Authors: Athena Dorsey
Murder on the Mountain
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Murder on the Mountain
Erica stood on the large wooden deck as she looked across the horizon watching the whitest snowflakes fall as she waited in anticipation for her family’s visit. “I am so excited and cannot wait to see my mother she hasn’t been here in almost a year.” Erica said to her boyfriend in anticipation. “With your busy job schedule I hope that you can find the time to spend with them because we all know that your mother hates me and it would just be awkward to have to wait around for you.” Paul said as he looked up and sighed. He was a muscular man with dark features and an arrogance that made him an unlikeable character.
The mountain resort was filled with people from all over the world with the wooden log cabins and the restaurant that housed a cosy fireplace and a lounge with dark leather couches an honesty bar and a conference area that also had a fireplace and a large table for big events.
“I am so happy that you have your family coming to stay you must be very excited.” Dean said, a young blonde man that worked closely with Erica on the slopes until she got her promotion which moved her into the hotel. “Yes of course I am and I have been counting the minutes.” Erica said with enthusiasm.
“Please ensure that the function room is ready for tomorrow night’s wedding and keep an eye on the decor because Phillip has been making errors all day long and I just cannot take watching him any longer.” Mrs Nyles, the owner said to Erica in a harsh tone whilst stomping away and throwing her the keys.
“She can be such a cow sometimes and I often wish that she would just never come in.” Erica said as she sighed and walked towards the function room. It was late at night and she began her routine locking up and counting the honesty bar stock. “If you like I could help you Erica.” Dean suggested whilst gazing into Erica’s eyes, always making her feel uncomfortable. “It’s alright thank you, you can go ahead and call it a night, and tomorrow is going to be a long day.” Erica replied.
The morning was bright but extremely cold and Paul sat drinking Sherry in the middle of the morning while he watched Erica setting the tables for the wedding. “You could help me you know.” Erica voiced to Paul. “I think I will leave it to the professional as I might just mess it up.” Paul noted as he took another sip of his Sherry.
Just as he finished his last sip he heard a loud shout from the door. “Oh my darling, I am so happy to see you, look at you, you look so thin, have you lost weight? Are you eating at all?” Mrs Branby, Erica’s mother shouted without taking a breath. “Mother it is so good to see you, you look well.” Erica replied as she and her mother exchanged a cold hug.
“I have a friend coming to join me for the weekend, a surprise for you my dear.” Mrs Branby whispered as she gestured her guest to come out from behind the door. “I cannot believe it, what a surprise, I never would have expected this, what are you doing here Monica?” Erica screamed as she ran towards her friend and squeezed tightly. “Well I went to visit your mother the other day and she seemed to think that it would be a good idea to come and say hello and take a break from my crazy workload. So here I am.” Monica said with a loud and confident tone.
“Good morning Mrs Branby.” Paul said as he was unsure whether to shake her hand or wave. “Hello Monica, so glad that you could join us.” Paul said sarcastically as he looked over and nodded.
“Yes and who knew that you would still be here.” Mrs Branby uttered as she looked Paul up and down.
“Let’s get you settled and then we can all catch up once I have done my rounds.” Erica said to break the ice as she signalled a porter to take the bags to the rooms.
Monica and Mrs Branby walked towards the cabin that they would be sharing for the weekend.
“What a lovely place and it is so breathtaking and cold.” Monica mentioned to Mrs Branby as she opened the door and led her in.
Later on that afternoon Monica noticed something strange. Paul seemed to be angrier than usual and he had Erica in a tight grip as he shouted out to her. “Leave me alone Paul, I have enough to worry about, just stay away from me today.” Erica shouted as she pulled her arm away and left. “You will be sorry Erica I am warning you!” Paul shouted aggressively.
Dean watched closely as Erica shuttled along with tears in her eyes and moved toward her. “Erica, are you alright? Is there anything that I can do?” Dean asked politely as Erica wiped her tears. “It’s alright thank you I am fine.” Erica said abruptly as if he were a nuisance.
The day moved on and Monica sat in the lounge reading a book that helped her relax. “I wonder what that was all about, I really don’t like Paul, don’t know what she sees in him.” Monica whispered under her breath. Mrs Branby joined her for a spot of tea and Dean came over to have a conversation that made the two feel uncomfortable. “Strange boy that is, he seems to follow Erica everywhere.” Mrs Branby whispered to Monica as she gawked at the blonde young man.
