Murder On Anastasia Island – Chapter One
This is the first chapter of a novel I’m working on …
The eerie quietness brought on a discomfiting feeling as the young blond woman hair blowing in the brisk salt breeze, made her way along the water’s edge. As the tide continued its dusky ingress onto the beach, it made it more difficult to get through; forcing her to detour into the dark riparian forest of palm trees and cedars.
She had walked down the familiar sloping path close to her cottage as she does almost every day. Reaching the light tan sand of the beach common to Florida’s eastern coastline, she sped up to an energetic jog. She almost never runs this section of the beach, but she felt like a change. “Heaven knows there isn’t much changing around here. It seems like the only thing that changes on this island is the tide,” she muttered, as she leaped over a large piece of displaced driftwood without breaking stride.
The shadowy darkness of the forest was playing on her imagination. A bone-chilling feeling of foreboding was convincing her she was not alone; that someone was watching her. Unable to shake the alarming notion, she quickened her steps to put the impressions behind her. She could feel the hair stand up on the back of her neck as she sensed movement just outside her peripheral vision.
Distracted by her looming fears, she stumbled through an underbrush of low growing palm ferns. Then, the earth gave way beneath her foot; causing her to pitch to the ground grasping at air as she fell.
She lay motionless in the soggy bed of tropical underbrush, a line of blood trickling from the wound on the side of her head turning her pale hair to noctilucent henna. The jungle-like forest seemed to grow even darker as the rising morning sun went behind a cloud; and from deep in the thicket, a menacing form emerged. He crept closer to her as she lay helpless in an ever-deepening pool of crimson fluid. The large dark form bent down reached out with huge minacious hands; scooped her up and lumbered away.