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Shampoo | Tiles | Shadows

There I was, hunched over the sink for a quick wash. It had been weeks since I left the office, and the only time I was ever alone involved lemon-scented shampoo. Unfortunately, such bliss was consistently short-lived. Just as I turned the squeaking tap off, the restroom door slammed open.

“He’s ready, chief,” my corporal reported.

Tossing my towel at the small-framed man, I crossed my fingers and stalked straight for the interrogation room. I had hope it was the end. That case had gone on for too long – those gruesome bodies and their weeping families – it was time to put it all to rest, as it should’ve been years ago.

“No more games,” I said.

“I was never playing one,” he replied.

“Good. So let’s get to it.”

A man in his mid thirties, with a healthy physique, and a head full of hair – dyed to conceal his premature aging – he mirrored the ordinary. But beneath the average and harmless facade was a monster. I had proof he’d stabbed and numbered his victims over the last fifteen years. And for the first time, I’d caught him.

“Do you plead guilty to the murder of-”

“I didn’t do it,” he casually interrupted, sliding into a comfortable position on his chair.

“You didn’t do it?”

“Without reason. I didn’t do it… without reason, detective. You’ll thank me if you knew.”

I frowned. I entered with intentions of withholding emotions, but that proved more difficult than expected. For one, I had an urge to knock his teeth loose – the devoid of remorse was provoking. But the first to lose their cool would lose the game. And I wasn’t going to lose again.

While I thought of a response to spur a direct confession, my antagonist straightened himself. Leaning forward, he added, “They were bad people, detective. All of them.”

“And that gives you a reason to kill?”

“A good reason.”

“Madeleine Matthews was a seven-year old math genius, about to change the world with her gift, before you brutally ripped her open. How was this child a bad person?”

“One day, she would be. Trust me, I know.”

“So you’ve decided to play god.”

“It’s all part of a greater plan, detective.”

“I see.” Done with the man’s crooked sense of justice, as it merely challenged my self-control, I went for the answer the nation needed to hear. “So, God, where are the other bodies?”

“What bodies?”

“Number three, five, six, nine, twelve, fifteen-”

“Not here.”

“I said, no more games,” I warned.

“I’m not playing any games, detective. They’re not here. You can search the whole country, and you’ll never find them… here.”

“I’m going to give you another chance. You either tell me now, or after I break every bone in your body.”

“Fine. Number three was sprawled on the bathroom tiles of his home in 1956,” he calmly replied. Apparently my threat made no difference, as he’d yet to lose his placid mien nor regain his sanity. “Number five was hung on a tree in a park in 2017. Number six-”

“Which park?”

“August, 2017.”

“I asked which park, not when.”

“It’s May, detective – it doesn’t matter which park. Shall I continue? Number six was left in a river in 1872. Number nine was buried in her backyard in 2038. Number twelve was-”

I slammed a hand on the metal table. “Enough,” I said. “You’re not making sense.” Rising from my seat, I glanced at the two-way mirror. Was my team hearing what I was hearing? Were they deducing him insane or concluding it as part of his game? I contemplated rounding them for a discussion, but I couldn’t shake off the anomalous feeling in the room.

“You’ll find them, detective – if you go back, or if you live long enough. All they are now… are shadows,” he said.

“Do you work alone?” I asked. Despite his modus operandi, it seemed as though he was implying something more with his grotesque accounts of history.

“Yes.”

“In 1873 and 2030?”

“In 1872 and 2038, yes.”

“Why the sporadic numbers and years?”

“I’m not stupid, detective. If I logged linearly, I would’ve been long caught. And not by you.”

“So you wanted me to catch you?”

“I need to tell you something, detective. But you wouldn’t take me seriously outside of this room.”

“I don’t take you seriously now. Do you expect me to believe you can… time travel?” I scoffed.

“That’s not it.”

“Then what is?”

He waved his hand, signaling me toward him. Chuckling, I strode to his side and leaned in.

“Tell me,” I prompted.

“I’m your son,” he whispered.

Pulling back with a laughter of disbelief, I rested my hands on my hip. “I don’t have a son,” I stated.

“Number twenty-six was bagged in the boot of her car in 1988. Her name was Sarah Weber. Sound familiar?”

At the mention of the name, I froze. Yes, it sounded familiar. And so was the beautiful face that came with it.

“Did you murder Sarah Weber?”

“Don’t worry, father. Once I leave this room, you’ll never see me again. I just wanted to meet you, that’s all.”

“You’re not leaving this room, son.”

“Oh, I will.” He smiled. “You’ll see.”

