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This is the story I'm entering to the Barnes & Noble Mystery Short Story contest. I apoligize if it's too short, the limit was 2 pages. I hope you like it! :P

Tyler Spencer is the most unlucky person ever to walk the earth. His luck is so bad, that the only job he can get is one at a bookstore, the most boring job in the world. Tyler is so unlucky, in fact, that when a string of mysterious murders happening only blocks from his new job spike his curiosity, he suddenly finds himself the unlikely detective who just might solve the case. But Tyler may have bit off more than he can chew.
Curiosity can kill more than cats.


Submitted:Oct 10, 2009    Reads: 152    Comments: 3    Likes: 1   


Tyler Spencer was not a trouble maker. He was simply extraordinarily unlucky. He always at the wrong place at the wrong time. At school, at work, and even on his off time. Trouble didn't follow Tyler; he wasn't nearly that lucky. Trouble was always three steps ahead, and poor Tyler, unknowingly, three steps behind. Part of whatever curse some higher-being had put on him was his curiosity. More often than not, it was this that landed him in trouble in the first place. Which brings us to our current situation.

Tyler crouched like a hunted animal behind a shelf of books in the Murder/Mystery section. The irony of this was not lost upon him. His heart felt like it was trying to beat it's way out of his chest and run away from the danger, but he willed himself to stay still. If he panicked and ran it might be the last thing he ever did. Whatever was back there was far faster than himself, and far more savage. Not for the first time in his life, Tyler found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Except this time it was his fault.

But let's rewind a bit so I can explain.

It had all started with his new job at the bookstore. Tyler hated books, which was another cruel irony in his life; that out of the fifty jobs he'd applied for, the bookstore was the only one who wanted to see him. Apparently, they were having a hard time holding down a spot. Tyler didn't really like the idea of working somewhere as boring as a bookstore, but saw little choice if he was to scrape up some money for a car. Contrary to what he expected, it was not at all a boring job.

Right off the bat, walking to his first day of work, something happened. A girl had been killed no less than two blocks down from the bookstore. Her mangled carcass had been found with it's throat ripped out, in a dumpster in a back-alley. Police cars were all over the place, and questioning everyone they could meet up with, including the staff at the bookstore. For once in his life, lady luck threw him a bone in the form of a rock solid alibi. Where had he been at eleven o'clock that night? The officer asked. He had been at the grocery store buying a pizza and some milk, he answered. They could check the security cameras if they didn't believe him. The police poked and prodded, but found not so much as a suspicious-looking speck of dust around the store. So they cleared off, combing the rest of the neighborhood for hints or clues. But it hadn't stopped there. No sooner than a week later, the bodies of two more girls were found. Again, not as much as a fingerprint or a strand of hair left to give the killer's identity away. Tyler, however, was not interested in the elusiveness of the killer but rather, the nature of the victims' deaths. Every single one of them was found with their throats ripped open and most of the blood drained away. They were all young girls. All their deaths were estimated to be around eleven o'clock with frightening regularity. And all of the bodies had been found no less than three blocks from the bookstore. So Tyler had taken it upon himself to solve this gruesome mystery. Well, you know what they say about curiosity.

No sooner than a week later, another girl was found dead, again, not far from the bookstore. Tyler managed to get a few minutes glance at the yellow-taped crime scene before being chased away by cops. And he had noticed several things the cops had failed to pick up. For one thing, the girls' face was not a grimace of pain or fear, like most murder victims, but seemed to be sleeping. Also, there were no visible signs of struggle. It was as if they had slept through the pain of having there throats ripped open. The second thing he noticed that the police had fail to was the shape of the torn-open throat. It wasn't sliced, like the assailant had used a knife. It looked to mark like someone who had their throat torn open by an animal, the murderer was insane the police guessed. But Tyler had noticed the shape of the ghastly wound did not resemble an animal attack of any kind he had seen. The wound itself was two long gorges in the neck, parallel to each other and tattered at the edges. Not sharp enough to be a knife of any kind, but not dull enough to be animal teeth. There were several of the parallel wounds on each victims neck. The police, he knew, attomaticly had him as one of the suspects, because he had a bad reputation, and that only made him more eager to solve the mystery and clear his own name.

