Smut Marathon 2019: Final voting round

I can hardly believe we have made it to the end of the second Smut Marathon. Months ago we started this journey with 116 writers, and now we are down to six who are competing in this final round for this year’s crown. The Smut Marathon is a race of endurance, and through the nine previous rounds we have seen some writers disappear or withdraw from the marathon, and others have been knocked out because their stories didn’t accumulate enough points to get through to the next round.

I am sure you are eager to get on with this voting round, so let’s get on with it!

The assignment

For the final assignment the writers were asked to get out their magnifying glasses and detective hats.

Whodunit?
(Whodunit: a story about a murder in which the identity of the murderer is not revealed until the end.)

Specific requirements:
– Remember, your story should have a clear erotic element too!
– Your story is between 2000-2500 words. No less, no more.
– Give your story a title of 2-4 words (this is not part of the word count required)

What should you do now?

Read all entries – you have a week to do so – and vote for the three stories you enjoy the most. You have to vote for three – no less, no more. Don’t forget to click the ‘Finish Survey’ button when you have made your choice!

Please note:

  • Writers are not allowed to tell anyone which entry they have written!
  • You can only vote once.
  • The voting round closes on 29 November 2019 at 23.00 CET
  • Results of the voting round will be published on this site on 1 December 2019 and then I will announce the author of each story, as well as the winner and two runners up of the Smut Marathon 2019.

One last thing

I know it’s a lot to read and even more to ask, but it would be lovely if you could leave as much feedback as possible on the entries, or to make it more manageable, please leave feedback on the three entries you chose as well as three entries you have not chose. Make sure your feedback is composed in such a way that the writers can learn something from it. This will be highly appreciated.

Enjoy reading and start voting!

~ Marie Rebelle
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1) Blueprint of Love

My fingers gently ran along the bright yellow police tape as I watched the people in uniforms scurry around the scene writing in their books and talking casually with one another while sipping coffee. I couldn’t help but notice the steam rising from their paper mugs and the relaxed way they stood in small groups. This was just another day on the job for them. For me, it was the first time I’d ever seen a dead body.

“Miss, Miss!” I snapped out of my revery. “Please come with me. We need to get your statement of events.” The cop looked at me with kind, tired eyes. Her ponytail was tidy and braided. I thought that I could never pull off that look without looking like I was 8.

“Yes, sure. Of course.” I let go of the police tape and followed her to her cop cruiser where two plainclothes officers awaited us.

“Detective Donovan, Detective Williams, this is Ms. Evans. She found the body this morning and called it in.” We exchanged hellos, their hands were warm and firm, their smiles perfunctory.

“Ms. Evans,” Ponytail Cop started, “I’d like for you to walk us through what happened.”

I took a breath and closed my eyes. I began to tremble and I felt the tears begin to well then spill down my cheeks. All I could think was, I’ll never get to touch him again. And all I could see was his still, bloody body on his sun-filled bed.

I met Dan through friends six months ago. He was average height, but built like a rugby player, all thick thighs and broad shoulders and a crooked nose that highlighted the twinkle in his eyes. He was hard not to notice in his fitted jeans and black t-shirt. Especially as he stood lining up for his turn to bowl.

Unabashedly I watched his ass over the rim of my pint glass as he sauntered up to the line and kicked out his leg and let the ball fly. He was a shit bowler, but a champion grinner after each and every gutter ball.

“Emily! STOP!” my friend Brittany hissed laughing. “You’re drooling!” I shrugged.

“I don’t give two shits if he catches me, Brit. I could eat that man’s ass for daysssss.” We laughed at my dramatics, but we both knew I meant it.

“I don’t think you should sexually harass a man like that,” quipped Eric. His smile gave it away that he approved of my approval. He loved to eat a man’s ass.

Dan appreciated my brazen approval and quickly struck up a conversation with me. We talked and joked and high-fived each other all night as the beer flowed and the pins fell. As the four of us left the bowling alley he grabbed my arm and pulled me aside.

“Care for an after-bowling drink at my place?”

Of course I said yes as Eric and Brittany gave me their thumbs up behind Dan’s back.

We fucked like lions on the Sahara, wild and powerful and glowing with passion. His mouth was punishing on my lips, neck, breasts and soft and wet as he went lower, pushed my knees apart and gently nibbled at the hot, plump lips he found there. I watched him drink me in like a parched man at a trough.

And he watched me as I impaled first my face, then my body, on his turgid cock.

“Dan,” I panted as I rode him, “You are a shit bowler, but my god you can fuck.” He answered with a laugh and grabbed my hips and launched into me with a fervor that carried us both right off a cliff.

That night we fucked until the sun came up and as it did it lit up his bedroom strewn with books and frames filled with smiling faces. On the wall was a blueprint of Paris, with each arrondissement carefully sketched out like the space between spokes. This wasn’t your average bro.

Night after night, month after month, we fucked like animals. He’d cum in and on me and I’d drench his face and bed with my own. No hole – his or mine – were off limits. “You good?” Yeah. “Good.” He’d fill, then pound, my ass until my pussy rained on us both and he’d emptied his balls.

In those post-sex spent, sweaty, and subdued moments we talked about our plans for our lives, turning 30, and what our last meal on earth would be. He wanted to leave D.C. and travel around the world, turning 30 didn’t faze him, and have truffles and lobster mac n’ cheese for his last meal, a luxurious treat he’d had once in New York City with his family as a teenage boy. I was simply in awe of this man.

In the beginning we relied on Eric and Brittany as buffers to our general shyness around one another – naked debauchery notwithstanding. We bowled, we played putt-putt, we paddle boarded. We were a sweet little quad.

Eric was the first friend he made in our trio. They met at work and Eric appreciated his quick wit and general snark. He had a legitimate crush on him and was hopeful Dan might like men, too, but it was soon revealed that he was interested in women only. Eric took it in stride and decided to pour his efforts into a fully bloomed friendship with the first person he’d met since Brittany and me that he really liked and respected.

Dan met Brittany not long after Eric befriended him. She texted me the night she met him while I was on assignment abroad for 6 months.

B: OMG Eric’s hot coworker is ACTUALLY hot! I haven’t gotten laid in forever. Wish me luck! I’m going for it!

Me: Good luck! How’s it going???

B: Not so good. He just had a super messy break up with some crazy ass French chick and isn’t down to play. He’s good people, though – offered to help me paint my kitchen. Can’t wait for you to meet him!

Me: Sorry, girl – fuck French beyotches lol

By the time we went bowling, the three of them had been fast friends for the months while I was away and any unrequited love seemed to be non-existent. I felt completely supported by both of my best friends the night I followed his glowing red taillights home.

Det. Donovan had just said something. “I’m sorry, what?” I said.

I was deep into the rendition of my story: How Dan and I had made plans the night before to go to breakfast, how he had decided to leave my place and stay at his own, how I had thought nothing was amiss when he didn’t return my Are you awake, sexy pants? text, and how I figured he just hadn’t noticed my text or his phone hadn’t been plugged in and had died. I used to give him shit for that all the time. I trailed off mid-thought.

“After you noticed the front door was ajar, what did you do next?” She sipped her coffee daintily and waited for me to continue. I wondered if she knew she had makeup on her crisply creased white collar.

“After I noticed the door was ajar I called out to him to announce my arrival. I assumed he was showering by now. Nothing seemed out of place and he must have just not latched the door when he let Boner out to pee because he was in the front yard when I got here.” I motioned with my chin to the 80lb dog wagging its tail at the end of a leash held by some official. Ponytail Cop scribbled in her notepad and I smirked a little at the idea of her writing out “B-O-N-E-R”.

“I came inside, smelled coffee from the automatic brewer and poured myself a cup. I sat in the kitchen and pet the dog for a minute or two until I realized I didn’t hear any water running. Thinking that was odd, I called out to him again and checked my phone. Nothing.

“I went upstairs. His bedroom door was closed. I opened it and…” My voice caught in my throat and a little sob escaped. “… and there he was: shirtless in his pajama pants – blood everywhere – with his hands by his side, on his back.” Tears streamed down my face as I fought to control my sobbing.

“I screamed and ran to him. He was cold and his eyes…” I choked on my cries as I remembered there being no twinkle in them. “… his eyes were open. I knew he was dead. I didn’t know what else to do so I that’s when I called 9-1-1 then you guys were here 10 minutes later.”

Detective Williams had mostly listened while her partner had asked me all the questions, nodding along with a sympathetic look on her round face. I wanted to believe nothing got past her. “Are you sure you didn’t see anyone exit the premises? You didn’t hear a gunshot?”

I shook my head, “No, I saw no one and heard nothing.”

“Did he have any problems with anyone that you’re aware of?”

“No, no one. Everyone loved Dan.”

“Well, thank you for your time and your cooperation, Ms. Evans. We’ll be in touch if we need anything else.” She held out her hand and I took it. “I’m sorry for your loss.” Her eyes were kind and tired.

When she let go I felt like I had been flung into an abyss. How do I even drive a car after this? Do traffic laws still apply to a person who’s just seen someone they love murdered in a pool of blood? Will I remember how to operate the car? I decided to walk instead. Even the mundane act of putting on a seat belt seemed offensive to what had just happened to Dan.

The sun had risen above the trees by now and the shadows were no longer long in the morning light. I guessed it was close to noon, maybe 11:30. We were supposed to be at brunch right now, or maybe we’d just gotten home and we’d be kissing on his stoop and falling through the doorway as we tore each other’s clothes off, eager to taste one another and feel each other from the inside out.

Instead I put one foot in front of the other, jammed my cold hands deep into my pockets and mindlessly walked home.

