Authors: Tom Soule,R Taylor
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Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, business, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Copyright 2015 by Tom Soule & Ricardo Taylor - All rights reserved.
All rights Reserved. No part of this publication or the information in it may be quoted from or reproduced in any form by means such as printing, scanning, photocopying or otherwise without prior written permission of the copyright holder.
Stacy was haunted by the night of the Governor’s Ball. She couldn’t get the detestable image of the dead body on the gurney, coming down the gothic staircase at the Johnson Resort out of her head. The thought sent chills down her spine. She remembered a brunette patch of hair sticking out and flopping in the wind as the coroners were carrying the body away. Jasmine had died on a night when Stacy had much to celebrate.
What a cruel twist of fate…Stacy
thought to herself.
Stacy had never liked Jasmine. She felt that Jasmine was an outsider who moved too fast to earn the heart of the town. Stacy had lived in Huntington all her life and had never received the honor of winning a competition, especially the famous annual bakeoff. Jasmine created an unprecedented upset when she was tied for first place with Kim. Kim was Stacy’s tall, slender best friend and the town’s darling. She was the mayor’s daughter and a favorite to win the bakeoff.
Jasmine emerged as Kim’s foe after the competition. However, even Stacy knew that Jasmine didn’t deserve to die in such a brutal manner. Stacy’s hatred for Jasmine transformed into great empathy, regret, and guilt. She felt like her venomous actions had somehow contributed to Jasmine’s demise.
Stacy began to recall the night of the vandalism. She had been wailing down Baker Street on a chilly night and felt quite vindictive, so she decided to pay Jasmine a late, unpleasant visit.
“This Yankee won the bake off while Kim and Sharon killed themselves for weeks just to make the perfect pie for the contest. This girl bats her eyelashes and walks away with the entire first prize,” Stacy mumbled to herself as her eyes spotted the white mailbox in front of Jasmine’s house. Stacy was carrying one of her father’s golf clubs. She started to grip it as she walked closer and closer to Jasmine’s house.
“Jasmine!” She yelled sharply, pounding her hands on the wooden front door. “Jasmine, I need to speak with you!” When Stacy got no reply, she kicked the door, and it flew open. “What do we have here?” Stacy hatefully asked. “Jasmine, are you here?” She poured farther into the living room toward a wall close to the fire place. She saw Jasmine’s first place ribbon from the bakeoff. She knocked it off the wall with her white golf club.
With a mad dash of rage, Stacy pulverized everything in sight. She smashed lamps, vases, ornaments, and picture frames. The broken glass scattered, and got lost in the beige carpet. She couldn’t stop; she got lost in her pit of fury. Once she came to her senses, she saw the trail of destruction, and bolted out the front door with her golf club in hand. Stacy broke down in tears recalling those memories. Her past actions gnawed at her heart strings.
Stacy was not the only one in this predicament. The entire town of Huntington was in a complete uproar.
The once festive, lovely town was now up in arms over the murderous act. Huntington had never had a murder before and was not equipped to deal with the emotional trauma of one. The days following the murder were the worst. Many parents refused to send their little ones to school. The business district in town was silenced; no one dared go to work with a murderer on the loose. Even the governor seeking re-election cut his visit short after the grand ball, due to the murder right in the middle of an event hosted in his honor. The grey-haired, scruffy man hid himself in his private car right before the media circus arrived the night of the murder. The media frenzy stretched from local news to bigger networks. The news networks shoved microphones and cameras in the faces of any citizen they could find, harassing them for information. It was a crazy time for Huntington; people were closing their doors and a mandatory curfew was enacted. Mistrust among the citizens started to grow and gossip about the murder ensued.
“The Henrys never liked Jasmine’s family and you know how vindictive they can get,” one citizen gossiped to another.
“I heard she might be on drugs; she is from New York,” another citizen added. Gossip was spreading through the town like a plague.
