Writing
Nadirah Foxx  

Frisky Friday Flashy Fiction

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Happy Friday!

Can you believe it’s October? Where did September go? In just a few short months, we’ll be looking at Christmas and New Year’s.

More immediately, however, I’ll be prepping for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’ve been participating since 2014. Exactly what is NaNoWriMo? It’s a national challenge to write a 50,000 word draft. You choose your story. Nobody will stand over your shoulder to make sure you do the dang thing. You make the commitment. Some finish the challenge (a win). Some don’t (no one calls it a loss). You can take the full 30 days or less to get your words in. The choice is yours.

This year, I’ll be rewriting a story that appeared in a boxed set. Anybody remember this?

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My story was entitled Maddox and was roughly twelve chapters. The novelette was about a Native American wolf shifter who found love in the town of Dark Moon Falls. When I received the rights back to Maddox, I could have republished it with a branded cover. To me, however, the story seemed unfinished as if there was so much more to tell. After thinking about it for nearly two years, I came up with a concept. The basic blocks (the character and the general premise) are being repurposed into a series—the SCIS (the Supernatural Criminal Investigative Service) Series. The first book will be A Reckoning in Sherwood Cove. Look for the finished book late next year.

Are you ready for the conclusion of Deception?

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Deception

Part Twenty-Five

Apryl Atkins

Riding down the highway with a stranger hadn’t been on my agenda. All I had wanted to do was take care of my half-sister and disappear with Roberta. The script flipped and became a run from the police.

My road buddy, thankfully, kept both hands on the steering wheel. When he didn’t say a word, I rethought my plans. At the bus station, I was certain the man found me attractive. If I guessed wrong, I needed to eliminate him, steal his keys, and keep going.

Halfway down the road, Al cleared his throat and finally spoke. “So what’s your real name?”

Time to play the bimbo role, which wouldn’t be easy with a console between us.

“Ah, baby, don’t worry about that. I told you. Just call me Honey.”

“All right, Honey. Where you headed?”

“As far from this town as I can get.” When he looked over at me, I smiled and stroked his forearm. Muscular. “Better question. Where are you going?”

Al shifted the toothpick in his mouth. “No place fancy. Just Lexington.”

“As in Kentucky?”

“Yup,” he said, popping the p.

Not far enough.

“Got someone special back home?”

“Nope. Just me and my dog.”

The man was as interesting as wet paint, but I couldn’t give up. “So what brought you to North Carolina?”

“Business.”

A man of few words.

“What kind of business?”

“Had to pick up a package.” Al leaned against the door and lowered his right hand, resting it on top of mine. Slowly, he rubbed his thumb over my skin. “You don’t strike me as a girl from these parts.”

To be honest, Al didn’t fit either. Most men from the area called me gal. The hairs rose on the back of my neck, and I wished I had my pistol.

“Well, I am. Born and raised in Blowing Rock.” The knot forming in my gut warned me not to volunteer too much. Not until I figured out Al’s game. “I’ve been away, though.”

Al pushed the hat off his forehead. “Really? Then you have a destination?”

“I…uh…” I messed up royally. Maybe I could save the situation. “Listen, Al, I haven’t been completely honest with you.”

“Do tell.”

I blinked a few times, working up some fake tears. Sighing, I said, “I ran away. My boyfriend enjoyed using me as a punching bag. I left while he was at work.”

Al squeezed my hand. “Glad you found your strength and left the bastard. No man should raise his fists to a woman.”

Great. Al bought it.

He continued, “Unless it’s a case of self-defense.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Well…” Al glanced at me. “Sometimes a man has to protect himself. What if the woman provoked him? What if she threatened his life?”

I slipped my hand from beneath Al’s. “Trust me, my life was at stake.”

“Before or after you filled the needle?”

“Huh?”

“Nice hair, by the way. Did you buy that wig or did Mary pick it up?”

Sliding as close to the door as possible, I touched the handle. We weren’t moving too fast. Maybe I could roll out with minimal damage.

“Don’t even think about it.” Al pressed his foot down, and the car picked up speed.

“Who are you? Is your name really Al?”

He chuckled. “No one’s ever called me Al, though. Some people call me Cal. Most stick with Calvin or Detective Reeves.”

Shit.

“Game’s over, Apryl. It is, Apryl, right?”

I remained quiet.

“That’s okay. We’ll make a positive ID at the station. In the meantime, why don’t you straighten things out for me. Which sister has been in California?”

