Some would call him fickle. After all, he just couldn’t resist the right type of woman.
It was the sparkle he looked for – that sign that this woman was just right.
He sat in the bar – his latest hunting ground – when he spied her. Okay, she was a little older than him, a touch wrinkled, but that appeal shone out from her.
Soon he introduced himself, and small talk over, it was time for business. And in no time at all they were in the hotel suite.
She laid, naked, in bed; waited for him to return with the condom – and waited – and waited …
Eventually she called the police.
It was when she checked her jewellery that she noticed her sparkle was gone.
A Strange Romance
Ch 1. She was reading when it came; & eating chocolate. They say too much pleasure leads to pain – & it hurt as the entity entered her head.
Ch 2. That’s how it began – for her. For me? When I found the body of the old man, smeared in, and choked by, chocolate. I called the cops.
Ch 3. The cops put the death down to erotic play. I didn’t. I asked around – got a description of a girl who visited. Then, another death.
Ch 4. It was developing into serial killing by chocolate. He was young. I got a break when I learnt of his old girlfriend. The same woman?
Ch 5. I tracked her down. She asked me in. Pretty, 25, her eyes stared. She was gorging on chocolate. Talking, she wasn’t herself, but many.
Ch 6. Chocolate: a great pleasure, yet indulgence so close to insanity. ‘Twas clear the girl needed help. I took her to a hypnotist friend.
Ch 7. Yes, good reader, she was possessed. Many incarnations came thru; a history of lovers since chocolate was invented. And the last one?
Ch 8. When the 1st victim was younger, he had jilted her, driving her to suicide. She had come back for revenge. ‘Twas the one tale she told.
Ch 9. A mind full of so many jilted loves. Is there any wonder she hated, killed, gorged!!? I decided to help her. Oh, I was such a fool!
Ch 10. The cops getting close, I hid her. She was grateful. Her gorging slowed from a love to a peck in the cheek. We had sex. But my wife!?
Ch 11. Was I mad? An affair with an insane killer on the run? And my wife … Did she suspect? That look in her eyes & … gorging …
Ch 12. When a woman eats chocolate, it’s sex. When gorged they eat for jilted lovers all. Now? Both of them. Bowls of chocolate – my throat!
Ch 13. The cops found me in time. 2 more for the asylum of lost love. They gorge regularly. Men! Keep a watchful eye for the Chocky Monster.
‘Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.’
The John Lennon quote had been apt to the life before us, good reader; even though it can leave a bitter taste as our subject knelt here before the rose.
It had seemed a match made in heaven.
Oh, the clichés! But it turned out to be one long series of clichés – the whirlwind romance, the marriage – but beneath it all, the knowing that he loved someone else, allowing his love to spread like a virulent weed.
She suspected this early in their short time together. And the suspicion grew, paranoia blossoming into a bouquet of deceit and lies. And then the fear.
Was she SAFE!?
Well, it turned out she wasn’t.
There were too many flowers in his garden and weeding had become a necessity …
So our subject knelt here before the rose, the grave immaculate, the memory of the bitter taste of poison she had delivered before his weeding commenced. And as she pruned away with gusto, she remembered his Rose.
It was costing far too much.
His third divorce was proving the worst yet – how could he afford to go through that again?
Of course, the situation had been eased by the murder of his two ex-wives. A serial killer, they said – after they had scrutinised every part of his life to make sure it wasn’t him, of course. And not only was he proved innocent, but the detectives felt quite sorry for him.
His third may be a beauty, but social climbing and intrigue came so easily.
It was during the divorce that the detectives returned – they’d found evidence that his third got so jealous of the first and second that she simply had to get rid of them.
So that was it – the third divorce proved quite cheap. Which just goes to show – planning a bit of insurance before marriage can be better than a pre-nup.
A Wotdunit MicroNovel
D.I. Cass Nova
Ch 1. A Box – an oubliette? The rhythm of life beats away, & beat me good. He watches me from the hatch, his eyes piercing me. My Nemesis!!
