This is a short excerpt of my serial killer novel I am writing with another author friend of mine. I used a portion of it for a class to get some feedback.
By Lucy Ahl
Looking out of the 31st floor window of his office at D & L Designs, Grant Dolan, world renowned architect, watched as the fishing vessels came into the harbor trying to out run the heavy fog bank. Tonight would be the night he decided. Since moving to Seattle to be closer to Charlotte Hiller, he had said this to himself many times. But tonight was different. Though the room was cool, beads of sweat crossed his forehead. He could feel his dark passenger rise and he knew whenever it did, it would only be a matter of time before he lost control. The Washington Times newspaper sprawled open on his desk was turned to the best sellers list, page D8, and there she was. Though her picture was in gray and white, he could picture the auburn in her long straight hair. Her smile showed the dimples in her cheeks and her teeth looked whiter than they had been in high school. Her eyes were crinkled up, they always did whenever she smiled. He called them smiling eyes. The caption, “Best Selling Crime Novelist, Charlotte Hiller Home at Last”. He had scrolled down, using his finger as a guide, to see her schedule of book signings, and to his delight, she would be in Seattle tonight at a small café, the Hangout, autographing her latest bestselling crime thriller “Beyond the Shadows”. Taking out a pair of scissors from his top draw, he proceeded to meticulously cut along the edges of the article. Selecting a tiny key from his keychain, he swiveled around to the credenza behind him. Unlocking the sliding doors, he pulled out a large photo book. Finding an empty page towards the back, he pulled the plastic sticky sheet away from the page and proceeded to line the article up so it was centered. He smoothed out the plastic so there were no crinkles. He took a black sharpie from his leather pen case and wrote the date. Satisfied, he sat back in his chair, a smirk appearing on his lips, “yes, tonight will be the night”.
Pulling his car onto the ferry, Grant decided to stay put for the 20 minute ride to Vashon Island where he called home these days. The island was small and quaint with farms surrounding the tiny commerce center. He loved the drive through the curvy roads which overlooked the rocky beaches to the west and the dense woodlands to the east. His 2015 Red Ferrari 458 Italia, which he had shipped over by freight from his last trip to Italy, handled the curves like the wind and which he considered his pride and joy. His home was situated in South Vashon Island. The 6,500 square foot estate sat on 525 acres and had its own PGA golf course, tennis courts, several lakes, horse and hiking trails, and its own 2200 ft landing strip and heli-pad for when his parents came to visit him, which wasn’t very often. His house had been on the cover of Washington Homes Magazine as well as Horticulture Today. The horticultural collections consisted of over 3000 planted trees, hundreds of shrubs, and flower varieties from around the world. It was in this setting Grant planned his attack. He would spend hours in his head going over every last detail. It had to be perfect.
Waiting behind the dumpster in the alley behind the bookstore, Grant could feel his heart pounding in his chest. The fog had turned to a drizzle and then to an all-out downpour. He was glad he wore his top hat and black trench coat but the brim seemed to be collecting rain water and when he moved his head in any direction, it would pour down his neck. He was shivering. His ears were alerted to the click, clicking of the beige stilettos Charlotte had been wearing at her book signing. There were no lights in the alley so he was well hidden. He could see his breath when he breathed out and he wrapped his scarf around his mouth in order to protect his presence.