Mystery Suspense Fiction

“Follow that car!” yells Saxon as he dives into the backseat of a battered, yellow taxi.

The outlandishly dressed Jamaican driver looks through his grimy, perforated Plexiglas at the disheveled man that dove into his cab. “Hey mon! Yah smell silly drunk and lookin like whad-da cat drugged in!”

Saxon takes $50 from his thick money roll and pushes it through the opening of the bulletproof glass. “Here! Now step on it!”

The cab driver's eyes widen seeing the wad of cash. “Right away, mon!” The cab revs high from its supped up engine; tires squeal as the vehicle lurches forward accelerating.

Saxon barely gets the door shut as he slides across the cracked, black vinyl of the filthy seat. The added grime adheres to his already sordid, maroon polyester suit.

“Find out what cab number we are following and where it's going. There's another $50 in it for you---”

“Winston Belvedere at yuh service, mon.” Wildly weaving in and out of traffic and occasionally riding the curb, he makes the call. “Dispatch, car 119---whaz da jurney of car 17?” asks Winston over his radio.

A gruff, female voice responds. “Car 119---car 17's destination (squawks) The Old Billingsworth Mansion, over.”

“Pay da Jamaica mon!”

Saxon peels off another $50 and gives it to Winston.

“Dhank ya mon. Ya hit da big tyme back at da Lundun Hawse?”

Saxon responds surprised. “What you know about the London House? It's supposed to be a private, underground, gambling spot.”

Looking back at Saxon, he honks his horn while running a red light. “Winston, seez all, knows all, tells all---for a price.”

Saxon gives Winston $20. “Tell me about Old Billingsworth Mansion.”

“Wit mista jaksun ya gave me mon, not much. A nudder mista Grant and I'm at liburtee ta speak freelee.”

“You got game Winston, give me back that twenty.” Saxon peels off $50 and exchanges it for the $20.

“Life is a game and a gamble, mista---”

“Saxon, Saxon Frost.”

“Wha ya do for a livin mista Frost?”

“Private investigator.”

“A reel dic here in ma taxi! Ya fame-us like Sherlock Holmes, mon?”

“I'm not famous and I don't like the term dic. It suggests a part of the male anatomy I don't want to be associated with. Private Investigator, Mister Frost or Saxon is my choice of names. Let's get to answering my question, Winston, before the fifty I gave you runs out.”

The cab driver laughs. “Yah mon, got smarts and wits about cha.” Stepping on the gas, he runs through a changing yellow light while making a quick turn. “Green meens go! Yella meens go fasta!” bellows Winston.

Saxon slides to the opposite side of the cab slamming into the door knocking it open. Nearly falling out, he hangs onto the grab bar while shutting it.

“Do I needa giv ya anudder fitty ta arrive say-flee?” asks Saxon mockingly as he puts on his seat belt.

Winston looks back chuckling. “Yuh got me dead wid laugh! Irie! No mista Frost, yuh first Grant took care of dat, mon.”

“Excellent. Now you were saying...” Saxon takes out his mini digital recorder.

“Da Ole Billingsworth Manshun was wunna-da first built on muny row. Me tink a hunnerd n fitty year ago by richie mon Chestafeeld Billingsworth. Oil, gold and textiles made da mon bountee rich. His manshun has safes, vaults and unda-gronn trains where his muny is. A lady burd run tings dare now, Natalee Eleezibeeth Billingsworth. She not out n about like mos queenies. No mon in her life dey say. Sumtime, me tink, on her burrday she partee time it. Dis her ya runnin after?”

“I assume so. Whoever she might be, she is lady luck to me. The London House had mixed guests, some in masquerade costumes others wore tuxedos, evening gowns and the like. Lady luck wore a red wedding dress and hid behind a jeweled mask.”

“How-da boombaclot like yuh git in dare?”

“What you see and smell now is not what I was three days ago. Gambling in the London House underground, losing badly and being jailed with undesirables made the man you're driving about town currently.”

“How-da yuh git out, mon?”

“Lady luc---” The cab suddenly swerves missing a couple jaywalking.

“Keep talkin mon! I got dis!”

Saxon turns off his recorder and clears his throat. “As I was saying, lady luck paid off my debt, got me back in with the poker players and stayed by my side until I won big money. Then, without a word, she all but vanished into the crowd. Fortunately, I caught a glimpse of her leaving. I followed and now I'm with you chasing lady luck.”

Winston turns around eyeing Saxon with a sly smile. “I'd be chasin queenie like dat too, mon!”

