The Crime Readers' Association

Muggy Night, by Luke Deckard

“Who’s there?” I prop myself up in bed. I’m sticky with sweat.

The ceiling-fan whirls; its blades cut the hot air. The windchime dings and dongs out front and a dog barks in the distance. Crickets and god knows what else chirp outside. But no cars nor people.

It can’t be morning. I rub my useless eyes.

“Siri, what’s the time?”

The. Time. Is. Three-Forty-Two-A.M.”

I sigh. “Damn heat. It’s too damn humid.”

I pull off my underpants and peel off the damp top. I lay in an X on the bed. The hot air the ceiling-fan circulates runs over me. Better than nothing. I need a drink.

I glide my fingers across the top of the side-table. Each groove is distinctive and subtle like colours are. The tips of my fingers find the plastic cup. I take it. It’s empty. The water pitcher is behind it. My index finger sits inside the glass. I pour. The wet coolness tells me to stop. The water moistens my dry mouth.

I reach to sit the cup down.

Bang… VrrrrI jump. Bang… Bang… Vrrrr. The cup falls. It thuds and water splashes on the wooden floor. I follow the sound of the rolling cup: it’s under the bed. Damn motorcycles… Find it in the morning.

I ease my head back into the pillow and shut my eyes.


“Hello? I know you’re there. I can smell you now. Answer me, damnit.”

I grip the bedsheets. Every vein inside pulses rapidly. Blood rushes in my ears.

Nnnrrr… Nnnrrr…

The bedroom door bursts open. Heavy boots rush over the floor.

“What’s going on? Who are you?”

Drawers opens, papers rustle. The Mac is closed shut. A jar of coins is taken.

“What do you want?”

A metallic bang. They’re trying to break into my safe.

“Explain yourself!”

“Shut ’im up!” One says.

That voice… I know it…

Gloved hands grab me and pull me from the bed. I am thrown to the floor. My head knocks on the side of frame. The wooden floor is cold on my bare skin. I cup my exposed penis. My body shivers.

“Don’t kill me… please, whatever you want take it…”

“Quiet!” the second man says.

A boot slams into my gut.

“I got it,” the first man says.

A hard thud against my head spins me out of consciousness.




Find out more about Luke here.

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