PDA

View Full Version : Death by Fire



Lizzie Brookes
February 5th, 2012, 01:05 PM
Chapter 1

Mary Evron, an educational psychologist at Hollybrook School, was searching for a quiet classroom where she could catch up on paperwork. It was after school hours, so most of the students were either participating in after school activities or had gone home. As she wandered round Block A, Mary was surprised to run into Eadric Stevens, the handsome, charismatic head boy. Seeing Mary, Eadric went up to her and kindly asked if she was okay.

"I'm fine thanks" Mary replied. "Just searching for a free classroom where I can catch up on paperwork. The ones I have seen so far are either locked, or have people serving after school detention or have some kind of after school club going on."

"A9 is free I believe and it is unlocked." Eadric was very soft spoken.

"Thank you." She smiled gratefully at him.

"I'll take you there if you like".

Mary nodded. She followed Eadric to the classroom. Eadric then left her, saying he needed to do some work in the library.

A9 was a spatious classroom with a whiteboard at the far end and fluorescent ceiling lights. There were white square tables and red school chairs. As Mary looked round for a suitable place to sit, she noticed an open box of chocolates on the teacher's desk. Curious, she went over to look. It was a box of chocolate truffles. Since two were missing, Mary felt no guilt in taking one herself. After an hour of paperwork, Mary felt very tired. She put her head on the table and dropped off.


*


He wheeled a wheelchair that he had taken from the medical room into A9. Looking into the room, he saw Mary with her head on the table, fast asleep. He pulled her chair away from the table and transferred her to the wheelchair. This was an easy feat for him, given that he was taller and stronger than Mary. It had not been difficult for him to diliberately stay awake for a few nights to give credence to his phoney insomnia story so that his GP would prescribe him sleeping tablets. He had then returned to his normal sleep patterns, attributing these to the positive effect of the sleeping pills. He did not of course eat the pills. He merely saved them for his own purposes.

Doctoring the chocolates had been harder, but he had managed it and then left them in a place where he knew Mary would find and eat them. Taking Mary's handbag, he draped it over her shoulder. He then gathered her paperwork back into the file and replaced the file in Mary's Blackwells bag before placing it in the wheelchair with her. Knowing the location of the CCTV cameras, he took care to avoid them as he wheeled her out to her own car. He took her car keys and house keys out of her handbag after first making sure he was alone in the carpark. Using the first set of keys, he unlocked the car and put Mary in the front seat next to the driver's. He strapped her seat belt securely Even if anyone saw them, they would asume he was giving her a lift and she had merely fallen asleep on the way.

Locking the car, he pocketed both sets of keys before returning the wheelchair to the medical room. Coming back, he unlocked the car, got in, fastened his seatbelt and drove out of Hollybrook School. He made for Mary's semi detached house on Brancross Road. He stopped the car in Mary's driveway and looked out for the neighbours. All the windows were curtained. He let himself in using Mary's house key, before drawing all the curtains and turning on some lights. He then carried Mary in and, placing her on the sitting room sofa, he removed her shoes and socks. He placed the shoes neatly on her shoe rack in the hall and tossed the socks into her linen bin in the bathroom. Removing her coat and scarf, he hung them up on the hall hooks. Taking a blanket, he covered her tenderly. He stood, looking down at her for a moment.

Although once a pyromaniac, always a pyromaniac, when he lit fires before, he did it for the euphoria, relief from built up tension, and gratification. Nevertheless, the skills he had gained from his pyromania career would come in useful for compulsive killing. Just as there was love at first sight, there was also hate at first sight and he knew that only by eliminating the object of his hatred and resentment could he free himself from the built up tension it caused. It was no different to when he lit fires. His soul craved once more that relief and what better way than to combine his pyromanic abilities and his compulsive urge to kill? He bent down and kissed her goodbye on the forehead.

First of all, noticing a stool in the hall, he brought it out, stood upon it and removed the batteries from the smoke alarm. These he pocketed, before returning the stool to its rightful place. This done, he headed for the kitchen where he found a box of matches in one of the kitchen drawers, before returning to the sitting room. He felt the usual rush of adrenaline caused by holding the matches in his hand, but hesitated for a split second, remembering he had never taken a life before.

