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DEATH IN THE EVENING
This lengthy 7,700 word story opens with a man in a black mask staring at the nude body of the woman whom he has just strangled. He is the notorious serial rapist who has been terrorizing center city Philadelphia for some time. This is the first time he has killed. His hands are shaking.
This wasn’t supposed to happen, he thought. He sat on the edge of the bed, staring at the voluptuous naked body of the dead woman lying stretched out on her back. She had blonde hair, large breasts, and was visibly overweight. He always went after women with those body characteristics. She wasn’t like the others, the killer thought. Why did she have to fight me like that? It all got out of control. She got undressed without any trouble. She was so strong, and then she started screaming. I had to strangle her to shut her up. I had to do it. I didn’t have any choice.
Darline Flowers is the young corporate development officer for Maximus Food Products. She is currently working on the acquisition of a gourmet soup company. She is a charming, tall woman with a light complexion, blonde hair, and an hourglass figure. Darline lives in The Winchester, an apartment building located several blocks from Philadelphia’s upscale Rittenhouse Square. She dreams of someday being able to live in one of the tall buildings facing the Square. Away from the office, her life centers around her severely asthmatic, six-year-old son, Billy.
DARLINE MEETS BUDDY
One day while shopping in the small supermarket near her apartment, Darline meets a handsome man about her age, who introduces himself only as Buddy. Between her busy corporate schedule and caring for her asthmatic young son, Billy, Darline has not had any time for dating for several years. The meeting with Buddy prompts her to consider getting back into the social scene.
LUNCH WITH JULIE
Darline and her best friend and co-worker, Julie DuBois, are having lunch at the swank Sans Souci restaurant. They are discussing the recent murder, which is believed to be the work of the serial rapist. Julie is terrified by his actions, but Darline seems uneffected by all of the publicity surrounding the murder. Julie knows that Darline is fearless and not easily frightened about anything.
“What do you think of the poor woman who was murdered?” Julie said.
“I haven’t been following it. When did it happen?” Darline asked.
“Two nights ago.”
“Tell me about it.”
“He’s never killed before,” Julie said. “The others were just raped. She was single and came from Ohio.”
“Where did she live?”
“Right over at 16th and Spruce. That’s scary isn’t it? Too close to your apartment.”
“I can’t spend my life being scared, Julie. I have good door locks. The poor soul he murdered was just in the
wrong place at the wrong time. It’s tragic. We live in a big city. These things happen.”
THE 333 CLUB
Every other Friday night, Darline and Julie usually go out to the 333 Club. This Friday Darline visits the club alone, because Julie isn’t feeling well. Once again she runs into the seemingly ever-present, Buddy. He tells her he can’t stay because he has an early appointment the next day, but they make a tentative date for the following Friday. Darline is pleased she will finally be able to spend some time with him and maybe see the beginning of a romantic relationship.
Darline’s frightening confrontation with the serial rapist and killer draws ever closer. What will happen to this brave and resourceful woman as she confronts imminent danger? You will be shocked by the suspenseful climax to this story.