Beautiful Murder | Chapter One

Chapter One

Mr. Craft

Mr. Craft, aged 43, eyed his alarm clock warily. The orange numbers glowed 3:45 am. He’d checked it what felt like an hour ago, and it’d said 3:26. Morning hadn’t come, and he felt like it never would. He blocked his ears, wincing at the droning outside. The truth was, Mr. Craft couldn’t sleep. Nobody in his apartment building could, either, no matter what they used — pills, plugs, sleeping darts; the penetrating, inescapable groan and buzz of the construction next door flooded their eardrums and blocked out any other thought, including that of sleeping, from entering their brains. The only things Mr. Craft could think of were foul and unrepeatable, and all were directed towards the construction company. Granted, it wasn’t their fault; the Chapman Brothers (as they were called) were usually famous for their discreteness when building or renovating a place, and always molded their schedules to satisfy the most people possible, even if they weren’t the ones paying. These past months, however, there hadn’t been any “free time” in the schedule to work around — they’d been tasked with the construction of what was rumored to be the most prestigious museum in the United States, sporting a glass dome and wings made of marble and gold. The budget, it was heard, was infinite; some extremely rich person or persons had decided to spare no expense, but the exact reason why — or who — was unknown. 

Mr. Craft, head reporter of the Seattle Chronicle, had tried to investigate the topic, but came up only with contradicting rumors and whisperings people “swore” were “absolute fact”. He’d dropped the subject as a result. The Chapman Brothers only had about five months to build the 20-acre palace, and they didn’t have the time to waste it. While investigating, Mr. Craft himself had written an article on one of the Chapman Brothers — Mike, his name was — and witnessed first-hand how tired the construction had made him. Inky bags that hadn’t been there before now hung from his sunken eyes, and his unkempt stubble, despite his efforts, was powdered with dust and looked like it hadn’t been shaved down in weeks. He was apologetic in the interview, repeatedly excusing himself for his lethargy and appearance, and Mr. Craft had kindly replied that he understood perfectly — but it didn’t stop him from writing all about it in the next week’s issue of the Seattle Chronicle.

He hadn’t seen Mike after that — not that he’d expected to — and he really didn’t care. All he cared about now was for that damned noise to stop! One could be shot with a rifle in the building and remain unheard. Really, it was unprofessional on the part of the Chapman Brothers for having taken this job — they could’ve at least negotiated down the timeline! It didn’t matter how much money they were being paid; the people living around the construction area should be a priority! Mr. Craft shook his head indignantly. No, these people won’t be getting a job anywhere near here for some time, that’s for sure. At least, not from me.

The good news was that there were only three weeks left in this godforsaken schedule. The museum would be complete before the end of the month, then would be stocked and filled with an apparent innumerable collection of priceless artifacts, and be prime for opening in early June. Mr. Craft, finally ceding to the noise, sank his head back onto his pillow and closed his eyes. It’s almost over, he sighed. It’s almost over.

Book Complete

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