Page 1

~1~


~2~

Street Beat Copyright Š 2011 by author

All rights reserved. No part of this story (eBook) may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or book reviews.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidences are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any actual person, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Published by TWB Press Cover Art by Terry Wright ISBN 978-1-936991-20-4


~3~

By Terry Wright

The Denver Post newsroom buzzed with activity. Phones rang. Keyboards clacked. Maggie Hunter, a junior reporter with spiky black hair and blistering red lips, sauntered from the room to join her fellow reporters gathered around the cappuccino machine in the lobby. Towering behind them, the awards wall bore witness to the professionalism of these journalists: The Best of the West, Freedom of the Press. In the center of this gold-plagued array hung a framed portrait of Karen Dare with her trademark strawberry curls and sparkling blue eyes. Her bright smile beamed down on her colleagues. She was the pride of Denver, the sweetheart of the Post, the woman who constantly took the spotlight from everyone around her. As Maggie approached the cluster of reporters, she overheard Editor Bruce


~4~

Holloway addressing the group. “Have you heard the news? Karen Dare is a finalist for the Pulitzer this year.” “For Street Beat,” someone put in. Maggie gritted her teeth and poured herself a cup of coffee. The bitch has all the luck. She dumped sugar into the cup and turned toward the men. “Well, whoopty do for her.” Bruce shot Maggie a cross look, adjusted his striped tie. His Perry Ellis suit fit his stocky frame loose as a burlap bag. “She deserves the award, the recognition.” Maggie scoffed. “Just because she gets all the good assignments.” “She’s a good writer.” “I’m a good writer. She’s an ass kisser.” “Karen is the best writer we have. She knows what Denver needs to be great. To be safe. So cut her some slack.” “There you go, Bruce, always sticking up for her.” Maggie sneered at him, thinking of the time he’d taken Karen to Hawaii. The hanky-panky that must’ve gone on. “We all know how she made it to the top.” Bruce squared his shoulders. “Don’t you have an article to finish?” “You’ll see.” Maggie’s cheeks heated. “One day she’s going to screw up, and I’ll be the best writer this newspaper has ever seen.” She sauntered back into the newsroom with her over-sweetened coffee and a sour taste in her mouth. * * * Sitting at her newsroom workstation, Karen Dare pinned a fourth photograph to her Street Beat story board. Similar to the others, this crime scene photo showed a woman sprawled on her back, her limbs tied and staked to the ground, and her head buried under a pile of sand. Victim number four.


~5~

There was no pattern to the killings, like Ted Bundy who targeted coeds or Son of Sam who shot young couples. These victims had nothing in common. None were sexually assaulted. None were robbed. So what was the motive? And why the sand? She glanced at her computer screen: The Sandman Strikes Again. Her awardwinning column, Street Beat, gave Denverites a brutal look at crime in their city. The phone rang. “Newsroom,” she answered. A man’s voice said, “Maggie?” Not again. “Sorry,” she said, “the office phone lines are messed up. Who’s calling?” “Her father.” “Try extension 211.” “That’s what I dialed.” “Then try my extension, 215. They get crossed sometimes.” “Thanks.” The line clicked dead. Setting down the receiver, she wondered when the phones would be fixed. On the keyboard she typed: Victim number four— “Karen,” Bruce said from behind her. She stopped typing. A chill skittered up her spine. His voice conjured up memories of Hawaii. The surf. The sun. His smile when he’d asked her to marry him. She’d said no. Marriage meant having kids. PTA. Little League. There’d be no time for her career. She swiveled in her chair. “What is it now, Bruce?” “Are you getting any flack from Maggie?” “I’m getting her calls, which means she’s probably getting mine.”


~6~

“I mean, has she said anything to you...you know...about the Pulitzer? As she been cordial or mean to you?” “She’s the jealous type, so what?” He gazed at her a long moment. She breathed dead air between them. “Karen—” “Please, Bruce. Don’t.” How many times did she have to tell him she hadn’t changed her mind? She wasn’t going to change her mind. “I’ve got work to do.” “There’s more to life than Street Beat, you know.” He strode off. She wanted to stop him, make him understand how important this column was to her, but the Sandman reined in her emotions. She sighed and returned to the keyboard. Victim number four was found yesterday— * * * Maggie sat at her desk, fuming. This job was supposed to be her big break. Instead, she floundered in the shadow of Karen Dare. There had to be a way to discredit her. Shoving aside her article, Dog Grooming Scam, Maggie groaned. How could she win any awards with this crap she had to write? The phone rang. She picked up. “Newsroom.” “Maggie?” The voice made her nerves prickle. “Dad?” “I see the Pulitzer nominations are out. Your name isn’t on the list. Tell me it’s a mistake.” “I’ve got a problem here.” “Do you want to end up punching cows again?”


