Prompt Short Story: Egs & Danson

Egs & Danson

(WIP, Untitled supernatural murder mystery)

by

Lee Hulme

[All stories in this series:
1: Drew     2: Vicky     3: Egs     4: Danson     5: Egs & Danson     6: Nelle     7: Elliot     8: Emmeline     ]

The two detectives sat down over a meal cooked by Jase, who had given Danson a kiss, winked at Egs, and waltzed out of the front door in his leather and satin finery, leaaving them in peace to discuss the case.

They ate in near silence, Egs in particular enjoying the food after the nights of takeout and easy-cook meals. Towards the end, as Danson brought homemade cheesecake from the kitchen along with another couple of bottles of wine, they settled more comfortably in the living room armchairs, spreading files out on the coffee table.

“Alright, let’s get down to it,” Egs said finally, “We know how she died. We have some witnesses but no solid leads on even a description of the killer – who might actually be multiple killers, based on the occult side of things.”

Danson nodded, “We discounted Drew, unofficially at least, neither of us think they’re involved with the murder, but they might have also been targeted in a failed attempt, so we’re keeping an eye on them just in case.”

“So in short, and before we waste our time some more going through every line we’ve pursued so far, we have nothing. At least, nothing we can tell anyone,” Egs continued. “But we do have Alison’s ghost asking us to free her, and your ma telling us bad shit is coming and it’s related somehow to your childhood and her death, but no specifics on any of this, and we can’t tell anyone else.”

They thumbed through the useless files quietly, looking in vain for anything they might have missed the previous thousand times.

Danson felt it first. The hair on the back of his neck rose, sending a shiver down his spine, raising goosebumps along his arms. He was on his feet in a second, scanning the room.

Egs stood up, instinctively protecting her partner, “Dude, what?”

Danson kept looking around, “You don’t feel that?”

“Feel wh- oh…” Egs’ hackles rose as the room filled with something like static electricity.

Outside, the warm night vanished, the wind sang through the woods at the back of the property and the trees whispered a warning of the approaching forces.

Facing the back windows, both Egs and Danson waited, tense, ready to act.

A voice boomed around them, bouncing off the walls into their ears, creating its own echo. “Here you stand, such good and brave humans, no idea what you really are.”

They both started, exchanging a glance that confirmed they both heard the voice.

“Do not stand against me. Your fate was written at your birth, and belongs only to me.

Danson opened his mouth to answer, but Egs’ hand on his arm stopped his retort.

“I was summoned again by fool who thought they could control me. I played with them while I waited for you to seek me out, but nothing. You are ignorant of me, of your purpose. I wait no longer. You will come to me and you will kneel, and you will obey.”

The voice faded, the wind died, and room fell still.

Adrenaline still coursing, Egs and Danson checked the house, the garden, even the woods, with guns at the ready and inner coils drawn tight. Nothing.

Back inside, as their hearts stopped pumping, as their brains recovered, both of them lost the abiity to stand and collapsed back into their chairs. Danson’s ruddy face was grey but for two white spots on his cheeks, his eyes narrowed to slits. Egs’ light brown skin was pale, sheened with sweat, and her eyes darted around the room. Without thinking, they both reached out and held each others’ hand as Egs poured them both new glasses of wine.

“Do you want to what the fuck first, or should I?” she asked him, trying to ground them both.

Danson looked at her and squeezed her hand gratefully, before letting it go to pick up his glass. “What. The. Fuck?” he croaked.

Egs clinked his glass with hers, hand trembling, “What the fuck…”

Writing Prompt used:

32

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Prompt Short Story: Danson

Danson

(WIP, Untitled supernatural murder mystery)

by

Lee Hulme

[All stories in this series:
1: Drew     2: Vicky     3: Egs     4: Danson     5: Egs & Danson     6: Nelle     7: Elliot     8: Emmeline     ]

Danson rested his head on his desk for a moment, relishing the cool of the plastic on his burning face. Being sick during an investigation was a nightmare, but here he was, bunged up and phlegmy and even more red-faced than usual.

Jase had sent him to work with a flask of broth and crusty bread rolls, and a small box of drugs to combat the cough and sinus headache, but as the day wore on it was slowly dragging him down.

Egs, on the other side of the desk, leaned over, “You need to go home. Sleep. Rest a couple of days. I’ll keep you updated and you won’t make yourself even more sick.”

Danson hauled himself upright, wincing at the sharp stab of pain through his skull, “I’m good, just need more of those pills is all. Besides, what’re you gonna do without me here?”

Egs rolled her eyes, “Without a giant, hawking, dripping slab of beef hovering around to infect everyone? What could I possibly do?”

Danson chuckled a little, then coughed loudly and deeply, “I’ll knock off soon as we’ve seen that woman you looked up.”

Egs sighed, “Aright, let’s go do that now, then.”

