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Authors: Josie Brown

Hollywood Scream Play

BOOK: Hollywood Scream Play
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The Housewife Assassin’s

Hollywood Scream Play

A Novel

Josie Brown

© 2014 Josie Brown. All rights reserved.

Published by Signal Press

San Francisco, CA 94123

[email protected]


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Mummy

Chapter 2 Advise and Consent

Chapter 3 Strangers on a Train

Chapter 4 Sunset Boulevard

Chapter 5 The Fugitive

Chapter 6 The Last Tycoon

Chapter 7 Dead Poets Society

Chapter 8 Body Double

Chapter 9 Reality Bites

Chapter 10 Some Like It Hot

Chapter 11 American Psycho

Chapter 12 They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Chapter 13 The Kids Are All Right

Chapter 14 Lady Killer

Chapter 15 Apocalypse Now

Chapter 16 Love Story

Chapter 17 The Wizard of Ahs

Chapter 18 Heaven Can Wait

Chapter 19 All the President's (Wo)men

Next Up!







Chapter 1

The Mummy

“You’re wondering, ‘What is a place like this doing in a girl like me?’”

—Rachel Weisz, as “Evelyn”

Go ahead, gentle reader, and admit it: you love being scared by things that go bump in the night.

It’s why you spend hours watching thrillers and monster movies.

And why you’ve seen every Hitchcock film, and memorized each wry aside in every “Sherlock Holmes” episode.

All the more reason to put on your favorite Snuggie, clasp a comforting pillow to your heaving bosom, and huddle down into your sofa.

Word of caution: try not to get so caught up in the action that you shoot the idiot who keeps knocking on your front door! “He should have waited until the commercial break,” won’t earn you an acquittal for justifiable homicide.

I pause, just a moment, to admire his beautiful back—taut, coiled muscles under a wide expanse of shoulders.

The cool air makes him shiver. Or is it his anticipation?

It’s rude of me to keep him waiting. If my mother taught me anything, it was to be prompt for every engagement, no matter how distasteful or obligatory.

So, off to work we go.

My mind’s eye sees everything in real time, and in Technicolor. The first stroke of my whip hits him diagonally across his back. A welt rises, blanched of the blood beneath the skin—but only for a second. Then, a torrent of blood, the shade of deep rubies, flows from his open wound.

My prisoner flinches against the shackles that bind him to the basement wall. He groans, but he cannot scream. Otherwise, he’d choke on the ball gag clenched between his teeth.

He braces for the next lash.

The client paying me to put my prisoner in this position had one explicit demand: “Make it look real.” But let me make this perfectly clear: 
I take no joy in this task
. If you presume all assassins live to give pain, you’re sorely mistaken.

So, to muddle through it, I fantasize that he’s someone else.

In this case, I pretend that he is not Bernard Martin, the French UN delegate who has been trading his country’s secrets to the Russians, which has already cost six undercover agents their lives. And I am not the freelance assassin who has been hired by France’s Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence to exterminate him while playing yet another dominatrix he has sought out for pain and pleasure and perhaps penance for crimes against his country.

For just a few more moments, I forget that I’m here to administer an injection of aconite, so as to leave the police with the theory that Monsieur Martin died of a fatal heart attack while being whipped into an orgiastic frenzy. The French government can shrug off a sex scandal. Better that Monsieur Martin betray his wife than his country.

To make this easier on both of us, I pretend he is my soon-to-be ex-husband, Carl Stone.

Now the strokes are fast and furious. In no time at all, his once beautiful back is crossed in a lattice of blood.

He gasps the mutually-agreed-upon safety phrase: 
la douleur et la joie
. Get real! In truth, can pain ever be equated with joy?

When he realizes I’m ignoring his request to stop, his pleas get louder. My raucous laugh has Monsieur Martin frantic to break out of his restraints.

Good luck with that, dude.

Every lash gives him as much pain as Carl brought me. I ignore my prisoner’s sobs, the same way Carl ignored me and his children during the five years I thought he was dead.

Change of plans
, a voice whispers in my ear.

I ignore it, too. There is no turning back now.

Carl broke my heart. To make matters even worse, he’s been nominated by our new president to the post of US Director of Intelligence, which will put him in charge of all sixteen US Department of Defense agencies dealing with domestic and international intel gathering. He’s already made it very clear that all NSA contracts are on the chopping block. The first to go will be the one that my employer—Acme Industries—has with the CIA; he wants to break my spirit, too.

In return, I’m breaking his back.

Make that an aortic vessel. The spasm has my prisoner convulsing. His eyes roll back in his head and he slumps down, despite being held against the wall by his shackles.

“What the hell are you doing?” the voice asks me.

Suddenly, I realize it’s not my conscience, but Jack Craig, my mission leader, talking to me through my ear bud. He is also my soul mate, and the reason I want Carl out of my life, once and for all.