I wasn’t going out like that. Confession might be good for the soul, but truthfully, it wasn’t something I was prone to. Then the detective shifted in his seat, and I glimpsed the gun on his hip. Maybe there was a way out of the predicament after all.

“Technically, it was Mary.”

“So you’re telling me she was the one I met?”

“Yeah. She likes to pose as me from time to time. Mary’s guilty of renting cars, houses, apartments in my name. Once, a bill collector contacted me about a debt my sister had.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. She’s a notorious liar.” And now to lay the blame for everything on her. “Bet you didn’t know that she’s a killer, too. My half-sister killed my parents. Unfortunately, Roberta saw the whole thing. She tried to stop Mary and—”

“Is that why the cops found Mary with the weapon?”

“Yes! That’s exactly what happened.”

“Care to explain the paralytic in your parents’ systems?”

Damn, he knows about that?

“Mary’s doing. She worked for the veterinarian in town. Stole drugs from him.”

“And what’s your role in all this, Apryl?”

I placed my hand on my chest and sighed. “I’m the innocent one. I went to California when I found out Mary was there. I was there just a few days ago, but then I got word about Roberta. She was out of the asylum.”

Calvin Reeves

I’d admit Apryl told a convincing story. If I believed her, I’d turn the truck around and let her go. I’d think Mary was the only guilty party, but I’d been a detective for too long to be so easily duped. Apryl was as innocent as the convicts on death row.

My phone rang, and I reached inside my shirt pocket. I tapped the screen and lifted the cell to my ear. “Reeves.”

“Hey, it’s Amy. We have Mary in custody. She’s confessed to everything.”

“What exactly?”

“She said Apryl was in California with her. They’ve been working together the whole time.”

I glanced over at the sister. “Did you gain any useful info?”

“I did. Apryl was the sister who worked for the veterinarian. She mixed the cocktail used to kill the men. Mary administered the drug.”

“How does that help me?”

“It’s the mixture, Detective. Only Apryl knows the right dosage.”

“Got it.” I placed the phone in the console between the seats. “Well, Mary’s in custody. You were right all along, Apryl.”

“About?”

“Everything. Mary told the authorities how she killed the men. Your sister is incredibly smart.”

“Not really,” Apryl muttered.

“Yes, she was. I didn’t know that Rohypnol could paralyze a person.”

“It can’t.”

“Oh?”

“You need to use something like succinylcholine or Rocuronium to do the—”

“Did you get that, Amy?” I asked, steering the vehicle over to the shoulder.

Over the phone’s speaker, the sheriff said, “Sure did!”

The truck’s passenger flew open, and Apryl attempted to run for it. How far does she think she’ll get in high heels?

Apparently, the woman read my mind. She stopped long enough to kick off the shoes before sprinting along the asphalt. I wasn’t getting worked up over it.

Ten…nine…eight…seven…

In the distance, a siren blared, and the flashing blue lights blurred past me. The car cut off Apryl. When she doubled back toward the truck, I held up a pair of handcuffs. But that time, Apryl didn’t run. She held her ground while an officer slapped another pair on her wrists.

It was finally over.

When I reached Sheriff Fogle at the state trooper’s headquarters, she filled in the rest of the picture over coffee.

“All three sisters were involved.”

“How so?” I lifted my cup.

“Apryl was the mastermind. According to Mary, their parents were the test case. Apryl dosed them. Mary killed their mother while Roberta killed the father.”

“Damn. What about the killing spree?”

“Apryl and Mary were responsible. Since the women looked so much alike, they posed as each other. Mary would find the target, and Apryl would dose the man. After Mary killed him, the sisters staged the bodies.”

Shaking my head, I asked, “But why? Did Mary say why they did it?”

“Boredom. Apryl wanted notoriety. For Mary, it was payback. She figured any man dumb enough to not question his wife’s pregnancy didn’t deserve to live. With each man she killed, she thought about Apryl and Roberta’s father.” The sheriff reached for her cup. “They left a long trail of murdered men.”

There was an equally long line of prosecutors and police chiefs wanting to interrogate the sisters. But my job was done. As I boarded the plane back to Los Angeles, I was glad the case was closed. In all my years, I’d never run across anything like it. People like Apryl and her sisters were why I had wanted to work as a profiler. Thanks to them, I’d be filling out my application for Quantico when the plane landed.

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In two weeks, I’ll have a new serial for you to enjoy!

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