Eventually, the mayor had had enough; he decided to host a town hall meeting to bring trust among the town people. He knew he had to act.
“I stand before you today to let you know we will get this culprit and conduct a just trial,” Mr. Johnson stated.
“Mr. Mayor, your words hold no sway,” someone rudely explained. “I have my seven year old daughter, and we just don’t feel safe; we are moving to Buckley, and I personally know four families who have left already.”
The town hall ignited in shouts and screams after safety was questioned.
“Let me assure you the police department is doing everything it can. I will even get a special state prosecutor to aid this investigation. I know we can come back from this,” Mayor Johnson told the town hall. Still unhinged, the congregation was displeased with the mayor. Mayor Johnson placed his hand on the old wooden podium. His legacy flickered in his mind.
“Listen here, I have been the mayor for five years. I will not let this destroy us,” Mr. Johnson firmly insisted to the town’s people. His words struck reason into the people, and they started to believe again. With that bold move, the town hall meeting was about to end. Unbeknownst to the people, an outside journalist got inside. Due to all media frenzy, the mayor had blocked outside media from attending.
“Mayor Johnson, I have a quick question,” the journalist proposed. “Is it true your daughter is the main suspect, and that she has been, in fact, held overnight since Monday?”
Paralyzed with shock, the mayor stood dumfounded. How could his brilliant chef of a daughter get caught up with this murder? Kim had hosted the entire Governor’s Ball, serving her famous Cherry Pie Supreme to the governor and his patrons. What reason do the police have to suspect her? Mayor Johnson adamantly pondered.
“That’s all for today folks; that’s just a nasty rumor. Ms. Johnson is doing what she can to support the investigation,” said an advisor for the mayor. The mayor slid off the stage at the end of the town hall meeting. He quivered in fear as he called Sharon to figure out what happened to Kim. Sharon was Kim’s beautiful brunette best friend who had assisted with managing Kim’s catering business at the Johnson Resort.
“Sharon, don’t play games with me young lady. I thought you were my daughter’s best friend. Why the hell didn’t you tell me she went down to the station?” Mr. Johnson demanded angrily over the phone.
“Sir, she told me not to tell you; she didn’t want you to worry since she knew you had to deal with the town and the governor. She didn’t want to alarm you,” Sharon tearfully confessed to the mayor.
“That was foolish, and you know better; where is Kim now?” Mayor Johnson inquired.
Sharon pursed her lips. “I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to her. I assumed she just wanted some time with her fiancé Sam.”
“Sharon never do that again; call me the second you hear anything,” Mr. Johnson insisted.
“Yes sir, I will find her now,” Sharon said responsibly.
The mayor moved to his next victim; he climbed in the back of his black SUV towards the police station. Sheriff King would be the next to feel his fury .The mayor’s cold blooded presence was felt the second he arrived at the police station. The officers at the entrance held their heads down, making sure not to lock eyes with the mayor. The mayor’s monstrous fury was on display as he passed all the fellow police officers at their work desks, continuing his giant strides toward Sheriff King’s office.
“How dare you arrest my daughter and keep her for days in a jail cell? Have you lost your mind!?” demanded Mayor Johnson.
“I am so sorry Mayor Johnson, but I have vetted the facts myself. There is strong evidence against your daughter,” the sheriff tried to explain.
“King, we have been friends for over 27 years; mark my words, evidence or not, you’re going to regret this,” Mayor Johnson said as he pounded his hairy fist on the Sheriff’s desk.
“I understand that you are upset; that’s why I wanted you as far away as possible, so that the law could give this case a fair shake. I wouldn’t have let this arrest stick if I didn’t have good reason,” Sheriff King added.
“I don’t care about ethics; on the day of my daughter’s engagement, one of the happiest days of her life, you had the audacity to accuse her of murder. I think that makes no sense, King,” Mayor Johnson shouted vehemently as his blood boiled. “This crusade against my daughter will come to an end,” continued Mr. Johnson.
