Off Milk 101
Kutt Throat Killers
It was 3am and the cold, wooden floor creaked as the young girl,of age 12, walked towards the large oak stairs. On the wall next to the stairs was her fathers favourite gun. It was a double-barrel shotgun, perfectly polished and loaded with bullets. She opened the hatch and took the gun out of the glass cabinet. The gun was to heavy for her and beginning to climb the stairs was awkward.
The stairs were lit by a small light on the first floor, which let the girl know where she was going. She took each step quietly and precociously making sure not to wake the rest of the house. The last few steps were tired and the sound of her feet hitting the wooden stairs echoed against the four thick, stone walls leaving the girl frozen for a few minutes waiting to see if anyone had heard her. Nothing, nobody had appeared on the landing so the young girl carried on walking. She pasted one door, her brothers bedroom. He was a little bit older than her and was fourteen. She arrived at another door. This was her stop, she pushed down on the door handle and walked inside.
The room was dark and she could just see the bed against the far wall. There lying on the bed was a fat figure of a man wearing a dirty, white vest and tracksuit bottoms. The snores and grunts of a pig came from his mouth as he rolled over. His eyes opened to see her as he sat up resting his back against the head rest. It was her father.
"Hey darling, what are you doing up at this hour?" he questioned.
She revealed the gun from behind her back and raised it so it was pointing straight at him. His eyes widened with fear on his face.
"What are you doing with that?" he asked.
"Goodbye father," she replied.
She put her finger on the trigger and the other hand just in front. Her finger pushed in, releasing the bullet. For the next few minutes the girl was deafened because of the shrill shriek of the gun shot.
The bullet dived into the air like in slow-motion. The smoke coiled from the end of the gun, rising to the ceiling with no escape. The bullet plunged into her fathers heart and he died instantly.
She dropped the gun and ran for the stairs. The young girl was not clever enough to notice that someone had just watched her every move. They couldn't believe why she would do such a horrific thing to a family member, but the thing they didn't know was what her father had done to her.
The person was to late to catch her because the girl had taken the steps three at a time and had gone leaving the front door wide open with the full moon illuminating the whole doorway.
The person who had just witnessed everything was the girl's very own brother.
- The small village of Kutt Throat was a very posh and high standard place to live. It consisted of a few house and a mansion known as Manor House, there was also the Kutt Throat forest which was almost double the size of the village.
Mr. and Mrs Green sat around the breakfast table, him with his bacon and eggs, reading the Daily Gazette and her eating a fruit salad with freshly picked fruit from their garden.
Mrs. Judith Green was very thin with long, grey hair that was twisted into the tightest of buns. She had a very bright, sharp featured face, wire-framed glasses and no makeup except a smear of red lipstick. Her eyes popped out of her head with her pupils the colour of the Mediterranean Sea.
He was sixty-five, and he looked it. His hair short and perectly combed and balding on top, and you could see the light shining off it like it were a polished table. It was all grey, matching with the ferret above his top lip. As for his clothes- tailored suits, nothing special. His one leg resting against the others knee: on that leg was a shoe, perfectly intact and most of the time while sitting down he stared at his own reflection. His hat lay on the table- black to match his suit.
"Judith, did you know the church are holding a committee meeting tonight to decide on the local fair?" Mr Green said tapping at an article in the paper.
Judith took the Daily Gazette and read the article thoroughly. It read: All committee members please attend our meeting tonight, 7th July at number 8. We will be accompanied by a very special guest. From Poppie Rose. P.S. Any problems please contact Minister George Harvey at the church.
Mrs green set the paper on the table,and whilst taking a mouthful of strawberry she asked, "Will you be coming with me to the meeting tonight or will I be going alone?"
"I'm not sure, I still have a lot of paper work to finish at the office," Harry replied whilst snatching back the paper to read Cowboys and Indians. This was a small comic strip on the inside of the front cover. Harry was still just a kid on the inside and also loved his train sets.
