FICTION STORY – CREATED BY AUTHOR
CHAPTER – EXCERPT
Suddenly, they heard a weird sound coming from the direction of the chapel—it startled them. It sounded like a loud thump or a muffled bang, a sound Burton didn’t recognize. But he immediately felt goose bumps rising on his skin—something was really wrong. He darted across the paved walkway in the direction of the chapel. Mike and Danny followed. As Burton approached the chapel, he saw something on the pavement
by the maintenance stairs that ran up the side of the building, but couldn’t make it out. Going closer, he feared the worst. Someone was lying at the foot of the building.
“SHIT! It’s that woman . . . the one we were watching,” he screamed. “She’s on the ground.
FUCK! What’s going on?” he panted, out of breath. “I don’t believe this . . .!”
He looked up to the roof of the chapel and put his arms out, to stop Mike and Danny from going any closer. It was obvious what had happened. Terror gripped him, and his mouth suddenly went dry. As they came to a standstill, Burton turned and looked into the faces of his buddies. He could feel their fear and knew instinctively what was running through their minds. She had jumped. From where they were standing, they could see the
woman sprawled on the pavement, and she looked terrible. Burton felt numb. Her body was twisted, and she wasn’t moving. He felt a tug on his T-shirt. It was Danny.
“Let’s go, Burt. I’m scared.”
“Fuck, let’s get out of here!” yelled Mike.
They were petrified, sensing the seriousness of the situation, and not wanting to move any closer, knowing that she was dead.
“C’mon, let’s go. Let’s get out of here!” Burton managed to yell in a voice that he hardly recognized.
They ran full speed back to Danny’s house. Just as they got close, Danny started screaming, “Mom! Mom! Call the police! Quick!”
Danny was hysterical. Burton was trembling, and Mike looked like he’d seen a ghost.
Mrs. Salvatore nervously met them at the door, wanting to know what all the commotion was about. Burton quickly filled her in, and she immediately went inside to call the police. Within minutes, they heard sirens blaring as police cars, an ambulance, and fire engines screamed past the house, headed for the chapel.
The boys kept demanding that Mrs. Salvatore answer impossible questions:
“Do you think she jumped or fell, Mom?” Danny asked.
“Mrs. Sal, we should have gone over to her . . . shouldn’t we?” Mike was panicked.
“I thought I knew her . . . why didn’t I call out to her?” Burton was horrified.
Regina, too, was shocked and very afraid. They all wanted to find out more. After a few minutes, she couldn’t stand it any longer and announced, “C’mon boys, we’re going down to the chapel!” Regina grabbed her sweater and house keys and held the door open for the boys.
Walking down the street toward the chapel, Regina put her arm around Danny; he was shaking. She placed her other arm through Mike’s; his hands were planted firmly in his pockets, and he wasn’t saying a word. Burton walked ahead by himself. His mind was racing as he remembered the woman trying to open the doors.
I knew her . . . I did . . . Why? Why’d she do that?
When they reached the campus grounds, they saw flashing strobe lights all around the chapel and heard the sound of radio speakers stuttering back and forth as firemen talked to police and EMT workers. They hesitated; police were everywhere. The scene looked like it was straight out of a horror movie.
As they moved closer, a burly policeman restrained them, Regina quickly identified herself and the boys. The officer told them his name was Sergeant Murphy and asked if she was the woman who had called; he then proceeded to ask questions. The boys quickly told him what they had seen. It wasn’t long before they were interrupted by the gruff voice of another policeman, Sergeant Murphy’s partner, Dave, who was bent over
the woman’s body
“Hey, Murph,” Dave called, “I need you to come over here,” he said, looking up and slowly turning his head from side to side, indicating to the sergeant that the woman was dead. Dave pointed to the maintenance ladder that ran up the side of the building to the chapel roof. “It looks like this was a suicide,” Dave stated, looking troubled.
Another policeman, named Chuck, found a pair of sunglasses on the ground near the body. A few feet away, he stooped to pick something up. “There’s a set of car keys here,” Chuck called, turning over the plastic tag. “Looks like they belong to a rental car,” he added. “The car is a white Toyota Corolla, registration number JKO-Four-Seven-Five. It’s from Budget Car Rental.” He walked over to show the sergeant what he had in his hand.
“Okay, Chuck,” the sergeant answered, taking the keys from him, “maybe you’d better go take a look in the parking lot and see if you can find the car belonging to them.
Here, take them!” he impatiently added, tossing him the keys.
Chuck grabbed the keys and quickly headed off. Then one of the firemen yelled, “I’ve got a watchband here . . . and over there,” he pointed to the left side of the body, “is the face of a watch.”
Burton moved closer. It was a gruesome sight. The woman’s ankle and leg were broken, and her bones were sticking right out of the skin. Two of the ambulance crewmembers turned the body over, and as they did, Burton caught sight of her black- and-blue arms and broken wrists. He suddenly felt sick. Flashbulbs were going off everywhere as the police took pictures of the scene.
Oh my God, she jumped. Burton began to panic. I should’ve gone over. Why didn’t I do something? Maybe I could have stopped her? Why the fuck did she go and do this? I knew something was wrong.
He rushed to the garden and threw up. As he spewed his guts, he could hear Danny breathing really hard—wheezing with the onset of an asthma attack. Mike was in shock, looking like he was about to faint. Mike staggered over, to be with Regina and Danny.
Murphy motioned for her to send the boys away. As he came over to them, he requested Regina’s telephone number.
“For God’s sake!” Sergeant Murphy screamed back to his men, “Bring a blanket and cover this body while I get these people out of here. NOW!” he yelled. Murphy’s face was red with swollen veins protruding from his neck…