Short Story Sunday 256: Mystery

Short Story Sunday: Mystery | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

When Jamie entered the room there was already a blanket covering the body. She stared at the lumpy white sheet and swallowed a hard lump deep in the back of her throat. This was her first case. Her first case was a potential homicide.

She knew this would happen eventually. She always knew she would have to deal with something like this. She just didn’t think it would happen so soon. Jamie wondered if it would have been better if she had stayed at the desk job for a little while longer.

Was she ready to have such a hardcore case?

Well, at least the body was already covered up. Maybe she would haven’t to see it in person and solve the case through the evidence pictures. You know, she can ease herself into homicide cases.

“There you are.” Brock said heading straight toward her. “Where have you been?”

“Outside.” Jamie replied nonchalantly. She found herself standing a little taller when the head detective of her department singled her out from all the other officers.

Then again, looking around the room, all the other officers were busy doing something. She was just standing in the door way.

“There’s no dilly-dalling when it comes to homicides.” Brock spat.

“Yes, sir,” Jamie said meekly. Detective Hal Brock was head detective for a reason. His personality was hard as stone but he certainly knew his stuff. He solved cases faster than anyone else and he knew how to be a leader. He never had any trouble taking charge. Jamie thought he was a nice guy. She had talked to him at the department Christmas party and he was a normal person. When it’s time for work though, he put on a difference face. It was almost like she had never met him.

She respected him though. Real respect, not respect out of fear or intimidation. Everyone worshipped him.

“Where’s Gibson?” Brock demanded.

“Outside.” Jamie replied again. There wasn’t much for her to say. Her partner, Detective Seth Gibson, had told her to go on in without him.

Brock sighed. “Why is he outside? Did you two not get enough fresh air this morning?”

“He’s taking statements from a few of the neighbors.” Jaime explained. She made a mental note to kick herself for that later. She probably should have mentioned that in her original answer instead of giving the head detective one-word answers.

Brock narrowed his eyes. Jamie pressed her lips together. She didn’t know what was going on in his mind right now. He had a thinking face on. His narrowed eyes were from annoyance or confusion. He was simply thinking.

“This is your first real case, right?” he asked.

“Yes, sir.”

“Stop calling me sir. We’re colleagues.”

Jaime nodded.

“So why isn’t Gibson in here and letting you handle the statements?” Brock asked.

Jamie felt her face flush. In other words, Brock didn’t think she’d be good enough to be in the crime scene. Taking statements was something newbies did or was something when experienced detectives did when they were benched but had to tag along anyway.

Brock continued talking when Jamie didn’t answer. “Gibson wants you to get experience, is that it?” then he smirked. “He’s throwing you to the wolves?”

Jaime opened her mouth to reply, but she remained silent. Maybe her partner really was throwing her to the wolves? Although she was hoping he believed in her enough to just send her straight in and get the experience she needed. No two cases were the same but she needed to learn the ropes first hand.

“You’ve never seen a dead body before, have you?” Brock asked breaking Jaime out of her thoughts.

Jaime’s eyes grew wide. She knew she needed to work on her poker face, but she wasn’t expecting him to ask such a question. Then again, she had a feeling he was able to look right through her. Good poker face or not, she was still a newbie, which meant she was an open book.

Brock nodded his head to the side. “Come here.” He said turning. Jaime followed slowly as she came to realization that he was headed for the stiff on the ground.

The head detective shooed an officer away and then he squatted next to the body. He waved her forward with two fingers and Jaime took the cue to squat on the other side of the body.

She felt herself begin to sweat. Her palms were clammy and the room suddenly grew hot. Jaime didn’t know what Brock was planning but she wondered if she would be ready for whatever it was.

Brock pointed to the body while eyeing the rookie. Then he gave her her first task.

“Lift the sheet.”

Jaime chewed the inside of her cheek. Did Brock notice she was sweating? She felt dizzy and hoped he couldn’t tell that her eyes might roll to the back of her head at any moment.

She was just about to make her move when she shifted her gaze from the blank sheet to Brock. He had a neutral expression yet raised one eyebrow. He was wondering what she’d do. Then Jaime realized this wasn’t him assigning her something to do or trying to conquer her newbie jitters. This was a test.

Jaime reached into her pocket and pulled out a latex glove. She snapped it on her right hand before reaching over the body and gripping the edge of the sheet by the body’s head – at least, she thought it was the head.

After counting to three in her head, Jaime lifted the sheet and took a peek.

Everyone else around her seemed to freeze. The room suddenly went silent. A shiver ran down her spine, but she didn’t feel anxiety staring at the body. Instead, she felt remorse. She didn’t know the deceased, but she wasn’t expecting such a feeling.

