Since Lighthouse is being written entirely in first person, scenes like this will no longer appear in the text. This doesn’t make them bad scenes, however: they just don’t fit into the perspective. I’m trying to maintain some mystery and suspense in the story, after all. Anyway, here’s a murder scene from the original iteration of the completed novel for your reading pleasure.

Congressman Malcom Mackenzie, Republican from Connecticut, was a very confident man. Especially today.

He adjusted his tie and smiled smugly as he ignored the press and stepped into his limo, bodyguard following. Inside, his aide waited.

“The meeting went well, sir?” the young intern asked.

“Extremely, Jacob. It seems the rumors of a turf war in Hong Kong were true.”

“Was the analysis correct in that three groups are involved?”

“Quite so. The Yakuza from Japan, the Chinese Triad families, and the Russian Mafia. Nasty business. I hear one can’t walk down the street in Kowloon nowadays without catching a stray bullet.”

“And what are we going to do about it, Mr. Vice-Chairman of The House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee?”

“Why, talk to my friends in the Senate who know arms manufacturers and arrange shipments to all three groups, naturally. I am sure they can be contacted through their legitimate businesses.”

“Ingenious, sir.”

Mackenzie smiled and nodded, then frowned.

“This isn’t the way back to Georgetown. Driver?”

The driver didn’t respond. Instead, the limousine turned into an alleyway in downtown Washington D.C. as the sun began to sink under the skyline, ominous clouds surrounding it like a black cloak.

“Driver! What the devil are you doing?”

The limo came to a stop. The driver got out and opened the door. The bodyguard was the first one out, hand in his jacket. Mackenzie was out right after him, glaring at the driver.

“Now, what in…”

The driver took off her cap. This shocked Mackenzie, since his driver was usually male. She smiled at him invitingly as the bodyguard lurched forward. Mackenzie looked over to see the large man hit the ground, back covered in what looked like bullet wounds. But there had been no sound. The congressman looked around as Jacob moved forward, trying to get the woman between him and the shooter. Still smiling, the woman made a gesture, and Jacob fell back, gurgling, a pointed metal star lodged in his throat. Unable to scream, unable to pray, unable to even breathe, the young intern died quietly. Mackenzie felt his heart tighten in his chest.

“Malcom David Mackenzie.”

The voice was no louder than a whisper. But Malcolm heard it quite clearly.

“Harvard Law graduate, thanks to your father’s career and connections. On your third marriage, no children that aren’t in foster homes or juvenile hall, yet you pay no child support and won your last two divorce cases. Hence your comfortable lifestyle.”

Where was it coming from? Malcolm looked around, panicked. The woman was gone. His companions were dead. He was alone, and afraid. Someone was deliberately trying to intimidate him, and looking at the corpses around him, damned if it wasn’t working.

“Whatever they’re paying you,” he began, trembling, “I’ll double it. No, no, I’ll triple it!”

“I’m afraid you can’t buy your way out of this, Congressman,” the whisper replied. “But don’t worry. This is nothing personal. We simply have our duties to perform.”

“Damn it,” Mackenzie cursed. “Who are you? Show yourself!”

The answer was a flash of movement and the glint of dying sunlight off a steel blade. Malcolm felt something tug at his neck, then a sensation of falling. As he felt the street hit his head, he looked on in horror as he saw his own body fall to its knees in front of him. He wanted to turn, to see who had done this to him, but all he could do was blink and try to speak. His mouth moved, but no sound came forth. As he felt a raindrop hit his temple, then his cheek, he found the whisper easier to focus on. In fact, he thought, it was almost soothing.

“Your wives will finally benefit from your existence, from it ending. And no more innocents will suffer on foreign shores by your hands. Now, go and face your eternal judgment.”