Who’s the First Body?

The following is an excerpt from Floater, soon to arrive at booksellers everywhere.

April 16, 2013 / San Francisco, California


Springtime in San Francisco could be quite beautiful. The days were beginning to warm up and although it was often rainy in April, today the sun was making an exuberant appearance in its bright blue cloudless sky. I strolled casually in Golden Gate Park, on my way to the Wooly Pig Café for coffee.

I was so caught up in the gorgeous day that I didn’t notice at first. Then I heard the pattern of footsteps behind me. Could someone really be following me or was I being paranoid? I slowed my pace, the click of the footsteps slowed too. Feeling that warning tick of fear at the back of my neck, I was nearly race walking now. Still the footsteps were there, keeping pace with me. I plunged my hand into my purse, looking for something, anything I could use as a weapon. My fingers touched the standard weapon for women everywhere – my keys. I grabbed them and quickly slid each key between my splayed fingers. I balled my fist in readiness. My breath was shallow and my chest tightened. I hadn’t noticed how deserted this wooded path in Golden Gate Park was until now. I knew I could be pulled into the brush and knocked out before I had time to scream. Why were there no joggers today? Where was everyone?

Squeezing my fist of keys close to my chest, I was ready to do whatever damage I had to do. The steps were getting louder, closer. I could almost feel the body heat of someone right behind me. My heart exploded as I felt the pressure of a hand on my shoulder. I whirled around fast, ready to fight.

“What’s your problem?” Luc said.

“What the hell were you doing?” I yelled, gasping for breath and trying to calm my racing heart.

“What? I was just walking behind you.”

“Why didn’t you say something to let me know it was you?”

“It was more fun this way,” he said.

Leering at me like I was some sort of pathetic prey for him to torment, Luc laughed. Looking away in disgust, I was so angry I wasn’t sure I wanted to sit down with him anywhere. But we were in front of the Wooly Pig now and I was hungry. So we went inside and ordered. We decided to sit outside and enjoy the magnificent weather. I didn’t really want to be in a confined space with Luc at the moment anyway.

“Who is Myron Wexler?” Luc asked as he set his coffee cup on the small metal table.

“The first body,” I said.

J Grace Written by:

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