“She’s beautiful.” Jaime whispered. The young woman’s eyes were shut. She looked peaceful as though she had merely fallen asleep on the hardwood floor and would wake with a start upon having a sheet over her head. Her skin was pale resembling a vampire and her hair shone like silk. It was almost as though she had just brushed and laid down gently before she died.

“She was.” Brock said briskly. “Tell me more about her.”

Jaime didn’t take her eyes off the body. “It looks staged almost. She looks too perfect. Maybe this wasn’t where she originally died?”

“Are you saying the body might have been moved after she had passed?”

“Maybe?”

“Are you guessing?” Brock smirked.

Jaime shrugged. “Isn’t all of this just a bunch of guesswork until we gather enough evidence?”

Brock grinned a genuine smile. “Fair enough. Nice job, Detective.”

Jaime couldn’t help but smile.

“Now let’s get back to work.” Brock said, his expression becoming neutral again. He stood up and turned his attention to someone else.

Jaime looked back down at the young women. She sighed, said a silent prayer, and put the sheet back over her head.

Words: 1,174

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Time To Write: Answer [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a Random Words. Check out some stories from fellow writers here:

This week’s writing prompt is:

Time To Write: Answer | Creative Writing Prompt | Writing Prompt | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

Write a story about the following word: Answer.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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Short Story Sunday 255: Wave

Short Story Sunday: Wave | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

He never saw it coming. His friends had dared him to swim out as far as he could. He was a good swimmer. Better than all of his friends. His parents had him take swimming lessons since he was two-years-old. He didn’t enjoy it very much as a kid, but he stuck with it. It wasn’t until he was much older that he really appreciated it.

It was a good thing he was there that day. The ice cream truck had come to the beach and he offered to get his friends each something. While he trekked through the sand, it stinging in between his toes and balancing frozen ice cream in his hands, he had heard his friends screaming.

He didn’t think anything of it though. His first instinct was that his friends were screaming for their ice cream. He assumed they had saw him coming and started cheering him on – or yelling at him to hurry up. He wasn’t too sure which one was it. The tone was hard to read from very far away.

Whenever he went to the beach with his friends they always camped right at the shoreline. It was always such a long walk through the desert sand to make it back to the showers, the shack, and the parking lot.

As he got closer though, he realized what his friends wanted from him. They wanted him to swim out as far as he could into the ocean.

They wanted him to do exactly what they had just dared their other friend to do who was having trouble swimming back.

There was a lifeguard already in the water for the rescue. He couldn’t stand by and watch his friend – and possibly a lifeguard – drown because of his friends’ stupidity.

Plus, he couldn’t say no to a challenge.

There was a huge wave on the horizon. He knew how to swim, not how to surf. He went out there anyway.

So, even though the lifeguard had brought back his friend, by the time he had a chance to go back out and get him… all that was left was the wave.

Words: 356

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Time To Write: Random Words 14 [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a Sentence Starter. Check out some stories from fellow writers here:

This week’s writing prompt is:

Time To Write: Random Words | Creative Writing Prompt | Writing Prompt | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

Write a story using all the words: Continuous, Repeat, and Uncertainty.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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Short Story Sunday 254: Welcome

Short Story Sunday: Welcome | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

Allie opened the front door to her new home with a wide grin. “Come in, come in!” she exclaimed opening the door wider and allowing a few of her friends to enter. She had been living in this house for a week now and things finally seemed to be in order. All the boxes were unpacked and put away. The furniture was in place. The cable and Internet were set up. There was nothing else left to do other than celebrate.

She had set up the living room and the finished basement for people to roam and hang out. She cleaned every single room so her guests could wander and explore the three different floors of the house. Allie had a lot of space and she knew exactly what she was going to do for each and every inch of it.

“Wow,” Jon said as he entered the main living room. “This place is huge.”

“I went with the open concept.” Allie beamed. She had picked up the “open concept” saying when she was searching for a forever home. Before she started her search had no idea what that meant.

Casey wiped her feet on the welcome mat and kicked her shoes off to the side. “I wouldn’t want to get these beautiful hardwood floors scratched up.”

Allie giggled with excitement.

Jon chuckled. “Personally, I like carpet for living rooms.”

Allie frowned. “Why?

“Seems homier.”

Casey elbowed Jon and shot him a glare. Then she smiled at Allie. “Don’t listen to him, it’s beautiful.”

“I was just voicing my opinion. I didn’t say this looked bad. I merely meant if this were my home, I’d want carpet to be put in.” Jon explained defensively.

“Well, this isn’t your home.” Casey scolded.

“Guys, really. Don’t worry about it.” Allie dismissed with a wave of her hand. She closed the front door once her friends stood far enough into the living room. “Any suggestions are welcome. I may not listen, but I’m open to hearing opinion’s about decorating and the house itself.”

“It’s just on his mind because we’re still looking for our forever home.” Casey stated.

Jon snorted. “It’s been eight months and we’ve got nothing.”

