Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
TITLE: Decidedly Dead
By CeCe Lane
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I have been known to say, “The only way Brent would be any good as a human is for him to be a dead human.” I have thought, “I’d kill him if given half a chance”, and I did put on my blog a couple of days ago, “I’ve decided to kill my boss.” But that doesn’t mean I decided on murder. I was in a fit of anger when I posted my death threat. Truly, I never intended on killing him.
Unfortunately, it appears I am not the only one who wanted him dead, only the other person was a bit more decisive than I am. Let me back up.
Shortly before dawn on my Wyoming ranch at the base of the BigHorn Mountains, I awoke, grabbed my coffee cup, Bible and went out to start the day the best way. Just God and me. At least that was my plan.
As I sat huddled under a blanket in the chill morning air on my porch, the sun was just cresting the eastern horizon. I saw the golden rays being thrown carelessly over the vast prairie. The only things obstructing my view were a few pieces of scraggly sagebrush. Not a fence post or tree in sight.
It took me a moment this morning to notice there was something a lot bigger than a sagebrush blocking my view.
I approached the body-shaped lump slowly, not really sure I wanted to see it, but I had to. Imagine my horror when I was close enough to see it clearly and saw it was Brent--a very dead Brent. I’m sure he wasn’t pretending to be dead just to annoy me. He was really dead. I saw the dark red splotch on his starched blue shirt about where I would guess his heart to be. I rushed a few steps away toward the house, where I promptly lost the entire contents of my stomach.
I certainly did not invite a dead body to my quiet time with God. I’m pretty sure God didn’t either.
It was then I noticed my missing bread knife. It was two steps from the body as I headed back to the house. My bread knife wasn’t as clean as when I last saw it as I put it in the silverware drawer last week. The knife wasn’t dirty because it spent the night outside, nope; it was dirty with some dark red sticky substance that smelled remarkably like blood.
I had discovered the murder weapon. I quickly put two and two together; my boss is dead in my yard. He was killed with my bread knife, which, I am sure, had my fingerprints all over it. Things were not looking good for me. Even in my mind I knew I was to be the prime suspect.
I ran as if my life depended on it and who knows, maybe it did. I had no clue who killed him and if they were waiting for me. In my shock and horror I didn’t think straight, if they were lying in wait for me, I would have seen them. Not a tree graced my property, at least not within firing distance should the boogey man be hiding out looking to kill me as well. There was nothing to hide the person who had killed Brent and there was nothing to hide me, except the inside of my house.
I stampeded across the porch, swung open the door and slammed it shut. I locked it tight and then checked and double-checked each window. I sat down to think and decide what I would do with the body. I sure wasn’t calling the police. The murder was a little too horrible for me. I knew I would look guilty to anyone investigating. I tried imagining myself in a bright orange jumpsuit and once again emptied my stomach.
I had to uncover the truth before someone uncovered the body. It was up to me to discover who killed Brent before anyone else in town knew he was dead.
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