Posts Tagged ‘thriller’

Something had to be done. After her sister – in – law, Alice, died, Elizabeth had stepped in to help her brother take care of the two children left behind. The eldest, Catherine, was no longer a problem. She had been sent to boarding school in the city. George, a boy of seven, was proving to be more than she could handle. Elizabeth wasn’t long home from the hospital after losing her leg in the alleged accident and should have been resting.

She had no children of her own so she wasn’t prepared for the emotional strain. Alice always complained about how difficult motherhood was and how her children were uncontrollable at times – especially George. She even said there were times she hated the blonde haired, blue eyed child she had bore. Elizabeth didn’t believe her. Whenever she saw her nephew at holidays or on short visits throughout the year he seemed a normal boy to her. He was a little spoiled perhaps but that was to be expected from his privileged upbringing.

When Elizabeth moved in she quickly realised there was a distinct difference between seeing the children on holidays and providing full time care for them. She begged Ernest to take his son in hand more but her brother showed no interest in the boy. He was consumed almost completely with the running of the investment firm that their father left to him.

One afternoon at the club she overheard her neighbour, Mrs Peterson, discuss a local music tutor. They spoke amongst themselves with barely a smile to offer Elizabeth. She didn’t blame them – not after what George had done to Oliver, one of Mrs Peterson’s twin boys. The news of the music tutor was helpful to her though. Piano concertos were all that seemed to calm George down some days.

‘Perhaps music lessons would give him something more positive to focus on,’ she reasoned.

Hesitantly Mrs Peterson gave Elizabeth the number where the tutor could be reached. He had been teaching her twins for some time now and she vouched that they were making remarkable progress on piano and cello.

He may refuse to teach George,” Mrs Peterson warned with a slight sneer crinkling the bridge of her long nose. Elizabeth ignored her and noted the number in the small silver notebook she always carried with her. “Don’t tell him it was my recommendation,” the neighbour added. The sneer became more prominent. Elizabeth’s first instinct was to protect her nephew but having been the one to find Oliver Peterson covered in so much blood it was difficult to argue George’s innocence.

Later that afternoon she tried the tutors number.

Good afternoon. Vincent Baines speaking. Can I help you?” asked a polite voice.

Good afternoon, Mr Baines. I was just wondering if you were accepting any new students?”

The voice on the other end drew away for a few moments. “I have room for one or two more,” he replied.

He’s seven years old and he has a fondness for piano,” explained Elizabeth.

Yes…” Vincent said as though writing something down.

We were hoping for perhaps two hours a week. We have our own piano at home.”

That’s fine. I can stop by Wednesday around five.”

Elizabeth bit her lip. She couldn’t understand why the thought of the tutor refusing her nephew made her so nervous. Perhaps because she felt Vincent was her last hope.

Actually, would you be able to come tomorrow at eight? Before school? It’s not for a lesson, it would be just to meet him. He doesn’t do well with strangers and he will find it easier if he meets you first,” she hoped she sounded more confident than she felt.

Of course,” said Vincent. “I look forward to seeing you then.”

Vincent’s voice had a delicate balance of warmth and formality that was well practiced. Elizabeth gave the address of the Beckingridge Manor and rang off.

She didn’t know what she would tell George about his new lessons or how he would take the news. He would just have to accept it. She was the adult and was doing something proactive. She couldn’t have another death in the house or another police investigation.

Enjoy this?

Subscribe to the page fro more stories and images from Vivika Widow.

Click HERE to read Vivika Widow’s hit thriller MAESTRO

MAESTRO_blurb_PROMO

Tabitha opened the door. She stared at Maddy’s body like a famished fox in a hen house.

Clever boy,” she said. “You shot her. I knew you could do it.”

I was still in a state of shock. “I didn’t,” I ground. “She shot herself.”

Tabitha’s expression changed quickly. The fox had now learned that it wasn’t the hen house after all but the hound’s kennel.

Don’t say that to anyone else if you want to survive,” she warned. “She is dead, that’s all that matters.” Her vixen like smile returned. “Besides, watching her put the gun to her head without trying to stop her is as good as murdering her.”

