Murder At 30,000 Feet- Gift Card Winner

I’d like to thank each person who has followed this moment to the end! You make storytelling so much fun. Now, to announce the winner of the $50 Amazon gift card.

Congratulations, Anne!!! You’re the winner! Thank you for participating!

Murder at 30,000 Feet- Week 10

This is the last installment of Murder at 30,000 Feet! Hard to believe ten weeks have flown by so quickly (pun completely intended.) Next week I’ll hold the drawing for the $50 Amazon Gift Card. Anyone who leaves a comment on all 10 posts will have a chance to win. 🙂

What It's Like to Fly in an Airplane - YouTube

As the plane begins it’s descent, you grab the seat back to steady yourself. A hollow ding sounds over the speakers, and the ‘fasten seat belt’ light flickers on. You meet Mara’s gaze and her brows raise. She’ll never admit to anything. Durland–if that’s even his real name– doesn’t look too forthcoming either with the firm set to his jaw and the steely determination in his eyes.

Maybe Claire Wilson’s social media page wasn’t taken down after her death. Would there be pictures of Mara? Maybe even her brother, Sam? You open your Banter app and search Claire’s name. Bingo! The page is active.

You scroll past a series of posts left by friends and family who mourned her loss and reminisced over happy times they’d shared. Finally, the photos. You thumb through the gallery and stop. There’s Mara. Her arm draped around Claire’s shoulders as the pair stood in front of what looked like a view of the Rocky Mountains. Family vacation, perhaps?

In the next picture, a familiar face joins the pair. You look up and lock eyes with Mashal Durland, who, according to the photo tag, is Claire’s brother Sam Collison. He looks away. Even if Durland–or Collison, rather–tries to smooth-talk his way out of this predicament, he can’t explain away the fact that he is on the same plane with the corpse of the man who most likely murdered his sister.

“This wasn’t the way to handle it.” You lower your phone, shaking your head. “There are laws to–“

“They failed.” Sam runs splayed fingers through his hair. “That monster killed my sister, and got away with it. There was no justice.”

“But you murdered him, and that wasn’t the answer.” Maybe it felt like Jeff Archer had gotten everything he deserved. But murder was always wrong. Your ears pop as the lights lining the runway come into view through the oblong window to your left.

“It wasn’t me.” Sam shakes his head. “I’ll admit, I’ve been tracking him for months. And I knew he’d be on this flight. He’s been tailing Angie. I had to keep an eye on her. Make sure she didn’t end up like Claire. But I didn’t cut that monster’s throat. I was just as shocked to see that dead body as you were, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy about it.”

“Why impersonate an officer?” It doesn’t make sense.

“I’d have killed him. Planned to, but someone already finished the job.” He chews the inside of his lip. “The cop act would have been a cover. A way to get off the plane quickly.” He shrugs. “If I had a killer to return to Australia for extradition, they’d let me through, no questions asked.”

“Why should I believe you didn’t do it?”

“If you knew him like I do, you’d realize that I’m not the only one with a vendetta.”

You cut a glance at Mara, but she’s shaking her head. A smirk plays across her lips. Then she glances to something or someone behind you. You look over your shoulder.

Jessica is standing at the emergency exit, hand on the handle. The passengers who had occupied that row run to the back of the plane, shouting, fear lines their faces. Is she crazy? Opening the emergency exit with the plane still in motion could be dangerous, even if you aren’t at cruising altitude.

“Jessica, don’t. Running will only make things worse.” You take a step toward her. Probably not the best idea, but if someone doesn’t diffuse the situation, there might be consequences.

“He killed my sister.” Her knuckles whiten as she grips the handle. “He can’t get away with it. But I can’t spend the rest of my life in jail.” She swallows hard. “I need to help people. To do some good. And ridding the world of that evil man is just the first step.”

The wheels bounce off the runway. You grasp the seat back beside you. “Did you know he’d be on this flight?”

Jessica’s eyes dart to Sam and Mara. She squares her shoulders and yanks the handle. The emergency door flies open, and passengers’ screams punctuate the air. The sudden rush of humid air sucks at your clothing, pulling you toward the opening.

The flight attendant jumps onto the inflated slide and slips down. You cling to the seat, watching her descent. With the airplane still taxiing down the paved strip, the slide flails and pivots, sending Jessica flying through the air. She misses the safety of the cushion, and lands on the pavement. with a sickening thud.

How could she survive such a jarring fall?

The plane stops.