Paul reappeared for dinner and avoided sitting next to Mrs Branby and Monica, managing to nestle in between two tall girls that giggled all night long. “I wish that they would shut it now, those squeaks are giving me a headache.” Monica thought to herself. The room was full of people and Erica managed to sit down and eat some dinner. “So you are still doing forensics then Monica, do you enjoy that eerie work?” Erica said pulling a fearful face. “Yes I absolutely love it Erica and it is good to be able to solve a crime, although there have been times that it has taken longer than usual.” Monica said in dismay.
The evening managed to work out well and Mrs Branby retired to her room after one too many glasses of red. “I think I have had too many and will be calling it a night.” Mrs Branby said as she stumbled out of the room. “I will walk you out, just to make sure you get to the right room.” Monica laughed out as she ushered Mrs Branby.
“Shut up you stupid woman! Just shut up.” Paul shouted as Monica peered into the room to see Paul locking his hand around Erica. “I think that we should call it a night now it is getting late.” Monica said abruptly waiting for Paul to let go. “Yes I am leaving I have had enough.” Paul said violently as he stormed out the room.
“Erica I am not sure what this is all about but you really need think about this relationship because he is never going to change.” Monica said softly in a motherly voice. “I think that he is just under pressure with my mother being here and he doesn’t know how to handle it.” Erica said naively as she cleared the crystal glasses from the tables. “It is getting late now and you should get some sleep, let me do this for you.” Dean said appearing out of nowhere. “That is alright Dean I can manage on my own.” Erica said anxiously. “Well I am staying anyway.” Dean shouted as he began to clear the tables.
Monica stayed for a bit but the air seemed to make her sleepy. “I am going to go to bed now if you don’t mind; this air seems to be getting to me.” Monica whispered softly as she kissed he friend goodnight and walked to her cabin in the thick white snow.
The morning was fresh and bright but a loud scream woke everyone up and Monica quickly got dressed to go and investigate. “What on earth was that?” Mrs Branby said in a panic as she wrapped herself in the fluffy hotel gown, moving towards the door. Monica swiftly moved to where the screams were coming from and saw a pool of blood drifting in the white snow. “Oh no, no it cannot be!” Monica shouted out as she saw Erica lying face down in a pool of bright red blood that seemed to have iced up. “She is still wearing the clothes from last night and the ice seems to have frozen her blood, which means that she has been out here for a while now.” Monica thought to herself as she moved closer to investigate the scene.
“Move along people we need some space here.” Bill the detective said as he pushed away the crowds. “Monica nice to see you here pity about the circumstances.” Bill said with a nod and a slight sense of compassion.
“Have you seen her boyfriend Paul? He seems to have disappeared and we need to speak to him about his whereabouts last night.” Bill asked Monica as he bent over her friend’s cold body. “No I haven’t seen him since their argument last night.” Monica replied with an angry tone. “Oh really, so we do need to speak to him then.” Bill answered as he received a call from one of the police investigators telling him that Paul had been found. Bill excused himself from the scene to question Paul while Monica stood studying the crime. “This is strange, she is not wearing her diamond pendant and she never takes it off.” Monica noted as she looked around to find it.
“Erica was bludgeoned with a sharp instrument, a fire stoke it looks like. The shape is almost visible here in the snow, which means that she was murdered on the way to her cabin but I only see one set of footprints and the weapon is nowhere to be seen.” Monica thought to herself as she walked along the path towards her friend’s cabin.