Then, steeling himself, he struck a match and dropped it in the corner of the room. Realising he needed to move quickly, he backed out of the room, shutting the door securely to ensure the fire did not spread. This done, he returned both sets of keys to Mary's handbag which he hung up on the hall hook with the other things. He then walked out of the house, closing the door behind him. He heard the click of the automatic lock. He looked around. Nobody had seen him. He then went away, leaving Mary to her fate.

bazz cargo
February 27th, 2012, 10:32 PM
Hi Lizzie,
Your title caught my eye.

A neat little account of a psychopath at work. There are a few areas that could do with some editing. Would you like me to have a go?

WriterJohnB
February 29th, 2012, 06:54 PM
It's a good character and a good situation, but I had a couple of problems. How could Eadric know Mary would be looking for a quiet room? If it's something she does every night or nearly every night, you need to let the reader know.

It's good that you don't identify the wheelchair guy. Who is this guy? Eadric? A stranger? Is he a good samaritan? But I think you blow any chance of suspense by almost immediately spelling everything else out for the reader, which gives his identity away, also. Keep them in the dark and make them wonder about the chocolates, etc. for a while. Just describe his actions, at first. Don't let the reader know what he's up to until he has her in her own house.

Hope that helps,

JohnB

Lizzie Brookes
March 13th, 2012, 06:10 PM
Thanks for the tips John - I'm new at writing this so I could use some tips. I didn't realise the guy's identity was so obvious. And Bazz, sure you can edit anything you think needs editing but please copy and paste my work into a new reply box and then edit that so that the original post stays as it is - thanks.

Terry D
March 13th, 2012, 06:27 PM
Your prose is easy to read and the story flows smoothly. I think, however, that it flows too quickly. The piece feels a bit rushed, with no build-up of tension. I think your pyromaniac/killer could be more interesting if you let us inside his head and showed us how he felt about what he was doing. Was he nervous? Excited? Did he have any regret? How did Mary's house and car feel to him? What did the struck match smell like? Did he feel the heat of the building fire toasting his skin as he backed out of the room? Take you time and put us in that room with him. It will pay off for your story.

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to read this, it has potential.

Lizzie Brookes
March 13th, 2012, 08:03 PM
Thanks for your Feedback Terry. Will see what I can do. :)

Lizzie Brookes
March 13th, 2012, 10:06 PM
Wearing a pair of thin white gloves, he wheeled a wheelchair that he had taken from the medical room into A9. Looking into the room, he saw Mary with her head on the table, fast asleep. He pulled her chair away from the table and transferred her to the wheelchair. This was an easy feat for him, given that he was taller and stronger than Mary. It had not been difficult for him to deliberately stay awake for a few nights, to give credence to his phony insomnia story so that his GP would prescribe him sleeping tablets. He had then returned to his normal sleep patterns, attributing these to the positive effect of the sleeping pills. He did not of course eat the pills. He merely saved them for his own purposes.

Doctoring the chocolates had been harder, but he had managed it and then left them in a place where he knew Mary would find and eat them. Taking Mary's handbag, he draped it over her shoulder. He then gathered her paperwork back into the file, replacing it in Mary's Blackwells bag before placing it in the wheelchair with her. Knowing the location of the CCTV cameras, he took care to avoid them as he wheeled her out to her own car. He took her car keys and house keys out of her handbag after first making sure he was alone in the carpark. Using the first set of keys, he unlocked the car and put Mary in the front seat next to the driver's. He strapped her seat belt securely. Even if anyone saw them, they would assume he was giving her a lift, and she had merely fallen asleep on the way.

Locking the car, he pocketed both sets of keys before returning the wheelchair to the medical room. Coming back, he unlocked the car and climbed inside. He settled himself in the broad, comfortable seat and fastened his seatbelt securely. Reaching his hand out confidently and holding the car keys firmly, he placed them in the ignition and turned before backing out of Hollybrook School. He slipped the keys back in his pocket before putting his gloved hand on the steering wheel, his feet firmly on the pedals. He made for Mary's semi detached house on Brancross Road. Parking the car in Mary's driveway, he took off his seatbelt, opened the car door and stepped out, glancing left and right as he did so. There was no sign of movement and the neighbours' windows were curtained.