~7~

“I’m trying.” “Try harder.” He hung up. She slammed down the receiver. “Sorry to disappoint you, Dad.” She hated his stinking cows. The only way she’d ever get his approval was to win an award of some kind. The Pulitzer preferably, but she’d have to get rid of Karen Dare to do it. The phone rang. Maybe he was calling back to apologize. Fat chance! “Newsroom.” “Karen?” a gritty voice said. Damn phones! “Who’s this?” “I enjoy your column, Street Beat.” Another fan of the competition. “Listen, mister—” “I’d like to meet you in person.” “What for?” “The fifth victim. Need I say more?” Maggie’s heart jumped. “Sandman?” “I admire your work, Karen. If you come alone, you’ll be safe. Call the cops, you’ll be dead.” Karen? Dead? Champagne excitement bubbled up inside. “Okay. No cops.” She could see it already: Street Beat by Maggie Hunter. She grabbed a notepad and pen. “When and Where?” To purchase this story, go to www.twbpress.com/streetbeat.html where you will find the links to Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, TWB Press PDF eBook, and other online booksellers.


~8~

About the Author

There’s nothing mundane in the writing world of Terry Wright. Tension, conflict and suspense propel his readers through the pages as if they were on fire. Published in Science Fiction and Supernatural, his mastery of the action thriller has won him International acclaim as an accomplished screenplay writer. A longtime member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, he runs their annual Colorado Gold Writing Contest. Terry lives near Denver with his wife, Bobette. Terry invites you to visit his Website at www.terrywrightbooks.com where you’ll find more information on his short stories, novels, and screenplays.


~9~

Enjoy these short stories and novels from Terry Wright

The Gates of Hell, Justin Graves Series, Book 1 (TWB Press, 2010) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/thegatesofhell.html

Night Stalker, Justin Graves Series, Book 2 (TWB Press, 2010) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/nightstalker.html

Black Widow, Justin Graves Series, Book 3 (TWB Press, 2010) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/blackwidow.html

Riches to Rags, Justin Graves Series, Book 4 (TWB Press, 2010) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/richestorags.html

The Beauty Queen, Justin Graves Series, Book 5 (TWB Press, 2010) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/thebeautyqueen.html


~10~

Judgment Day, Justin Graves Series, Book 6 (TWB Press, 2011) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/judgmentday.html

The Assassin, Justin Graves Series, Book 7 (TWB Press, 2011) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/theassassin.html

Drunk Driver, Justin Graves Series, Book 8 (TWB Press, 2011) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/drunkdriver.html

Hate Crime, Justin Graves Series, Book 9 (TWB Press, 2012) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright – includes The Perfect Crime http://www.twbpress.com/hatecrime.html

The Perfect Crime, Justin Graves Bonus short story (TWB Press, 2012) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/theperfectcrime.html


~11~

Behind the Badge – Justin Graves Series Book 10 (TWB Press, 2013) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/behindthebadge.html

Child’s Play – Justin Graves Series Book 11 (TWB Press, 2013) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/childsplay.html

Snitper – Justin Graves Series Book 12 (TWB Press, 2014) A supernatural short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/sniper.html

Z-motors, The Job From Hell (TWB Press, 2011) A zombie short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/zmotors.html

Return me to Mistwillow – FREE (TWB Press, 2013) A horror short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/returnmetomistwillow.html


~12~

Wilderness Rampage (TWB Press, 2014) A thriller short story by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/wildernessrampage.html

The 13th Power Quest, Book 1 (TWB Press, 2011) A sci-fi thriller novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/the13thpowerquest.html

The 13th Power Journey, Book 2 (TWB Press, 2011) A sci-fi thriller novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/the13thpowerjourney.html

The 13th Power War, Book 3 (TWB Press, 2012) A sci-fi thriller novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/the13thpowerwar.html

The Grief Syndrome (TWB Press, 2011) A sci-fi futuristic novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/thegriefsyndrome.html


~13~

The Duplication Factor (TWB Press, 2011) A sci-fi human cloning novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/duplicationfactor.html

The Pearl of Death (TWB Press, 2011) A historical thriller novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/thepearlofdeath.html

Black Jack (TWB Press, 2014) A thriller novel by Terry Wright http://www.twbpress.com/blackjack.html

Enjoy these short stories and novel from TWB Press

Ghost in the Machine (TWB Press, 2011) A horror short story by Dean Giles http://www.twbpress.com/ghostinthemachine.html

Alien Apocalypse – The Hunger, FREE ebook (TWB Press, 2011) A sci-fi short story by Dean Giles (Prequel to The Storm) http://www.twbpress.com/alienapocalypsethehunger.html


~14~

Alien Apocalypse – The Storm (TWB Press, 2011) A sci-fi short story by Dean Giles http://www.twbpress.com/alienapocalypsethestorm.html

Alien Apocalypse – Genesis (TWB Press, 2012) A sci-fi short story by Dean Giles http://www.twbpress.com/alienapocalypsiegenesis.html