After the ghost sighting the night before, Egs had made discreet, and somewhat embarassed, enquiries, and had found Dr Erin Yates, a PhD in Paranormal Studies, nearby. On speaking to her over the phone, Egs had been impressed by the warmth of her tone, and interest in helping – despite not knowing what help she could be – and she had invited them to her home office. She had further impressed Egs by saying she didn’t mind her partner being sick, she had a very strong constitution, just ask him to bring tissues as she had very delicate equipment that could do without being sneezed on.

On hearing this Danson had grunted once, “Normally that’d be the weirdest thing that’d happened in the last day or two, but not anymore.”

Now, heaving his bulk up from the desk even more ponderously than usual, he shuffled his jacket on, reaching in to unruck his sleeves, check his holstered weapon, and confirm his badge was in the inside pocket.

Egs likewise dressed herself for the outside, grabbing a file of carefully chosen information to show to the Doctor in order to seek her help.

Together, they left the station and Egs drove them to the Doctor’s address, a large, pleasantly-kept, detached house on a nondescript street on the outskirts of the city.

The woman who answered was short and plump, with a messy ponytail and a cheerful smile. Inviting them in, they saw the ground floor of the house was crowded with equipment they couldn’t even begin to guess the purpose of.

Seeing them looking, Erin – they must call her Erin, she told them – began to explain some of them. Getting only blank looks in return, she grinned merrily, “I suppose it is all a foreign languge to anyone not in the way of it. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know what any of it does, here’s my office, do sit down.”

The office was surprisingly tidy, given the rest of the downstairs. Situated at the back of the house, looking out into a neatly tended garden, the room housed a desk, a leather office chair, three comfortable armchairs on casters scattered around the room, easily moveable across the polished, hardwood floorin, and a comfortable-looking pullout sofa with a blanket folded at one end, and pillows on top. In the far corner was a mini fridge and various hot drinks equipment, with coffee percolating on a machine as they entered.

“Coffee? I promise it’s better than whatever you’re used to at the police station,” she smiled at their eager nods and poured both a cup, adding milk and sugar on request. “Also, for you,” she presented Danson with a bottle of pills, “Herbal only so they won’t affect anything else you take, but they might help with the cold.”

Danson accepted a dose, and the rest of the bottle when pushed, and closed his eyes in pleasure at the taste of the coffee.

Erin sat on the third of the armchairs, bringing it around to face them, and her smile dropped as she got down to business, “So you said on the phone I may be able to help with a murder? Of course, if I can help at all I will, do tell me what you need.”

Egs handed her the file, “This is what I’m able to release to you, on the understanding of it’s privacy.”

Erin nodded, “Of course, of course,” she began looking through. “Oh, how terrible, this poor young woman.”

“In there is what we know, the technical details and all, but if you’ll allow me to give you a brief precis so we can get to what we need?”

Erin nodded, following along in the file to register the finer points.

“The victim was Janice Copperton, killed as she left work. We first assumed she was killed by the blow to the head, but after the examination it seems she remained alive after this, which means the symbols we found carved into her in various places were begun as she remained alive, though we believe she did die during this process. We arrested a suspicious person, and questioned some witnesses, and so far haven’t found any solid leads, just lots of grey area – but you’ll find abridged versions of the interviews in there so show you that.

“Drew was a solid suspect, until the drug tests came back and we found traces of rohypnol in their system. It’s possible someone tried to frame them and we got to their bloods a bit earlier than expected, because according to character references we took, they have never showed signs of violence – quite the opposite in fact, they avoid conflict even to the point of allowing injury to themselves rather than fight back. So while they technically remain a suspect, we don’t really suspect them anymore, and it’s always possible the drugging was simply a coincidence.

“You can catch up on that information, though. What we came to you for is something more along the lines of your specialist interests.”

Erin looked up and closed the folder, “I suspect I won’t find any of this in here, please, go on, and I can assure you of my discretion.”

“Well…” Egs hedged for a moment, then took the plunge, “The victim’s ghost came to visit me. Danson saw her, too.”

Erin nodded, and leaned forwards, her brown eyes intense, “Tell me everything, every detail, no matter how small.”

***

Finally home, Danson gladly divested himself of clothing, made strong tea, used it to take more pills, and took himself to bed. Feeling foolish, even by himself, he took one of Jase’s pillows and cuddled it, enjoying the comforting scent of his boyfriend – musing on the previous night’s conversation where that had become their official status – as he drifted off to sleep.

Later, as the sun set, he started awake from strange, dark dreams that reminded him of his childhood though, as they faded, he couldn’t recall why.

He sat up and shook his head to clear it.

“You look rough, my dear,” said voice, both familiar and yet not.

He looked up to see his mother, long dead and barely remembered, sitting at the edge of the bed, looking concerned.

