Foul Play

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


BOOKSIE 2020 FLASH FICTION WRITING CONTEST

Foul Play

“I will forever be in your debt for any additional information you can uncover for me”, remarked Ms. Margeaux Beddington. The train’s conductor blew his whistle for last call. She glanced up at the oversized brass clock behind Mr. Johnson, it was now 10:10am and the morning sun was streaming into the station. The two of them stood discussing the trip’s final details in the middle of the morning’s hustle and bustle.  Within the hour he would be in the Grand Hotel’s ultra-prestigious Rose Devonshire Suite. The recently widowed, Ms. Beddington, was speaking in an intentionally discreet voice with the city’s top Private Investigator, Mr. Greggory H. Johnson, III.

  Two hours earlier Ms. Beddington had received a call from the police chief. Her husband’s body had been found in a compromised position in a hotel suite just three towns over. “Foul play is suspected”, the police chief said. Mr. and Mrs. Beddington both came from a long line of aristocrats and she knew she could not go to the crime scene herself.  After hanging up with the him, she had calmly placed another call and was relieved, even if briefly, to have secured Mr. Johnson’s investigative services.

For confidentiality purposes, Mr. Johnson was simply known as, “Cliff” and to ensure discretion he had been paid in cash. Ms. Beddington was determined to mitigate the damage that would be caused by the horrid details of her husband’s death. In fact, Cliff had precisely 24 hours to investigate the salaciousness of the crime and report back to Mrs. Beddington as quickly as possible. “I must have all the facts before the Sun Herald begins printing the Sunday paper”, she said.

Upon his arrival to the hotel, Cliff walked into the suite where Mr. Beddington’s lifeless body lay exposed and bound by a distressed leather strap. While there did not appear to be any visible wounds on his contorted body, his face had been frozen with an expression of horror and, earlier, foam had been seen oozing from his purple lips. The forensic team would not know the exact cause of death until an autopsy could be performed. The sun had now set and Cliff caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a pair of faint initials on the leather strap, barely visible to the naked eye, silently he read, “R.D”.  Making a note of his findings, he continued his search. A terry cloth robe hanging in the closet, appeared untouched, Cliff noticed one of the sleeves looked to have been slightly turned up. He leaned in to examine the robe further and when he did, he caught his second big break, a unique fragrance still lingered.

It was now late into the evening, the suite had been roped off, and Cliff had just finished writing his report. “How will Ms. Beddington react?”, Cliff sat silently on the train wondering what she would do next. He had returned to the station, ready, brief case in hand. The train’s whistle blew.


Submitted: May 08, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Stephene Klein. All rights reserved.

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