Welcome to the first installment of Terrifying Tuesdays!
Although at this point I cannot guarantee that I will have one of these posts available every week, I will try as I bring you heart-stopping action from some of my works...as well as (hopefully) a few pieces from other authors.
My overriding goal for Terrifying Tuesdays is to get the reader's blood flowing...and their mind working...and their skin tingling...well...you get the point (grin). I will attempt to do this by delving into various genres, including action, mystery, suspense and even horror (Especially around Halloween!).
My first selection for this event is one of the ending scenes in my first novel...Murder! Too Close To Home. After the excerpt you will find some buy links...although that's misleading since Murder is Free!
Murder! Too Close To Home
April 3, 1997
We are again quiet as we sped toward
. I was driving
with Betty along side me in the front seat, Frank manning the rear. Half way
there, Betty laid her hand on the seat between us palm up. I looked over to see
a worried look on her face, one that matched mine I was sure. I reached out and
grabbed her hand in mine, risking the one-handed, high-speed driving to comfort
my beautiful wife…and myself for that matter. Franklin
The sky was overcast as we drove, a fitting day for the task at hand. Thirty minutes after we started our trek, the lights on the cruiser in front of us went off as the siren grew silent. We were going in quiet as we slowed to 20 mph for the last mile before finally turning slowly into a driveway.
Scanning the area and seeing no other vehicle in sight, I assumed that she may not be there yet.
We parked about fifty feet from the house and exited the vehicle. The Sheriff and his deputy were huddled at the front of their car, discussing something that had the deputy not looking happy. When we joined the two men, Lean looked over at us and stated, “I’ll go in alone.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea Sheriff,” Betty said with concern.
“She’s my daughter,” he said determinedly as he looked toward the house. “I should be the one to bring her out.”
He started walking toward the building before any of us could say anything to dissuade him. He was unarmed.
“Are we just going to let him do this alone?” Betty asked with concern.
“Let him get inside,” I said, “then we can position ourselves around the house, just in case.”
He got to the door and tried the knob, which was unlocked. He slowly stepped in…closing the door behind him.
“Frank, you take Tom and go around to the left, Betty and I will take the right.”
We split up and went in low with weapons drawn. We came across a side door, and I indicated to Betty to stay there while I proceeded to the back of the house where I met up with Frank at another door.
Jane’s truck was there, having been blocked from view by the house. We quietly crawled up onto an old porch and then to the back door. A loud conversation was going on inside the house; the voices now clear to us.
“You brought them here?” I heard Jane literally scream.
Pleading, “What’s going on with you Jane, why are you doing this?”
I edged up along a window and looked in. Jane was there to my right, wearing her uniform and what I assume was a blonde wig. Lean held a position to my left, just this side of the door where I had left Betty. I hoped she could get the lay of the scene from over there. I had no way to communicate with her from where I was at.
“You have no idea do you? You have no clue you drunken sot!”
“You’re right,” Lean shouted back, “I don’t have a clue. I do know this is not how I raised you girl.”
“You didn’t raise me you bastard,” screaming again. “Momma raised me. Momma did everything for me, and for you.”
“I know that I’ve been too busy sometimes, but I love you JJ. And I loved your momma too.”
“And when she got sick? Then you decided it would be a good idea to be gone even more?”
“I’m sorry…I just didn’t know how to handle the Lupus.”
“The Lupus didn’t kill momma you idiot, she died of loneliness. I tried everything I could to make her happy, but all she wanted was you. You to talk to her…to pay attention to her. You couldn’t even do that could you? You couldn’t even give her a few minutes a day out of your lousy life to make her happy.”
“You disgust me.”
Glancing back at the Sheriff, I saw tears rolling down his cheeks.
“I was scared, I admit that. I didn’t know how to handle a disease like that. If you don’t know how to handle something, sometimes you just hide from it. But to kill all of those people for what I did? Your momma never would have wanted that.”
“She’s dead now, and the rules changed the day she died” Jane said matter-of-factly.
“The rules of humanity didn’t change! The rules of right and wrong didn’t change either!”
Jane sneered at him. “All the rules changed, Dad. I made new ones. I’ve done things you’ve probably never even heard of since then. I’m living my own life now.”
She took a few steps farther from me, strutting really. “Jasmine is my name now, and Jasmine is who I am. Jasmine can do anything she wants. And Jasmine doesn’t like you Sheriff! You shouldn’t have pissed her off.”
She turned back toward me and I quickly ducked back out of sight.
“We even sell our body, what do you think about that, Dad? When we realized we needed more money to put you in your place, we went to the city and got it done.”
The voice had changed, and I risked another look in the window. She was facing Lean once more, rubbing her hand up and down her belly, and lower; moaning with her eyes closed while her head tilted back in enjoyment.
“Mmmm, it’s delicious, getting paid to do what I do. Now that is a sin!”
