It was on Wednesday night when a delicious wrap of 223 calories went missing from the kitchen table. The burrito, of greens and beans, had been prepped for a simple dinner. Having not eaten the entire day, I was looking forward to savouring it. But just before I sank my teeth into its glorious flesh, the house phone rang. Briefly leaving to attend a common case of ‘wrong number’, I returned in horror to find my wrap missing. Who had eaten it? There were only two suspects.
The first was Mr Ridley. Mr Ridley wore fake moustaches, as he was very fond of playing detective. He had an unrepressed love for mystery novels. And I wouldn’t be surprise if he created a crime just to solve it.
Minutes before the incident, Mr Ridley was in the hall. A stone throw away from the kitchen, Mr Ridley saw me assembling the masterpiece. When the phone rang, the 46-inch television was playing a rerun of Sherlock. It seemingly grasped all of Mr Ridley’s attention, as he wouldn’t leave his seat to answer the call on my behalf. However, his oblivion of the monotonous ring was suspicious. I toyed with the possibility he feigned ignorance to steal my meal. So, I questioned him.
“Did you eat my burrito?” I asked.
“No,” Mr Ridley replied.
“You could’ve asked me to make you one, if you were hungry. You didn’t have to steal it.”
“Why would I steal your burrito? I don’t even like burritos.”
“That’s the thing – why would you steal, when you don’t like them?”
“Exactly. Why would I?”
“Then who ate my burrito?”
“I don’t know.”
“There was no one else at the scene of the crime.”
“You could’ve misplaced it.”
“Well, it wasn’t me. But if you want me to help solve the case-”
“It was you, wasn’t it? Give me back my burrito.”
“I don’t have it. I never did.” Mr Ridley shrugged.
Seeing as Mr Ridley wasn’t admitting to the crime, nor were there any physical evidence he’d committed it, I had to consider my second suspect. His name was Gregory Pluto Junior. I just call him Pluto.
Pluto lived with Mr Ridley and me. He didn’t have a place to stay, so we rented him the guest room. I’ve never met Pluto until he arrived at our doorstep. He was a friend of Mr Ridley’s, and the pair shared a common passion for adventure and mystery.
On most nights, Pluto and Mr Ridley watched Sherlock together. That night however, Pluto was nowhere to be found. He wasn’t in his room. He wasn’t in the garden. He wasn’t even responding to my call. Where could he be, if not hiding and devouring my delicious dinner? Then again, if Pluto did commit the crime, was he capable of executing it on his own?
Now, I did consider waiting until the next day to question Pluto – when he showed up. He was never gone for long. But, I had an inkling the suspect was nearby. Thinking Mr Ridley might’ve witnessed the crime, I switched the television off for further investigation.
“Where’s Pluto, Ridley?”
“I told you, I didn’t steal your burrito. Now please, let me watch Sherlock in peace.”
“Where’s Pluto, Ridley?” I repeated.
“I don’t know where Greg is. Did you call him?”
“He isn’t answering.”
“If it isn’t Pluto, then it must be you.”
“I. Don’t. Eat. Burritos.”
“Did you see what happened then?”
“I was watching TV until you turned it off.”
“Liar. You helped him, didn’t you? You know Pluto couldn’t have stolen the burrito on his own. So you helped him. You’re his accomplice.”
“Ha! Now who’s the one reading too many mystery novels?”
“Seriously Ridley. I need to eat.”
“Go make another burrito then. Is that so hard to do?”
“Oh… So you did steal it. Or helped steal it. Just confess – tell the truth.”
“Fine, I ate your burrito. You happy now?”
“No. You’re covering for Pluto.”
“Yes, I’m covering for Pluto. Now give me the remote.”
I narrowed my eyes. Tossing the remote at Mr Ridley, he shifted in his seat in reach for it. And when he did, the front door opened. No, it wasn’t the suspect Pluto.
“I thought you guys would be hungry, so we bought pizza on the way home,” Mr Watson said.
“Ah, real food!” Mr Ridley exclaimed.
“Where’s Pluto?” Mrs Watson asked. “Have you kids fed him yet?”
“No. He wouldn’t answer my call,” I replied.
More confused than before, I thought through my theories. There was Mr Ridley, who could’ve eaten my burrito despite claiming dislike. He was clearly hungry, seeing as he wolfed down the pepperoni pizza. And then there was Pluto, the smart canine that could’ve stolen my food by leaping onto the kitchen table. Whether Pluto had the help of Mr Ridley, it was another theory. So what really happened? Who was the culprit – or should I say, culprits?
For now, it remains a mystery unsolved. Perhaps one day, the truth will surface. And perhaps breaking the fourth wall will help uncover it. After all, ‘nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person’. You being another person, what do you think happened?
Ridley, burrito, and pluto were words given by Mr Ridley. The idea to write a mystery piece wasn’t planned. It came in a snap and I rolled with it, drawing inspiration from The Case Files of Sherlock Holmes. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of mystery. But, it was certainly fun to write.
Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words and write a piece of your own. And while you’re at it – concocting a story with such random words – leave a comment below with 3 more random words of your choice. Go on, I’m up for the challenge.
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3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.
(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)