Tag Archives: Crime

Pro By Jenni Prange Boran

JenniIt was one of those monochromatic days. Gray upon gray. Wet. The kind of day that makes old wounds ache. The kind that calls for a thick hooded sweatshirt. Gloves. And maybe a ski mask. None of these items would be a particular cause for concern on a day like today. The first red flag upon his entering the convenience store would be that classic motion, the reach around his back to retrieve his 9mm. The cashiers all know that motion. It’s not even like they’re trained to know it. But they’ve all seen television. Still, despite what they show on television, very few cashiers have the wherewithal to reach below the counter for the iconic sawed off shotgun. Very few cashiers do any more than throw up their hands, piss their pants and open the drawer. At least that had been his experience.

And he’d been doing it a long time. He was a pro. But he was getting tired. The thrill that had once accompanied the act of terrifying another human being had dissipated. Now it was all about the money, which had warped the whole thing into a task that bore the intensity and inspiration a mailman must experience tossing an envelope into a box. It was just business now.

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Ashes to Ashes by Christian Carvajal

CarvShe arrived when my office girl Margie was out to lunch, as if that narrows it down. I welcomed my latest possible client with an enthusiasm I usually reserve for good brandy. “Mr. Wainwright?” she asked, her voice perfect for radio.

“I answer to that moniker. Dylan, too,” I said, smiling. I ushered her into the office and gave her the twice over. She had a figure like Beethoven in Braille, and a mug you could use to sell lipstick. Helen of Troy would’ve asked for her autograph. I should’ve known she was trouble before her rump left that valentine-shaped impression in my office chair. She wore black—-short black dress, high black heels, fishnet stockings over eye-grabbing getaway sticks. She left contrails of lavender behind.

“Mr. Dylan Wainwright,” she announced. “My attorney says you’re the finest private detective in all Los Angeles.”

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Dressed To Kill by L. Lisa Lawrence

L. LisaShe drew the riding crop slowly, teasingly down the center of his chest to his groin, which she playfully circled before bringing it down on his inner thigh hard enough to raise a welt. He felt a surge of arousal and anger.

As he lay on the four poster bed, naked, in biting leather restraints he looked at his wife of 20 years with amusement. He hadn’t wanted to bother with her on this day, much preferring to spend it with his current mistress, a much younger and more sexually adventurous woman, but she had surprised him by delaying her trip a few hours so that they could spend part of Valentine’s Day together and setting up the bedroom as a play area.

She didn’t look like herself. Clad in a leather bustier and thigh high boots with stiletto heels and wearing a red wig, she looked much like the woman he currently preferred, taller, wilder, kinkier… He would still have plenty of time to hop in the shower and meet her for their hotel rendezvous in the city.

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Run Away by Jack Cameron


I’m sorry you have to find out like this. If I were half the man you thought I was, I’d be telling you my plan of how I’m going to make everything right again and pay back that bastard for what he did. But I’m not and I’m not. I hope when you get this that you’ll do the smart thing. Don’t try to find me. I’m not worth finding and will only bring you trouble. Kayla was always the good one.

I’ve tried to trace back my actions and what happened to see if any of it could have been prevented. Was it the conversation after the funeral? Was it when Kayla was attacked? Was it when I found the card? I guess it doesn’t matter how it happened. I know the truth of it.

It was when you and I visited Kayla in the hospital. That’s when I knew I wasn’t going to just ignore it. The right side of her face was swollen. She had a cut on her head. And for some reason they’d cut off her hair. My sixteen year old sister had been brutalized and someone was going to pay for that.

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The Wolf by Karen Tully

Karen TullyJustice fled through the dim, emergency lighting in the halls of the Long Beach Super 8. She heard a door shut down the hall behind her.

“Justice?” Toby’s voice called. She knew the machete from his cheerful, sticker-covered knife case would be in his hand. “Please Pet, don’t run.”

Justice, given name Petunia, ground her teeth at the hated nickname. But she didn’t stop to correct him. Something hanging from her jeans pocket slapped her rear under her flannel as she ran and opened the stairwell door. She reached behind her and felt – stiff work gloves? She didn’t take the time to wonder where they came from, but dashed down the ugly carpeted stairs from the refuge of the top floor.

