In my previous post I explained that several of us were going to try our hand at writing a round robin short story and I posted Part One. You can find Part Two on Malia’s blog and Part Three on Sabrina’s blog. Player number four was suppost to post this part, but since I can’t resist a dead body, I jumped in. Um, yeah, don’t draw too many conclusions from that last statement. Anyhow, feel free to join us.

What I’ve discovered so far: it’s more fun to play with someone else’s characters. And, I can still write even if I don’t know where the story is going, something that’s often hard for me to do. Okay, so on to Part Four.

Part Four

Russell looked up at her, then back at the tire iron in his hand. “Oh, it’s not what you think. I came over here to give you and Ryan some privacy when this guy came running up with this crazed look in his eye and blood streaming down his face.”

Sarah focused her eyes on Russell. One look at the body was all she needed. She put her hand behind her to feel for the boat rental building and sagged against it. They were on the backside of the building. Unless someone purposely came out here for a reason, no one would see them.

Sonny had stopped his growling and leaned heavily against her legs before plopping down on her feet.

“He had the tire iron in his hand. I thought he was going to hit me with it. But instead he handed it to me. Along with this.” A bottle of nail polish dangled from his fingers. OPI’s Chick Flick Cherry, if she wasn’t mistaken. A favorite. “Weird, huh? Then he just collapsed. I checked for a pulse, but he’s dead.”

As she stared at the nail polish bottle, she realized she could see the dead man’s boots out of the corner of her eye. They looked familiar. Where had she seen them before? She worked with a lot of contractors so why would this pair have stood out in her memory? There was nothing to do but look at his face. She closed her eyes. She really didn’t want to do this, but if it could help solve what happened …

She squatted down and scratched Sonny’s neck, his soft fur giving her comfort. He snuffled a few times then settled into a rhythmic breathing pattern. The dog was asleep on her feet, probably the only one relaxed around here. Well, except for the dead guy.

Continuing to stroke Sonny’s ears, she let her gaze travel up from the man’s boots, up his jean-clad legs and button-down shirt with blood spatters, to his face. She held her breath. It didn’t look as bad as she had expected. She recognized him. But from where?

She glanced up at Russell. He was looking at her, but not saying anything. She closed her eyes. This guy had something to do with a jobsite, she was sure. She let her mind wander. She’d driven up to the site of the building she was designing yesterday, but had gotten lost. Nothing unusual there; she had a horrible sense of direction. She’d stopped and asked two guys—

That was it. He was one of the guys she had asked for directions. And as she had driven away, in her rearview mirror she had seen him arguing with the other man.

She abruptly stood, disturbing Sonny who yawned and resettled himself on her feet. “We’ve got to call the police. I know this guy.” She unclipped her phone from her waist and speed-dialed Kyle, her best friend’s boyfriend, a detective.

While waiting for him to pick up, she noticed sunlight glinting off the top of the nail polish bottle Russell still held. That was odd. She took a step closer and saw a small rhinestone—like what would be used for a nail decoration—stuck to the top of the bottle. Why was that there?