This week's challenge from Flash Fiction Friday was to write about a detective.
F3 - Cycle 85: The Great Detective
My grandfather passed this last Friday, and where I would have normally covered or picked up any slack my fellow moderators may have left due to conflicts of life, there were more important issues obviously to deal with.
My grandfather was an avid reader. Many of the books in my collections are ones he passed on to me. He was never one to keep bookshelves or to look back. He knew I had wrote, but I shared very little of my writing with him. In part because my writing wasn’t his typical reading, he liked a good mystery, but not so much crime fiction. You can’t solve crime fiction before the pages end, and that’s what intrigued him most about mystery, applying his senses and solving the mystery before the master sleuth. He would have been a great detective.
So to honor my grandfather, I want you to write a short about a would be detective thrown into a mystery of your own design. Will this be his first mystery or his last?
Because my grandfather didn’t believe on limits in life, you can take your story as long as necessary, it only need to be a detective story and well due by Friday morning at 9am.
Prompt: Write a story about a would be detective.
Word Count: Open
Deadline: Friday June 29, 9 am
I decided to put my band of Fairy Tale Folk at a crime scene, and let one of them be a detective. 1428 words.
Fairy Tale Felon
"I didn't take your drugs," said Red.
"You all say that," said the witch. "But yet you were all in my place last night, when they were taken. Red, Snow White, Romulus. So, unfortunately, one of you did."
"Maybe you took them yourself," said the wolf.
"Come on Romulus," said Red. "Why would Agnes do that."
"I didn't," said Agnes. "But just to keep this neutral, I've asked Barney to look into it, as an outside party. I'm pretty sure he's in the clear, as he has a hard time even fitting into my place, and his system seems to neutralize any drugs he takes."
"She's tried different remedies and potions on me for the various ailments I've had," said Barney. "Nothing has any effect on my prehistoric metabolism. But I think I can help you guys figure this out. I'm not as dumb as I look. My dino-nose is even better that your's, Romulus, so I did some sniffing around. Last night's visitors to the witch's place were you, Red, Snow, and of course Agnes."
"So where were you, grandma," said Snow, smiling at the witch.
"Hey, show some respect," said Barney. "She was with me over at the coffee shop, from about 9 to 11, working on some scripts for stories. Her workshop looked OK when we left. When we got back at 12, Agnes went in and I started home. A minute or so later I heard her yelling for help, so I rushed back. I looked in - carefully - and her place was a mess."
"You've seen how I like to keep it all tidy," said Agnes. "Everything labelled and in it's place."
They all nodded.
"Did you figure out what was missing?" asked Red.
"She was able to narrow it down to a few things," said Barney. "I forget the long names for them, but it was two types of things really. One group was various uppers, energy potions, like amphetamines. And the other were libido enhancers."
"Say what?" said Snow.
"Sex drugs," said Agnes. "get you worked up and in the mood - physically and mentally. Not that you'd need any help for that."
"Hey." said Snow. "Lay off. You've been on may case ever since that Cat Fight story we did. I can't help it if you were cast as the old cougar perched on a bar stool."
"You looked pretty good, considering," said the wolf. "And little Snow looked pretty hot as that skinny little thing on the bar stool."
Agnes and Snow both looked ready to leap at each other, so Barney stepped between them.
"OK, calm down ladies," he said. "Agnes, as senior member here - meaning experience - you need to set a good example. Snow - you're new, and I know have been having problems adjusting to the changes."
"It's been a strain not doing the old tales anymore," said Snow. "And then having to adapt ourselves to all the roles we get in new ones. And in between, all we seem to do is just sit around."
"I used to give her some potions," said Agnes. "But I got tough and cut her back, figured it was time she sucked it up."
"Don't worry about me," said Snow. "I'm tough."
"You still seem stressed out, though," said Red. "And jittery as all hell. I thought you were still on those potions."
"Nope," said Snow. "I'm clean. Just nerves."
"well," said Red, "you about drove me crazy trying to keep up with you at the karaoke bar."
"I wondered where you ladies went last night," said Romulus.
"When were you at the bar?" asked Barney.
