You may remember that last week we put out a photo writing prompt that asked writers to send in their stories in the mystery genre. I’m thrilled to say that we received a ton of submissions and have picked a winner! Thank you to S.P. Taylor for your submission of The Bait. Authors, If you’d like to brush up on your writing skills, check out some of our courses and classes here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House. I hope you enjoy S.P. Taylor’s story as much as I did! Stay tuned for more prompts and opportunities to submit your stories.
The Bait by S.P. Taylor
In any other circumstance, I would fancy my surroundings as romantic. In hindsight, I realize, hiding behind an ancient crumbled estate at twilight whilst the fog steals across the remainder of the pale blue sky, this may not be the best spot for a rendezvous. Especially given that a murderer was likely on my tail, not a lover.
Birdie Quinn, how in the devil have you ended up here? I asked myself. My heart beat heavily against my chest. Small gulps of breath escaped my lips.
Bait, I reminded myself. If my suspensions were accurate, he’s following me. My plan feeling risky now.
A soft bird cried to my left. An Eastern whip-poor-will. I was comforted in knowing Thomas was somewhere here. Frightened that I may have put both of us in danger.
I heard footsteps approaching. In my seated position, I leaned deeper into the cold rock, aware that I was literally a sitting duck. An owl hoot, then silence. Something was gravely wrong.
“Amusing that you, an invalid, thought you could catch me. Did you figure me for a fool?” I heard his voice seconds before his face appeared inches from mine.
“No, you’ve averted the best,” I answered boldly, my body riveting.
“For days, I’ve watched you. Who could have imagined such eyes? How spectacular. I promise to leave them alone. As for the rest of you…” he didn’t finish.
Trembling, I thought of Tom. Myself. What have I done?
“I’ll give you to the count of ten to run and hide.” His laugh was diabolical. I could not move, and he knew this.
He pounced, his fingers clutching my throat. If eyes were the window to one’s soul, then I was sure my last breath would be at the hands of the devil.
“Do you hear that?” He whispered. “A crow sings. Bad luck, my dear”.
My heart leapt. Could it be? My throat was desperate for words.
“What’s that?” He mocked, loosening his grip.
“No, a raven. A bad omen for you, to be sure. For me, the opposite,” I managed.
A violent thrust, and I was free. Tom’s familiar shape in front of me, a raw gash to his forehead. The blood, red and hardened.
“Turn yourself in,” I ordered. Overcome with relief.
A gun materialized instantly, the gleam of its barrel shining against the darkening sky.
“Do I look frightened?” He taunted.
“No, but you should be.” I countered.
Within an instant, the authorities had us surrounded, their expert hands all trained to fire at the murderer.
Detective Civille was not difficult to spot as the sea of officers parted, and he emerged.
“Miss Quinn, how many times must I tell you to keep your curiosity at bay.”
“What the devil took you so long?”
Our eyes locked. Mine with gratitude. His? Perhaps relief? I didn’t think about it long before Tom lifted me into his arms and did as he had done so often in the past, giving me legs to safety.