Monday, October 1, 2012

[Moon-dæg] Watching the Detective

All an Act

{A traditional ransom note - probably from a real cut-up given its content. Image found on Free the Maps.}

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This is another draft from my time spent at the local creative writing group. It's a story that carries on with the mystery element from the previous fiction entry, but that is completely unrelated to that piece.

Since it appeared incomplete in my notes, it still has the feel of being the opening for something bigger. Though, of course, I have given it a bit of a polish.

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All an Act

The page was still sticky with the yellow paste that held the letters to it. Bland letters and frazzled letters. All cut out by the same hand, but each written in its own.

"Where did you say you found this, again?"
"On the tuba case."
"And the tuba was still inside it?"

Ren rolled her eyes as Jason said the instrument was still in its place when he claimed to have found the note. It was unfortunate, but that was something her younger brother hadn't lost. Another thing. She put the letter down and then walked over to the case. Maybe there's a print or something, she mused.

The case was elephantine amidst the rest of Jason's room - strewn with miniatures. All of them were upright as if guarding every square inch of surface space not occupied by lamps. The music stand crowded close to the tuba's case for comfort.

"Look at this." Ren bent over the case.

Jason took his time to respond. When he did it was mostly just a grunt.

"Come on, now." She waited until his attention swung around to her. "There's a line along the case - in the dust, I mean."

"I don't see it." Jason looked over Ren's shoulder.

She stepped aside and pulled him into place in front of the case by his arm. "Here." Ren put her hand behind Jason's shoulder and nudged him to the exact spot where she judged she had been standing when she noticed the line. "You can only really see it in the light right here." She pointed. "It's just the way it falls."

Jason shrugged and turned to her. "So there's a line. What's that even mean?"

"Somebody must've dragged something across the case. Maybe it's a drawing or something." She craned her neck until she could see the path in the dust clearly again. "Are you sure you don't notice anything missing? Anything out of the ordinary? Out of place?"

"No. It's all here." Jason made a quick spot check over each shoulder. "Yeah. All there."

"And your room's locked?"

He eyed the door and then lowered his voice. "Yeah, you know that sis. It would need to be in a house like this. The rent's so cheap, after all - something's got to be wrong somewhere."

Ren straightened and turned to him, picking up the note along the way. "This better not be another job, Jason. I can't be playing the detective here, too."

Jason shrugged as if the motion was necessary to squeeze the words out of himself, "Why not?" He paused long enough to grin, "Acting practice never hurt anyone."

Ren eyed Jason as she turned, the note in hand. Watch that grin, brother - the last I checked, you were the only one in the house with liquid glue.

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Check back here on Friday for the first part of Shocktober, a four week look at some of the reportedly worst horror films ever made. First up: The Screaming Skull!

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