Mystery Crime Thriller

The weather had become blistering since the beginning of July with the scorching sun illuminating the parched earth daily and persistently. Seldom had I left the accommodation of mine until being called upon to, occasionally by clients eager for vengeance and sometimes by victims of family conflicts. Yet, I accepted each case in willingness, initially, for the high payments, the profession offers and in recent years, for the sensation of thrill each death generates in my mind, akin to an addicting stimulation cocaine produces.

Thus, I was then not surprised at all when I discerned a letter scribbled in nasty handwriting and enclosed by a beige envelope which addressed for my help in the following fortnight at Santorini of Greece. What had surprised me, to a considerable extend, was the writer of the letter.

The choices of clients had always been my own freedom, however, as I read the infamous name below the bolded words of “Sincerely, your loyal client”, I felt a strong obligation to follow the demands in the paragraphs above, no matter what.

The letter read as:

“I had been informed of your nickname as the Netro Express, the prominent serial killer in the British Isles, and assured with your facility and successes throughout innumerable cases in the past. I believe in confidence that you would not reject my case for various reasons of which you will soon acknowledge, and I wish that you will carry out my wishes covertly and do not fail my high expectations.

The reasons for this murder will not be revealed to you, as an act of mere prudence and caution, and please forgive my brusque manner. The victim will be a tourist on a bargain vacation at Sea and Sky Hotel in Santorini, Greece; Sarah Chamberlin, 53 years of age, will be travelling alone. Salient traits of hers include scarlet-coloured hair, olive-green eyes, and a malfunctioning left foot.

Methods to dispose of her will be your free decision while I will attend the bargain vacation similarly. Yet, it is best for both of us that we do not communicate directly. Only between eleven and twelve o’clock each night will you be permitted to contact me upon the results of the case, and do not telephone me unless under my request or within the assigned period of time.

Telephone number: 020 7012 1894

I wish you successes and fortune & look forward to the results of my case.

Sincerely, your loyal client, Winchester Taylor”

The mere sight of the identity of my client had intimidated me half to death, and the thought that he had requested me to do him a favour had kept me paralyzed for a few moments. Winchester Taylor was the most famed blackmailer in Italy, who was believed to have countless spies from an underground organisation stalking distinguished personages constantly, endeavouring to catch flaws in their reputation and seize opportunities for extortions. His yearly income was, as remarked in rumours, to exceed that of the prime minister in England. Additionally, he was also renowned for driving victims of his exactions into committing suicides, and rejecting his case would have been disposing of a thousand dollars into the bin.

I smiled as I reread the letter, allowing perturbation and delight to accumulate within my mind. It took me no longer than a quarter of an hour to locate the bargain vacation on the Internet and book myself a room in the same hotel, and it had been still difficult to believe in my fortune. As I began packing my items into my morocco trunk, I felt that my fingers were trembling in both anxiety and jubilance.


The journey to Santorini had been a pleasant one in which I had not encountered a single obstacle. Early in the morning, no later than six o’clock at the time, I had boarded a taxi cab to the airport and carried my revolver within my trunk. The X-ray detectors within the facility had never been a concern of mine for a suitcase constructed of lead on which layers of x-ray machine calibration plates were attached firmly could effortlessly escape the eyes of the prosecutors. Moreover, it would take me no longer than half an hour to hack through the entire system of the airport of which I had once enjoyed to conduct at the age of twelve. Until now, I still remember the amusement I found when recoding the airline schedules of the international network, causing aeroplanes initially travelling to Toronto to arrive at Cairo.

After I had found myself on the immense ground floor of Heathrow Airport, I soon discerned the tour guide, a middle-aged, hefty man with a pitch-black goatee, and a smattering of Londoners clustered around him, chattering among themselves raucously. Without any intentions of mingling within the group, I stood adjacent to them while searching for the figure Winchester Taylor had informed me of, who hurried towards the tour guide jubilantly after a brief moment. For some seconds, I almost sympathized with the ignorance of her upcoming death, yet, it was better that she did not foresee it. After all, how would anticipation have helped?

Soon, I found my attempt to identify my client futile since the likelihood of him travelling on a tour without surgically changing his face or fabricating a passport beforehand was almost improbable. Yet, it was better than all I had to offer was a curiosity rather than scepticism for I trusted him wholeheartedly and perhaps even venerated him secretly. I remember reading about his successes in the newspapers during childhood and tracing my fingers athwart the pitch-black, dusted lines earnestly, admiring not only his intelligence beyond mediocrity but also his modus operandi.