I was going to tell her that I did try to stop her but I sensed it would fall on deaf ears.

My wife was gone, my best friend was gone and even the mayor of the town was gone. The bodies were piling up at the Knock, Knock club and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

When I was finally allowed to leave the room they had locked me in until Maddy was dead. I found Dennis still looking more morose than usual. There was no paying customers in the club at that time. Tabitha distracted herself with some of the girls who were begging her for advice and trying to win her favour.

I felt my body tense. I stood beside Dennis with one eye still on Tabitha.

You can forget what help I was going to give you. You can rot in here for the rest of your life for what it is worth to me. The body of your boy can be thrown in the alley with the rest of them; along with my wife and my friend,” I spat. They were harsh words but the club was beginning to drain my humanity. Maybe I was a Crusow after all.

Dennis stole a quick glance at the others. “There was nothing I could have done. She came here looking for you and it was Tabitha who greeted her.”

I had heard enough. I wasn’t really interested in anything more that Dennis had been telling me.

Why don’t I tell Tabitha about the little visit we had from Milo. I’m sure she could easily track him down,” I snapped.

I tried to walk away but he snatched me back. Tabitha craned her neck to examine the commotion closer. Dennis patted my shoulder with a smile as though we were having a brotherly scuffle.

He lowered his voice. “You wouldn’t do that.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Wouldn’t I?”

You wouldn’t put an innocent child in danger. Milo has nothing to do with any of this. Unfortunately the same can’t be argued for Madeline. If I could have stopped her coming here I would have.”

I shook my head again. My temples were aching with anger. My emotions were beginning to burn in my eyes.

If you don’t help me get out of here tonight, I will happily show the way to Milo. In fact, I will happily plunge the knife into him myself.”

Don’t say things you can’t fulfil,” Dennis warned.

Try me,” I urged. “After weeks trapped in this club who knows what I have become capable of. I am Sam Crusow after all. My grandfather started this whole nonsense. Since my arrival I have been pushed to be more like him. So there you have it. I’m now willing to murder a little boy to get some satisfaction.”

Tabitha called me over. I left Dennis with my threats to his estranged son.

You mustn’t blame Dennis for the state Madeline found herself in,” said she, sensing the reason for my frustrated frown. “The club doesn’t need to look far for it’s next kill. Greed, desperation and jealousy are all reasons we are given by our members to rid of their nuisances. But don’t fret. It’s not all bad. Everything that Madeline had will now be shared amongst us and so the club continues.”

I’m getting used to it,” I lied.

Cheer up.” She patted my cheek. “It could be a whole lot worse. If it weren’t for you carrying your grandfather’s name you would be dead already.”

I am grateful,” I said sarcastically.

Tabitha laughed. “It strikes me as odd that you seem more upset at the death of the lovely Madeline than you did your poor wife.”

I had no answer for that comment.

In my time at the Knock, Knock club I had witnessed them kill for money, kill as a warning and kill for fun. As night fell, I watched the body of my long time friend being removed to the alley from my window. She lay amongst the city’s waste where no police officer would care. The desperate residents of Coldford would remove anything on her person that was of value or could be made of use. This wasn’t very much after the club were done with her. I kept clear of the window after that. I couldn’t bare my view being the corpse of Madeline staring up at me. The horror and desperation of her final moments still remaining in her dead eyes.

Little did I know, the worst was yet to come.

Enjoy this?

Subscribe to the page and have each exciting new episode straight to your inbox.

Check out the story from the beginning!

Knock, Knock (Episode 1): Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock (episode 2): Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock (Episode 3): Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock (Episode 4): Take A Bow

Knock, Knock (Episode 5): Big City Kid

Knock, Knock (Episode 6): Picking Up Strange Women

Knock, Knock (Episode 7): A Night Cap At The Club)

Knock, Knock (Episode 8): Just A Quick One

Knock, Knock (Episode 9) The Daddy Of Them All

Knock, Knock (Episode 10): Calling Last Orders

Knock, Knock (Episode 11): A Room with a View

Knock, Knock (Episode 12): It’s not Me it’s You

knockknock_vivikawidow_blurb

 

Jessica knew she couldn’t stop him. Her son, Dorian, had been given a place at the prestigious Filton University and it was a dream come true for him. It would be selfish of her to pull him back because she was afraid to be alone. It wasn’t his fault his father left, no more than it was hers. She knew Dorian felt guilty anyway. He was a sensitive boy and felt some kind of responsibility to become head of their little household. She felt guilty too because she let it happen. She allowed Dorian to look after her when, as a boy, he should have been learning to live his own life. She was a grown woman. She should have been able to look after herself. The mother – son dynamic changed when Walter left. Now she didn’t know how to live any other way.

