The Greenhouse Murders By: L.M. Mercer


The Greenhouse Murders
By: L.M. Mercer

Golden afternoon sunlight filtered through the russet leaves of the trees lining Dogwood Drive as Susan and Justin drove beneath their intertwined branches. As they passed by the autumn tinted trees, she wondered why a street named Dogwood was between a ghost walk of maples.

Susan reached across the center console of the SUV and touched her husband’s hand. “I can’t believe we actually left the city, especially for the New England countryside.”

“Well, where else are you gonna be able to research why the New England backwoods produce so many maniacs?” Justin asked, with a chuckle.

“Ha, Ha, you’re sooo funny. You know damn well I’m trying to prove that the “Warning Killer” is an urban legend and nothing more. I mean, come on, what type of lunatic is going to notify his victims prior to murdering them? In a movie perhaps, but it just doesn’t happen in real life,” Susan explained. “Anyway, I never thought we would actually move. I kind of figured I would come out here for a weekend once in a while for now, or maybe we might even come down for the summer. But to just up and move here, well it’s just not something I thought we would do.”

“Well, I told you before, as an artist I can work anywhere,” he said and lifted the back of her hand to his lips for a soft kiss, “as long as you’re there. So, tell me all about your killer.”

“He’s not my killer,” Susan began as she leaned over to grab a stack of papers from a soft-sided leather briefcase at her feet. “Besides, I don’t have a lot of hard facts yet, just the information I was able to dig up online and back at the city library, but the general story goes back to the beginning of the last century. There was this married couple living outside a small town in the eastern woods. Theirs was a real May-December relationship; she was in her young twenties and he was mid- to late-fifties. Her father owed him money or was otherwise indebted to the guy. The girl was forced to marry the older man as payment of said debts, even though she was alleged to have a suitor in the town where her aunt lived. I think it was just cruel and unthinkable to force his daughter into a marriage she didn’t want, but I guess it was common during that time.” She shuffled through the pages while pausing to collect her thoughts.

“A couple of years passed without any children being born to the couple and the girl still would not profess her undying love for the husband, even though he provided everything she desired.” Susan turned to look out the window, Justin waited patiently for his wife to continue her story. “At some point they hired a gardener to help care for the grounds. But, unbeknownst to the husband, he had hired his wife’s lover. And, well, one thing led to another and within a few months the girl was pregnant with the gardener’s child. There was some vague mention of the husband suffering a period of serious mental collapse during that time, proving the pregnancy was extramarital in origin,” she stated, turning to face Justin.

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About the Author

Even though she has been writing for some time, L. M. Mercer has never had her work viewed by the public at large. She had mainly used writing as a release for her stressful existence (never intending for others to read her poems), but was badgered into submitting some pieces by friend and coworker, Kevin Magnus, who told her to 'Stop wasting your talent'. While never admitting to him that she is very grateful for his badgering, she will henceforth share with us her talent, both lyrical and oft times somber, now that she is our newest contributor to the "World of Myth".
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