Blood on the Potomac- a short story by Melissa Diane Algood

This was the first short story that I ever completed as an adult; back in 2013 when I had first joined the Houston Writers Guild and attended weekly critique sessions.  I highly recommend meeting other authors, especially when you’re just starting out in your writing career.

‘Blood On The Potomac’ has all my favorite things romance, violence, and a mysterious woman that will kick your ass if you call her the wrong name.  I loved it so much I based a novel, ‘Unseen’, on the story which you can find out more about here.

You can read the beginning of this inspiring short story ‘Blood On The Potomac’  here but to find out how it all ends pick up a copy of ‘Everyone Dies: Tales from a Morbid Author’ which includes 21 pieces of short fiction in which someone either physically, emotionally, or spiritually dies including never before published pieces like ‘After The Fire’ and fan favorites like ‘The Silencer’.




Blood On The Potomac

Melissa Algood


I’d been following him for days.

From the coffee shop, to the loading dock where he worked, or the myriad  whorehouses in the tri-state area he visited.

I was not far.

Now, I stand outside his row house, two blocks from the metro rail we both rode.  A faint drizzle makes a mist under the streetlight, but there is no sign of me as I standin the darkness watching him.  My decade of training makes me invisible.
The only light on in his house comes from the television, making his stained undershirt and overgrown gray facial hair visible.  He lifts up his Underdog Atlantic Lager to his crusted lips and changes the channel.  A crimson glow washes over him.  A smile crosses his pock marked-face as a childlike, scantily clad Asian girl stands up from between his knees.
I check my watch to verify how long it has been.  She was a trooper, working him for forty-five minutes.  Maybe he’d been thinking about his responsibilities and that clouded his pleasure, since I doubt the whore is at fault.
He throws a wad of cash at her which she tucks into her neon pink tube top, before rushing out of the room and down the steps back to whatever dark corner she’d been picked up at.
Just then my phone lights up.
“It’s time,” a French woman whispers in my ear.
I turn it off without responding and stroll across the narrow street up the uneven concrete steps, and rap on the door. After some grumbling he swings it half open.

“Who the fuck are you… oh, shit Sam!”

I push the door open, exposing the trash pile he calls a home.  I waltz right past him.
His eyes narrow and lips purse as I kick the door closed with my boot and push him onto the couch. 

He springs up.“Bitch this is my house!  What the fuck you doing!”

“You know why I’m here.”  It is a statement, not a question as my body squares with his.

“Oh shit.”  He wipes his brow.  “I’m working on it, ya know.  I’ll get it to her by the end of the week.  Tell her that, Sam.”
I’m silent as he unravels like a ball of yarn.  Ignoring him, I make my way to the kitchen, opened the oven “Well, look what we have here,”  I whisper, pulling out a blue duffel bag  

“Oh yeah, I was gonna give that to you Sam.  To give to her, ya know His eyes are wide and wet, his mouth slightly open. 
I toss the bag by the door. Its weight makes a loud thump, rattling the windows.
Startled by the sound, his shoulders hunch as he folds in on himself.  Our eyes lock, and a tear runs down his cheek.

“Enjoy your beer?”
“Good, cuz it’s your last anything.”

Once I moved a step closer, his gaze breaks away.  He darts like a rabbit toward the door.  He isn’t fast enough.
I ram him in the knee with my boot, and his bone pushes out of his calf like a bent paperclip. Yanking him up by his greasy hair, head bends backward, forcing him to look up at me..

I love to watch them cry.

“Be sure to tell the devil that Sam sent ya,”  I cackle.

The butterfly knife opens.  I run it across his sweaty throat. His eyes dilate, a river of blood flows down his chest.  With a gurgle, he was gone, and this job was done.

Dropping him to the floor, the thud reverberates throughout the room. I dodge the pool of blood before it reaches my boots.  I don’t want to have to scrub them again. I snatch the bag, my primary mission, and stroll out the door to the Metro.

* * *

I exit at Metro Center, surrounded by thousands of strangers rushing home.  I walk to the third bench on the right, sit, legs crossed, and wait precisely six minutes.  Her bright blonde hair is in a high ponytail, mobile phone attached to her ear, a map unfolded in front of her. She sits next to me and places a large blue duffel bag at her feet, right next to the identical one I’d set on the tarnished concrete ground.

Avril ignores me. She speaks French loudly into her phone, a perfectly manicured index finger traceing the maze of the D.C. subway system.

When the blue line pulls up, I reach for the clone bag and make my way to Foggy Bottom.

I tear Sam’s bloody rags off my body, then promptly toss them in a dumpster. I pull on Jessica’s clothes and feel as if I’ve been born anew.  Light a match, throw the clothes into the heap of trash, a tornado of ash swirls around me.  The smell of the worn leather and pack of smokes brings me back to the last time Jessica prowled the night. 

I stroll the three blocks to Joel’s row house overlooking the Potomac, the blaze far behind me.  He opens the door before I knock.  The blue glow from the flickering TV hides the bags under his eyes.

“How’d it go baby?”  Joel’s hands rest on my hips, drawing me closer to him.

“You know how it went,” I whisper in his ear as my hand slides down the front of his jeans.


Jessica’s story isn’t over yet-to read the rest of her wild night download ‘Everyone Dies: Tales from a Morbid Author’ on Amazon here

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