Ch 2. Rhythms can be bad, pulsing through life & sanity. Where do I begin? I always felt boxed in. Until I met Sue. Joy! Then. Oh, why!!?
Ch 3. Can a serial killer stalk a person? Of course, when Sue was found, murdered, mutilated, I didn’t know who he was. But life soon told.
Ch 4. What do we strive for? Lying in the box, HIM staring down, I wonder. Why did I get over Sue so quick? Wasn’t she enough. Did HE know?
Ch 5. Afterwards, I got on with life. Lived the rhythm. Money, women – it all came to me. It took the police to tell me why. So many deaths!
Ch 6. He offers a sickening grin. The police never found him – couldn’t be sure they were murders or accidents. He got clever after Sue.
Ch 7. But why? What made him do it? I set a trap. A stooge to coax him in. He struck! But first attacked me. When I awoke I was bloodsoaked.
Ch 8. It looked bad for me. I hid the body. Became an accomplice. I battled with conscience, of course. I was a good person, I knew. But …
Ch 9. What drove me on, I don’t know. The killer was now so often by my side. Yet with all we did then, my success declined. No rhythm, see.
Ch 10. I didn’t take well to poverty. It was as if a part of me had gone & I couldn’t find myself. My new rhythm was a cacophony of conflict.
Ch 11. I wandered, a tramp, asking if it had all been worth it. People I asked ignored me – felt me mad. How dare they? Was that the problem?
Ch 12. To be ignored – the worse thing of all. I wasn’t someone but had to become someone. That was my rhythm – and now? I hear my dirge.
Ch 13. A Box. I lay in my coffin, my suicide done, victim to my own urges, my Hell? Their – MY!! – killer watching me for eternity; my Ego.
If only it hadn’t happened – the telephone ringing – three times.
Oh, the futility of it all.
But isn’t it all futility in the dead of night?
They’d argued – over everything, but mainly his belief she had a lover. I’d known he was in one of those moods and I’d intervened, going to their flat.
I found him in the lounge sulking – she was in the bedroom – I could hear the sobs. Well, I’d calmed him, and it would have been fine …
until the phone call.
He picked it up. Listened. A voice said:
‘Hi, hon, I’ll come round tomorrow at ten if that’s ok.’
I saw the shock on his face. I grabbed the phone – asked who the hell it was. But by then his anger had boiled again.
By the time I got into the bedroom, it was all over, her eyes staring blankly into nowhere.
Oh, the futility – especially as it was a wrong number.
The story – well, the moral at least – is in the journey.
A good job really, ‘cos I cannot reach the destination.
She was dead, you see – the love of my life, taken from me. Murdered. And the night I found her body, I vowed I would laugh over her killer’s grave.
Of course, I had a good idea who had killed her – or at least had ordered her death. She’d worked for him in the past and he, being a gangster, had reason to silence her now.
Well, I killed, too.
I was, of course, soon caught by the police. After all, I’m not a pro at this. And I was incarcerated in the local high security prison.
I felt sorry for the guy, really. After all, he WAS innocent. But how else was I to get to a gangster on remand awaiting trial?
Well, I’m a double killer now, and my journey down the years begins, as I await the day when I can laugh over his grave.
CASS NOVA AND THE BANK JOB
Of course the Super thought I’d gone mad when I pulled the cop out of the patrol car and thumped him, but I knew different.
It had begun that morning with a tip-off that the bank manager’s family were being held hostage. I went straight to their house, looked it over, realised it was true. And when I saw young Benny – a known criminal – go into the house, I knew it would be a busy day.
We surrounded the bank and the house with plain clothes, a couple of patrol cars waiting round the corner from the bank. Then the waiting game started.
I don’t know exactly how I knew – perhaps it was young Benny. He just didn’t seem right it that role. He was just too much of a petty thief, and totally non-violent.
Well, I was right – and having explained to the Super, we got them as they exited the bank round the corner. Mindst you, it was strange to see villains robbing a bank in police uniforms.
