I’m pleased to say I have taken up another Flash Fiction Challenge. This one is being offered by Selena Wolff. The weekly challenge requires that the writer use her 3 “solitary” words, be of no more than 500 words in length, and be in the genre of the week.
For this edition of Flash Fiction Fridays, she chose the words Enigma, Conundrum, Perplexity, and assigned Mystery as the genre. Below is my submission for Selena’s challenge this week.
My hand rested on the Colt .45 in my overcoat pocket. This was the tricky part, where all am my work could come crashing down like a house of cards in the wind. The gun was my insurance policy in case that happened. I barely listened to the detective drone on about the perplexity of the case. I was busy watching the suspect, my mind painting a target between his eyes. Just one twitch, one word from him, and I would close this investigation myself .
I could still remember when his wife had walked into my downtown office. The woman had been a wreck. Through the sobs, she told me a story of an abusive power hungry husband, and the long trail of mistresses. She added that I came highly recommended as a private investigator, and that if anyone could help with her conundrum, it was me. Then she had collapsed onto my shoulder sobbing again. With her soft hair against my face and the scent of her perfume surrounding me, I realized she was special. Taking the case, I promised that I would free her from that life.
It had taken weeks to get the goods on her husband. But once I had decided to get my man, there is little that he could do to stop me. Close beside me on the couch in my office, she seemed almost seemed relived when I handed her the photos. Afterwards as I had walked her to door, she turned and softly whispered in my ear “thank you” and planted a kiss on my cheek. Later that night her husband had reported her missing. Two days after that, she turned up dead on a slag heap over in the cheap side of town. Hubby cried robbery gone wrong. I knew the truth. I could solve the enigma.
It wasn’t hard to walk the police through the details. Power hungry man marries for money, then ignores his wife while cutting the rug with every skirt he could get. The wife realizes whats happening and asks for a divorce. They argue. During the struggle he grabs her by the neck and strangles her. Taking her earrings to substantiate robbery, he dumps her in an abandoned alleyway and cries foul. A solid case. Open and shut. Any jury would give him the chair. The detective claps me on the back, thanking me again for a job well done.
Sitting in the darkness of my office, I drop the Colt back into the top drawer. Pausing, I pick up the earrings from inside it. I had kept my promise to free her from him. Just not in the way she had thought. I visualize her confused look as I throttled the life out of her. Smiling, I place my souvenirs back inside and pour myself a drink. There’s was a knock on the door. Opening it to a crying young woman, I greet my next client.