The Missing Minute

The word of the week for the six-sentence story prompt is SPACE, and while my first thought was the final frontier, thank you Star Trek for that brainwashing,  I decided instead to go with a space as in an absence of something, in this case a memory of a single minute of time.

Most of the time a minute was just a minute, meaningless without the minutes that surrounded it, and then there was this minute.

This one minute of her life where there was nothing, a blank space where the memory should have been, preceded by the minutes of fighting, and followed by the minutes of far too much blood.

She was still in shock when she was taken into custody, her lawyer showing based on the news rather than a call, and she barely registered his outrage as he spoke with the police, getting her released as no charges were being filed.

She was arrested again days later, then out on bail, living as a yoyo, flitting in and out of prison, until a trial that would determine where the yo-yo ended its travels.

There were police, psychiatrists, experts, and witnesses, all paraded in and out of the court room, but In the end the facts weren’t clear, as despite the party being in full swing, no one saw who fired the fatal shot at a victim everyone had motive to want dead.

She wished that she could appreciate the reading of the verdict, revel in the not-guilty finding, but there was a minute of her life where there was only blank space, and so she would have to live the rest of her life never knowing the truth of the question, had she done it?

Third Time, Not the Charm!

The word of the week is STRIKE for the six-sentence story prompt by girlontheedge.  This week we will see the story of Conrad, an ex-con with really bad luck, who agreed to take his cousin to the corner store, and has come to seriously regret this decision.  It’s one of those, people see what they want kind of situations, and while I believe most of the “I was just there” defences are crap, some of them  are probably on the level…


Conrad was standing in line at a seven-eleven, trying desperately not to break down in tears as his cousin held a gun to the cashier’s head, demanding all the money in the till.

He had no idea that this was what Joey had in mind when asking him for a ride, and since Joey had been the only one in his family to give him a shot after his second stint in prison, he hadn’t really been in a place to say no.

He wouldn’t have said no if he could though, his cousin was a good guy, clean cut, working class, and he was letting Conrad sleep on his couch until he got a job that paid enough to get a place on his own.

Of all the people in Conrad’s family, Joey was the last person he would have suspected to pull this kind of shit, but now he was here and there was a gun, and the sounds of sirens in the distance.

If it had been after his first arrest he would have been trying to talk Joey down, after all, murder in the commission of felony fell on all participants, and while he was not participating, Conrad had been around the block a few times now, he knew there wasn’t a snowballs chance in hell people would believe that he was just an innocent bystander.

It didn’t matter if Joey got away, or if he killed everyone here, this would be counted at Conrad’s third strike, he would be in for life, so he stood clutching a bag of chips and a chocolate bar, closed his eyes, and waited for it all to be over.

One Day More

So this was written for the six-sentence-story prompt by girlontheedge. The prompt was LOST, and my inspiration was the lost boys. That said, this got more than a little sad, and is written from the perspective of the detective on the case. It still feels a little clunky, but I am posting it anyways.

Another day, another missing child, another parent looking me in the eye and lying about what happened. They weren’t all bad parents, some were trying their best, working two, three, even four jobs to put food on the table, but at the end of the day it meant they didn’t know where their child was most of the time.

They all sat at the table, asking me to find their children, and became defensive, and then hostile as I asked question after question they couldn’t answer. I would explain, as gently as I could, that no, it was not an interrogation, but what do they like, where do they play, and who are their friends, were the things I need to know to find them.

Then I promised to do everything I could to find their baby, even knowing that the chances were that the child was lost for good. I worked 20 hour hour days, desperate to follow the trail, until it went cold, when I would explain that we were still looking, but I had been assigned a new case, and it was a new day, another missing child.

Not Quite Right

So this was written a little out of desperation, and the reason I am going down to bi-weekly postings of short stories in the new year. I grabbed a random prompt from Agirlnamedjana’s prompt account on tumblr.

“When they tried to dig up the body, to everyone’s surprise, it was not empty. There were more bodies in the casket than expected.”

I wrote the following in about 30 minutes, and I highly recommend her blog for anyone who is looking for some inspiration.

We all stood around the open casket, dirty, sweating, and horrified. It was supposed to be empty.

We were crime enthusiasts, or at least thats what we liked to call outselved. It was a litle weird, but we had all watched a few too many procedural crime dramas, which led to true crime dramas, which lead to this, which even I admit was really freaking weird.

We had been following the case on the news, until it it ended in the supposed death of the suspect, who had been proven the kiler post mortem. The thing is, the crimes didn’t stop, not entirely. Well, they did in our town, but those of us who fanatically track this stuff online found that there were crimes with similar MO’s a few states over.

There were just enough difference that it wasn’t flagging on any databases, but there was something about these new murders that just made you know that it was the same screwed up guy. Then they stopped and another set of similar, yet different murder started in another state.

Some were saying partner, others copycat, but my little group of weirdos, we had a different idea entirely. With a copy of the autopsy, forensic results, and deterctive note. I know, you want to know where we got them, but even I am not entirely sure. Suzie started to imply sexual favors and we all decided we weren’t going to ask any follow up questions.

Anyways, everything we had was conclusive right down to dental records, except this one small thing, the reason none of us could let this go, the damage from the grenade that ended up going off in his hand, it was his right hand, and this guy was most certainly left handed. Why would he have been throwing with his non-dominant hand.

Some illegal hacking, more of Suzie’s favors, and we had some CCTV footage that had a guy that looked super similar leaving the scene, and then around town for a few days, and then turning up where the next murders started.

It should have been enough, a slam dunk, but the cops wanted this over with. The bad publicity from not catching this guy for so long was haunting them, and they wanted it over. There would be no more investigation. Even if it did look like he had faked his own death and was murdering people elsewhere, because, well, it was elsewhere and so not their problem.

We reached out, I swear we did, to other communities, other cops, but ultimately, we got nothing. No one wanted to touch this with a ten foot pole. It was bad news, and spoke of police maleficence that no one wanted to be the harbinger of.

So we stewed, and then we sulked, and then we came up with a really dumb idea. If, and it wasn’t really an if because we knew it was true, the killer had faked his own death and was on a killing spree, then there was an empty coffin in the local cemetary that would prove as much.

We snuck in shortly after dark, and even with 6 of us, it took a suprisingly long time to dig down to the casket. Six feet is a lot of dirt, and by the time we reached it, we were all painfully aware of why people used machinery to dig graves nowadays.

What we were not expecting when we finally popped it open, was the smell. I, I don’t really know how to describe it, decomposing human flesh smells so much worse than I ever could have imagined. There was a body in there, and if it hadn’t been for Suzie’s gasped “We were right.” I wouldn’t of looked.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. The casket wasn’t empty, we were wrong about that, but the killer in question was a man, 6’3”, dark hair, and all three of the bodies jammed in the casket were short blond women. I could hear the sirens approaching and I wasn’t sure what I was going to say, after all, we were right, but oh, so wrong.