Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Ethan Stone for stopping by today.
Title: Closing Ranks (Flesh #4)
Author: Ethan Stone
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Mystery
Internal Affairs investigator Jeremy Ranklin is looking into corruption within the Reno Police Department when he’s ordered to examine the suspicious death of the Chief of Police. The assignment partners Jeremy with Detective Cristian Flesh. Though they spar at first, Jeremy earns Cristian’s trust, and they work well together.
Deeply closeted, Jeremy fights an attraction to fellow cop Kipp Mosely. The investigation brings Jeremy and Kipp together, but lies and secrets prevent things from going any further. Jeremy will need both Kipp’s and Cristian’s help to discover how deep the corruption runs—and to stay alive when the danger hits close to home.
I thought it might be interesting to share a short story I wrote many years back. I haven’t done anything with it other than sharing it with just a few people. I hope you find it interesting.
A Perfect Murder
It was the biggest snowstorm since 1958, at least that’s what all the old-timers were saying. And there was a lot of snow, there was no doubt about that.
There was enough that in some parts a person could bury a body, and it wouldn’t be found until Spring. And that’s what Charlie Beckham was banking on.
That wintry day in January, Charlie had finally had enough. Enough of the screeching, enough of the yelling, enough of the endless chatter.
She had gone too far this time. Her high pitched squawk grated on him like fingernails on a chalkboard. She was sitting at the kitchen table as she yelled at him yet again. He picked up a frying pan, turned around and slammed it on her head.
She fell to the floor, unmoving and almost lifeless. She was unconscious, but Charlie knew she wasn’t dead. That would have been too easy. He fell to the floor, wrapped his fingers around her neck and squeezed. Her eyes popped open, and she stared at him in fear. She tried to speak, but no sound came out. He didn’t stop squeezing until he knew she was dead.
When he was finally convinced she was indeed dead, he sat on the floor, big, heavy gasps escaping from his mouth. He looked at the dead body on the floor and found himself full of equal parts guilt and glee.
He thought about how easier life would be now without her. She had chased off so many women in his life. Women he could have been serious about, women he could have married. But they wouldn’t marry him with her in his life, and before now he didn’t think he could have a life without her.
There had been more than a few pretty ladies he had brought into his home. He had made fantastic homemade dinners and swept them off their feet with their charm. They loved Charlie until they met her. She was like an anti-magnet, repelling everything good and decent in his life.
Many women left early because of her presence, others stayed for the evening and then didn’t return phone calls. A few attempted to make a relationship work but ended up calling it off. Inevitably their excuses were the same. “I’m sorry Charlie,” they would say. “I love you and care about you a great deal. But I just can’t deal with her.”
There was no doubt in Charlie’s mind that she was indeed the cause of all the troubles in his life. But she was dead now, and Charlie looked forward to a new life. He wanted to live in a new house, a new town, things he hadn’t been able to with her alive. She had refused to leave the house, ever. She refused to consider living in a different place, and he had resigned himself to doing whatever pleased her.
Charlie had grown to hate her over the years. Hate was a strong word, but he meant it. In fact, hate may not have even been strong enough to reflect the intensity of his feelings. He despised her so strongly, in fact, that he didn’t want to give her a decent burial. He wanted her body to rot, and that was when he thought of the snow.
The snow in his back yard was more than five feet deep. Charlie was sure if he put her body as far deep into the snow as he could; she wouldn’t be found for months. And he planned to be long gone by then. He wanted to go somewhere warm and away from the horrible cold, the freezing snow and the bitter winds.
He bundled up with multiple layers of clothes, grabbed a snow shovel and dug a hole in the snow—big enough for her body. Charlie then went back into the house, retrieved the body and buried it. He didn’t say a prayer over the grave, didn’t even consider doing so, in fact.
When Charlie was done, he sat in front of the fire, which he could now stoke as much as he wanted without her screeching at him. He relaxed without the mindless chatter.
The next day, Charlie told the landlord he was moving. He was gone a month later. He had saved enough money to take a vacation, so he headed to Florida where he found a job and settled down.
At first there were times he almost missed her and thought about her body in the freezing snow. Then as time went on, he thought of her less and less until she was just a distant memory.
As the season changed, he realized the snow would be melting back home, and her body would soon be discovered. He wasn’t worried that he would get in trouble. As Charlie sat and basked in the warm sun, back in another state, in the backyard of a small house, the snow began to melt.
The people living there now hadn’t ventured into the backyard often, because of the deep snow. As the snow melted, their eight-year-old daughter did go outside. She was playing around when something caught her eye. She walked over to it and began to scream.
Her parents came rushing out and laid eyes on the body. The body Charlie Beckham had put there months before.
“It’s okay, Jennifer,” the man told his daughter. “It’s only a dead parrot.”
Ethan will be giving away a $25 Amazon giftcard to one lucky commenter on the tour. Be sure to leave a thoughtful comment on each stop on the tour for additional chances to win. The tour organizer will select a winner from entires received as of close of business 1 November.
About the Author
Ethan Stone is an out and proud gay man. Which is fairly new in his life, the out part, not the gay part. He’s been queer his whole life, though he tried to deny it for years with a wonderful woman. The years in denial weren’t all bad, he has two amazing kids out of it. His son is a teenager and his daughter has made him a grandfather, three times over. A way too young grandfather.
Ethan has returned to Oregon after almost a decade in Nevada. He no longer has a day job and is doing his best to make a living at this writing thing. If he can’t make a living, he at least wants to support his Mt. Dew and beef jerky addictions.
Readers can find Ethan online.
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EthanStone92
p class=”p2″>24 Oct – Sinfully
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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