When you hear of crime writers, you think of people like Michael Connelly, or Rick Castle.
Those guys are schmucks compared to me. The same plotlines rehashed over and over and repackaged into new covers with slightly more entertaining titles each time. You see, with me, everything I put in the pages of my books are legitimate. Now, I don’t just look up old crimes on the Internet and try to make them more appealing to the modern reader. No, that’s too simple. I make the crimes.
Just taking something from the past and plugging it into a little 200-page book isn’t writing. Writing is about inspiration. The muse. My muse is the victim that’s laying dead at my feet. My muse is the chase. My muse is the planning. And then, after I find a place for the body, I go back home to my little single-bedroom apartment, turn on my laptop, and simply record everything I just did. With a few more events and details to get a reader tuned in and attached.
My publisher called me last night, begging me to pump out another book for next month. I could write one in a week, and since my last has been out for a good four months, I felt I owe it to my readers to write another one. So, I begin my preparations.
I flip around on some dating websites for a while, searching for my next “character.” My last three books were all about female cases, so I decide to search around for a man. After a short while, I settle on a cute redhead named Chris. After hopping onto the website’s chat system, we arranged a date at this little cafe just down the street from my apartment for next week. I sit back in my chair and swallow the last of the scotch that was laying in my glass.
The date is at seven, so I give myself a bit of time to get ready. I make sure to shave, and throw on a cardigan. After I tie up my tie, I open up the word processor on my laptop, as I’m sure I’ll want to get right to writing. The book’s pretty much written up in my mind, and all I need is the main character’s death scene. My last book was about a home invasion, (a crime I did so enjoy committing) so this one will be about the dangers of online dating, something I’m sure will win me some points in the media, as some may take it as a warning against internet pedophiles or some shit.
I check my phone, which was already lit up with a message from Chris containing some stupid enthusiasm for tonight. I quickly reply the same thoughts, and get back to my routine. After chugging a glass of scotch, I take the battery out of my phone, knowing the police could place it at the scene with pings from cell towers. I drop to the ground and retrieve a small metal box from under my bed. I shove a key into it and pop it open. The box contains my own little arsenal: a Bowie knife, a bottle of poison purchased from an online retailer, a Beretta handgun, a long cord of rope, several bottles of blank pills, and a garotte. My plot is about a depressed man found dead in his house. Initially, the death is ruled to be a suicide, until the young, attractive detective finds the real cause of death. To fit this into my plot, I’m going to have to get the young man back to his place, and make it seem like he killed himself. I select the bottle of pills, and place the box back under the bed, locked up. The clock reads six forty-three, so I button up my jacket and throw on the hood. I close the door to my apartment, and mount the elevator down the hallway.
As I sit in the booth, I mentally check that everything is in place.
Phone battery out. Check.
Alibi ready to go. Check.
Just as I reached the end of my list, a man matching the profile picture of Chris walked in. I wave to him, and he smiled, sitting down. We talk for what felt like hours, and we order food. He seems to be enjoying himself, but I’m not. He just talks about his polo club, or his pet turtle Stephen. We finally finish our food and the topic of after-dinner activities starts.
“You know, my place is getting remodeled,” I said to him. “so if we wanted to watch a movie or something we would probably have to go back to your place -”
“Man, my place is a mess. I’m sure yours can’t be that bad!” he says. We continue deliberations for a while, but he finally succumbs. In my mind, I can’t help but wonder why he was trying so hard to get us to go to my place. No matter. My plan will continue.
We arrive at a run-down apartment complex downtown, in a neighborhood filled with nothing but derelicts and drug addicts. Chris leads me up to his apartment on the third floor, a shabby three-room maze of walls.
“Just gotta freshen up, I’ll be right back,” he says to me with a smile. “Feel free to get some drinks.” I in turn smile at him and move to the kitchen. I wonder sometimes if people can ever sense the twisted, emotionless psychology inside of me through my smile. I guess not, as I haven’t had a character run from me yet.
I pour two glasses of vodka I found in his fridge and sit on his couch, a glass in hand. Resting one on my knee with precision, I retrieve two pills from the bottle and crush them up, dropping their powder into what would be Chris’ drink.
Just he comes back, I slip the bottle back into my pocket. “Thanks babe,” he says to me when I hand him his glass. I wait with anticipation as he raises the glass. My heart drops a little when he leans forward and sets it on the coffee table in front of us.
“You know, Mark (the name I used on the website), I wanted to show you something,” he said, standing up. He walked across to a little wooden chest across the room. I bit my lip. I never liked being in a character’s home for more than ten minutes, and this was bordering twenty. I bend down to my sock, and was about to retrieve a knife from it. I would have to kill him like this, make it seem like he simply cut too deep in his wrists. I looked up to make sure Chris still had his back to me, but I saw him turning around. I stood up, leaving the knife where it was.
“Chris, what was it that you-” I started, but I see my answer in his hand. He was looking right at me, and in his hand he held a small pistol with a silencer screwed onto it. His warm smile changed into a thin, black line of ice, slightly curled upwards. Even his voice changed.
“You see, Mark, I’m a writer. A crime writer, to be exact. Well, not yet, at least. I’m trying to write a book. And you see, I’m just a wee bit stuck on how to kill the main character. I just need a bit of inspiration.”
My mouth gaped open at the scene of irony occurring just before me. I opened my mouth, but he shot me several times before I could even make a word. I fell to the ground, dead.
And I bet that bastard just made a million off some shitty story of the death of Blake Meyers, internationally renowned crime writer.