You run to the exit and peer outside, praying the scene won’t be as awful as you imagine. Maybe Jessica will brush herself off and run toward wherever to escape the consequences for her actions.

But her body lays in a mangled heap on the pavement. A dark stain spreads beneath her head. You look away, gut twisting.

Melani Hyatt screams then buries her face in her husband’s chest.

Angie Garrett hold her son close, facing him away from the grisly image that would probably scar his mind forever. Tears streak her cheeks.

Mara and Sam sit in their seats. Mouths agape and eyes glassy.

Griz bows his head. Perhaps honoring her with a moment of silence.

Flashing lights and wailing sirens drown the sobs in the fuselage. Medics rush toward Jessica’s form. One kneels beside her, places his hand on her neck, then shakes his head.

The pilot calls for the passengers to disembark. As if in a trance, the men an women pressing against the emergency exit scatter. Overhead bins click open and shut behind you, but you’re frozen in place.

Such a waste. It’s a blessing Jeff Archer can’t hurt anyone else, but you hate yourself for thinking so. You swallow past the dryness in your throat. Did Jessica really plan this alone? Sure she had motive, but it seems like too elaborate a plot for her to construct single-handed.

You turn, scanning the empty seats. Alone. They’re all gone. Back to their business as if nothing happened at all.

You grab your carry-on and walk the jetway into the airport. Men, women, and children bustle around you as if life hasn’t changed. As if Jessica didn’t jump to her death before your eyes. Somehow, everything feels surreal, like you’re floating through a dream.

Angela and Devon stand near the McDonald’s in the terminal. She has an arm draped around him as he licks at an ice cream cone. Griz stands beside her and rests a hand on her shoulder. Something between them feels familiar. How do they know each other? Mara and Sam join them, faces wreathed in smiles.

Sam glances your way. His grin widens, and he lifts his index finger to his lips.

Your heart plummets into your gut. Jessica didn’t act alone, but how can you ever hope to prove it?

________________________________________________________________________________________________

I hadn’t planned on such an unsatisfying ending, so I hope you don’t black-ball me for it. As I was writing, the cut and dried ending I had planned just felt too much like cardboard. This is what came to me organically.

This has been a fun and challenging journey for me, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Would you like to do another? Is there a particular setting you’d like to see? Drop your ideas below, and I’ll do my best to make them come alive!

As I mentioned above, I’ll draw for the $50 Amazon Gift Card winner next week and post it here. Thanks for keeping with me. I appreciate each on of you!

Murder at 30,000 Feet- Week 9

Gantt Chart Alternative: The Blueprint Approach - Proggio

“I don’t have to explain anything.” The marshal crosses his arms and sinks into his seat beside Mara. “You’re looking for someone to blame. No matter what I say, you’re ready to believe I’m guilty.”

He’s right. Suspicion has clouded your vision. Best to keep looking for Sam Collison, since Archer implicated him. You pull out your phone. There must be some way to learn the identity of Sam Collison. After opening your Banter app, you type ‘Sam Collison’ into the search bar. Three pages of search results populate. How will you ever narrow that down?

An idea picks at your brain like buzzards on a fresh carcass. Claire Wilson and Jessica’s sister Tawny were married to the same man, now both are dead. There has to be a deeper connection there. It was too circumstantial these two women should be on the same plane.

You turn to the flight attendant. “Jessica. Was your sister’s husband ever charged with her murder? Did the case go to trial?”

“There was a bail hearing.” Her jaw hardened. “But the DA dropped the charges when he found out the evidence was obtained by unlawful seizure. Without being able to use the evidence against Rick, there was no chance at a conviction anyway.”

And Claire Wilson’s killer was still free, no evidence linked anyone to her crime scene. But Angie had witnessed an argument between her husband and Claire. How did that compute? What if the man who had been married to both Tawny and Claire was involved with Angie as well?

“Angie.” You glance over your shoulder. The dark-haired woman steps into the aisle and moves toward you, Devon close behind her. She meets Mara’s gaze, bites her lip, and looks at the floor. “What did your husband do for a living?”

“He was in sales.” Her answer is clipped.

“Did he travel for work?”

She nods.

What are the odds all these domestic violence cases are tied to the man lying dead on the restroom floor? But the women tied to these abusive relationships were all married to men with different names. How could–

You scan the flight manifest until your gaze snags on the name ‘Jeff Archer.’ His seat is J3. When you find the his assigned seat number, you pop open the overhead bin. You pull out a black backpack. “Does this belong to anyone here?”

A teenage boy claims it.