Judith stood up taking the breakfast plates to the sink and then left the room to get changed out of her dressing gown into a long, black skirt and her favourite pink floral
Harry was still reading the paper when she came back into the kitchen, "I'm going to speak to Poppie at the florists and I'll see you when you get back from the office."
"Bye love," He replied as she kissed him on the cheek on her way out the door.
Walking towards the florists she was met by Hazel Williams. Her head was held high like she was the queen of the village. She was thin with brown hair and had an unusually good hearing, which came in handy as she was always listening in on other peoples conversations and knew everything that was going on. The date was set for her and the owner of Manor House, Charles Hartly to get married, but she was only in it for the money. Around her neck was a necklace but no ordinary one. This one was bought by Charles for £85,000 and it was given to her as a valentines present.
"Hello Hazel, will you be joining us at Poppie Rose's house tonight for the committee meeting?" asked Judith.
"I would hope very much so, unless Charles has something planned for us," replied Hazel in a high, .
"Well, I better run because I have to go talk with Poppie."
Judith carried on walking towards the florists in a brisk pace inhaling the sweet smell of spring flowers and the bright blue sky with not a cloud in sight . She arrived at the door and pushed it open. There were two poster on the door one advertising daffodils for sale with the prices for the amount wanted and the other was a message reminding committee members to attend toight at half past seven. Inside the smell of tulips, roses, daffodils and lilies hit her like a tonne of bricks. There was a mechanism above the door so if anboby came in the shop Poppie Rose would hear from her workshop above the florists. Judith walked to the counter as Poppie appeared from the stairs behind the counter.
She had short blonde hair and was quite short, around 5 foot 3 inches but she made up from that with her lively and bubbly personality. Her body was the shape of a tomato and her pastel pink t-shirt stretched down to just above her apron. The apron was a dark shade of blue with two pockets in the front. The pockets were spilling out with pens, scissors, bits of flowers and a small notepad. Beneath the apron was a pair of black trousers but they were off colour because of pollen stains and marks from the pens. Mrs Green really liked Poppie but she thought she could sometimes be a little paranoid going all the way to crazy. Maybe Judith was just imagining it but today there was definitely something bothering Ms Rose.
Poppie stopped behind the counter and asked"Hello Judith, how can I help you today?"
"I came to see if you need anything for tonight like appetizers or drinks? replied Judith.
"Oh, yes if you could do a few appetizers that would be brilliant. Would you like to come up stairs for a quick coffee because I have finally finished the massive rush of orders for spring flowers and I've not had a good chat with you in a while now?"
"Well ok, but it will have to be quick because I have some shopping to do for these appetizers."
Mrs Green was led behind the counter and up the stairs into Poppie's workshop.The floor was covered in cuttings of flowers and petals. In the corner was an array of bouquets, hand ties and aqua boxes all full of beautiful spring flowers. The sun shone through a large porthole shaped window casting a shadow over the flowers.
"Would you like tea or coffee?" Poppie asked politely.
"Coffee, please," Judith replied as she sat down on a comfortable, chair with a wooden frame and a blue padding that matched the colours of the walls.
When Poppie arrived at the table in front of Judith she set her coffee down and spilled some onto the table. Sitting down next to Judith she looked very agitated and was fidgeting with her hands.
"You look very worried about something Poppie, what is it? You can tell me," Judith said.
"Well it's just the guest that has been invited to the meeting tonight," Poppie revealed.
"Who is it?"
George Harvey was reading a small piece of text from the Bible to the few members that came to Church on a Wednesday. The church was quite small but in have a bell tower where six members attended on a Saturday at 2pm. Everybody that attended the Church were catholic and so was George Harvey, who was the only minister at the church. The out side was all dashed with a grey pebble and there were two large oak doors at the front of the building.
