by T. C. Isbell

Smooth Eddie Green is an arrogant bastard who owns Eddie's Place on Pine near the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown Seattle. Life is good for Green until the night of July 4, 1956 when he is shot six times in the head.

Our story begins nineteen years later, in 1975. Walter Down's supervisor is retiring from the crime desk at the Seattle Weekly Gazette after thirty-five years and is cleaning out his office. He hands a newspaper clipping and a tattered manila envelope to Downs. The story has haunted him since 1956 and he asks Downs to look into it one more time.

Downs stuffs the clipping and envelope in his desk and promptly forgets them. After two months he stumbles on the clipping when he is looking for matches. After reading it, he decides the story is too old; everyone involved is probably dead. He throws them into the trash and leaves for the weekend.

Something about the story continues to eat at him. He rushes to work early Monday morning and pulls the clipping from the trash.

Thursday, July 5, 1956


Eddie Green was gunned down last night at ten-thirty in front of his exclusive nightclub, Eddie's Place. Green was shot six times in the head at close range by retired policeman Mike Bennett. A thirty year veteran of the Seattle Police, Bennett had been retired for three years and was depressed for weeks over the outcome of a recent trial involving Green. In an ensuing gun battle Bennett was shot by Robert Munson, a retired vice squad officer. Bennett died at the scene. Charges are pending completion of the investigation.

Downs drops the clipping and envelope in the center of his desk and wonders where to begin. A lot can happen in nineteen years, people die, move away, or conveniently forget. It's obvious Mike Bennett wanted Green dead. Dead forever. Downs pulls a copy of the police report from the envelope and is puzzled, the last two bullets in Bennett's eight shot clip were blanks. Not good odds for coming out on top in a shootout. Bennett didn't stand a chance, but then nether did Green.


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Last year I wrote a short story called Mattie's Shoes. It placed in the 79th Annual Writer's Diget Writing Competition in the category of Literary Short Story. It's not a mystery, but you might enjoy reading about Mattie Johnson. She, like many of us, ignores some of life's more painful issues until they no longer remain hidden and she is forced to confront them. Click on the link below to read an excerpt from Mattie's Shoes.

Link to Mattie's Shoes


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If you would like to purchase Southern Cross please use the links below or contact your local independent bookstore.

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