Unlike Egs’ ghost, this woman was solid-looking, real-looking. He reached to touch her, and his hand felt the cotton of her clothing, a solid arm beneath.

“I’m hallucinating,” he whispered. One of his reccent dreams returned briefly to mind, something about the day his mother died. He shook it away, “No, you can’t be real.”

She smiled softly, “I’m real, in a way. I came to warn you. This murder you investigate – yes, I know about it, I’m your mother, I keep an eye on you – is more dangerous for you than you know.”

“What? Ma, how can you be here? If you can do this, why never til now, and what do you mean dangerous?”

“Oh I’m often with you son, don’t you hear me in your head when you try to make the right decision? When you don’t know which way to turn?”

“I-maybe? But that’s just me, making your voice into the voice of reason. Ma, you died, you stopped being able to tell me how to live my life.”

“My beautiful boy, I’m your conscience, since I died and couldn’t be a mother to you that’s been my one job.”

Danson shook his head in frustration, “What?”

“Oh not like you’re thinking, I’m no Jiminy Cricket – I can only try to help when you’re lost, when something inside you cries out for me, for a moment I get a chance to help. But this is different, son you have to listen to me, please, put your confusion aside, and just know I’m here to help, I don’t have much longer.”

Danson closed his eyes for a moment and summoned his strength, “OK ma, I’m listening.”

“I can’t pinpoint anything but I sense the danger, something from your past and mine that I thought was over has returned, and you’re caught up in it. I never wanted that. I made a mistake and I didn’t mind paying for it, but never you, my dear son, never you. They’ll come for you, and for Egs, once they realise who you are. I’ll try to protect you but you must believe in the things you see.”

The figure reached out and stroked his cheek, flickering and fading away.

As Danson wept, trying to cling to the sight of her, the front door opened and closed, and a moment later, Jase entered the room.”Hey big fella, hey – hey…”

Jase dropped the bags he was carrying and climbed on the bed with Danson, wrapping himself around him as well as possible and pulling him down, “I’m here, love. I’m here,” he whispered, “Everything’s ok. I’m here.”

Danson curled as much of his bulk as he could into Jase’s arms and shuddered through his tears, hearing one last echo of his mother, “This one is good for you, son. Keep him safe, and he’ll keep you safe, too.”

Writing prompt used:

20

If you enjoy the stories and blogs on my site, please share them, every one of those helps.
And if you really enjoy them, please check out my Patreon, or the tip jar on the sidebar to the right, and consider helping me do more and better things!
Thanks for reading!

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Prompt Short Story: Egs

Egs

(WIP, Untitled supernatural murder mystery)

by

Lee Hulme

[All stories in this series:
1: Drew     2: Vicky     3: Egs     4: Danson     5: Egs & Danson     6: Nelle     7: Elliot     8: Emmeline     ]

Egs woke slowly, the feeling of something being not quite right invading her sleep. Rarely restless, and almost always level-headed, it took her a few minutes to realise both that she had woken up, and that she was scared.
She shook herself mentally, then physically, and sat up to look around. Everything seemed normal. She reached over to shake her wife awake, to look for reassurance that all was well in the deepest reaches of the night, before remembering there was nobody to shake. Not anymore. Just the lingering remnants of a relationship that had fossilised long before Wendy fell in love with someone else.
With no comfort there, Egs climbed quietly out of bed, opened the sturdy locked drawer in her nightstand and removed her police issue glock, unlocking the trigger guard and bringing it into the crook of her left shoulder, Specialist Firearms Officer training from her pre-detective days coming smoothly into play. A lap around the house, just to check everything was empty and locked up, should do the trick.
Of all of the things that sped through her mind, from an intruder to a car backfiring, that might have woken her, none of them included turning the corner to the living room and seeing the ghost of the murder victim sitting in her favourite armchair.

Egs stood perfectly still as the ghost turned to look at her, dripping pale white gore from the back of her head.

“Help. Me.” The ghost whispered, air scraping through lungs that no longer existed.

Egs shook her head to clear it, rubbed her eyes, looked again. The ghost was still there.

“Help. Me.” The ghost repeated.

“Are-are you Alison?” Egs asked, wincing at the quavering in her voice.

The ghost nodded slowly, carefully, as if it hurt to move.

“How – I mean you’re dead, how can I help you now? I’m trying to find who did it, if that’s what you mean.”

The ghost shimmered, “Trapped. Now. Please. Break. Chains.” Each word seemed to make her paler, as if the effort drained her energy.

“Ok, just…just hold on a minute,” Egs paced back to her bedroom to grab her phone, returning to the living room expecting to find the ghost gone. But there she remained, a little more solid after recovering from speech. “I’m gonna call my partner, ok? I trust him with my life, and anyone else’s.”

The ghost – Alison, Egs reminded herself firmly – made that pained nodding motion again.