“C'mon! Eyes on the road!”

Winston turns back around just in time, zigzagging to avoid a delivery truck. “Ya mon, I got dim dry-vun skeelz.” he says with a chuckle.

Nervously, Saxon exhales before questioning the driver. “Arr...Are we almost there?”

“Imma stay-un bak sum. Don't want ya lady frend ta see us. Ya P.I.'s call dat tale-n, rite mon?”

Looking through his window, Saxon sees he is in a very ritzy part of town. “Um, yeah, something like that.”

Winston drives carefully, keeping a few car lengths between him and cab 17. After a couple of turns onto long winding roads, he slows down and watches the cab enter the gated community. Winston contacts dispatch, “Car 119---need securetee code fo muny row, ova.”

(A couple of squawks before the gruff female voice responds) “Car 119---security code for old money row is---22448, over.”

“Tank yuh much, bonny lass.”

“You're welcome, keep it professional please, over.”

Winston disconnects with a laugh. “Ah she kno she luv me.”

Proceeding along the last winding road of gated, sprawling, hilltop mansions, Winston pulls up to a guardhouse. Some security cars and golf carts are parked out front.

“Gate code please.” requests the guard.

“Top of duh earlee mornin to yah. 22448, mon.”

The security guard checks his list then dryly responds. “Your gate code is for Billingsworth Mansion. Follow this road for a few miles until you reach a cul de sac. Your destination is at the top of the hill. Security will be there to escort you.”

“Tank yah mon.”

“Wait until the gate is fully open. Drive through slowly.”

Winston does as instructed.

Driving past a few palatial manors with opulent designs and stunning landscapes, Saxon is awe struck. He's seen wealth, been around it on occasion while investigating, but nothing like old money row.

Winston whistles lightly. “Dis duh reel muny here, mon.”

Making their way slowly, both men marvel at the wealth on display. After several minutes, they arrive at the twenty-foot tall, wrought iron gates of the Billingsworth Estate. A tall, rail thin security guard with dark shades stands by a white limousine with the back door open. He walks over to the cab, “Mister Frost, Lady Billingsworth has been expecting you.”

“How did she know my name and that I was coming?”

“You'll have to ask her those questions Mister Frost. Whenever you are ready, I will take you to her.”

“Looks like my ride to the big house is here, Winston.” says Saxon jokingly.

“Aye mon, dey rolled out da red carpit for ya. Needn me ta wait?”

“No, I'll probably have this limo take me back.”

“Okay mon. Hope I waz-int too much da blabba mout.” “Yah fare was forty-seven dolla and twenty-five cent. Yah wanna-da change, mon?”

“No, you were...interesting and keep the change.” He tips Winston with $20.

“Tanks, Mista Frost. Here's me number jus in case ya needn me.”

Saxon takes the card. The guard gets the cab door and escorts Saxon to the limo. Inside, Saxon is impressed with the luxuriousness of the vehicle. A TV, mini bar and phone are all at his disposal. The driver shuts Saxon's door, his nose turned up in the air as he gets in. Approaching the gates, they slowly open allowing passage into the garden area of the estate.

“What's your name?”

“Phelps, Mister Frost.”

“Did Natalie Billingsworth arrive in a cab ahead of me about twenty minutes ago?”

“Yes, Mister Frost.”

“Tell me, Phelps, does the lady get many visitors?”

“I'm not at liberty to divulge any personal information about Lady Billingsworth, Mister Frost. Any questions you have concerning her will need to be answered by the Lady at such time she deems fit to do so.”

Saxon pours himself two shots of scotch and swallows them down. “How long have you worked for the Lady?”

“Many years, Mister Frost.”

Realizing the driver won't be a source of usable information, Saxon pours another shot and looks out the window admiring the elaborate grounds. Dawn is peeking its way above the horizon, its golden rays shining directly on the mansion as the limo pulls up to the front stairs where a maid and butler wait.

“Might I offer a suggestion, Mister Frost?”

“Sure, Phelps.”

“If the personnel don't offer, ask to be shown a place to shower and change. Your appearance and atmosphere don't become meeting with Lady Billingsworth.”

“Thanks for the advice. I know I smell like stale beer, old, wet gym socks and sickly-sweet cherry soda.”

“Your words, Mister Frost. Not mine---but very accurate.”

Saxon chuffs and grins. “I will make it one of my first orders of business, Phelps, thanks for the warning.”

“You're welcome, Mister Frost.” The driver gets out and opens the door for Saxon. He stands outside, finishes the scotch and hands the glass to the driver before walking over to the butler.

