- Title: Under The Watermelon Moon |
The Secret Life of Solomon Bradley
- Author: Conrad Brooks
- Genre: Crime Fiction
- Length: 176 pages
- Publication Date: August 27, 2015
Under The Watermelon Moon – Synopsis
Explore the mind of mild-mannered, serial killer Solomon Bradley as he details a chilling account of events that inevitably leads to his capture. As an investment banker by day and serial killer by night, he fervently searches for balance only to discover that his passion for killing far outweighs everything else. While police try desperately to unmask his identity and thwart him before he strikes again, the city of New York is left in distress. However, as he tries meticulously to evade authorities, he leaves the most critical piece of evidence behind; his DNA. During his cross-town spree of murder, he comes across two very important people who can easily determine his fate; Emily and Owen. Will he make the right decision?
As a child, I ventured into the darkness of my heart once — searching for the source of my contentment. Instead, I found void: A loveless abyss plagued with nothing more than the compelling desire of illicit gratification: The source of this satisfaction came from one thing and one thing alone — Death. Although death was merely the endpoint, it was the kill in which I found the most profound fascination. “How could this be?” I questioned. “I was only a child.” This unjustified desire went well beyond any humanistic reason. “Is this the only way?” The absence of answers caused questions to constantly peck at my being. Taunting me — mercilessly. I dared not mention of this — not to a soul. Indeed, I was a peculiar child; nothing like the others. While the others played and frolicked, I planned. Seated alone in the farthest of places amongst the thistles — a stone’s throw from the river’s edge. I watched and waited — yearning for that perfect moment. Though it never came in my youth, I longed to taste the sweet flavor of death: a perfect blend in its own right. Nevertheless, this desire has followed me well into my adulthood. To paint a perfect picture of myself one would require a perfect brush; still none exists. Perfection does not exist in mankind. Moreover, to claim impunity because of my imperfections would be rather foolish. Wrong is wrong. So here I stand in my rightful place, guilty of atrocities against the greater good of humanity, sentenced to damnation.
Fort Greene Maximum State Penitentiary A correctional officer slowly walks down the long hallway of a maximum state penitentiary with both thumbs tucked inside the inner loop of his holster, whistling the melody of his favorite tune. As he strolls by, several inmates recognize the tune and join in. He gazes from side to side, taking a head count of all the inmates he passes. As everything seems to be about right, he takes a mental note. He then approaches the last cell on his rounds. A lone solitary, cell — dark and desolate, situated in a clandestine section of the prison. The only audible sound is the melodic tap of a dripping faucet on the metal sink beneath. Correction officer: “Yo Bradley…wake your ass up!” He shouts with a deep domineering voice “You have a visitor,” the officer continues as he pulls out his baton and bangs it against the door of his cell, attempting to get his attention. “A visitor?” Bradley thinks to himself as he turns from lying on his side, facing the wall, rolling onto his back. With his eyes half shut, he turns some more to see outside of his cell. He sees the silhouette of the officer. “Is this some silly joke?” he mumbles. “Who the hell wants to see me?” “I was thinking the same thing.” The officer sarcastically replies. “C’mon! Let’s go!” “I’m going back to sleep,” Bradley replies as he rolls back onto his side. “C’mon Bradley.” “You haven’t had a visitor in years.” “What’s the harm?” The officer yells from outside the cell. “Ugh.” “Who is it?” “The damn tooth fairy.” “Listen.” “You really want to know who it is?” “Yeah.” “I do.” “It’s a reporter.” “A what?” “A reporter douchebag!” “You know.” “A person who asks you a whole bunch of shit about your life and probably doesn’t give two shits if you breathe or die!” “I know what a reporter is…damn prick.” Bradley mumbles under his breath. “Whatever.” “Let’s get this shit over with.” “C’mon.” “I ain’t got all day.” As he rolls out of his bed and sits his 5’5” frame on its edge, he uses both hands to wipe his face and stretch. His back now sits slightly arched from years of bad posture. He then slips his feet into his slippers neatly placed at his bedside. As he stands to walk over to the door of the cell, he completely bypasses the sink and laboratory and