James Langston Hughes 113th Birthday Celebration

On Google Doodle today I was led to discover this link: http://www.redhotjazz.com/hughes.html  I found it a fascinating and inspiring read and thought you might also enjoy learning about this Black American writer and poet.

Hughes’ work and his life was controversial for many reasons. One of the quotes that impressed me was when Hughes argued, “no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself.” His statment made me look quickly at myself…I have been afraid of writing the things I could for fear of offending certain people, and this has held me back, maybe, from being all that I can be as a writer. I am now in the stages of finding out more about myself and what I dare to write, J. Langston Hughes has inspired me. I hope you find his life and writing inspiring, too.

MillieAnne Lowe

The Serial Killer of Bush Street Part 28

Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

Since his childhood, Steele had always thought that he and the darkness were one. In the darkness, away from the temptations of the women he found inadequate, he found comfort. The darkness served as a theater to visualize and relive his pleasurable memories and adventures. In the dark places of his mind, it served as a place to regenerate another murderous event. The darkness was Steele’s personal think-tank.

As he walked beside Stetson, their breaths appeared as small puffs of steam billowing from a fast moving train. Steele’s had two thoughts playing tug of war in his mind. On one end of the rope, his need to kill Stetson. On the other end, his need to see Marilyn. After the allusions made by Agent Parker, releasing his passion with her would soothe his soul. But then, she also was not perfect. She had an attachment with the boyfriend, whose name was Mark. No problem, getting his revenge would be easy. If Mark was there, he would enjoy what Steele planned to do to Marilyn.

The vicious killer took a deep breath and the chill of the air cleared his mind from all the booze. His plans for tonight would be unique. No other girl he had found had been as special as his intended for tonight.

The old lady, her dog, her daughter and two grandchildren had not been killed for any pleasurable reason. The last three girls he had devoured were wayward girls, unworthy substitutions for his first great love, Alicia.

Steele recalled the memories of his first passionate love. As far as he was concerned, his life began when he fell in love with his neighbor’s daughter, Alicia.

Alicia had captured his heart with her youthful beauty of soft creamy skin, sky blue eyes, and soft blonde hair that carried the scent of a new day after a rain. Her sweet voice and innocent thoughts charmed him. In a short time they became inseparable. No one would have imagined that their coming together would begin the most unusual experiences of his life.

When their long walks in the woods were no longer suitable to include their passionate kisses, Alicia breathlessly expressed her how she felt, “My desires to be totally yours match the passion we share.” They ran hand in hand toward her grandfather’s old and worn out barn. Alicia climbed a tall wooden ladder to the loft, and he had followed. Clucking hens scurried around, kicked up small bits of straw, flapped their wings furiously, and fussed in circles. They alerted all who would listen that a stranger was among them. Three resident horses, neighed, acknowledging the young couple’s presence as well.

Up in the loft, the aroma of sweet hay mixed with the scent of liniment, created a warm and sensual ambiance. As their passionate kisses heightened their lust, a howling wind approached. Its strength crashed open the barn doors, blowing every item not tacked down into its swirling cyclone. Splinters of wood shot through the hens like arrows. Two long slivers pinned a Rhode Island Red hen to the base of a thick wooden column underneath the loft. Hay, dirt, and bits of rags, swirled high and low, invading the hayloft where he and Alicia lay naked.

As the debris flew in circles around them, Steele held Alicia closer. The hardness of her pert young breasts against his skin excited him beyond what he had ever experienced. They kissed and caressed  the once unknown private places of each other’s bodies. Their uninhibited lovemaking rocked and pulsed with the thunderous rhythm of the storm outside. Their screams of climaxing together matched the high-pitched notes of the howling wind. Alicia’s hair ribbons blew off and her lustrous blonde hair spread in all directions.

The storm became larger, hovering right above them. Horses neighed and screamed their fears, kicked down their stall gates and dashed wildly out into oblivion. Tin cans that once held nails, spilled and clattered in the wind. The noise of the storm screeched like an orchestra warming up for its masterpiece. The musical fabric of chaos circled the two lovers. They chose to ignore any danger and once again fulfilled their passionate desires.

