A thriller novel in 1600 words

Here is a novel I wrote in 1600 words. It’s a ‘page turner’!

Prologue

In a dark warehouse a Helpless Woman limps away from a shadowy figure.

“Help! Help!” she cries, but no one is there to help her.

The figure holds a gleaming blade in a red-gloved hand.

“No!” cries the woman.

Blood splashes on the ground.

CH1

Detective Jack Richmond wakes to a phone call. He blearily grabs the receiver and knocks an empty whisky bottle to the floor.

“Hello?”

It’s his partner, Karen Jillian. “There’s been a murder, Jack, get here, NOW.”

CH2

Jack slams the brakes on his blue 2018 Mustang and screeches into the parking lot. He gets out and straightens his duster. “Where’s the murder?”

Karen points at the warehouse. She’s wearing a short skirt that shows her sexy legs.

CH3

Inside the warehouse Jack kneels and touches the ground and rubs red liquid between his fingers. “Blood. There’s been a murder here.”

“Yes, but where’s the body?”

A red drop lands on Karen’s cleavage and she looks up. A mutilated body is hanging from chains.

Karen screams.

CH4

In the cold, dark morgue Jack examines the body. “These wounds came from a knife, look, see how the skin is cut.”

Karen bends to look, and her blond hair falls against Jack’s hand. He twirls a lock in his fingers.

“Jack, don’t.” She pushes his hand away. “I’m still grieving the death of my blind, war-hero father.”

CH6

Karen sits sexily on Jack’s desk and holds out a plastic evidence bag full of ashes. “We found something in the ashes when we cremated the body.”

She pulls a metal square from the ash. There’s writing etched into it.

“Hieroglyphs,” says Jack, “A code.”

“Jack,” Karen says, and touches his shoulder. “I feel some connection to this woman. We have to solve this case!”

CH7

Jack and Karen sit in a dark library and flip through the yellowed pages of an ancient book. They wear glasses and cardigans.

“Look, this symbol,” Jack points, “It means… death.”

“And this one,” says Karen. Her hand grazes Jack’s. “It means… love…”

There’s a thump in the dark and they both leap to their feet. “Who’s there?”

CH8

An old man steps out of the shadows. His eyes are white orbs and he carries a cane. “The killer is not who you think,” he says.

Jack grabs him by the collar. “Who are you!?”

The old man wheezes laughter. “You know nothing, Jack! Find the red glove!”

“Jack!” Karen grabs his muscular bicep. “We have to go!” They rush out the door and the old man cackles in the shadows behind them.

CH9

They speed away in Jack’s Mustang. “What is it Karen? Why did we rush out of there?”

“Because.” Karen holds up the metal square. “I translated the message.”

CH10

Jack and Karen sit on a bed in a dim hotel room. Jack’s tie is loosened. Karen’s blouse is untucked. Karen lays some papers on the blankets.

“See? The hieroglyphs mean: love and death walk hand in hand, never trust a blind old man.”

Jack nods. “You translated that just in time. But what did he mean by ‘find the red glove?’”

Karen grabs Jack’s hand, her cheeks are flushed. “Oh Jack, let’s forget about that old man. Hold me.” She kisses him, and they fall across the papers.

CH11

Jack wakes screaming from a dream of being chained and bleeding. He reaches for his whisky, but only finds an empty pillow. Karen is gone.

CH12

In the morning they drive Jack’s Mustang through pouring rain. “Where were you last night?” he asks as he shifts gears.

“Bad dreams,” she says, “I had to go for a walk.”

A call comes in on the radio: “We’ve had another murder, get here quick!”

The two share a glance, and Jack steps on the gas.

CH13

They screech into another warehouse. A young officer approaches. “The victim’s in there. She’s chained up just like last time!”

Inside, a bloody corpse hangs from chains in the dark.

Karen screams.

“We found a knife.” The officer holds up a gleaming blade in a plastic evidence bag.

“Are there any prints?” asks Jack.

“No, the killer must have worn a glove.”

“Could it have been… a red glove?”

“Yes, that’s definitely possible. And one more thing, Jack,” says the officer. “DNA tells us the victims were sisters.”

CH14

“We’ve got to find that old man,” says Jack.

He starts the engine and Karen puts a hand on his. “I don’t think we should trust just any old man, Jack.”

“But the glove! He knew about the glove!”

CH15

They return to the library and Jack searches up and down the dark aisles. Karen follows him.

