Murder On Anastasia Island – Chapter One



The eerie quietness induces a discomfiting feeling as the young blond woman, hair blowing in the brisk salt breeze, makes her way along the water’s edge.  As the tide continues its dusky ingress onto the beach, it makes it more difficult to get through; forcing her to detour into the dark riparian forest of palm trees and cedars.

     She walks 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 speeds up to an energetic jog.  She almost never runs this section of the beach, but she feels 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 mutters, as she leaps over a large piece of displaced driftwood without breaking stride.

     The shadowy darkness of the forest is playing on her imagination.  A bone-chilling feeling of foreboding is convincing her she is not alone; that someone is watching her. Unable to shake the alarming notion, she quickens her steps to put the impressions behind her.  She can feel the hair stand up on the back of her neck as she senses movement just outside her peripheral vision.

     Distracted by her looming fears, she stumbles through an underbrush of low growing palm ferns.  Then, the earth gives way beneath her foot; causing her to pitch to the ground grasping at air as she falls.

     She lies 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 seems to grow even darker as the rising morning sun goes behind a cloud; and from deep in the thicket, a menacing form emerges.  He creeps closer to her as she lay helpless in an ever-deepening pool of crimson fluid.  The large dark form bends down reaches out with huge minacious hands; scoops her up and lumbers away.

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