Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It’s time for another 3WW. I’ve missed the last couple of weeks because of personal issues. Some of you know that hubby and I adopted our son in February. Two weeks ago CPS placed a four-day-old baby in our home. It was pretty crazy and VERY hard. We only had her for eight days, but we loved her with everything we had for those short days. Baby has moved on now, and so have hubby and I. As of yesterday we are no longer foster parents. We have decided to take a year or so off and love our son, and maybe when he is a little older and can understand why suddenly he had a sister and then just as suddenly he didn’t, we will go through the process again. It has been incredibly hard on us, our son, our friends and our extended families. But as with everything in life, you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, hug the ones you love and keep going.

Here is my continuation of past 3WW. The nine words for this “episode” are:




I leaned closer to Jason and lowered my voice. “Have you told anyone else that you saw the killer?”

“No. I didn’t know what to do.” Shame wrote itself in the lines of his acne scarred face. “I was afraid the demon would come after me next.”

I watched tears fill his eyes. “You’re doing okay, Jason. Just a little more help and it will be over, okay?”

“Do they have beer here? I’d really like another beer.”

I shook my head. Jason damn sure didn’t need anything else to lubricate his memories. “Will you go to the station with me? There’s someone I want you to meet.”

“Who?” The word exploded out of him with so much fear and desperation it made me flinch.

“Her name’s Cara. She’s a sketch artist. If you can tell her what the … demon looked like, maybe we can find him.”

“You’ll punish him for hurting Marie, right?”

Jesus, you’d think she was a saint to hear the reverence in his voice. “Yes, Jason. I’d very much like to punish him.”

It took me a few more minutes to persuade him to come to the station with me, but he finally got into my car.

I rolled down the windows to let in the crisp night air, and hopefully blow away some of the reek that followed the poor kid around. He seriously needed a shower.

When we pulled into the brightly lit parking lot, I almost expected him to bolt, but he surprised me by getting out of the car, squaring his shoulders and calmly walking toward the door.

I got him settled at my desk with a cup of lukewarm coffee and called Cara.

“Yeah.” Her normally brash voice was sleepy. I glanced at the clock and swore. It was almost two in the morning.

“Sorry, Cara. Didn’t realize it was this late.”


“Yeah, it’s me.” She was the only person on the planet allowed to call me Lizzy, besides my dad.

“You do realize it is 1:48, right? In the morning.”

I could hear her yawn and winced when her jaw popped. “I didn’t until you answered the phone.”

“So, why did you wake me up? I was seriously dreaming about that new guy.”

“Sanders? The rookie? What the hell?”

“Yeah. Well, a girl can’t wait around for you forever.” It was an old joke between us. We’d been roommates in college and I’d learned a lot from Cara.

I’d only had one serious boyfriend before leaving home and sex between us had been terrible. After one too many beers, I’d spilled my story to Cara. She’d made it her sole purpose in life to teach me how good it could really be. In bed or out. She was the first and only woman I’d ever slept with.

As exciting as it had been, learning from her and with her – she gave me an up close and personal tutorial on the correct way to give a blow job – we were much better off as friends. I was totally heterosexual. Women were beautiful and sexy, but they just didn’t do it for me. Not the way a man did.

“Still with me, Lizzy baby?” She was practically purring.

“Yeah. Sorry, Cara. Took a little trip down Memory Lane.”


“Okay. New subject. I need you to come down to the station. I’ve got a witness who saw the O’Malley killer.”

“No shit?” All traces of humor fled her voice.

“None whatsoever. So, can you get your ass down here or what?”

“Girlfriend, you’re gonna owe me big.”

“I already do.”

I could hear the sheets rustling as she slid out of bed. “Give me twenty minutes and I’ll be there.”

“Thanks, Cara.” She’d already hung up.

So, what to do with Jason for twenty minutes. Spotting the officer Cara was currently lusting after, I yelled across the squad room, “Hey Sanders. Got any spare clothes?”

Seventeen minutes later, a freshly showered and shaved Jason emerged from the men’s locker room, dressed in Sanders’ street clothes. The jeans bagged on his skinny hips and the tee shirt looked like a dress on him, but the odoriferous cloud that had been following him around all night was gone.

He gave me a sheepish grin as he sat down next to my desk. “Officer Sanders told me I’d better be nice to the artist or else.”

Well. Maybe Cara’s lust wasn’t one sided. Young Officer Sanders seemed to have an interest in her, and had already staked his claim to Jason.

Five minutes later, Cara walked in and every eye in the place was trained on her. Tall and slim, she had a grace that was obvious even though she wore loose jeans and a man’s button down shirt.

Her long red hair was pulled up in a haphazard ponytail and curly tendrils escaped to frame a gentle face scrubbed free of makeup.

“Hey sweetie,” she greeted me with a hug before sniffing my hair and grimacing. “Lord, Lizzie, you smell like the bottom of an ashtray.”

“Thanks.” I turned and introduced her to Jason.

