Photo copyright: Roger Bultot
Keyley glanced up at her mother. “Mommy, what”s the blue light on the stove.”
“It’s a flame. Never touch it. You’ll get hurt,” said Jamie.
“Can I help,” said Keyley.
“No, because the pancakes are ready,” said Jamie.
Jamie’s cell buzzed on the counter. “Would you go wake Ethan and Daddy?”
With a mischievous grin Keyley said, “O.K.”
Throughout breakfast, Jamie spoke with her boss. At its conclusion, she ignited the wick on a scented candle to remove the horrible smell, which filled the kitchen. As she removed the griddle, she realized her mistake too late.
Photo copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
With a double bourbon on the rocks, his medicine of choice, David stared at the maze in the distance. His reverie cut short by the ring of his phone.
“David,” he said.
“Thanks for making my job so easy,” said the caller.
“I will find you. Enjoy what little time you have left,” said David.
“Until then, have another bourbon, ” said the caller.
David scanned the maze, tables, and picnic area. Three men were using their phones.
“It won’t be that easy. Nice try…” The line went dead.
David threw the drink at the column. I’ll, bury him alive!
“David, I need a break, “ said Brandi.
“Sorry, if trying to keep you alive is boring you,” said David.
“It’s not, but there’s a plantation in Suwannee, Georgia. I’d like to visit.”
“Sounds nice, if you’re into old building and boredom.”
She ran her hand up his leg. “I promise you’ll enjoy it.”
“Sure, why not.”
David was bored ten minutes after arrival. While waiting for a room to be cleaned, they walked through the maze of shrubs. David noticed something small sparkle in the distance.
“That’s weird, Brandi…”
Brandi slumped forward. Brain tissue and blood soaked David.
Photo copyright: Jean L. Hays
Pain radiated from Henry’s leg. A moment later, he collapsed with a thud.
Before everything went black a voice said, “ Your death will not be quick.”
He awoke to find Patricia bound and gagged dressed in her bra and underwear.
The kidnapper pressed a gun to the side of Patricia’s head. “Did Henry tell you what
happened to Hope and Jason?”
Patricia’s voice trembled, “They ran off together.”
The kidnapper laughed, “No, Henry killed them.”
The van came to a stop. Two men dragged Henry into a pre-dug grave. As dirt covered his body Henry screamed.
Photo Copyright: The Reclining Gentleman
Only one man stood at the midway point of the bridge. As Patricia approached with the rolling cooler she started to sweat.
“Where’s the money,” said the kidnapper?
“Where’s Henry? I want proof he’s alive,” said Patricia.
The kidnapper handed Patricia an iPhone. “Hit redial.”
The call picked up on the first ring. Seconds later came Henry’s hoarse voice, “Hello.”
“Henry, don’t worry….,” the call dropped.
“The money’s in the cooler,” said Patricia.
A van speed up the bridge. Tires squealed, the door opened and Henry dropped out of the van. As Henry and Patricia embraced, two gunshots rang out.
Photo Copyright: Dawn O. Landau
Randal peered out the window at the rocks of salt, as the helicopter zoomed over the beach.
“They’re a natural occurrence due to the high salt content of the water,” said the pilot.
Randal said, “Why are they in squares?”
“No one knows, I believe —,” the chopper shook.
It spun out of control and tossed Randal the only survivor into the drink. He awoke with a cough expelling the seawater from his lungs. Using a rusted pole for support he stammered to the crash site.
“Mayday, Mayday, I’m stranded on salt rock island,” he pleaded.
Photo Copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
At the sight of blood pooling under Jason’s body Henry trembled. What am I going to do? How can I explain this? With few options he needed to get rid of the corpse. The waterfall warning came back in a flash.
Jagged rocks lay at the base of the sixty-foot waterfall a quarter mile away. Henry placed Jason in the kayak and tossed the knife in the river. Confident it would be classified a kayaking accident. Although there was little blood Henry burned his clothes and bathed. He peered at the stars and smirked. Now, how to deal with Hope?
Photo copyright: Madison Woods
Emanating from the crackling fire the smell of trout penetrated the air.
Jason finished his third beer, “Henry, I’m so sorry.”
Unable to meet Henry’s eyes, “Hope and I are in love.”
Henry palmed the filet knife. “You’ve been screwing my wife for months and now you’re sorry!”
“We never meant to hurt you.”
In an upward arc the knife permeated Jason’s chest. Henry’s face became pale. “What did I do?”
Jason doubled over in a coughing fit a sucking sound coming from the wound.
With his final breath Jason said, “I forgive you.”
Photo Copyright: Mary Shipman
Maria now an old woman stood in her childhood home one last time. Awoken one evening and raced out the door by her parents almost fifty years ago. Flower wallpaper, which adorned her bedroom walls, now dilapidated from years of neglect. She prayed the metal box remained under the floorboard. The letter from her parents on her sixteenth birthday was intact. The last line read, “Remember you will always be our special angel. Love, Mom and Dad”
The tears poured out. A sharp chest pain gripped Maria, but it was too late. She collapsed to the floor dead.