I could be on my knees right now, I thought. His tender sac in my mouth, my arms wrapped around his powerful thighs. I used to love looking up at him from there, his face obscured by the movement of his engorged cock like a big, fleshy metronome. His smile so soft and lovely, his hands holding onto my hair like reins. It wasn’t fair that I would never have that again.

I passed houses and a little coffee shop on the corner. Maybe we would have gone there later in the afternoon. I crossed a street and got honked at by a driver whose life had not been destroyed that morning. How nice for them.

On autopilot I turned up the path to my front door, climbed the steps and put my key in the lock. It turned with no resistance. Shit, I thought. I’d forgotten to lock the door. The cats were each in a block of sunshine on the floor. The fat one had the little block and the little one had the larger. I snorted. Life goes on.

I peeled off my coat and dropped it on the couch and walked straight to my room and shut the door. This was some kind of fucking nightmare and I just needed to wake up.

I lay down and stared at the ceiling while my quiet tears pooled in the shells of my ears. My heart felt frozen, every limb on fire, I didn’t want to be in my body. A sob welled up inside of me and burst out into a wail of despair and I closed my eyes, willing for this day to have never happened.

I cried so hard I didn’t hear the front door shut. I wailed so loudly I didn’t hear my bedroom door open. The roar of my pain deafened me to the person standing in my room next to the bed holding a Paris blueprint rolled up under one arm.

Something hard pressed into my ribcage and I jumped. A blond woman stood above me holding a gun in my side.

“I took this back,” she said and pulled the blueprint out from under her arm. I hadn’t noticed it was gone from Dan’s room this morning. “And I took him back, too.”

Besides her French accent, a gunshot was the last thing I heard.


2) The Tea Planter’s Wife

Deepak watched a cockroach scuttle across the tiled floor as he rhythmically pulled the cord which operated the bedroom fan. The insect was free to come and go but woe betide him if he should desert his post. All hell would break loose because some Britishers were getting hot. Why did they come to India in the first place if the heat was not to their liking? With any luck this threat of war might see them all toddle off back to Blighty.

Apart from Mrs Hobbs that is. Recently, Deepak had slightly increased the width of a crack between the door frame and the wall. It was an easy enough job, because although the bungalow looked like an elegant abode, set as it was in the verdant hills around Ooty, it was in fact, shoddily constructed.

With Mr Hobbs, a tea planter, away on business, Deepak knew he would be in for a good show tonight. Even with the mosquito net covering the bed he was able to see her well enough. She was twenty five, dark haired and with smooth white skin. To see her firm breasts always made him gasp with delicious admiration.

But tonight was different because the memsahib was not alone. A man had appeared, sporting an erection, the like of which Deepak had only seen in temples. And like those erotic sculptures the man started to take Mrs Hobbs through a wide variety of sexual positions. The one which seemed to please her the most was when the man thrust himself into her from behind. Deepak watched incredulously as the cock pumped in and out. How she took that great length he couldn’t imagine but take it she did and with each thrust she let out a cry of blissful satisfaction. Eventually the man, with a stifled groan, ejaculated inside her.

It had not taken Deepak long to realise who the man was. It could prove to be a useful bit of information to keep up his sleeve.

* * *
The Maharajah of Nilgiri had just reached ninety four, when it was decided by the captain of the home team to have a break for drinks.

The Maharajah did not leave the crease and had one of his men bring out a cooling refreshment on an elegant tray. As he sipped it he said to his servant,

‘Today we will win and show these Britishers who is boss. They pretend they are on the playing fields of Eton and walk around with their noses in the air. No wonder this hill station is called Snooty Ooty.’

Drinks over, Bill Finnegan, started his run up. His flannel shirt billowing as he steamed down towards the stumps. The ball was released and flew through the air at great speed. It fizzed for a moment as the seam bit into the hard soil, allowing the Maharajah to flick it imperiously off his toes and into the air. The crowd watched it sail well over the boundary and disappear into the long grass beyond for six.

The Maharajah held up his bat to accept the applause of the crowd.

‘Good shot,’ said Maddie Hobbs to her husband.

‘Not bad I suppose. For an Indian.’

Maddie walked away from her husband in disgust.

Just then a loud cry went out from one of the fielders who was looking for the ball. Bill Finnegan raced over to see what the fuss was about.

There, under a tree, was the body of an Indian. He almost had the air of someone sleeping if it weren’t for the large slit across his throat and the wounds in his chest. Finnegan quickly switched from being a cricketer to being a policeman. He was the Assistant District Superintendent.

The Maharajah sauntered over with his bat tucked under his arm.

‘Is this going to take much longer Mr Finnegan?’

‘A man has been killed your highness. I’m afraid we’ll have to call the match off.’

‘A great pity, especially as I was doing so well but I agree the decent thing would be to pull up the stumps.. Please feel free to use one of my cars to transport the body to the mortuary.’

Finnegan was kneeling by the body looking for clues. The strange thing was, the murdered man was wearing a light flannel suit and canvas shoes.

‘He’s dressed like a tea planter, Mr Finnegan. Let us not hope he had ideas above his station,’ said the Maharajah with a chuckle.

Though it was now red with dried blood Finnegan was just able to see the name tag on the inside of the jacket. It read G. Hobbs. But Gerald Hobbs was sitting in the pavilion sipping chilled champagne with his wife.

The Maharajah came nearer. ‘Very upsetting business Mr Finnegan. Upon closer inspection I recognise the sorry man.’

‘Who is it,’ said Bill, impatiently.

‘It is Mr Hobbs’ punkah wallah, Deepak. Poor chap.’

 

Soon everyone apart from Finnegan had departed The body was safely in the mortuary. He poked around in the undergrowth and quickly found what he was looking for.

 

The Maharajah, who was in his late twenties, lived in unrivalled splendour five miles out of Ooty in what the British called the stately pleasure dome.

As usual after one of his many sporting endeavours he was relaxing with his favourite wife. Aged nineteen, she was the oldest of his five wives. He had his head between her legs and was feeding greedily on her vulva. He loved to taste her petals, as he called them, and to feel them swell in his mouth. As he ran his tongue around the jewel in her crown she let out a whimper.

‘One hundred runs your highness is a noble feat deserving of a noble prize.’

‘What can you give the man who has everything?’

She turned over, clasped her buttocks and spread her cheeks apart.

The Maharajah was just about to ease himself in when he was thrown off his stride by a commotion outside. It was that damned Bill Finnegan.

 

‘This is a murder enquiry your highness. I just have one or two questions and then you can get back to whatever you were doing.’

They had repaired to one of the innumerable reception rooms. The Maharajah was no longer in his cricket whites but had changed into silks. His hair was black and swept back over his forehead. And slightly long over the collar.

‘Would you care for a drink Mr Finnegan?’

‘Tea would be splendid.’

‘Hah! Tea. You British and your tea.’

‘Well I’m Irish actually so I’m as much welcome here as you are at times.’

‘I did wonder about the red hair and the strange accent. The British are a most ungrateful lot. They are happy to come here and enjoy my parties, and yet they do not let me join their clubs. I am ostracised in my own bloody country.’

Finnegan took out a knife and placed it on the table.

‘I just found this by the body. Do you recognise it your highness?’

‘It looks like a run of the mill knife to me. They are ‘two a penny’, I think you would say.’

‘But it is curved and there are jewels in the handle. The sort of knife that a maharajah might own.’

‘Possibly. And on closer inspection I believe it is one of mine.’

‘How would you account for it being used to murder Deepak?’

‘My hands are clean Mr Finnegan. I had no part in this. If I were you I would have a word or two with Mr Hobbs. He doesn’t always play with a straight bat, if you catch my drift.

‘I’m on my way to see him now.’

‘Good. But before you go and I return to my unfinished business, let me just mark your card.’

 

Finnegan knew Hobbs slightly. He was a stuck up snob. He knew Mrs Hobbs very well and for the first time in his thirty five years he was in love. As he drove towards the Hobbs’ tea plantation he tried to piece together the clues, along with the extra bits of information the Maharajah had just tossed his way.

At the moment though, all he could really think about was Maddie Hobbs and the possibility she might be in danger.

They’d met about a year before at the Gymkhana Club. Seeing her husband drift off for a game of bridge he’d taken the opportunity and sauntered over.

‘Do you know Mr Finnegan, if it weren’t for the heat we could almost be in England.’

‘You know my name?’

‘I have little else to do here other than keep up to date with any newcomers to Ooty.

She held out her hand. ‘Maddie Hobbs. Pleased to meet you.’

It was just a brief handshake but there was a warmth and friendliness in it. Something which had been lacking in his life for some time.

The waiter came over and Finnegan ordered two chota pegs upon her recommendation.

‘I’ve become quite accustomed to these little gin and tonics,’ she said. ‘Purely for medicinal reasons you understand.’

‘Naturally.’ They laughed at the well worn joke.

‘I think I’m going to enjoy knowing you Mr Finnegan.’

‘It’s Bill. Which you probably already know.’

‘Then tell me Bill. Do you think it is inevitable?’

As he stared into her eyes he was transfixed by her beauty. Yes, It was inevitable After only a short time in her company he already ached to have her.

‘Oh, yes Maddie, it is inevitable.’

‘I agree, but I hope we’re wrong. It’s hardly any time since the last war.’

As the weeks wore on they snatched precious moments alone until one evening they were able to spend the night together. She told him she had come to India five years previously in search of a husband, just like hundreds of other girls from England in a custom known as the Fishing Fleet.

