Subway 59

  • Round: Books: 5 Page Challenge

  • Genre:
    Fiction: Thriller/Suspense, Fairytales, Folklore & Mythology
  • Submitted: May 14, 2011


Status: Elevated to Round 3

  • Want it elevated: 60%
  • Publishing Pro Rating: Under review.
  • 0%


  • 11%


  • 29%


  • 48%


  • 12%


% want it elevated


5 Page Challenge

Pages 1-5 | Extended Sample


Every twelve hours a woman turns up dead, already in the process of decay. All leave a note but Detective Harry Muir can do nothing because they’re all addressed to him and expose his secret sins. Filled with guilt for the dying girls, Harry's reality begins to blur into something deeper and darker.

Pages 1 - _

            Blind Sheep To The Slaughter. The graffiti on the subway window was still fresh.

            ‘You sure you’re up for this, Harry?’ Detective Dogard looked sombrely at his partner. ‘You look like shit. I can do this alone.’

            ‘I need it.’ Harry just looked at the windows of the subway doors.

            ‘I figured as much.’ Neal gave his friend one more second and then looked down at the end of the train. A subway conductor waited inside with his head protruding from a small window.

            ‘Open it up!’

            The subway doors opened and the air inside flushed out. Neal turned his face as the smell of decaying flesh filled his nostrils. Harry never flinched. He could already see a shoe from the victim through the entrance; blue jean runners with white rubber soles. Harry stepped inside.

            ‘Nothing’s been touched.’ Neal followed behind with a white handkerchief over his nose. ‘We’re the first inside.’

            Harry said nothing as if he didn’t hear a word. He stood over the young woman. She was face down on the floor. Her faded gray jeans were ripped across both pant legs just under her buttocks. She wore a tight white top with no visible markings on the back. Everything was completely drenched. Her black soaked hair matted down on her back, neck and face. 

            ‘We got an anonymous call from a payphone just outside the station.’ Neal stood on the other side of the girl. ‘I’ve already made a call to look at any security videos in the area. Problem is that the call was made before the subway got here and this cart didn’t have anyone else when it stopped. This wasn’t a one man job.’ 

Harry didn’t take his eyes away from the victim below. Her right arm was awkwardly stuffed underneath her body. Her left arm rested by her side. Her hand clenched an envelope.

‘You’ve been awake for almost three days, Harry.’ Neal breathed out. He knew his words were going to fall on deaf ears.

Harry crouched down. His eyes were now focussed on the tightly held envelope.

‘Just wait for forensics. Let them tag and bag...’

Harry grabbed the girl’s hand and forced her stiff fingers open.

‘Shit, Harry.’ Neal looked out the subway doors to make sure no one was around. ‘I can’t keep lying for you.’

 Harry took the envelope, the only thing dry on the body, and ripped it open.

‘Harry?’ Neal tightened his jaw.

‘Why don’t you get us a couple of coffees?’ Harry Muir finally looked at his partner. ‘No reason for any more lies.’

            ‘Never any use talking to you is there?’ Neil threw up his hands. ‘Fuck it. But you better be done with whatever you’re doing soon cause this place is going to be crawling any second. I’ll be back in a few.’

            ‘Two sugars!’

            ‘I know your fucking coffee.’ Neal was already walking out the subway doors. ‘I swear to god, if it wasn’t for all those times you saved my ass, I’d hate you.’

            Harry let out a smile before turning back to the opened letter. 

            Here he was again; another letter for him to find. He pulled the white paper from within the envelope. It felt so familiar in his hands. The paper was folded twice over like the previous five. Even without opening it, Harry knew what he’d see- Georgia 12 font, double spaced, generic black ink.

            He hesitated. He didn’t want to read what was inside. Instead he looked back at the body. Even without looking at her face, he knew she would be in her early twenties. She’d be another escort or body-rub worker.

            Still crouching, Harry brushed the thick wet hair away from the side of her face. She was going to be exactly the same. He could already see the flesh touching the subway cart melting onto the floor. She was decaying right in front of his eyes. The whole front of her body would be like this.


            Harry closed his eyes. Instantly he felt the exhaustion rushing to overtake him. He opened his eyes hastily and pushed the feeling deep inside. There wasn’t any time for sleep. Twelve more hours and another girl would be found face down.

            Harry looked around. Everything was clean as far as subway carts go. The red seats were almost all torn and more graffiti filled the windows, but evidence for the crime was nowhere to be seen. Most perplexing was the fact that nothing else was wet except for the girl.

            Attention went back to the letter as he finally sat down on one of the ripped cushioned benches. He unfolded the paper once.

            DETECTIVE HARRY MUIR. It was written in black ink, Georgia font 12.

            Looking at his name on the paper made his heart sink deep inside. It was happening all over again. Why him? Why was this happening? His sins were catching up to him.

            His fingers brushed over the second crease in the paper. He knew that he had to open it. Time was already trickling away.

            Slowly he slipped his thumb inside to open the letter completely.

            “Another sloppy Jane?’

            Harry turned to see the first of the forensics team members walking into the subway with his bags in hand. Quickly the letter was stuffed into Harry’s pocket.

            The technician put his two bags on one of the benches. His hands were already gloved and he quickly headed over to look at the body.

            ‘You ready for another lost lunch?’ The man smiled at Harry and slowly began peeling the girl off the subway floor.

            Harry turned away slightly as the stringy flesh stretched from the wet floor to what was left of the girl. The front of the girl’s shirt and pants were completely rotted again. There was nothing left of a human being below. It was all a wet, sticky mess. How could a body end up like that?

            ‘Enough, John!’ Harry raised his hand.

            John smiled again. He took pleasure in making the tough guys queasy. Slowly he laid the body back on the floor. He was going to have enough work processing and logging the girl’s back anyways.

            ‘Doesn’t look like we’ll get much of an ID on this one either.’ John shook his head. ‘The fucker who’s doing this is defying science, Detective. We’ve gotten nothing. They’re just melting away. The first body is nothing more than a bucket of goo now and the others are going in the same direction.’

            ‘Just do your job and figure out what the hell is going on.’ Harry stood up.

            ‘You alright?’ John rubbed his nose with the back of his gloved hand. ‘You look terrible. Have you slept yet?’

            ‘I’m fine.’ Harry walked through the doors.

            ‘Sixth girl in three days...’ John kneeled down by the girl and lowered his head to get a better view. ‘Starts taking its toll after a while. You fucking let them all die.’

            Harry turned to face John. ‘What the hell did you say?’

            John looked up dumbfounded.

            Harry stepped back inside. ‘What the fuck did you say to me?’

            ‘Just that this case is taking a toll on all of us.’ John instinctively inched back. He knew what stress could do to a cop. He wasn’t half his weight.‘What?’

            ‘What you say after that?’

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