Next, you drag out a gray duffel. When you ask who it belongs to, the passengers in row J shake their heads. You pull the zipper. Just a bunch of socks, a few pair of underwear, and–it can’t be. A stack of passports are shoved in and inside pocket. You flip through them. Some contain unfamiliar names, others names you recognize. But the photo is the same in each, and all the pictures match the face of the dead man in the bathroom. You stack the known names into a pile. Jeff Archer, Rick Brandt, Frank Wilson had to be Claire Wilson’s husband, and Roger Garrett must be Angie’s.

The victim had at least five identities besides these. Did each come with a different wife? A fresh story of abuse? Your skin crawls. As much harm as this man has caused, maybe he got what he deserved. The justice system clearly wasn’t adequate to stop his hidden lives, to protect the women and children he was hurting.

You pull out your phone to search the names you don’t recognize. With so much commonality among the passengers, surely there must be a way to narrow down the suspects. Jeff Archer–or whoever he was–had murdered Clair Wilson and Jessica Carmichael’s sister. He had beaten both Angie Garrett and her son. Mara had mentioned killing a man after something she’d witnessed him do. You meet the convicts gaze across the aisle. She lifts her chin and raises a brow. Didn’t all that happen before the flight? Why else would she be in shackles, awaiting trial in Australia?

Unless, it was all a lie. What if Durland wasn’t a real marshal? What if the law officer/criminal relationship between him and Mara was just a ruse to keep them from being implicated in Archer’s murder?

When you open your Safari tab, your last search for Claire Wilson comes up. Her obituary sits at the top of the list. You click it and scan the text for the names of her next of kin.

“…she is survived by her mother, Mara Lynch and her brother, Sam Collison.”

Clue #8 Jeff Archer has many identities. He was married to Claire Wilson, Jessica’s sister Tawny, and Angie Garrett.

Clue #9 The convict, Mara Lynch, is Claire Wilson’s mother.

Next week all the secrets will come to light. Who do you think killed the man in the airplane bathroom?

Murder at 30,000 Feet- Week 8

U.S. Marshal Durland

The marshal takes a step back. “What do you mean, I’m not on the manifest?” His brow furrows. Either there’s simple explanation, or he should get an Oscar for the innocent act he’s playing.

“Your name’s not listed.” You cut a glance at his prisoner, Mara, who keeps her eyes trained on the floor. “She is, but you’re not.” You scan the list once more. “The marshal who’s listed in the seat next to her is Toby Scott.”

Marshal Durland’s shoulders relax. He steps toward you, and you swallow the building lump in your throat. “Toby asked me to trade assignments with him at the last minute.”

But why wouldn’t they have updated the manifest? The weight in your gut says all is not well in Whoville.

“Let’s see your credentials.” Griz steps beside you, arms crossed. Thank goodness, you’re not the only one who finds this fishy as the day is long.

The marshal fumbles, then pulls out a leather wallet-looking thing. He lifts the flap. The ID looks legit enough, but as well-thought out as the murder appeared, you guess a good deal of planning went into it. If Marshal Durland–or whoever this person was–had set this scheme in motion days ago, he would’ve had time to get a phony badge made. Fourteen year-olds got fake IDs all the time, for crying out loud.

You glance at Griz. He seems level-headed, but his eyes narrow, mirroring your own suspicion. “Take a seat next to the convict, marshal.” Distrust drips from every word.

“What do you plan to do?” Durland brushes back his jacket, revealing a pistol in his shoulder holster.

The passengers let out a collective gasp.

“You threatenin’ me?” Griz takes a step forward, clearly unintimidated. The way that network of scars crisscrosses his face, he’s probably seen worse than an air marshal with a 9mm.

“Please don’t flash your weapon.” Jessica steps behind the marshal, using her most soothing flight attendant’s voice. “You’re frightening the passengers.

Durland lets his coat drop and conceal the hand gun. “I’m just doing my job. Don’t interfere.” The marshal stuffs his badge into this pocket. When he pulls his hand out, a scrap of paper flutters from his pocket to the floor. He quickly moves his foot to cover it, but Jessica beats hims to it.

She unfolds the paper, and her eyes widen.

You extend a hand, and she slips you the sheet. It’s a handwritten blueprint of the airport in LA. You tilt the map for Griz’s inspection.

The old cowboy puffs out a breath. “Looks like you’ve got a lot of explaining to do, Durland.”

Clue #7- Marshal Durland has a map of the LA airport.

