Finding Answers

****Previous installment of Vivid Black Coming Down

The uniform with the bull horn did his best to keep the “zombies” and the rest of the crowd away from the crime scene at Wyoming State University. Several officers and a street crew worked to set up barricades and rolled out tape to keep them back. Henry stood over the body while McEwin crouched down to help the Medical Examiner look for ID on the male victim dressed as a zombie. It was hard to determine which slashes were “zombie” and which were real. The only certainty was what the coagulating, syrupy pool of blood meant.

Finding leads in this case was slow. The killer easily moved among Zombie Gauntlet events filled with fake zombies, victims, and a mock apocalypse completed with people who ran and screamed bloody murder. Over confident, the Zombie Reaper had become sloppy. Adrenalin surged through Henry as he saw the victims hand tightly clenched around something. A bloody knife next to a park bench along the Quad was like a late Christmas gift.

Anxious to get the scene tied up he tried to hurry Medical Examiner Dr. Janice Jones, but she had her own pace and procedures. She chose words and delivered them inca clipped tone as she informed him, “I could hurry or I could do it right. I’ll wait while you decide detective.”

Arms crossed over her 5 foot frame, she glared at him and waited for his response. His attitude was quickly dampened by the petite red head with the firecracker attitude.

“Uh, OK. Well, you do your job. CSU is still working anyway.”

He turned and shuffled away in a hangdog posture and muttered, “I’ll leave you alone. Maybe you’ll work faster that way.”

Walking to the yellow crime scene tape, he paced along the perimeter stealing glances into the crowd looking for expressions and behaviors that might give away someone who knew something. Hanging on the edge of the crowd, was Max, and Sarah Jane’s friend McKinley. Max was teetering back and forth from foot to foot chewing on a nail. McKinley was closed off, arms crossed, ashen with shock and fear.

Henry lifted the tape and walked under, winding his way to the pair.

“Max. You seem a little nervous.”

“Shut up man! You come up to me and ask questions in front of all these people and I’m gonna be the one they blame for all this crap!”

Henry shifted so he was at an angle facing slightly away from McKinley.

“McKinley, does your mom know you’re here?”

He signaled with his head “Why don’t you wander over to my car. The officer standing there will let you in.”

He caught the officers eye, indicated with a glance toward McKinley and slowly nodded. She looked up with vacant eyes and moved toward the car.


“What do you want?”

Henry stepped in front of Max and made sure he had his eyes.“You’re not telling me something.”

Max’s gaze shifted, and he sprinted away.


Gary Go–Open Arms – Official Video

Gary Go is out there quietly putting out some amazing music, lyrically and musically. This song just fit Henry and his situation as he deals with yet another murder from the now named “Zombie Reaper”.


Inspiration came from Write On Edge’s weekly writing prompt Red Writing Hood. They presented an “I Spy” image with 14 items and instructions to “choose one of the 14 items in this “I Spy” game and use it in a fiction or creative non-fiction piece….Word limit is 500.” I chose the police officer with the bullhorn as my inspiration for another installment in my Vivid Black fiction piece. This piece actually precedes the last one when Ray and Henry lock horns. It will be put into the lineup before “Experienced”

Deep Grief

*****Previous installment of Vivid Black – Revolution:


Jerrod McEwin grabbed Jacoby, and pulled him off of Henry. Henry, ruffled and flustered from the reaction ran a hand over his hair, then scrubbed emotion from his face, trying to formulate a response.

“Chief, Chief I’m sorry. We’ve got this! I’ve got this! Let the team do their job.”

Jacoby stopped struggling against McEwin, turned and walked away. Breath wrung out of his chest and pinpoints of light flashed in his vision. Emotions wild, uncontainable, mouth pressed hard into his arm he released a muffled, shuddering sob. His beautiful baby girl,  lay ruined, cold, under an ashen waning moon. CSU scoured for clues and evidence, seemingly ignoring the precious missing life.