“It’s eight more months of savings though.” Casey shrugged.

“Eh, fine,” Jon agreed. He nodded his head to Allie. “Where’s the bathroom?”

“Down the hall and it’s the first door on your left.” Allie said pointing her finger across the room. She grinned again. “It’s a guest bathroom. There’s another guest bathroom in the basement, a full bathroom upstairs, and another full bathroom in the master bedroom – my bedroom.”

“Nice!” Jon cheered.

“Why do you need the bathroom? Didn’t you just go before we left?” Casey asked.

“Yeah, but I wanna check it out.” Jon said with a shrug. Without waiting for Casey’s response, he turned away and headed down the hall. Casey let out a sigh and rolled her eyes.

“There’s food in the kitchen.” Allie said to her and then added, “along with my parents. Enter at your own risk.”

Casey grinned. “Well, the kitchen is my favorite part of the house. I can’t wait to see what that looks like!” She immediately turned right around and headed toward the archway that lead into the kitchen. It was wide enough to tell the kitchen was next door, there was no need for Allie to show her the way.

Allie remained in the living room by herself. Her family was picking on the appetizers in the kitchen along with a couple of family friends. Jon and Casey had arrived. There were just a few more people left to come. Then she could give everyone the grand tour. Most of them helped her move in, but they haven’t seen the place as Allie’s before.

The doorbell rang again. Allie clapped her hands to herself and turned to open the door.

Words: 645

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Time To Write: Sentence Starter 44

Last week’s writing prompt was a picture prompt. Check out some stories from fellow writers here:

This week’s writing prompt is:

Time To Write: Sentence Starter | Creative Writing Prompt | Writing Prompt | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Write a story beginning with the dialogue above: “Welcome to the family!”

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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Short Story Sunday 253: Delivery [Flash Fiction]

Short Story: "Delivery" | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

Chase came home to find a package sitting on the front steps. He bent down, picked it up, and read the label before even unlocking the front door. “Alyson Dixon,” he read and then sighed, “I didn’t order anything so I guess I should have known it wouldn’t be for me.”

“Why are you talking to yourself?”

Chase turned around hearing Alyson’s voice. “Hey, I wasn’t expecting you home so early.”

His sister shrugged as she pushed past him to unlock the front door. “Yeah, well it turned out I didn’t have to babysit this afternoon. I got to the school to pick up the kids and guess who pulls into the parking lot? They’re mom. She had the day off and forgot to text me.”

She pushed the front door open and took hold of the storm door to let her brother enter first.

Chase ducked under Alyson’s arm with his own arms wrapped around the box. Alyson followed letting the storm door close with a light slam. Then she closed and locked the front door again.

Chase put the package on the couch. “That’s annoying.”

Alyson shrugged again tossing her purse onto the armchair in the living room. “It’s fine. She said she’d pay me anyway because it was so last minute and she spaced.”

Chase smiled. “Wow, free money for four hours?”

Alyson chuckled. “Yep.”

“No wonder you can afford these packages. I feel like a new one comes for you almost every day.” Chase said. He stared at the box. His backpack wasn’t even off his shoulders yet.

“Christmas is around the corner, you know. Besides, what do you care?” Alyson wondered aloud.

“I’m curious, I guess.” Chase shrugged. Then he looked over his shoulder to his sister with a sly grin. “Are any of these packages for me?”

Alyson pushed her purse to the side and sat down in the armchair. She crossed her legs and propped her elbow up on the arm of the chair. She rested her head back and smiled. “Open it.”

Chase paused. “What do you mean?”

“I mean open the box. See what’s inside.”

“But you order a lot of stuff. You don’t know what could be in here.” Chase said.

“I know what’s in that box.” Alyson countered.

“But… what about Christmas?” Chase asked.

Alyson sighed. “Alright, fine. Don’t open the box.”

“No, no, I will!” Chase protested. He turned back around to look at the box.

He picked it up and held it high above his head. It was on the lighter side. He then brought it down to be eye-level with him and he shook it from side to side. Something slid around in it. The box wasn’t too heavy either. He shook it again but up and down this time. Whatever was in there bounced around. He guessed it was something small.

Alyson rolled her eyes. “Come on, Chase. Just opened the box.”

He put it back down on the couch and ripped through the tape sealing the cardboard shut. He struggled for a bit. Alyson even got up to hand him a pair of scissors to cut through the packing tape. When he did, he handed her the scissors back and pulled the flaps open.

Chase grinned as he peered into the box. There was something special inside. Some he had always wanted, but there was a slight problem.

He picked it up and examined it. His smiled faded though he tried not to show it. “Wow, thanks, Alyson.”

“I know you really wanted that video game.” Alyson said with a proud smile.

“I do, but… I’m sorry, I can’t play it. I don’t have the latest console that this is for.” Chase said. He felt bad. He knew his sister had meant well and he was excited and grateful for the gift. He didn’t want her to think otherwise.

