Black is the Color of My True Love’s Heart is a murder mystery written by a user named DoriPS.
One night, Wilma Andersen was leaving a party and walking back to her car. When she turned the corner onto a dimly-lit street, she swiveled her head nervously from side to side, trying to peer through the darkness. She started berating herself for turning Russell down when he offered to walk her back to her car.
The whole time she was at the party, Russell had clung to her and ruined any chance she had of attracting the attention of Kenneth Paulson. At the end of the party, she had been so busy trying to get rid of Russell that she hadn’t thought about how dark and scary the streets were at this time of night.
This was not a part of town she visited very often and she certainly never came her after dark. It was a run-down industrial area, with a lot of empty, dilapidated buildings. Not even one light burned in the windows and there were no street lamps. The streets were lined with deserted warehouses and overgrown lots, where the skeletons of burned-out or crumbling buildings poked their heads out of the brambles and long grass. The broken panes in the windows of the deserted buildings were gaping holes, revealing an inner darkness more black than the moonless night outiside.
As she passed the old furniture mill, Wilma’s heart skipped a beat when she saw what looked like an inky black shadow slink out of one of the gaping holes on the bottom floor windows and slither down the side of the building. She quickened her pace, glancing back to see if the shadow was following her. When she reached the corner, she was so busy looking over her shoulder that she stumbled on the curb.
She steadied herself and looked around, hoping to see her little blue car parked on the other side of the street, but it was nowhere in sight. She glanced up at the street sign. She’d parked at the corner of Stack Street and Teakwood. Just then, she heard a faint noise behind her and turned her head, her eyes search the shadows, but she couldn’t see anything in the brambles or on the sidewalk. She realized that the darkness surrounding her could easily hide someone until they were literally right next to her.
Wilma cursed her luck. Why had she parked so far away? She had given her friend, Claudia, a ride to the party. If Claudia were with her right now, it would be okay, she thought. Two people are always safer than one when walking on dark streets like this at night.
Wilma’s thoughts returned to the party. Earlier that evening, Claudia had met a handsome college boy at the party. When Wilma was about to leave, this boy – his name was Norm something – had volunteered to drive Claudia home later on. Claudia had taken Wilma aside and confided to her that she felt a real connection to this boy, something she’d never felt before and that maybe, just maybe, he was her true love. She told Wilma that he was going to take her to his frat house Halloween party. Wilma had felt a pang of anger and jealousy.
During the party, Russell was constantly holding onto her arm. She kept trying to shake him loose, but he kept coming right back. She thought she’d finally lost him, when she went to the restroom. On the way, she was thrilled to run into Kenneth Paulson, her heartthrob of the moment. They’d actually managed to say hello and make some smalltalk. When Kenneth looked at her with his lopsided smile, her heart had melted and she had been at a loss for words.
Then, Russell had come bounding over, grabbed Wilma’s arm, and said, “There you are. I thought you’d gotten lost!”
Kenneth immediately lost interest in Wilma and pushed past them into the crowded living room. Wilma watched him join the others on the dancefloor and had tried to go after him, but Russell had a tight grip on her arm. Losing her temper, she turned and slapped Russell full in the face. He let go of her arm then, a shocked look on his face. Wilma surged through the crowd, looking for Kenneth, but he was already talking to another girl. That was when she decided it was time to go home.
After talking to Claudia, Wilma had gone to the restroom. When she came out, she couldn’t believe that Russell had been waiting for her outside
“I thought you might be ready to go home,” he said.
Wilma told him to get away from her, that she didn’t want to see or speak to him ever again. He offered to walk her to her car, telling her that it wasn’t safe for a girl to be walking alone around here. She had been so furious that she told him to go hang himself. She said she knew it was Halloween, all right, because he was a nightmare. Russell looked hurt, and normally this would have bothered Wilma, but at that moment she’d been glad she’d hurt him. Hadn’t he hurt her, after all, by ruining her chances with Kenneth?
Her thoughts were interrupted by a loud swishing and rustling in the tall grass and brambles in the vacant lot to her left. For a moment, she was frozen by fear. Then she sprinted down the sidewalk. She could hear the swishing sound getting louder and coming closer to her, as though whatever was making the sound was also running just as hard as she was.
In the darkness, she almost ran past her car. She turned and scrambled back to it, then rummaged through her purse for her keys. She kept looking up, fully expecting someone or something to spring out of the vacant lot, as the swishing got closer. A bottle of neon blue nail polish fell out and smashed on the pavement. She ignored it. Her hands were shaking as she inserted the key, turned the lock and flung the car door open.
At that moment, the swishing sound suddenly stopped. Wilma froze for a moment. She refused to look up. She just knew there was someone on the other side of her car, standing on the sidewalk, ready to pounce on her. She didn’t wait to see who it was. Quickly sliding into her car, she locked the doors, jammed the key into the ignition, and threw it into gear. She zoomed off and it wasn’t until she was two or three blocks away that she finally breathed a sigh of relief.
Never again, she vowed, never again.
The next day, Wilma tried to call Claudia several times, but she didn’t get an answer. It was late afternoon when her cell phone rang and she saw it was Claudia’s number. She grabbed the phone and said, “About time. How’d it go last night, anyway, with the love of your life?”
There was a pause on the other end, and Wilma thought she heard heavy breathing. This creeped her out.
“Claudia?” Wilma asked. “Is that you?”
A monotone, anonymous-sounding voice replied, “Who is this?”