***

Danson groaned and detached himself from the twink he was currently sleeping with, padding out of the room with his phone as he answered, “What’s up, Egs?”

Egerton hesitated, which was unusual, and he frowned, “Egs?

“Well.. I’ve got a ghost in my living room.”

Danson grunted, “Funny. Look I know you don’t like-”

“This isn’t about your leather bar pickups Danson, I swear, and I’ve repeatedly said I was sorry about that whole thing, so can you stop bringing it up? No I have an actual ghost. In my living room. Asking for help to break the chains that hold her here. Oh, it’s Alison, by the way, complete with smashed in head.”

Danson leaned against the wall and brushed a meaty hand down his beard, “A ghost.”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t believe in ghosts and I know you don’t either so-”

“I mean til now I never believed they existed, but this one is staring right at me, and talking to me.”

Danson heaved himself off the wall and plodded back to his bedroom, “I’m coming over, keep the ghost there if you can cos I’m not believing this til I see it too.”

“Fair enough, I’ll do my best, see you in few.”

Danson grunted again as the phone cut off. He dressed quickly in jeans and a t-shirt, one a previous partner had bought him because it showed off both his size and his muscles, and gently shook his current beau awake. “Jase? It’s alright, stay asleep, but I gotta run out, work stuff. I’ll try and be back for breakfast, but if not I’ll see you later.

Jase mumbled and flailed a hand out, finding Danson’s knee and patting it in acknowledgement, before rolling over in the big bed.

***

Egs made coffee and toast in the kitchen, watching the ghost over the breakfast bar as she did so, waiting for Danson to arrive. He didn’t live far, so it wasn’t long before headlights hit her window and she heard the creak of his handbrake and gentle clunking of his car door.

He opened the door, a greeting half out of his mouth, then stopped dead as he saw the ghost.

She hadn’t moved from the chair, but her head was now turned around, facing him while her body continued to face the other way.

Egs dropped coffee and toast on the coffee table as she went to close the front door, and waited for him to speak.

“What the fuck, Egs?”

Egs shrugged and shoved toast into her mouth.

“Help. Me.” Alison pleaded, “Trapped. Please. Break. Chains.” Each word made her shimmer and grow paler, almost disappearing.

“Can you tell us anything about who has you trapped or how to fix it, or who killed you?” Egs asked.

The ghost opened her mouth to speak, but the effort was clearly too much, and she shimmered away, leaving empty space where she once sat.

“Ok but that was real, though,” Egs said immediately.

Danson tilted his head from side to side, not even realising how cold the room had been until it now began to warm up. “I guess so, but I still wanna examine everything to make sure.”

Egs nodded and the two of them spent the rest of the night checking every nook and cranny of the living room and kitchen area, finding nothing, until, sun coming up, they both gave in, exhausted.

“Yeah, I think you have a ghost there, Egs.”

“I think I do,” she agreed. “One who was murdered and is now trapped, somehow, and wants us to help. It’s all gotta be part of the same thing – her murder and this, right?”

“Finding it hard to sell this as coincidence so let’s go with yeah unless we find out otherwise.”

“So now what? We can’t exactly tell anyone or use her a evidence. And where should our priorities be – solving her murder or helping her move on?”

“Hopefully one will help the other,” Danson shrugged. “Short of anything else to do, I say we keep on the murder and follow whatever else we find, if anything, in our own time.”

“Own time,” Egs rolled her eyes, “So much of that we have.”

Danson grinned, “Well, guess we gotta make some.”

Egs rolled her shoulders and stood, “Well I’m gonna make some to sleep in right now. Spare bed’s yours if you want it – you know where everything is.”

Danson stood and shook his head, “Nah, I can grab couple hours sleep at home then get breakfast made for me when Jase wakes up, but ta.”

Egs stopped and examined him for a moment, “You’re getting serious about this one, huh?”

Danson hesitated, a flash of fear darting across his face at the idea, and then nodded.

Egs nodded back, “Then I’ll make a proper effort, dinner date soon, ok?”

Danson smiled, his tiredness lifting for a moment in the face of genuine pleasure, “Thanks Egs.”

“Yeah, yeah, bugger off, I’m going to bed.”

Danson guffawed and let himself out, closing the door securely behind him. Serious with Jase? Scary thought, that. And yet maybe…not so much. When this case – and this ghost shit – was all over, maybe some commitment was called for. He smiled to himself as he put the car in gear and rolled on home, back to bed and the gorgeous guy he was falling in love with.

Prompt used

8

If you enjoy the stories and blogs on my site, please share them, every one of those helps.
And if you really enjoy them, please check out my Patreon, or the tip jar on the sidebar to the right, and consider helping me do more and better things!
Thanks for reading!

Posted in LGBT, LGBTQ, Prompt Stories, Short Stories, Stories, Transgender, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment