Weeping Willows: A Thrilling Mystery Novella (Dark Desires Book 1), p.1S.B. Rose / Thrillers & Crime
Written by S.B.Rose
Copyright © S.B.Rose
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be circulated in writing of any publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published without a similar condition including this condition, being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
This book has been produced for the Amazon Kindle and is distributed by Amazon Direct Publishing
- CHAPTER 1 -
Bright scorching sun glinted on the shiny metal of the red buses lining the busy street corner. A man bent over a metal bucket and ran his fingers through the soapy sudsy water making ripples to speed up the process. He dipped his rag into the bucket, soaking it as he washed the grime off the exterior of the bus. He sang a song in a language that the little girl standing in the corner did not understand but she listened, mesmerized by the tune. Oblivious of being watched he happily continued his task.
The girl looked away guiltily remembering what mum and dad had said, “It’s rude to stare at people, Suzie!” were the words that echoed in her head. She looked into the shop where her parents were busy paying for their purchases. A sudden feeling of dread was settling in the pit of her stomach. Their shopping trip was coming to an end and it would be time to head home. She hated being at home - it felt so cooped up. They lived in an apartment in the city, not in the very best part of town but it was all that they could afford for now. Mum stepped out of the shop and held Suzie's hand as she steered her towards the entrance of their apartment building, whilst dad trudged behind with all the shopping bags.
Suzie could never explain why the foyer of their building petrified her. The shabby dark brown carpet smelt musty, a strong smell of cheap detergent could never disguise the cold dank stale cigarette smell that permeated the air. It was pitch black and the long flight of stairs to their flat on the 2nd floor felt like a huge mission. The lifts were permanently out of order. The darkness was so eerie that it felt like little fingers were clenching her chest, squeezing tightly making her feel breathless. Just as she felt dizzy they reached the landing to Suzie's relief.
Long corridors with floors coated with thick lavender smelling polish, a soothing scent met them at Flat 22. A simple agreement with all the tenants to maintain their corridors. Fresh, spicy aromas of mouthwatering cooking wafted through as Suzie and her parents entered their door.
This was home.
They settled in for the day, had lunch that mum had prepared before they had left for shopping. It was a deliciously divine mutton stew with veggies. Mum was an amazing cook.
A soft knock at the front door sent mum to answer. It was probably Aunt Ivette from next door. Suzie brushed the thick fringe of her silky black hair off her forehead and stared at the tall woman in the doorway. She was one of the most beautiful creatures she had ever seen. A very tall blonde haired woman with flawless milky skin, a soft pink lipstick on her shapely lips dressed in a white wispy chiffon flowing dress. She had always looked like she had just stepped out of a movie.
“Hello Judy, just came to bring Suzie a chocolate bar that Jimmy bought for her.” she said in that soft husky (warm) voice as she held out the chocolate bar to Suzie gently. Even at such a young tender age, Suzie knew that Aunt Ivette loved children.
Grandma May always said that children had a natural sense of what people were really like. Suzie thought about that, she argued that grandma was probably right, there was warmth and kindness emanating from the lovely woman. She reached out and took the chocolate bar smiling a thank you at Aunt Ivette.
Suddenly, the loud clanging of crashing metal in the courtyard reverberated through the building. The noise was deafening! Suzie remembered that Aunt Ivette, Mum and Dad exchanged knowing looks that only adults knew how to do.
“Ugh! It's probably the hooligans in the courtyard.” said Dad. Suzie followed her parents and Aunt Ivette into the corridor, it always amazed her how all the tenants would stand with their arms on the wall, nervously watching, on the tips of her toes peeking at the frightening brawl occurring in the courtyard in spite of Dad warning her to stay indoors. It was a frighteningly strange fascination watching bottles being broken on the heads of people, as rivulets of blood oozed down their faces.
The sound of Adele’s melodious voice singing “there’s a fire burning in my heart. . .” brought Suzie out of her memory as her cellphone ringtone played. She jumped up and quickly answered but was a second too late as the caller rang off. She sat up awkwardly wondering what had brought back the childhood memory. She felt extremely disorientated that her mind had crept so far back into the past. As she stretched her long legs clad in a tight fitting skinny jeans and pulled the denim jacket tightly around her in an unconsciously protective gesture, she realized while sitting on the bank of the duck pond, that Melissa was extremely late. They were never going to make it for their English lecture on time. Melly was Suzie’s best pal for year’s right back to the time after her parents had moved out of that dreadful flat in the city and into the stunning suburb where the two girls had befriended each other on their first day at school, promising to be best friends forever!
Suzie’s life had changed drastically from that momentous time. She had a beautiful secure childhood in an amazingly safe neighborhood, had gone through middle and secondary school happily. She and Melly had both decided that they were going to major in English, both looking towards careers in Education. Life, right now was just awesome.
She reached again for her phone, dusted the grass off of her jeans as she stood up and looked at the caller number.
It had been Melly.
Suzie dialed back wondering why Melly wasn’t answering and left a message, “Melly, for god sake, where are you? We’ve missed our lecture. Call me!” she rang off.
Picking up the books that she’d left on the bank with her bag, Suzie began walking towards the university gates, students were chatting and laughing with each as she walked on, a very lively atmosphere. She walked towards the shiny red golf that her parents had gifted her for her birthday, pulled out her keys, deactivated the alarm and jumped in. looking into her rear-view mirror, she wiped her smudged pink lipstick and brushed back her sleek black hair over one ear as she scrutinized her appearance, she turned out okay looking she thought with huge almond eyes, fringed by thick black lashes, a slightly delicate nose with a mouth a tad too small, but nevertheless okay.
She'd always complained that she was very average looking and Melly would argue that it was untrue as there was always a line of boys vying for Suzie's attention. Melly was a bright bubbly vivacious girl with emerald green eyes that always shone with mischief and a friendly smile that earned her great popularity. The only thing that made them truly differ was that Melly would jump crazily from relationship to relationship while Suzie would stubbornly refuse to be involved with guy's claiming her studies were “top priority”.
They would torment and tease each other mercilessly as Melly would playfully call Suzie “too picky” and judgmental, as she would argue that she had no trouble waiting for “Mr. Right”. Thus banter would go on regularly as it did in their teens.
Secretly, Suzie would agree to herself that Melly was right. She was too serious and didn't want to get hurt. The few relationships she had attempted just hadn't felt right so she'd abandoned the whole dating thing besides Suzie was too busy consoling Melly through her disastrous relationships. Melly was a sweetheart but in all honesty she could sometimes be too free spirited and a commitment-phobe. Deep down Suzie knew that Melissa was really a harmless soul, leaving a stream of broken hearts behind as she ended on relationship after the other.
She glanced at her phone on the passenger seat, still no message from Melly. She placed the key in the ignition and started up the engine, heading for home. This was so unlike Melly, but something had probably come up and she knew that she'd hear all about it soon enough.
The weather had turned nastily dreadful. Dark black clouds loomed overhead as Suzie headed to the outskirts of London to the little town of Rosewood Creek, where she and Melly had rented the little cottage. It wasn't too far out from the University, traveling the short distance was the added bonus to living in such a picturesque environment. Both their parents helped by their generous allowances to the girls. Life couldn't be better. Looking out at the stretch of country road with the sweeping willows swaying in the gusty wind and the smell of the fresh pine needles hinting at a downpour Suzie realized that she