Then he entered using Mary's house key, before drawing all the curtains and turning on some lights. He paused a moment. The house was empty and silent. This did not unnerve him in the least. He went back out, carried Mary in through the tiled hall and into the sitting room before placing her on the sofa. Walking to the far end of the sofa, he knelt down, reached out a hand and took hold of one foot. An odd feeling rippled through him as he did so and he gently caressed her ankle with his thumb before pulling off her left shoe. He did the same with the right shoe. Standing up, her black flat shoes in his hand, he paused momentarily before walking out and placing them neatly on her shoe rack. This felt weird, even for him. Coming back, he quickly pulled off her socks. Climbing quickly and lightly up the stairs, he turned right, into her bathroom, opened her linen bin and casually threw the socks inside before closing it. Returning to the sitting room, he gently unwound her scarf from her neck and then unbuttoned and removed her coat. These he hung up on the hall hooks. Taking a blanket, he covered her tenderly. He stood, looking down at her for a moment.

Although once a pyromaniac, always a pyromaniac, when he lit fires before, he did it for the euphoria, relief from built up tension, and gratification. Nevertheless, the skills he had gained from his pyromania career would come in useful for compulsive killing. Just as there was love at first sight, there was also hate at first sight and he knew that only by eliminating the object of his hatred and resentment could he free himself from the built up tension it caused. It was no different to when he lit fires. His soul craved once more that relief and what better way than to combine his pyromanic abilities and his compulsive urge to kill? He bent down and kissed her goodbye on the forehead.

First of all, noticing a stool in the hall, he brought it out, stood upon it and removed the batteries from the smoke alarm. These he pocketed, before returning the stool to its rightful place. This done, he headed for the kitchen where he found a box of matches in one of the kitchen drawers, before returning to the sitting room. He felt the usual rush of adrenaline caused by holding the matches in his hand, but hesitated for a split second, remembering he had never taken a life before. Then, steeling himself, he struck a match and dropped it in the corner of the room. Realising he needed to move quickly, he backed out of the room, shutting the door securely to ensure the fire did not spread. This done, he returned both sets of keys to Mary's handbag which he hung up on the hall hook with the other things. He then walked out of the house, closing the door behind him. He heard the click of the automatic lock. He looked around. Nobody had seen him. Pulling off the gloves, he pushed them into his pockets, and then went away, leaving Mary to her fate.

bazz cargo
March 15th, 2012, 09:58 PM
Death by Fire


Chapter 1

Mary Evron, an educational psychologist at Hollybrook School, was searching for a quiet classroom where she could catch up on paperwork. It was after school hours, so most of the students were either participating in after school activities or had gone home. As she wandered round Block A, Mary was surprised to run into Eadric Stevens, the handsome, charismatic head boy. Seeing Mary, Eadric went up to her and kindly asked if she was okay.

"I'm fine thanks" Mary replied. "Just searching for a free classroom where I can catch up on paperwork. The ones I have seen so far are either locked, or have people serving after school detention or have some kind of after school club going on."

"A9 is free I believe and it is unlocked." Eadric was very soft spoken.

"Thank you." She smiled gratefully at him.

"I'll take you there if you like".

Mary nodded. She followed Eadric to the classroom. Eadric then left her, saying he needed to do some work in the library.

A9 was a spacious classroom with a white-board at the far end and fluorescent ceiling lights. There were white square tables and red school chairs. As Mary looked round for a suitable place to sit, she noticed an open box of chocolates on the teacher's desk. Curious, she went over to look. It was a box of chocolate truffles. Since two were missing, Mary felt no guilt in taking one herself. After an hour of paperwork, Mary felt very tired. She put her head on the table and dropped off.

*

He wheeled a wheelchair that he had taken from the medical room to A9. Looking into the room, he saw Mary with her head on the table, fast asleep. He pulled her chair away from the table and transferred her to the wheelchair. This was an easy feat for him, given that he was taller and stronger than Mary. It had not been difficult for him to deliberately stay awake for a few nights to give credence to his phony insomnia story so that his GP would prescribe him sleeping tablets. He had then returned to his normal sleep patterns, attributing these to the positive effect of the sleeping pills. He did not of course eat the pills. He merely saved them for his own purposes.