Later on that afternoon, Bill gathered all the guests around and Paul stood firmly and seemed to be stricken with guilt. “You are under arrest for the murder of Erica Branby.” Bill said as he walked towards Paul with the hand cuffs. “It wasn’t me, yes we had an argument but I love her and I can’t imagine being without her here with me.” Paul cried as he shed real tears. “I am not completely convinced that is was Paul because he has always been this way and nothing would have changed his behaviour. I think we are looking for someone else, but who?” Monica questioned as she walked around the function room to look for some clues. “I am so sorry Mrs Branby, would you like a cup of tea?” Dean asked appearing out of nowhere. “That is strange, the fireplace is a little wet and there seems to be a footprint but how would a footprint get there unless it was a wet shoe. It looks like a snow boot.” Monica muttered to herself as she wondered around in her thoughts. “There you go Mrs Branby here is a cup of tea to calm you down.” Dean said in concern but brought attention to himself as Monica noticed something strange. “What is that on your snow boot, it looks like soot?” Monica asked in curiosity as she moved closer to Dean. “You are the murderer, your boot is covered in soot from the fireplace and the shoe size matches the footprint. You brought the weapon back inside didn’t you?” Monica said earnestly as she walked over to the fireplace. “What do we have here a speck of blood?” Monica mentioned as she turned to see Dean running away. Bill and the police chased him to the cabin where he has locked himself into. “Open this door now!” Bill shouted as he kicked the door open. “Oh my word, all these photos and look, Erica’s diamond pendant.” Monica swore out as she lifted the pendant and removed it from the overcrowded desk. “Why did you do it if you liked her so much?” Monica asked in awe and wonder. “I asked her to leave Paul and come with me but she pushed me away and told me that I was an annoying idiot. I ran after her to make sure that she would be alright and grabbed the stoker to protect her from Paul but as I ran towards her she ushered me away and I pushed the stoker into her by accident.” Dean screamed out in fear. “I think you did it on purpose, that is why you brought the stoker back to the fireplace but you were stupid enough to step in the soot. Take him away Bill.” Monica shouted abruptly as she warded him off like a fly.
Free Full Length Story
Dr. Greene and the Time Travel Machine
Dr. Greene swallowed hard. The machine had finally gone silent and that was supposed to be a good thing. But as far as he was concerned, it was his very first experiment and it goes without saying that anything could pretty much go awry. And if the latter would have been the case, then all years of working hard would have just gone down the toilet, something that he just couldn’t bear to witness.
And so without further ado, he edged a little bit closer to the time machine and placed his trembling hands against the door lurch which was still warm from the teleportation, and he clenched his teeth. Deep down, he just hopped that his experiment had become a success. And without wasting any more time, Dr. Greene pulled the door open.
The rat had disappeared!!! His experiment was a success!!!
-Dealing with rejection-
Dr. Greene didn’t understand why his fellow scientists were making a hell lot of fun of his project. As far as he was concerned, he knew that his theory, as well as project, were going to come to fruition sooner or later. And being the most brilliant of them all, Dr. Greene decided that maybe sharing some of his discoveries wasn’t that much of a brilliant idea.
If anything, the only thing that would seem to work out at the end of the day would have been just to kick back and make sure that he never talked about his project to anyone.
“Come on Greene, I understand, you are the most brilliant scientist of us all. But I don’t think you are using your brilliance in a way that we all thought you would. Teleportation? Come on man. That’s just absurd.”
“Absurd? You think?” Dr. Greene started
But after thinking about it for a minute, Dr. Greene decided not to engage his sponsor since it might have ended up in something that he wouldn’t have come back from it. It was plausible that he needed the billionaire’s funding and despite the fact that it was a little difficult to cope with the man, sometimes the best thing would just be to kick back and make sure that he was doing everything accordingly and try to avoid having a confrontation with his boss.
“I was just giving out brilliant ideas. You understand jolly too well that invention is the mother of all invention right?”
Richardson smiled. He knew that his long time friend and scientist was right. But at that point, it was more of a dream to start thinking about something that would waste years as well as plenty of funds before it ever came to fruition. And that said, he just had to give Dr. Greene the plain truth, something that he knew he wouldn’t like but either way, it was necessary.
“Look, I understand that you are brilliant. And to be honest, my organization wouldn’t have gotten this far and also profited the way it has were it not for your brilliant input. But come on brother! Time traveling? That is anatomically impossible. Look, just focus on something that will bring both of us some quick money. And once you have figured that time travel thing and you are sure, then we can focus on it. Is that ok with you?”
Dr. Greene didn’t want to argue with his boss. And so he was left with no other choice but to agree with him. But deep down, Dr. Green knew that he was on to something. And that said, he was going to continue doing his research even without the financial support of Richardson, the billionaire behind hi-tech companies.
And Dr. Greene made a solemn vow to himself that he was most definitely not going to share the fruits of his hard work with anyone once everything was all sorted out.
And it was at that moment that Dr. Greene sat in his office which was situated at the fag end of the laboratory and wondered about a couple of things in his life. First and foremost, he never quite understood the reason as to why he always worked his ass off and came up with inventions that end up benefiting Richardson.
And now that he was on the brink of solving a scientific mystery that would not only change his life but also the life of his boss, they all started doubting him.
Dr. Greene then decided that he was going to pursue his dream. And as soon as he had gotten to the bottom of it all, then he was going to make sure that Richardson was never going to benefit from this one.