"We went down after supper," said Red. "Hung out together for a while, then we got separated. I ran into some old friends that insisted on buying shooters. Too many. too fast. I think I left around 10. Not sure, I was pretty sleepy by then. I just fell right into bed when I got back here to my room at the witch's."
"How about you, Snow?" said Barney.
"Not sure, I got bored and guess I left earlier. I was too tired to walk all the way home so I texted Rapunzel I wasn't coming and just crashed here on the couch."
"So did either of you see each other when you got back here?" Barney said.
Red and Snow shook their heads.
"Great," said Barney. "OK, how about you, Romulus?"
"I was home all night," said the wolf. "in my place out back. I did a webinar from 9 to 11, on dating and social networking. Nice source of extra revenue for me to help pay off the bills. Over 500 signed up to watch - I can give you a list if you want."
"I'd like that," said Barney.
"Anyway," said the wolf, "I don't need any uppers or sex drugs, I'm doing fine on my own."
"I do understand these all have a high street value," said Barney. "So someone could have taken them just to fence them. Just sayin'."
"Wasn't me," said the wolf.
"OK," said Barney. "Oh, one more thing. Was your session interactive?"
"No," said the wolf. "Some people sent in questions before, but for the show they just sat and watched. Flows better that way."
"Now you, Red," said Barney. "Why would you need any drugs?"
The wolf snorted, and Red glared at him.
"We, had an incident a while ago," said the witch. "Sorry Red, he needs to know. And it was all a misunderstanding really. Red was feeling in a rut for the past few hundred years, so came to me for a potion to sort of enhance Wolf's interest in her."
"Like a love potion?" said Snow.
"Sort of," said the witch. "Unfortunately she used too much and he was more than a little interested."
"He was all over me, it was just too weird," said Red.
"You weren't actually pushing me away," said Romulus.
"Red, you little devil," said Snow. "Who knew. But why would you want any of that now, you've got Bruce, your nice woodcutter."
"OK - this doesn't leave this room," said the witch. "Or I'll hex you all. But Red did come to me looking for a mild potion to fire Bruce up a bit."
"He is nice," said Red. "But he's pretty shy. Anyway, wasn't me."
Barney looked around the room. "And now we have Snow."
"Why pick on me," she said.
"Because you look like a junkie and act like a junkie," said Agnes.
Barney reached out a purple arm and snagged Snow as she ran at Agnes.
"Calm down," he said. "Nobody's being accused - yet. Here. sit next to me."
He looked at the crowd.
"I'm fairly new here too," he said. And didn't have too many years in my old stories to let go of. But it was still stressful. When I arrived, it was the woodsman, the witch, the wolf, and Red Riding Hood. You were a close group, and you did your best to make me welcome."
"You're part of our family now," said the witch.
"And what about Snow?" said Barney. "I know Red took to her, Romulus was pleasant too, although he's likely nice to anything in a skirt."
"Hey," said the wolf.
"Just teasing you, man," said Barney. "But Snow needs help more than I did, not just drugs, but some understanding and counselling. Things you are good at Agnes. Yet you've had a grudge on since she arrived. And to me, looks like a bit of jealousy that she's a pretty young thing, like you used to be. Am I getting close?"
"And now the distasteful news," said barney. "Something that shouldn't have happened, and I hope will never happen again."
He looked at Agnes, and held onto Snow's arm.
"I've also got very keen hearing," said barney. "And as I was leaving last night, before Agnes called out, I thought I heard some noises from her workshop. I had forgotten about them at the time but now they make sense. It was you, Agnes, trashing your own place."
Red and Romulus gasped, while Snow tried to leap at Agnes.
"You witch, you set me up!" she cried.
"Jeez, Agnes," said the wolf. "What's gotten into you? I thought you were our friend."
"I did," said Agnes. "Believe me, I'm so sorry. Barney was right. I've been a stupid and jealous old woman. Please, Snow, this is not like me. Can you forgive me?"
"Never, you hag," said Snow.
"I can't say I blame her," said Red. "I thought we had a nice happy family here, and could trust each other."
"I think you all can get over this," said Barney. "Friends care for each other, even is they do something stupid."
He gave Snow a gentle hug. "These are good people," he said. "And Agnes is - believe it or not - a nice person. So, never?"
"Give me some time," she said.