Once Upon a Crime

799E8244-6AC6-47D8-9541-BD1E7AB9EF57Police Captain Rory has assigned me, Ace Detective Fandango, to investigate and solve a heinous crime. There are five people involved in this crime:

My job is to determine:

  • Who is the victim?
  • Who is the murderer?
  • What is the location?
  • What is the murder weapon?
  • What is the motive?

After examining all of the facts and conducting a series of interviews, here is the report of my findings:

Our victim, Emily, was found dead in her zombie flamingos garden. All evidence points to Teresa as the murderer. Teresa used a poison tipped pen to commit the crime.

As to motive, Teresa is a single mother with a teenage son. One day late last year, Teresa was told by her best friend, Paula, at a dinner hosted by Kristian, that there were rumors that her son was taking drugs.

Being the good, caring mother that she is, Teresa took her son to the emergency room, where he was seen by Dr. Tanya. The doctor ordered a blood and urine test, and, sadly, the results were positive.

When confronted with the test results, Teresa’s son broke down and admitted that he spent a lot of time after school over at Emily’s because he loved to play with her cats. One day, though, one of her cats was “in a mood” — you know how cats can be, right? — and the cat bit and scratched Teresa’s son.

It turned out that Emily, wanting to ensure that the boy’s wounds didn’t get infected from cat scratch fever, gave him a high potency narcotic in tablet form. The drug did work to prevent the infection, but it also gave the boy a sense of calm euphoria, a feeling that he began to crave.

Teresa’s son continued to visit Emily and her cats after school each day. But unbeknownst to Emily, he had persuaded Emily’s zombie flamingos, who were known to be a bit mischievous, to provide him with more of those euphoria-inducing tablets until he became addicted to them.

This revelation haunted Teresa. She vowed to seek revenge against Emily for having gotten her son addicted to the drug. As a wordsmith, Teresa knew that the pen is mightier than the sword and began to plot her revenge. She visited Kristian, with whom she, Paula, and Emily often dined. Teresa knew that Kristian kept a supply of rat poison in her home to keep the rats at bay during her frequent dinner parties. Teresa made up some story about seeing rats in her basement and asked Kristian if she could have some rat poison to get rid of them. Kristian was happy to oblige.

Back at home, Teresa took out a special pen and coated its tip with rat poison. When Emily invited Teresa, Paula, and Kristian to tea in her garden a few days later, Teresa brought her special pen and presented it to Emily as a thank you gift. Emily thought the pen was lovely, and thanked Teresa profusely. Paula told me that she heard Teresa tell Emily to be sure to lick the pen’s tip with her tongue to get the ink flowing.

A day later, Teresa and Paula came back over to Emily’s place. Emily was tending to her flamingos in her garden when Teresa gave her a copy of her latest book. After handing the book to Emily, Teresa asked her if she’d like her to autograph it. Emily said she’d love that and ran into her house to get the pen Teresa had given her the night before. “Don’t forget to lick the tip,” Teresa said to Emily, Paula recounted.

Moments later, Emily keeled over. Paula called for an ambulance, but by the time they got Emily to the hospital, she was gone. A postmortem conducted by Dr. Tanya confirmed the cause of death to be rat poison.

I arrested Teresa, who is now out on bail to care for her teenage son. Despite all of the evidence against her, Teresa claims that she’s innocent, denies having murdered Emily, and assets that she’s been framed. However, I find that claim lacks credibility.

Respectfully submitted,

Ace Detective Fandango.

Friday Fictioneers + First Line Friday

B4E31777-3AF4-49F5-BECE-CD4EC6DF892F“This was by far, the bleakest and blackest of Fridays,” Craig said, sitting with his wife in the park near the serenity of a series of small waterfalls.

“You say that every year on the day after Thanksgiving,” Anna said. “But yes, last night’s dinner was extreme.”

“I just can’t fathom how gullible and, yes, stupid, some of my relatives are,” Craig said. “I’m sorry, Anna, but this is it. No more family Thanksgiving dinners at our home. Never again. I can’t take it anymore.”

“Never say never,” Anna said, trying to console her husband. “Trump won’t be president forever.”

(100 words)


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt and for the  Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday prompt. Photo credit: Dale Rogerson.

3TC — Leftovers

6089801C-407D-4916-93D1-D6BE10ACFE38“What are we having for dinner, Momma?” Toni asked.

“I’m making homemade pasta tonight, sweetie,” Monica said.

“But what are you doing now?”

“I’m using a cheese grater to shred some parmesan cheese to put over the pasta.”

“How long before dinner will be ready, Momma?”

“Maybe an hour, honey,” Monica answered. “Why?”

“I’m hungry now,” Toni said. “Can I have a Snickers bar to tide me over until dinner?”

