Hello and welcome to the fourth of my posts about a brand new series of 13 suspenseful “Friday the 13th” short stories, each by a different author.
Today, I am happy to share Margo Hoornstra’s “Dead to Rights” – Now available for pre-order…releasing Nov 13.
Several sources helped me create this murder/mystery. My husband was great with plot points and brainstorming. Good friends we camp with were instrumental in fleshing out various scenes. Although, plotting the details of a murder and its aftermath around our nightly campfires gave new meaning to telling spooky stories in the dark.
Police Dispatcher Whitney Rhoades has one word for her current life…contentment. Even after a disfigured body is discovered near her home. When word gets out she’s found a piece of a broken mirror, the deadly mishaps begin to pile up, and her peaceful contented world becomes a nightmare.
Veteran Detective Gabriel Tate knows a vendetta when he sees it. What he doesn’t know is who wants Whitney dead. But despite her terror, she tosses his offer of protection back in his face. She trusted him once and he betrayed her. He can’t…won’t let that happen again.
Unless he can regain her trust…and soon…the results could be fatal. Find a murderer or risk losing her again…permanently.
“What was I supposed to do? She attacked me first. With a mirror of all things. She would have sliced my neck open if I hadn’t punched her.” He let out a sickening laugh. “That stopped her. But then she started bleeding from her nose. Crying and choking. It wouldn’t stop. None of it would stop.” His tone lowered as if remorse had finally taken hold. “I had every right to defend myself, but I didn’t mean to hit her that hard. I never intended to break her nose. I sure as hell never expected her to die on me.”
Being forced to walk in front of him, she was hearing what amounted to a confession to murder. Without the benefit of cameras recording every word in an official interrogation room. Without the luxury of a confessed murderer being unarmed and in custody.
There was only one reason he’d be so freely confessing to her. What better way to clear his conscience? Then make sure she’d never tell anyone.
“It wasn’t supposed to happen.” His voice jarred Whitney out of her thoughts.
Her step faltered, which earned her another sharp jab from the gun barrel. Wincing as pain radiated through her ribs, she had no choice but to continue moving.
“It was an accident.” She spoke the first words that came to mind. “Everyone will see that.” Convincing him she was on his side was the only way she had a prayer to get out of this alive.
“You’re damned right it was an accident. Her fault. Not mine. She never should have resisted.” The strength of his voice rose before falling to a mere whisper.
When they reached the top of the ridge, he came along side and turned to face her.
“That mirror evidence is our little secret. Yours and mine. Of course, you’re not going to be around to talk about it. And I’m sure not going to tell. Don’t worry. If you don’t die from the fall, I’m an excellent marksman. You can even decide the location of the kill shot ahead of time. Brains or heart? Your choice.” With an ominous chuckle, he nudged her in the side one more time. “Should I push you, or would you rather jump?”
Wife to one, mother to four, mother-in-law to four, and grandmother to four so far, Margo is a Detroit native who couldn’t be happier now living in rural mid-Michigan. A communications specialist by trade, she has worked as a magazine editor, television producer, and speech and script writer. When not writing these days, she enjoys walking outdoors in every season, hates to cook, loves to read, and can be found at www.margohoornstra.com
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