Alien Apocalypse – Payback (TWB Press, 2014) A sci-fi short story by Dean Giles http://www.twbpress.com/alienapocalypsepayback.html

The Tournaent (TWB Press, 2012) A sci-fi futuristic short story by Dean Giles http://www.twbpress.com/thetournament.html

What Happened to Rhodri (TWB Press, 2011) A horror short story by Craig Jones http://www.twbpress.com/whathappenedtorhodri.html


~15~

Meat Coma (TWB Press, 2013) A zombie short story by Craig Jones http://www.twbpress.com/meatcoma.html

Gem, the novel (TWB Press, 2012) A vampire novel by Craig Jones http://www.twbpress.com/gemthenovel.html

The Jokers of Sarzuz (TWB Press, 2011) A horror short story by Paul Sherman http://www.twbpress.com/thejokersofsarzuz.html

Daemon Page (TWB Press, 2011) A horror short story by Paul Sherman http://www.twbpress.com/daemonpage.html

Missed (TWB Press, 2013) A horror short story by Paul Sherman http://www.twbpress.com/missed.html


~16~

The Black Book (TWB Press, 2011) A horror short story by AJ Kirby http://www.twbpress.com/theblackbook.html

The Haunting of Annie Nicol (TWB Press, 2012) A horror short story by AJ Kirby http://www.twbpress.com/thehauntingofannien.html

Perfect World (TWB Press, 2011) A sci-fi futuristic novel by AJ Kirby http://www.twbpress.com/perfectworld.html

The Dollhouse (TWB Press, 2012) A horror short story by Edith O’Deer http://www.twbpress.com/thedollhouse.html

Trapped (TWB Press, 2013) A horror short story by Edith O’Deer http://www.twbpress.com/trapped.html


~17~

Nit (TWB Press, 2013 A horror short story by Charles Brass http://www.twbpress.com/nit.html

Closure (TWB Press, 2014) A supernatural short story by Charles Brass http://www.twbpress.com/closure.html

God’s Assassin (TWB Press, 2013 A supernatural novel by G.S. Naas http://www.twbpress.com/godsassassin.html

The Malagasy Tortoise, A Jim Morgan Adventure (TWB Press, 2012) An action thriller novel by James Halon http://www.twbpress.com/themalagasytortoise.html

Bloodflow (TWB Press, 2013) A gothic mystery novel by Kevin Paul Tracy http://www.twbpress.com/bloodflow.html


~18~

Bloodtrail (TWB Press, 2014) A gothic mystery novel by Kevin Paul Tracy http://www.twbpress.com/bloodtrail.html

The Continuum (TWB Press, 2014) A sci-fi novel by Tray Caladan http://www.twbpress.com/thecontinuum.html

Son of Zog (TWB Press, 2015) A sci-fi novel by Tray Caladan http://www.twbpress.com/sonofzog.html

The Cydonian War (TWB Press, 2016) A sci-fi novel by TS Caladan http://www.twbpress.com/thecydonianwar.html

Remember the Maelstrom (TWB Press, 2014) A sci-fi short story by Josh Sinason http://www.twbpress.com/rememberthemaelstrom.html


~19~

The Galactic Circle Veterinary Service (TWB Press, 2014) A sci-fi novel by Stephen A. Benjamin http://www.twbpress.com/galacticcircle.html

Extinction: The Galactic Circle Veterinary Service Book 2 (TWB Press, 2016) A sci-fi novel by Stephen A. Benjamin http://www.twbpress.com/extinction.html

A Change of Heart – A Galactic Circle Episode (TWB Press, 2015) A sci-fi short story by Stephen A. Benjamin http://www.twbpress.com/achangeofheart.html

A Poetic Disorder – A Galactic Circle Episode (TWB Press, 2015) A sci-fi short story by Stephen A Benjamin http://www.twbpress.com/apoeticdisorder.html

Howling at the Moons – A Galactic Circle Episode (TWB Press, 2015) A sci-fi short story by Stephen A Benjamin http://www.twbpress.com/howlingatthemoons.html


~20~

Dex Territory (TWB Press, 2014) An Urban Fantasy Thriller by Mark Aberdeen http://www.twbpress.com/dexterritory.html

Knight and Dex (TWB Press, 2015) An Urban Fantasy Thriller by Mark Aberdeen http://www.twbpress.com/knightanddex.html

Protection (TWB Press, 2014) A horror novel by Lane Cohen http://www.twbpress.com/protection.html

Below Par (TWB Press, 2016) A mainstream novel by Lane Cohen http://www.twbpress.com/belowpar.html

Lunacidal (TWB Press, 2015) A sci-fi short story by Pete Martin http://www.twbpress.com/lunacidal.html


~21~

Velvet Door Society A supernatural novel by Shanaya Fastje http://www.twbpress.com/velvetdoorsociety.html

http://www.twbpress.com

Street Beat  

Workaholic journalist Karen Dare is covering the story of a serial killer, the Sandman, which sidelines everything else in her life, includi...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you