“No you may not have candy before dinner,” Monica said.

“Why not? I’m hungry!”

“First of all, it will spoil your appetite,” Monica said. “Second, you’ve been eating way too much candy lately and you know that sweets are bad for your teeth.”

“But Momma,” Toni pleaded, “I’m really hungry. I can’t wait another hour to eat.”

“Okay, fine,” Monica said. “You can have some of your father’s leftovers. They’re in the Tupperware container in the fridge.”

“But, Momma, I don’t like daddy’s leftovers,” Toni whined. “He tastes way too gamey.”


Written for today’s Three Things Challenge from Teresa. The three things are candy, teeth, and grater.

Shake a Tail Feather

Tickle with a featherKent spent much of the afternoon cleaning up his apartment and preparing dinner. He had finally persuaded the girl he’d been going out with for a month to have dinner with him at his place. He was excited at the prospect of spending the evening…and possibly the night…with her.

When Linda arrived, Kent welcomed her with a hug and a kiss and offered her some cheese, fruit, and crackers on a platter as an appetizer while he finished preparing their dinner of veal parmesan and pasta.

After dinner, Kent and Linda shared his favorite dessert wine and a pecan pie he’d picked up from his favorite bakery. So far the night had gone exactly as he’d hoped, with some pleasant conversation and a lot of laughs. But now it was time for Kent to make his move.

“Would you like to play a game?” he asked Linda, and she readily agreed. Kent went to his desk and pulled out two, long tail feathers, and with a wry smile on his face, asked her if she was ticklish. When she said she was, he admitted that he, too, was quite ticklish.

“So what is the game you want to play?” Linda asked.

“It’s called ‘see who laughs first.’” Kent said.

“And how do you play?” Linda asked.

Kent held up the two feathers. “Choose your weapon,” he said.

Linda picked one of the feathers and, with a bit of a wicked grin, said, “Now I suppose you’re going to tell me that the game is best played if we’re naked.”

“You are a very insightful young woman,” Kent said.


Written for Teresa’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are cheese, feather, and game.

SoCS — Dinner Reservations

1F089DFA-D925-49EE-903A-5942AF2892FBMy wife was waiting for me near the entrance to the restaurant after I had dropped her off and parked the car. “I’m really excited to be here. I read about it in the paper and people are raving. Thank you so much for taking me here on my birthday.”

“I knew you wanted to try this place, so I made reservations several months ago,” I told her. She squeezed my hand as we walked into the restaurant, which was packed. I looked at my watch and saw that we were a few minutes early. “Wait here,” I said to her. “I’m going to check with the hostess on the status of our table.”

When I got to the hostess’ desk, I said, “The Wheeler party is here.”

She tapped on the screen of her iPad and then looked up at me. “You said ‘Wheeler?’” I nodded. “How many in your party?” she asked.

“Two,” I said. She tapped on her iPad again.

“For what time?” she asked.

“Eight o’clock,” I answered.

“Do you have a reservation?” she asked.

“Yes, of course I have a reservation. I made it two months ago.”

She tapped yet again on her iPad and then looked up at me apologetically and said, “I’m so sorry, Mr. Wheeler, but I can’t find your reservation. Are you sure it was for tonight?”

“Of course I’m sure,” I said, a tone of indignation creeping into my voice. “Today is my wife’s birthday. When I made the reservation two months ago, I told them that and asked them to arrange for a special dessert for the occasion.”

“Would you excuse me for just a moment,” she said and headed back toward the kitchen.

My wife came over and asked me if there was a problem. “They don’t seem to have our reservation in their system,” I said. “I’m sure it’s just a glitch.”

“Oh, I hope they find it,” she said. “I’ll be so disappointed if we can’t eat here tonight.”

At that moment, a man came out, followed by the hostess who had been unable to find my reservation. He reached out to shake my hand. “I’m Henri, Mr. Wheeler,” he said with a slight French accent. “I am the owner and head chef. There has apparently been a mistake with your reservation, but if you’ll be patient with us, we can have a table ready for you in 20 to 30 minutes. Please have a seat at the bar while you’re waiting for your table and enjoy complementary cocktails for yourself and your lovely wife. And for your troubles, dessert will be on the house tonight. Is this satisfactory?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Très bien,” he said. “Lynn, our hostess, will escort you to the bar.”

Once my wife and I were situated at the bar and had been served our drinks, she leaned over and gave me a kiss, telling me how delighted she was that we would be eating at this restaurant and pleased that the reservation mess got straightened out.

“Yeah, me too,” I said, not mentioning to her that I had completely forgotten about her birthday until late that afternoon and had never made reservations at the restaurant.


Written for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. The prompt is the word “reservation.”