The man had to pull hard on the back entrance/exit to the kitchen that led directly outside. Though he worked out and was strong, the door tended to stick. That night was no different. With one good yank, it opened. He entered cautiously, looking around to ensure the room was empty. Technically, he wasn’t supposed to be in the cafeteria at that late hour, but with the costume ball going on, and the room finally empty, he had to take a chance.
Time was running out; the ship had been at sea a week and there had been only a few opportunities to be alone in the kitchen. There was always someone there, even after hours, but that night everyone was gone, working the party. Even the pastry chef, who could usually be found in the kitchen at all hours of the night preparing cakes and pies, especially with the baked goods competition about to begin, was absent. The lights flickered. Damn thunderstorm. He opened a refrigeration unit, took out things for a sandwich, and walked over to the pantry door with plans to pull out a container that was inside. He was startled to see Matt Smith enter the kitchen.
“What are you doing in here?” asked Matt.
The man felt like a prize fool for what happened next, because it didn’t have to happen. If he hadn’t been surprised by Matt’s entrance, he would have thought of a perfectly plausible excuse. But he panicked and without thinking, grabbed the rolling pin off the counter and swung it at Matt’s head. It happened so fast, he didn’t even realize he’d done it until he heard the gasp come from the direction of the door that led to the cafeteria. Someone was at the kitchen door’s window.
He ran to the door in time to see a woman rushing from the cafeteria. He went back to Matt and felt for a pulse. Damn damn damn! He’d have to take care of this on his own and he needed to be quick. He went to the outside door, looked out, and when he saw that nobody was there, easily picked up Matt’s body, took it outside, and tossed it overboard.
Here is an excerpt from Mocha, Moonlight and Murder:
She’d only walked a couple of blocks when the large, ominous clouds above began to swirl and play hide and seek with the full moon; soon they hid it completely. Katherine made a tsk sound and then mumbled, “Damn.”
Luckily, up ahead on the other side of the street, a dim light shone from an outside lamp attached to someone’s garage. She focused on that. A man was standing near the trunk of the car in the driveway. Katherine couldn’t help smiling, he looked so comical as he struggled to contain an overflowing bag of Styrofoam tubes, like something out of a movie. She was nearly parallel to the garage and the man when the moon reappeared.
When the sky went from black to bright, her smiled disappeared. She looked back and forth between the man’s eyes and the arms and legs she’d mistaken for Styrofoam tubes. He was holding a woman, and Katherine wanted to laugh hysterically, she’d been so stupid. It was a mannequin! Of course. Her eyes traveled from the legs sticking out from the blanket up to the arms, so fake looking now that she knew her mistake. She looked for the faceless head, but it was hidden. Carefully, the man set the mannequin down on the cement. The blanket fell open and finally Katherine could see everything. Including the head, drained of color and covered in blood. A voice in her head shouted run!