"And that concludes are service today. I would just like to remind all committee members that our meeting will be held at number 8 tonight at half past seven. Thank you all for coming and I'll see you tomorrow," George said.
George walked out of the pool pit and into a side room known as the vestry and was met by his wife. An argument started between them because he was very religious and she wasn't.
"Cone on George, I'm only going to dip into todays collection I won't take it all. I need a new hat for the local fair on Sunday," said his wife Angelica. She was the sort of person who just loved hats. There was never a moment when she was in public that she would be caught without one on. She had a hat for big events, small events, good events, bad events, worthy events, waste of time events, birthdays, weddings, births, deaths, going to the shops, down at the pub, church events and even a hat for when she went to bed.
"No!" George replied in a stern voice. "How dare you even think about it. All that money goes back into the running of the church and if we don't have that money we won't even have a church." When times were tough for George he needed every penny he could get to keep that church on the go.
Mrs. Harvey scowled and stormed out of the church. Out the church doors, down the steps and towards the pub she went when she nudged into a tall, muscular man knocking the man onto the road.
"Oi! Watch where your going," He yelled.
Mrs. Harvey wasn't listening and carried on walking. The only thing on her mind was the large gin and tonic she would be buying at the pub.
The man carried on walking at a brisk pace. He was on his way to have a chat with Mr. Green at his office just outside of the village. The man had hair like a mop. It was long, greasy and a light shade of brown. He worked as a builder for a local firm and was due money from Mr. Green for putting in his new kitchen. He needed it now. If he didn't get the money then Mr. Green's office would end up not as perfect as it was.
The man was named David Boxer after his father, who used to be a part of the bell ringing team. He passed the church, the florists and finally arrived at a building occupied by three offices. Mr. Green's office was the one on the second floor. He climbed up a flight of stairs and arrived at a door. The door slid open as he lightly pushed. There sitting at a large table in a large room was the rather large Mr. Green.
On his desk was a type writer, a pile of papers and a small cactus plant. The chair he sat on was heavily reinforced to hold his weight and to make sure if it broke he didn't end up on the person sitting in the office below.
"Do you have my money Harry?" David asked in a low, forceful tone of voice. He out stretched his hand as if to signal 'hand over the money.'
"Well... not exactly," Harry answered. "Bu... but I have some of it. Can I pay you it now and the rest later."
"I need all of it by tomorrow or you're dead. Give me the money you have and I'll come back for the rest tomorrow at noon,so you better be here."
Harry dove into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small, gold key. He peeled himself away from his seat leaving the imprint of his large body and clambered his way over to a single painting on the wall. Taking the painting down from the wall revealed a safe. Harry lifted one of hands, punching in a five digit number then inserted the key into the lock and turned. There was a click when the safe door flew open unveiling five stacks of money, a small book with a leather paperback cover and a bundle of important work papers.
David took a second look at the painted picture which had been covering the safe.
"Where did you get this painting?" David inquired.
"I painted it, about ten years ago," replied Harry.
"I'm sure I know that face but I just can't think where I no it from."
Harry shrugged his shoulders and took the five stacks of money out of the safe. David counted the money quickly then inserted them into a small grey sack. There was £5,000 exactly, all fifty pound notes. He threw the sack over his shoulder and left the offices.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Mr. Green,"David said with a smirk on his face.
The pub was almost empty at half past eleven on a Wednesday, except from the three people sitting at the corner of the bar and a woman sitting a table away from the others.. The three people at the bar were Angelica Harvey, Tom Reid and Mark Johnstone.
Tom Reid was the owner of the pub, which had been in the family for around about a hundred years. He was a friendly guy but if someone stepped out of line in his pub they would be chucked out immediately. His long, grey hair flowed down to the middle of his back and was tied in a pony tail. He was sitting furthest away from the door with his leather jacket slung across the bar and a pint of beer in his hand. He had only taken a sip. He didn't like drinking early in the morning.
