Reader of the Month: “Murder Mystery” by Halle

Thus far, the presence I have attempted to establish for myself here isn’t one I would describe as Halloween-oriented. You’ve always known me as the good girl gone not-so-bad, what, with my genuine appreciation of clever puns, Michael’s Crafts, Legally Blonde and good reads, though, this Halloween, your (hopefully) favorite e-Brunette is stirring the pot for a goose bump-inducing, hair-raising, back-stiffening Reader of the Month piece. Halle, the author of this month’s piece, is now a two-time submitter (you can find her other Reader of the Month piece here) and has written a prologue of a spooky story entitled, simply, “Murder Mystery.” Before my inevitable (though increasingly controlled!) blabbering ends in me giving away the entire plot of this piece and then profusely trying to apologize and then drowning in a salty puddle of my own tears, I am going to ask you one question: are you ready to get sp👀ky?

Murder Mystery

By: Halle 

Purple mist hangs in the damp evening air. Outlines of trees are barely visible through the haze. The long, reedy grass in the meadow sways, making rustling sounds. The house is a proud soldier, standing at attention alone in the eerie wasteland. It stands tall, although is obviously aged. The elaborate Victorian trim is cracking on the edges, and the chipped wooden door sways and creaks in the light breeze. I’m crouched behind a leafy, thick shrub, my back pressed against the wood of the dwelling. Sweat is gathering under my black mask. I scratch at it, annoyed. It’s muggy and humid back here. Bugs tear at my suit, looking for open skin. I feel the damp leaves soaking into my bottom. I shuffle forward, keeping close to the side of the wood. The stairs are an arm’s length away. The rough concrete irritates my skin as I brush my pale hand across its surface. The handle of the knife digs into my hip, and I can sense it will leave an indentation later. Better get this over with. I tear through the rest of the bushes and leap up onto the landing. I crack open the door and dart into the dark foyer of the house. The walls feel sticky and the air thick- a house this old has little temperature control. I know this place like the back of my hand. I close my eyes. Stairs right in front of me, sitting room to my left, kitchen straight ahead. She stirs upstairs, footsteps land on the hardwood floor. I can almost see it. Her ghostly blond hair a curtain around her face. Her white nightgown hanging in loose bags around her body. Large blue eyes, long eyelashes, pink bow shaped lips. Tiptoes across the upstairs hallway, holding onto the banister to steady her weak body as she descends. I calmly stride across the kitchen floor and open the cellar door. I lock the door behind me, the only sound being my heavy breathing in the darkness. Clangs and clatters ring out from the kitchen. I hear a teapot being placed on the stove. She runs water and heats it up, and soon I hear it bubbling in the pot. The kitchen bench creaks as she sits down. Sighs ring out every couple of minutes. She got like this a lot, bouts of restless anxiety keeping her up at night. A burst of adrenaline rushes through me and I slam the cellar door open. The soft wood cracks against the stove, and pieces of the door splinter off onto the floor. She screams, jumping to her feet. Good thing there’s no one around to hear her. She grabs a butcher knife from an open drawer and waves it at me meekly, trembling. Tiny tears leak out of her eyes and down her cheeks. Her eyes are squeezed shut. She knows it’s over. I dart across the kitchen and grab her thin arm. My knife scrapes against my hip as I yank it out of the waistband of my pants. She whimpers as I hold it under her chin, the blade scraping her skin and leaving small, red scratches. “Now it’s your turn,” I growl from deep in my throat. “It’s time.”

~The Legally Brunette

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