“Jack, wait!”

But Jack doesn’t wait. “Where are you, old man!”

A wheezing sound comes from the shadows.

CH16

The old man steps into the light and points his cane at Jack. “You read my glyphs, didn’t you?”

Jack gasps. “You wrote the message?”

The old man nods. “Did you find the red glove, Jack?”

“But your message said nothing about a glove.”

Karen steps between them. “Don’t listen to him, Jack! Let’s just go!”

“Go? Like last time?” snaps Jack, angrily. “Something is fishy here. No blind man would write a message that said ‘don’t trust a blind man.’ What does the message really say?”  

CH17

“It says,” wheezes the old man, “love and death go hand in hand, find her glove and foil her plan!”

Jack gasps. “Her?” He snatches Karen’s purse and dumps it to the floor. A red glove falls out.

“Jack, no, it’s a lie!”

Jack picks up the glove. “Evidence doesn’t lie.”

“Arrest her!” says the old man. “She killed her sisters out of jealousy!”

CH18

“Sisters?” Jack gasps.

“It’s true, the victims were my sisters,” says Karen, “but I didn’t kill them!”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Jack demands.

“I didn’t want to get taken off the case! It’s important to me to catch the killer, who I know now is this old man!”

“You did kill them,” says the old man. “You killed them to get my inheritance for yourself!”

CH19

Jack gasps. “Inheritance? Then you… you must be Karen’s blind war-hero father?”

“Oh Jack!” Karen grabs Jack’s hand and kisses it. “I didn’t do it, I didn’t! Don’t you… love me?”

“Love and death go hand in hand,” says Jack. He pushes her away and pulls his gun. “Karen Jillian, you’re under arrest!”

“Yes!” says the old man. “Point your gun at her! She deserves it!”

Jack narrows his eyes. “How can you see what I’m doing?”

CH20

Jack spins around and throws the red glove at the old man, and he knocks it aside with his cane.

“You can see!” says Jack. “You could see this whole time!”

“Damn you!” The old man drops his cane and stands up straight. “It’s true, I can see! I can see just fine and that’s how I killed my daughter!”

“But, but why?” cries Karen.

CH21

“Because you never visit me! You left me to rot in that retirement home, and you actually thought I was already dead!” The old man shakes his fist. “You, Karen, were the worst! The only one of my daughters to join the service, and you were the least understanding! That’s why I chose to frame you for your sister’s death!”  

Jack points his gun at the old man. “Old man, you’re under arrest!”

CH22

The old man cackles. “You’ll never put me in a cell! I’ll spend the rest of my life tormenting you, Karen!” He turns and sprints into the dark.

Before Jack can chase after him, two shots are fired and the old man collapses in the aisle.

CH23

Karen holds a smoking gun, and tears run down her cheeks. “He was my father, but I couldn’t let him hurt anyone else.”

Jack puts his arm around her. “It’s over now, Karen. It’s over.” They embrace and kiss.

“I just have one question,” says Jack, as they gaze at each other. “Why did he say he killed his ‘daughter,’ when there were two murders?”

CH24

Karen caresses Jack’s cheek and kisses him. “He misspoke is all, he was a very old man, and crazy too.”

“He was crazy…” says Jack. Karen is very soft in his arms.

Karen kisses him. “Oh Jack, I’m so glad it’s over! And with my inheritance, I can make everything right for those who were hurt.”

Jack’s eyes widen. “You really do have an inheritance?”

CH25

“Yes,” says Karen, looking down. “That much was true. It’s a lot of money, and… Jack?”

“What is it Karen?”

Karen kneels in front of Jack and takes something from the pile that was dumped out of her purse. She holds up a silver ring. “I want to share it all with you, Jack. Will you marry me?”

CH26

Jack and Karen run out of the church as onlookers throw rice and flowers. They get into Jack’s Mustang and drive away as the crowd of smiling people chase after. The car’s back window is painted with ‘just married,’ and strings of cans clatter behind, tied to the bumper.

In the car, the couple hold hands over the gear shifter. Their rings glint in the sunlight.

The radio hisses. “Jack, are you there? There’s been a murder!”

Jack and Karen share a glance, and Jack steps on the gas. “On our way!”

Epilogue:

The old man sits up in the dark, empty library, and tears off his bulletproof vest. “I’ll get you Karen, I’ll get you one day!”


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