Well, the end is in sight! Thank you all for sticking with me. If you haven’t had a chance, comment on the older Murder at 30,000 Feet posts to be entered in the $50 Amazon gift card drawling at the end of the mystery. 🙂

Murder at 30,000 Feet- Week 6

Crime Scene Investigation | Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

You step into the restroom. The sight of the body on the floor turns your stomach. What could you possibly find that Marshal Durland didn’t notice. He’s the professional, after all.

The marshal hands you a pair of latex gloves, and you stretch them on. Carefully, so as not to contaminate the scene, you check the breast pocket of Archer’s suit coat. The gash on his neck has stained the material, but you shove that nasty detail into a mental box for later processing.

Nothing in the pocket. You check his pants. At first his pockets feel empty, but a folded slip of paper grazes your fingers. You pull it out and smooth the creases.

You scan the sheet. What on earth?

“It’s his will.” You glance up at the marshal then read Archer’s final wishes aloud.

“If you’re reading this, my lies have finally caught up with me, and he decided to hold me accountable. I’d like my assets to be divided evenly between my children. Their names and addresses are locked in the safe at my house in Bakersfield. Each of my wives can have the houses where they currently live.

All I ask of the person who finds my body is to have the police check into Sam Collison. He’s threatened me many times, and I wouldn’t put it past him to make good on his threats.”

Jeff had signed and dated at the bottom of the page. According to the date, he’d penned these requests just last week.

“Is there a passenger on the plane named Sam Collison?” You hand the document to the marshal.

A line forms between his brows. “Not sure. But we haven’t talked to everyone yet.”

“I think Sam’s the man we should be looking for.”

Clue #5 Jeff Archer’s will implicates Sam Collison.

Thank you all for joining me for week six! Do you think they’ll find Sam on the plane?

Murder at 30,000 Feet – Week 2

This is why your airplane bathroom feels so small

When Jessica, the flight attendant, reaches your side, her shrill scream stabs your ears.

The US Marshal steps out of the aisle and flashes his badge. The lines on his face deepen as he scans the tight space and the bloody body filling it. He closes the door and glances at you over his shoulder. “The others can’t see this. It’ll only make them panic.”

You nod. He’s not wrong. But how will he investigate and keep an eye on the rough looking woman in cuffs who occupies the seat next to his? “What do you need me to do?”

“Go sit with Mara while I check this out.” He stretches on a pair of latex gloves, turning to Jessica. “Miss, don’t let anyone back here.”

Tears glisten at the corners of her eyes, and one slips down her cheek as she nods.

You ease into the seat beside the handcuffed criminal.

She tosses you a tight smile. “You here to babysit?” Her Australian accent is unmistakable.

“I wouldn’t call it that.” You study her face more closely. Hadn’t a reporter friend of yours wrote an article about this woman? You tilt your head. “Mind if I ask what those are about?” You motion toward the cuffs.

Mara crosses her arms, slumping in the seat. “Just because I’m chained up doesn’t make me guilty.” She chews her lip. “I’ve got a trial coming up for first degree murder, and I killed the guy. But I had to.”

“Did he attack you?”

She sighed. “No. It was what they call a crime of passion on those court shows. I didn’t go into the place looking to kill. But when I saw– I couldn’t help myself.”

Talk about vague. You glance around the corner. When will that Marshal finish up?

“Say, what’s going on back there?” The male half of the honeymooning couple leans over the seat in front of you and lifts a brow. “Melani heard the flight attendant screaming, and asked me to check.”

You glance in the direction of their seats, and Melani peers over the top of hers with wide eyes. “I can’t say.”

The Marshal steps into the aisle and removes his gloves. He opened his mouth to speak, but his eyes cut to the man speaking to you, and he clamps it shut.

“Look. I’m Trey Hyatt.” The honeymooner jabs a thumb toward his wife. “We deserve to know what’s going on.”

By this time a small crowd has gathered. The onlookers nod and chatter in approval to Trey’s declaration of their rights. Devon and his mother stand near where you’re sitting. While his mom wears a look of concern, Devon yanks a little girl’s pigtail then glances away, face wreathed in artificial innocence.

The old cowboy steps into the throng, squashed between row K and a woman wearing a wide-brimmed sun hat.

The Marshal clears his throat and motions for silence. “Okay. Hush! I’ll tell you what I know. But remain calm.”

The droning voices dull, and the Marshal continues. “I’m US Marshal Ken Durland.” He glances at you. “Someone found a body in the restroom.”

A collective gasp rises, and the talking recommences with fresh gusto.

