Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #25
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1)By John Howell and Entry 2) My own contribution.
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
Here is the image prompt.
Here is John Howell’s one line entry.
“So this is where he keeps his gin the old sot.”
John Howell can be reached here …
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
My contribution …
“Location confirmed, Catch 22.”
“Copy that. We’re four minutes out.”
A black SUV pulled up outside the residence and three men climbed out, dodged the crime scene tapes and strode into the building. Even the untrained eye could tell those entering that the old home reeked of expensive taste and enough money to indulge it. Their credentials were checked with raised eyebrows and questioning looks as they were pointed in the direction of the library on the second floor.
“Who’s in charge?”
“I’m Detective Nick O’Ryan. Who are you?”
“I’m Special agent Dan Tanner. I’m the man about to take over your crime scene, Detective.”
“On whose authority?”
Agent Tanner handed across his identification and the single page document. The detective took a good hard look and exhaled slowly. “What possible interest can this homicide be to your people?”
“This is a matter of national security. That’s all you need to know. Now regroup your men and stand down.”
The detective looked again at the paperwork, then shrugged in irritation. “I don’t have a choice.” The Washington P.D left the scene approximately ten minutes later.
Dan Tanner pulled on his latex gloves and then ran his eyes along each shelf of the bookcase, noting the leather-bound volumes of many classic pieces of literature all in Hard-Cover except for one. The paperback edition of Catch 22 lay on its side, and when moved it triggered the lock allowing access to the room. He entered slowly. The room faced the alley way, with stairs leading up to the roof. There was a desk in one corner and a bunk against the only external wall. He removed the tweezers from his pocket and lifted a blood-stained tee shirt from the floor. Blood spattered the wall above the bunk and the trail led them up the stairs to the rooftop.
The corpse lay around fifteen feet from the trapdoor. The amount of blood present indicated that the man had bled out. He’d had no time to access any assistance. His last words he’d scrawled in his own blood. “CIA”
Dan Tanner grunted and turned to his colleague. “So, is he saying that’s who did the hit? Or is he saying that’s who he worked for?’
“That’s what we’re here to find out.”
Dan Tanner rolled his eyes. “Now that could get messy.”
“That’s okay, boss. Messy is what I do best.”
The men laughed together for a moment. Dan asked, “So who called 911?”
“The housekeeper. She’d downstairs waiting in the sitting room.”
“Have the homicide boys talked to her yet?”
“They’d just begun asking questions as we arrived, there’s a lot more still to ask. You wanna handle that?”
Dan walked into the sitting room, introduced himself and showed the woman his credentials. “I know you’ve already been asked a few questions, Mrs. Adams. I’m afraid I need to clarify a few of them again.”
“Can we just get this done so I can go home?”
“How long have you worked for Michael Cavendish?”
“What prompted you to report him as missing?”
“I deliver his evening meal every night at precisely seven o’clock and pick up the tray at eight. Night before last his tray was untouched and exactly where I’d left it. That’s never happened before. He didn’t touch his breakfast tray yesterday morning, or his diner last night either, so I got worried and pounded on the wall. Then I noticed the room behind the bookcase was open. I, … I went inside and I saw all that blood so I called 911.”
“Had your employer seemed different lately? Was he agitated about something?”
“I’ve never met the man. All my orders came via the telephone, and my weekly pays always waiting for me right where I leave the dinner tray.”
“So, check? Money transfer? How are you paid?”
“Always in cash. But you can check with IRS. I always pay my taxes.”
“Did your employer have any unusual visitors lately?”
“The only people who ever came to the house were delivery people. He didn’t have anyone else stop by in the six years I’ve worked here. I don’t ask questions. I just do my job, collect my pay, and don’t get too curious about anything. Those were pretty explicit instructions when I got this job.”
Dan Tanner asked a few more questions. Conferred with his colleagues and called in his findings.
CNN Breaking News.
The downtown area was rocked by an explosion approximately forty-five minutes ago.
No loss of life has been reported. The building was believed to be empty at the time.
First responders have told us that the premises have been completely destroyed by the blast and the resulting fire has left only a smoking pile of rubble at the scene.
We’ll be first to break further news as it comes to hand.
Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments. I will as always featuring each new contribution as I receive them.
I may be reached here …