‘Some made excellent catches but I should have thrown Gerald back in the sea and returned to England.’

‘But then we wouldn’t have met.’

‘Very true, my love.’

She was lying on Finnegan’s chest, enjoying a moment of post coital bliss. Their heartbeats and breathing were as one. The only other sounds were the cries of jackals, the hum of insects and the creak of the ceiling fan.

‘You don’t think the punkah wallah heard us, do you.?’

‘No Bill, Deepak is deaf.’

 

Maddie was standing on the front steps when Finnegan drove up.

‘Thank god you’re here Bill.’

‘Calm yourself Maddie. What’s happened?’

‘Gerald has gone. We had an argument. I asked him if he knew anything about the murder and he went mad. He drove off about ten minutes ago. with all our money, my jewellery and his revolver.

Finnegan tried to persuade her to stay put while he went off after her husband but it was useless.

‘We do this together Bill. You and me. I’m not letting you out of my sight.’

Finnegan put his foot hard down on the accelerator and they raced off in pursuit.

‘Do you think Gerald killed Deepak?’

‘It looks that way. I discovered he was having trouble with the Maharajah. Trivial stuff. The Maharajah wanted to buy some of the tea plantation to expand his golf course. Gerald would have none of it and started saying some pretty nasty things about the Maharajah. The Maharajah decided to get his own back and get some dirt on Gerald so he persuaded Deepak to spy for him.’

‘So he wasn’t a punkah wallah at all?’

‘Well he was, but with a sideline in spying. He wasn’t deaf though.’

‘Deepak learnt that Gerald had penile dysfunction and had been visiting Indian doctors in the region for a remedy but with no success. The Maharajah blackmailed Gerald and said unless he allowed him to build his golf extension he would let it be known that Gerald was only half a man, so to speak, and also that he beat you.’

‘This is all rather unsavoury Bill.’

‘The murder weapon was a gift from the Maharajah to Deepak for services rendered. Somehow Gerald found out that Deepak was spying and killed him with the dagger the day before the cricket match.’

‘But why was he in Gerald’s clothes.’

‘To frame the Maharajah. To make it look as if he, the Maharajah, had stabbed Gerald, not realising it was Deepak. But the jacket had been put on the body after the attack. There were no holes in the jacket you see. Just in Deepak’s body.

‘That’s Gerald’s car,’ cried Maddie as they screeched round a bend.

Gerald’s Daimler was just ahead, going flat out down the mountain pass. He took the next hairpin too fast and lost control of the car. It skidded to a halt in a cloud of dust. Finnegan stopped too. From out of the dust walked Hobbs. He was holding a pistol in his right hand. Finnegan reached for his Webley in the glove compartment.

‘This could get nasty Maddie. Stay in the car and keep your head down.’

‘It’s you Finnegan. Damn and blast you man. I thought I was being chased by some ruddy dacoits.’

‘And you with all that money and jewellery on board.’

‘What the devil are you talking about?’

‘Put the gun down Hobbs. I’m taking you in.’

‘What the hell for? Has the sun addled your Irish brain?’

‘Don’t make this hard for me Hobbs. I just want a few wee words with you about murder. Simple as that.’

‘I’m sorry Finnegan but I have a meeting in Madras, so as nice as it would be to chat and all that.’

Hobbs turned to get back in his car and a shot rang out. He fell to the ground. Finnegan looked round to see Maddie with a Browning automatic in her hand.

‘He had it coming to him Bill.’

‘Give me the gun Maddie.’

She ignored Finnegan and walked over to Hobbs and kicked him before firing another shot into him.’

Finnegan ran towards her and she levelled her weapon at him.

‘Don’t try and stop me Bill. It was fun while it lasted, the sex was frightfully good but you simply had no idea about anything. You swallowed everything the Maharajah fed you.

‘What are you saying?’

‘Gerald was many things but he was never a murderer. Unlike me.’

Three bullets pumped into Finnegan in quick succession and he was dead before he hit the dusty ground.

* * *
Today, in the churchyard of St Stephen’s, Ooty, lie the remains of many who died serving the British Empire, including those of Gerald Hobbs and Bill Finnegan. Nobody remembers who they were and why they died. It was, after all, a long time ago.

They could almost be in England, if it weren’t for the heat.


3) Unfinished Business

Inspector Bull roared out an order. “Have all the guests assemble in the drawing room. Now! I shall want to interrogate them.”

Detective Sergeant Greene turned, startled by his voice. “I thought you were on holiday, Sir.”

“I live in the village, Sergeant. Lord Goodwell was a close, personal friend of mine. I intend to see that he gets justice. I’m taking charge of the crime scene.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Will that be necessary? When the body was found his valet was behind the wheel. The steering wheel, I mean, not the one parked on Lord Goodwell’s chest. It’s an open and shut case.”

The inspector shook his head. “There are too many questions, Libby. The MO says the victim died three and a half hours ago. Are we to believe that Johnson just sat there all that time?”

“It’s possible. I spoke to him when I arrived. He said…” She checked her notebook. “…and I quote, ‘Vroom! Vroom! Gosh, I do like buses.’ I’m not sure he’s the full shilling, Sir.”

“Possibly not, but he claims to have an alibi for the time of death. And why was there a coach in the driveway in the first place? Goodwell House isn’t open to the public at all, never mind hordes of the great unwashed on package tours. No, there is more here than meets the eye.”

“Very good, Sir. I’ll gather everyone together. Could I suggest we use the banqueting hall instead, though? It’s probably the only room that will seat all twenty-seven couples.”

He waved her away. “Don’t bother me with details, just get it done. I’ll be in the gatehouse talking to the groundskeeper. Call me when you’ve got everyone together.”

“Better take your car, Sir. That driveway’s got to be a mile long.”

“I’ll take yours, Libby, if you don’t mind.”

She shrugged and handed him her keys.

* * *
Inspector Bull slammed his fist on the antique oak, silencing the murmuring discontent around the long table. “Quiet! CCTV shows no one has left the grounds since the murder occurred. All the outbuildings have been searched and confirmed empty. The murderer is in this house. In this room. One of you had a motive to kill Lord Goodwell, and I mean to discover it.”

A short, blonde woman rose to speak. “We all had motive, Herr Inspector.”

The inspector checked his notes. “Mrs Stempel?”

She nodded.

“Is that a confession? You and he have a well-known history of conflict.”

The man sitting next to her piped up. “Comme tout le monde! He was, ‘ow you say, a pain in the arse. But she ‘as not killed him. Nor ‘ave I. We spent the morning in the stable, admiring the fillies. Magnefique! Such grace, such freedom of movement. I ‘oped to get a ride later.”

Bull sneered. “I bet you did. Which of you is Mrs Magee?”

“I am.” A slender redhead raised her hand. “But I go by my maiden name, Doyle. Philomena Doyle.”

The inspector’s eyes didn’t follow her hand, preferring to focus on her pert, braless breasts, barely obscured by a gossamer-thin, emerald green, silk dress . He spoke directly to them, more truthfully than he realised. “Lord Goodwell’s valet says he was alone with you when the murder occurred.”

“Certainly not, Inspector! And I don’t like what you’re implying. William, my husband, will confirm I haven’t left his sight all day.”

Bull spoke to the thickset, shaven-headed man sitting next to her, who had developed a sudden interest in the cleanliness of his fingernails. “You’re William?”

“No! I’m Billy.”

“But this is your wife?”

Billy nodded.

“Can you confirm her statement?”

Billy nodded again, still not looking up from the hands he was now frantically wringing.

Inspector Bull’s training and experience had given him no greater ability to detect a lie than the next man, but he believed it had and that false confidence had served him well in his career. He knew Ms Doyle was concealing something, and he intended to get to the bottom of it. He’d start with the nervous husband. “Right. I’m going to the kitchen. Follow on, Billy boy. You and I shall have a little private chat.”

Bull turned and walked toward the kitchen door, Billy trailing after him like a loyal puppy. He shut the door behind him, leaving a room full of quiet unease.

A few of the other guests looked inquisitively at Philomena, who shrugged. “I didn’t kill him, and William wouldn’t have the guts for that sort of thing. Whichever one of you it was, you might as well come clean, because the only way you’ll walk out of here is in handcuffs. I’ve known plenty of men like Mr Bull. He won’t give up and he’ll use all sorts of dirty tricks to get the result he wants.”

The anxious silence dissolved into noisy recrimination: spouses pointing fingers at their partners, couples casting doubt on their neighbours, everyone suddenly suspicious of everyone else.

Philomena sat back and let the clamour wash over her. Her immediate future was inevitable, and she was looking forward to it. Doing it again so soon would be taxing, physically and psychologically, and if William was half a man she wouldn’t need to, but she’d cope. At forty, no longer as fit as she’d been in her twenties, she could still crush a man’s skull with her thighs. Bull wouldn’t know what had hit him.

After a few minutes Billy and the inspector returned, waiting at the open kitchen door.

Silence fell over the room again as Philomena stood in anticipation. “You’ll want to speak to me, Inspector?”

Bull jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “Get in there.”

She strutted across the room, aware that all eyes were on her. She put an extra wiggle in her step, wondering which of the onlookers was enjoying it most. A hushed “Bella!” suggested Signora Giovanazzi shared her husband’s good taste.

Philomena was approaching the inspector, so he didn’t get the benefit of her hundreds of hours of squatting in the gym. His eye was caught first by the glimmer of her ankle bracelet, a fine silver chain with a single key charm. His gaze didn’t stay at her feet for long, travelling up shapely calves and toned thighs to a hem that started scant inches before her legs ended.