When the storm stopped they had been laying in each other’s arms when suddenly, Alicia screamed. She pointed at her grandfather climbing over the edge of the loft.

His scraggly white hair, electrified, stuck out from his head like a mass of wires. His eyes were wide with disbelief as he looked upon them.

“Get away from me! Stop starring at me!” Alicia frantically searched for her clothes to hide. A new storm, howling like the first one, roared into the barn obliterating everything in its path. The old man stretched out his arms and took a step toward Alicia. Steele remembered instinctively grabbing  the pitchfork from its hooks and throwing it at the leering old man.

The blood he saw was bright red. It seeped from where the tines had punctured the old man’s chest.

Alicia held the shreds of her skirt in front of her, tears ran down her face as she mumbled something Steele could not hear. As she shook her head back and forth in denial of what was before her, Steele felt a renewed force in his body.  He pulled Alicia down to a remaining dark corner. Giving his passion priority, he left the old man bleeding to death in a pile of debris. Twigs from the nearby woods, chicken feathers, hay, nails, and a feed bag, lay around his inert body… remnants representing his whole life as a farmer. Ignoring her protests, Steele kissed her as he pinned her resisting body down with his. Stretching her arms above her head, he rammed into her with the force he had felt in the storm. Elated with every move he made in her body, his needs renewed with an insatiable appetite.

The chaos of the storm, the killing of another human being, the sight of blood flowing from the body, and the excitement of new pleasures sustained him. The swirling chaos had seduced him, enveloped him, and captured him once, and for all his lifetime.

Steele saw the repulsion in Alicia’s eyes, the soft and dreamy look she had for him was gone. Another whirlwind tore away the side of the barn. Alicia screamed as the wood cracked and the wind whooshed with power, lifting and twirling every small bit in its path. Outside the horses screamed again in fear and galloped away in all directions.

“Let go of me! I don’t want to die here! Let go!” Steele covered her mouth with his hand. These were not words he wanted to hear. As she fought to get away, Steele grabbed a knife partially hidden under a haystack. Then, with every thrust of his body, he pierced her body with the sharp and shining blade and gloried himself with the spurts of blood like her grandfather’s… bright red.

Steele remembered looking down on the violence, as if he viewed everything from a balcony. He stuck the point of the blade under her ribs, cut her in the stomach, pounded the knife in her chest, and when near spent, he slit under her breasts. His final thrust into her body accompanied the flashing steele blade into her throat.

Her blood streamed everywhere, and her eyes had seemed to be looking up into heaven. “Alicia, my Alicia, you are a beautiful sight to behold.” The quietness after her death presented him a masterpiece of his own, and the excitement of his actions was more than he had ever thought possible.

Wiping off what blood he could from his face, hands, and body, Steele put on his tattered pants and shirt that he found plastered against one of the remaining walls. With agility he jumped from the loft and ran outside. The shadows of what remained disclosed the devastation to all that he knew and had treasured. The farm house had been flattened to its foundation. The once thick woods, home to many animals, and chirping birds, suffered the greatest destruction. For as far as he could see, it had been shredded by the storms until only slivers of trees and rough stumps remained. As he stood there, another dark funnel approached, its powerful force moved around and passed him, splintering the barn where Alicia, and the pitchforked body of her grandfather lay. To escape the swirling debris, Steele had jumped over dead animals, and ducked flying pieces of farm equipment. Two other storms came together upon the barn and everything in it disappeared as if it had never existed. Steele remembered all that had happened and how he felt. The darkness made the storms for me.

When neighboring farmers came to help they were in awe of the storm’s total destruction. Steele drew into himself and feigned shock. All the while enjoying his private thoughts.

 

The blare of fog horns brought Steele back to the present. But he hung on to one lingering thought. Since that time, killing anything had not been a problem. He smiled a wicked smile in the dark.

He and Stetson now stood of the far side of the round house at the end of the pier, more than a mile from the restaurant. They watched a thousand small lights twinkling in the hills, believing that they were just as small and that no one watched them.

Stetson moved closer to Steele. “There’s a smile on your face. What are you scheming about now?”

Steele turned to his rival and smirked, “I’m thinking about what I’m going to do to Marilyn tonight.”