His eyes darted over the acceptance when he first opened the letter. A smile caused to greyness of his eyes to glint. His lips traced a smile. Jessica watched him. She knew what it meant. The full realisation of what it meant must have clouded over him too because the warmth of excitement cooled like a dying ember.

I got in,” was all he said.

Jessica managed a smile to match his own. She took her son’s shoulders and pulled him close in an embrace. She felt him shudder slightly. He pulled back and pushed the mop of bottled black hair from his eyes. He nibbled on his lip piercing.

I’ll come back all the time,” he said knowing the cause of the tension over what should have been good news.

Jessica shook her head. “Don’t worry about me,”she said.

She tried her brave face. She wished she could be more convincing because Dorian looked tired – not a teen boy at all but a weary man who had seen too much.

The celebrated that night by going out to dinner. They picked one of Jessica’s favourite restaurants. Dorian paid. As the son discussed how excited he was for the new chapter in his life, Jessica listened attentively with a beam of pride, hoping Dorian couldn’t hear the thud of her heart at the prospect of him leaving her. Filton wasn’t millions of miles away from the little suburb they lived in but it would mean she wouldn’t see him every day as she was used to.

The day of departure came. Dorian decided to travel alone. He pulled a large rucksack containing everything he deemed important enough to take with him onto his back and he hesitated by the door.

Are you sure you don’t want me to come with you?” she asked.

Dorian shook his head. “Why don’t you come visit me next week after I’ve had the chance to settle in,” he offered.

Jessica kissed him and held him tightly. “Be safe,” she said.

They both drew back tears and swallowed the separation anxiety.

Jessica knew she would have been selfish to make him stay. Looking back now it would have been better. He would still be with her. He would still be alive.

He was such a sensitive boy after all. As he looked back at her with a wave from the end of the pathway she never would have thought it would be the last time she would see him.

Enjoy this?

Click HERE to read the full story!

Download Vivika Widow’s award winning short story for just 99p!

THEGRIP_blurb_PROMO

We were locked in the room together. There was only the faint light from a single high window.

What are you doing here Maddy?” I asked.

I was worried about you,” was her reply. “The police were asking about you. Theresa is dead and suddenly it was though you had vanished into thin air. I had a sense you would be here. I had to find you.”

When I had told Madeline that I was investigating the Knock, Knock club she had said very little about it. Even after I had brought Theresa here just before her murder.

Do you know what goes on here?” I had to ask.

They use their connections to get away with murder. They make themselves rich by killing people and sharing the spoils. Usually they are also paid handsomely for it too.”

I was furious. Anger had been building in me given recent events.

Why didn’t you say anything to me? Why didn’t you warn me? If you had said something I never would have brought Theresa here and she might still be alive.”

Madeline gave a heavy sigh. “I wanted to warn you but I couldn’t say anything.”

I was still frustrated. “Why not?”

I’m a member,” she explained.

***

I had known Madeline for years. I considered her one of my closest friends as did Theresa but even when you are so close to someone there is still a deeper part were the true person lies that no one will ever know. Its that same part that in the absence of any rules or laws would run amok. The club played on this part of people, flattering them into believing they could get away with anything the wanted.

It had happened before I met Madeline. She was a young girl on her college path towards a career in journalism. Her life plans were upset when she found herself in the family way. Whilst she pondered over her future the father never gave so much as a backwards glance. Madeline’s prayers were answered when out of the blue she was approached by a handsome, charming man named Dennis.