Bull followed her into the kitchen, pushing the door half-closed behind him. “How is your relationship with your husband, Ms Doyle?”

She turned to face him, smiling at the sight of William peeking round the door. “We’ve had our troubles in the past, but I believe we can have a future together if he knows his proper place.”

“He told me everything. You didn’t lie, did you? He watched you lead Johnson in her, like you led me. And he watched what you got up to.”

Philomena took a step closer to him and widened her stance. “What did he see, Inspector?”

“Johnson groping a filthy slut. Like this.” Bull squeezed a breast with one hand and rammed the other up Philomena’s brief dress, grinning at the gasp he produced when his fingers met damp cotton. “You like it rough, don’t you, you dirty slag?”

“Sure, and I’ve gotten used to it. My husband loves watching me get fucked by Englishmen. Or women. Did he tell you what happened next?”

“He said you yanked your dress up and bent over the table, because you’re a little whore.”

“Don’t editorialise, Mr Bull. William would never use such uncouth language. He said I raised my dress elegantly, as a lady might if she has urgent needs that she hopes will be met.”

She turned and inched the silk upwards, slowly revealing her high, tight buttocks and a pale green thong only visible as a waistband before it disappeared between them. When she bent over, the hem of her dress resting on the small of her back, it was Bull’s turn to gasp.

“Perfection.”

“Thank you, Inspector, you’re very kind. Did William tell you anything else?”

“He said Johnson took his dick out, pulled your knickers aside and fucked you…”

Philomena smiled at the memory. “That he did.”

“…in the ass.”

She bolted upright and turned to glare at him. “My husband did not tell you that!”

Bull gave her a cocky grin. “I think your pathetic husband is lying to himself. Johnson used your ass. He found some olive oil and he pounded that bubble butt while you squealed like a pig and begged him to stop.”

Philomena ran her hand over the large bulge in Bull’s trousers, then took a tight grip of the smaller bulge below it. “No, Inspector, he did not, because he’s not a total idiot and he’s grateful for what he can get. Without proper lube there’s a hard border around my asshole. Johnson used what God and nature intended, and he walked away with his tackle intact. Do we have an understanding?”

The inspector managed a cautious nod.

She turned back round, yanked her dress up and bent over again. “I think my husband must have told you how Johnson knelt on the floor and worshipped my ass with his tongue. You know, by way of an apology for being an arrogant, presumptuous bastard. Afterwards, because he did such a good job and got my cunt nice and wet, I let him fuck me. Isn’t that right?”

Bull fell to his knees, his face inches from a successful conclusion that was still tantalisingly out of reach. He tugged down her thong, let her step out of it, then held it to his face to breath in her heady scent. To his mind those sodden panties were ample evidence she was wet enough already. He considered telling her that, but a lady was demanding his attentions and this was not a time for negotiation.

He took a buttock in each hand and eased them apart; his tongue diving between them to lap softly, the tip occasionally stiffening, probing and swirling around her tight, little circle,

Her satisfied sighs suggested his work was well received, so he risked letting go of her ass, allowing her cheeks to hug his while he used one hand to free the dick that was threatening to tear a hole in his trousers. Two fingers of the other explored his ultimate goal. She was definitely wet enough. He withdrew his fingers and brushed her clit. The way her legs trembled in response suggested that now was the time for negotiation.

“Your husband told me Johnson slipped a finger in your ass while he fucked you so hard you bruised your thighs on the table edge.”

Philomena took a second to check her memory and her desire. “Right enough, so he did.”

Bull stood, grinning, and thrust a sticky finger into her asshole. “And he made you beg for his dick.”

He couldn’t see her roll her eyes, but he heard it.

“Sure, and I said ‘Oh god, will you ever fuck me. I want your cock in me right now.’ Or something like that.”

He rubbed the tip of his dick between her lips, teasing her. “No, you said, ‘Please give it to me, Daddy. Give me your fat dick. I need the best fuck I’ve ever had.’ Say it!”

Unfortunately for Bull, it wasn’t Philomena’s voice that answered him. “I don’t think she did, Sir. Perhaps you should put your penis away.”

He spun round, his hands over his crotch. “Ah! Sergeant. This isn’t what it looks like.”

Libby nodded. “I’m sure it isn’t, Sir. I imagine it’s a standard interrogation technique approved by the PCC. But I’m going to need you to turn round again and put your hands behind your back.”

“Well, I didn’t know you had it in you, Libby. If you want to join in there’s plenty of this filthy bitch to go round.”

Bull turned and felt the cold snap of handcuffs on his wrists. “Kinky!”

“Yes, Sir. You’re under arrest, Sir, on suspicion of the murder of Lord Goodwell.”

He tried, unsuccessfully, to pull away from her. “What?!”

“Your car isn’t parked outside, and while you were getting your end away I checked the CCTV myself. There’s no record of you arriving. No traffic all day before the team got here, not even on foot. Nothing except that bus. Why, Sir?”

“I had to! It was my only chance to take back control!”

“Of what, for fuck’s sake?”

“The countryside! Lord Goodwell was going to build houses on his estate. Dozens of them. Outsiders would come into the village; we’d be overrun by strangers. The parish council voted narrowly against the development, but he kept coming back demanding a new vote. I had to put a stop to it.”

Libby sighed and called two constables in to escort the inspector past Billy and out to a squad car.

When they’d left, she turned to Ms Doyle. “You can stay. I’m holding you temporarily under suspicion of being Bull’s accomplice. I’ll need to do a full cavity search.”

Philomena winked. “That’ll be grand.”


4) Hanging On

It’s quite a thing to be back in my living room amidst the sunny drapes I picked out and the bookcase that always looks a bit askew in the space. It makes me smile to see my favorite hard covers still on it, even more than one month later. I wonder if there’s a word in one of them that could ever accurately describe what comfort and familiarity feel like once they’ve been tainted with dread.

In my last moments, once I knew I was dying and my final breaths whispered past the belt compressing my windpipe, my mind wandered to what might be next. Heaven? Hell? Nothing? Entropy always fascinated me. But I was still surprised that the universe’s propensity for chaos dictated I should be stuck here — not of this earth, not of the heavens either — but here all the same. Perched beside my killer. Hanging on every word.

~
“So, when did you become aware that Angelina was sleeping around?”

The question came rapid-fire from the detective who sat back against the armchair centered in the living room. Robert handed him some coffee then sat next to Carmen who was parked stiffly on the opposite couch.

“As I told your colleague at the station, Detective Russo, Angelina wasn’t ‘sleeping around.’ We made an arrangement that we thought might spice up our marriage,” Robert explained. “There were no secrets regarding our respective lovers.”

Russo leaned forward and placed the steaming mug on the coffee table, turning his attention to Carmen.

“Is this your understanding of it, Ms. Lopez?”

Carmen cleared her throat.

“Yes, I was aware that Angie and Rob have…had…an open marriage.”

She dug in her pocket for a tissue and dabbed at her eyes before continuing.

“I’m sorry, Detective, but why do you guys insist on asking the same questions over again. This is hard for me.” She looked at Robert. “It’s even harder for Rob. Why aren’t you out there looking for my sister’s actual killer?”

Robert placed his hand on Carmen’s shoulder, snatching it quickly away when Russo’s eyes darted to the gesture.

“I understand this is hard for you, Ms. Lopez. And for you, Mr. Garcia.”

Russo focused on Carmen again.

“As the people who knew her best, however, it’s important we have every detail so we can find whoever killed your sister. Angelina was likely murdered by someone she knew. So, as hard as this is, I’m going to need you to go over it again.”

Carmen sighed. Robert shifted deeper into the cushion. They nodded, resigned.

Russo continued. “Tell me about the young guy you described to my partner — this Flynn. Where’d she meet him?”

“Angie said it was over at Blondie’s. About two months ago.”

~
Ah, Blondie’s! I fucking loved that place. I knew to arrive before ten to snag the prime spot at the far end of the bar. It was the best vantage point to enjoy the local bands that frequently played there. It was also where Sheila, the bartender, liked to lean whenever she could sneak in a break. I always looked forward to her witty banter and that night was no different.

“That boy is one hundred percent fuckable,” she mused as we looked upon the brooding young man tuning for his set.

I sipped my whiskey.

“Too young, don’t you think? I’d fuck the shit out of his Silverburst Gibson though. Damn, that’s one sexy ass guitar.”

Sheila smirked.

“You and guitars, Angie. I swear, when you started coming here, I pegged you as having a thing for musicians. Who knew your thing was actually guitar porn!”

I drained my glass.

“And why can’t it be both, again?” I retorted as she walked away to greet the newest patrons.

I turned my attention back to the young buck. Sheila wasn’t wrong. Despite the positively sapling face he hid behind the dark hair cascading over his right eye, his chin belied a sculpted quality that women would drool over in a few years. Curiously, his song selection centered around 90’s Alternative. I was pretty sure he couldn’t have been more than five years old at the end of that decade. He sang well, but his real talent was in the way he picked out the richest tones from that Gibson. It made me wonder how those hands would feel strumming me.

When the last bars of Green Day’s Basket Case began, I knew it was time to take leave of my barstool and freshen up in the bathroom. Then, lipstick refreshed, I walked out the back door to the parking lot. The young buck was there, loading up his van, and beamed impishly when he saw me coming.

“So, do I look like my pictures?” I asked, leaning against the open door of the van.

“Yeah, you absolutely do. And you weren’t kidding about how much you like your whiskey.”

I feigned attrition before retorting, “And you weren’t kidding about that gorgeous Gibson. Did you already put her away?” I peered into the van. “I’d love a closer look.”

