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| Category: || Mystery and Crime Flash Fiction |
Posted:|| June 27, 2016 Views: 99|
Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.
Prose Potlatch Challenge 26 June 2016
"No Laughing Matter..."
Thirty years in the force, and I still hate the sound of the phone waking me at night. "What?"
"Bruce? Joe. Mid-City Hotel. We've got a body in a bath. Believe you know him." Joe doesn't mince words.
"Oh, well, no big loss. Be there in half 'n hour."
The clock says three-thirty-five.
Shit, another night's sleep up the spout. Ted Jenkins. A petty crim. He's an idiot. If he had another brain it'd be lonely. Still, too young to die. Couldn't be more than twenty-five. He gave the impression of intelligence until he opened his mouth ...
I grab a coffee and jump in my rusty 1955 VW.
People should be asleep at this time of night. It's nearly four, for gawd's sake. Drunks, young people making out, what's the world coming to? Nineteen-sixty-six and these young punks think they own the world. No morals!.
I push through a small crowd. Forensics are there with Joe and the meat wagon.
"Hi, Joe. What's up?"
"Ted's face down in his bath. Nasty gash on his head. Dead about an hour. Body still warm as is the bath water. Big Johnny's there too."
"Yep. Somethin' funny goin' on."
Anything to do with Big Johhny's funny. The guy can't say a word without stuttering, and he swears like a trooper. Same age as Teddie.
"He won't stop laughing. Like it's funny Teddie's dead."
"Okay, I'll have a look."
I enter the shabby room. It's dank, has a single bed and small dresser.
In the bathroom I'm confronted by a comical sight.
Ted's lifeless body afloat in the blood-red water, and Johnny's propped against the wall, his big gut wobbling like a tub of jelly.
Back in the bedroom I spot a box near the bed. I pull on the latex gloves and open it.
"Any pharmacies get done over tonight?" I ask Joe as he walks in.
"Nah, but a dental outlet was."
"Well, we've solved that crime."
"Get in here." I help the laughing hyena off the floor. "Start talking."
Johnny makes an unsuccessful attempt to contain himself.
"I don't have all bloody night, Johnny. Did you kill Ted?"
He shakes his head. "Ha-ha-ha-hah!"
"I'll take you to the lock-up. What happened, Johnny?"
"Th-th-the f-f-f-f -" Another fit of laughter.
"Did you and Teddie do the dental place?"
He nods. "W-w-we were a-after d-d-drugs."
"Did you kill Teddie? Hee-ha-ha-hah."
I feel light-headed. Why am I laughing?
"N-n-no. T-Ted's me b-b-best f-fuckin' m-mate! Ha-ha-hah. H-he f-fell in a-a-and h-hit h-h-his f-f-fuckin' h-head! Ha-ha-ha-ha!"
"Hee-ha-ha-hah - he did?"
"H-h-he l-l-laughed s-s-so m-much, h-he ..."
"You saw him fall, and didn't save him? Hee-hee-ha-ha-ha-hee-ha-hah."
I've lost the plot!
"H-h-he w-was h-h-h-having t-too m-m-much f-f-fuckin' f-f-fun! I c-c-couldn't s-s-spoil it f-f-for h-h-him! Ha-hah-hah."
"What was so funny? Hee-ha-ha-hah."
Johnny points to the box.
I bend over and peer at the label. "Nitrous Oxide - Laughing Gas."
"Ahhh... he drowned in his own laughter. Case solved! Hee-ha-ha-hah."
Don't know where this came from... it just happened.
Prose Potlatch Challenge 26 June 2016
TOPIC - MURDER...
This is the prose equivalent to the haiku (I am copywriting / trademarking this description! LOL).
Writers should produce a complete short story within the word limit. But it must contain some kind of a twist at the end. The version of the 'Aha' moment of the haiku.
Characteristics Of Flash Fiction
1. Brevity. Regardless of the specific word count, flash fiction attempts to condense a story into the fewest words possible. To look at it another way, flash fiction tries to tell the biggest, richest, most complex story possible within a certain word limit.
2. A beginning, middle, and end. In contrast to a vignette or reflection, most flash fiction tends to emphasize plot. While there are certainly exceptions to this rule, telling a complete story is part of the excitement of working in this condensed form.
3. A twist or surprise at the end. Again, there are plenty of exceptions to this rule, but setting up expectations and then turning them upside down in a short space is one hallmark of successful flash fiction.
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