I know a girl in trouble when I see one,” he had remarked with a smooth smile she found quite appealing. It had been the only kind words anyone had uttered since discovering her pregnancy.

It’s quite unfair that the father would get to trot off whilst the mother shoulders the responsibility alone. It is an injustice that even in today’s modern society stands to be corrected.”

Madeline was so drawn to him she found herself discussing her predicament with a stranger she had only met a few moments before when he joined her on the bench at the park where she had gone to clear head.

Dennis explained, “I’m a member of an exclusive club. If you were a member your baby would be taken care of until such times as you were ready to take her back. We’ve only just managed to pull ourselves out of a financial recession and it looks like we are headed towards another. It hits everyone hard but it must be an especially powerful blow to a single mother.”

Maddy sobbed and ran her hand softly over her womb. “I can’t.”

Dennis leant forward. She caught the scent of tobacco and whiskey from him. “Do the sensible thing kid,” he urged. “You won’t be giving up any rights to the child or anything. You would simply be making sure they were sufficiently taken care of.”

He gave her an invitation to the Knock, Knock club and a lot to ponder. Madeline was alone, desperate and financial straits. Giving her baby up was her only hope. She became a life long member that day. I met her the following year and no word of the little girl passed her lips.

***

Do you know where your daughter is now?” I asked.

She shook her head. Tears were beginning to form in the corners of her eyes.

I asked, “What did they want with a new born child?” I wished I hadn’t because the thoughts of what could be possibly happening to the babies flashed into my mind. It sent a violent shiver down my spine.

I’m so sorry,” Madeline cried.

You should be,” I groaned. “Because of what you did Theresa was murdered and a little girl who didn’t ask to be born has probably been subjected to a life of unimaginable cruelty. That is if she is unlucky enough to still be a alive.”

Take that gun. Kill me. It’s the only way out.” She pointed a shaking finger at the table.

I shook my head. “We’re getting out of this,” I assured her.

It’s impossible,” she insisted. “You couldn’t shoot your way out. They will have only loaded one bullet.”

Neither of us are dying in this hole,” I stated, hoping that my words would be final and she would stop feeling sorry for herself.

I don’t deserve to leave this place. I handed my child over and never looked back. The things I did. The things they made me do.” She stood and began to pace the small room.

What else aren’t you telling me?”

She became hysterical. “You can get out of here. Make sure everyone knows what goes on here!”

She was screaming. I tried to grip her shoulders to calm her down but she lifted the gun and leapt back before I had the chance to. She put the gun into her mouth.

No!”

I tried to stop her. She pulled the trigger and her body fell limp to the floor.

Madeline had known about the Knock, Knock club. If her daughter was still alive I would find her. My wife, my best friend and any future I ever had were all gone. It made me more determined than ever to expose the club for what it was and all of its members.

Enjoy this?

Check out the story from the beginning:

Knock, Knock (Episode 1): Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock (episode 2): Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock (Episode 3): Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock (Episode 4): Take A Bow

Knock, Knock (Episode 5): Big City Kid

Knock, Knock (Episode 6): Picking Up Strange Women

Knock, Knock (Episode 7): A Night Cap At The Club)

Knock, Knock (Episode 8): Just A Quick One

Knock, Knock (Episode 9) The Daddy Of Them All

Knock, Knock (Episode 10): Calling Last Orders

Knock, Knock (Episode 11): A Room with a View

Subscribe to the page and have each exciting new episode sent straight to your inbox!

KNOCKKNOCK_vivikawidow_Blurb

1- ALL IN A NAME

Main character Dorian was named after ‘Dorian Gray’ from Oscor Wilde’s ‘Picture of Dorian Gray’. Incidentally the short story also features a Professor Wilde.

2 – MENTAL HEALTH DISCUSSION

Vivika believes in the importance of discussing mental health issues and opening up discussion about depression. Exploring this the reader is lead to wonder what may have happened if Dorian were to talk to his loving mother about the issues he was facing.

3 – DEMONS IN US ALL

Throughout the story Dorian is plagued by demons. His depression and his guilt has manifested itself into a form he recognises.