“Sure, hop in and I’ll take her out again.”

I guffawed in response. “You want me to hop into the back of a sketchy van in an isolated parking lot? Isn’t that more like a second date kind of thing?”

Confusion shone on his face and he stammered, “I’m, I’m sorry. I’m…not trying to do anything.” He scratched his head. “But, wait, I…I thought this was how you said you wanted it to go?”

I grabbed his arm and smiled to put him out of his misery. “No, you’re getting it right, Flynn. Perfect actually. I’m just teasing.”

Moments later, I sat on the hard drum case near the back of the cargo hold. Flynn kneeled in front of me, placing the Gibson on my lap. She was still warm to the touch, much like my pussy felt at the moment, soaked with the heat of arousal. I slid my hand over the frets, past her neck, and then over to his chin.

“Are you nervous, Flynn?”

He didn’t pull his face away.

“I mean, I’m a little nervous. But we’ve been texting for so long that I kind of feel like I know you. Crazy, right?”

Cradling the Gibson against my belly, I brought my hands up to his scalp and smoothed the hair down onto both sides of his face. He continued.

“Thanks again, by the way. Really appreciate you hooking us up to play here. We’ve been kinda hurting for gigs.”

I pulled my hands away. I had to clarify.

“You know that wasn’t contingent on fucking me, right? I did that because I like to help people and they know me here. The rest…of…this…is only if you’re down. If you really want it.”

His lips turned up in a slanted grin I hadn’t suspected he could make based on the serious expression in his pictures.

“Oh, I want it. Want you, I mean.”

Then, his lips were on me. The force of their landing had me leaning back over the drum case, crushing the Gibson between our bodies, his pelvis grinding against my thigh. There’s much to be said about the slow buildup of a mature, familiar lover. But just as much can be said about the vitality and vigor of young lust.

I clawed at the back of his t-shirt, damp with the sweat of his musical exertions, but he pulled my arms off of him and over my head. Planting warm, wet kisses and nibbles to my neck, my ears, in between the folds of my arms, he pulled up on my blouse to continue the trail over my bra. When he bit down firmly on my nipple through the fabric, every electric impulse that could be generated between the synapses of my brain fired along my skin. I pushed him off and sat upright.

“Here, take the Gibson,” I demanded, and then pulled the bra up clean over my breasts, but left it fastened and bunched up against my clavicle. I didn’t need the constriction to feed my frenzy, but it was a welcome addition. When his hands were free, I motioned for Flynn to lean back on the case where I promptly straddled him before grabbing his hands and placing them on my breasts.

Flynn didn’t need much instruction, or at least, any more instruction. We’d been chatting about this for weeks. His intense curiosity about what I liked and how I liked it was the thing that convinced me he was worth meeting. It had also convinced Rob, whom I always consulted before a rendezvous with anyone new. I trusted his judgment implicitly, and in this case, he was right.

I’ve never been one to linger the first time with a new lover. The intoxication of new attraction normally has me insisting for it right away, balls deep and hard, because we can focus on the other stuff the second round. I don’t even orgasm from penetration, but there’s a different kind of satisfaction that comes from compelling that first orgasm from someone new. There’s power in taking it from him and leaving no doubt about the desire, want, and need to have him inside of me. Not all new lovers catch on to my ways. Those who don’t risk falling into the lazy habit of assuming I won’t expect and demand every last bit of reciprocity in the long run. I could already tell that Flynn wasn’t of that ilk as he meticulously and thoroughly worshipped my breasts and nipples with his hands, his lips, and his tongue. I felt the jolt of his susurrations in the tips of my toes.

“Scooch up and straddle my face, woman. Let me taste you.”

My response was to reach down between us and make quick work of his belt and the zipper of his jeans. Ever so carefully, but swiftly, I freed his erection, pulled out the condom I’d tucked in my handbag, and ripped it open with my teeth. Flynn tensed under me as I unrolled the latex down the drippy tip of his cock to the base. Holding his gaze, I lifted my skirt, quickly pulled the lace of my panties to the side, and with the next motion, guided his firm head fully into me. Properly impaled upon his cock, I began with slow rocking motions so that our bodies could adjust to each other and my wetness could combat the friction from the sheath. And then, I set about to take what I wanted. What I needed. I rode Flynn long and hard and heavy, eliciting nonsensical mumblings from deep in his throat. He anchored me by gripping my hips, my ass, my bouncing breasts. I felt the intensity of his climax from the heat of his cock inside me, from the force with which he grabbed my hair, and from the way he brought my ear down to his mouth so he could speak the words I wanted to hear as he crested. “Angelina…fuck…Angelina”

~
“Angie liked Flynn,” Robert explained. “I know she saw him a few times. But, as I said, I’d been overseas on business. We couldn’t talk as often while I was away, so I don’t know the last time she saw him. Kills me that I hadn’t talked to my Angie in almost twenty-four hours when Carmen finally reached me with…the news.”

Russo nodded.

“All of this is helpful. We got that guy, Flynn, coming down to the station tomorrow for a formal interview. Now, Ms. Lopez, you told my partner that there was a new guy, a more recent guy? Tell me about him.”

Robert leaned forward and put his head in his hands, trailing his fingers through his salt and pepper hair.

Carmen cringed. “I’m sorry, this is hard for Rob. He didn’t know there was a new guy until Angie’s texts finally came through on his phone once he landed back in the states.”

“Yes, I saw the transcript of those texts,” Russo responded. “Didn’t say much, though. Not even his name or if she’d decided to actually meet him. Did Angelina say anything more about him? Describe him?”

“No,” Carmen piped in quickly. “I wish she had, but she didn’t. And I didn’t ask. Wish I had.”

“Ok,” Russo declared and rose to his feet. “I’ll be back in touch after I talk to that Flynn. Pity we don’t have Angelina’s phone to run through forensics, but we’re still working on her computer.”

“Thank you, Detective Russo,” Robert said, reaching to shake his hand. “My Angie would have wanted us to stay hopeful. That was her way. Please. Help us find her killer.”

“I’ll do my very best,” Russo responded as he made his way out. “And please, call me Christopher.”

~
Yes. The new guy. Also the last guy. I’d been attracted by Flynn’s openness, but with the new guy, it was all about his mystery. His dating profile hadn’t shown his face, however, the picture of his Boston Terrier disarmed me. I’ve always been a sucker for big ‘ol puppy eyes. And as another Friday night loomed last month with Rob still away, the impending solitude of the weekend got the better of me. I had agreed to a quick face-to-face on the crowded street a few blocks from my job. He’d looked pleasant enough. Very neat, if not a bit reserved. When he offered me a ride to the nearby coffee house for a chat, his police cruiser disarmed me, too. With only a brief hesitation, I’d hopped in. Nowadays, I spend much of my time in it, with him, because the universe has seen fit to tether my restless soul to my killer.

Christopher has been getting nervous. I think he’s begun to sense my presence, which doesn’t stop him from talking to himself when sleep eludes him most nights. And he’s getting sloppy. My cell phone still sits in his glove compartment. My heart catches as we drive away from my house, but I suspect it won’t be the last time I see my favorite crooked bookcase. Those sunny drapes. Rob’s sorrowful expression. Carmen’s tear-stained face.

Yes, I’m sure we’ll go back at some point, so he can dig deeper, find an angle. He’s intent on finding someone to pin this on so he can move on to the next woman. Fuck, I hope he never does. I’m worried for Flynn and Carmen. At least my Rob is safe. But, as ever, I’ll stay hopeful and ask the universe to keep me right here until Christopher gets caught or dies. What a morbid existence for my nostalgic, wanderlusting soul. In more ways than one. At least the music he plays over the radio isn’t bad. It’s Metallica today as we drive down the road. Damn, that Kirk Hammett can shred. And there’s Blondie’s! I wonder who’s keeping my stool warm.


5) Silencing the Screams

It was usually the husband or the boyfriend, but not this time. Something about this case confounded Inspector Russo. All the evidence suggested that she killed her, stabbed her in her sleep, like a cold hearted and calculated feline stalking and slaying her prey with a bloodstained smile. Her fingerprints were all over the knife sticking out of the well-sculpted chest of her lover. Her body and clothes were splashed red with Rose’s spilled blood, but there was something in her swollen red rimmed eyes that made Russo pause. It was pain. Pure and raw, and it oozed from her dilated pupils with the tears that leaked down her cheeks.

But, there were the bruises to consider as well. Curious marks all over the body of the deceased, welted stripes across her breasts and down her thighs, scratches and bite marks, galaxies of purple and red splashed across her buttocks. Was it some sort of domestic violence? Russo couldn’t put his finger on it, but something about this case was scratching at his senses, something just didn’t feel right.

**

Rose screamed.

She was strung up from the ceiling by her wrists, her feet spread wide, her naked body on display in the center of the room. Sienna did this to her, made her shake and shudder with every blow. It was the release she needed, the itch was finally being scratched and it felt so good she couldn’t keep it in. Sienna’s whip slashed through the warm night air with a hiss and a crack, lighting her skin on fire with each strike. Then she felt hands, warm and soft on her hot skin, bringing her back from the place she’d floated to. The hands rubbed her tortured body lovingly, stroking and kneading the tender flesh.

“That’s my good girl, Rose”, Sienna’s lips touched her ear, her words tickled her insides, making Rose moan. “Are you ready for more? Tell me. Say it!”

“Yes, please, I want more”, Rose could barely muster the strength to utter coherent language, but she did want more, and she knew she had to communicate that clearly in order to get it.

