Sneak preview of new novella

23 Jul

Untitled psycho noir:


Chapter 1


Killing her was easy.

The killing was always the easy part. Want to kill a bitch? No problem. It’s just a couple simple steps.  Get a real sharp knife, come up behind her, pull her head back by her hair and then, well, commit. Fully commit to making a deep, long, ear-to-ear cut.

That’ll do it. Every time.

Next, just drop Helen or Amber or Nadine or whoever the fuck, and walk away. Just let go. If you’ve done it right, if you’ve actually fully committed, by the time you’ve walked to the nearest sink and cleaned off your knife, the little cutie will either be slowly bleeding out, or be dead already from lack of oxygen due to a severed trachea.

This is what Lancaster Messier had just done to Florence Hanratty. She never made a sound, which was satisfying because it gave Lancaster the sense that he’d done something right and good. Just because Lancaster was a psychopath didn’t mean he didn’t like to do the right thing—it just meant that maybe his ideas of what was best and right and good might be different from most humans’. He’d read all about what psychopaths or sociopaths were supposed to be like, and, sure, he could relate to a lot of the traits. And, yes, he didn’t mind killing another human, but, it did bother him when they suffered. All he wanted was the death to occur and when it did he was fine that he’d been the cause—whatever. But, sorry, he didn’t get off on seeing people suffer, it just wasn’t his thing, okay? All that gasping and crying and moaning. Very unpleasant to watch and hear.

The hard part was getting away clean, getting away with no chance of the body being found, no chance if it was found that it was ever connected back to Lancaster. And, most importantly, the hardest thing of all was getting away with all the cash sucked out of the woman’s life with no trace that Lancaster Messier was the cause of the financial liquidation.

Florence didn’t have much, which was a drag. It was a lot of work to get someone’s trust, to get them to let you in on all their secrets (especially secrets concerning bank accounts and ATM card passwords), and he’d really thought she was good for way more when he managed to get himself invited into her house.

Two weeks earlier, he’d finally gotten access to both her ATM card and the password. She had fourteen thousand dollars in the bank, and he intermittently—hoping to keep the bank from getting suspicious—withdrew up to one thousand dollars per day, until he had almost ten grand collected. He also had her Chase and CitiBank visa cards and the password to make a cash advance withdrawal of up to $2500 in each.

After slitting Florence’s throat and cleaning off and putting the razor-sharp Buck knife in his jeans’ pocket, he began loading up her Ford pickup with every valuable item in the house. The first couple of times he walked through with a load of gold and diamond jewelry, or a flat screen TV, or a lap top Apple computer, he’d check on Florence. The first two times, she seemed to be still breathing, which meant he hadn’t blocked her airflow and she was slowly bleeding to death, which Lancaster didn’t think was such a bad way to die. He’d researched it and found out it was just like slowly falling to sleep—and never waking up. Then, when he went into the kitchen to get the china and the nice silverware, he checked again and she was finally dead, thank god.

He finished loading up the truck. He’d already contacted a local fence named Chester Theodore with a detailed inventory, and they’d already agreed on a basic price. They were meeting on a country road nearby in about two hours. So Lancaster needed to work fast to make a clean exit.

He dragged the body out to the garage. Luckily, Florence’s dead husband Dean had a great set-up out there: work bench and power saws. In about 30 minutes Flo was in about 20 small pieces, all wrapped and duct-taped tightly in black plastic garbage bags. These pieces went into the back of the truck as well.

Then, the real work started. He’d often laughed to himself at how much he hated this part. The one time in his life he’d perform actual physical labor just like most straight people did all day long every day. He hated it. But, it had to be done, because, like, who else was going to do it? Someone had to be the last person standing and that person had to clean shit the fuck up, right?

He’d bought all the necessary cleaning supplies and they were all ready. He donned plastic gloves and scrubbed all the blood from the floor where he’d killed her and from everywhere it had leaked out of the body as he took it to the garage. He cleaned all the blood and other bits of body parts from the power tools and all over the garage. He cleaned up all his prints that were still lingering. He was a little OCD that way.

He collected all his possessions, anything that could be ID’d as his, and put them all into a trash bag. This wasn’t much, just a few pieces of clothes—an extra pair of pants, some t-shirts, four pairs of underwear and two pairs of socks. This went into the truck as well. Then, he went through the house one last time and vacuumed and scrubbed every square inch.

The house was on ten acres in the Hill Country outside of Austin, Texas. More than a mile from neighbors on either side, he felt certain no one had noticed his presence there the last two months. He’d laid very low, and Florence did not have any close friends or relatives who came by or called—he’d made sure of that before he’d moved in.

He left with the valuables, the body parts, and his possessions, and drove to meet Chester Theodore.