“Just answer her questions as best you can and maybe we can get a good sketch of the man who hurt Marie.”

He looked at me and I was finally able to see past the scared junkie to the man underneath. He nodded once and focused his attention on Cara.

I watched for a few minutes before wandering off to get another cup of the muddy brew that passed for coffee.

At night the station is far from silent, but not nearly as crazy as during the day. Conversations ebb and rise in the dimmer lighting. Low laughter can be heard closer to the coffee pot and soft crying and loud cursing echo near in-take.

It only took a minute to negotiate my way around the station to watch as a line of prostitutes were processed. Most were hard-faced and answered the questions asked of them in single words. There were a few sobs and protests of innocence, but the majority of them had been here so often that this was just another routine.

Every now and then you could hear the random ringing of a telephone, but everything fades into a background static at night. I’d started as a rookie on nights. Years ago. Some days it seems like an eternity ago. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not that old, but time isn’t always kind. I still had mostly dark hair, only a few lines around my eyes and gravity hasn’t taken over my body yet.

I strolled back toward my desk to see if Jason had made any progress yet and saw Cara’s face blanch. A hot flash of anger ignited inside me and I rushed over.

“What the hell did you say to her, you son of a bitch?” I fisted the loose material of Jason’s tee shirt in my hand, when what I longed to do was strangle him.

“Lizzy. Calm down. It wasn’t him.” I swung my gaze to Cara and she met my eyes with a sad little smile. “Look.”

My hands went numb and I let go of Jason’s shirt when I saw the sketch. “There’s no way. It can’t be.”

“That’s what I thought too.” I could see the concern in her eyes and I quickly looked away. I didn’t want her pity.

“Are you sure this is your demon, Jason?” I was standing close enough to smell the minty toothpaste he’d used and the coffee that he’d just been drinking.
He nodded quickly, eyes never leaving Cara’s sketch.

“‘The business of life is to be, to do, to do without and to depart.’ That’s the quote he used to leave behind. Isn’t it, Lizzy?”

Goosebumps rushed across my skin. I hated that quote. “Yeah.”

She wrinkled her nose like she could smell something rotten. “He’s dead, though. You killed him.”

And that wraps up this week’s 3WW offering. Visit 3 Word Wednesday for more inspiration.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


It is time for Three Word Wednesday. I just counted and it has been seven weeks since I participated, so I am going to use all seven weeks worth of words. This is a continuation on my last Three Word Wednesday posts. The twenty-one words I have to use are:


So here we go:

“You’re not going to believe me.” I stared into his bloodshot eyes and waited. “You laugh and I’ll walk.”

I fought the urge to roll my eyes. “Okay, Paulie. Amaze me.”

He seemed to hunch in on himself even further. “It’s Jason, okay? Not Paul. Or Paulie. Just Jason.”

“Alright, Jason. What did you see the night Marie was killed?”

The music in the bar was a solid pulse pounding through my body, and all I wanted to do was go home and take a shower to wash the despair clinging to my skin off.

Paulie – now Jason – sighed and looked even more weary than before. I was fairly certain I wasn’t going to like what I was about to hear.

“It was a demon that killed her, Detective Luna.”

“A demon?” Was he really brazen enough to drag my ass down here and fill me full of crap? My fingers itched to pull my gun and shoot the little shit.

“I told you if you laughed I’d leave.” He pushed to his feet, weaving unsteadily. Shit. Maybe that last drink was one too many.

“Sit your skinny ass down, Jason.” He plopped back down on his barstool like an obedient dog. “I’m not laughing.”

“Better not be.”

I snorted, but couldn’t generate enough energy to care. “Jason, why don’t you tell me why you think a demon killed Marie.”

“I think she might have been a human sacrifice.”

“So… the evil demon lord sacrificed Marie O’Malley for what?”

The bartender chose that moment to slide a bowl of beer nuts between us. “Either order another drink, cop, or get out of my bar. You’re bad for business.”

I glanced over at Jason and saw hunger written all over his face. He was practically drooling over stale snacks. I pulled another ten out of my pocket and slid it across the bar. He tried to slide it the rest of the way but I didn’t let go. Smoke from his cigarette wafted over to tease my nose. Too bad I’d quit nearly a decade before. “Five more minutes, bubba and we’ll be out of your hair.”

His bushy eyebrows rose and he waited for me to release the money. I let go and watched him lumber off before I looked at the frail, strung out man beside me. He was still gazing at the bowl like it was filled with sacred bread rather than a meager handful of nuts.

“Let’s go, Jason.”

His attention snapped to me and panic flitted across his face. “Where?”

“There’s a little diner down the street, and I could use a burger. You interested?”

His eyes cleared like a hazy veil had been ripped aside at the mention of food. “A burger? With fries?”

“Yeah, Jason. A burger, fries and some talk.” We left the bar together. Tiny, the bouncer, was still manning the door, if you could call shoving his tongue down a blonde’s throat watching the entrance. When I’d first arrived I’d thought he might’ve been decent security. I’d have to modify that opinion now.