At first, Dr. Greene froze at the thought of crossing Richardson since he had a reputation that preceded him by a long shot. And even though he always looked like he was a caring and incredible man, one thing about him just couldn’t escape the fact that his enemies always found themselves in dumpsters or floating on rivers. But even though it was clear that Richardson was responsible, he made it clear that no evidence always led back to him.
And most of the scientists only discovered that he was a dangerous man when they had already signed the contract and that meant that he owned them. But Richardson always had a soft spot for Dr. Greene since he not only brought him a fortune but he also made sure that he had some cool personal enhancements on his toys including guns, cars and what have you. But still, that didn’t mean that Richardson wouldn’t harm him if at all he crossed him.
But that said, it seemed as though it had all reached a point where they were left with no other choice but to make sure that they were in a position to follow their dreams. And if Richardson didn’t want the time machine project to go on, well that was his bloody problem, and loss as well.
The briefing had been done on a Friday, and once it was over and done with, the next thing that was left was to ensure that Dr. Greene was in a position to get out there and have a few drinks. He was many things, but a good loser wasn’t one of them. And that was just the result of being the most brilliant scientist in the firm whereby other scientists didn’t understand something; they would only rush to him for advice.
And now getting to see all of these scientists laugh at him behind his back for being way too ambitious was something that Dr. Greene was never going just to sit there and condone. If anything, the only other thing that he would be in a position to do at the time would have been just to sit there and make sure that he was getting virtually every single thing done before he could get to doing anything else.
Dr. Greene was never that huge on drinking. But either way, he felt that he needed to have a couple of drinks so that he could get to clear the stress. And apart from doing just that, he also figured that it would be a good idea to just start thinking from scratch hoping that something fresh would pop up into his head.
Quantum physics was never easy. And that said, he knew that he was going to have to work extra hard just to see to it that everything had been sorted out without a doubt.
To that point, teleportation, as well as time travel, was still something that could be considered imaginary. But not less than a hundred years ago, people flying all over the world or getting to use telephones was something that was considered impossible. But now, everyone has a cell phone. And that said, Dr. Greene always knew that he was always going to be on top of his game and eventually, make sure that everything was working out in his favor in the end.
“Here is your bottle doctor. You look like shit by the way.” Tori the cute bartender enthused with a smile on her face.
“Because I feel like shit. You can’t imagine the kind of embarrassment that I have been through by my own people.”
“Is that why I haven’t seen you here in a while? We miss you. All we get are stupid drunks trying to take the rest of us down with them. But you, I think you are different. The way you come in here and treat everyone with respect. That’s cute.”
“Thank you, Tori.” Dr. Greene replied with a smile on his face.
But Tori had seen plenty of people and had helped talk to many of them as a bartender. And at that moment, she could tell that Dr. Greene was most definitely struggling with something and that he really wanted to know all about.
“So, what happened in those labs of yours? Did you find the cure for AIDS and someone took credit?”
“I wish. But no. I came up with a theory about, well, never mind.”
Dr. Greene almost came clean about his time travel theory but zipped up almost immediately, realizing just how absurd the whole thing would sound to a layman if people with PhDs in quantum physics couldn’t understand a damn thing that he was talking about. But from the look of things, it did seem as though Tori was trying her level best to get to the bottom of everything without any problems at all.
“Hey, I know I might never understand half the jargon you spew, but you know I believe you. So if you want to do something that has never been done before, then know that people will most definitely laugh at you for sure. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing what you. Because you know what? These are the same people who will be cheering you on and telling people how they knew you. So, did you discover the cure for AIDS, or cancer?”
Dr. Greene shook his head and smiled a little.
“Ah, at least I made you smile. Now, you think about what I have just told you. And if you need someone to talk to, then you know the right place you can find me. I am here for you and don’t you ever forget that. Is that ok with you?”
“For sure.” Dr. Greene replied.
Dr. Greene had never seen Tori as someone that he would ever end up with in future. But judging by the way things were starting to look up, it seemed as though she was the only woman or person for that matter, who always made sure that he was alright. Despite helping out many scientists and also wowing everyone with his brilliant designs, it just seemed as though no one cared about him beyond being the brilliant scientist that he was. And that, needless to say, was very sad indeed.
But Dr. Greene didn’t have time to waste thinking about irrelevant feelings. He had a very important project to finish and disapprove anyone. And if it was going to go his own way, then it was most definitely going to be one scientific mystery solved that would make his name immortal.