tagNonHumanGreat Divide

Great Divide


Claire walked into her editor's office.

"You wanted to see me, Sam?" she asked as she sat down in the chair in front of his desk.

Sam looked at Claire over the top of his glasses. "I sure do. I had a great idea last night and I think you're the one to make it work."

Claire started to get up. "Oh, no you don't. I remember your last idea all too well. 'A bar story' I think you called it. Geesh, Sam, I still haven't gotten the liquor and cigarette smells out of my wool jacket! Uh, uh, no, no no, to your great idea!" She walked over to the door.

"Claire, wait! Hear me out." Claire stopped at the door, hand on the knob. "It's almost Halloween right? Everyone's thinking of trick or treats and wondering how they'll cover the cute kids in their costumes - or tampered candy - or how we should enact a minimum age law for the kids going door to door. Come on, Claire, let's be different this year," he said as he stood up and walked over to her. "Let's do a story about that man that was murdered in his home, ah, what's his name…" Sam looked down at his notes. "Ahern. That's his name. Ahern. That case was never solved, the house is vacant, and I," he said with relish in his voice, "have the key!" He reached into his pocket and showed her a silver key.

"What?" she almost yelled. "You expect me to go into a house with no electricity, no heat, and just what, roam around, see if I can find any clues? And you want me to do this on Halloween night?" She walked back toward his desk, hating the smug look on his face. She sat down. "Come ON, Sam, the cops have been all over that place with a fine toothed comb! Besides, I'm covering a local Chamber of Commerce board election." That last comment fell on deaf ears as she knew it would when she said it.

"Claire, it's decided. Take the key. And don't worry about that Chamber stuff. The election's not till next week." He looked at her for a moment, remembering their past. Shaking his head he laughed. "Though it was a nice try."

Claire stormed out of his office. Her blue eyes were flashing, her long curly red hair shaking as she went back to her office. Sitting down behind her desk, she picked up a small foam basketball and threw at a basket hanging on the opposite wall. Then she turned her chair to face the window as she thought about her new 'assignment'.

An hour later, she was engrossed in newspaper archives: Brian Ahern, age 46, dark brown hair, 5'8", 175 lbs...single at time of death. There were no real clues to the crime. "The deceased was known as a 'playboy' type," the chief homicide detective, John Murphy, stated. "We found a few objects and other items that could be leads in this case. We're now following them up."

She looked up from the computer to see her best friend, Kate walking toward her. "I have a question. How can the police follow up leads to a homicide if they found no real clues?"

Kate looked over her shoulder and read the screen. "Well, Claire, they did find something interesting. It just wasn't released. They discovered red hair strands on his pillow and on one of his T-shirts. Blood spots on the shirt indicated it was worn by the murderer. As to 'who' murdered him, they lost the trail. Ahern was kind of a jerk. Had a black book and everything." She set a coffee cup next to Claire. "Why what's going on?"

Claire eyes now flashing with interest, anger forgotten. "I've got this assignment to visit his house, see if I can find anything." She laughed. "Can you imagine the headlines? Ace reporter talks to dead spirit on Halloween night -- provides new leads in murder."

Kate grinned. "Good luck. Call me if you need anything else. I have some hard copy with pictures and other wonderfully gory stuff to look at. Halloween and you looking into a murder ..." She shook her head. "Gives me the shivers, girl! Gotta go. Call me if you need anything, ok?" Claire nodded her head, once again lost in thought as she continued to research her dead subject.

October 31st dawned, cold and rainy. Great, thought Claire. She pushed off the quilt as her cat KC meowing his disapproval. Just the weather for a murder home visit, she groaned. She almost pulled the quilt back over her head but it was too late. KC and her other two cats heard her moans and decided it was people language for "time to eat, guys!"