Mark Johnstone, on the other hand was drinking whiskey after whiskey. Tom was fourty-seven but looked almost double his age. He was under a lot of pressure at his work and his wife, Liz, had just left him for someone else. His face was long, grey and the wrinkles were beginning to get wrinkles on top. The dark clothes he was wearing were stained and dirty.
The woman sitting on her own was wearing a long, black jacket down to her feet. Her face was hidden inside it. None of the three at the bar had seen the woman's face except from when Angelica got up to go to the toilet. She caught a quick glimpse of the woman's eyes. They were a dark, autumn brown.
"Angelica, can I buy you another drink," asked Tom.
"No, I better be off but first I'll just finish this drink " she replied taking a large swig out of her gin and tonic.
"How about you Mark,"
"Yes, I'll have a whiskey," Mark said slurring every word.
"Do you not think you should go easy, Mark, you've been drinking since the pub opened." Angelica said with sympathy.
"How dare you! The man asked if I wanted a drink so I told him what I would like. I did just as you did but said yes instead of no,"
Angelica finished her drink, stood up and said, "I was just trying to look after your health, Mark. You've never been of the drink since Liz left you for that younger man."
"Leave Me Alone Angelica! Stay out of my buisness! My life is nothing to do with you!" Mark's anger was sky high as Angelica walked out of the pub.
"Gina, get Mark a whiskey," said Tom.
Gina Reid was Tom's wife and also she was working behind the bar. Her long, dark hair flowed over her left shoulder as she got a glass and poured Mark's drink. She was very hard working and loved her job, but was tight with her money and spent it on nothing. Her clothes were old and the knee's of her jeans had been patched over. She was the complete opposite to Tom who spent his money in abundance. He practically gave people his money.
"Make it a double," Mark butted in.
Night time fell on Kutt Throat village, the street lights shone bright and the moon in the dark sky was full. The tree's rustled in the slight breeze, the rain poured and there was an eerie feel that hung over the village as Poppie Rose's house began to fill of people. The committe meeting began as the clock struck half seven. Poppie's living room was packed with almost the whole village. There was Harry and Judith Green, George and Angelica Harvey, Charles Hartley and his wife to be Hazel Williams, David Boxer, Tom and Gina Reid, Mark Johnstone who was half asleep in the corner, Liz Johnstone and her new boyfriend, and of course Poppie herself.
The meeting started with a discussion over last months minutes. This lasted for half an hour and then they discussed a few matters on topics raised by Charles Hartley and a drunken Mark Johnstone. The room went silent. The only noises that could be heard was from people eating food of the platter on the table and slurps of wine.
"Excuse me, while I go and answer the door," Poppie announced. She walked out of the room and down the corridor to the front door. She set her hand on the door knob and twisted. With a creak the door opened and standing on the other side was a woman wearing a long, black jacket down to her feet. Her face was hidden inside it. The only thing about her face that could be seen were her dark, autumn brown eyes.
"Come in, Come in. Let's get you out of this rain," said Poppie. "You can put your suitcase upstairs in the furthest room."
The woman walked through the door and into Poppie's house. She took off her coat and set her suitcase on the floor. Underneath the coat appeared a beautiful woman. She was quite tall and skinny, which wouldn't help her because some of the ceilings ways in Poppie Rose's house were very low. Her large eyes twinkled in the light as she hung up her coat and awaited instructions from Poppie.
"Follow me. We're in the second door on the left and the toilet is at the end of the corridor. I'll just be two seconds, I have to get some more drinks out of the kitchen," Poppie said while ushering the woman up the stairs and then turning back to go into the kitchen.
The woman set her suitcase on the bed and stood staring around the room to see where she would be sleeping for the next few night. This was quite difficult for her because the only light in the room was from the lit fire in front of her. She left the room and made her way down to the living room. She placed her hand on the handle of the door, turned it and walked into the room. There was a gasp from the corner of the room. David stood up in shock spilling his drink on the floor and breaking the glass. The rest of the room turned round to see what had happened and they all noticed David was standing up. His face had gone white and he looked as if he was going to faint. His pupils were focused on the woman who had just come in and they didn't look as if they would move for some time.