The beauty and serenity of Solitude Lane was harshly violated by Sarah Jane’s murder. It jangled the senses as the views away from the violation imparted a peaceful autumn glow. The tranquil, winding paths led to park benches and mediation gardens where thoughts could be lost in a wave of whispering breezes. A sense of seclusion followed as each path led deeper into the heart of the park.

Henry approached Jacoby, knowing he had to give him something consoling, to release this boss, this dad from his need to stay. The team was uneasy as they tried to focus on their jobs. Jacoby, usually the one in charge, now the victims father hovered in and out. Henry put an arm over his shoulders and gently urged him toward the Tahoe.

“Chief, Ray. You gotta leave. The guys are chasin’ every shadow, every speck. You’re makin’ them skittish. Go home. Be with your family. I’ll stay with Sarah Jane. I promise.”

Henry ushered him to the open passenger door, and gently pushed him in. A uniform slid in the driver side and patiently waited for Henry to get the boss under control.

As the Tahoe pulled away, Henry turned and slowly drifted back into the chaos.


Linking up with:

Trifecta: Week Twenty Eight. This weeks word is WILD. Third definition:

3: a (1): not subject to restraint or regulation : uncontrolled; also : unruly

(2) : emotionally overcome <wild with grief>; also : passionately eager or enthusiastic

As always no less than 33 and no more than 333 words.

The Trouble in No Answers

Vivid Black begins here:

Henry Waters paced as he thumped his fist on his forehead. What happened? Everything was jumbled in his head. Sarah Jane wasn’t suppose to be there. Her dad warned his daughter to stay away from the Zombie Gauntlet and she promised. Waters spied Max behind the yellow tape, hands in pockets chewing on his lip, fighting shock.

Through clenched teeth he hissed, “Max, why was Sarah Jane here? Ray was under the impression she would stay away until these murders are resolved.”

Max’s face etched with fear and sadness answered, “Man, you know how that girl is, er, was. Thinks she’s knows, knew, everything she needed to know.”

Henry scrubbed his face trying to find questions to ask to get him out of the trouble he’d found. The Chief was on the way. He knew the trouble Sarah Jane found was now his trouble. His investigation had no leads; just bodies and every fifth Friday another innocent, surrounded in crimson.

A bright winter morning eight months ago, a body was found. Henry took the call with his partner Jerrod McEwin and CSU. Demarion Jones was viciously stabbed to death the night before. Deep bites covered his body. The investigation began and Henry was confident he would hang on to his record as best closer on the squad. Confidence waned into ambiguity as a pattern emerged with the third body. All the murders happened on a fifth Friday during one of those Zombie Challenges.

“Max! Sit on the curb and wait for me. We’ll finish this at the station.” He growled the order and pointed a finger to emphasize his words.

Blue and red wigwagged, capturing eyes while the siren’s shriek pierced hearing. Henry swiveled around as the white Tahoe rocked to a halt and Chief of Detectives, Ray Jacoby bound out of the truck.

He scanned the faces behind the tape, found Waters and stalked through. His happiness eaten away by grief and anger he grabbed Henry and snarled,

“Where’s my daughter!?”

After Henry shook his boss off, Max saw him shocked,  off balance as he searched for focus. Knowing the distractions, he chose to slide slowly into the crowd, absconded custody and went home.


After a number of comments expressed the thought the Zombie Gauntlet murder of Sarah Jane in my fiction piece “The Agony of Defeat” could be turned into a serialized piece, I decided to heed the advice. Thus, a yet to be named story continues.

I’m continuing the story using two prompts as inspiration.

First, Trifecta: Week Twenty-Seven

Use the word trouble with the following rules:

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • . trou·ble noun \ˈtrə-bəl\
    . the quality or state of being troubled especially mentally
    . public unrest or disturbance <there’s trouble brewing downtown>
    . an instance of trouble <used to disguise her frustrations and despair by making light of her troubles

Second, Write on Edge’s Red Writing Hood:

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

In 400 words or less, write a story or memoir which relates to choices and/or consequences. Because of the word limits, you may choose to focus just on the choice, or just on the consequence. Remember to capture a moment using dialogue, action, and reaction.