“Oh no, you’re not.” The barrel of Stetson’s gun flashed under the lamp post. “Tonight, you’re going to hell!”

Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

 

The Serial Killer of Bush Street Part 27

Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

Stetson watched the city’s most dangerous and feared man stew in his thoughts. He had never seen Steele scared, worried, or stumped. The killer always had quick and confident answers for everything. Now, Steele’s eyebrows knitted together in serious thought making him look like an scowling owl.

What Agent Parker related about their suspect rang true – the large sum of money, their suspect fleeing from the east coast, and the admirable techniques used for the explosions. All three points matched back to back to Steele’s highlights tonight.

Stetson scrutinized Steele’s face again. Behind the scowl Steele’s brain was figuring out who ratted on him. That dumb rat, he’ll be dead soon.

All sorts of thoughts flew across Stetson’s mind. Agent Parker had played his hand just right by setting Steele’s mind into a fight or flight mode. He and his team were probably just waiting for Steele to panic, make a mistake, or try to escape. Does Parker suspect, or already know that Steele is the Serial Killer? The timing of the first murder fits the timeline Parker described.

Stetson took a deep breath and said, “Hey man, you look like your mind is somewhere else solving a problem.”

“Yeah, you got that right. I’m tired of this place. I’m tired of a lot of things. Why don’t we take a walk down to the end of Muni Pier? Ever been there?” asked Steele.

“Yeah, sure. It’s where I made my first move on a girl in high school and got kissed,” Stetson said with a smile at the memory.

“Well, heck. You aren’t such a miserable loser, are you pal? Com’on, let’s get some fresh air.”

Stetson saw no hints of unsteadiness as Steele slipped on his leather jacket and threaded a navy blue scarf around his neck. His original idea to get Steele drunk and off guard was not working. Not after Agent Parker’s allusions to an imminent arrest.

He signed the dinner bill and left a twenty-dollar tip for the waitress. Stetson zipped up his windbreaker half-way leaving room for quick access to his weapons. The particular style of his jacket hung loose from his shoulders, and the length of it covered his back weapon even when he bent over. Knowing that they were in place, Stetson felt confident that he was ready for whatever action needed. He knew something was going to happen tonight, and soon.

Outside, a light fog hovered over the street lamps. Further out, its dense form made it harder to see the roundhouse at the end of the pier. Nodding toward the windows, Stetson commented, “It’s going to be chilly out there.”

Steele looked at him and shook his head in a pitying way, “You’re such a pussy. Worried about getting a chill? You’re still your Mama’s good boy, aren’t you?”

Stetson walked up closer behind Steele and gave him a he-man shove with both hands, laughing as he did so. Steele overemphasized it and purposely tripped into a busty brunette in a black v-neck dress. Her friends stood next to her by the door.

“He did it,” Steele said as he pointed over his shoulder to Stetson.

One of the girls said in a husky voice, “Well, if he doesn’t want you, I’ll take you out.”

“Sorry, girls, I have to be good and get home to bed.” Steele smiled and winked at the giggling women.

“Com’on, get going,” said Stetson as he acknowledged the people at Agent Parker’s table with a wave and a smile.

“Let’s go back and you can push me into that girl again,” teased Steele.

“No, we don’t. You can’t always get away with murder,” Stetson said.

Stetson felt his face redden and turn hot with embarrassment of what he had said. Outside, the cold air stung his face hard. Coming across an empty soda can, he kicked it with such a force that it flew over two parked cars.

Speechless now, Stetson jay-walked across the street to the curved pathway along the shore.

Steele caught up with him. “You’re wrong, pal. I always get away with murder.”

Under the light of a lamp post, Stetson saw Steele’s wicked smile.  The violent urge to bash in the evil face pulsed through his arms. Instead, he hid his tightened fists in his jacket pockets as if his hands were cold.”Let’s walk on the right side, here,” he said. “It darker. It’ll be harder for anyone to see us together.

“That’s just what I was thinking, pal.”

Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

A Wish and A Peek!

 

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 6:35 a.m.

Dear Fans and Friends,

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! I wish all of you a very exciting New Year!

