How to Frame a Murder

Veronica gave the musky, unlit office a final inspection and pulled on her leather bomber jacket.  She shook her head, allowing ringlets of fire-red hair to cascade around her shoulders.  The boss had checked out hours ago.  She was sure he’d checked straight into the corner stool at McFlanagan’s down the street.

She’d planted everything she needed him to find in the morning.  Or at lunch, depending on just how tanked he got tonight.  The seven messages from the deputy police chief, needing help finding a missing Mrs Carla Cox.  The newspaper article jutted out of the dossier folder, revealing the headline, “Bayville Coach Cox Resigns, Accepts Position as Head Coach at State”.  The phone book was open the the State College directory.  Sam just had to put it together.

She heard the creaking of wood outside the office door and turned to see who was there.  A tall silhouette with an upturned collar and hat appeared on the other side of the the frosted glass.  The door knob turned, and a rugged male specimen stepped through the door frame.  Veronica’s insides began to flutter.

“Eddy,” she said huskily. “I thought we agreed you would never meet me here.”

Eddy removed his hat. He was tall, dark and made Veronica feel all the right things in all the right places. He crossed over to her in three steps, hovering an inch from her voluptuous curves. The back of her thighs pressed into the desk and she tried to suppress her arousal as the heat pulsed between their bodies.

Without preamble, her drew her into him and kissed her fiercely.Cupping both sides of her face in his hands, Eddy drew back to examine her. “Are you all alright?” He demanded. “You never called from the pay phone.”

“It got complicated.  I had to ditch Al. I couldn’t get to the phone and I had to be back here by three.”

“Ditch Al? Why’d you ditch Al?”

Veronica wriggled away from Eddy and walked to the mantel across the room. She took a cigarette and lighter from her purse.  Deliberately, she lit the cigarette and perched herself in a chair. Veronica took a long drag and stared at Eddy’s eyes through tendrils of smoke.

“I warned you,” she replied. “Never send a man to do a woman’s job.” Eddy raised his eyebrows, but Veronica’s gaze never faltered. “Al was too rough,” she continued, standing and sauntering back over to Eddy. “A kidnapping goes much easier when the victim doesn’t realize they are being kidnapped.”

“And did this victim realize she was being kidnapped?” Eddy asked, as she reached across the desk to put the cigarette in the ashtray, pressing her body into his.

A smile danced on Veronica’s lips, causing her eyes to sparkle.  “Not until she heard me lock the deadbolt on the basement door.”

Eddy’s hands began an earnest investigation as he nuzzled his face in her neck.  “Good girl.”

___________________

Three hours later, Veronica was unlocking the door of her townhouse.  She bolted all four locks and leaned against the door, listening.  Silence.  Silvery moonlight drifted through the windows and her gray cat padded out of the kitchen towards the sofa.  Veronica followed the cat with her eyes, until it jumped on the cedar chest that backed up to the love seat.  Pawing the lid of the chest, the cat looked at Veronica and meowed.

Veronica sighed as she started shrugging off her bags and jacket. “What was I supposed to do?” She addressed the cat. “Eddy promised me we wouldn’t kill her.”

Veronica had told Eddy the truth about Al being too rough and had to be ditched.  But, that was just half the story.  She stared at her cat as she replayed the events that led to Al’s lifeless body being stuffed in her cedar chest…

Earlier that day, Veronica and Carla had come through that very same front door, cackling with laughter. 

“Did you see the look on that man’s face when the clown jumped out from behind the curtain?”

“It was priceless!”

“Oh, Vee, I’m so glad you convinced me to come out today! With David’s new job, and planning the move, I haven’t relaxed in weeks! Would you mind if I used your powder room to freshen up?”

“Of course! Right through that hallway.”

Carla had gone down the hall, and before Veronica knew it, Al seemed to appear out of nowhere.

“What’s the hold up, doll? We gonna do this thing or what?”

Veronica had hissed, “What are you doing? You’re back up! I’ve got this handled!”

“Oh really? The way I see it, you’re stalling and I should just kill this broad and been done with it.” Al sneered.

“Eddy promised she wouldn’t die!”

“Are you that stupid? You must be a good lay for Eddy to be playing this game. Screw it.” Al pulled a knife out of the back of his pants, and turned to walk down toward the powder room.

“No!” In a panic, Veronica ran to the glass display case and grabbed a 3rd place trophy from the middle shelf. She leapt at Al and drove the trophy into his skull as hard as she could.  Carla had appeared in the threshold just in time to see him sink to the ground. Veronica thought fast.

“Quick,” Veronica shouted. “There are burglars in the house! I have a safe room in the basement!”

She rushed Carla downstairs and motioned her in the room.  As Carla went in, Veronica shut the door behind her and slid open the talking pane. “I’ll be right back, I have to call the police.”

“Wait, Vee! Shouldn’t I lock it from this side? Why are you locking me-“

Veronica shut and locked the talking pane as well, before turning back up stairs to deal with Al.  He was going to be really pissed off…

She reached the first floor and looked at the spot where Al had been laying.  No one. “Ah, shit…”

As she turned towards the kitchen, she saw him rushing her.

“You stupid bitch!” He shoved her to the ground and pounced on top of her, closing his thick fingers around her neck.  “I’ll kill you for that.”

She gasped and struggled to pry his fingers from her neck, but he was just so strong.  She felt herself grow weaker and weaker until she was in danger of passing out.  This was it, she thought.  She was going to die on her living room floor at the hands of a brute that reeked of cheap cigars and cheaper whiskey.  But she didn’t die. eventually, she became conscious of the fact that his grip was growing weaker and she focused her vision enough to see that he was choking.  Veronica used her last bit of strength to wriggle out from under him and sat back, gulping huge breaths of air as she watched him gasping in vain.  After a few moments struggle, Al breathed his last breath and his eyes turned to glass.

Veronica had stood up, mystified, and backed into the kitchen. She never took her eyes off Al, just in case it was a trick. Seeing her cheese ball on the counter, she cried in dismay to find at least three enormous chunks had been taken from it.

“That was for the party tomorrow, you little shit!” She addressed the corpse furiously. “Shrimp isn’t cheap either, you- oh….” She started giggling in spite of herself. “You didnt know there was shrimp in it, did you? I guess you’re allergic to shellfish, huh? Serves you right, you prick…”

Of course now she had to dispose of the body.  She thought about burning it, but when she checked the garage, she just found an empty tank of gas.  She’d call Eddy and tell him what happened.  He’d know what to do.  Besides, she still wasn’t sure how they were going to frame Carla’s husband for her murder if they didn’t have Carla’s body.  For now, though, a few hours sleep.  No need to worry now about things that couldn’t be fixed until tomorrow.
Source: Wed Stories: Plot Twister

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