The Interrogation

DB9380F7-F0D3-4829-A5CB-F35A31CE1BC0 “We’ve got you dead to rights,” the first detective said.

“So you might as well confess because we’ve got the goods on you, pal,” the second detective added.

“What are you talking about?” I asked. “Why am I here? What are you accusing me of.”

“Oh, playing it coy, are you?” detective one said. “We got a search warrant and found the body in your basement.”

“The body?” I asked. “What body? And what’s the deal with a search warrant?”

“We got a call from your neighbor and she said she saw you drag a body into your house last night,” detective two said.

“You mean old Mrs. Higgenbotham?” I asked. “First of all, she’s blind as a bat. Second of all….”

“We saw the damn body, pal,” detective one interrupted.

“The guy’s face was a mess and you put a plastic bag over his head,” detective two said. “Probably death by asphyxiation.”

I couldn’t help myself. I started laughing. “Listen, my job is to design window displays for the local department store. What I dragged into my house last night was a plaster mannequin that I need to repair. 7F070DE8-E3F2-42C5-BE08-B5C3D0E8E8DBDetective one’s cellphone rang. “It’s the medical examiner,” he said to detective two. Then, talking into the phone, he said, “Yes, Doc, I see. Yes, I’m sorry for wasting your time, Doc.”

Then he looked at me and said, “You’re free to go.”

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt from Donna McNicol (photo credit: MicheleBlanche) and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Sunday Writing Prompt.

Sunday Writing Prompt — Paybacks Are a Bitch

1369DED4-11F8-4620-A1E3-C67A0D958A85Jason was taken by surprise when he heard the landline ringing. He hadn’t used the landline in years and, given that he hadn’t received or paid an invoice from the old phone company, he didn’t think it was even still connected. He hesitantly picked up the old receiver and listened to about five seconds of loud static. He was about to hang up when he heard a familiar voice say, “Jason, it’s Jonathan.”

Breaking out in a cold sweat, Jason slammed down the receiver. The phone immediately starting ringing again. Jason picked it up and held it to his ear. “Don’t hang up, Jason,” he heard the voice say.

“I must be having a nightmare,” Jason said. “There is zero chance that I’m awake.”

“Oh, you’re awake, I can attest to that,” the voice said.

“Impossible!” Jason said. “You’re dead, Jonathan. I know because I killed you.”

“I thought we had a strong bond, Jason,” the voice said. I thought our friendship was real.”

Jason’s voice took on a snide tone. “You call what we had a friendship? We were business partners until that time you talked me into taking that excursion to the Cayman Islands, remember? That’s when you dropped the bomb on me and said you were wresting control of the company we built together from me.”

“Jason,” the voice on the phone said, “you and I both know what you did. You were embezzling money and were bleeding the company dry. You left me no choice but to squeeze you out.”

“There’s always a choice, you bastard,” Jason said.

“You’re right, Jason,” the voice said. “And you made a choice to sabotage my scuba diving tank. Do you have any idea what it feels like to drown?”

“You deserved to die, Jonathan,” Jason said. “You tried to steal my company from me.”

“It was our company, Jason,” the voice said. “But you know what they say about paybacks, right?”

The electric shock that came through the receiver of the old landline phone took about 30 seconds to fry Jason.

“Paybacks are a bitch,” the voice said.

Written for this week’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The tale I chose to tell was a slight variation on this theme: Imagine that you receive a call from the other side from a person now deceased but once significant in your life (for better or worse). You now have the chance to tell them whatever you like, including any unfinished business they may have had. It could also fit into this theme: Imagine you receive a call from someone who wishes to connect or reconnect with you. This can be a high school sweetheart, a child placed for adoption, a childhood friend, an estranged relative, etc.

Also written for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (zero), Your Daily Word Prompt (attest), Word of the Day Challenge (friendship), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (snide), Ragtag Daily Prompt (excursion), and The Daily Spur (control).

A Fish Out of Water

31CB2DA8-B3B3-4482-B97C-F4086E27A2E7When I was still working, I was part of the company’s sales organization, even though I wasn’t a salesman per se. My role was essentially technology sales support.

