On The Edge
On The Edge
(Second Edition)
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Secrets lurked amongst the intimate group of family and friends – secrets they hoped and prayed would never be revealed. But when Jackson Pryce is murdered in the wee hours on that frosty Christmas morning, the secret he kept about his investigation of the underground world emerges. Then Jackson’s handwritten notes fall into the hands of Detective Clay Stephens, his friend and former partner. Determined to find Jackson’s murderer – no matter where or to whom the road leads – one by one, Clay shines a light on all of their secrets. Yet, only one secret would bring all of their fragile worlds crumbling down. Only one secret would wreak havoc on all of their lives. Only one secret would keep them all living on the edge. In time, only one secret would break through for all to see. It was destined to happen…the only question is – when, where, and how? Would it be Bridgette’s decision to keep secret the large sums of money she quietly withdrew from her personal bank account, or that she sneaked off the Estate to spend a day of adventure with the one friend her husband desperately tried to keep away from his pregnant wife? Would it be David’s and Agnes’ decision to keep the question of their daughter’s paternity a secret, or that the man Bridgette knew as Uncle Jack and loved like a father shared much more with her mother than just a close friendship? Would it be Jeremy’s decision to keep hidden the sordid secret of his mother, Diana Robinson (alias Sara White) by claiming his parents were dead, or his night of lust and passion with his ex-lover, Fran McKenzie? Would it be Megan’s decision to keep hush-hush the shameful secret that she squandered away hundreds of thousands of dollars from her trust funds in the casinos, or waiting too late to disclose her relationship with another man – Reginald Douglas?


Fran was less than a foot away from the warmth and security of her Jaguar when she made an about-face and went back to finish her confrontation with Megan. And, this time, she was not leaving until the matter was settled to her liking. She had to save Jeremy from himself. He could thank her later, and she knew exactly how. Their night together had been blissful, and even if Jeremy weren’t ready or able to admit it, his marriage was kaput. Fran sprinted up the semicircular steps. She reached for the knocker, but decided instead to ring the doorbell. That’s when she heard a scream – a bloodcurdling, wailing, harrowing scream. “Help me! Please! Somebody! Help me!”

Overwhelmed with panic, Fran fled down the steps out into the yard, not questioning who was screaming, but what she should do? What could she possibly do?

“Somebody help me! Please!” Megan let loose another spine-chilling scream. “He’s going to kill me!”

Fran had to do something and fast. But there was no time to go for help. She ran around the side of the house, searching for an open window. There was none. She ran to the back of the house, kicked off her shoes, and raced up the steps to the balcony. She tried to enter through the French double doors. The right door was locked. The left door opened. Fran reached inside her purse and clutched the .22 caliber pistol she purchased right after the hearing. Her intention was to give it to Jeremy for his protection since no one knew the whereabouts of Reginald Douglas. But now Fran was certain she knew where he had been hiding, waiting to exact revenge on Megan, and on Jeremy had he been there.

Fran crept onto the encased porch and eased into the kitchen.  She slipped the phone from its cradle to her ear.  The phone was dead.  She tiptoed to the edge of the hallway. Megan’s desperate screams of horror grew louder, more frightening, almost unbearable to hear. Then came a loud, dull thud. Megan’s wrenching screams gave way to a deafening silence. Clinging close to the wall, Fran peeked into the hallway. She spotted Reginald Douglas dragging Megan’s limp body. Still clinging close to the wall, her finger loosely on the trigger, Fran raised the .22 caliber pistol, aimed for his chest, and began to slowly squeeze. Reginald Douglas disappeared into the den, dragging Megan along. Fran slid stealthily along the wall to the entryway of the den. She listened for any sound, any movement. Reginald Douglas started to talk – loud, insane babbling. Fran cautiously peeked into the den. She spied Megan lying motionless on the couch. There was no sign of Reginald Douglas. Then he suddenly reappeared holding a bottle of white wine. He popped open the bottle, leaned over Megan, and poured the wine on her face. Megan moaned, the first sign for Fran that she was alive.