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Shampoo, tiles, and shadows were words given by monkeyeverythingblog. And this story, well, it was inspired by a Korean crime drama I’ve been binge watching. Since I expected a plot twist that didn’t occur on screen, I decided to write my own crime piece with these three ‘horror-inducing’ words. What do you think – would this make a decent drama?

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words and write a piece of your own. Since I didn’t go the horror route, perhaps you can do so. It would be pretty cliche though, but who’s to say – my story above is pretty cliche too.

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Original Works

 

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Dear Macy

Dear Macy

It was a dark afternoon. The clouds were thundering outside and the rain poured heavily. It was the perfect weather to work on my novel, so I grabbed my laptop from my bag and brought it to the fireplace.

My novel was called ‘BFF: Best Friend Fail’. It was about two best friends who grew up and did everything together, until they met a man. The man charmed the best friends and they both fell in love with him. Since they each could not give up on that man, they became rivals.

I know, it’s a rather cliché story, but my agent said there was a market for it. I finished writing the first draft a few weeks ago, and I was planning on improving it before sending it to my editor. Opening up the file on my laptop, I began with chapter one, ‘Dead Macy’.

No, that was not the title for chapter one. It was an error. I quickly changed the morbid word to ‘Dear’ and moved on. By the time night had fallen, I was done with five chapters and ready for bed. I also felt good about myself; only thirty more chapters to go!

The following morning, I decided not to waste any time and started on my novel right away. As I swallowed my buttered toast, I opened up the file and immediately groaned at what I saw. Those bold words did not seem to have saved the last time. After changing ‘Dead’ to ‘Dear’ again, I scrolled through what I had done the day before to check if the other changes were saved. Strangely they were, but I did not dwell on it much.

That day, I managed to go through ten chapters. By then I decided it was better to print it out and work on paper instead; I always wanted to be an English teacher. So before heading to bed, I hooked my laptop to the printer and left it to print while I snoozed.

When morning arrived, I put off working on my novel and decided to go for a walk. There was a small path behind my holiday cabin that led to a lake, and I was hoping for nature to inspire me. After my walk, I returned to the cabin and went straight to the printer. Rearranging the sheets of paper, I came across a word that was starting to annoy me. Quickly grabbing a red pen, I crossed out the word ‘Dead’ and wrote ‘Dear’ above it.

Checking my laptop after, I found that the error was still there. Frustrated that my laptop was acting up, I retyped the word, and printed the first page. I was confident this time, as I strutted to the printer only to find the same grim word.

Somehow having inkling that my laptop had revised itself again, I decided to ignore my novel all together and read a book instead. Maybe my eyes were playing a trick on me or maybe I was just too tired after my walk to the lake, whatever the reason was, I was not going to touch it that day.

Cuddling up on the couch as a light drizzle began, I let the crime novel take me on an adventure. Halfway through Detective Frigate’s theory on who murdered Lady Gloria, my phone rang. Grunting at the disturbance, I pulled away from the Detective’s office and answered, “Hello?”

“Hey Rosy, how are you?” my friend asked.

“Good. I was reading. You interrupted Detective Frigate,” I replied

“Nice to know you’re feeling better,” my friend said with a chuckle.

Better? I was not sick, but I responded with a ‘thank you’ anyway.

“So, how’s the book going?”

“It’s going fine.”

“I heard you’re going to let Macy take credit for it.”

“Macy?”

“Sorry. I know, it’s too soon to be talking about her.”

I did not reply. I had no idea what she was talking about.

“Anyway, it’s good to hear from you. Jake said he could not reach you, so I was worried.”

“Jake?”

Who were these people she was naming?

“The guy that you and Macy always hung out with? The one Macy liked?”

“Oh, Jake,” I said. The conversation did not go on after that, because I became extremely disturbed by chapter one’s title. When my friend hung up, I went straight to the pile of printed words and read the first chapter again.

Chapter 1: Dead Macy 

My dead friend Macy was always kind and generous, but she was only kind and generous with strangers. With me, she had a habit of taking everything, even the man I liked. Too bad for her now. She’s gone and-

I could not read on. It was not what I had written a few weeks ago. Somebody had changed it. As I checked the rest of the chapters, I found one titled ‘Goodbye Jake’ and another ‘Daddy’s Funeral’. I had no recollection of writing any of it and I began to freak out.

Maybe I was sick. Maybe that was the reason my parents sent me away. Maybe that was why a doctor came this morning. What was his name? Doctor Lake? No, I took a walk to the lake. Did he ask me to? Wait, where am I? Where’s Macy?

We’re supposed to finish this novel together.

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Occasionally, a random idea pops up in my head and I write it down. This story is one of them. There’s no ‘moral’ to it, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway.

Do let me know what you think of it in the comments below!

© 2014 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Original Works

 

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