SANDMAN is the story of a woman who has been targeted by a serial killer. The killer is someone she has dated. Unfortunately, it is not known if this man is someone she is dating now, or someone from her past.
The idea for SANDMAN was inspired by my own realization that I had dated a serial killer. When I found out I was shocked, of course, but at the time I didn’t know just how fortunate I was to have survived. I just thought; Wow, I’m lucky he wasn’t crazy when I dated him! In denial much? So while I was getting ready for this blog tour, I googled his name to check on the date he was apprehended. I was right, it was my birthday 1998. There was an extensive article about him and as I read it, I was blown away. He did have a troubled past. He was discharged from the Marines in the 1980’s for mental problems. Eight years prior to our brief relationship he had been arrested for the brutal rape and beating of a prostitute. The case was dropped due to lack of evidence. And his killing spree began three short years after we broke up.
WARNING: This scene is graphic and may be offensive to some people.
Sean climbed out of the water with his surfboard under his arm. He dragged his hand down his face to brush the salt water away from his eyes. His breathing was labored, he’d gotten in a good workout today. He walked up the beach a ways before he detected a strange odor. As he neared his destination, the stench invading his nostrils became more pungent. I hope there wasn’t another damn sewage spill.
Soon he heard a strange buzzing sound. He stopped, brows furrowed, and concentrated on zeroing in on the exact location of the noise. Failing at this, he shrugged, and then continued up the strand. With each step his uncertainty grew. The irritating cacophony had increased in volume.
Within seconds he found himself about fifty-feet from where he’d left his gear. Before him lay a blanket of black, it appeared to be moving. “What the Hell?” He hesitated before taking another step. He waited for the synapse in his brain to start firing.
When he found no logical explanation, he gently rested his board on the sand and made his way closer until he stood directly in front of the sight. His hand cupped his nose. The stench reminded him of hard-boiled eggs gone bad, very very bad.
Okay, strike the moving blanket crack, it was more like a black cloud hovering over his belongings. Flies. He had an inkling it was not the seaweed they were interested in. Something dead had washed up on shore and he was less than eager to find out what it was. His mind conjured up a few possibilities; a seagull, a fish, a seal? Whatever it was, it would not be pretty no matter how long it had been dead.
With slow deliberate movements he reached down to pick up his sweater with one hand, while the other reached for the strap on his backpack, his actions no more cautious than if he were lifting a bomb.
Once disturbed, the flies swarmed up for a brief moment, just long enough to reveal their prey, before settling back down into a dark writhing carpet. An unintelligible sound escaped his lips. He gasped for air while instinctively taking a step back. He’d seen some hairy things in his life, but nothing even close to this. Icy fingers of fear raced up his spine, his heartbeat hammered in his chest.
Sean couldn’t look away even if he had wanted to. Some strange fascination took hold of his brain and wouldn’t let go. Systematically his mind dissected the grizzly scene before him.
Sticking out of the rolling mound of seaweed was a woman's arm, stiff as a mannequin’s, extending skyward as if reaching to him for help. The mottled blue hand wore long red fingernails, two of which had been broken down to the quick. Seaweed wrapped around her arm like a feather boa.
His gaze then locked onto another object protruding from the sandy grave. A leg severed mid-thigh, but closer inspection revealed it was really half-buried. It too appeared tangled in the bubbly brown vegetation. The foot, like the hand, wore a shock of bright red polish on its perfectly manicured toes, which only perverted the scene more as it clashed with the bluish pallor of the flesh. His eyes grew wide at the sight of flies and sand crabs greedily devouring the soft tissue. He choked back bile.
The spell was broken.
Sean stepped backward so fast he tripped over his own feet and landed on his butt. He scrambled up and raced toward the shore. He couldn’t get away fast enough. He reached the water’s edge before collapsing to his hands and knees. His insides lurched so hard, he thought he would spew his stomach lining. Dry heaves continued long after his stomach had emptied. In the end he collapsed on the sand, exhausted. A waved washed over him, but he hardly noticed.
Morgan Hannah MacDonald writes Romantic Thrillers that are NOT for the faint of
heart. She has always been interested in writing and serial killers, but it wasn’t until
she found she had actually dated one herself that a true writer was born. She belongs
to Romance Writers of America, the San Diego Chapter, as well as the Kiss of Death
Chapter. She resides in San Diego, California where she is busy working on her next
Where can you be found online?