The Thin Veil

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Our short story, The Thin Veil, won honorable mention in the 2008 Crime Scene Contest sponsored by The Verb.

 

An Excerpt From

The Thin Veil

 

Behind me, the buckskin snorted. I glanced over my shoulder to find her looking back the way we’d come, ears pricked. Lowering the neckerchief, I peered at the narrow thread of riding trail.

A lightless four wheeler bounced toward me through the gloaming and skidded to a stop behind my horse, coating us both with dust and engine heat.

The woman who dismounted the quad wore a silver badge. The pistol she held, aimed square at the center of my chest, also glinted silver in the rising moonlight.

She stood tall in booted feet, the top of her head level with mine. Under the official Sheriff’s Office hat, her hair glowed against the backdrop of gathering night; red, gold, blond, the shades of candy corn.

She was probably not as sweet as candy, though she was pretty enough, assuming you were partial to grim-faced women.

Her gaze flicked to the corpse, then to me.

“Back up.” Her words chinked like bullet casings on hard-packed dirt.

A dribble of sweat pissed along my spine. Keeping my voice neutral, I said, “He was dead when I got here, ma’am.”

***