“Five thousand a night dad, that’s what I get paid to fuck strange men, powerful men! Never a complaint, they were all smiling when I got done. I even got a couple of marriage proposals.”
Throwing her head back, she let loose a loud, evil laugh, straight from the bowels of hell.
She stopped suddenly and put on a sweet face, bringing her finger to her chin while finishing in a little girl’s voice.
“Aren’t you proud of me daddy?”
Lean McHenry was on his knees, openly crying tears of agony while wailing, “what have I done, what have I done?”
Jane was silently watching her father’s pain. A small, satisfied smile crossed her lips before turning quickly into a full blown grin, her beautiful teeth seemed to glow eerily in the dark room.
She slowly pulled her weapon from the holster on her hip. Spreading her feet into a shooting stance, she brought the gun to bear on her father.
“It’s a shame really, if it hadn’t been for fucking Celtic and his crew, you never would have figured it out. Rest assured, I’ll take care of them later.”
“At least this way, I get to personally witness your last breath,” she grinned as she cocked her gun. “Quite the consolation prize, I assure you.”
I glanced over at Frank to see if he was ready. He nodded his head in affirmation, tensing himself to break through the door. I took one last look in; she was leveling the automatic and holding steady while she finished her story.
“I damn you to Hell Sheriff…you should feel right at home there.”
The room suddenly filled with the sound of splintering wood and glass as Frank and I rushed in from the porch, temporarily blinded by the darkness of the room. I noticed movement on my left and realized that Betty had also entered the room from her position at the side door.
My eyes were locked on her as she rushed to the Sheriff’s position, pushing him out of the way as she took aim on his daughter.
Jane screamed in anger, releasing a shot simultaneously with Betty’s.
My heart stopped.
The room slowed as I saw the muzzle flash of both weapons, the explosive sound hitting me like a long, low rumble. I could see the bullets cross each other and head for their targets. Another explosion to my right told me that Frank was also getting off a shot, risky as he was shooting toward the side of her body.
My eyes were drawn back to the scene in front of me as Betty’s shot hit Jane in her chest…right in the middle of her deputy’s badge.
Turned to the left with the force of the bullet, Frank’s shot then found a target and punctured her chest on her right side as a reddish spray exited from her back. She fell toward the ground.
My attention moved back toward Betty. She was standing with knees slightly bent, her weapon still in her hand but propped against the door frame behind her for support. A small patch of red was slowly growing on her left shoulder.
SHE’D BEEN SHOT!
Time was back to full speed as I rushed forward, my thoughts full of fear and dread at my wife’s injury.
As I approached, she tried to smile at me before it turned into a grimace.
“Through and through,” she gasped, pain and relief showing on her face at once. There was blood, but not a lot, and definitely no arterial spurting. Tears of joy were freely running down my face as I moved to help her.
Lean headed toward his daughter hesitantly. She was lying on the floor, clutching her chest while trying to catch her breath. A fit of coughing brought small red bubbles to her lips.
Tears stained her face as she looked up with pain filled eyes. She saw her father standing over her, the pain in her eyes changing to sorrow as she whispered, “daddy.”
The Sheriff looked lost as he slowly turned away, walking slowly to a corner of the room before he let out a loud bellow. As his ribs wrack in spasms, he brought his hands to his face in intense sorrow.
Frank was on his cell, loudly calling in everybody, forcefully reiterating to them the need to get a life squad there NOW.
I turned back toward Betty, “We need to get you out to the car for some bandages until the EMT’S get here.”
“Give me a hug first, willya?”
I gingerly hugged my love, taking care not to put any pressure on her injured shoulder. The near miss of almost losing her had made me weepy.
“I love you Betty,” I whispered into her ear; “I don’t know what I would have done if I’d lost you.”
As we separated, she was smiling at me lovingly. “I lo…,”
The air was suddenly filled with a horrendous explosion.
Betty’s smile disappeared as another patch of red appeared on her shirt.
I reached down, quickly sliding the Glock out of its holster while simultaneously rotating to the right. The gun was cocked as the sights landed on the once-again depraved face of Jasmine, her gun now aimed directly at me. I pulled off the shot, adding a hole between those evil eyes, an act that brought our investigation finally to an end.
I immediately dropped my weapon, turning quickly to see to my spouse.
I rushed the doorway where she had been standing; realizing now that it was an old basement entrance, the stairs now gone. As I looked down through the hole, I was greeted by the terrifying sight of my beautiful Betty lying on the basement floor, a pool of blood beginning to form around her angelic face like a halo.
Copyright 2010-2015 J.T. Lewis
You can find Murder! Too Close To Home with the following links:
Little known fact: Murder! Too Close To Home has gone through many changes in its life, even including he title. Did you know that the original story was a little shorter and was actually called 'The Ghost Murders'?
Just for fun, I am putting up some of the historical covers up here (Although some may be classified as hysterical)"