228. The letter broke off abruptly after the words ‘I love you’

The letter broke off abruptly after the words ‘I love you’, depriving detective Snodgrass of his only clue in the grisly murder case.

Sarah Pembrooke had been slaughtered, there was no other word for it. Not a drop of blood was left in her mangled body. The crimson liquid had oozed from her wounds, seeping into the Australian chestnut of her bedroom floor. The stickiness reminded Snodgrass of the time he had spilt a bottle of maple syrup on the kitchen floor as a boy. Her blood almost smelt as sweet as well, he thought.

The police photographer’s flash evoked images of what had happened here. Sarah Pembroke, a high-class prostitute had brought a client to her apartment. They had fucked. He had cummed in her every orifice. And then he had butchered her with a hacksaw. Bluntly, yet meticulously, like a toddler removing pieces from a wooden puzzle.

Every trace had been carefully expunged. Fingerprint were wiped and there wasn’t a hair follicle to be found in the entire apartment. As for the semen he had dumped in his victim, he had poured bleach all over it, assuring no DNA would be uncovered. The whole crime scene was one giant ‘fuck you’ to the police.

Which made it all the more puzzling that he had left the letter, written by a woman in love to one of her clients. A person she named, but whose identity was removed by a frustrating rip in the paper. Snodgrass grazed the rip but was surprised by its sharpness, which extracted a drop of blood from his thumb. The drop clung to the edges of the rip for a second, then rolled along the paper.

Right to left.

Snodgrass smiled.

Fuck the killer’s games. There always was a clue.

He was left-handed.



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7 thoughts on “228. The letter broke off abruptly after the words ‘I love you’

  1. soumashree says:

    I am new to your blog and as I am reading through, the endings are hitting me with rhythmic precision.

  2. Lena Pate says:

    Very well written. You had me hooked from the first sentence. Hope you decide to take this someday and write a book with this beginning.

  3. annabelmcquade says:

    Blood… doesn’t smell sweet. Certainly not in those quantities. It smells like copper (a writer I read is an ex emergency nurse, I’m not a murderer.) also, why call it “the crimson liquid”? You’ve already called it “blood” so if you’re going for succinctness, why not just stick with the pronoun? Your readees probably know blood is red.
    These are just minor points: the story’s well-written and you really have the handle on last lines.

  4. annabelmcquade says:

    Mm, fair enough, your story. It is still very good, just maybe not the way I would do it. 🙂

  5. ranaami81 says:

    Wow this kept me going till the last word! I aim to write stories this captivating on day.

  6. Kate Loveton says:

    Liked this, start to finish.

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