4 – COLLEGE CLASSMATES

Dorian’s room mate, Kelsey, is a medical student. It is mentioned that he borrowed an anatomy text book from one of his fellow medics. This fellow medic who climbed to a B grade in a relatively short space of time is Tracey Campbell who features in the Confessions series. (Confessions of an Anatomist, My Silly Little Confessions). The same university was also attended by Vincent Baines and Daniel Weir (Maestro).

5 – WHO’S TRULY TO BLAME?

Some say Jessica should not have allowed herself to lose contact with her son. If she hadn’t tragedy may have been avoided. Others feel that Dorian’s interfering friend Juliet is responsible and there are some who believe that Dorian alone should have reached out for help.

6 – HAND WRITTEN

Like many Vivika Widow novel, ‘The Grip’ was completely hand written prior to being published.

7 – THE GRIP

The title comes from the depression that has gripped Dorian so tightly he is unable to shake it off.

8 – COUSINS

Dorian’s girlfriend, Juliet, is a cousin of Daniel Weir (Maestro)

9 – JESSICA FEATURES IN MAESTRO

The bus trip that Jessica takes to the university after receiving the tragic news is the same bus trip Catherine Beckingridge makes from her boarding school (Maestro). In Maestro, Catherine takes note of a distressed woman travelling alone who has tragedy written on her face.

10 – AWARD WINNER

‘The Grip’ is short listed for the Costa Coffee short story award!

Enjoy this?

Click HERE to read the full story.

THEGRIP_blurb_PROMO

 

When Vincent Baines is given the job of teaching music to little George Beckingridge he expects a typical commission from a privileged, wealthy family. George’s outbursts become more and more violent. His father is always absent, his aunt is afraid of him and his sister has been sent away to boarding school. Vincent is the only one who can get to the bottom of what is causing the child’s manifesting distress and unearth what wicked things the boy has seen.

maestro_vivikawidow_poster

Available in paperback and to download. Click HERE to read the full story.

Enjoy this?

Subscribe to this page for more images, news and updates.

I’ll get you out of here,” Dennis said. “Tonight. Just make sure Milo is safe.”

My mind fogged with many unanswered questions. “Where is his mother?” I asked. “Did she send him here?”

My old reporter self came racing to the surface. So many lines of investigation I wanted to open. Dennis was as calm as ever. Even his large eyes didn’t betray him but I could tell from the strong heave of his chest it was feeling the thud of his heart.

He hadn’t seen his son since his wife, Julianne, killed his father and ran away with him as a baby. Julianne wasn’t a particularly stable woman from what Dennis told me but if I were to hitch a bet I would say it was Tabitha who had murdered Dennis’ father and Julianne had taken their boy to escape her. Dennis had come to Coldford because he had no one and nothing else. Tabitha was his only life line. He probably agreed with my conclusion but would never admit it. He was keen on making sure that no one but me knew that Milo had found him.

What you boys talking about?” Tabitha joined us. She had no doubt seen the commotion at the door from the stage during her performance. I had noticed her grey eyes follow us to the door.

Just that your performance was a triumph as always,” Dennis replied with his usual nonchalant air.

The girl behind the bar brought Tabitha a glass of water with a wedge of lime and some ice. Tabitha hadn’t had to ask for it.

What was the trouble at the door?” she asked. She had directed the question at me. As a journalist I was trained in not giving my game away too soon.

Just someone trying to get in out of the cold,” Dennis answered for me. “Didn’t have an invite. They were told to take their business elsewhere.”

Tabitha sipped her water. She wasn’t giving up so easily. “That’s the doorman’s job isn’t it. Why did he call for you?” Tabitha hadn’t missed a trick from the stage.

They had asked for me personally but I didn’t recognise them. Probably knew me from my sales days,” Dennis explained. He was playing by the old code that the best lies are formulated from half truths.

Tabitha finished her water. Her nose wrinkled in disgust. She laid the glass on the bar and called to the girl, “That tastes like toilet water,” she said. She hadn’t forgotten about our conversation though. She turned her attention back to Dennis. “That’s not good,” she stated. “If someone managed to track you down here, who knows what else they can find out about you.”