You know what they say: two’s company, three’s a crowd. Especially if the third one is a psychopathic terrorist.

To cover my guilt, I fake annoyance. “What do you think I’m doing? I’m making it ‘look real.’”

“Didn’t you hear me?” Jack shouts. “There’s been a change in plans. We’ve picked up the wrong guy. It wasn’t supposed to be Bernard Martin, but
Martin Bernard
. Unfortunately for us, both guys are into BDSM, which is why we intercepted the wrong French diplomat’s call. In fact, Martin—the one with that as his first name—is a top.”

Oh, mon Dieu!

I fumble in the décolleté of my patent leather teddy for the key to his shackles. Unfortunately, it’s fallen below my breasts. Damn it, I knew I should have sewn bra cups into this getup! I’m so jam-packed in the damn thing that by the time I fish it out from my nether regions and unlock his bindings, he’s already foaming at the mouth. No amount of chest pounding, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, or guilty prayers will bring him back.

“What’s the prognosis?” Jack asks.

I wince. “Let’s just say First Name Bernard 
mange les pissenlits par la racine

“‘Eating the dandelions from the root up?’” After a long silence, he sighs. “
. We can break the news to Ryan later. Hightail it back to the van. We’ve got only twenty minutes to make it to the office for a meet-and-greet with a new triple-A-rated client.”

The rating indicates a client with security clearance from a foreign government. “Shouldn’t I go home and change first?”

“Nope, sorry. Time is of the essence. The client is wheels-up in an hour—with or without us. But he’ll be leaving with some lucky black-ops team, even if it’s not one of Acme’s.”

It had better be us. To stay in the good graces of our new president, Lee Chiffray, Acme needs to rack up as many brownie points as possible.

I stare down at the body at my feet. 
If only it were the real Carl

Rigor mortis is setting in, but I’m still able to maneuver Monsieur Martin’s hands over his private parts before heading out the door.

It’s the least I can do for him.

“Your services come highly recommended,” Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Al Mubarak assures my boss, Ryan Clancy, all the while undressing me with his eyes.

I shift uncomfortably in my chair, and not just because there’s nothing but a thin strand of patent leather ass floss between me and the cold metal seat.

“We aim to please.” Ryan Clancy’s smile is tepid at best.

“Al Mubarak, you say? Perhaps of the Abu Dhabi Mubaraks?” Another of Acme’s agents, Dominic Fleming, taps his lips with a forefinger, an obvious sign of contemplation. “I say, old boy, I think your brother was in my house, at Eton—Baldwin’s Bec!” He holds his hand an inch above his head. “Somewhat taller, eh? Dapper dresser, and a jammy bugger at cribbage?”

Ryan’s glare does nothing to deter Dominic’s gaze. The last thing Acme needs is Dominic chasing off a potential client with a snotty little game of 
Who Are You and Why Should I Give a Damn

The sheikh smirks. “I think not. Our kingdom, Umm al-Quwain, is the smallest of the seven sovereign emirate states. And my father preferred Gordonstoun for his sons’ preparatory education. Then again, who knows? I am only the fourteenth son of twenty-three, and sadly, not all of us have lived up to our potential.”


I’ve got to give Dominic credit, his nostrils flair, but his smile stays put.

“Your eminence, you say this mission would entail securing an antiquity from an archaeological dig in Yemen?” Ryan moves so that he blocks the sheikh’s view of Dominic. I wish he’d block me, too, what with the way the prince is staring at me.

“That is correct.” The sheikh nods. He takes a sip from his teacup. “It was raided by Al Qaeda, just two days ago. The archeologists hailed from Canada. They had just uncovered ancient ruins in Yemen’s desert region, Ramlat al-Sab`atayn. It is about forty-five kilometers from one of Yemen’s ancient cities, Sana’a—or, as it is called in the Christian 
, Sheba.” With a flick of his wrist, he waves away our stares. “After interpreting petroglyphs on two large pillars at the entry of the ruin, the archeologists realized they had discovered the tomb of Bilqis.”

Arnie Locklear, our mission team’s tech op, gives a low whistle. “Do you mean the burial site of the 
 Queen of Sheba? It would date back to, what, 980 BCE or something?”

The prince nods. “You know your 
, young man. Our 
 also notes that the queen—Bilqis—sought out King Solomon for his wisdom and, in turn, learned to put her faith not in false idols, but in the one true God—Allah.”

“Have the tomb’s antiquities been secured?”

“Unfortunately, no. But there is only one way to secure entry, via a secret panel. It is our great luck that the Al Qaeda raiders have been unable to find it—thus far.” The prince pulls a handkerchief from his jacket pocket in order to wipe the monocle he wears over his right eye. “The tomb holds the queen’s sarcophagus. In her hands, she holds a jewel-encrusted scepter.”

BOOK: Hollywood Scream Play
2.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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