"Okokok," she grumbled as she got up, grabbed her robe and headed for the kitchen. She made coffee, fed the cats and walked into the living room. As she opened the blinds, she noticed a white envelope lying on the floor by the front door. She picked it up, walked back into the kitchen and poured some coffee. Sitting down at the kitchen table, she opened the letter: 'I hear you're going to re-investigate the Brian Ahern murder. Meet me at the house, 9 tonight. Come alone.'

Her heart stopped for a second as she reread the words. Wondering who knew she had this assignment besides Kate and Sam, she grabbed the phone and dialed Sam's direct number. "Sam, Claire. Did you tell anyone I was doing a story on the Ahern murder?"

"Claire? Well, good morning to you, too."

"Ah, Sam, okokokok, good morning. How are you? And the kids? How's the weather?" she asked sarcastically.

"Claire, you do know how to start my day. Kids? What kids? None because you and I never made it work."

"Don't start with me, Sam. It never worked because you had an eye for every woman but me. Now, let's stop this. Did you tell anyone about my assignment?"

"No, I didn't. Why?"

"No reason, I was just curious. Didn't want to pay a visit on the scene and deal with other papers. Do me a favor and keep it quiet, ok? I have a feeling about this."

"Sure, Claire. And don't forget, the deadline is 3pm tomorrow."

She hung up the phone, more curious than panicked. She stood up, stretched, and walked into the bedroom with her coffee in her hand. Pulling off her T-shirt, she stood naked in front of her closet, deciding what to wear. She threw jeans and a gray T-shirt on the bed, then headed for the shower.

As she stepped under the hot water, she stood up straight. She felt cold as she stood under the hot water! Startled, she turned the hot faucet up but the coldness stayed with her. Scared, she shut the water off.

Trying to shake off her fright, she turned the water back on, relieved to feel hot under the hot. She tried to convince herself it was nothing but she made record time in getting in and out of the shower. Her hands were shaking as she dried herself off, thinking about what had happened. "Am I losing my mind?" She looked at her reflection in the mirror. "Just a freak of nature...the water wasn't really that hot..." She shook her head, a chill still running through her. "Hell, I really felt what I felt!" She left, picking up her cold coffee.

She tried to convince herself it was just her imagination while she got dressed. She headed back into the bathroom. As she braided her hair, the little hairs on the back of her neck stood straight up. She stared at her eyes in the mirror, feeling something softly caress the nape of her neck. She watched her nipples harden under her thin shirt. Her breath quickened. As suddenly as the feeling came, it left. Standing in front of the mirror, she held onto the edge of the sink.

I am losing my mind, she thought. It had been 6 weeks since she had last seen Dan. Claire knew she was still not over him. "That's it!" she almost yelled! KC, lying outside the bathroom door, jumped and ran into the living room. "I'm just doing some sort of weird grieving thing." Feeling much better, she finished her long braid, then left the house, feeling almost her normal cheery self.

She got to the office and did some research on the Chamber and a couple of other ideas she had for next week. Then she went back to the archives to find out more about the murder victim. "He was a good neighbor, but quiet and kept to himself," said Mrs. Reynolds. "I've lived here all my life. He moved into the neighborhood about 6 years ago and you couldn't have asked for a better neighbor. Always had a kind word. I can't believe this happened to him!" she sobbed.

"Well, he was a nice enough chap," said Mr. O'Neill. "I lived across the street from him. When he had time, he'd come over and help me with my yard work. Women? Brian? Nope, never saw any. He kept to himself, kind of shy if you know what I mean."

Claire looked at her notes. Playboy like the cop said or nice neighbor? She continued reading, making notes on the discrepancies she was finding.

Kate brought her a sandwich as she worked through lunch and on into the evening.

It was 7:30 by the time Claire got home. Not much time, she thought. Hanging up her coat, she headed into the kitchen. Looking in her refrigerator, she sighed. Looks like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich dinner, she thought. After feeding the cats, she read the day's news while eating her sandwich.