Alyson chuckled. “Come on, Chase, I’m not stupid. The console should arrive by tomorrow night.”

Chase’s eyes grew. His jaw dropped.

Alyson laughed. She wrapped her arms around her brother in a hug.

“Thank you so much!” he exclaimed. “But… why? And why not for Christmas?”

“I thought about giving it to you for Christmas. But you’ve been wanting this for months now. And I figured I could get you some accessories for it for Christmas.” She winked.

Chase grinned. More deliveries were on the way.

Words: 731

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Time To Write: Picture Prompt 26 [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a general prompt. This week’s writing prompt is:

Time To Write: Picture Prompt | Creative Writing Prompt | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

Write a story based on the picture above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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Short Story Sunday 252: Admit [Flash Fiction]

Short Story: "Admit" | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Gina opened the front door to her house and poked her head in. Neither one of her parents were in the living room. She didn’t hear anything coming from the kitchen either. Hopefully, her father was in the basement and her mother was in their bedroom. She entered the house and closed the door softly behind her. She wasn’t in the mood to talk to them. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to, but she didn’t want to lie to them.

She adjusted her backpack onto her shoulders and quietly made her way over to the stairs. As long as she’d be able to make it up there without making too much noise, she should be in the clear.

Except pretty much every step squeaked. Why was it that the stairs never made a sound when she walked normally on them, yet they spoke loudly whenever she was trying to be stealth?

“Honey, is that you?” she heard her mother call.

Gina froze in the middle of the stairs. Honey could mean one of two things – either her mother knew Gina was due home from school or she thought she was talking to her husband.

“Honey?” she called again.

Gina bit her lower lip. Come on, say a name! Honey wasn’t getting anyone anywhere.

There were a few moments of silent. Gina hoped her mother had given up. Maybe she thought she had heard things. Yeah, that would be good. Now all Gina had to do was try her best to keep as quiet as she could. She was halfway up the stairs already. She could do this.

Gina lifted her left foot to take the next step when she heard other footsteps. She froze again. The basement stairs were directly below the stairs going up. That meant her father was coming up from the basement.

That was okay, though. Maybe he was just going into the kitchen to get a snack.

She heard the basement door open. This was still okay. As long as she didn’t move, no one would notice her and she’d be fine.

“Gina?”

She remained still. How had she not heard her father round the corner? Clearly, he had much more practice at being stealth than she was.

“Uh, Gina? What are you doing?”

Oh, right. She was still frozen. She relaxed and turned around to smile at her dad. “Hey, how are ya?”

Her father narrowed his eyes in confusion. “I’m good, how are you doing?”

“Great,” Gina replied all too quickly.

“Honey, what’s going – oh. Hi, Gina.”

Gina snapped her head around. Her mother was now standing at the top of the stairs. “Oh, no… I’m cornered.” She muttered.

“Cornered?” her father repeated folding his arms sternly.

Gina grinned. What else was she supposed to do?

“Did anything interesting happen in school today?” her mother asked.

“Well, you don’t have to pressure me! Fine, I’ll tell you.” Gina said exasperated. She threw her arms up in the air before turning back to her mother. Did she detect a small smirk on her mother’s face?

“I got…” Gina began but then sighed.

“Suspended, we know.” Her father finished her sentence.

Gina paused. “Wait, how?”

“Your principal called.” Her mother answered.

“Oh,” Gina relaxed. In a way she was relieved. She didn’t want to lie to them but she also didn’t want them know she had gotten too many detentions to warrant a suspension. Which reminded her… “Do you know why?”

“Too many detentions.” Her father said.

“Which explains why you’re home late sometimes.” Her mother added.

Gina nodded. There was no getting out of this one.

“So, were you sneaking up the stairs?” her mother chuckled. “What were you going to do during the school day for the next week without us knowing?”

Gina opened her mouth. Honestly, she hadn’t thought that far ahead yet. It was true, she would have had to pretend to go to school every morning. What would she do? Where would she go? Her mother stayed home, there was no way she’d be able to just hang home all day.

“Well, it doesn’t matter, Dear.” Her father said. He started walking up the stairs and slid past his daughter. “She’s grounded anyway.”

Her mother nodded. “Yes, I suppose you’re right.” Once her husband was at the top of the stairs, she took it upon herself to go downstairs. She patted Gina on the shoulder as she passed.

Gina watched her mother as she disappeared into the living room. She looked above her and her father was already gone. She leaned her back against the wall and sighed. Well, that didn’t go as planned. Deep down she knew that was for the best.

Words: 783

Check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Time To Write: Love & Hate [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a set the scene prompt.

This week’s writing prompt is:

Time to Write: Love and Hate | Creative writing prompt | flash fiction | short story | RachelPoli.com

Write a story based on the prompt above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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Sign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com