“Quiet!” The old cowboy raises his voice over the throng, sounding more commanding than you anticipated. With a name like Percival, shouldn’t he have a timid voice? “Let the Marshal finish. I, for one, would like to know what this means for those of us on the plane. We’ve got lots of hours left to spend together. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if one of us is a killer?”

A hush descended.

“Thank you.” Marshal Ken nodded. “What was your name?”

“You can call me Griz.” Okay, now that name makes sense.

The Marshal adjusts his shoulder holster. “I found an ID on the body. The victim’s name is Jeff Archer. That’s all I know at the moment.”

Turbulence rattles the airplane, and you grasp the arm rests, lifting silent prayers for safety.

“What are you going to do?” Devon’s mom scrubs a hand over her face.

“I’ll place a call to headquarters and see if they can dig up any information on Mr. Archer. That should give me some idea who we might be looking for, and –“

“Do you think the killer’s still on the plane?” Trey reaches for Melani’s hand.

Marshal Ken nods slowly. “His body’s still warm. He hasn’t been dead more than an hour.”

The woman in the sun hat lifts a hand to her mouth.

Melani breaks into sobs.

Devon’s mother casts a glance at the prisoner beside you. Not a fearful one. Then she hustles her boy back to their seats despite his protests about wanting to see grandma. That kid’s impatience might be the death of all the passengers.

“Thanks for keeping an eye on Mara.” Ken returns to his seat, and you step into the crowded aisle. He grabs the phone from the seat back and holds it to his ear.

Another jerk of the plane sends you barreling into the old cowboy. He grips your arms and sets you on your feet. Lightning flashes through the window.

Could this flight get any worse? First a dead body, now a storm.

As Marshal Ken rams the in-flight phone into the cradle, a low growl escapes his lips.

You meet his gaze, hoping your look asks ‘what’s wrong?’ instead of ‘is this how we all die?’

“The storm cut out the connection. Looks like we’ll be doing this the old fashioned way.”

A lump forms in your throat. “We?”

“Can’t do it on my own.” He rubs his hands over his pant legs. “I’ll have Griz keep an eye on Mara here. Then we can ask some questions.” He gestures for you to lean closer.

When you’re out of earshot of the milling flyers, he holds up a photograph, lined with wrinkles, as if it had been stored in a pocket for years. “I found this on him.” You study the picture. A young woman sits at a picnic table, her face toward the camera. She holds a little girl in her lap. Both are smiling. You run your thumb over the place where the woman’s eyes had been gouged out. Jagged edges of the glossy paper scrape your skin.

What could this mean? Why carry around a vandalized photo? You narrow your eyes. Something about the woman’s face strikes a familiar chord, but maybe you’re just imagining it.

You glance at the closed restroom door. Was the man inside the victim of a senseless killing, or did he carry sinister secrets of his own?

*****

Clue #1 The photograph

Thank you for joining me for the second week of our ongoing Friday mystery! In case you didn’t notice, I used Penelope Kaye’s suggestion for Percival’s nickname, so I’ll be sending her a $10 Amazon gift card.

I’ve created a Character/Crime-Solving Word document for those of you wanting to take notes as the weeks progress. It would be a way to keep your suspicions and the clues organized. Also, there will be additional characters added in the coming weeks, so I will create supplements to add as we progress in the case.

Comment on every post while the mystery lasts, and you will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card.

Murder at 30,000 Feet- Introduction

The fasten seat belt light flicks off with a hollow ding. You scrub a hand over your face then check the time on your iWatch. Only thirty-one hours until touch down in Sydney. Only thirty-one. The recycled air scratches your throat. Lovely. Good thing you brought Halls Fruit Breezers to take the edge off. You pop one in your mouth, and the creamy strawberry lozenge coats the aggravation.

Beside you, an old cowboy who had introduced himself as Percival Pettigrew when you first embarked slides his Stetson over his face and slumps into his seat, hands folded over his stomach. His fingertips are stained yellow, and cigarette smoke clings to him like a bad rash. Percival Pettigrew? Really? You chew the inside of your cheek. The name failed to fit the crusty cowboy persona. Why not give him a nickname? Duke? Nah, John Wayne will always be the Duke. Hmmm. Have to think about that one.

Percival Pettigrew…

“What can I get you to drink?” The stewardess, Jessica, stops her cart beside you. Her dark hair swept up in a French twist.

“Just water.” You’ll save it until after the fruity throat disc works its magic, but if you don’t get something to drink now, who knows when she’ll make it back around to row G.