"Time to go, KC" she said, getting up. Just as she grabbed her coat she saw another note by the front door. She picked it up and nervously opened it. 'Bring a tape recorder to Ahern's house. Don't forget, come alone.'

She opened her door and looked around, hoping to see someone walking away. The street looked deserted in the misty rain. Good night for staying in, she thought, knowing she wouldn't. Her curiosity was aroused.

Claire parked her car on the street in front of the darkened house. She got out, pulling her coat tighter as she looked at the house. It was a two-story brick, nothing spooky or hair-raising unless you remembered it was Halloween …unless you knew what happened here, she thought. Opening the front door, she walked into the foyer. Dead silence. "Hello? Is anyone here?" she called softly.

She saw the flicker of the candle before she saw the man carrying it. He was medium height and had dark hair. "Hi," he said with a smile. "Glad you could meet me," he said.

Claire looked at his face. Something looked familiar but she couldn't say what. She found herself lost in his eyes and that smile.

"Hi. Before we go further with this, how did you know I was working on this story?" Her hand went into her pocket and turned on the recorder.

"Claire, I just knew. Let's leave it at that." He saw her look. "I assure you, I'm not a danger to you. I just want to see justice done." Slightly appeased, she followed him into the living room.

"So, what is it you want me to know," she asked. "I admit, I have a lot of questions on this case myself." She sat down on the sofa as he sat in a chair. The candlelight reflected in his eyes, an eerie yet warm glow coming from them.

"Claire, he was not a 'playboy' as the police would have you think. He was a one-woman man. Before he moved into this neighborhood, he had a woman in his life. That woman left him. He never really recovered, tried to find someone but couldn't. So, he moved here, hoping to start fresh."

Claire was mesmerized by his voice. It was so soft and gentle, almost like a whisper in her ear. "Well, ah...sorry I didn't get your name." She looked at his face.

"Brian" he said. "You can call me Brian."

"Brian?" She almost stood up. This was too weird and she was getting very nervous.

"Claire, relax. I know what you're thinking. We were best friends and next-store neighbors. Just happened to share the same name."

Not sure she believed him, she sat back down, feeling tense. "You must have some idea, then, on why he was murdered." She hesitated, wondering if she really wanted to know his theory. She looked into his intense eyes and knew she had no choice.

He got up from the chair and sat down next to her, his thigh touching hers. "Claire, I know you've heard about the stalker mentality. What would you say if I told you he was being stalked?"

"Stalked? You mean a woman was following him? There was no record of a complaint with the police."

Claire was feeling quite hot now. His eyes and small trace of a smile were arousing her. Keep your mind on the subject, she told herself as she felt that familiar tingle in her pussy, that familiar pulse at the base of the throat start to beat quicker.

"Yes, Claire. Stalked." He moved so close to her she could feel his breath on the spot just below her ear. "Believe it or not, she looked very similar to you."

"Now, wait just a minute! Are you accusing me?" She stood up and looked down at him. "And besides, who are you? Why didn't you come forward sooner? And how do you know all of this?"

He stood up quickly and pulled her close. It was a gentle move, not designed to frighten her, but it did startle her. His eyes were so warm, but he felt so cool. He gently kissed her mouth as his hands cradled her face. His tongue traced her lips, gently forced her to receive him. She couldn't move. It was as if she was glued to the spot as he gently kissed her, slowly, with a rising passion. When his tongue touched the tip of hers. She forced herself to pull back.

"Wait. What's going on? Why are we here?" she couldn't force herself to say his name...something familiar and disturbing.

"Claire, I wanted to tell you he was stalked. Her name was Emily Herbster and she worked with him. She was attractive but I had no interest, I only knew her slightly from our jobs. A smile meant a commitment to her. We're here because I wanted you to know the story, wanted you to know the man. Here's her picture." He set it on the coffee table next to them.