Sienna pressed her naked body against Rose, the sweat on their skin mingled, and her hand moved to Rose’s bare bottom. She began softly at first, tapping with the pads of her fingers, testing her submissive’s resolve. When she got the reaction she desired, the gentle sigh, the arching back beckoning for more, she began to hit harder. She loved the way Rose’s ass rippled with each slap, the way her breath rose and fell, the sounds she made, squeaks and groans and screams. It gave her a high like nothing else she’d ever experienced. She slipped her other hand between Rose’s legs, finding the warm wetness that seeped from within.

“You’re such a wet little slut. Why does this turn you on so much?”

Rose groaned in embarrassment. She loved the pain, the intensity, the attention, and Sienna loved the control. She needed this as much as Rose did, and they both knew it. They both loved their role in this symbiotic relationship.

Sienna slipped her fingers inside Rose’s dripping cunt and was rewarded with an eager moan and a tilting of hips, welcoming her in. Rose loved to be finger fucked, always begging for it to be harder, faster, deeper. Now, she just let her head hang as she slowly bucked her hips against Sienna’s hand, muddled words of acceptance tumbled from her lips. The sounds she made sounded like cries for help, like the end of a toddler’s tantrum, hiccups and whiny sobs, a pitiful yearning. Anyone overhearing might think that Rose was in pain, but Sienna knew her sounds well. She was begging to come.

“Are you going to come for me, slut? You better scream. I want to know how good it feels.”

Sienna went faster, the squelching sounds of Rose’s cunt grew louder, and she used her other hand to pinch and scratch and smack, giving Rose new levels of sensation.

“Yes, good girl. Come for me now, Rose!”

Rose’s body tensed, her toes clutched the fibers of the carpet, her head tilted towards the ceiling and she screamed like she was being stabbed.

**

“What are these curious bruises?”

Russo peered at the naked body laid out on Dr. Pressley’s table. The young girls flesh was striped with red welts down her thighs, almost perfectly spaced.

“In all your years, you’ve never seen this? I find that surprising, Russo!”

“Well, what is it? Is it going to help me figure out this case?” Russo was irritated. He didn’t like the doctor’s flippant tone.

“These are marks from a cane, probably given consensually if you’re wondering, and no, I don’t think these are going to help your investigation. Here, give this woman a call. She’ll tell you more than I can about these marks,” Dr. Pressley shoved a shiny black card into Russo’s hand. “Don’t ask how I know her either. You’ll be barking up the wrong tree on that one, my friend!”

**

Rose screamed.

“Yes! Harder! Fuck me harder, please!”

She loved when Sienna fucked her like this, on hands and knees like an animal, like she could drive her purple strap-on dick right through her. It wasn’t about pleasure; it was about power, and Rose felt deliciously helpless under her strength. She took what Sienna gave her, she relished the slap of skin on skin, the tug of her hair tangled in Sienna’s fingers, the pool of spit left on the pillow when Sienna shoved her face into it. It was just primal animal fucking. She could hear her sopping cunt welcome Sienna’s cock with every thrust. She was drunk on submission and floating in a haze when Sienna began to slap the side of her ass with her open palm, her cock deep inside Rose’s willing cunt.

“Take it, take it all, whore!”

**

Lady Allura was remarkable. She was small and blonde, with a warm smile, but she captivated the seasoned inspector from the first moment she spoke. She was in control of every movement, every word that slipped through her lips, and she held his gaze with stunning blue eyes. She painted an interesting story of these two girls. Russo had envisioned violence and anger when he saw the bruises on Rose’s body. Allura’s perspective was that of love and devotion.

“You can’t get marks like this if the bottom is struggling,” she gestured to the photo of the stripes decorating the pale thighs of the victim. “See how evenly spaced they are? This woman held still for this beating. This was an act of loving submission. She wanted this!”

**

Rose screamed.

“Please! Please! I can’t, I ca…”

She was tied to the bed with rope, her legs spread wide and her hands above her head. Sienna kneeled above her, a wicked Cheshire smile on her face.

“You think I’m going to let you come that easy? You need to earn it, slut!”

She held the vibrator to Rose’s clit, another one shoved inside her slippery cunt buzzed and tormented the poor bound girl. As soon as she saw Rose clench, her fists tight and pulling against her bonds, she jerked the vibrator away and slapped her right breast with a stiff palm. They’d been doing this for almost an hour, and Rose’s body glistened with a sheen of sweat, and her muscles were tired from pulling and fighting against the ropes. Sienna brought her to the edge and denied her over and over until she was a blubbering mess, tears streaked her pretty face and her hair matted against her forehead.

“I want to see how far you can go. Give me one more. That’s my good girl!”

Sienna cooed, her voice low and controlled like soft velvet. Rose thrashed against the ropes, her face contorted in frustration.

“Please!”

“Not yet.”

Sienna watched as Rose’s body got closer and closer to the precipice, her thighs shaking and vibrating as if they were powered by batteries. Just as she was about to climax, Sienna pulled the vibrator away and sunk her teeth into the inside of Rose’s silky thigh. Rose began to sob, not from the pain, but from need.

“Count down with me. Five. Four. Three,” Sienna paused here, enjoying the tormented look on her lover’s face as she held the vibrator to Rose’s swollen clit one last time.

“Two.”

“One!”

**

It was his day off, but Inspector Russo went back to the apartment building where the girls used to live. He’d already spoken to all the neighbors in his initial investigation, but he wanted to check again. Maybe someone remembered the one small detail that could reopen the case and affirm his gut feeling. He went from door to door, talking to the college kids that lived above them, two greasy boys unable to produce a full sentence between the two of them and no clue as to who the victim or the accused even were. He met with Edna Shaffer, the elderly woman next door who said she never heard peep from the young couple in all the time they were neighbors.

As he walked away from Edna’s closed door, he heard a clock chime, clear as crystal, the tones sang to him through the walls of Edna’s apartment. He paused for a moment before trudging back down the hallway towards the Larson family apartment. Mrs. Larsen’s story was exactly the same as the last time. The girls were polite, often had loud sex, but she didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary the night of the murder until Sienna started wailing. At that point, Rose was already gone according to the coroner’s estimate.

**

Rose screamed.

It was more a shout than a scream, a high-pitched whoop that bounced off the walls of the gorge and filled their ears with the sound of her voice.

“I love you!” Rose shouted gleefully, her hands thrust into the air and a goofy smile plastered across her face. The sound echoed back to them until it gradually faded into the wild silence.

“You do?” Sienna’s smiled mirrored Rose’s, bright and triumphant.

“Yes, I do. I love you!”

“I love you too, Rose.”

Sienna answered back quietly, her voice wavering slightly. Rose closed the gap between them and took Sienna into her arms and held her tight. They stood like that, quietly locked together under the crisp blue sky.

“Come on, let’s go home and fuck!” Sienna grinned as she tugged Rose’s hand towards the trail.

**

They had to drag her from the courtroom screaming, her feet dragging the tile floor seeking a stronghold. Russo had never witnessed a scene like this in his thirty odd years in the police department. Sienna Tomlinson was found guilty of killing her girlfriend, of stabbing her in cold blood as she slept soundly in their bed.

“But I love her, I love her! She is mine! She belongs to me! I love her!”

Sienna’s wails filled the sterile air and echoed off the wood paneled walls of the courtroom. She’d lost weight, her eyes were sunken into her sallow face, and her once glistening hair had thinned and dulled over the months leading up to the trial. He knew they always denied their guilt, but this was stronger than a textbook reaction from a smug criminal. Her pleas tugged at his heart and made him uncomfortable. He’d never felt this way at a trial before, usually it was a triumph, another bad person getting what they deserved. This was different, and he vowed not to let the truth slip away. He shivered as the girl was heaved out of the courtroom; her muffled cries washed over him like an icy wind.

**

Edna watched the news coverage of the trial on the television in the kitchen. The girl was really putting on a show with the crying and the screaming. She was sick of the screaming. She shuffled across the apartment in her robe and house shoes, muttering to herself.

“Dear Lord Baby Jesus, please forgive my sins. I couldn’t hear your voice over the racket. I had to do something!”

She threw her hands up in a gesture of frustration, her voice rising into the empty air unanswered.

“They got her now, Jesus. Those girls are gone, and I can hear your glorious voice again! Praise be!”

Edna reached under the kitchen sink and grabbed the trash bag that had been hiding there for months.

“Time to take out the garbage!”

Edna spoke to her Jesus as she made her way down the hall towards the elevator, and she continued her conversation with him as she turned down the alley towards the dumpster, her house shoes scraping loudly along the dirty pavement.

**

Russo did not expect to get called out to that same apartment building so soon after Rose’s brutal murder. The memory of Sienna’s screams was still so vivid in his mind and it left a bad taste in his mouth having to be so close to the scene of the crime, one that he still considered unsolved.

“What do we have here?”

“Edna Shaffer, a resident of this building. Looks like she tripped and hit her head on the corner of the dumpster while taking out the trash.”

“If it’s an accident, then why did you call homicide?”

Russo was annoyed. The downtown traffic had put him in a particularly sour mood.

“Well, look at this,” Deputy George pointed to a clear plastic trash bag holding only a pair of ordinary yellow dish gloves.

Russo leaned over the lifeless body of Edna Schaffer, and peered into the bag. The gloves were covered in dried blood, browned with age. He guessed they’d been in that bag for a few months at least.

“Interesting!”

Russo’s heart leapt. Was this the missing clue he’d been searching for all along?


6) Killer Cruise

Jessica had just taken my dick into her sweet mouth when someone knocked. I kissed her full, red lips and told her to hide in the bathroom while I grabbed a pair of shorts and opened the cabin door. The job of Security Director on a cruise ship was never boring.

