She looked over her shoulder, noticing a couple of the hookers shifting closer to her. “Damn. This could get ugly. If they’re enhanced, I’m fucked.”

“If they were enhanced, you’d already be fucked.”

No arguing with that logic.

“Still, getting out of here before their boyfriends or pimps show up would be hot.”

Shy stretched her shoulders and pulled the trench tighter around her back knowing the movement would show the outline of a pair of .22s complete with silencers. Another quick glance over her shoulder and she saw the prostitutes retreating.

Yippy, the message had been sent without taking a bolt of fire to the face or any other number of unpleasant enhancement possibilities.

The chance she’d run into someone with unmapped power was slim since The Agency kept a pretty good map of who could do what in the area. But no system was infallible, including The Agency’s, giving her the opportunity to earn money tracking rogue Enhancers and blocking their march down the road of world domination.

And truthfully, she enjoyed being a roadblock. Getting paid to erase idiots, who would spend their kids’ college funds trying to cheat at life, brought her snippets of warm, fuzzy happiness.

Today, like most other days, she’d get her skippy-fix hunting down another Enhanced psycho who believed his stolen powers gave him the right to victimize.

The target: A fake preacher who had a penchant for burning young prostitutes from the inside out. She’d teach him the same lesson she taught his predecessors: Murder Creek had a secret to protect, and no one walked away after threatening it.

“Okay so Third, Main, and Sixth. He’s already hit all those streets, and yet here I stand on Third Street working on turning my street name into a description.”

“This ‘Serial’ was imported from New England where he killed six girls in six major cities, probably to throw off the locals which, in the Creek, he doesn’t have to worry about as much.”

“What’s the pattern? How do you know it’s the same guy?”

“The streets are the pattern.”

“Uh huh.” This made sense, she was sure of it. She just needed Clyps to get to the Scooby Doo reveal. “Skip to the part that has me snorting icicles.”

“He always waited three weeks after the third murder. It’s time. He’ll be coming back to Third. Trust me.”

She didn’t.

“‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son’…”

“Did I blink and you found Christ?”

“It’s a passage from the Bible, Ice. A popular one.”

“Yeah that’s great. What the fuck does it have to do with this contract?” Shy turned to face the street, leaning her back against the brick wall of an ‘industry that was’.

“Main Street used to be called First Street back in the 19th century.”

She frowned and thought back to the street names: Third, First, Sixth. “Three one six.”

“John 3:16. It’s the popular passage I quoted.”

He sounded proud of himself.

“Well aren’t you clever? And if he decides to move on to another passage? Maybe John 8:12?”

Shy grinned hearing the frantic tapping of his fingers and decided to give his search engine a rest. “I am the light of the world, whoever follows me—will have the light of life.”

Clyps cleared his throat. “I thought you didn’t know the Bible.”

She shrugged at the phone. “I don’t. That was on a Christmas card the orphanage sent me years ago.”

“And you remember it? That’s a damned fine memory you’ve got.”

Shy didn’t bother to respond. In truth, she’d read the card every year at Christmas when hormones made her long for family. The card sat safely locked away in a bank vault where no one but she knew it existed. If anyone found out the assassin known as ‘Ice’ had a soft spot around December, she’d never hear the end of it.

She wrapped her arms around her chest, huddling in the large black leather trench that matched her thigh-high four-inch stiletto heels. “Tell me again why I can’t be tucked away in a warm car wearing something that doesn’t scream ‘80s stripper?” The ensemble did nothing for her future frostbite.

“The only people with cars on Third Street are pimps, drug dealers, and cops. He wouldn’t show if he saw one.”

“Maybe he won’t show anyway with my Wonder Bread ass out here.” Shy pinioned the phone between her ear and shoulder, rubbing her hands up and down her arms again.

“It’s a nice Wonder Bread ass. I’d show,” he mumbled.

“What was that?”

“Said, stick to the back and he won’t notice you.”

She let him get away with the lie. “I’m never that lucky, Clyps. Just hang on the phone and tell me a story or something interesting.”

After fifteen minutes of him talking about his super computer and his father’s newest job complaints, Shy damned near fell asleep.

Luckily, a man dressed in priest garb strolled up to the corner, rescuing her from a third snooze-worthy story. Shy personally thanked Jesus. “Here’s our boy, I think.”

“Good, now get in the shadows and watch from a dis—”

“Your part’s done here, darlin. Call you when it’s done,” she whispered, ending the call.

The shiny front of the phone became the perfect mirror to watch the scene behind her, but she had to hold her breath to hear the conversation.

“It’s never too late for the Lord, child. Come with me, we’ll talk, fill your stomach with food and I’ll pay you for a full night.”

“Oooo child! Take it!” One of the older prostitutes urged the youngest. “Ain’t no man gonna pay ya that much for nothing!”

The girl looked nervous when she took the arm of Father John, probably expecting to burst into flames for her sinner lifestyle. Shy rolled her eyes. She hated the real preachers of the world, so a fake one was double the asshole in her opinion.

When the mark and his target walked across the street, Shy reached into her pocket to grab a set of sticky rubber pads. She pressed them to the bottoms of her heels to absorb any noise her steps might make. No need to spoil the moment by announcing the fact she tailed them. The bastard would probably run the second her stiletto hit the pavement.

A chase scene in these shoes would literally kill her.

“Where ya think yer goin’? Ya ain’t gonna spoil tha’ one’s free ride, hunny, I dun care what ya carryin’ in tha’ coat of yers!”

The older hooker grabbed Shy by the arm, yanking her back to the curb and leaving her with two options: She could shoot the bitch and be on her way, risking the job, or she could give the whore a quick, but less-satisfying, lesson.

Before the elder prostitute could rant another word, Shy wrapped her fingers around the hoe’s neck, squeezing her Adam’s apple. Adam’s apple? Oh hell, penis! She’d definitely be scarred for life, but she had no time to stretch her brain around the tranny madness.

“Okay. Let’s stand here while you play your old bitch card and we wrestle a little bit, maybe a few hair pulls and face smacks, until I get bored and turn off your inside light. While we’re tussling, that sick fuck has time to start cutting on the young hoe who just left with him. Then he’s going to do all sorts of unholy things to her body while she’s dying. About that time, I’ll catch up to him with your blood still dripping down my bra-top. I’ll put a bullet in his brain pan and still get paid while your little friend chokes her last breath. It’s probably for the best anyway. A life of whoring is a life just waiting to die, isn’t it?”

The older she-male blinked, instantly dropping her—his hand from Shy’s arm. “Don’t—don’t let him kill ’er. I tol’ her she’d be alrigh’.”

“I do my job. Your friend isn’t my fuckin’ problem.” She released her death grip and turned.

“Tha’s some cold bitch righ’ there!” The whore lamented behind her as Shy jogged across the road.

Yeah, that was the rumor.

Thank you for reading.

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