Last time, I provided some simple guidelines for writing a short story (it’s Linda again, in case you missed the previous post). Today, you have the first short—maybe only (he,he)—story by my best friend and fellow private eye, Rey. Initially, JJ had wanted to sit it out, but has now decided she’ll jump on board by editing Rey’s short story in the next post—what works, what doesn’t, and why. My BFF’s not looking forward to that, as an FYI, which may result in a follow-up post about how to edit from a writer’s perspective. <LMAO>
So, here you have it, Rey’s short, entitled Full Moon over Plymouth.
Gisele Cooper stood ramrod straight as she steadily held the Luger and tracked Marshall Willis, the serial killer who had terrorized the New England coast for eight months now.
It was a cool early November evening and the pretty private eye was pumped. She’d catch “Wicked Willis” if it was the last thing she’d do. He’d dodged the cops, media, fellow private investigators, and her. Enough was enough.
Willis, an average-looking guy of average height and average build, had bayoneted twelve men—that they knew of. And they’d not have know it was Willis if there hadn’t been a witness.
Amos, a frisky Staffordshire Bull Terrier, had been at the last killing and had managed to take a bite out of the murderer’s arm as he plunged the knife, which was fitted into the end of an old musket. Lucky Amos got away fast—with the weapon, no less! Amos’ owner called the police and the rest, as the saying went, was history.
At thirty-four, Gisele didn’t have many years of experience. Just four. But she had instinct and chutzpah and knew how to swing a mean left hook and wield a weapon.
She’d gotten involved with this case—if she could call it that—when Harvey, a detective she sometimes dated, was assigned as the lead investigator. After dinner and drinks, and nookie, he’d share updates, knowing she’d not divulge anything she’d heard.
So, here she was, trailing a nutbar after following a tip that Willis was living in a two-room shack somewhere along the Eel River. She’d missed him by seconds. The hot coffee mug and bitten egg sandwich told her that. And the partially open rear door said he’d left that way. So did the footprints in the soft drizzle-dense soil, visible courtesy of the camping lamp on a cheap plastic stand alongside the door.
“You’re not escaping me, my not-so-dear friend,” she murmured into the breezeless night.
There was a mini flashlight in her leather bomber jacket pocket, but she had no intention of letting him, or anyone else, view her from afar.
Willis hadn’t been on anyone’s radar. The average man of twenty-four had been an average student and held an average job since finishing high school. Nothing in his past screamed “serial-killer material”. But once Amos had provided “evidence” and they’d narrowed down the possibilities, they’d zeroed in on Marshall Willis.
Gisele tossed her long blonde waves and surveyed the length of the sparkling river. The stars and a full moon danced upon it. Pretty, she thought, worth visiting one day under different circumstances. Maybe with Harvey?
She stopped. Had she noticed movement among the dense foliage? No, it was a feral cat, that was all. She laughed anxiously as she watched it scamper from view.
That cost her. Almost. A swisssshhhhhhh from behind prompted her to duck and whirl. The bayonet sliced the air instead of her.
“Damn, I missed. Too bad,” Willis chortled. “But I won’t this time.”
Without thought, Gisele swung up and out, and caught him under the chin with the Luger. The she swung again and caught him on the temple. Before he could react or retreat, she had him on his belly and handcuffed.
As if conveying approval, mockingbirds sang in unison. Gisele bowed in acknowledgement and hauled Willis to his average-sized feet.
I was kind of surprised. I didn’t think Rey had that much imagination in her, but then, she was—still is, sometimes—a B-movie actress. I give her an A+ for effort. Let’s see what JJ says when she pulls on her editor’s cap.