Observations by Key Monroe~~Home of Right Opinions, Cynical Viewpoints, and TMI in Hefty Doses
|E-mail: keymonroe [at] alltel [dot] net

July 15, 2005

Take 2, Friday Fiction!

Christina, it is a good thing that you placed a strict deadline on my delinquent ass! I put my first hour into this essay last night and finished the rest today while I pretended to be working.

The first paragraph is Christina's; the rest is mine:

It was dawn. The first thin fingers of the morning sun were reaching across the distant waves toward the shore. She had emerged from the darkness to stand alone in quiet testament to the ability to survive and endure all the night holds.

Instinctively she knew the worst was yet to come.
But then it always felt that way after a kill.

Last night's task had been easy. No one would miss the abusive bastard who bloodied his wife and drank his paycheck, then stepped into the path of a dump truck.

Sad, not to be missed, and to have brought it on oneself. She contemplated the thought as she looked into the sea, but she was applying it elsewhere.

Today's sunrise offered a beautiful contrast to an angry sea. A salty foam spat the gelatinous victims of last night's storm onto the shore, along with driftwood and broken shells. It was lovely, and she would have given anything to have been seven again, driftwood her scalpel, jellyfish her patient.

"Hi Wendell."

"Good morning Amelia," he grimaced. "You could do me the honor of allowing me to think that I've snuck up on you once and again."

She smiled. It was weak, fatigued, but still beautiful, alluring even. "It must be that commanding presence of yours. How goes it at the beach front hospital for the mentally challenged?"

"Oh, the same. Got a kid in who burned sixes into his forehead. He ought to be fun to fuck with.” It was so odd to hear Wendell’s high brow accent forming a cuss word. “It is a full service hospital, mind you. I just happen to prefer the psyche ward. The other areas are so normal.”

Amelia sighed, noticeably focusing her attention to the cliffs on the south shore, and specifically to the young girl in the flowing sundress, who was nervously pacing the edge.

"So my hobbies bore you, I take it. Very well. How was your 'date' last night?"

"Oh, the same," she smiled in earnest this time, as she split her attention between Wendell and the girl sweeping the cliffs, "...quite dead. Idiot. Wouldn't give up a morsel to feed his own kids, but gave his life for a pretty face."

"They always do. And yours, doll, is no ordinary pretty face."

She was captivating, intimidating. With red hair and gray eyes, her hair held as much color as her eyes didn't. Those eyes held secrets, and gave away nothing. And they were focusing on the girl again, who had stopped short of the edge and held herself as she sobbed.

"Look at her, Wendell; study her. She thinks she knows the agony of living with a tormented soul. She doesn’t. Not yet." Hopefully not ever.

After continuing her reverie in silence for a moment, Amelia laughed, melodious but broken, full of wonder and sadness. Mostly sadness.

Wendell didn't want to look at the girl. Having seen her there many times before, she simply blended in with the scenery. Lusting sea spray, he continued inching toward the surf in vain pursuit. "Who will be graced with your presence tonight?"

To answer that question, Amelia tore her gaze from her subject, locking frozen eyes to his. "I’ll know for sure in a few hours, but I feel that it will be Stanley Maxwell."

"Ah, rich guy. Yachts r us, right?"

"Something like that." Her thoughts were deepening, her social skills depleting, "I’m sorry Wendell. I must go."

He understood her intensity. He'd seen it before. But something was different. Was she nervous? Surely not. Never having seen that in her before, the notion came and went, forgotten, her beauty, mystery and resolve eclipsing any inkling of weakness.

"I'll be off as well then, my lovely creature. I must go to the crazed ones and keep them company. Without their voices, they become quite disoriented, yes?"

"Yes...or sane," she added with only a mock rebuke. But her attention was divided, and before they even parted ways, her gaze was rededicated to the sobbing girl. "Wendell,” she called after him, “if you feel like doing a good deed today, maybe you’d consider delivering a brief pep talk? Perhaps tell the child that she is infinitely more beautiful standing on that giant outcropping of granite than she would be blood-drenched, lying in the sand."

Actually, he had not considered that. He looked up, and for the first time allowed himself to fully absorb the scene. Belatedly realizing that Amelia was actually asking a favor of him, he gave her a sober nod. "Of course my dear, anything for you."

Several minutes later the girl took something off of her wrist and threw it angrily in the direction of the sea. It fought against the wind, and made it only as far as the jagged shoreline to meet its demise.

With newfound defiance, the child lifted her chin and ran out of sight.

Amelia smiled sweetly. "Good girl," she whispered, and the wind carried the words to the cliffs.

The bangle bracelet had cracked against a collection of small rocks. The side holding the inscription lay face up: Happy Sweet Sixteen Courtney. Love, Daddy


It was a night not unlike most of the others, but to Stan, it was the most gorgeous evening imaginable. He decided to walk the mile and a half home from the marina. Besides, he didn’t need the press nagging him about another DUI, although he’d only get out of it. He was invincible now.

The party awaiting him aboard his yacht had been perfect. There was champagne, pate, caviar, fine cheeses, and fine women. Young women. The younger, the better. It had been a perfect day of celebrations.

She had watched the entire day, but never so blatantly as she did now.

Under a new moon, and only a starlit night, Amelia stood in his path and waited.