Keep your mouth shut, they say.
I should have heeded those words. After all, I’m a fanatic where security is concerned.
I told him so in the bar.
He was an amiable chap – got me speaking on the subject of identity fraud – and surely there was nothing wrong with telling him.
It wasn’t as if I gave away any secrets.
I’d never do that.
It was as I returned home that my wife pointed out how remiss I’d been, forgetting my account details and phoning her.
Yes, I should have kept my mouth shut. The fiend had stolen my voice.
LITTLE MAN BIG
I guess some people crawl through life happy.
Ambition is nowhere to be seen and the daily grind becomes somehow comforting, adding security, belonging, meaning.
My wife was like that, but I was not.
So often I’d dream of breaking out of the grind, making it big. But always she’d laugh, remind me I’m just a little man – a little cog in a big machine – and I should be happy with my lot.
The world, she advised, will never hear of me.
And of course, when my promotion came, she had plenty to say – taking too much on; trying to fill shoes too big for my feet. Well, I did become big – eventually – and everyone knew my name.
Wife killers become big like that.
CASS NOVA AND A DEATH
Sally knew some cases affected you more than others.
As a detective she was used to shocks but being called to THAT body stretched her. After all, they looked so similar.
Maybe she went on to identify with her after that – it became a mission to get the killer. She delved deep into the case and it was soon obvious there had been witnesses – and equally obvious that the guy they’d seen was a local gangster called Brad Jones.
As her boss I tried to hold her back a bit, then – call it intuition – but she was determined to bring him in.
I pulled his file as she went off. That’s when I discovered they’d had history a long time ago – and that Sally knew a great deal about him – maybe too much.
And as I realized it could be a case of mistaken identity, I raced after her, just breaking into his flat in time to see the body drop to the floor.
Later, as I debriefed Sally, I couldn’t help but think it had been an assassination.
THE WORLD’S A STAGE
It feels so good to be back in a theatre. Far too many years have passed.
Maybe you remember me?
I’d often starred in London’s West End. It is true that I could be hard to work with. I’m a perfectionist, you see, and I cannot abide bad acting. It actually drove me mad.
It is a crime caper I am in – not the best of openings for my relaunched career, I must admit – and the other actors are terrible.
My cue comes.
I approach the worst of the actors. My hands encircle his neck. The audience gasps. I squeeze.
I take my bow.
I’d escaped from the hospital yesterday and the world is now my stage. I move to the next theatre and sit in the stalls, awaiting my cue.
JUST ANOTHER DAY
The blade went in easily and soon the man was dead.
He laid him on the floor of the old castle keep and looked along the dark corridor. No alarm had been raised so he proceeded.
Suddenly he heard a noise, implying he had been discovered. Quickly he backtracked to the man he had killed – lay beside him; feigned death.
Two guards appeared, and as they looked over him, he jumped up and used the blade again, to merciless effect.
Now he knew he could go on unimpeded.
He raced down the corridor, forced open the door and opened the container within.
The gold was beautiful – encrusted with diamonds. Quickly, he placed it in his bag and exited the building as quickly as possible.
Then the virtuous knight jumped on his horse and rode for Camelot, another quest complete.
CASS NOVA AND THE PHOTO
I just knew there was a bent copper in the squad. Too many cases had gone wrong. But who was it? That was the problem. Just who could I trust?
The first problem was working out who he could be working for.
Going over the failed cases again, I soon found a common denominator – and he was a gang boss I’d wanted to get for a long time. Well, I began my own surveillance of him.
The next night I waited in my darkened flat, determined to nail the bent cop – and I’d put things in motion to guarantee I’d do so.
I was gratified when the bent sergeant broke in, not expecting me to be there.
I held up the photo. ‘I suppose this is what you’re after,’ I said.
After all, I’d told him I had a photo he may be interested in.
‘How did you know it was me?’ he asked resignedly.
‘I didn’t,’ I replied. ‘I said the same to everyone in the squad.’
He cursed as he picked up one of my latest holiday snaps.