“You don’t understand. I’ve already got a state prosecutor involved. Even if I wanted to let her go, I no longer have the power to do so,” Sheriff King told the mayor. “It is a slam dunk case, just look at the evidence.” Just then, he pulled out two large brown files and called in Detective Mulling.
Detective Mulling walked into the sheriff’s office with his black short hair, chiseled body, and black suit. “Mayor, this looks really bad,” Mulling said as he inserted himself in the conversation. “Based on the history of the girls, the unexplained vandalism at Jasmine’s residence, which Jasmine accused Kim of doing, and the eye witness who saw Kim entering the room right before the murder, Kim is a solid murder suspect with no alibi. Besides, she already lied to us,” the detective explained, going over the brown files.
Baffled by the evidence, Mayor Johnson paused in silence. “There has got to be some explanation for this. There is no way my daughter did this.” Mayor Johnson was rattled by the claims of the sheriff and detective. “Just no way!”
Everything was so unreal for Kim. In one moment, she had finally achieved everything she could hope for, and the next, everything had come crashing down around her. Kim had planned and organized the most majestic ball for the governor at the Johnson Resort. The 8,000 square foot ballroom with creamy walls and orange light created a beautiful ambiance. The sitting area held up to 600 guests and seated 10 people per table. The tone for the occasion was elegant and sophisticated. For the event, Kim sported her white lace backless dress tightly strapped to her thin slender body.
In that same night, the love of her life, Sam, had gotten down on one knee and proposed to her. Her eyes dazzled in amusement when she saw the 4 carat diamond ring.
“Yes, of course, I will marry you,” Kim said as she held out her delicate finger for Sam to slip the heavy ring onto. She felt frozen in the moment—the best moment of her life. She was definitely on cloud nine.
Fast forwarding to just a few days later, she was stuck in a dirty rundown nasty holding cell. Kim was mentally rattled by her current ordeal. To make matters worse, she was once again in an unwelcomed situation due to Jasmine.
Ohhh the irony
, Kim thought to herself. She was not prepared for the harsh nature of jail.
She glared at her fingertips stained with black ink, and thought about her once gorgeous, flowing white dress, now ripped and dirty. Kim began to recall her first interaction with the police right after Jasmine’s murder. She was graciously walking as if she was Cinderella at the ball, when Detective Mulling and Detective Thompson apprehended her for questioning.
“Ma’am, can you come with us down to the station?” The detectives calmly asked Kim.
Before leaving, she turned to Sharon and insisted on keeping things under wraps from her dad. He had a lot on his plate. With the responsibility of a governor’s visit and a congregation of political officials that followed, Kim thought it was best to handle the questioning with the police alone.
Before she arrived at the police station, Kim didn’t even know who had been murdered until she arrived. When she learned Jasmine was the victim, she consciously decided it was best not to mention any interaction they’d had.
“The last time I saw Jasmine was at the ballroom with many other guess present,” Kim explained to the detectives. “She wasn’t able to sit at my table, as all the seats were taken.”
“Ma’am, you know if you are withholding information, I can charge you with obstruction of justice,” Detective Mulling informed her.
Kim rolled her eyes. “Like I said earlier, I only saw her in the ballroom with the other guests.” With that statement, Kim had dug her own grave. She incriminated herself and was charged with obstruction of justice. She became the primary suspect of the murder investigation. That one white lie had possibly ruined her life forever!
A large police officer rushed into the interrogation room and placed her in tight handcuffs, robbing her of blood supply.
“Get off me!” Kim said as the officer yanked her up, abruptly reading her the Miranda Rights. She was carried off while fresh tears were flying from her eyes. Her gorgeous heels broke after minutes of kicking and yelling. To make matters worse, a female guard manhandled her and shoved her into the small holding area.
Within a few days of jail time, word spread like wildfire throughout the town about the murder suspect. The villain now had a face; Kim had become a monster.