“Sorry to disturb you sir. There’s been an incident.”

Mike was a long-time employee on the ship who took care of room service. His hands were shaking and his normally tan face was pale. I put my uniform on and knocked on the bathroom door to let my companion know that I was leaving. It was 9:00 PM.

“Which cabin?” I asked.

“Harlan Sanders, the owner of the Texas Oil Company.”

I didn’t want to ask too much more so I could form my own opinions. We stopped in front of a state room that easily runs about $5K each trip. Inside, there was a living area with large bedroom beyond. It looked pretty ordinary until we walked into the bedroom where we found a man whose wrists and ankles had been tied to the bed. He was naked except for a blindfold and a round, ball-gag in his mouth. From his mouth, foam slid down his right cheek as if he’d had a seizure.

I looked his body over for any visible signs of trauma. A bright red ring around his cock told me that someone had been here with him right before he died. I checked for a pulse. Nothing.

“What’s going on in here?” A woman was trying to get into the room while Mike was doing his best to hold her back. She managed to get around him and fainted when she saw the body.

It was going to be a long night.

I picked her up and told Mike to secure the room. I didn’t want anyone poking around and damaging evidence, but I needed more information from this woman. I took her to the infirmary and asked Dr. Bigelow to go take a look at Harlan’s body. We needed to figure out the cause of death.

I passed smelling salts under the woman’s nose. She jerked awake and sobbed. A crying woman was impossible to interrogate, so I waited for her to calm down and asked for her name.

“I’m Phoebe Cates. Harlan is my lover.” She wailed like a child who’d lost a toy. “We were going to get married once he divorced his wife.” That took a minute to digest.

“Were you staying in the room together?”

“No, Harlan snores so we had separate rooms. I was at the casino and wanted to come say goodnight.”

“When was the last time you saw him alive?”

“We had dinner together at six and he gave me some money to gamble.” She sobbed again and I started to wonder if she might be faking all of this. No one cries this much.

“I bet his wife killed him! She’s onboard as well.”

Just then, the doctor came back. I excused myself to speak with him privately.

“What do you think?”

“It looks like a heart attack, but I did find a puncture mark on his right thigh that looked recent. Based upon physical condition, time of death was within the last few hours.” Dr. Bigelow frowned. “I took a blood sample to see if it might have been poison, but won’t have results for another day or so.”

“Thanks doc. Can you take care of her?” He nodded and I went in search of Harlan’s wife.

I found her in the lounge. She was sitting in a quiet corner on the lap of a young man who had one hand under her skirt and the other on her breast. This kept getting better and better. I cleared my throat to get their attention. Harlan’s wife looked up at me with a dazed expression.

“My name is Sherman Foster and I take care of security on the cruise ship. Could we speak privately for a moment?”

She nodded and followed me to a separate table as her young lover watched. I looked at my notes.

“You are Beverly, Harlan Sanders wife?”

She nodded looking over my shoulder at the young man and licked her lips before blowing him a kiss. I was tempted to snap my fingers at her.

“I’m afraid that your husband is dead.”

“What?” That got her attention.

“We found his body in his stateroom about thirty minutes ago. I need to ask where you were located between six and eight o’clock this evening.”

“Wait, you think I had something to do with this?” She sounded indignant.

“It’s a standard question asked of anyone connected to the deceased.”

“I was with Gavin. We went to dinner at seven and didn’t finish until almost eight.” Her eyes were wide with shock. It was difficult to determine whether she was faking her reaction. “We were in the Posh Dining Room. You can confirm with the host.”

I wrote that down. “Do you know anyone who might have wanted to harm your husband?”

She laughed. It was a loud, obnoxious sound that resembled the snort of a pig. “A lot of people wanted him dead. The environmentalists were always after him because of rainforest damage. Hell, after these last few months, I wanted him dead!” She visibly calmed herself. “But, I didn’t do it. I bet it was Phoebe, his mistress.”

“What makes you say that?”

“She was on her way out. All these years she’s been counting on Harlan to divorce me and marry her. Now that he’s got plans in place, he’s started seeing someone else.”

“Do you know who it might be?”

She shook her head and waved a waitress over. “I need a Scotch. Make it a double.” Mrs. Sanders was done answering questions.

I went back to the table where Mrs. Sander’s friend waited.

“Your name is Gavin?” I asked.

“Gavin McCleod. I’ve been fucking Beverly for the past two years.” He was obviously drunk.

“Do you know who might have killed Harlan Sanders?” His expression of surprise and dismay threw me off. There might have been a tear in the man’s eye.

“What happened to him?” he asked.

“I’m afraid I can’t share the details yet. Do you know who might have wanted to kill him?”

“Beverly and Phoebe both hated him. It could have been either one.”

“Could you elaborate on that?”

“Beverly wants a good fuck and a lot of money and Harlan was tired of her. She didn’t like getting set aside, but I don’t think she’d kill him.” Gavin shifted in his seat, his boner must have been uncomfortable. “Phoebe is a crafty bitch and in it for the money. Only problem is Harlan has been banging someone else.”

“You seem to know a lot about this group.” Sometimes people just needed a nudge in the right direction.

“Neither one of them knows it, but I was fucking Harlan too.” He giggled and sobbed. This guy really got around.

Gavin kept going, “About a week ago, Harlan told me we had to stop. There was someone else in the picture.”

“Did that make you mad?”

He looked at me warily. The drunken act had disappeared. “Not mad enough to kill him. I loved the guy.”

I sighed. This felt like a dead end except for the mysterious other woman. I was about to leave when Gavin grabbed my arm.

“I think the other woman is on the boat. When I left my room the other night, she was leaving Harlan’s room. I thought it might have been Phoebe, but this woman is much taller.”

I removed his hand and thanked him for his time.

Jessica approached me while I was walking back to my office.

“Is it true that someone was murdered?” Her eyes were round and scared. I debated how much I should share, but since she is a cabin attendant for that area, I decided to spill.

“He was naked? That’s horrible.” She shuddered and I wondered if it was worse to die naked or fully clothed in her world.

“You take care of his room, don’t you? Did you see anything unusual when you were cleaning last night?”

“I never got in there. When I went around eight he was making all sorts of crazy sex noises.” She pursed her lips, trying to recall. “But I did see something odd in Leah Fairlie’s room. There was a dead, yellow frog in the garbage can. It reminded me of those pretty tree frogs. I have no idea where she might have gotten that from, but my heart ached for the poor, little thing.”

Jessica was a bit of a tree hugger. I’d forgotten about how she was always handing out fliers and encouraging the crew to protect the rainforest. Although most of the time I enjoyed looking at her round ass and forgot about the rest.

“It’s room 302.” Her eyes flashed with mischief. “See you later?” I nodded, grinning.

I was in my office reviewing card key access reports when Dr. Bigelow stopped by. He seemed anxious.

“We moved Mr. Sanders into the infirmary about an hour ago. While putting him in storage, I noticed that his wound had turned a dark purple color. I think he was poisoned.”

I thanked him for the information and tried to put all of the puzzle pieces together in my head. I needed to speak to Leah Fairlie. She might have the answers I needed.

I knocked on Room 302 and a tall woman with dark, curly hair answered. She had velvety eyes and a full mouth that begged to be kissed. This woman had sex appeal in spades. I introduced myself and she let me in.

“Do you know Harlan Sanders?” At the mention of his name, Leah put her hand to her mouth.

“Why do you ask?”

“I’m afraid he may have been murdered last night.”

Her face turned white while her shoulders slumped. Grief filled her eyes as she stared at me.

“He’s dead?” her voice was a whisper. “I can’t believe my father is gone. Not now. Not after I waited so long to meet him.”

It was my turn for shock.

“Harlan was your father?”

She smiled sadly. “No one knew. I saw the looks his wife and mistress gave me. They thought I was sleeping with him.” She chuckled. “My mother never told him about me. They were young and careless, but she didn’t want me around him.”

“How’d you find out?” I knew this was going off the rails, but decided to go with it.

“After my mother died, I found an old birth certificate that had his name on it. I reached out to him and we’ve been getting to know each other.”

Something felt a bit off here.

“One of the cabin attendants mentioned that they found a yellow frog in your room. Do you know anything about that?”

Her puzzled look gave me the answer I needed, but I was still at a loss. Who killed Harlan Sanders?

I left her cabin and headed back to my own. I needed a shower to relax and collect my thoughts. I could still smell sex with Jessica and it was making me crazy. As I took my clothes off in the bathroom, I thought about the people around Harlan. His wife was sleeping with another man, but didn’t want to get divorced and lose her income. Gavin was sleeping with both Harlan and his wife, but for some reason, Harlan cut him off. Could it have been because of his growing relationship with his daughter? Phoebe wanted to marry Harlan for his money, so she wouldn’t have tried to kill him.

As for the daughter, I wondered what her stake was in all of this. Was it possible that there was an inheritance to consider now that she’d gotten close to her old man? The yellow frog seemed like an odd anomaly, but it felt important somehow.

I went back into my main cabin and turned on the laptop. Google always helped me figure things out that were beyond my reach. I came up with a golden poison dart frog. It gives off a poison that is lethal to humans. Was that what Jessica found in Leah’s room? How’d she get it on the boat?

A knock at the door startled me. I looked down to see that I was naked in the main room. I grabbed a towel to cover myself when I noticed the red lipstick on my skin. It all came together.