Doctoring the chocolates had been harder, but he had managed it and then left them in a place where he knew Mary would find and eat them. Taking Mary's handbag, he draped it over her shoulder. He then gathered her paperwork back into the file and replaced the file in Mary's Blackwells bag before placing it in the wheelchair with her. Knowing the location of the CCTV cameras, he took care to avoid them as he wheeled her out to her own car. He took her car keys and house keys out of her handbag after first making sure he was alone in the car park. Using the first set of keys, he unlocked the car and put Mary in the front passenger seat. He strapped her seat belt securely Even if anyone saw them, they would assume he was giving her a lift and she had merely fallen asleep on the way.

Locking the car, he pocketed both sets of keys before returning the wheelchair to the medical room. Coming back, he unlocked the car, got in, fastened his seatbelt and drove out of Hollybrook School. He made for Mary's semi detached house on Brancross Road. He stopped the car in Mary's driveway and looked out for the neighbors. All the windows were curtained. He let himself in using Mary's house key, before drawing all the curtains and turning on some lights. He then carried Mary in and, placing her on the sitting room sofa, he removed her shoes and socks. He placed the shoes neatly on her shoe rack in the hall and tossed the socks into her linen bin in the bathroom. Removing her coat and scarf, he hung them up on the hall hooks. Taking a blanket, he covered her tenderly. He stood, looking down at her for a moment.

Once a pyromaniac, always a pyromaniac, when he lit fires before, he did it for the euphoria, relief from built up tension, and gratification. Nevertheless, the skills he had gained from his pyromania career would come in useful for compulsive killing. Just as there was love at first sight, there was also hate at first sight and he knew that only by eliminating the object of his hatred and resentment could he free himself from the built up tension it caused. It was no different to when he lit fires. His soul craved once more that relief and what better way than to combine his pyromaniac abilities and his compulsive urge to kill? He bent down and kissed her goodbye on the forehead.

First of all, noticing a stool in the hall, he brought it out, stood upon it and removed the battery from the smoke alarm; this he pocketed, before returning the stool to its rightful place. That done, he headed for the kitchen where he found a box of matches in one of the kitchen drawers, before returning to the sitting room. He felt the usual rush of adrenaline caused by holding the matches in his hand, but hesitated for a split second, remembering he had never taken a life before.

Then, steeling himself, he struck a match and dropped it in the corner of the room. Realizing he needed to move quickly, he backed out of the room, shutting the door securely to ensure the fire did not spread. This done, he returned both sets of keys to Mary's handbag which he hung up on the hall hook with the other things. He then walked out of the house, closing the door behind him. He heard the click of the automatic lock. He looked around. Nobody had seen him. He then went away, leaving Mary to her fate.



I changed the spelling to USA style and moved a few words around. The nice thing was there is so little that needs fixing. You might consider Eadric adding an accelerant to the carpet, say spilled vodka or some other spirit.

Lizzie Brookes
March 16th, 2012, 06:51 AM
Thanks for doing that Bazz. I wrote another version above, incorporating the changes that Terry suggested. You can read that one if you like and see if it's any good.

lowprofile300
March 18th, 2012, 04:47 AM
I don't have much of a critique. Creepy but very interesting. It has great potential in my humble opinion. I look forward to more of the same great writing.

Lizzie Brookes
March 18th, 2012, 07:12 AM
Thanks for the praise LowProfile. :)

bazz cargo
March 18th, 2012, 11:20 PM
Hi LB,
read your 2nd edit. An improvement but still a little clunky in places. You would be better served to move on to the next part and return to edit after it has time to rest.

This is way good enough to persist with.

Respect
Bazz

Conan
March 20th, 2012, 05:52 AM
Easy to read and has a nice flow which is good for crime fiction, since you want people to focus on understanding ob the plot not what your saying. I like the character and if i was at a bookstore and were to pick this up and flip through it. Well its interesting enough that i would spend a few bucks to buy it.

Name the Sky
April 3rd, 2012, 04:54 PM
I like the premise, and since you've indicated that this is only the first chapter I'm sure you'll be expanding more on the character's motivations. That said, is the killer just a sociopath or are there other factors feeding into his killer instincts? I think for the next portion more back story would be helpful, either in vilifying the character or offering some mitigation as to why he's become the way he is. That is, is he a stone cold murderer that the reader will always see in a negative light, or is he a victim himself of circumstances that may have caused some kind of psychological damage? If he is purely a bad guy, then are you planning on introducing a protagonist to play the foil? So far it is well written and I look forward to seeing where it ends up.