Murder in Color’s main antagonist is a serial killer who has committed a number of murders before the book even opens. This is a bit of a short story/scene about the discovery of the very first victim told from the perspective of a non-character. It doesn’t give a single thing away, so no worries :)
Murder in Color is a gay romance/fantasy/mystery novel (~100k words) coming out Feb 21st, 2017.
“Whispers I couldn’t make out murmured off his lips, like not-quite-silent prayers to the desert rose. Or to me.”
First Victim Falls
Copyright © Emmi Lawrence
That blazing graffiti seemed to mock Mikail as he hurried up to the back door of his restaurant. The black stood in heavy contrast to the beige of the stone walls, the interconnected marks only taking up the width of a woman’s arm and about the same length, yet they somehow drew the eye. Like a stain would.
Mikail licked a finger and rubbed at the edge of the paint, but it stubbornly resisted his feeble attempt to remove it. With a muttered, “I thought I told the closers to take care of this mess,” he pulled free his key and unlocked the back door.
Inside, the kitchen was dark, every window covered tightly. Shadows bounced as Mikail let the door swing as he moved to turn the closest lightstones over in their pocket. Last night’s food trough had been cleaned out to feed local goats and dry rags remained hung above an empty sink. Mikail gave the area a cursory once over to be sure it’d been cleaned properly, then stepped around the partition and into the open kitchen that still smelled heavily of cooked peppers and spice rub.
There he paused when he saw a man sprawled across the floor, the man’s face obscured by his own waterskin. Mikail sighed. “Chava, I told you, you can’t crash here.” Mikail nudged Chava with his foot, then stepped over the man’s extended legs. “I don’t care what’s going on this time, my kitchen isn’t the place…to…”
Mikail slowly crouched by Chava’s lax face and lifted the edge of the waterskin carefully. Shadows couldn’t hide the darkening of Chava’s skin or the bloodshot eyes staring blankly at the lower cabinets. Mikail swallowed hot bile and fumbled away, dropping the edge of the waterskin. The skin slipped off Chava’s face and dragged through his hair. There it sat rocking slightly on its fat bottom, its cord shuddering at the motion and drawing Mikail’s gaze to the grip it held across Chava’s throat. Continue reading