Homecoming Homicides

By: Marilyn Baron

A Psychic Crystal Mystery Book Two




Dedication

Homecoming Homicides is dedicated to my daughter,

Amanda,

who was a homecoming contestant at her university

in a small North Florida town.

When I attended the pageant, a seemingly innocent “boy-man” approached each girl to get her autograph on his pageant booklet.

That sparked my imagination and was the inspiration for this story.





Prologue

Rodney Willis inhaled the aroma of fresh blood. In his opinion, nothing else even came close to the scent of suffering. The blood was slick and sticky and velvety, and he was practically swimming in it. He’d nearly slipped on the floor this morning while he was in full clean-up mode, getting ready for the new contestant. He needed to buy some combat boots.

The candidate on the table had been a real trooper. He had to give her credit. She’d performed superbly, even exceeded his expectations, although she was rather noisy. He’d had to muffle her screams. The bitch had bitten him, had probably given him rabies, if that was possible. He’d have to research that on the Internet. Not exactly a candidate for Miss Congeniality. He was finally forced to drug the little vixen, and after that it wasn’t nearly as much fun.

When she’d come around again, she complained of the cold. He had to keep the temperature of his workshop near freezing, so he’d obligingly covered her with a blanket and softly soothed her with meaningless prattle while he continued his work. She was pathetically grateful, probably holding out hope that he wouldn’t kill her if he was considerate enough to cover her. It suited him to kill her with kindness for the time being. It made it easier for him in the end. He nearly swooned as he remembered the touch of his hand on her naked breast, the feel of her pulsating heartbeat as it tripped like a frightened rabbit and then slowed in resignation, finally sliding into defeat as it stopped altogether when the blood had drained from her body.

And speaking of hearts, he was going to have to have a long overdue heart-to-heart with his big brother, Donny. Last night had been too close for comfort. The screams and moans and tiresome begging sounds coming out of his workshop had drawn the idiot to the door, and he’d had to do some fancy footwork to get him to go away. Donny knew the workshop was off limits, and yet he couldn’t help poking around. He had been looking for Traci; he wouldn’t have wanted to see what was left of her.

Donny was dangerously fixated on that girl. Rodney had allowed him to stay for the contest and watch Traci model Queenie’s dresses, but he didn’t get to view the aftermath. Someone of Donny’s delicate nature would never understand what had to be done. He always wondered where the girls had gone, and he’d always been satisfied when Rodney had said, “They had a previous engagement.” But not this time. Not with Traci Farris.

Donny had to be kept in the dark. Rodney needed Donny’s help in carrying the bodies, which Rodney would lovingly clean and delicately wrap, like Egyptian mummies. Donny was stronger than an ox. Donny’s father had been big and strong, too. Strong enough to beat up on his son anytime the mood hit him, which was often, when he was done using his wife, Queenie, as his personal punching bag, until she killed him with his own shotgun. Rodney’s own father had left them a long time ago, left Queenie to raise her two boys alone. Donny was special, but Queenie always said both her boys were special to her.

Rodney had inherited his mother’s slimness and good looks. Everyone said he favored Queenie. And that Rodney took as a supreme compliment. After all, Queenie was a winner.

He looked over at his mother’s picture and smiled. “There’s no one like you, Queenie. Never was before, never will be again. Only one even comes close.”

He’d promised his brother another scavenger hunt tonight, a reverse scavenger hunt. They weren’t hunting for anyone. Instead, they were delivering something. Donny wasn’t to ask what was in the package. That would ruin the fun. Rodney had picked out the new dump site, and he could hardly wait until it got dark.

He knew the rules of jurisdiction. As long as he continued to dump the bodies on campus, the FBI couldn’t get involved unless they were invited in. And the campus police and the city cops—more like the Keystone Kops—were clueless. They had no intention of asking the Feds to their party. In the end, they’d bowed to public pressure. With the notoriety of the case, the outraged parents had demanded it. But as far as he was concerned, even with the FBI intervention, it wasn’t an even match. He was already on Contestant Number Six, and they had no idea who he was or when he would strike next or why he was doing what he was doing. At this rate, he’d rack up his goal of thirty girls in no time.

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