Draft Prologue Gothic Mystery: “Storm Island: A Kate Pomeroy Mystery”

STORM ISLAND: A Kate Pomeroy Mystery


Linda Watkins


The blue light flashing on top the police cruiser cast eerie shadows on the stone walls of the old manor house. I watched as they danced about, blending occasionally, with red ones from the ambulance, It created a tableau that was both beautiful and foreboding.

A shiver ran down my spine and I wrapped my arms around myself to ward off the chill. I was standing in the shadows, in a copse of trees, watching. The rain which had started as a gentle sprinkle was rapidly becoming a downpour and I pulled up the hood of my windbreaker as the heavy drops began to mingle with my tears. The old wooden door of Stormview Manor abruptly creaked open and I waited, knowing in my heart what and who would be coming out.

EMT’s pushing a gurney swiftly exited the manse, the hoods of their slickers obscuring their faces as they tried to stay dry.

The gurney they propelled wasn’t empty. A long dark blue bag made of thick plastic sat on top and I was sure that the body contained therein was headed, not for a hospital bed, but for the morgue.

The tears that stained my cheeks intensified. I knew who was in that bag and I knew I would never see him again. It broke my heart.

As the first responders loaded the gurney into the rear of the bus, my attention was diverted back to the old manor house as two men came through the wooden door and hurried down the steps. One was in uniform and I recognized him. It was Officer Stubble, Storm Island’s resident policeman. The other, wearing a beige overcoat, collar turned up to avoid the chill of the stormy night, was, I believed, a detective … a stranger from the mainland who would be charged with investigating this recent death.

I watched the policemen as they conferred and then the door opened again and stepping onto the porch were two other figures whom I knew well … my Aunt Hettie and her husband, Raoul. They stood on the top step, under an overhang, seeking shelter from the rain. Raoul had his arm around Hettie, holding her protectively, as she leaned her head into his chest.

The man in the overcoat spoke briefly with them and then another officer in uniform emerged from the manse. He was carrying several plastic containers … bags I assumed held the murder weapon and other vital evidence.

I knew now that, as much as I wanted to stay, it was time to take my leave. Slowly, being careful not to be noticed, I turned and walked swiftly down the path that led to the carriage house … the place I had called home that summer.

Time was now of the essence. They would be coming for me soon, of that I was certain. And, when they came, I needed to be ready.