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Assumptions by Joshua Swainston

BorderWhat is that stupid saying? Never assume, because it makes an ass out of you and me. Well that pretty much fits the bill, except the only ass here is me. I was brought in, I thought, to handle the money. An intermediary. Winslow, the guy who hired me, runs some sort of coke outfit out of Vancouver, BC. The idea was to collect the cash and make sure it crossed the border at Blaine, Washington. I’d heard about the job from a friend of a friend. Winslow needed “a nobody.” I was told he was too heavily watched to take chances transferring his own cash. I didn’t ask who he was watched by. The money up front looked good, and in this economy even crooks have to get it where they can.

I found it funny that the cash was moving to the United States. I always thought the drug business worked with the money going out from the US and the drugs coming in, but I couldn’t tell you anymore than what I’d seen on TV.

I assumed that it would’ve been an easy job. I assumed I wasn’t going to be a patsy for some degenerate drug dealer offering me up for sacrifice in the wake of some bullshit I’d nothing to do with.

Right now I’m lying bound and blindfolded on a cold concrete floor. It gives me time to accept I assumed too much. I should’ve been on my guard.

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Red by Melissa Thayer

AuthorLissa B&WThe gun was clean. Loaded. Double-checked. His knife, the one he had carried always, she held a moment before strapping it to her belt. There were five who must die today. Outside her blinded window, dawn was about to break over the minarets. The muezzin sing-songed beckonings to adhan.

The men who took him last night hadn’t seen her. His body would not get cold before she enacted her revenge. The first was Gadi. He was a whore-lover. The second was Azzam, he had a scar across his face from his penchant for bar fights. Zero was famously addicted to opium. Marid sold carpets at the bazaar. Jibril was a gambler. Despite the call the adhan, she knew the hypocrites wouldn’t be among the crowds.

She holstered the gun, wrapped her face in a red scarf, and took to the dark streets. They had no idea who they had awakened. First stop, Madame Khalidah’s. She slipped in past the incensed parlor, whispering her question to the madame on the whereabouts of Gadi. The carpeted stairs hushed her steps, down the hall, third door on the left. She eased the door open. He was sleeping naked on the couch with a sweaty whore. He awoke to the pressure of the barrel against his temple.

She would never feel her lover’s lips again.


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Eleventh Hour Brother – An Arthur Beautyman Mystery By Erik Hanberg

erikhanbergThe state of South Dakota would have executed an innocent man if Arthur Beautyman hadn’t cleared the alleged killer’s name from a sofa three hundred miles away.

Deidre Kirkpatrick, a wealthy 96-year-old recluse, had been found with a charred cantaloupe-sized hole in her chest. The list of suspects was short. Her only visitors anymore were her two sons and the medics who were regularly summoned by her medical alert pendant.

When the police located her son Ethan, they discovered his left hand was blackened and missing two fingers. A result of the same explosion that had killed his mother? Had Ethan rigged a miniature explosive device to kill her, accidentally losing two fingers in the process?

Unusual, to be sure, but the facts were clear to the South Dakota District Attorney. He pressed for the death penalty against Ethan and the jury agreed. Now, after years of failed appeals and protests of innocence, Ethan Kirkpatrick had just one hour left before his midnight execution.

“What a bizarre story,” Ruth Beautyman murmured, watching the news coverage from her home in Minneapolis.

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Augie by Jack Cameron

18049_247178093018_851116_n“This is a great apartment…”

There was a pause after he said it. Augie was fairly certain the boy could not remember his name. Augie didn’t mind. He wasn’t sure of the boy’s name either. Tony, Troy, something with a ‘T’.

He watched from the bed as the boy walked around his apartment. The boy had his shirt off. Augie was enjoying the view. This boy was probably half Augie’s age with skin so white it looked like milk. He had that farm-boy-in-the-city look to him. Augie wondered how many times the boy had done this sort of thing. The boy picked up a framed photo from the dresser. Augie almost forty years ago standing next to his friend Daniel. Dan the man. It didn’t matter where they were, Dan could score enough reefer for him and all of his friends. The photo was taken in Quang Tin Province, Viet Nam. Two weeks later Daniel was dead. Shot by a sniper.

“Whoa.” The boy said, “Is this your dad?” Augie couldn’t help but smile. He’d be sixty-eight in a month but he didn’t look it at all.

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