It’s been hectic at my house getting ready for Christmas Eve just as it may be at your house. I miss the opportunities to write when I feel like writing and when I have something exciting to write about. Do you know what I mean?

I plan to get revved up after January 7th of the new year. My goal is to be writing at the fast pace I started with on my story The Serial Killer of Bush Street. I thought I might bring some fun your way with these thoughts:

What becomes of the unusual feelings Eric’s Aunt Robin experiences?

How will Eric and Haley feel about each other when they meet again?

How will the two former partners in crime, now adversaries, react after FBI Agent Parker leaves their dinner table at the Buena Vista Cafe?

How will George, Aunt Mattie’s special friend, use his powers of perception to help Haley, Jeanne, and Krista stay safe from the Serial Killer?

Will Marilyn and her boyfriend, Mark, be out of reach of the Serial Killer?

Will the small mob of outraged men from the Bush Street neighborhood and Lefty’s grow larger? What do they intend to do to protect their loved ones from the Serial Killer?

When will the Serial Killer’s appetite to slice and destroy young blonde girls end?

I can hardly wait to share more of this story with you. Meanwhile, have fun, and be safe on the road.

Blessings to all of you,

MillieAnne Lowe

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

The Serial Killer of Bush Street Part 26

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

“To us!” said Steele. He clinked his glass hard against Stetson’s. They finished their drinks and ordered another round.

“Let’s order Lasagna for dinner and make the next round of drinks doubles,” suggested Stetson.

“A double is fine,” said Steele and he laughed at Stetson. “Here’s to your drunken luck.” Both men became boisterous with rotten jokes and people from other tables turned to look at them.

The plain looking waitress came to their table. Steele put up his arms as if to protect his eyes, and said, Pull eeze! Don’t shine that smile on me. It hurts my eyes!”

Steele quickly interjected, “I’m sorry, Miss. My friend is drunk. We would like to order two Lasagna dinners and another round of drinks. Make them doubles this time?”

Ignoring Steele, the waitress said, “Sure.” She smiled at Stetson and left the table.

“You see! She can smile. She just likes me and not you!” said Stetson. He purposely talked a drunk’s banter.

“Listen. I’m not drunk, and if you’re feeling your oats, go for her, man. She’s not my type.”

No, no, no. That’s not what I want. I just like friendliness.”

A shadow fell across their table. It didn’t move on as other shadows of the guests going back and forth. Both men looked up. Stetson recognized the semi-bald man in the expensive suit with the wilted red carnation.  It was the man who had almost gouged him in the eye.

“Pardon me,” the stranger said, “I do want to apologize for almost causing you a terrible discomfort. It must be the Italian influence in this town. I find myself sharing stories with greater emphasis using my arms to express my feelings. I misjudged how tight the crowd is in this popular establishment.” The man offered Stetson a handshake. “Please accept my apology.”

“That’s not necessary. I’ve already forgotten about it,” said Stetson and he shook the man’s hand. He thought it would be the end of the conversation, but the man remained standing there looking pensive.

“You look familiar. Are you someone famous?” asked the stranger.

“No, I’m not anyone famous, are you?” Stetson turned the focus onto the inquirer.

Steele blurted out, “My friend is a Commander in the San Francisco Police Department. You might have seen him on television the other day.”

“Aha! That’s where I saw you. I’d like to introduce myself. I am Special Agent, Joseph Parker, FBI, out of New York currently. And, I’m sorry I don’t remember your name from the newscast.”

“Jim, Jim Stetson.”

“And you are in charge of the serial murders in the Bush Street area?”

Surprised by the question of his status, Stetson felt the sting of his demotion from earlier in the day. The way the Chief of Police dismissed him from the coveted position was unjust. Stetson diverted the conversation. “We have several teams of officers working on the case around the clock. What brings you to San Francisco, this time of year?”

“My team and I are tracking a cleaver and talented bank robber. Our experts are admiring his innovative uses of explosives. We followed him here six weeks ago.” Parker put his hand up to his chin, looked at Stetson and then at Steele. “May I ask? What is your name, sir?”

Stetson watched Steele take in the information and the challenging questions. Oh, crap. Do I believe in coincidences? Has someone caught up with Steele?