“I believe Lady Billingsworth is expecting me.”

The butler and maid recoil from the concoction of foul odors he exudes.

“Might I suggest freshening up and a change of attire before seeing the lady of the house, Sir?”

“Please, call me Saxon---and yes, I would appreciate a place to shower.”

Both housekeepers lead Saxon up the marble staircase, through the iron and teak wood carved doors, into the expansive atrium. Rare art collections adorn the walls as the three walk over to a scissor gated elevator.

“You first, Mister Saxon.” offers the butler with extended hand.

He enters the antique, burl wood and shiny, brass decorated lift followed by the housekeepers. Closing the gate, the butler operates the Chadburn shifting the lever to four. The elevator rises smoothly stopping at the fourth floor.

“Right this way, please.” directs the butler as the maid opens the elevator. They proceed down a lavish corridor set in Louis the XVI décor with crystal chandeliers and several gold handled double doors. A room at the end of the hallway greets Saxon. The maid ushers him inside. The first detail to catch his eye is the multi-tiered tray ceilings with a geodesic domed skylight pouring the morning sunshine into the room. On the antique emperor's bed, a black tuxedo has been laid out. Saxon checks the tag for size and it's an exact fit.

“Excuse me, how did you know my size.”

The butler answers him as he removes Saxon's suit coat handing it to the maid with two fingers. “Lady Billingsworth has taken the liberty to gather as much information as possible about you. It's a tendency of hers when a certain gentleman meets her fancy.” The maid proceeds into the carrera marble and gold fixtured bathroom and starts running a bath.

Saxon smiles as he removes his shirt thinking to himself. 'Not only is she lady luck, but she's super rich and enamored by me. Probably feels my P.I. lifestyle is welcome excitement to an otherwise boring, and mundane multi-millionairess existence.'

The maid enters the room breaking Saxon's train of thought. “Your bath water awaits. Leave your soiled items on the floor, I'll take care of them while you're at dinner. If you need anything, I left the buzzer on the stand by the tub. Enjoy, Mister Frost.” The maid and butler leave shutting the room door. Saxon takes off the rest of his things and settles into the deep, recessed, jetted tub. Pressing the button at his side, bubbling jets of warm water surround him as he lays his head back closing his eyes.


“Mister Frost, excuse me.”

Saxon is awakened, startled by a voice and someone tapping his shoulder. Opening his eyes, he sees the butler with towel on one arm and a glass filled with liquor in his hand. “A warm towel to dry off with and a warm scotch to soothe your insides?”

“Umm...yes, yes...of course, yes to both.” taking the drink first, a sip let's him know this is an aged brand and very rare. “Ahh...exquisite.”

“Glad it's to your liking.” the butler holds the towel up. “Whenever you are ready or I can leave it here for you to use at your leisure.”

“Leave it please. I want to sit back a little while longer and enjoy my scotch.”

“As you wish.” the butler leaves.

Saxon takes his time cleaning up, drying off, dressing and sipping the warm liquor. Feeling ready, he uses the buzzer. After a few minutes, the butler enters the room. “Lady Billingsworth waits for you in the ballroom, right this way please.” Saxon follows the butler to the elevator down to the first floor. Making a few corridor turns, they arrive at an expansive hall. A detailed, glossy wooden floor, ceilings with chandeliers and sky lights and magnificent statues adorn the chamber. Soft piano music trickles throughout the perfect acoustics of the room. At one end, dressed in a white mermaids ballroom gown, sits a beautiful woman playing on a black, Steinway grand piano. She stops as the men approach. Saxon is instantly smitten by the raven haired beauty, her green eyes sparkling along with her form fitting, sequined dress.

“Mister Saxon Frost, Lady Natalie Elizabeth Billingsworth.” announces the butler who bows and leaves the two alone, face to face.

“This year---you (points with a coy smile), Mister Saxon Frost, have acquired my utmost attention. Your work as a detective has become legendary in the special circle I belong to.”

Saxon points to himself. “Me?---But I never got the chance to thank you for everything at the London House.”

“You're more than welcome. I wasn't at the London House, by mere coincidence, when I came in contact with you Mister Frost. I did some private investigation of my own. Finding out you had the penchant for gambling, I made sure to be at the London House on a night you would attend and bring, as you called me at the tables, lady luck. You see, I have a unique set of skills that allow me to get any information I want.”

The two mingle, in peek-a-boo fashion, among the male marble statues posed dancing with porcelain female mannequins.

