Excerpt From A New Mystery – Open Season

This is the first killing that occurs in the book. Is it right to say, “Enjoy?” Seems a bit sicko to say that….

Mel unlocked the door to the maintenance room and flicked the switch on the wall for light. He still had fifteen minutes until his shift ended at midnight, but he didn’t figure anyone would notice if he bugged out early. There was only one other person left in the whole mall anyway. And by the time the security guard made his pass through here, it would be well past clock-out time anyway.

He pushed his tool box into its designated place on the dented metal shelves with a harsh scrape, thankful that he’d had a light workload tonight. Wouldn’t have to lose time with a shower. He could just zip out of here and head straight for his favorite watering hole. If he was lucky, he could pick up some good shit on the way. And Rita would be there with some good stuff of her own.

 After locking the door to the storage room, Mel set off at a brisk pace, his boots thumping hollowly in the empty corridor.

He stood in the shadowed doorway down the hall, watching. He’d watched unseen before, waiting for the right moment. He’d long ago quit the debate on the wisdom of what he’d planned. It was the only choice he had left.

He eased the door closed and listened to the thud of footsteps draw near, then pass.

It was time.

A rush of adrenaline sent his heart on a wild, erratic riff, and a sudden storm of panic threatened to overwhelm him. It was no simple act he was about to perform. All kinds of things could go wrong.

Maybe he should leave. Forget the whole crazy scheme.


The sound from the hallway ceased. He cracked the door open and saw the man stooped over the water fountain.

Go! Now!

Mel whirled at the unexpected creak of the men’s room door opening behind him. Who the hell was skulking around down here at this hour? He relaxed when he recognized the man standing a few feet away.

“You scared the piss outa me.” Mel wiped drips of water from his chin. “What’re you doing sneaking around here, anyway?”

The man didn’t answer, and the lure of Danny’s finally overcame Mel’s curiosity. If the guy didn’t want to talk, so be it. Bastard never was very friendly. Not even when Mel offered to share some of his best shit. If anything, the guy had been downright unfriendly since then. So screw him.

The decision to act was made somewhere deep in his subconscious. He lunged, whipping the weapon around Mel’s neck in one fluid move and pulling it tight.

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