Currently working a new Paranormal Romance story I’m calling In The Dead Of Night. Here’s a short except of the first chapter. This is a peek at the unedited first draft and so typos are possible.
First Draft is about 12% Finished
In The Dead Of Night
By J. Wayne Williams
There she was again illuminated by a lightning flash. Her skin pale as the moon, her eyes dark as the night. Detective John Hunter leaned against the railing of the seventh floor fire escape taking a drag from his last cigarette, and wondering what he had done to deserve this. Becky, his girlfriend of almost two years was banging on the open window trying to get his attention, but his eyes were fixed the street below. Was that really her he’d seen down there?
“Damn it Hunter, are you listening to me?” Becky shouted.
“Yeah babe, it’s kind of hard not to with your big mouth constantly flapping.”
“What did you just say to me?” She screamed. John squeezed his eyes shut and sighed, realizing too late just put his foot in his mouth again. Last thing he wanted to do was to start a fight with her on his night off.
“Nothing babe,” he said.
“Don’t tell me nothing babe, I heard what you said.”
“Christ, then why did you ask me?” Once again the night sky lit up by a streak of lightning, its jagged fingers branching out in search of something to connect with. This time it was followed by the faint rumbling of thunder. Hunter took advantage of it and scanned the road below for a second time, thankful for the momentary illumination. This time however, he didn’t see anyone. Had he really seen anyone the first time? Maybe the stress of his job was finally starting to get the better of him. He turned around in hopes of making up with Becky, but he knew it was already too late. When she was angry, there was no calming her down.
None of his buddies on the police force understood why he put up with her crap. They assumed either the sex was super amazing, or it was something crazy like true love. The truth was their sex was average at best, and Hunter hadn’t been able to truly love anyone, not since Raine Thompson went missing five years ago.
Raine was beautiful, fun, kind hearted, and intelligent. Unlike Becky, who was average looking, always seemed to be upset about something, and had to be taught step by step on how to use a toaster. Raine had been the light of Hunter’s life and the song in his heart. So much so he’d even planned on making an honest woman of her. The proof was a diamond ring that had cost him nearly four months pay. He hid it in the false bottom of his underwear draw to keep it safe until he got the ready to pop the question. Sadly though, Raine never got the chance to see it. The day before Hunter had planned on drop to one knee and propose, he came home to a crime scene. Their apartment had been trashed, blood was splattered on nearly every flat surface in the living room, and his beloved fiancé was gone.
Hunter took the final drag off his cigarette and flicked the butt over the railing. Then he closed his eyes and sighed as Becky tossed another wave of angry four letter words his direction. He wished the detectives who’d worked Raine’s case would have at least found her body to give him some much needed closure. Instead he had to face every single day not knowing, and it was slowly eating him up inside. What Hunter didn’t understand was why it had taken nearly five years for him to finally reach the breaking point?
The haunting had started about three weeks ago. He was driving home from a long day of work when he turned into entrance of his apartment’s parking garage and thought he saw a flash of Raine’s face in the beam of his headlights. It shocked his so much that he slammed on the breaks and jumped out of car calling out her name. He grabbed his flashlight and began checking between the rows of parked cars, but found no one. Puzzled, he went back to his car and sat there while his analytical mind tried to make some sense of the situation. What had he seen? Could it have been a girl who just happened to resembled Raine? No, because he had jumped out of the car and began searching the lot the instant he thought he’d seen her. There was no way anyone could have left the area him seeing them. After that, he’d began seeing her everywhere. Just momentary glimpse of her standing somewhere, watching him. Her dark eyes always seemed to be full of pain. So much so it nearly broke his heart every time he thought he’d seen her.
Something soft but heavy hit the back of Hunter’s head. He glanced down to find one of the cushions from the sofa lying by his feet. Becky was still ranting, and he was actually thankful for the distraction. It was because of her chaos he had chosen Becky to be his live-in companion. Her constant tantrums and crazy obsessions had helped him to put the pain Raine’s memory behind him. Unfortunately, he was coming to the conclusion that Becky had been only a temporary fix at best.
Hunter turned back to face the city’s skyline and smiled. It didn’t look so dirty and crowded at night. A solid wall of tall buildings lit up the horizon with a million lights, and the river that divided the business district from the more devious side of the city sparkled with reflected light. Tomorrow, he would have a talk with Detective Rider and see if there had been any new developments with Raine’s case. It didn’t matter that Hunter was the head Detective and had the best track record of any detective in the precinct for the last 20 years, his chief had refused to put him on her case, spouting the same nonsense over and over about him being too close to the victim. Therefore, whenever Hunter wanted updates on the Raine’s case, he had to go through Rider, who always give him the same answer.
“Hunter, how many time have I told you? If we get any new information, you’ll be first person I inform.”
“Okay thanks Rider,” he’d always say.
Hunter let out a startled gasp when he saw Raine’s face unexpectedly lit up by a brilliant flash of lighting. This time she was floating high above the streets, so close he could have reached out and touched her. He called out her name as he blinked in an effort to readjust his eyes to the darkness, but she was gone, and he took it as a sure sign that he was going nuts.
“The storms almost here. Thank God,” he said, feeling the first gust of wind. Hopefully some cooler air would put a dent in the sweltering summer heat, and in Becky’s temperament as well. The entire sky suddenly went white, accompanied by an ear splitting clap of thunder.
“Hunter you idiot,” Becky yelled through the window. “Come inside right now before you get fried out there.” He nodded, crawled back in through the window, and shut it just as a heavy torrent of windblown rain began to fall.
“You listen to me John Hunter.” Becky continued, now that he was safe inside. “I don’t need any more of your attitude. I’m still an attractive woman and I can find a better man than you at the drop of a hat.” Smoke rolled lazily from John’s lips as he exhaled.
“Well then maybe you could buy me a hat for my birthday,” he said. Becky’s fists clinched by her sides, and opened her mouth to say something but interrupted by a brilliant bolt that shot out of the angry clouds above and stabbed at the heart of the city. The apartment lights blinked and went out, followed by all of the buildings across the city until the entire city had fallen into darkness.
“Hunter, what happed to the lights?”
“Power outage,” he said, reaching in his pocket for his phone and turning on the flashlight app. “Lightning must have hit something important. Oh, and now my phone’s ringing, and it’s work.” He looked skyward and silently mouthed the words, thank you God. “Hunter here, what up?”
“Sorry to bother you on your night off Detective, but we just got 10-42A from the Sixth Street Bank. All the lights just went out citywide and the place is going nuts, so we need you to check out the bank alarm.”
“Not a problem, I’ll on my way.” Hunter rushed to the bedroom and got his badge and gun from the nightstand, then headed towards the front door.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Becky asked.
“Got to go to work babe, there might be a bank robbery in progress.”
“What? You are not leaving me here all alone in the dark are you?”
“I can’t do this with you Becky, lives might be in danger.” Hunter said. He slipped on his shoes, grabbed the car keys, and ran out the door heading for the stairwell. He hated the though of running down eight flights to stairs to parking garage, but with the power out the elevators wouldn’t be working, so he didn’t have a choice. His knees began to show their age by the time he reached the fourth floor, and he was wheezing, out of breath, and wishing he had a cigarette by the time he finally reached the parking garage floor. He paused in the doorway to give himself a moment to rest before continuing on to his car. Becky was probably busy throwing his stuff out into the hallway, if she could find any of it. The thought of her stumbling around in the dark looking for his stuff amused him, but he didn’t really care. He had bigger things to worry about, like the bank. People depended on him to do his job. That was the reason he became a cop in the first place.
That was about 50% of chapter 1.