My plan had been completely practical until then while the flight was a tranquil and satisfying one, almost assuring me that the case could not have been a complicated one. Yet, as the scarlet bus rattled across hamlets in Santorini, the tour guide soon announced information which had not only infuriated me but also my client, whose identity was soon revealed as he argued vehemently against the innocent tour guide in bluntness and agitation which I had never experienced in my entire life.

Through the windows, which were partially bestrewn with dust, I watched the blurs of dwellings with flamboyant gables and eaves passing by and the serpentine landscape of the turquoise ocean in delight as the tour guide stood up from his crimson seat eagerly, slightly anxious.

       “Geia sas, kyríes kai kýrioi!” The tour guide, who was conspicuously not a local in Santorini, uttered in British-accented Greek. “That means ‘Welcome, ladies and gentlemen!’ in Greek.”

       A few children in the seats in front of me reiterated his words cheerfully as I grimaced, feeling fatigued after a day’s journey on the plane.

       “Now, folks,” the tour guide resumed vigorously, “I have some news, which I hope you will forgive me of, to announce.”

       “A variation in the touring schedule,” I muttered to myself and shot my eyes out the windows instead of concentrating them on the tour guide, who was fishing in his cyan backpack for two crumpled brochures.

       “With all my penitent apologies, kyríes kai kýrioi,” he continued, “each person in our package tour will be sharing their room with another traveller since we had had some flaws produced when booking the hotel. As compensation, our travel agency will provide each of you vouchers of Fabrica Shopping Centre and prolong the one week journey to a tour lasting for a fortnight—”

I remained still with my face turning pale. I inquired whether it was possible to book another hotel adjacent to the one the travel agency had assigned or more chambers in the same facility, but the responses I had received were all negative. In exasperation, I demanded the tour guide to contact the travel agency instantaneously and veer the tour schedules to another town or city in which there is a hotel that is able to provide each of the travellers a separate room.

In addition to my vexation, the passenger behind me retorted and mumbled curses to himself as the tour guide apologised to us again, informing each of us that the agency had not succeeded in booking another hotel. Yet, it had only been the mere start of a series of calamities.


With a sigh of relief, I found out that the companion whom I would have to share a chamber with was an elderly man, approximately eighty years in age, who was surprisingly spry and robust. His hair was snow-white and thin, barely able to cover his head, whereas his eyes were absurdly bright and viridescent, almost akin to a pair a cat possesses. Albeit he was aged, he was far from being doddery and was rather witty and humorous. Whenever passing him down the corridor of the hotel, I had unfailingly discerned him accompanied by the tour guide, with whom he conversed eagerly and often exchanged a few chuckles with.

His prominent forehead and vigilant, observant pupils all indicated peculiar, eccentric dispositions of being abnormally prudent, playful, and intelligent. Yet, he was a quietude man when being alone with me and seldom had the two of us traded a sentence or greeting in the chamber.

       “It is my pleasure to meet you, sir,” he smiled, reservedly, at me as I opened the door of our shared bedroom in a sulky mood.

       “As it is to you, mister,” I returned while revealing a phoney grin on my face.   “My name is Arthur Walker,” he reached out his hand as I shook it gently.

       “William Smith,” I fabricated and smiled.

       “You will pardon me if I inquire whether you prefer watching television shows in the evenings?” He placed his shoes, with his narrow, trembling fingers, on the floor gently while beginning to search for the slippers.

       “I disfavour them, frankly,” I answered, wondering when was the last time I had pronounced the word “frankly”.

       “That is a relief to me, you must understand,” he resumed and settled on the bed adjacent to the window. “I dislike them similarly.”

Uncertain of what to reply, I simply allowed our conversation to drop while the man opened his rucksack, revealing a dingy-coloured novel with a cover reigned by the cursive words- “The Republic”.

I recalled reading it for the first time, in the third grade in elementary school, in class and getting caught by the lecturer.

       “What comic book are you reading now, you mischief-maker,” she pushed crimson glasses up her pale nose while leaning towards me.

Stuffing the novel into my desk swiftly, I looked up at her in composure and returned a smile, which was meant to provoke her.

       “Now, hand me that volume,” she grimaced, “if you do not wish for a penalty.”

       “ ‘The heaviest penalty,’ ” I replied, grinning, “ ‘for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself’- Plato.”

She paused for a brief moment until understanding the ostensible meaning of my recitation of the quote and snatched the novel from my desk. “What a burden you are in our class,” she retorted, “how you never pay attention to any of my lectures and your additional pranks on all the teachers! You are infamous in our school, do you know? Infamous, and you are only nine years old!”