Before she could comment on his use of the word "I", he took her hand and gently brought the palm up to his lips. Kissing and sucking the inside of her hand, he moved his tongue to the area between her finger and thumb. His tongue moved tenderly back and forth, lips catching her thumb, pulling it into his mouth, sucking it gently, swirling his tongue around it.

Brian pulled away and smiled at her, lust seen even in the dim glow of the candle. He pushed her onto the sofa, covering her body with his as he again found her mouth. His hands caressed her cheeks as she pulled him closer. She trembled as he moved his mouth down to the base of her neck, gently sucking and kissing that little spot in the hollow of her throat.

"Claire, I can't explain this. I want to feel your excitement. I need to feel your heartbeat." Her nipples grew tight, made erect by his words.

He sat up, never letting his eyes leave hers as his hands moved to pull up her T-shirt. When he saw her breasts, he cupped them, letting the hard little buds caress his palm in a slow circular grind. He watched her face, needing the signs of her excitement to show him the way to her explosion. Sitting up, his hands moved down to her jeans, opened them and slid them down her legs. She lay there almost naked in the glow of the candle. Her white silk panties shone brightly in the small beam of moonlight coming from the window as his hands moved over her lower stomach, caressed the crease where her thigh joined her hip.

"Put your arms over your head, Claire," he whispered as he looked at her face. With eyes closed, she moved her arms. "Your breasts look so beautiful in the candlelight," he whispered. " I wish I could see your sweet pussy in the glow. I can't though. But I will make you come for me. Yes we need that," he murmured.

His hands moved down her inner thighs, coaxed them open. He held her knee, gently forcing her leg over the top of the sofa. His other hand pulled her other thigh wide open. He moved his leg over hers. "You look so beautiful, Claire. All spread wide and wanting for me."

His words thrilled her. He could see it in her face. Smiling, his fingers moved to her panty-covered pussy. She sighed deeply as he ran his hand down her lips, trying to find each inner folded crease as he massaged them open under the material. His middle finger found the spot where her clit was hidden and rotated the little button, felt it harden under his caress. His other fingers teased her inner opening, gently trying to force the material deep inside her. When he saw her hips move up and down into the sofa, he leaned down to suck her nipple deep into his mouth. He let his tongue press down, teeth lightly nipping as he gently tapped on her clit with his thumb. Perfectly in beat, her nipple and clit felt connected to him.

Her body tensed as she felt her fire start to ignite. "Claire, don't be startled when you feel my fingers inside you. Just let yourself come. I need to feel your excitement!"

His thumb stayed on her clit, keeping exact pressure on it as his tongue pressed her nipple deeper into her breast, teasing the bud as he ground it in a slow circular caress. His fingers moved under the elastic of her panties. Three of them entered her deeply. She opened her eyes, felt the icy cold entry but at the same time, felt her orgasm rock her into a heat she had never felt before! The icy fingers moved gently, trying to find her spot. Once found, he started a slow twisting opening and closing motion, massaging that inner spot perfectly as she again exploded on his fingers. He kept them in her as he bent down and kissed her, holding both her pussy and mouth captive.

"Claire, thank you for sharing this with me. You can't imagine what this means to me." His free hand caressed her face, her closed eyes. "Remember the reason we met. Make justice happen for me, beautiful Claire."

She opened her eyes. He was gone! She sat up in the darkened room. Was it a dream, she wondered? Feeling cold, she realized that she was almost naked, in the living room of a murder victim's house! "Wait, this did not happen," she said out loud. But her exhaustion told her it did happen. The fact that she was partially unclothed was proof it did happen. As she stood up, she looked down at the coffee table. There was the picture of Emily Herbster ...

The newspaper printed new information on the Brian Ahern murder that Halloween night. Emily Herbster got sentenced to prison, Brian got his justice. Claire kept the tape cassette.

Copyright October 1998 by Megan Murphy. Revised May, 2001. Not to be reproduced, copied, distributed, published, quoted or used in any way or form for any commercial gain without the express written permission of the author.

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