He was close when he finally saw her, and he couldn’t have dreamed a vision more stunning. “I know you…” He could barely see her, but he knew that they had met. “But no, it couldn’t be, not…no. Those gray eyes. I’ve never seen anything like them.”

She smiled. She was warm. Inviting. Sensual.

“Were you on the boat today?” he continued stammering, “I know I’ve seen you.”

“I was. How observant you are…” The voice trailed off as she headed toward an overgrown path short of the cliffs.

Mesmerized, he followed. “Where are you going?”

“To the quarry to bathe.”

“But no one has swam there for months; the water levels are too low. Come with me into the surf,” he cooed. “We’ll swim together under the stars.”

“The quarry will be fine. You’ll see.”

Entranced, he followed mindlessly. Where she would take him, he would go. Besides, he knew the trail well, as he had been among those to blaze it in his youth. It finally opened up to a view that was breathtaking by day, overwhelming even. But with so little lighting, the night hours transformed it into something comfortable and intimate. She walked out onto the largest outcropping of rock, the very rock that Stan had cannonballed off of as a child, and turned to face him.

Dropping wispy layers of clothing, seemingly falling away without a trace, Amelia was pleased that his attention was solely on her. “Join me,” she said before turning her back to him.

He came up behind her then, studying the curve of her leg, and wanting desperately to follow it with his hands. More…he needed to see more. Preferring that she face him again, he raised his hand to turn her shoulder, but she was already in the air, curving her body to form the most beautiful swan dive he’d ever seen. Taking a step forward, he strained his eyes against the night to make sure that she surfaced.

Plunging deep, she was under for several seconds before emerging near the edge refreshed, beautiful, nude. Realizing that he was eager to join her, she waited on a rock to the side, giving him plenty of room to dive.

His dive would have been as beautiful as hers, had he not flinched just as his feet left the rock.

That’s when he saw it. The hideous scar covering the otherwise flawless skin on her back. No! It couldn’t be! Her eyes were blue! Damn her! The girl had had blue eyes.

Thoughts continued to collide as Stanley Maxwell completed his thirty-foot dive into eight inches of water.


Wendell sat stretched out on a hideously distasteful hospital lounger, debating algorithms with an idiot savant. They did this every day, and each was convinced the other clueless, and so it never got old. Was it any wonder that this was his favorite floor of the hospital?

The evening news was coming on, which was typically a bore, but the teaser had mentioned Stanley Maxwell, and it was always fun when Amelia’s dates made the news.

…and making the news for the second evening in a row is Stanley Maxwell. Maxwell currently lies in intensive care fighting for his life, and this only hours after he is acquitted of the murder charges of his wife and stepdaughter. Due to the gruesome nature of the slayings of his late wife, Julianna Reed Maxwell, and stepdaughter, Amelia Reed, the lengthy trial was one of the most sensational of the year.

Maxwell and his team of lawyers spent the afternoon celebrating on his yacht, the last party goer purported to have left around ten o' clock last night. Maxwell was found this morning near an abandoned quarry, unconscious, and barely alive. Police say preliminary investigations point toward simple carelessness, or a possible suicide attempt.

Maxwell was taken by ambulance to Wendell Adams Beachside Hospital where he remains in critical condition. Doctors say that due to serious brain trauma, even if he makes it through the initial healing process, the damage will preclude a normal existence. WABH has had staffed specialists in this particular field since its inception in 1893, and we will be speaking to an expert on location within the hour.

Unavailable for comment was Maxwell’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Courtney.

Wendell laughed. It was a loud and boisterous laugh, though only heard through the voices of the patients around him. “Go home Amelia. I’ll take it from here.”

posted by Key on 07:27 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (2)
» Feisty Repartee links with: Take Two Part V
» Just Breathe links with: A taste of the imagination

AMAZING, Key! Really, that's fucking awesome!!!

Posted by: zonker at July 15, 2005 08:46 PM


Nailed another one, Ms. Monroe!

Great job!

First round is on me in NOLA.

Thank you very kindly.

Posted by: Christina at July 15, 2005 09:03 PM

Awesome! Everyone was great so far this week but this is definately my favourite. Well done!

Posted by: silk at July 16, 2005 06:42 AM

Wow... I am stunned. I am an avid reader of Mystery/ Psychological thrillers and I will not go past the first paragraph if it doesn't intrigue me. This was worthy of a Stephen King short story novel. Very very impressed!!!!

Posted by: PamelaRN at July 16, 2005 07:12 AM

Wow! That was incredible!!

Posted by: Kelly at July 16, 2005 07:20 AM

.. you could probably sell that story... very, very nice...

Posted by: Eric at July 16, 2005 08:44 AM


Posted by: livey at July 16, 2005 08:17 PM


Posted by: Velociman at July 17, 2005 12:10 AM

Very, very good, Key. Yowza!

Posted by: Jim - PRS at July 17, 2005 07:28 PM

That is great, Key! Good job!

Posted by: Dash at July 18, 2005 09:26 PM

You have missed your calling - or maybe found it.

I was skeptical about reading this thinking: "another freaking amateur!".

Very plesantly surprised. Like to see more.

Posted by: Jesse at July 20, 2005 04:38 PM
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