Monday, July 08, 2013

April Shouer’s Bloodhounds

By Billie A. Williams
Cozy Mystery, 229 Pages
Cover art by Richard Stroud

Trapped by the tornado, April eyed the monster she had rescued from the caved in basement room and splinted his mangled leg, before she realized he was the serial killer she was tracking.  "You have a gun and bullets. I believe you should be able to sever those leg irons by shooting the chain."

Jeddah waved the gun. "Or, have it ricochet off and hit me somewhere else."
Preferably between the eyes, April wouldn't dare say what she thought.

Jeddah memorized the first officer’s face. He’s dead! He muttered to himself. When he got his chance, that one would be the first to go.

A black thunderhead rolled across the sky. Lightning scratched bold lines from the blackness ahead of them to the ground. Waves of light inside the clouds told of more fury within. Suddenly, the car veered left as the sudden gust of wind from the storm slammed into them from a cross street.

“Holy smack, this one is going to be a doozie,” the driver said, struggling to gain control of the car. The wheel had nearly jerked out of his hand and he used his whole body to force the wheel right before they slammed into the approaching traffic. The sudden jolt and attempt at reversal tossed Jeddah from one side of the car to the other—he felt like his head was going to split. He hated storms—they scared the hell out of him. The rain splashed in great sheets across the road, windshield wipers on full blast, the car inched out of town. Jeddah watched the trees bow and scrape as the ground rumbled and trembled beneath the car.
“Think we should seek cover?” one of the men shouted above the storm’s roar.

“There’s an old mansion about a quarter mile up the road, if my memory serves me. We’ll try to get there. Too many trees here we could get on dropped on us.

The weather forecast said showers, not this,” the second man said, twisting nervously in the front seat.
Jeddah crouched low in the back seat. He hated storms and this was no ordinary thunderstorm. The blackness gave way to a sickly yellow and it seemed the earth stood still, suffocating everything with its lack of air.

Suddenly the car swerved again… the officer who was driving grabbed his chest, making a gurgling sound. The steering wheel twirled left, then right. The officer slumped sideways in the seat, held up only by the seatbelt. The car bounced into the ditch and up the other side of the small bank before it slammed into a tree. The second officer’s head hit hard against the dash and Jeddah bounced into the mesh separating him from the officers.

Dazed, the officer in the passenger seat shook the driver. “Neal, Neal, are you all right?” No answer. The officer quickly undid his seatbelt and clicked the lock to open the doors.

Instantly alert, Jeddah heard his opportunity. He pretended to be passed out as the officer checked the back seat before going around to the driver’s side to try to get Neal out of the driver’s seat. He pushed the radio button, “Officer down,” he said into the mike.

Jeddah stayed perfectly still and listened as the officer pulled Neal to a sitting position and searched for a pulse. He pulled him out of the car and onto the ground and began to administer CPR. Jeddah slid out of the car on the opposite side. If he just ran, surely the cop would have someone on his trail in a flash. He snuck around the back of the car. The cop was busy working over his friend. Jeddah picked up the biggest rock he could find and crept up behind the cop.

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