Posted in Mystery Month, Short Story Sunday, Writing

Short Story Sunday #60

SSS Mystery Man One

            Lilah placed her laptop on her lap and watched the screen light up. She picked at her fingernails patiently not knowing what else to do as she waited. She glanced over to George who was sitting at his desk on the other side of the office. He was clicking away on the mouse of his desktop computer looking very serious. Lilah wondered if he was in the middle of something important, but they didn’t have any cases for the time being. When her laptop finally turned on all the way, she pushed the thought out of her mind and logged onto her blog.

She smiled at the many views she had on her blog stats. She had a lot of “likes” on her recent blog posts, many new comments, and also a few new followers. Lilah responded to the comments and typed away on a new blog post to publish.

Her blog was based on the Private Investigator agency George had set up a few months back. For publicity, Lilah started a blog telling the types of crimes they’ve solved, criminal justice information, and also what to do in certain situations. It was becoming more and more popular each day and with each case they solved.

After publishing a new post, Lilah opened a new tab on her Internet browser and checked the e-mail linked to her blog. Instead of leaving comments, some people left feedback on the “Contact” page of her blog, which sent straight to her e-mail.

There was only one feedback message and the subject read, “HELP.”

Lilah’s eyes grew wide and she clicked on the message with curiosity. She didn’t know what to expect. She did sometimes get spammers through her blog. She couldn’t imagine someone would actually be calling out for help through the Internet.

Her eyes darted from left to right as she read the message. She gasped and called George over to her.

“Hold on, Lilah. I’m in the middle of a level…” George muttered without taking his eyes off the screen.

“Get over here!” Lilah growled.

“It’s not my fault you introduced me to this silly game. Now I’m addicted.” George grumbled back.

Lilah grunted and got up from the couch carrying her laptop over to George’s desk. She turned the monitor off George’s computer and placed her screen in front of him.

“Now I’m going to lose…” George’s voice drifted as he read the message in front of him. “Where did this come from?”

“Someone used the contact information on my blog to send this to us.” Lilah pointed to the screen. “How do I respond to this? They gave an e-mail address as well a house address.”

“Well, it sounds as though this is urgent. I don’t think e-mailing him back is going to help anyone.” George stood up from his desk and lifted his trench coat off the back of his chair.

“So are we going to go to the house?” Lilah took a step back.

“I think that’s the only way to investigate this. I just hope it’s not someone playing a prank.”

“It sounds pretty serious to me, George.” Lilah sighed. She closed her laptop and led the way out of the office.

*

Lilah stepped out of the taxi after George and watched him as he paid the driver. She bent her knees bouncing in anticipation. When the driver finally drove away, she darted toward the front door of the house, but George lagged behind.

“What are you doing?” Lilah stopped and called behind her.

“We can’t rush in there. We don’t want them to get suspicious.” George replied walking casually with his hands in his pockets.

“This is life or death, George.” Lilah glared at him.

“Right; so we don’t want to startle anyone.” George nodded his head. “Just stay cool, calm, and collected.”

Lilah growled under her breath, but she waited for George to catch up. She looked around the lawn and nodded her approval. It was freshly mowed with a blooming garden off to the side of the house. The house itself was in great shape on the outside. If she didn’t know any better, she would have assumed the house was newly built. The maroon red shudders and mint green siding shined in the harsh sunlight.

Lilah looked at the clear, glass windows and realized the blinds were down in every one. She turned around and looked at George pointing it out.

“I know, I know.” George whispered. He walked up to the front door and rang the bell.

Someone shuffled along inside the house and a few clonks and clangs were heard. Lilah and George looked at each other in wonderment, Lilah biting her lower lip nervous.

A young girl opened the door a small crack and poked her head out. “May I help you?”

Lilah stared at the girl in confusion. She was definitely older than this girl. She looked like a kid.

“Yes,” George gave her a friendly smile. “My name is George Florence and this is my colleague, Lilah Williams. We’re private investigators. We received a message that someone needed help at this residence?”

The young girl and opened the door all the way. She turned around and led the way into the next room. Lilah looked at George motioning for him to go first and he obeyed.

The girl stood off to the side in the doorway sighing.

Lilah stopped beside George and stared in horror at a dead body lying face-down on the carpet, stiff as a board.

The girl stared at George with unblinking eyes. “I swear I didn’t do it.”

Part Two

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Author:

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Poli is a writer and blogger. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. She enjoys writing young adult novels, middle-grade, and children’s picture books. She is currently working on her first novel.

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