"Rosalie is that you?" David said in a nervous tone.
"No, I'm Annie. I' ve never heard of this Rosalie you speak of," The woman answered. Her voice was firm and sent a cold shiver down everyone in the room's backs.
"You are Rosalie!" David became certain and started to force the name on her.
"I don't know of any Rosalie." she replied.
"Your Rosalie Boxer. You must remember me, I'm your brother David."
"No, sorry I'm Annie Yale."
David ran across the room and pushed the woman out of the way. The front door slammed behind him as Poppie appeared in the living room.
"What's happened in here?" Poppie questioned.
"I think we shall end the meeting there." Judith Green announced across the room.
Poppie escorted all the guest out the front door and said goodnight. She could here the chattering between the guests of the events of what had just happened. The noise lasted for a few minutes until they had disappeared around the corner and the chatter was just a light whisper in the thick fog. Judith stayed behind to speak to Poppie so stayed seated in the living room.
"Poppie, what was that?" asked Judith. "Tell me what you know about this Annie Yale."
"Ok, but you must promise not to tell another soul," replied Poppie biting her lip and checking around the room that there was definitely no one still in her living room.
The two women drank glass after glass of wine as Poppie told Judith all she knew about Annie Yale. The night grew short and the tall, grandfaher clock next to the window struck a quater to twelve.
"Wow, look at the time. I better go and let you get to bed. I will see you tomorrow Poppie at nine o'clock to help to tidy all this mess up." said Judith.
"No, no you don't need to. You stay and have a lie in. I'll be fine it' ll just take about fifteen to twenty minutes."
"No, I insist."
"Well that is very kind of you, Judith. I'll see you bright and early. Goodnight."
Poppie showed Judith out and stood and watched her walk over the hill. When Judith was gone she closed the front door behind her and headed for the kitchen. She didn't bother to switch the lights on because the moon was full and shone down lighting the room just enough for her to boil the kettle and make herself a large steaming mug of coffee. She took her coffee and a grabbed her book of the table. The book was called From Aberystwyth with Love by Malcolm Price. A story about a Louise Knight mystery. Louise Knight - The madcap and sometimes poignant adventures of the only private eye in Aberystwyth. It was the fifth and final book in the series. She had liked the other four but the last one was definitely Poppie's favourite. She stuck the book under her arm and walked out of the room shutting the door behind her. She climbed the stairs and headed for her bedroom. As walking into the large room she remembered that she had a guest in the other room. Poppie decided not to go and see if the woman needed anything because more than likely the woman was asleep. The door slid shut behind Poppie as she clambered into bed setting the book beside her bed and taking a sip of her coffee. Poppie fell a sleep with in fifteen minutes of setting her coffee down on the bedside table and starting to read From Aberystwyth with Love.
Judith arrived home at quarter past twelve. She was very tired and out of breathe after climbing the steep hill from Poppies house back to her own house. She was headed up stairs to bed when there was a knock at the door. Judith stopped and turned around. She walked back down the stairs and towards the door.
"Who's coming past at this time of night," She said to herself.
The person knocked on the door again. Judith opened the door and was shocked to see who it was.
"Oh, come in, come in," Judith said shutting the door behind them. "What can I do for you."
The person revealed a large, sharp object from behind their back.
From outside the house there was a large scream, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!"
Poppie woke up to a loud crash coming from down stairs. She sat up and awaited for any further noise, but nothing. Then a few minutes later a door opened, there was footsteps and then a knock at her door. The cold, rattle of someone's knuckles gently tapping against the door sent shivers down her spine.
"Psssst," came a voice from outside the door.
Poppie was to scared to speak, untill finally plucking up the courage to whisper a few words, "Wh... Who is it?"
