Friday, October 21, 2011

Fiction Friday: The Little Detective, Part 1

This story was my second-round entry into the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Competition. (Read my first-round entry here!) I placed first in my round, which means I'm moving on to Round 3! Hooray!

My genre - fantasy. My location - a crime scene. My object - a phone book. Here's my 1,000 word story!

Photo / Creative Commons / Dey
Randolph P. Higgins was an excessively perceptive child. He pointed out hair coming out of people’s ears at church, told his teacher that her boobs were too big for her dress, and once brought his mother to tears by counting out the wrinkles on her face.

Randolph’s father gave his son a leather-bound notebook, encouraging him to write his observations down rather than say them out loud. Randolph clutched the book tightly as he ran outside, thrilled by the challenge. His father was pleased with his own ingenuity, until two days later when his son returned with the book, pages filled with the scribblings of a child who saw everything. The man handed Randolph another blank book and made a note for his secretary to order more. Many more.

Randolph carried his notebook in a satchel as he rode his bike around town, stopping often to jot down his latest discoveries. The bench in the gazebo was chipped on the left. McCluskey’s Liquor was having a sale on whiskey. And the woman who worked at the gas station had just waxed her mustache again.

Photo / Creative Commons / Null Value
One morning, Randoph saw policemen setting up barriers near the post office and ushering people back as two detectives stood over a woman’s body. One man pulled a pad out of his pocket to take notes. Randolph perked.

“Detective!” he shouted excitedly, “I have a notebook too!”

The man barely glanced over before returning to his writing. Unfazed, Randolph opened his notebook to record his observations of the crime scene too. The dead woman wore a green dress. There were twenty-seven people standing in the crowd. A phone book flapped in the wind behind the taller detective’s left shoe.

Suddenly, a trenchcoat-clad figure appeared and picked up the phone book. The detectives didn’t notice. Randolph panicked.

“Detectives! He’s taking the phone book!” Randolph pointed at the short figure shuffling away. The tall detective looked over, annoyed.

“Go home kid, we got this.”

Randolph shoved his notebook into his satchel and mounted his bike, pedaling after the trenchcoat and the phone book. The figure turned into an alley and Randolph pursued, heart racing. Rounding the corner, he rode into a flash of blinding light and suddenly found himself in an office, surrounded by squat creatures sitting at desks, shuffling papers and answering phones with their three-fingered hands. He screamed.

The trolls looked up from their work, more puzzled than frightened by the human suddenly in their office. The trenchcoat-wearing troll approached, still carrying the phone book.

“Followed me, didja?” he said.

“You took the phone book from their crime scene,” Randolph accused.

The troll grumbled. “It was my crime scene too.” Holding up the phone book, Randolph could see a hole had been burned straight through it. “Warlock magic. Bad news. Third case this week.”

Randolph looked around. “You’re detectives?”

The troll dropped the phone book into an evidence bag. “You could say that. The name’s Berg. And who are you? I saw you writing in a notebook at the scene.”

Randolph tentatively pulled out his book. “I write down what I see around town. This is my third notebook this week.”

The troll scratched his chin. “You don’t say. Mind if I take a look?”

Click here to read The Little Detective, Part 2

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