Thursday, November 15, 2012

chainbooks Starter Chapter - Mistaken Identity

Last year I did some writing for Chainbooks which is a site where others finish stories that someone else started. It's kinda cool to see how stories evolve. So, if you've ever wanted to write a mystery but haven't the time or don't know how to plot the whole thing out, then how about just writing a chapter? Once the whole book is written, it will be published and those who helped write it get credit along with a copy.

Here's the start of a mystery that you might like to work on.  You can read the rest HERE and then if you'd like, add the next chapter.

Mistaken Identity

I gazed down at the body lying next to the overflowing dumper. The smell of rotting food and other things I didn't want to think about this early, especially on a Saturday, morning, covered the smell of blood. I tried not to breathe. Another hooker hadn't made it through the night. Blondie here, was the third one this month. A mini, mini-skirt and a barely-there halter-top made up her wardrobe. Only one of her red stilettos remained on her foot. How a person could actually walk in stilettos was a mystery to me. I only knew if I tried, I'd end up with a broken neck. I looked around for the other shoe but didn't see it anywhere. We probably wouldn't find it, either. Seemed like the killer took the right shoe from his victim. Of course, we'd have to look through the dumpster and all the other garbage along the alley but I was fairly certain the shoe wouldn't be found.

John Dawson, the county medical examiner made a note on his pad then looked up at me. "She's been dead right at four hours. Cause of death is most likely the multiple stab wounds but I'll know more after I exam her fully." He stood, shook his head. "Now is not a good time to be a blonde prostitute."

I told him thanks and that I'd check in with him later then glanced at my watch. She'd been killed about three in the morning, same as the others. I stood watching John while pondering the other similarities. All were tall, over six feet and all were blonde. Each of them had been left beside dumpsters but I wasn't sure if that was important. Did our killer hate tall blondes? Or was it just tall, blonde hookers? A uniformed officer approached.

"Detective Slone, we found her purse and identification." He handed me the purse and a wallet. I told him thanks, watched him head back to the search group. Officer Bryan Clarke. I'd had some dealings with him before. He had a good head on his shoulders and would make a good detective one of these days. I liked him.

Opening the wallet, I stared at the driver's license. The photo didn't match. I looked closer, imagined a long, blonde wig instead of the short brown hair in the picture. Yep, Sandra Williams. Something bothered me. A kind of nagging in the back of my mind. Like when you forget the word you want and it's right on the tip of your tongue. I knew it'd eat at me until I figured it out but there wasn't much I could do about it right now.

A chill ran up my spine as John zipped the body bag around the victim. Small, dark places gave me the creeps even after all these years and I was glad I'd be dead when they zipped my body bag. John said he'd see me soon and waved as he headed toward his vehicle. After making sure all the statements had been recorded, photos taken, the evidence had been bagged and tagged; I headed back to the station.

Sitting at my desk, I wished again for a private office and wondered whose ass I'd have to kiss to get one. Four desks sat pushed together in the center of the room. Only the desk diagonally from mine was being used now. Ted Birch sat there, feet on his desk, reading a copy of one of his hunting magazines. Ted wasn't long for retiring and didn't plan on getting shot so tended to hang around doing paperwork. And honestly, that was fine with me. He always managed to get on my nerves. His favorite thing was the retelling of all the cases he'd solved over the years and how he figured out who the bad guy was. I had a feeling he couldn't solve his way out of a wet paper bag these days. In fact, it was rumored he'd been politely told to retire or else.

Opening the case files from the two previous victims I stared at their photos. At one time, they both had been attractive women but life on the streets had taken its toll. What had made them who they ended up? Had their lives been so bad that prostitution seemed the better alternative? We'd probably never know.

1 comment:

William S. Shepard said...

What a delightful blog! Well planned, pleasing to the eye, and a nice concept. Let me know if you need a diplomatic mystery contributor!
William Shepard