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There was a scream in the middle of night. A scream no one will hear. A woman in a long, suave gown staggered to the middle of the kitchen floor, holding a hand to her stomach. Blood was seeping from between her fingers. Her masked perpetrator came up from behind. The woman screamed again. She fell to the floor.

Her mind began to numb, and she was only slightly aware of the smell of iron and copper. She could barely hear her killer let them self out as her mind slipped into unconsciousness. Before she completely went blank, she thought,
No one can hear my cries. I'm going to die. I'm going to die. I'm going to-

~


"Looks like she was stabbed twice - once in the heart, once in the back." Detective Ortiz said, examining the crime scene. He was a short, stocky 48 yr. old man with grey hairs at the crown of his head and calluses on his fingers. Thick rimmed glasses rested on a straight nose, and his eyes looked like emeralds glittering in the sun. His gaze went over the body once more. The victim, seventeen year old Jane Calderon, was in the middle of the kitchen, surrounded by her own maroon secretions. She was a pretty girl, with shoulder length brown hair and piercing blue eyes. A handful of freckles dotted her pale skin. He noticed no windows or doors in the house had been broken, and he realized that the killer was someone the family knew, someone who possibly had a key to the property.

He knelt in front of the body, careful not to get the knees of his beige trousers stained, and peered at the back of Jane's head. He saw something strange there too, a wayward piece of hair clinging to the nape of her neck. Ortiz took out a pair of gloves, put them on, and carefully picked up the hair. He dropped it in a plastic baggie, looked around one more time, and left the premises.

Already exhausted, he stopped by a local diner and got a cup of fresh brewed. Ortiz sat at a booth and stared out the window until the clinking of two dishes got his attention. Beside his cup of coffee was a cream filled doughnut with chocolate icing. "I didn't order this." He said.

"I know." The waitress replied. "That lady ordered it for you." She pointed at a brunette sitting a few tables over. Dr. Ortiz recognized the girl. It was Eradesa.

Jane's sister.

He quickly paid, left, and went to the P.I quadrant.

After he sent the hair to DNA, he went to the corner's office to check the autopsy report. It had been a few hours since Jane's body was whisked away on a stretcher. He entered through the plexiglass doors into Eric Botox's office. The coroner was the opposite of Detective Ortiz, with shaggy blonde hair and milk chocolate eyes. The lad was about 30, and married with three children. He handed him the report without a word. Ortiz flipped through the pages, and an interesting picture caught his eye. It was an unusual mark, about where Jane was stabbed the second time. It looked like a capital H, with a leg and an arm removed, diagonal from each other. He looked at the coroner. "What is this?"

Eric looked up. "A knife mark."

Ortiz rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I know that. I meant, what type of knife made the mark?"

The coroner grunted. "Why you asking me? You're the detective."

The detective sighed and made a mental note to get his assistants to look up knives with special serrated blades. He sat the report down when a tiny redheaded boy burst into the room. "DNA test is back."

Ortiz nodded and followed the boy to the lab. While inside, he was given a picture and a mini biography of the match. Lucifer Gordon. An eighteen year old male who had a nasty break up with his ex, Jane Calderon. Apparently, Lucifer cheated on her with a girl named Hailey Winn. Ortiz shook his head, and thought, That might be a good motive for murder.

Lucifer was arrested at the market. He was holding a bag full of Flintstones vitamins when he was shoved in the Detective's back seat. "Hey, what's going on?"

Ortiz turned on the ignition. "You're arrested for the murder of Jane Calderon. We found your hair at the crime scene, resting on the victim's body. So it's obvious you did it."

Lucifer scoffed. "What? I didn't kill her! I used to love her, why would I do such a thing? You're insane, you know that? Totally, completely, irrationally insane!"

Ortiz chuckled. "Nice story kid."

"You wanna know a nice story? I was at the barbershop yesterday. You know how hair rests beneath the chair before the barber sweeps it up? That's where that hair probably came from. A lady in black came by and picked it up. The barber didn't even notice! I didn't know why, until now. I guess someone wanted to kill my ex." He shook his head, and added, "Probably my current girlfriend. She hates Jane's existence, probably because I was in love with Jane and not in love with her. Even though we've only been dating three days."

Ortiz stopped the car. "A lady? Do you know anything else of her appearance?"