Jason’s eyes almost popped out of his head when I stepped up behind the bouncer and swiped his legs out from under him.

“Son of a bitch!” he bellowed up from his sprawl on the sidewalk. “Why the hell did you do that?”

I almost giggled watching him dust off the seat of his pants. Almost. “I just saw two boys walk right past you. They couldn’t have been more than seventeen. You might want to watch the door a little more and spend less time examining the blonde’s tonsils.”

The words weren’t even all the way out of my mouth before the other woman was nuzzling up to Tiny again, and glaring daggers at me.

The bouncer sputtered some more, but I’d already tuned him out. I led Jason half a block down to a greasy all night diner. Just the place to hear about murder and demons.

A fiftyish waitress took our orders and slapped down two chipped white mugs of coffee so caustic I felt the enamel melting off my teeth. Maybe it would sober Jason up some.

“So, Jason, tell me about Marie and the demon.”

“Listen, detective. I know you don’t believe me, but I swear I saw him.”

“Calm down. Just tell me what you remember.”

“I followed Marie home after her shift like I usually do.” He looked up at me from under his ragged bangs and a shard of pity spiked through me.

“You were in love with her weren’t you?”

The waitress slid burgers and fries in front of us, spun around and walked away. Maybe she didn’t like Jason’s B.O. It was beginning to saturate the air. Or maybe she just didn’t give a damn anymore. Either way, I wouldn’t be a big tipper tonight.

“Yeah, maybe, I don’t know. Anyway, I followed her home and waited in the stairwell while she unlocked her door. I always watched to make sure she was safe, you know?”

He shoveled food in his mouth for a few minutes before I pushed him again. “What did you see?”

“It all happened so fast. I mean one second she was all alone in the hallway mumbling about her key sticking and the next, he was there.”

Jason swallowed hard before glancing up at me. “The demon hit her in the back of the head and pushed her inside. I could hear her struggling but it was like I was frozen. I couldn’t move.”

I took a drink of the sludge in my cup. “Why do you think he’s a demon?”

“He killed Marie. He has to be a demon to kill someone so pure and so beautiful.”

And I tuned out again while he extolled the victim’s many virtues. If I couldn’t get him to quit calling the killer a demon, there was no way the prosecutor would use him as a witness. The defense would prove the homeless, drunk, probably drug addicted man next to me was unreliable. Imagine that. But no matter how much I questioned him, he wouldn’t deviate.

“I saw him leave her apartment. His face was all scratched up.”

“You saw his face?”

He nodded one slow bob of his head up and down.

“Can you identify him?”

Another jerk of his head in the positive and I could feel excitement building inside me. This could be exactly the break I needed to find out who killed Marie O’Malley.

I hope you enjoyed this long installment of Three Word Wednesday. Head over there and check it out – maybe get some creative juices flowing.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Two Sentence Tuesday

I've come to the conclusion that I'm not doing so well keeping up with my blog. I'm going to try and do better. That said, here are two lines from the book I'm reading, Lords of the Underworld by Gena Showalter.

For years Reyes had hovered near moral collapse, hating himself for the things he had to do to appease his demon. Killing innocent, torturing, destroying entire cities. This was the worst, though, following his friend, a man he loved like a brother. A man who had once helped him learn to control the monster inside him.

Even though this passage is talking about a literal demon, it made me think about the demons that haunt us all. The things we wish we hadn't done, the lie we wish we hadn't told, the promises broken - all things that weigh people down.

I attended a training class for work today, so maybe that is why I am in such a philosophical mood right now, but a lot of what the speaker said made sense to me, and really made me think. The title of the session was "The Essential Elements for living a life of Excellence." So, for my two sentences written, I want to share one of the answers to a question he asked us.

The question:
What are you doing, or what could you be doing to pass on the lessons taught to you by people who had the most significant impact on your life?

It was something that sparked feeling inside me. I wasn't looking forward to a four hour training course on a Monday afternoon, but I think I may have come away with something.

My answer:
I am doing my best to teach my son that no matter what anyone says he is capable of doing ANYTHING he desires. I'm trying to show my friends and fellow writers that feeling defeated is not the same as being defeated. You just have to keep trying until you succeed. It's hard but you have to press forward. Miracles happen every day.

I don't know where that little bit of wisdom came from, but there it is. Feeling defeated isn't the same as being defeated. I've felt pretty down about my writing lately, and I realized I've been holding myself back. Excuse after excuse about why I keep putting my WIP down and don't pick it up again for days. Reasons for not keeping up with my blog, and so on and so on. One of the things we talked about today is recommitting to the things that are important to you and proving that you are capable to yourself and to those around you. So, here I go. I'm officially recommitting. I may not post something everyday, but I will do my best to post at least a few times a week. I've got lots of recommitting to do, so I'm off.

For more fabulous Two Sentence Tuesday, head over to the Women of Mystery. Leave a comment or be brave and post two of your own. It's a wonderfully freeing experience!