“The name is George Bentley. You know, like the beautiful British sedan?” Steele smiled and reached across the table to offer his handshake. “Nice to meet you Parker.” The serial killer sat back in his bentwood chair, stretched out his legs, and cross them at the ankle, posing himself in a relaxed mood. He fingered the rim of his glass and turned it around twice. “You crime guys always have such interesting things to discuss. It’s moment to moment excitement, right? I envy you guys for the unusual challenges, but I don’t envy the long hours you spend hunting people. Sometimes you never find the culprit, right? My friend here rarely has time to eat dinner.” Steele’s eyes landed on Stetson and then moved to stare at Parker for what seemed to be a long time.

“Here, sit down, Parker,” said Stetson. “Can your friends spare your company? Tell me more about the suspect you’re chasing,” said Stetson.

“Thank you, but I can only stay a few minutes,” said the agent. “We’re heading out soon to enjoy the sights down at Fisherman’s Wharf tonight.” He pulled out a chair, sat down and looked straight at Steele. “I enjoy these tall windows. People watching is one of my favorite past-times.”

“That’s one of my favorites, too,” said Stetson.

“Our investigation is not as exciting as what you are doing these days, Stetson. Although, my team and I put great value to every bit of progress we make. The word clever is not adequate to describe our suspect.”

Stetson watched Parker’s calculating glances at Steele. This man is forming some sort of plan. No doubt, Steele’s mind is doing the same.

“We have been receiving clues from an anonymous source. We now have an idea who masterminded the bank job, but we don’t have the proof yet.  We are making progress and that’s what counts.”

“But you have to find him quick or the trail might get cold, right?” asked Steele. “Parker, I like your investigation much more than his,” said Steele pointing to Stetson with the tumbler in his hand. “What kind of clues led you to San Francisco?” asked Steele.

“Those details I cannot share with you. Perhaps when the investigation is over we can join again to discuss them,” said Parker.

At this point Stetson enjoyed listening to these two men who were sparing like boxers.

“What a bummer! It’s like you’re cutting short a great suspenseful story,” Steele complained.

Stetson found it humorous as Steele tried to flatter information from the well-dress FBI agent. He wondered, was Steele the bank robber they tracked to San Francisco?

He took another sip of his double Jack Daniels. He felt the warmth and smoothness of it going down his throat. Stetson tried to get rid of the confusion and frustration he felt. A few hours earlier, he had been planning Steele’s death. Now threatened himself, by this vicious killer, he finds out that Steele might be the bank robber wanted by the FBI. Every detail the agent described fit Steele.

If Special Agent Parker arrested Steele, thought Stetson, Steele wouldn’t hesitate to drag me in as well. That can’t happen. My future plans don’t include prison, or the electric chair. God, I don’t want to go to prison or sit in the electric chair, especially not for those murdered girls. I can’t let Steele get arrested, but I still have to get rid of him. Does Agent Parker have any idea that the man sitting across from him is also the Serial Killer? Stetson’s mind went back to the conversation, just in time to hear Agent Parker brag.

“There are a few details unknown to the general public,” said Parker as he leaned forward on his elbows to speak confidentially. “I can share with you that the missing funds and valuables tallied way over $2.5 million.”

Steele whistled. “Wow, that’s sweet. I can think of plenty to do with just half of that amount,” he said.

“So can I,” agreed Stetson. “Hey, here comes our Lasagna,” and he moved aside his half-finished JD Black.

Agent Parker pushed back in his chair and stood up, “Well, it’s time I leave. It was a pleasure to meet you both, and to make a connection to the San Francisco police force. I’ll call you when we get a break in our investigations,” Parker said to Stetson.

“Good luck!” Steele said with a smile. “Your suspect is probably long gone – out of the country by now.”

“Perhaps, but I am glad he led me to this beautiful city first.”

Stetson stood and shook hands with Parker. “Good luck and stay safe,” he said.

“Thank you, and you, too. From what I read in the local papers, you have quite a passionate slicer. I hope you will catch him soon. Even the trained women on my team are on constant alert,” Parker added.

The Agent turned and waved to his friends at the table near the door. He signaled that he was on his way back.