It was not a pleasant memory, and I do not recall having any one.

As I turned again towards the old man, I managed to excuse myself in the bathroom, surveying the revolver within my suitcase cautiously and reorganising the plan for the night. The truth was that a companion added to the room of the future victim was barely an obstacle to me since the situation then provides a scapegoat for her murder, creating an advantage of my own. Yet, the old man in my chamber had troubled me quite considerably. My lack of an alibi had become a significant problem in this circumstance with another member in the hotel room, and I doubted that the Hellenic Police would not feel dubious of my innocence.

As I opened my laptop and began recoding the hotel key card, I finally managed to let out a chuckle. The keys the facility used were the traditional version of a magnetic stripe card, the most elementary and fundamental security system which I could have hacked thoroughly in a quarter of an hour.

After giving my key the access to Sarah Chamberlin’s room, I let out a sigh of relief, feeling more assertive that I would not fail the task, a relatively simple and innocuous one compared to the other cases I had taken formerly. I recalled recoding my room key once, in a field trip at fourth grade, when I changed my card, which initially provided none but access to a room consisting of a twin bed, into a VIP key card. My roommate and I had barely slept in the entire night and gladly spent our time in the private gym and swimming pool on the top floor, also managing to have a three-hour sleep in the best suite of the hotel after ordering room services from a Michelin star restaurant at the ground floor.

I reopened the door of the bathroom in composure as I realized that the man had departed the room already, possibly for dinner. With a smile, I slid the revolver into my pocket carefully and hurried out, heading for Chamberlin’s room.

The serene corridor illuminated with the diffused rays from the lamps on the walls contradicted the excitement within my heart considerably and barely had I noticed his presence until the two of us collided, in a rather nasty method. I was hardly injured, yet, I realized that he had fallen onto the carpet, his snow-white hair dazzling.

       “Why,” I returned, “my apologies, sir” despite being completely impenitent.

       “It is fine, really,” he took my right hand which I noticed that he barely required, for his body was surprisingly spry.

After we exchanged a few words of apologies and courtesy, I departed him again, in anxiety for the delay he caused. Yet, as the scarlet door of the room revealed itself ahead of me, I felt that zeal and passion had replaced my perturbation instantaneously. Opening it as gentle as a mouse, I peeked in firstly, in prudence, and noticed that the lights were out, her companion being absent.

Grinning, I opened it wide, shut it softly, and hurried towards the silhouette in front of the curtains, a figure with long, scarlet hair and olive eyes.

       “Hello, madame,” I smiled, placing my right hand into my pocket for the pistol. The character did not move but remained motionless as if paralyzed.

       “I do not recognise your voice, mister,” she returned in a trembling voice.

       “And neither do I,” I touched the revolver in delight and slid it out, aiming it at her. “But death, unfortunately, recognises you.”

Stifling her wince, she turned around. “If you will move, I am calling the concierge.”

I smiled, in both pride and amusement, yet, shrugged finally, feeling my finger on the trigger and pulling it back, in jubilance.

The bullet was not propelled forward, and no blood had been shed. I averted my eyes at her and when discerning no signs of gore on her face, veered them towards the trigger. I pulled it again, and persistently, yet, nothing had occurred. The victim, now not of murder but of bewilderment, remained stationary.

I pulled the magazine out of the pistol in exasperation, pale-faced, with quivering fingers and found no cartridges within. I stared at it, befuddled, certain that I had positioned plentiful of bullets within it before the trip.

As I held the magazine to my eyes, I felt outrage overwhelming my chest, as if spasmodic waves were streaming within my blood vessels. On the backside of the pitch-black item were bolded words written in a white marker.

“The game is done- Netro Express, as for your client, similarly.

Let me warn you kindly that innumerable Europol agents had surrounded the chamber you are in right now.

Sincerely, Arthur Walker, General Director of MI5”

February 28, 2021 12:04

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Kate Reynolds
00:08 Mar 13, 2021



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Noja Lina
23:17 Mar 10, 2021

I really enjoyed how this was written (the voice in the narrarion) and also that the story was set in Europe (European here). Great job! Small note in case this might help you when writing future such stories - a client would probably never contract a hitman through something as traceable as a signed letter, they'd probably use something like the browser Thor


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13:52 Mar 06, 2021

Ah yes, this is a wonderful story, the twist is awesome. You've improved a lot, Renee. Way to go!


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