Writers Read Itty Bitty Murder Mystery Winners
Thanks to our judges, Kate Harding and Dan McClenaghan.
First place: Dying to Be Thin by Linda Wapner
Gladys Gainer was meeting Dr. Wiener at Cafe Roma. They met through ChubbyChaserChasers.com. He convinced her to get the desperately needed weight loss surgery.
Detective Wapner read the coroner's report: Third body found near the Santa Monica pier. Another middle-aged, obese female. Stomach contents: calamari, lasagna, tiramisu and Chianti with a cyanide chaser.
Gladys brought the $30,000 down payment to Cafe Roma. Now on her second date with Dr. Wiener, he insisted on ordering for her. They had calamari, lasagna, tiramisu and Chianti.
Gladys and Dr. Wiener went for a walk after dinner on the Santa Monica pier.
Second: By the Lake by Francine Schwartz
By the lake. On her back. So still now. Naked.
He was wild about her. “Loved her to death,” they said.
He’d seen them—drinking and dancing in the cabin. And he heard her tell Drake, “I’m pregnant.” And he heard Drake say, “Darla, honey, why’d you go and do that?” And she ran toward the lake, crying. And Drake tore off after her and they made love—bodies on fire in the moonlight.
And he covered her neck with his hands and pressed. A gasp, then silence. And, stumbling, Drake disappeared in the shadows.
Third: You’re Not Getting a Divorce by Sara La Russa
It was 1 a.m., and I was in bed. I heard my father open and close the front door. He was home from his late-night drinking. I heard his footsteps wander about the house and finally stop at my bedroom.
He opened the door and whispered, “Mia, where is your mother?”
I pretended to be asleep.
He closed the door, and a chill went up my spine. Just two hours earlier, I’d run into the woods and thrown a knife into my mother’s beating heart.
I smiled to myself. My parents were separated, but I had successfully prevented their divorce.
Other noteworthy submissionsUntitled By Kitiov Notna
The rock perimeter made bath time a satisfyingly masochistic ritual, he thought.
She did not. So in went the plugged-in, turned-on "High heat" hair dryer to join him.
“Adieu, Mr. President, adieu my love!” was all that was left for her to say, standing, hurting.
Finally, no more of it.
Untitled by Susie Deslauriers
Mottled, her swollen face was a mask. Leaves covering her body nearly caused him to stumble. Missing hands.
“Shit,” muttered Ben, the CSI for Riverton Police Department.
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“Angie, it’s Ben. I’m hiking Window trailhead. Found a body, female. Send everyone.”
Photographing the bloody wrist stumps, gasping, he crumbled. It was her forearm tattoo. "Heather," he whispered. "Please, God, no."
Evil eyes watching. "Now you, asshole," Max hissed, lifting the sword, beheading Ben.
Hanging up with dispatch, Max, the lead homicide detective sneered. "You were warned Ben. Divorced or not, Heather’s mine."
Photo credit: Bathtub image provided by the author