Shivers went up Wilma’s spine, and she hung up. It had sounded more like a guy’s voice.
A loud knock on her bedroom door caused her to screech and drop her phone. Her Mom opened the door and poked her head inside. There was a distraught look on her face.
“Wilma, come downstairs,” she said. “The police are here and they want to ask you some questions.”
“The police?” asked Wilma. “What’s going on?”
Her mother shrugged her shoulders. Wilma went downstairs to find two men in suits waiting in the living room.
“Are you Wilma Andersen,” one of them asked.
“Yes,” replied Wilma, guardedly. “What’s this all about?”
“Are you familiar with a girl named Claudia Pisa?”
A shred of fear began to form in Wilma’s mind. “Yes,” she said.
“Did you see Claudia last night?”
“Yes. We went to the Halloween bash at the Hollow’s Corner Horror House together.”
“What time did you last see her?”
“What’s this about?” Wilma asked again.
“Did the two of you leave the party together?”
“I asked what this is about?” Wilma persisted. Her mother stood to the side, looking uncomfortable. Wilma wondered if she knew what was going on.
“Miss, just answer our questions, please.”
Wilma took a deep breath. She told them she and Claudia had left the party separately. They asked her if she knew of anyone who used a bright blue nail polish. Wilma told them that she used Neon Sky Blue. They asked Wilma if she had a bottle of it to show them. Wilma told them her last bottle had fallen out of her purse the night before.
The two detectives exchanged a shocked glance.
“Where did you lose it, miss?” one of them asked.
“Next to where I parked my car,” Wilma answered. “At the corner of Stack Street and Teakwood.”
The detectives exchanged another glance.
Wilma couldn’t contain herself any longer. “What’s going on?” she demanded. “If you don’t tell me, I’m not answering any more questions!”
One of the detectives cleared his throat and said, “Claudia Pisa was murdered last night. Her body was found on the sidewalk at the intersection of Stack Street and Teakwood. She had been horribly mutilated.”
Wilma was in shock. She shook her head. “That boy she was with,” she mumbled. “He must habve killed her. His name was Norm something…”
“Are you referring to Norman Pursell?”
“That could be it. He was a college guy, older. I bet he did it!” Wilma was livid.
“Norman Pursell didn’t do it, Miss. His body was found in the same vacant lot, not far from Claudia’s. He had also been mutilated.”
Wilma stumbled backwards and fell onto the couch. Suddenly, all of the information began to filter through her mind.
The detective continued. “A broken bottle of fingernail polish was found on the sidewalk where Claudia’s body was found,” he said. “Someone stepped in the nail polish and tracked it along for several steps. Can we see the shoes you were wearing last night?”
Then, the awful realization struck Wilma. The horrible swishing sound she had heard the night before. Could that have been Claudia on the other side of her car, in need of help. Had she actually driven off, leaving Claudia to an awful fate?
Wilma dully got up and went upstairs to her room. When she came down, she was holding the shoes she had been wearing the night before. She dumped them on the floor and one of the detectives bent down and retrieved them. After examining the soles, he took a sample and wrote something in his notebook. Then, the detectives thanked Wilma and her mother and left.
For the rest of the day, Wilma didn’t feel like doing anything. She just lay on the couch while her mother patted her shoulders, trying to comfort her. She was still there when she heard the doorbell and her mother got up to answer it.
“Wilma?” Her mother said softly.
Wilma didn’t move.
“Wilma? It’s some boy who says he knows you. He wants to see you.”
Boy? Wilma thought. It must be that creep, Russell! She kept her eyes closed, hoping he would just go away.
“Wilma? He says his name is Kenneth? Do you know him?”
Wilma’s face lit up. “Let him in,” she said.
She was surprised to find Kenneth, her heartthrob, standing in the doorway. The sight of him caused Wilma to perk up instantly. Kenneth sat down in the chair opposite the couch, looking uncomfortable. He dropped the backpack he was carrying and it made a heavy thump on the floor.
“Hi Wilma,” he said. “I heard about Claudia and I knew you two were best friends. I thought I’d stop by and say how sorry I was.”
This was music to Wilma’s ears. Last night, she had been afraid Kenneth didn’t care anything about her. She must have made more of an impression on him than she thought.
“Thanks,” she said weakly. “I only just found out myself.”
“I imagine the police are looking for whoever did it,” said Kenneth. “Do you think they’ll find the killer?”
“I don’t know,” replied Wilma.
“I think Claudia was killed by someone who was at the party last night,” he said.
“I think so too,” Wilma agreed.
“I didn’t see you leave the party,” Kenneth said. “What time was it when you left?”
Wilmas was surprised. Did he think she had killed Claudia? She had to convince him she was innocent.
“Uh, not long after I spoke to you,” she replied. “When that clingy guy, Russell, came up and grabbed my arm. If you ask me, I think he’s the one who murdered Claudia.”
“Oh yeah,” said Kenneth, leaning back in his chair and stretching out his legs. “That guy Russell was behaving very suspiciously…”
Wilma happened to glance down and her eyes suddenly grew wide with shock. On the bottoms of Kenneth’s shoes, there were some bright blue stains. Neon Sky Blue stains.
When she looked up, there was a sly smile on Kenneth’s face. He reached into his backpack. Wilma tried to run, but she was too late. Before she could even scream, Kenneth zapped her with the stun gun he pulled from his backpack.
As she lay on the ground, her body silently shaking and convulsing, she saw Kenneth take several large knives out of his backpack. All of them were razor-sharp.