“Let’s eat, I’m famished,” Steele said with emphasis imitating how Marilyn had said it to Mark.

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

The Killer of Bush Street Part 25

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

Stetson felt fear running through his mind and the flow of his anger pulsating after it. He grit his teeth hard and prepared to use more force to hold Steele back from following Marilyn and Mark. The young couple and their friends boarded the cable car. The sooner they leave this area the better, thought Stetson. He saw Steele’s intense stare and knew that the killer intended to get even.

The gripman rang the bell and the cable car moved forward. Steele watched through the Cafe windows as it started its uphill climb. He gave the crowd of passengers a false smile, and waved good-bye as if they were old friends.

As Steele’s arm relaxed Stetson put his other arm over the killer’s shoulders. “I’ve had enough of surprises today. Let’s drink to some good luck for me.”

Steele turned and smiled at Stetson, “Yeah, you definitely need a change in your luck. I’ll drink to that.”

As they turned back to their bar stools, the owner of the Buena Vista Cafe captured Stetson’s attention with a wave. He pointed to a table opening up. Stetson nodded his head in the affirmative and mouthed the words, “Thank you.”

“My luck’s changed already,” said Stetson. “There’s a table in the middle, there by the window. Let’s take it.”

By the time they squeezed through to the table, the busboy had cleared their table and put down a new white tablecloth. Their Irish Coffees waited for them on fresh cocktail napkins.

The two unusual friends finished their Irish coffees and ordered drinks. “I’ll have a Chevas Regal on the rocks,” said Steele to the waitress.

“And I’ll have my usual, Jack Daniels on the rocks,” said Stetson.

The plain and unsmiling waitress wrote their order on her pad. She dropped her pencil in the pocket of the black apron she wore on top of a straight black skirt. Still, without smiling or direct eye contact, she said, “Thank you.”

Steele sighed and complained to Stetson. “I find it amazing how some girls exude a wealth of personality, and other girls like our waitress, can appear to be a blank page. They are depressing.”

“I bet she’s a damn good waitress though,” said Stetson in her defense.

When their drinks came Steele offered a toast. “To the success of our project, to you for better luck in your career, and to our precious and secretive client.”

The bitterness in the last two words was not missed. The two men did not complete their toast as both had put down their glasses.

“You shouldn’t be keeping the information to yourself. If anything happened to you, I would be hanging out there empty handed,” said Steele.

“Trust me, pal. The client, who I only know by a nickname, knows who you are. He’s pleased that you are on board to do this job for him.” Stetson paused a second to take a deep breath. “I had to promise I wouldn’t share his name. I’d say relax, Steele. He’s only the in-between guy. A liaison.”

Steele leaned closer to Stetson. He lowered his voice and said, “The way things are now, Stetson, I don’t trust you. When you first approached me, you said that more details would be forthcoming, and now you’ve closed up like a foolish virgin. Be up front with me. Don’t be stupid, or I just may turn this project upside down.”

Stetson bit the inner side of his lower lip as he contemplated Steele’s threat. He decided he had no choice at the moment and went along with his adversary’s demand. He needed to do whatever necessary to get to the end of this evening. Then he would have the opportunity to destroy this evil menace.

“You’re right. I’d feel the same if I were in your place,” Stetson acquiesced. “The liaison said to call him Portico. He calls me when he wants to meet. It was Portico who paid us half the fee up front. It was quite a sum of money, so you can understand why I trust him.”

Stetson’s eyes scanned through the crowd of people standing near their table. Laughter, conversations, and the musical sounds of clinking glasses, surrounded them. He determined that what they were saying would be hard to decipher.

“I don’t need the money. I picked up on your offer because of boredom. From time to time I get the itch to blow something up. Do you know what I mean? Now, don’t get confused, I always want to get paid as agreed,” said Steele.

“Unlike you,” said Stetson. “I need to amass a large sum of money. I want more than a detective’s salary. How have you earned your fortune? And, if you don’t mind sharing with me, how are you going to handle all that money you’ll be getting?” asked Stetson.