“Now that’s the way I like it,” Reginald Douglas said, roaring with bellyaching laughter. “It wouldn’t be any fun if you were asleep. I want you to feel every inch of me.” He licked his wet tongue across her lips. “How do you like your wine? Taste good?” He tore off her lingerie and wallowed his face in her bare breasts.

“Please. Please. Don’t do this.” Megan begged, straining to talk, slurring her words. “I promise, I won’t…I won’t tell anyone. I promise.”

Son, women are liars. Never give them a second chance. When the chase is over, it’s yours for the taking. Let them know whose The Man.”  Reginald Douglas looked toward the heavens and nodded his head in agreement. “Yeah, Daddy. Yeah, you’re right. Look at her. So innocent. So naïve.” He began to cry – a baby whimpering cry.  “You’re a liar!” Reginald Douglas growled like a sick animal. “A slimy, wormy, rotten liar! How can someone this beautiful be so useless?” His sudden burst of laughter echoed in the room.  “Funny isn’t it, Daddy? I’m just like you and she’s just like Mama. You let Mama play you again, and again, and again. And I let Megan play me.” His voice abruptly became childlike, whimpering, near tears.  “But Daddy, I still want her,” he said, and looked toward the heavens.  “What do I do now?”

Son, women are like hot fudge sundaes. They look good. They taste delicious. But underneath they’re all the same. Have your fun, son, then move on to the next one, and the next one, and the next one, and the next one.” A menacing grin lit up his face. “Yeah, time for me to move on, Daddy. I’m going to have a little fun, first, okay? Okay, Daddy? Then I promise, I’ll move on.” His mouth crushed Megan’s with a bruising kiss to her lips, her neck, her breasts. He clamped his large hands around her neck and lifted her limp body until their faces touched. “I’ll make you an offer, lovely lady. If you make it real good, the debt will be paid in full. If you make it extra good, I’ll let you live to tell about it.”

Megan, her eyes screaming with fear, tears streaming down her cheeks, began to fight for her life – hitting, clawing, kicking, scratching, desperate to break free from a man who had completely lost touch with reality. Reginald Douglas straddled Megan, pinning her under his weight. She thrashed her head from side-to-side. It was all she could do. She was no match for him. He was as strong as he was insane. She stopped fighting.  She prayed. She prepared herself to die. Then she saw a weak spot; and, with every ounce of energy left in her body, Megan bore her teeth into his bare wrist, biting, gnashing, ripping, tearing apart his skin. Blood squirted.

“Dammit!” Reginald Douglas yelped, examined his injured arm, clenched his large fist, reared back, and swung with animal force. Megan collapsed. Her head slumped to one side. “What about that, Daddy? Am I being tough enough?” Reginald Douglas spoke in a childlike voice, and looked toward the heavens as if expecting a sign of approval. “See, Daddy, I said what I meant and I did what I said. Just like you. Am I The Man, now?” His wild eyes remained glued toward the heavens as if waiting for an answer. When you know how to put a

E.D. Arrington is the award-winning poet for ‘An Ending Of A Similar Kind,’ that was featured at the first African American North Carolina Book Festival.  A prolific writer, Arrington is the author of Stay The Course, a novel loosely based on her life experiences growing up in the rural South in the late 1960s and early 1970s; Forever Was A Day, The sequel to Stay The Course, a true-to-life exploration of the characters’ struggle to adapt to the complexities as an interracial family; Words Of Comfort: A Collection Of Poems And Inspirational Writings [select poems set to melodic music also available on CD – Words Of Comfort And Inspiration]; and, On The Edge, a tale of mystery, suspense, and secrets of the wealthy set in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.  E.D. Arrington is also the founder of “It’s Time To Read With Me!” – a  ‘read aloud’ enrichment literacy program made easily accessible to youth of all socioeconomic levels via the radio airwaves. Arrington has held youth and adults alike captivated by her spellbinding book readings. (www.edarringtonbooks.com)



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