Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Short Story: "One More Kill" by Moss Tadrack
a short story
from MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE, July, 1977, pg 106
First Sentence: "Brakes squealed outside Motel Room 31."
Last Sentence: "Then, finally, there were no more slides."
Author: This author turns out to be of some titillating interest. Moss Tadrack was a pulp fiction author of some tawdry titles in the 1960s such as "Shocking Nymphs!" and "Carnal College". Tadrack is actually a pseudonym for Warren H. Carroll, a slightly less shocking author of a couple of pulp mysteries from the same era. It seems by the '70s he had finished with novels and was writing short stories for magazines.
As a Tadrack title this story deals with the seedier side of life. A woman living in a motel waits for her thieving, bank-robbing husband to come home from a heist. We also learn that he often kills during these events and that this time had been no exception. Lynda is fed up with Sam as he'd promised to take her out that night and instead he's brought his partner George home with him and they plan to go out on the town. Sam gives Linda the task of organizing his slide collection, in which he's collected photos of each of his kills since his teenage animal shots to his most heinous killings. Lynda numbly goes through the slides as she sits alone drinking that night but she knows there is a slide in here somewhere that has an answer for her and that she must find it. Going through the motions watching corpse after corpse appear on the screen in front of her she suddenly knows she has found what she is looking for, a slide that is completely different, no corpse. Instead it is a picture of herself and a man in a mask, but she knows who he is and finally, a lost memory returns to her. She immediately calls the police and reports her husband as the perpetrator of that evening's bank robbery and killing. The final showdown is not unexpected and while Lynda appears gloomy, there is a hint at a possible healing for her. A good story, quite different from the others I've read in this magazine so far. (4/5)