The Murder Collection
January 18, 2017
Cover art: Dianne Thies, Lyrical Lines
Copyright: Emporium Press / C.S. Poe
Genre: Amateur sleuth mystery, romance, choose your own adventure
I wasn’t going to create any worthwhile art by staying in bed for three weeks. Not that I expected to suddenly be struck with a lightning bolt of inspiration today. After all, the only reason I’d showered, shaved, and put on clean underwear was because I’d run out of TV shows to binge-watch on Netflix.
Maybe I shouldn’t have tried so hard my thesis year in art school. Then I wouldn’t have come out swinging, wouldn’t have sold my first collection for an obscene amount of money, and now wouldn’t be where I am today. You know, paying for both a work studio and separate apartment in New York City, eating ramen noodles for dinner every night in an attempt to stretch my savings and cover just one more month of rent, while dealing with the impossible task of painting something better than my already best. Such is the life of an artist, amirite?
Anyway, my publicist was done tapping his foot and giving me the stink eye. He’d moved right on to threatening to sever ties with me altogether if I didn’t show him my next big project.
“Dean, you’re hot right now. You’ve got to produce while people still remember your name. While people still give a shit!”
I unlocked my studio door and stepped inside.
Jeff Delaware came at painting from a business standpoint.
I came from— well, the art standpoint. And great art can’t be rushed. Otherwise I’d just paint shit.
“Maybe if I painted shit with shit….” I muttered thoughtfully, shutting the door behind me. Not that I’d actually… you know. I mean, I prefer oils, thank you.
But speaking of shit. What the hell was that smell? The studio was pretty big, and seemed completely untouched from the way I’d left it at the beginning of the month. The ceilings were high, and the ventilation definitely worked because I didn’t need to be killing myself with turpentine fumes.
And yet, something smelled awful. Like… turpentine. But there was more. Garbage? Hot garbage? A dead animal? A bag of crap set on fire? Jesus!
I covered my nose with the sleeve of my jacket and walked around the studio, eventually stopping outside of the water heater closet.
“Oh God.” It was coming from inside.
CHOOSE DEAN’S ACTION!
Dean opens the closet.
Dean leaves it be.