"It's me, Annie," said the voice.
Poppie eased up a bit releaved to find out it was not a robber. "Oh, come in."
The door opened and Annie slipped in shutting the door behind her.
"Did you hear that?" Annie whispered.
"Yes, I think we need to go investigate," Replied Poppie.
"But first what time is it. It's starting to get light outside."
"It's about half past three," Said Poppie while jumping out of bed and grabbing a torch from a cupboard against the wall closes to the door.
They slipped out of the room and down the stairs Poppi headed for the kitchen and Annie towards the living room.
There was a rattle as Poppie opened the door.
"Who goes there?" She said with no repl except from a small meow. "Jeffrey, you silly cat."
There on the floor was her four year old, black cat lying on the floor nibbling on the snacks that hadn't been eaten at the committee meeting.
"Poppie, come quick!" Shouted Annie from the other room.
Poppie ran as fast as she could into the living room.
"Look," said Annie raising her finger and pointing to above the fire place. The ancient Egyptian sword Poppie kept on the wall was gone and the window behind them was open.
"It looks like there has been a break-in," Said Poppie with a shocked face. "We better phone the police."
The bright sun rose over Kutt Throat and shone down on the village as morning arrived. Mr. Green woke up with a throbbing headache from drinking to much the night before. He was shocked to see Judith was not in the bed beside him. Harry got up and headed down stairs. The first sight he saw when reaching the bottom of the stairs was his wife decapitated on the floor in a pool of blood and a large egyptian sword next to her cold, dead body. He screamed and ran back up stairs. He put the shower on and jumped in. Harry was jumping about in the shower because he had forgotten to wait for the shower to heat up. Rubbing all over his body and at his eyes was the only way Harry could think of to get the image of his dead wife out of his mind. When getting out of the shower he made a quick dash for the phone beside the un-made bed.
From over the hill came the blaring sounds of police cars and an ambulance. A crowd started to gather as the police stopped outside Mr. and Mrs. Green's house. They stormed the front door and one of the police officers knocked his large knuckles on the door. It took a few minutes for Harry to appear at the door. He showed the men in and told threm a description of whant he had done since last night:
Feedback for Offmilk101
An arresting opening that gains our interest due to the sense detail – we hear the floor creaking, see the light glinting on the gun, are intrigued by the youth of the protagonist and her intentions. When she shoots her own father we feel sympathetic because he is shown to be an unsympathetic character in just two sentences. The only witness to the crime is her brother. Bravo! We are hooked.
This murder mystery has an interesting structure. The first murder is the prologue. Offmilk101 then introduces his readers to the characters in the village of Kutt Throat. His beautifully drawn characters are shown in marvelous detail through appearance, personal qualities, thoughts and feelings:
– ‘her body was the shape of a tomato’;
‘Her head was held high like she was the queen of the village. She had an unusually good hearing, which came in handy as she was always listening in on other peoples conversations and knew everything that was going on.’
‘She was the sort of person who just loved hats. There was never a moment when she was in public that she would be caught without one on. She had a hat for big events, small events, good events, bad events, worthy events, waste of time events, birthdays, weddings, births, deaths, going to the shops, down at the pub, church events and even a hat for when she went to bed.’
Offmilk101’s writing is stylish – he varies his sentence structure throughout. I love the use of listing to describe character in the example above. His writing flows, his description is detailed and skilled, his vocabulary is good.
Some tips :
Keep extending your word choice Offmilk101 and work on imagery. Try description sometimes using ONLY metaphor.
An intriguing woman whom David (a villager) ‘mistakes’ for his sister enters the plot as a visitor. We make the link with the prologue but are we correct? After a villager is murdered in a grisly way we wonder whether the mysterious woman is the killer from the prologue. But what is her motive? Are these murders linked and why? The plot is clever and makes good use of the ambitious structure. This is a real page-turner.