Dreamspell Horror Volume 1
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by Lisa Rene' Smith
Description: Endgame by Warren Darcy An Edinburgh police detective attempts to help a young woman in distress and becomes ensnared in a deadly game of deceit, sex, and murder. February 14th by Brian Johnpeer Danny has taken a special liking to his new literary agent Melissa Nesler, but he's not the only one? No Good Deed Goes Unpunished by Sheila Gamble A down on his luck slacker living in his cousin's basement is on the verge of being evicted when he meets a well-to-do widow who takes him to her lavish mansion for a meal and offers him a job. He can't believe his good fortune and invisions himself getting the break that he so desperately needs. Will he turn his life around, or get more than he bargained for? Wishes are Forever by John Capraro Two girls find a strange device in the woods that grants wishes. But its intoxicating power brings out the worst in them, and they end up wishing they'd never found the thing. Accusation by Dean P. Turnbloom What would you do if your very best friend turned out not to be so very good, or even a friend? Would you let it eat away at you until you could stand it no longer? If so, take care that you don't get caught in the act and have to answer the ACCUSATION.
eBook Publisher: L&L Dreamspell/L&L Dreamspell, 2011 London, Texas
eBookwise Release Date: February 2011
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [94 KB]
Reading time: 57-79 min.
McCray unlocked his front door, stepped inside, and switched on the lights. He was about to call out "Lauren, it's me," when he caught himself. Lauren was not home. Lauren would never be home again.
He sighed. This was the third day in a row he had come home to an empty house. Yet his modest Edinburgh villa didn't feel empty. There was still so much of Lauren in every room. Her favorite picture. The sampler she had cross-stitched. The little music box she'd been so happy to find on sale. It was as if she were away visiting her mother and would return any day.
But she would never return.
He pulled off his overcoat and flung it onto the couch, then sank into his recliner. If Lauren were dead, maybe the house really would feel empty. But she wasn't dead; she had simply walked out of his life. Any day now he expected to look in his letterbox and find the divorce papers. His marriage had been over for almost two years in everything but name, and soon it would be over even in that.
Funny how popular wisdom held that no policeman's marriage could withstand the pressures of the job. He'd always felt confident his was the exception, and he was right: his marriage had withstood the job just fine.
What it couldn't withstand was the death of their only child.
The chiming of the doorbell interrupted his reverie. He glanced at his watch: eleven o'clock. Who could be ringing his bell at this hour? Not Lauren; she still had her key. He hauled his body out of the recliner and plodded to the front door. God, he was tired.
Turning on the outside light, he looked through the peephole. Mrs. Franklin? What the devil could she want? In the few years the Franklins had lived across the street, he had barely said five words to either of them.
He opened the door. "Yes?"
"Inspector McCray, I'm sorry to bother you. And I know it's horribly late. But I'm scared, I'm really scared. Could I please come in? For just a few minutes?"
"Of course." He ushered her into the hallway, took her coat, and hung it in the hall cupboard. Then he led her into the living room and moved his own coat so she could sit on the couch. Her hand trembled as she set down a plastic tote bag.
"Would you like a drink? I'm afraid I don't have much, just a little whisky..."
"Whisky would be fine. My nerves are so frazzled I certainly need something."
"On the rocks, please."
McCray went into the kitchen, where he threw a few ice cubes into a small glass and poured a couple fingers of Scotch over them. He wrinkled his nose at the smell of the whisky. As a Scotsman he was supposed to worship the stuff, but it tasted vile, like medicine. Lauren liked it, though.
Mrs. Franklin accepted the drink and gulped it down in three swallows. She was petite, blonde, and pretty, perhaps twenty-five or so, and she wore a form-fitting green pantsuit that accentuated her estimable figure. Physically she reminded him of Lauren...
"Ah, that's better," she said. But her hand still shook as she put down the glass.
"So Mrs. Franklin, how may I help you?"
"Please call me Alice. You know, we've lived across the street for three years, and I'm sorry we haven't gotten to know you and your wife. She's not here tonight?"
"No," McCray said. "She isn't."
"Anyway, my husband Bruce lectures at the University. He's pretty famous in his field--Political Science--and he gets a lot of invitations to speak at conferences. Keynote addresses, that sort of thing. He's on his way home from a conference right now. In fact, his plane just landed."
McCray kept silent. Where the hell was this leading?
"I know what's going to happen when he gets home. At first he'll be all right, happy to see me, but then he'll start drinking. Heavily. And then--" She buried her head in her hands.
McCray leaned forward. "What is it, Alice? Does he abuse you?"
She looked up. "Physically, no. He's never laid a hand on me. But he's always putting me down, telling me I'm worthless, that I got my degree by sleeping with my professors, that I'm nothing but a little slut--all sorts of horrible things. That's bad enough, but then he does this...this thing, and it's going to kill me one of these days, I just know it."
"What thing? What does he do?"
"He keeps a gun in the house. He bought it when we moved here, because he heard there'd been prowlers in the neighborhood. It's a revolver, and when he gets drunk he puts in a bullet, spins the chamber, and makes me open my mouth. He sticks the barrel in my mouth, pushes it way back, and tells me he's going to pull the trigger and that there's one chance in six he'll blow my brains out. He says I should look around and realize that I might be seeing things for the last time, that in a few seconds I might be dead. Then he pulls the trigger. So far I've been lucky, because the gun just clicks. But I know my luck's not going to hold out. And I have this feeling--sometimes you just know--that tonight he's going to kill me."
McCray took a deep breath and exhaled. In his years on the force he'd seen some pretty weird stuff, but for a man to play Russian roulette with his wife...
"What happens after he pulls the trigger?"
"Then he rips off my clothes and makes me have sex. See, this gun thing gets him excited, and--"
"I get it. You're describing a rape."
"According to him a husband can't rape his wife. Anyway, it's not the sex I mind so much--he can have that anytime he wants, all he has to do is ask--it's the gun thing. I just don't want to die, that's all."
"I understand, Alice. I'm glad you came to me. Are you willing to swear out a warrant against him?"
"You mean have him put in jail?"
"Well, I can't promise anything. It would be your word against his. He'd probably deny everything, and the courts don't like to step into the middle of a spousal dispute unless there's clear evidence of abuse, which in this case there isn't. But we could try."
"No, I'm afraid to do that. He'd kill me. I'm sure of it."
McCray considered a few possibilities. He really wanted to help this woman, but he didn't want to make things worse for her.
"You said your husband is on his way home?"
"Yes, he called from the airport. His taxi will be here any minute."
"All right, give me your house key. I'm going across the street, but I want you to stay here. Where's the gun?"