“I take it you have a personal and professional interest in me?” inquire Saxon with raised eyebrow.

Standing next to the mannequin of a beautiful woman dressed in roaring twenties garb, Natalie's spirit leaves her current body and inhabits the porcelain dummy. It animates to life, while her former body turns into a mannequin.

Saxon has seen and experienced many things being a detective in tune with the macabre dimensions of the supernatural. He stands still, unsure of his next action.

“Do you prefer the look of this woman?” says an alluring Natalie as she slowly spins around Saxon maintaining eye contact.

“Perhaps you like a curvy, big busted woman.” Natalie floats inside one of the statues and it comes to life. “Not your fancy? Perhaps a tiny lil thang with a southern drawl.” She leaves the curvy mannequin and enters one with a petite body, curly brown hair dressed in a powder blue Little-Bo-Peep dress, white stockings and black patent leather shoes. Playing coy, she twirls its lacy sun umbrella. “You see Mister Frost, I can be any woman in this room you want me to be. All I require is a commitment on your part. Just a nice boyfriend to pass the annals of time with. We can vacation, shop and gamble each and every day for the rest of time.”

“Why me?” asks Saxon apprehensively while making his way to, and leaning on, a fireplace mantle.

“Defiling the sanctity of marriage fuels the mansion in the most supernatural way. The living aren't supposed to marry into the spirit world.”

All the fireplaces ignite with simmering flames that seem to have a devilish smile and move to the sound of a slow heartbeat.

“By supernatural, you mean Asmodeus, Beelzebub---the Devil, don't you?”

“You believe in such an entity Mister Saxon?”

“I'm talking to a spirit, so, why not believe in evil incarnate?”

“Not just any spirit, thee Medusa of legend. You see, my husband made a deal to be rich, but lived ill for the sixty years he had it. I made a deal to stay beautiful and live forever so I could enjoy Chesterfield's legacy throughout time. Join me and we can enjoy it together, forever.”

“I assume the cost to be a forever man is my soul?”

“Yours is special. You are special. Being immortalized, you won't ever need a soul.” Medusa's spirit leaves the petite mannequin entering into the Natalie one. Sashaying over to Saxon, she takes both of his hands. “Take your time, spend the day with me, then a dance at dusk. As we frolic, look into my eyes, let me know if forever with me is your desire.”

Saxon stares at Natalie, tempted to be with the woman of his dreams throughout eternity.

January 25, 2023 06:24

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Roger Scypion
03:09 Jan 31, 2023

Thank you for an amazing comment! You written thoughts about the story are inspiring and so appreciated. More Saxon Frost to come...


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Miles Gatling
16:05 Mar 01, 2023

Everything in your story is so fancy. I can smell the dust and oil paintings. It sucks you in from the start. Nice one


Roger Scypion
18:15 Mar 01, 2023

Thanks, glad you liked it. -RS


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Graham Kinross
12:57 Feb 23, 2023

Great world building, great character development. Great story.


Roger Scypion
13:21 Feb 23, 2023

Thank you for the compliments they are appreciated and inspiring.


Graham Kinross
13:32 Feb 23, 2023

You’re welcome. What was the inspiration for this? Will there be any more from the world you’ve built?


Roger Scypion
20:29 Feb 23, 2023

I am a fan of the old noir detective TV shows and movies which inspired Lady Luck. The tale of medusa is one of the many Greek mythology stories that interest me. Movies like: The Devil's Advocate, The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)...and so many others inspire my writing and style which I add some neo-flair to. I plan on writing more Saxon Frost short stories. I have several, but they do not meet the 1k-3k word or prompt restraints.


Graham Kinross
22:06 Feb 23, 2023

V for Vendetta? I’m just guessing based on your profile picture.


Roger Scypion
22:49 Feb 23, 2023

V is a definite on my big list of movie likes. Some directors I like are Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Serling, John Huston, Orson Welles...the list goes on and on...


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Richard Kroyer
15:13 Feb 12, 2023

FUN adventure! Good deal.


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Wendy Kaminski
01:54 Jan 30, 2023

Whoa, Roger, this was awesome! Your characters really pop, and the plot is original and mesmerizing. I couldn't stop reading despite a cacophony of interruptions. This story is good as a stand-alone, but it definitely makes me want to know more and see what happens. This line worked so well (they all did, but this visual, wow!): "The two mingle, in peek-a-boo fashion, among the male marble statues posed dancing with porcelain female mannequins." Excellent depiction that was easy to imagine leaping off the page. - “Defiling the sanctity of ...


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