Sneak Peak: Body in the Office Back

Sneak Peak: Body in the Office

Today is a special day for me as I have just updated and re-released one of my earliest short stories on Amazon for readers to purchase. In celebration of this, I would like to share the first chapter of my story with you, free.

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Detective Christopher Watkins faces an unsettling mystery when Caroline Anderson is found brutally murdered in the confines of Collins Computers. As Detective Watkins dives into the investigation, he discovers a labyrinth of secrets, lies, and unexpected connections that shatter the illusion of tranquillity in this close-knit community.

Caroline’s husband, Tony Anderson, becomes a focal point of the investigation, particularly as rumours of her extramarital affair with Mark Ford, a colleague at Collins Computers, surface. The detective uncovers the strained dynamics within the Anderson household and the intricate relationships that exist beneath the surface.

Body in the Office is a gripping tale that delves into the consequences of betrayal, the complexities of relationships, and the darkness that can fester beneath the veneer of a seemingly peaceful village. As Detective Watkins closes the case, the village is left to grapple with the aftermath of a tragedy that has exposed the unsettling truths lurking within their midst.

Chapter 1: The Office

Graham paused every morning at his office window, a smile tugging at his lips as he took in the quad below, bathed in the gentle morning light. His hands often rested against the glass, a silent testament to his appreciation for this slice of tranquillity amidst the hustle of office life. It brought the place to life. Gave the whole run of the office a beautiful, natural light. Which he had thought was perfect for a healthy work environment.

It was such a peaceful place to retreat to for coffee in the early summer mornings. Some even used it for a smoke break. However, Graham put a stop to this fairly quickly.

Graham’s gaze drifted through the glass pane, the quad’s serene beauty pulling him away from the clutter of papers and the glow of his computer screen. The early morning sun cast a warm, golden hue over the flowers, their colours vibrant against the office’s stark, modern lines. Where he could admire the flowers, and the early morning sun was calming for him. It was the mental boost he needed most mornings to get through till the afternoon.

Shadows stretched across the office floor, cast by the moon’s silvery glow that slipped through the windows. The quad, a beacon of natural light by day, now lay subdued under the night’s watchful eye, its muted but no less enchanting beauty. It was not quite a full moon. Graham had assumed it was a Waxing Moon, but he couldn’t be sure.

Graham’s footsteps echoed in the empty hallways, a stark reminder of the unusual hour. The ordinarily bustling office lay silent, the hum of computers and chatter of colleagues replaced by the quiet of a late Tuesday night. But Graham had been called in due to a single trip sensor alerting him of motion.

Graham’s eyes scanned the desks, cluttered with the day’s work, imagining the soft thud of a misplaced report or a forgotten coffee mug tumbling to the floor, disrupting the night’s stillness.

I doubt anyone would want to break into an old office building. What would they take? The ancient computers? No. What about the massive stacks of paper?

Immediately upon arriving at the office, there were no indications of a break-in when Graham opened the main office doors and got a full view of the quad—exploding with white moonlight. He could see the office was as quiet and still as any other typical evening.

The office was closed. All the workers were at home, likely in bed, and there was no reason for anyone to be inside, just as there isn’t now.

“Hello,” Graham called out. He was humouring himself more than anything else.

No sound came back in response. Just as he had expected. Not a single person was here.

Graham continued through the main run of office desks and the double doors leading into the IT department. Through the doors, Graham could locate the circuit breaker-looking box which controlled the alarm and motion sensors.

Switches were pressed, and a few numbers were entered into a keypad. Job done. The security system is back up and running as usual, with no tripped sensor.

Graham leaned closer to the monitor, his brow furrowing as the display flickered, a single sensor blinking insistently. A knot of unease formed in his stomach, the office’s familiar surroundings suddenly feeling alien under the sterile glow of the screen. Once again, the same motion sensor had been tripped, signalling that something had broken the connection.

Once again, Graham changed a few switches, and a few numbers were entered into a keypad. It was restarting the system.

Once again, the sensor tripped.

Frustrated but also curious now, Graham checked the location for sensor fourteen. The sensor continuously kept tripping.

“The quad,” Graham said to himself as he read the location from the sensor’s clipboard. The clipboard was attached to the back of the metal box that housed the alarm and motion sensor controls. It contains a detailed list of the locations of all the motion sensors and the last time they were cleared adequately from maintenance.

He wasn’t entirely sure how to repair the motion sensor if it was broken or damaged, as Graham assumed. But nevertheless, he continued onwards towards the quad, back out into the main run of office desks and straight for the large glass wall in the centre.

He tried the handle. Locked. Which was as expected.

He pulled the large set of keys from his back pocket, filling through them until he reached a modern-styled silver key. It slipped into the keyhole quickly, and no noise came from the action.

When the door opened, Graham stepped out into the night air. Looking around for any signs of why one of the motion sensors had been tripped.

Nothing. Just the beautiful flowers that bounced around in the light breeze of the cool night air.

There was a large thyme bush that Graham had grown at home for many years before getting it transplanted into the quad garden. It was one of Graham’s most prized possessions out of all the flowers and plants out here.

“You still smell beautiful.” He says to the bush as he pulls at one of the pointed leaves and sticks it close to his nostrils.

It was while Graham was admiring the thyme bush that he noticed, out of the corner of his eye, something somewhat out of place in the quad.

Upon looking further, Graham could see that where once there used to be a fairly young collection of Fennel growing in a raised bed, it was now all crumpled and flattened entirely into the ground.

What has happened here?

He was rounding closer over to the raised flower bed. The one in which Fennel should have been towering over the other plants in the area, Graham saw something which he had never expected to see in all his life working at this office.

In fact, it wasn’t something he had ever expected to see living in such a quiet village like this one.

Graham’s voice cracked as he stumbled forward, his hands reaching out instinctively towards Carol, but he stopped short, hovering hesitantly. “Carol!” he gasped, the words barely a whisper, his throat tight with shock. His eyes darted over her, taking in the scene’s gravity, his heart sinking as the reality set in.

What Graham had seen was the body of Caroline Anderson. She lay lifeless on the other side of the raised bed. Blood pooled around her body on the concrete flooring.

Her body showed heavy signs of injury. Has she been stabbed? Graham’s mind raced. That is a lot of stab wounds.

Graham’s hand hovered inches from Carol’s, an instinctive gesture borne of a desperate need to understand, to find some clue that could undo this nightmare. Yet, he pulled back sharply, a wave of reverence and caution washing over him. “Mustn’t disturb anything,” he murmured to himself, a stark reminder of the grim reality that lay before him. His eyes lingered on the red rose in her hand, starkly contrasting the cold, lifeless scene.

But he wanted to know what it was. Leaning as close as he could, he saw Caroline holding a red rose.

Body in the Office is available to purchase on Amazon and is available for Kindle Devices. Click here to view the Amazon Store Page.

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