Dennis appeared little fussed by the whole affair. I had to admire his acting skills. “It’s fine,” he said. “I doubt they’ll be back.”

One of the patrons interrupted. “I love you T!” he gasped in a drunken slur. He stumbled forward, leaning too much into Tabitha’s personal space. “Your performances is what I come here for.”

Tabitha pushed him back. She wore a look of disdain that the patron hadn’t seemed to notice. “Compliments don’t pay the bills,” she said. She pulled the tip jar that sat on the bar. “Empty your pockets into there and maybe they’ll stop feeding me toilet water.”

The man returned to her with a laugh but he did reach into the inside pocket of his jacket and filled the tub with notes.

***

Later that night I walked into my room. It had been a pleasant little ray of hope after my own wife’s murder when I first came but as time drew on it was seeming more like the dank prison cell it actually was.

Dennis had told me to wait for his instructions. At three the club finally cleared. I was sat on my bed with my oversized coat on. I couldn’t help but worry that Dennis had changed his mind. I looked from my window. The alley was empty save for a couple of stray cats trying to salvage a meal. I was close to giving up when a soft knock came at the door.

I answered expecting to be met with Dennis or one of the girls. Instead Tabitha stood waiting. Her brunette hair had been bundled on top of her head. The make up had been removed leaving her with a fresh faced, natural beauty.

Going somewhere?” she asked, noticing I was dressed.

I said simply, “I was cold.”

Come with me,” she said. A slight sardonic smile traced her lips.

Where are we going?” I asked but I she didn’t answer. I followed her through the club to a door. I had never been behind before. Dennis was stood in the corner. He was silent and pale. He had a lit cigarette between his fingers. He was holding it at his lips but he wasn’t smoking. He was staring blankly in front of him.

I stopped. Tabitha removed a bundle of keys from the pocket of the thin, grey silk shirt she wore.

What’s going on?” I wondered out loud. I was watching Dennis but he wasn’t taking anything or anyone around him.

She unlocked the door but before she opened it she said, “We have a surprise for you.”

She finally pulled the door aside. The room was dark. It took some time for my eyes to adjust but then I saw her. A woman huddled in the corner. She was sobbing heavily. Her face was terribly beaten from what I could tell.

Madeleine?” I gasped, recognising my former colleague from the Coldford Chronicle. “What happened to you?”

Maddy couldn’t answer. She had been bound and gagged.

Tabitha gave a sharp laugh behind me. “She came looking for you. She came at the right time actually. It’s time to find out what you’re really made of.”

I looked at Maddy. My long term friend was in distress. Who knows what they had done to her. I had never seen such horror in the eyes of another. When Theresa was murdered I hadn’t witnessed any of it. I had just woken up next to her lifeless body. Now, Maddy was tied in the corner of some grotty back alley club.

Let her go!” I insisted. I hoped my name could still carry some authority.

Tabitha’s lips tightened. “You’ve been with us for a while now and all you have done is watch. It is time to live up to your Grandfather’s name. Kill this girl.”

You can’t be serious?” I gasped. Maddy whined. She struggled against her binds. The truth was, Tabitha had a wicked taste for games. I couldn’t tell if she was playing around or not.

I’m deadly serious,” she replied. “Everyone has to do it. It’s our way of making sure what happens inside the club stays inside the club.”

Before I could rush at her, Tabitha closed the door again. The lock clicked. I was stuck in a dark room with one of my oldest friends. There was a gun on the table. Either one of us was leaving the Knock, Knock club alive or neither of us were.

Enjoy this?

Subscribe to the page and have each exciting new episode sent straight to your inbox!

Catch up from the beginning:

Knock, Knock (Episode 1): Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock (episode 2): Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock (Episode 3): Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock (Episode 4): Take A Bow

Knock, Knock (Episode 5): Big City Kid

Knock, Knock (Episode 6): Picking Up Strange Women

Knock, Knock (Episode 7): A Night Cap At The Club)

Knock, Knock (Episode 8): Just A Quick One

Knock, Knock (Episode 9) The Daddy Of Them All

Knock, Knock (Episode 10): Calling Last Orders

KNOCKKNOCK_vivikawidow_Blurb