I opened the door to find Jessica wearing a skin tight black dress with black stilettos and fishnet stockings. I pulled her close and kissed her, my cock getting hard thinking about her mouth. We moved back toward the bed and fell onto it together. I pulled her dress up and sank my fingers into her pussy as she moaned beneath me. All this time, it had been her.

I moved over her body, kissing her lips and pinching her nipples as she writhed. I grabbed her hips and slammed into her pussy. She was hot and wet. It all came together as we fucked; her red lipstick, her passion for the rainforest, killing the rich oilman and trying to frame someone else with the frog.

“Why did you kill him?” She looked up at me, her passion forgotten in panic. She moved the ring on her hand to reveal a spike the size of a tack. Before she could press it into my skin, I grabbed both arms and pinned her beneath me. As I came inside her, she shook. When I looked down, her eyes were blank and foam was spilling from her mouth. She’d been poisoned by her own ring.


7 Replies to “Smut Marathon 2019: Final voting round

  1. I don’t know if this feedback is composed in a way that the other writers will learn anything and I don’t think they need to because all their entries are exactly what you’d expect from Smut Marathon finalists faced with a tough assignment: well-written, fully-formed stories, with strong characters and stronger sex. My choice came down to personal preference: I don’t like dead bodies, blood, and violence in my erotica, so I voted for the two stories which I felt gave me the fewest gruesome details of the murder (The Tea Planter’s Wife and Hanging On).

  2. I enjoyed all the stories. Four were exceptional. I thought two were outstanding and worthy of great praise. It was hard (no pun intended) to chose the third to vote for among the other two. Congrats to all of you for making the final 6!

  3. I just want to say well done the six of you for getting this far. It is not easy – it is a marathon.
    Six great stories so good luck all …
    May xx

  4. First of all I want to thank the writers for their effords, I have enjoyed reading them all. I think all 6 stories are well written. However my first choice is nr. 5 which has a fine plot and great smut, I truly enjoyed it. Nr. 1 is very well told, but the plot is a bit queer. The smut in nr.2 is not that hot but I like the sense of humor. Story 3 (which I voted for too) is a classic whodunnit, hot smut, but the funny twist in the last 2 sentences is over-the-top and unnecessary.
    Nr. 4 is top-hot! I voted for it because I genuinly like the perspective and the premisse (revealed at the end) that she is condemned to her killer. However, I find the killer predictable (maybe because it reminded me of ‘In the cut’ by Susanna Moore).
    The last story is well written, nice smut, good plot but it did not ‘grab me by the….’ ;).

    I hope to read more from you all.

    Thank you, Rebel, for organizing this wonderful contest!

  5. Congratulations to everyone who made it this far! I tried to leave in depth feedback for each story.
    1. Blueprint of Love – This was engaging and had some great parts. The beginning was a little slow and could’ve been condensed a little. You have a lot of repeated words with the same sentences or paragraphs, which took me out of the reading. Also, I’d like to get some clue at some point in the place that the ex-girlfriend was capable of this… or at least that things were unresolved between the two.
    2. The Tea Planter’s Wife – First of all, this was a very ambitious story! The setting in India was fantastic, but unfortunately, some of it went over my dim American head. I needed more explanation about things like “mark your card” and it took me a minute to figure out they were playing a game (cricket, I assume, although I know almost nothing about the sport). The murder mystery was good, but the ending bit was completely unnecessary. And “unlike me” was implied and could’ve gone unsaid.
    3. Unfinished Business – There were definitely some hot scenes in here and I really dig the kinky Clue vibes. I thought the inspectors admission came too easily, and while his interaction with Philomena was HOT, it was not believable. I think hearing either her or her husband describing what happened with Johnson while the inspector grew uncomfortably hard would’ve done the trick. But that’s just my opinion!
    4. Hanging On – I really liked this a lot! I think you did a nice job with the prompts! I didn’t guess the cop was the killer until the “new guy” was mentioned, and even then, it wasn’t confirmed until the last bit! Angelina was a great character. My only critique is I would’ve like a little more of Carmen. I understand why you included her, but a little more about their relationship would be nice. But that’s just a nit-pick! Great job!
    5. Silencing the Screams – Normally I’m not that into BDSM and I think it was overdone earlier in the marathon, but you did it so well here! This story was very hot and I loved the relationship between Sienna and Rose. My only critique is that I wish you hadn’t given Edna away before the reveal at the end! I wonder how you could’ve left clues that Edna was the murderer without giving away?
    6. Killer Cruise – I think you were trying for a noir tone here, but in my opinion, it didn’t work and came off as choppy. I like the idea for this story, but the names didn’t work for me either and immediately drew me out of the story.

  6. Every writer in this final round deserve to be the winner of the 2019 edition of the marathon, but only one can win. Who that is will be revealed soon, but for now, here’s my feedback of the six whodunnit stories for this round.

    1) Blueprint of Love: I love how you have built this up, starting with the question of the detective, then the background story and then the murder. It feels natural and to me it portrayed her mind jumping from one fraction of their lives together to what was happening at the moment. The sex and dialogue all feels natural too, and so does the sad way this ends.
    One sentence I absolutely love is: “We fucked like lions on the Sahara, wild and powerful and glowing with passion.”
    A great story, sexy and totally spot on with the assignment. Well done!

    2) The Tea Planter’s Wife: I am definitely a fan of your writing and with this story you have just blown me away. I love the setting in India, and the intrigue that happens here. At a stage, while reading, I thought that the detective was the murderer, but I never saw it coming that it might be the wife. Great twist, and I do love that last piece about the graveyard. It does give an extra depth to the story. Well done on this assignment!

    3) Unfinished Business: It seems things can get quite sexy in that little village, seeing how you’ve ended this story. I love it! I never saw it coming that the inspector is the murderer. What I really love about your story is the dialogue, the way you use that, and then the actions, to build up the sexual tension. Just brilliant. I really enjoyed reading this story!

    4) Hanging On: Another great story where the detective is the killer, but so totally different from the previous one. I like how you have the victim attached to the detective, how she can tell her story too. Actually, this story ends quite sad, and I would have liked to see the killer facing justice, but on the other side I like that you have left it open at the end, for the reader to fantasize about what happened next.

    5) Silencing the Screams: There is something about telling a story the way you have done that really works for me. It’s two storylines intertwining and together they make up the main story. The sex and the BDSM scene is beautifully described as is the love that Rose and Sienna had for each other. I felt Sienna’s pain and Russo’s doubt with the court scene. A great story which I really enjoyed!

    6) Killer Cruise: I absolutely love the characters you have painted here, the intrigue of the different love affairs going on, and how the suspicion rested on everyone of them but for the one who has actually committed the murder. A brilliant way to get to it, and what a way to go for Jessica, right in the middle of the act. I really enjoyed reading this!

  7. Before I get to my feedback, I want to congratulate all the finalists: it’s no mean feat getting through all ten rounds of the marathon, and I think it was particularly hard this year, given that I felt the difficulty level of the assignments was ramped up compared to last year, too. This round is especially true of that: if a humorous erotic love triangle was a tricky prompt, an erotic whodunit is even trickier. So yes, kudos to everyone who got this far, and wrote some great stories for this round.

    (10) Silencing the screams (5)
    What I liked: I really enjoyed this – it was super hot and I think also, because it was risky to touch on BDSM that ends in murder given some of the stories in the news lately, I was super relieved that you didn’t take it where I was worried it might go.
    What I thought could be improved: To be honest, there’s very little about this I can fault. If I was being super nit-picky I might say that the clues don’t necessarily indicate to the reader that the murderer is more likely to be Edna than any of the other characters, but I’m not even really sure this is an issue.

    (9) Hanging on (4)
    What I liked: The twist – that the whole story is being narrated by the victim. Very clever indeed!
    What I thought could be improved: I think it’s probably just unfortunate that there were a couple of stories in this round where the killer turned out to be the police officer, but for me, it was a combination of this, plus the fact that I found this marginally less hot than the story that I awarded 10 points to, that made this come in second position for me.

    (8) Killer cruise (6)
    What I liked: You’ve managed to get a huge amount of plot into such a short word count, and I thought the idea of having it all take place in a location where no one is able to come and go, like a cruise ship, was a very good idea.
    What I thought could be improved: It would have been good to get a slightly better sense of who Jessica is – is she just the narrator’s lover, or does she also have a job on the ship? – and there were some bits that rang slightly untrue, such as him just picking up the woman who fainted.

    (7) Unfinished business (3)
    What I liked: Despite my points in ‘What I thought could be improved,’ below, I did find a lot of the dialogue in this really quite arousing.
    What I thought could be improved: For me, this sometimes veered a little too close to comedic to be truly erotic. Also, probably me, but I’m afraid I got confused as to how Inspector Bull had managed to commit the crime on first reading and had to read the story again to figure this out. You could of course see this as you having really succeeded at keeping the clues to the murderer’s identity secret though, so it’s not necessarily a weakness.

    (6) Blueprint of love (1)
    What I liked: I liked your prose a lot, especially the dialogue, and, without a doubt, this story brought the smut to the Smut Marathon.
    What I thought could be improved: Some of the narrator’s actions, such as smirking when the policewoman had to write ‘Boner’, seemed odd for someone who has just found out someone has been killed, although I wondered if this was explicitly designed to fool the reader.

    (5) The Tea Planter’s wife (2)
    What I liked: I liked that your setting (and your time period, I think) were not the same as the other entries in this round – as ever, this is a good way of making your story stand out. Also, you did a good job of planting clues, so this definitely matched with my understanding of what a ‘whodunnit’ should be.
    What I thought could be improved: For me, this was too light on the smut, I’m afraid, and so didn’t quite fulfil the brief.

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