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The Murder Stage - FREE Fiction

Updated: Mar 13

Brought to you in part by Cold Case Corpse

Alex Cole - part private investigator, part mercenary - no job too violent, no fee too big, no moral unbendable. Paranormal and interdimensional work accepted. Deities slain. Reasonable rates.

The Murder Stage

Kristopher Rufty

The text message told Garret the club was on Eleventh Street, but all he saw were rundown buildings and shops that went out of business at the dawn of time. Nobody was wandering about, no line of customers to be let in anywhere.

He stared at the weathered building, frowning. Plywood covered the large windows in the front. There was no sign or any lights to indicate this was an operational establishment.

What the hell?

This had been a waste of time. He should have known better than to try a dating app.

Footsteps clapped on the sidewalk. He turned and nearly gasped when he saw the woman walking toward him. The dress fluttered around her thighs and left a lot of leg bare. Even in the meager light from the streetlamps, they seemed to gleam.

She saw him standing there and paused. “Are you Garret Stone?”

“Yeah. Are you…?”

“Jill Saunders.”

The woman stepped closer, coming out of the shadows and into the carroty light. The rest of her was just as amazing as her legs. Her hair had been perfectly styled and hung to her shoulders in sleek layers. She filled the small dress as if the fabric was a thin shell over her skin. He could see the tops of her breasts and the tight valley between them. He quickly looked away.

Somehow, she looked even better than the pictures online. And younger. This woman had to be in her early twenties. “Nice to finally meet you,” he said.

“Likewise. It’s always good to learn the person you’ve been talking to is real.”

He laughed. “True. But I think this club you wanted to meet at isn’t here anymore.”

“It’s a lounge. Not a club.”


“But no, this is it. I told you it’s private.”

“Looks closed down.”

“That’s the point. Privacy.”

“We’ll have it here, for sure.” He was nervous. He kept his hands closed because they wouldn’t stop shaking. This was the first date he’d been on in two years.

“I’m glad you could come out tonight,” she said. “I know it’s late and you have to work tomorrow.”

“It’s fine. I work from home on Fridays, so I can nap between work orders.”

“Ah. The life of Network Security.”

“That’s right. It is as exciting as it seems.”

She laughed. It was husky, with a hint of a squeak to it. He liked it.

The door behind him opened with a rusted groan that sounded like a scream. The sudden noise caused Jill to step back in alarm.

Garret turned around and saw a large man filling the space between the doorframe. His head looked like a small box placed on wide shoulders. There was no indication a neck was there to support it. “Names,” he said.

“We have a reservation,” Jill said.

His mouth opened into something that was probably meant to be a hospitable smile. It looked more like he might have accidentally shit his pants and was trying to play it off. “Come on in.”

“Well,” said Garret. “I guess it’s a legit place after all.”

“Told you.”

Garret took a step toward the man and felt Jill’s arm sliding around his. She squeezed it tight. Her body rubbed against him as they walked to the door.