She opens a miniature water bottle and pours about an ounce into a plastic cup. Stingy much? You take the swallow of water and smile. It’s not her fault the airline insists on behaving as if we’re in the midst of a shortage.

Jessica

Your seat lurches, sending water sloshing over the edges of your cup. After fitting it into the circular groove on your tray table, you peek around. A little boy rams his feet into your back again, his mother pats his leg, smiling. “Now, Devon, let’s find a new activity,” she says in a coddling voice. Precious Devon continues his assault against the seat and your final nerve. Too bad his mom doesn’t know that the word ‘parent’ it both a noun and a verb.

Portrait of a kid | free image by rawpixel.com
Devon
I took this photo of Nadia, one year ago, on the streets of Chisinau, Moldova.  She told me that in her early 20s she was thinking that those are the best years of somebody’s life. But her early 30s...
Devon’s Mom

The plane jerks, and Jessica grips the back of your seat. Your heart climbs into your throat as you grip the arm rests until your knuckles turn white. Probably wasn’t your brightest idea to binge watch Lost before flying across the Pacific. But hey, if you crash on an island occupied by homicidal smoke, polar bears, and a group of toughs who want to use you for their crazy experiments, you’ll arrive prepared.

Old Percival snores on. His fingers twitch as the turbulence passes. You still can’t think of a nickname that suits. Probably the high altitude. Devon’s feet pummel your back again. That little shyster isn’t helping creative matters either.

A baby cries from somewhere behind you but quickly settles. You pull your iPad from its sleeve. Might as well get a little work done. The last installment of the Banter app expose won’t write itself. How many people will delete their Banter accounts when they read the truth about their privacy being compromised? You hit the power button, and your tablet screen glows to life. You shrug. Most people wouldn’t care enough to worry about the spying software attached to their profiles. Or the government entities that keep tabs on their online activity. No, they were too excited to show their friends pictures of their sandwiches and post vague woe-is-me sentences in a desperate attempt to fish for sympathy. Whatever gets them through the day. You can’t be faulted for withholding information that laid bare the sinister side of social media.

Once you reach Sydney, there will be no time to finish this article before starting coverage of the Cordova trial. You take a sip of water. How could one man be capable of so much evil. You love your job, but the nightmarish cases it forces you to dive into leave you wishing for the chance to write a feel-good piece. Something about the Make-a-Wish foundation or Chick-fil-A. Anything but corruption and murder.

You straighten your shoulders and set to work. That’s not what you’re known for.

Devon’s tap dance on your back continues. If you don’t get out of this chair in the next minute, you’ll find a way to punish the little delinquent yourself. Didn’t someone say it takes a village to raise a child? Well, you’ll be glad to join this kid’s village. Or give that Super Nanny a call. Where’s a naughty mat when you need one?

You slip out of your seat, tablet in hand. A quick trip to the restroom is in order. Maybe you can finish your article without being kicked like a soccer ball.

As you pass row H, you narrow your eyes at Devon, hoping he’ll get the hint and knock it off when you get back. Devon sticks his tongue out, and your hint sails directly over his curly head. His mom sits beside him, beep, bop, booping on her smartphone. Judging by the sound of the music, she’s playing Kwazy Cupcakes. At least her taste in games is solid even if her parenting style is what the French call ‘checked-out.’

You continue down the aisle, scanning the faces of your fellow passengers. There are the honeymooners you avoided eye contact with in the terminal. That got PG-13 a little too quick.

Couples Of The Year - Interracial Couples - YouTube

A man wearing a badge sits near the bathroom door. Beside him, sits a woman in handcuffs. Okay. Did you accidentally step into a Lost remake? No. This criminal looks nothing like Evangeline Lilly.

William Fichtner - IMDb
U.S. Marshal
Female Prisoner

The green strip above the door handle reads ‘vacant.’ You pull open the door and a cold chill skims your arms. A man wearing a blood stained Red Cross t-shirt lays sprawled beside the sink. The gash across his throat turns your stomach.

You motion for the stewardess. But what can she do? Nothing can save this man. You fight the urge to scream. Somebody murdered him. You scan the backs of passengers heads.

Who?

***

Thank you so much for joining me on this whodunit adventure!!! Comment below to let me know what you think we should nickname our cowboy. Be sure to include your email address, because whoever picks the winning name will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.

Follow me for weekly clues that will point you to the killer one lucky ducky who follows the story to the end will receive a $50 Amazon gift card!

See you next week!