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News & Features » May 2017 » “Nobody’s Home” by R.J. Fox

“Nobody’s Home” by R.J. Fox

Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays. 

This week, R.J. Fox brings us behind Detroit’s dark streets.

Nobody’s Home
by R.J. Fox
Detroit, MI

Now that R.I.P knew how to achieve his goal, he just had to find the means. So he got into his clunker of a car, which was parked on one of Detroit’s countless seedy, run-down streets littered with as many broken streetlamps as broken dreams.

He set his sights on Indian Village—one of the few upscale enclaves in town—and zeroed in on an immaculate Tudor Revival home, shrouded in darkness.

He headed toward the back door and peered through a dark window, partially obscured by curtains.

He took one last look around, took off his jacket, removed a Mag-Lite from his pocket, and placed his jacket over a window, which he gave a couple of whacks. He cleared the remaining glass, then cautiously entered.

He darted the flashlight around and caught snippets of the tastefully decorated house rife with treasures. He headed into the master bedroom and quickly located a half-full jewelry box, a gold tie clip, $50 in cash, and what turned out to be a crusty dildo he mistook as a flashlight. He tossed everything into a large plastic bag.

The Grinch of the ghetto.

Just as he turned to head out, a shuffle emitted from the hallway. R.I.P. froze in terror, as the sound drew closer. An image silhouetted by moonlight materialized in front of him—a man covered in bloodied, slithering down the hallway, leaving a bloody trail behind him. When the man finally reached the bedroom doorway, he slowly lifted his head up into the beam of R.I.P.’s flashlight and revealed a bludgeoned, misshapen face. This one was tough to process. He had seen some crazy ass shit over the years, but this one took the whole motherfucking cake.

The man attempted to speak, but in place of words, came blood, erupting out of his mouth like hot lava. R.I.P. made a mad dash out of the bedroom, loot in hand. As he carefully stepped over the man, a bloody hand grabbed ahold of his pant leg. He managed to wiggle himself from its grip.

He rushed around a corner, only to trip over a large, unidentified mass on the floor. He dropped his flashlight in the process, which rolled until it landed with its beam shining directly into the face of a dead woman with a hole where her face should have been.

Behind him, the shuffles returned and grew louder as they drew near. R.I.P. looked up and could see the whites of the bludgeoned man’s eyes approaching. Unable to get upright on his feet, R.I.P. crab-walked backwards toward the door until he was able to scamper against a wall into an upright, standing position. He turned toward the front door, only to be greeted by a young boy—probably no older than 12—pointing a .38 snub-nose at R.I.P.’s face. The boy’s entire body trembled in fear; his eyes welled with tears.

“What … did … you … do?” the boy asked, as his gun trembled in his hands.

“I didn’t do—” R.I.P. started, just as the boy pulled the trigger. He managed to dive out of the way just as the gun fired. He managed to storm out of the open front door house, and hightailed it down the street. He looked back in time to see the man slither out of the house, before he fell off the porch and into the shrubs below.

R.I.P. headed around the block and hid behind a row of tall bushes for a moment to regain his breath. He was too numb to make any sense of it all and simply chalked it up as just “one of those things”, fortunate to have gotten out alive. At least he had some
jewelry to show for it.

When he was certain he was in the clear, he ventured back out to face the world, which now seemed like an even darker place than ever before. Then set his sights on his next conquest.


R.J. FOX is the award-winning writer of several short stories, plays, poems, a memoir, and 15 feature length screenplays. Two of his screenplays have been optioned to Hollywood. His most recent publication is a travel memoir entitled Love & Vodka: My Surreal Adventures in Ukraine, published through Fish Out of Water Books. His work has been published in the The Naked Feather, The Medulla Review, Lap Top Lit Mag, and more. He is also the writer/director/editor of several award-winning short films. His recent stage directing debut led to an Audience Choice Award at the Canton One-Acts Festival. Fox graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English and a minor in Communications and received a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. He resides in Ann Arbor, MI. His website is www.foxplots.com or follow him on Twitter @foxwriter7.


Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:

—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—Accepted submissions are typically published 6–8 months after their notification date and will be edited for cohesion and to conform to our house style.
—E-mail your submission to info@akashicbooks.com. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.

Posted: May 1, 2017

Category: Original Fiction, Mondays Are Murder | Tags: , , , , , , ,