So Tyler had followed clues, gathered evidence, and tried to find suspects, although he had a hard time doing so without getting the police's attention. His thoughts kept going back to the fact that all of these murders were all within three blocks of the bookstore. He was sure the store was somehow connected to this, although he didn't know how. And then, in the early hours of the morning, he found his biggest clue yet. While cleaning up the backroom, he had found the thinnest trace of blood. A smear of half-dried blood on a corner, not big enough to catch the eye, but definitely too much to come from a mere cut or nosebleed. And it's half-dried state told Tyler that it was fresh. Tyler would bet anything it came from the last victim. So he hid in the bookstore after-hours, determined to catch this criminal. And so, we come back to the present.

Tyler had seen a tall figure drag in a body. He was mad at himself for not coming to the victims rescue, but it would have been a moot point. She had been dead before being dragged here. He had watched the figure bite the neck, and then heard him suck the blood out. It was all Tyler could do not to run. He would have stayed there unmoving all night, but suddenly, another figure came with a girl. And this one was alive. She had been gagged and bound, but was still fighting like a jaguar. Tyler felt sick to his stomach. The second figure dropped the struggling victim by his companion. "This is the only witness. We kill her and no one will ever suspect." His voice was cold and chilling to the bone, with a strange foreign accent like the bad-guys in spy movies, Tyler thought. He felt more scared than he had ever been, but he knew he had to help. Having to be the Hero sucks, he thought. After gathering up enough nerve, and trying not to think about what he was going to do, Tyler braced himself, then lept at the nearest one. His sudden appearance shocked them enough to buy him precious seconds. He grabbed the first one by the back of his jacket and threw him with all his might into the bookcase behind him, then tackled the other one, crashing into a bookcase. The wooden thing crumpled and fell on his enemy's head, and while his foe was stunned, Tyler whipped out the box-cutter he had in his back pocket and sliced the girls' bonds with speed and haste a samurai would have envied, even though he cut her in the process. He yanked her to her feet and pushed her in the direction of the door. "Go, Run-!" He shouted before getting cut off. The one he had tackled pounced on him, trying to tear his throat out with fangs the size of a dogs'. Tyler hacked at his attacker desperately with the box cutter, but he only laughed as the shallow slashes on his face healed over before Tyler's eyes. The girl he had freed grabbed a big heavy encyclopedia and smashed it as hard as she could-which was pretty hard- against the vampires' face, knocking him off Tyler. Not wasting time as the dazed vampire tried to get his bearings, she picked up a giant splinter of wood and drove it straight through his chest. The vampire uttered a terrible scream like Tyler had never heard, and a black shadow seemed to leap out of the body. The vampire was slain.

In the commotion, however, Tyler had quite forgotten the other vampire, who seized him from behind and tried to tear out his throat, and by all the luck Tyler had been denied in his lifetime, only managed to tear open his shoulder. The girl jumped on the vampire, grabbing him and pulling back, causing him to stumble back. Tyler darted forward as he was released and grabbed the first weapon that came to his hand- a thick spear-like shard of the bookcase- and without thinking stabbed it into the vampires' gut as hard as his muscles would allow. The vampire died in a similar way as his fellow. Tyler and the girl sat on the ground, waiting for the shock to wear off. Tyler cut her gang off for her. "Thanks." She said. "My names Kat. Who are you?" she asked. "Tyler. You all right?" He asked. She nodded. "Thanks for saving me, Tyler." She said. After awhile Kat pulled out her cell phone and dialed 911. Then Tyler and Kat then went outside the bookstore and waited for the police.





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