A Suspense/Murder Mystery Novel Excerpt:
by Joseph T. McFadden
STANDING BEFORE THE full-length mirror, wearing nothing but horn-rimmed
glasses and bright red pumps, Sara thought of fire while rocking
from side to side, admiring the potent pelvic pitch cocked above
the high heels. The glass reflected golden tan skin, and wavy black
hair hanging shoulder length. Erect nipples pointed through honey
brown areolae, and a rich and exuberant tuft profiled a jet-black
curl in the sidelong view of her swaying pubes. And in memory, snatches
of the fatal night of fire come alive, the long ago lost child crying
vainly for Mama to release her from the cellar prison beneath the
glowing timbers falling about her head, the pit burning with the
flames of a Biblical hell, cries never heard because Mama had burned
to a charred remainder. Still the gunshots ring out, painful metallic
echoes in the mind of memory.
In the remote entrance-hall shadows, the grandfather clock began
striking the midnight hour. Turning to face the mirror, she thrust
her pelvis forward and placed both hands inside her thighs, then
brought them up across her belly as she sucked in a deep breath
between clenched teeth. God, if only he knew what he was missing!
Such beauty and passion. He had ignored her far too long, and soon
she would have to take direct action. She would need divine guidance
for this as she did in all things. Now she was ready to go to the
source, her angel, for tonight's duties. The angel would know the
aching desire smoldering from love unrequited, and admire her enduring
dedication to the suffering, and to mercy! Who but the angel could
understand this calling, this ability to supersede the entanglements
and the restraints of ordinary human emotions when dealing with
the destitute hanging on in the realm of death? And she does not
understand it herself.
She walked from her bedroom through the library, glancing casually
at her own collection of books on mythology, religion, poetry, and
literature, among many other subjects, and hundreds of compact discs,
all classical music, lined along the walls. People would be so surprised
at her scholarly abilities! She crossed into the living room, now
sacred because long ago she had converted it to an inner chapel.
Lighting an incense taper, she walked naked on the high red heels,
trailing smoke around her bare shoulders, and knelt at the feet
of the white angel standing seven feet high behind a pulpit. Here
she was safe with open fire.
She reached forward and touched the angel's foot, and organ music
in full throaty solemnity pealed through the room. The sonorous
tone, profoundly formal, took command of all emotion, dispossessing
all thought, killing all feeling except guilt and dismay, obliterating
all joy of life and love. The captive wind wailed through man-made
pipes, the sepulchral sound of mourning, the denial of life, the
celebration of death. She bent to the floor until the bridge of
her nose touched the pulpit rail. Abjectly, she surrendered to the
sound and wept the tears of childhood. At this moment, the nearly
fatal fires of her childhood again flamed and flared within the
thunderous music, and she reached up and touched the angel's foot.
The music abruptly stopped. Complete silence, stronger than any
sound, fell on the room. She stayed, awaiting guidance until she
touched his foot again and a voice spoke: "Don't let them suffer,
my child, don't let them suffer!" In the stillness, the bass echoes
of his command reverberated through the room, then faded and died.
She remained in silent meditation with her head bowed, and after
a long moment rose to her knees, cupped a hand above the burning
candle until the flame guttered. She opened her fingers and a cloud
of jasmine smoke spiraled toward the angel's right hand, raised
in benediction, and the flame flared again. She stood, and carrying
the burning candle, walked behind the pulpit, carefully treading
her way over loops and snakes of cable wandering in every direction
from the angel's heels across the floor to disappear beneath long
drapes covering the walls.
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