The fence was exactly where he said he’d be: a mile up a dirt road that was just off the feeder for Westbound Highway 290. It was a perfect spot. Hidden from the main road by hills and a thick stand of trees, there was no one around and very little chance of anyone surprising them. When their business was concluded all Lancaster had to do was get back on the feeder, enter the highway, and in no time Austin would just be a sweet memory.

Lancaster still felt wary. He had a network of fences all over the US, but this was the first time he’d worked with Mr. Theodore. Their transaction should be simple and brief, but every time money and valuable merchandise changed hands in a criminal setting, there was a chance that one or both parties would decide to cheat the other. Also, this was a rare moment when Lancaster had to expose himself in a way that tied him to the stolen possessions of a murdered woman.

Chester must’ve been waiting a while. His bright red brand-new Dodge Ram 3500 was pulled over to the right and parked in a small clearing of grass and gravel. A couple of feet in front of the truck’s hood the man sat in a large foldable camp chair. He was smoking a pipe. He looked about 50, with grey hair and beard. He wore cargo shorts, hiking boots, and some kind of camo army shirt out of the first Gulf War.

Shit, please don’t be weird. Let’s just do this and go our separate ways with the minimum of bullshit. Please.

Lancaster pulled the truck past Chester’s chair to park and as he did he saw that there was some kind of assault rifle in the guy’s lap and that his right index finger was on the trigger.


Why can’t things just be easy? I bring a fence stolen shit and he takes it off my hands and gives me some cash—what is so fucking complicated about that?

Lancaster pulled up beside Chester Theodore. He pushed the button to lower the passenger window.

“I don’t like seeing that gun,” Lancaster Messier said.

“It gives me comfort,” said Chester Theodore.

“It’s not right,” Lancaster said. “It shows a lack of trust, and reveals a possible violent intention. I’m just here to sell some goods.”

“I don’t know you,” said Chester.

“And I don’t know you,” said Lancaster. “That’s the way it always is at first. But we each have to make a leap of faith if we are going to do business now and in the future. You didn’t make that leap. You didn’t have the nerve.”

Lancaster’s snub nose revolver was on the passenger seat. It was loaded and the safety was off. Chester’s head was only about five feet away.

“So now I have to kill you and deal with your body and all the shit,” Lancaster said as he picked up the pistol and shot the man in the left temple. The dude didn’t even have time react and aim his gun. He just didn’t get it, he didn’t understand about commitment and faith, and he didn’t get that the only reason you brought a gun to a party is if you fully intend to use it. Chester Theodore didn’t get it that he was dead the minute Lancaster Messier saw him with the rifle on his lap.

Lancaster was pissed. So pissed. They’d agreed on fifteen hundred dollars for the merch, contingent on Chester’s inspection and some haggling. That was supposed to be it. Lancaster would’ve settled for 1200 give or take, he would’ve helped the guy put the shit in his truck, then, he’d be long gone. And, he’d have a trustworthy person to work with if he was ever in the Texas Hill Country again.

Fuck. What a drag.

He got out of his truck. He knew Chester was dead, or close enough to it. Who wouldn’t be? He approached  the chair with his gun pointed just in case, but the piece of shit had a golf ball size hole in the side of his head and Lancaster could see skull and brain matter and blood  slowly seeping out. He looked real closely at the guy’s brain to see if there was something there to show how or why he was such an idiot, but, it looked the same as every other shot up brain he’d seen. He always looked though. There was rarely a good reason to get shot in the head.

He found a roll of cash in Chester’s shirt pocket: $1200. Of course. He stripped him down and found another $1000 in his right boot. He put all of Flo’s stuff in the back of the Dodge Ram. He didn’t know what else to do, he didn’t have the time to find another fence.

God, he hated working with amateurs.

He decided not to deal with the corpse, just let it sit there rotting on the chair. Sonfofabitch. He left Chester, the assault rifle and everything else behind and drove away.


As planned, he kept going west on 290 until he came to the 281, which he took north up until it met the Colorado River. At this point he found dozens of spots miles apart from each other to drop the plastic bags of Flo’s body as well as his clothes and gun and other stuff into the river. He kept his knife (he always kept the knife).  He was very careful, and felt certain he wasn’t seen.

Then, he kept driving until he met the eastbound highway to Waco. On the outskirts of town, just a couple of miles from the Greyhound Station, he torched the truck on another dirt road. Once he was satisfied it was burning up nicely, he walked into town.

He went to a bank and got the rest of the cash in Flo’s checking account and he managed to get advances from the Chase and Citibank Visa cards. Went to the bus station and paid cash for a ticket to Los Angeles—the farthest destination available with a bus soon to depart. He needed to be as far away from Texas as he could be as soon as possible with as little a traceable record of his movements available to law enforcement.

He now had more than twenty grand in cash in his wallet. Not bad for six weeks work.


5 Responses to “Sneak preview of new novella”

  1. Bill Baber July 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Now you got me hooked…

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