First Page: COLD FISH
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Note: the is the first page of a crime drama
Floating peacefully while staring into space, her long limbs outstretched in the middle of the cool pond, she made a vibrant image with her pink tankini and sleek red hair, the green branches and bushes reflecting on the mirror-like water around her. A few feet away a fine ripple expanded, circling a dark shape slowly sinking, spewing a few air bubbles that popped softly as they reached the surface. Ellie, interrupting her daydream, turned her head towards the faint sound, and waited. Was the mass sinking to the bottom? The bubbles stopped, she looked irritably at the underwater form, not moving. Advancing towards the submerged shadow, she grabbed a handful of black hair and pulled up. The body followed easily enough, a young naked girl, with lifeless blue eyes, a blotchy face and an ugly red welt below her chin.
Where to hide this thing? Ellie thought. She did not want to dig a hole, this was a secluded spot anyway, the pond was popular during the very hot summer days, but otherwise nobody came here since there were more scenic and pleasant areas in the countryside nearby. The bushes? Stepping carefully while holding the wet baggage trailing her, she discovered a space behind a short prickly pine, below some birch overhangs. Ellie lifted the body and pushed it with all her strength against the conifer's flimsy flexible limbs, the branches gave way and the full cavity in front of the more mature trees was revealed. The dead girl settled nicely in the small alcove, the pine branches an effective screen.
In time, the odor might attract some wild life or curious swimmers, she considered. By then, she would be safe and away, with nothing concrete to connect her to her neighbor’s daughter, just another anonymous dead sweetie, found miles away from home. Ellie climbed out of the pond, and returned to her blue Ford Taurus, her arms itchy from the needle scratches. It was late June, a warm Sunday morning, with the rest of the day to tie up any loose ends. Monday was back to work, the school year not quite over yet. As their psychology consultant, she had some meetings to attend at the Toronto School Board building. The agenda was to prepare the following year's teacher seminars, the most important topics: how to recognize the signs of child abuse, and how to control bullies on school property.
The long drive back was exhilarating across the fields, small towns and highways, enhanced with the late spring euphoria. Ellie's destination was a North York suburb, one of those old rent controlled brick triplex with balconies in front and back housing six tenants, perfect for an up and coming young professional with student loans to pay. She enjoyed the top right flat, and was friendly with the woman sharing the upper floor. Alicia had invited her to supper the afternoon before, and since Ellie was in one of her rare sociable mood, she went.