"No, she was completely in black. Gloves, mask, everything."

As if on cue, Detective Ortiz's pager beeped. He checked it, then stepped on the gas. The car shot forward, and Ortiz made a u-turn to go back to the quadrant.

Once they were there, the redheaded boy shoved a document in his face. "Here you go sir!"

He scampered off.

The detective read through the document and said, "The knife used to stab Jane is a Verna Lynn Custom Knife. Only one was made and sold to a mister Jacob Smite. Do you know this man, Luci?"

Lucifer tensed. "It's Lucifer. Not Luci. Say that again and I'll kick you in the shin. And yes, I know that person. It's Jane's stepfather."

"So her stepfather killed her?"

"No, he's on a business trip. Left a couple days ago."

Ortiz frowned. He released his captive and sent him on his way. Chewing on his bottom lip, his mind drifted to Eradesa. When he saw her at the diner, she didn't seem sad, like you would expect seeing when your sibling just died. News travel fast in this small town. Ortiz had thought that she was still in shock. He knew from experience that you don't want to believe someone close to you is dead. It took Ortiz three weeks to get over his wife. He sat the document down and retreated to his office

~


Lucifer was walking alongside the road, on his way to his house, when he noticed Eradesa running past him. Her backpack was left open, and a small leather book fell out. He picked it up and called out to her, only to realize she was listening to music and couldn't hear him. Curiosity took the best of him, and he opened the diary. There was only one entry, written the day before Jane's death.

OMG, I can't believe that she did this to me.
She knew how much I loved Rebecca.
So what if it's unchristian to be a lesbian?
God didn't do anything for me, so why should I change for him?
Why would Jane, my own flesh and blood, tell the love of my
life that I wasn't allowed to see her anymore?
Does she even know the looks Rebecca gives me nowadays?
Pain. Regret. Curiousity. Hurt.
Jane, you did this to me! You took the one person that mattered
to me away. And now, you have to go away, so I can be with my
Rebecca once more. Goodbye Jane.
Go to Hell.
Okay, this isn't a bad story, but there are a few things that really strange.

A Homely Murder (short story) Critiques Welcomed!
"Looks like she was stabbed twice - once in the heart, once in the back." Detective Ortiz said, examining the crime scene.

Who's he talking too? Oritz is only at the crime scene for whole paragraphs, and you never mention him having a partner or anything.

A Homely Murder (short story) Critiques Welcomed!
"I know." The waitress replied. "That lady ordered it for you." She pointed at a brunette sitting a few tables over. Dr. Ortiz recognized the girl. It was Eradesa.

How does he know her? Does he know her because of the case? Or does he know her from before? Why does this scene exist? The detective never talks to her or anything, things just... end, really abruptly.

A Homely Murder (short story) Critiques Welcomed!
He quickly paid, left, and went to the P.I quadrant.

What's a P.I. quadrant? I've never heard that term before or anything. Maybe a little exposition is in order?

A Homely Murder (short story) Critiques Welcomed!
The coroner grunted. "Why you asking me? You're the detective."

Determining the murder weapon is usually the Coroner's job. Just saying.

A Homely Murder (short story) Critiques Welcomed!
Ortiz nodded and followed the boy to the lab. While inside, he was given a picture and a mini biography of the match. Lucifer Gordon.

His name is... Lucifer? That's a... really weird name for someone to have.

A Homely Murder (short story) Critiques Welcomed!
Lucifer was arrested at the market. He was holding a bag full of Flintstones vitamins when he was shoved in the Detective's back seat. "Hey, what's going on?"

Why is Lucifer carrying children's vitamins? And... did Ortiz ever get an arrest warrant or anything? And... shouldn't Lucifer be read his Miranda rights? I mean, Ortiz does plan on interrogating him, right?

A Homely Murder (short story) Critiques Welcomed!
"I guess someone wanted to kill my ex." He shook his head, and added, "Probably my current girlfriend. She hates Jane's existence, probably because I was in love with Jane and not in love with her. Even though we've only been dating three days."

So... Lucifer is already pointing fingers at his new girlfriend? Why would he assume that she wants to frame him for Jane's murder?

You're moving this plot along way to fast. Slow down, develop the characters, establish the tone and build the suspense.

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