Steele shifted, sat up straight, and looked into his drink as he spoke. “I keep my ears open and when the right job comes around I decide whether to take it, or leave it. I am the best in my field and I’ve earned a trusted reputation. So, my fees are high. I contract with sources who I know can afford me. For some crazy reason I accepted your proposal. Right now, I’m thinking I should have killed you a long time ago. But since I made an agreement with you, I will follow through. Though don’t think for a moment you can get away with double crossing me and getting away with it.”

Steele stopped talking and sipped his Chevas Regal. “As for what I’ll be doing with my share, I’ll stash it and let it earn interest. I did the same with the last bank job I completed back east. My share was $1.2 million. Use your imagination.”

“That is a hell of a lot of money. I’d love to boast about earnings like that,” said Stetson. He recalled how a couple of his top notched friends had recommended Steele. One of them was his friend, Little John, who had said, “He’s definitely the best man. He only works for top dollar though. Don’t go to him if you don’t have the funds. He might kill you for bothering him.”

How about you? What are your plans?” asked Steele in return.

“I’ve put a hefty down payment on a sailboat docked in Sausalito. I’ll pay it off, quit my job, and travel. Someday I may buy a home somewhere and settle down with a nice woman who can cook,” replied Stetson. He took another swig of his drink hoping to encourage Steele to do the same. He wanted to curb the killer’s instincts.

“Not me,” said Steele shaking his head. “No woman is going to tie me down and grow fat on my dough. I’m going to travel, maybe buy a villa here and there. I’ve found some places where I can come and go as I please. The people there know me as a man of wealth and leave me alone. I treat them right and they do the same back. But as for women, you know me, I love women and then I leave them. No woman has ever pleased me for more than a month.”

“Well, here’s to each of our goals,” Stetson said and raised his glass to toast the good wish. But in the back of his mind he thought, and to your failure when it comes to trapping and killing women. Especially nice ones like Marilyn. I’m wishing you the end of your life tonight.

 Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

 

A Practice in Building Tension

 

Hello to all my Friends and Fans…

While I am fine tuning the next three parts to The Serial Killer of Bush Street, I thought I’d share this practice in tension building with you. In April I was given this prompt from the website Write to Done: She looked up from her writing. Was that a creak? But she’d oiled the hinges just yesterday. I dashed out the following:

April 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm

She looked up from her writing. Was that a creak? But she’d oiled the hinges just yesterday. Gina’s mind delved further by evaluating everything about her one bedroom apartment on the third floor. If it’s not my front door, and not my bathroom, or bedroom door…it must be the steps outside my front door leading to the roof. Oh no. What if there’s a burglar trying to escape from the police again? I hope he runs into the wire clothesline and chokes. She heard the same creak again. He’s right outside my front door. Gina’s mind is racing now. Where could she hide? Did she lock the door? Of course! She scolds herself. You’ve always had the good habit of using the deadbolt. Why do you doubt yourself?

Heavens, living by yourself again, and living in this place, is making you nuts. You wanted peace and quiet and now you’ve isolated yourself and live like a hermit. Hiding in plain sight, you say? Among the Chinese in the middle of San Francisco’s Chinatown? Who are you kidding? You don’t even look Chinese anyore. Now, think again, why did you come back here to live, and who doesn’t want you here?

Gina’s mind worked on her at lightning speed as she hid behind the short sofa and stared underneath the front door, looking for the shadow of someone moving around outside. A strange odor seeped in. That smells like old cheese, thought Gina. Seconds later, a mouse scrambled in from underneath the door. When Gina saw it, she also saw the crumble of cheese pushed in ahead of it. Oh my God! Someone’s really out there! She raced for the telephone in the bedroom. As she ran through the kitchen, she heard the front door split open.

 

I hope you enjoyed the short moment. It’s not perfect… and I think there was a word limit. I had so much fun writing this I thought you would enjoy it, too. I really wanted to keep in touch with you sooner but just couldn’t throw out less than my best for the next few parts of The Serial Killer of Bush Street. Part 25 will be posted shortly. I’ve had a handful of MRIs and CTs lately. Can you imagine how exhausted I am mentally and emotionally? But now everything is fine. Hang in there with me!

Thank you!

MillieAnne

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California