Shadowy Corners

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grimdark Fiction: Between Rock and Hard Place-Chapter 8

By the time the police officers finally left, Dylan was mentally exhausted. Forcing himself to remain outwardly calm had meant constantly pushing to the back of his mind, unbidden flashbacks of Rosa crashing through his coffee table. One minute, she was full of passion and the next Dylan was watching the life drain out of her impaled body. He still couldn’t wrap his head around it. Having two cops in his face all night hadn’t helped. Dylan was pretty sure Officer Davies was cool with him.

But, the way Officer Hightower had kept looking at him spelled trouble. Dylan was usually adept at charming women. Young and old alike, they almost immediately fell under his spell. Of course, there were always the rare exceptions: ones who took an immediate and unshakable dislike to him. Dylan could not figure out what it was about him that seemed to irk Hightower. What exactly had Rhonda said, when she called the police department? He had no intention of waiting around to find out. Dylan couldn’t shake the feeling that if they took him to the precinct for questioning, then Hightower would never let him leave. He needed to hit the road, before she came back.

Dylan felt an increasingly strong urge to flee. Instead, he continued to stand at the window staring down at the street below. He wanted to make doubly sure those cops weren’t coming right back. Paranoia had him imagining that leaving had just been a ruse to get him to let down his guard. If that was true, then he really should leave now…or would that make him look guilty? Indecision kept him riveted to the same spot. Would it be better to stay and brazen it out for a while? Taking off right after the cops had searched his place would definitely make him look guilty.

Maybe it would be better to bide his time and leave in a day or two, like he was going on a planned vacation or something. Then he could plan out where he was going and what he needed to take with him. Chances were that he wouldn’t be coming back. Where the hell should he go? Would it be better to call his grandmother or just disappear?

What about Rosa? Should he move the body? How could he do that with Rhonda spying on him? Dylan had no doubt that she would almost certainly tell anyone in the building, who hadn’t seen it themselves, about the cops showing up at his door. They would all be watching him closely, by the time she got done telling and retelling them in exaggerated detail what she had seen and heard. Besides, Dylan had watched enough cop shows to know that if he put the body in his car, then it might leave forensic evidence in his trunk. If Hightower ever searched his car, she would go over it with a fine-toothed comb and find blood or a strand of Rosa’s hair or something.

Distracted with these troubling thoughts, Dylan did not notice his gaze being slowly and irresistibly upwards to the full face of the moon. It gradually dawned on him that he had previously never really looked at it for any length of time. Had it always glowed so brightly? It was hurting his eyes, but he couldn’t look away. Transfixed, Dylan’s thoughts trailed off. He tried and failed to recall what he had been thinking about. His mind had gone blank, all thought pushed out by a rising sense of excitement…or was it fear? Dylan’s right hand moved up to his chest. His heart was racing. He managed to close his bleary eyes against the glare of moonlight. What was happening to him? Dylan was staggered by a sudden wave of dizziness and then overcome by a wave of lassitude. His knees buckled and he collapsed, in a swoon.

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