continues to the door. When Bradley reaches the door, there are at least six officers (all the size of defensive linemen) waiting to escort him to the visiting area. As soon as the cell door opens, the first officer goes inside and places shackles on both his hands and feet while two more officers stand behind him. He is then escorted from solitary confinement through general population, then towards the visitation area. His eyes prance from side to side, as this is the first time in many years that he has seen so many different faces. Heavy lies the heart of a man, shun from society and sentenced to desolation. Nevertheless, in his heart, he knows sin was the captor that led him there. Once he arrives in visitation, there is a middle-aged, white man waiting for him inside a well-lit, special interrogation cell. As soon as he walks in, he is greeted by a handshake. Reporter: “Ah, Mr. Bradley.” “How are you?” “My name is Frank Needleman,” the man says as he extends his right hand for a handshake. Mr. Bradley looks down at his shackled hands “How am I?” “Really?” “What is this all about?” “No need to be alarmed, Mr. Bradley.” “I’m here to film a documentary on your life.” “My what?” “My life?” “Yes.” “Your life.” “OK.” “What’s the catch?” He asks as he leans in a bit closer. “There’s no catch Mr. Bradley.” “I’m just here to document certain portions of your life.” “First, all I need from you is your consent.” “Then, I need you to answer my questions as accurately as possible.” “Does this sound like something that we can both agree on?” “Well…sure.” “I guess,” He mumbles, uncertain of what he was agreeing to. “OK then.” “Please be seated.” As Bradley looks down, there are two metal chairs meticulously placed facing one another. “OK.” Since both men are now seated facing each other, an officer kneels down to connect the shackles on Bradley’s wrist to a mount on the ground before joining the other officers to wait outside of the cell. The only occupants in the room now are Mr. Bradley and the reporter. The officers outside are ordered to wait on standby while occasionally peering through a one-sided fiberglass window keeping watch. While both men are now seated six feet apart, they both take a minute to get a real good look at one another. Once they both feel comfortable enough with each other’s presence, the questions begin. “For some reason, I pictured you being taller.” “Don’t let my height fool you, Mr. Needleman.” “Let’s get straight to the point Mr. Bradley.” “How many women have you killed?” The reporter asks. Taken back by his straightforward question, Bradley momentarily pauses. “Uh, Mr. Needleman, that is not something that I’m at liberty of discussing at the moment.” “At the moment?” repeats the reporter, smiling. “Then when?” “Mr. Bradley, may I remind you that you have already spent 15 years of your life in prison and the world still has no clue as to who you really are.” “I cannot interview your ex-wife, or your children because you are not who they thought you were.” “Therefore, I’m giving you a chance to show the world who you truly are.” “Do not forget, this is your final resting place.” “In any case, this first question is just one of a series of questions to help me paint the whole picture.” “Please do not be alarmed.” At that moment, Bradley takes a deep breath, and then runs his shackled hands through his fully gray, slightly balding hair and answers, “Fifteen.” “Wow.” “OK,” the reporter responds.” “Well, let’s get a little more specific.” “Can you take me back to your time living in New York?” “You know, in the one-bedroom apartment with the terrace.” “Uh, yeah.” “Sure.” “As a matter of fact, I’m going to let you tell your story without any questions or interruptions, OK?” “OK. Well… (Right away, Mr. Bradley begins his account of the events).
About the Author
Conrad Brooks, self-published short story author of “And There I Stood” and “Under The Watermelon Moon,” has been an avid writer of fictional literature for several years now. Although his previous works pertained mostly to political research, he has recently developed a passion for creative writing. Born on the island of Jamaica, W.I., he the youngest of three children and the only male born to Enid and Erald Brooks. Brought to the United States at the young age of 6 where he still currently resides with his wife and family, he has actively pursued his education and has acquired his B.S. at St. Joseph’s College, downtown Brooklyn. He is actively engaged in his community and regularly participates in community charity events. His extra-curricular activities consists of basketball, music production, caring for others and most-of -all, creative writing.