The sales organization would stage an annual client appreciation conference, a four-day extravaganza usually at some ritzy downtown hotel in a major city or at a fancy resort. There would be motivational speakers, including the raspy-voiced head of sales, who attempted (but mostly failed) to give a riveting, rah-rah presentation. There were product demonstration halls populated by pulchritudinous women in skimpy outfits, which is where I, as a sales support guy, would spend most of my time showing off our state-of-the-art technological solutions to the attendees. There were food halls with gourmet hors d’oeuvres, including such delicacies as sushi and platters piled high with fresh shrimp, crab, and lobster. There were sumptuous dinners and social events in the evenings that occasionally became quite rowdy.

You might think, as someone who was required to attend these overblown affairs, that I would have been thrilled to be there. But I hated having to participate in these meetings. I was never really comfortable at events like these and, as a rather introverted individual, I felt like a fish out of water. I perceived these meetings to be not only a waste of my time, but a colossal waste of the company’s money.

But now that I’m retired, it is indeed my pleasure to never have to attend this kind of wasteful nonsense ever again. Yay!

Written for yesterday’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where we are asked to write a post about the concept of “a fish out of water.” Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (raspy), Your Daily Word Prompt (riveting), Ragtag Daily Prompt (pulchritudinous), Word of the Day Challenge (rowdy), and The Daily Spur (waste).


Sunday Writing Prompt — The Ram’s Quest

Ram in the MountainsMindlovemisery’s Menagerie has presented us with a Sunday Writing Prompt that is supposed to be a story about a “spiritual quest.” We are instructed to “pick a spirit animal” and then to pick a destination, an activity, an obstacle that must be overcome, and a lesson learned on the journey.

This won’t be easy for me because I’m not a spiritual guy. Thus I don’t really have a spiritual quest. And when it comes to a spiritual animal, well, I don’t really have one of those, either. But I do have a zodiac animal, which is a ram, since I’m an Aries. That said, I am not one who believes in all that astrological crap, no offense to those of you whose lives are guided by the constellations or whatever.

See, not a spiritual bone in this practical pragmatist’s body. But that has never stopped me from pretending to be something I’m not. So here goes.

A ram named Dango was looking for a new place to live. He had been asked to leave his old residence because he was so hardheaded and stubborn and would often butt heads with his neighbors, as rams are wont to do. Dango decided that he wanted his new place to be near the ocean because he was sick and tired of living in the mountains, where rams are wont to live.

Dango interviewed a bunch of real estate brokers before he finally settled on a unicorn by the name of Mr. Horn. Because unicorns are colorful and have vision and imagination, whereas rams tend to be rather dull and are pragmatic and practical, Dango thought that Mr. Horn would be a perfect complement in his quest to find a place by the ocean.

Dango and Mr. Horn searched high and low and far and wide for a suitable place near the ocean, but the hardheaded ram was resolute in what he wanted. Mr. Horn came up with options that would have pleased any other creature, but Dango was very particular, as rams are wont to be.

Poor Mr. Horn was about to give up on finding a place by the ocean that Dango would find acceptable. He’d already invested countless hours showing the stubborn ram places where he could comfortably settle down. Just as Mr. Horn was about to tender his resignation as Dango’s real estate broker, Dango showed up at Mr. Horn’s office and said to him, “Mr. Horn, I’ve had an epiphany. I’m sorry that I’ve been acting like a rolling stone. I think it’s time for this ram to gather some moss. I’ve learned through this process that you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.”

Sunday Writing Prompt — It’s John Lennon, Dude


“It’s a picture of John Lennon when The Beatles were going through their psychedelic phase,” I said.

“That’s what you see?” he asked.

“Sure. The purple sunglasses, the rosy cheeks, the fu manchu mustache, the long hair. It’s definitely Lennon. No question.”

“Pink hair?”

“Psychedelic colors, man,” I said. “Like ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,’ you know what I mean? Like ‘tangerine trees and marmalade skies.’”

“And what is that on Lennon’s head?” he asked.

“It’s his Sgt. Pepper hat.”

“And those shapes on both sides of his head?”

“Dude, don’t you see it?” I asked. “That’s the visualization of the music that is inside of his mind as he’s composing a song. In stereo!”

“May I ask you something?” he said.

“Sure, feel free. Go for it.”

“Are you tripping on acid right now?”

“Funny you should ask, Dr. Rorschach,” I said, smiling at the psychologist. “That’s a very distinct possibility.”

Written for this week’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie.