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Murder in the Magic City

By G.P. Sorrells

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2021 Greg Sorrells

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner without the prior written permission of the copyright owner, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

To request permissions, contact the publisher at [email protected]

Paperback ISBN: 9798596876949

First edition April 2021

Chapter 1

Micah Brantley sat calmly on a rickety, weathered wooden bench, waiting for his latest victim to stroll by. He had sat in the same spot for over an hour and was growing tired of the wait. It didn’t help that the seat felt just slightly more comfortable than sitting on random 2x4s tossed haphazardly in a pile. In its heyday, Micah imagined the bench existing in a regal state befitting the buttocks of the city’s elite. Though, truth be told, it seemed likely that it was never much more luxurious than its current state. It existed only as a resting point for more active pursuits.

The bench sat along the edge of a running trail in Crandon Park, a massive recreational area in Key Biscayne, Florida. In 1940, the children of an American industrialist named William John Matheson donated the land to Dade County on the condition it was promptly turned into a public park and used only for that purpose. In response to their generosity, Charles H. Crandon, for whom the park gained its namesake, vowed to have a causeway built on behalf of the county which would connect Key Biscayne to the mainland. The nation’s involvement in World War II caused delays in the causeway’s construction, but they eventually completed both projects in 1947 and the park opened to the public.

It was a sprawling facility, stretching out over 800 acres. A plethora of visitors explored the grounds each day, traversing nearly every available inch of the property. This included the expectedly enormous expanse of tarmac designed to hold a few thousand vehicles at any point during the park’s operating hours. At night, however, the park was quieter and offered a way to experience the beauty of the Miami coastline without all the hustle and bustle of the city. That serenity came in handy at moments like these.

Micah had never met Edgar Jennings. Hell, he had known little about the man outside of his chosen profession, but none of that mattered in Micah’s line of work. The hit that came through to Micah made it quite apparent that Jennings had angered the wrong person. The reason was irrelevant. People will go to amazing extremes financially to rid themselves of a problem they could have taken care of for free by utilizing their own two hands.

Most people don’t like to get their hands dirty as much as they may attempt to lead others to believe. That truth was more than fine with Micah. He had lined his pockets plenty over the years with the dirty money that came into his possession because he was willing and capable of doing the unthinkable. One thing he had learned early on, which helped to shape his outlook on his chosen career path, was that dirty money spent just as easily as money gained through more socially acceptable routes.

The life of Mr. Jennings was worth twenty-five thousand dollars to the client who had made use of the services Micah offered. They made certain to stress the importance of completing the job unseen. There was no bravado necessary, no show necessary for when this poor sap had the last bit of life escape his being. Micah simply needed to remain inconspicuous, leading up to the kill, and his actions immediately afterward couldn’t betray the truths of his being at the scene. He was to operate as a ghost. An overgrown poltergeist sent forth by the highest bidder to reign terror upon the world. The world of Mr. Jennings, at least. Since the two men had no prior history, being low key in the presence of his target wasn’t something Micah considered being a problem.

The perfectionist in him, however, saw things in a different light. Micah wanted to be certain he had the right guy before he made his move, which meant he needed to be close enough to see the man’s face and confirm that it was his target. There was no sense in spilling the blood of an otherwise innocent person because they had the same hair color and a similar build as the man looking back at him from the wallet sized photograph he had tucked away in his pants pocket. Not to mention it would be a whole other mess to worry about cleaning up.

Getting close meant Micah had to be careful to come across as unassuming as possible in his wardrobe selection so as not to alert Jennings that something was amiss. The thing about men like Jennings, though, was it typically took blatancy to make them realize the world wasn’t operating under their interpretation of the status quo. It revolved around something far greater than the sum of all they had ever amounted to; they weren’t the center of the universe, though they would prefer to believe the opposite. Loud colors were out of the question. The possibility of a witness in the vicinity was always a variable to consider, regardless of how well thought out a plan may be. Even the emptiest of locales had a funny way of producing a stray person or two at the worst moment possible.

No matter how intelligent one felt, it simply wasn’t possible to account for a variable that thrived on unpredictability. The last thing Micah wanted was a witness suddenly remembering a man fitting his description in the area at the time of the murder.

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