Each Monday brings a new picture prompt. Last week, Kreative Kue 72 asked for submissions based on this photograph:
John W Howell, author of MyGRL and His Revenge, who blogs at Fiction Favorites, sent this:
“Let me step back a bit and take a look.”
“Okay, but hurry up. This concrete is cold.”
“Ah, I see a problem.”
“The outline has a protrusion to the right. You need to bring your leg up more.”
“Leg? Which leg?”
“Well, your right one of course. I would hurry I think the police will be back very shortly.”
“This was all your idea. Let’s lie down on the body outline you said. It will knock the fraternity brothers off their feet you said. Now you are being picky about a leg?”
“Okay, I’ll take the photo. By the way that ceremonial sword you are holding looks fake.”
“It’s supposed to look fake. It’s a joke for heaven’s sake. Who would be lying in the road with the Mystical Knights of the Sea sword sticking out of them anyway?”
“Yeah, but a little blood wouldn’t hurt and can’t you put that sword in such a way, so it doesn’t look like you are holding it?”
“No short of really sticking it in me I can’t.”
“Also, you left your keys on the mat there. That looks stupid.”
“Alright, I guess this was not such a good idea after all. Let’s go. I’m going to get up.”
“No don’t move I’ll take the shot.”
“Whoops. I slipped.”
“Do we have any more whiskey?”
“I don’t think so why?”
“I could use a drink of something.”
“What’s the problem?”
“I stuck myself with the sword.”
“OMG. Let me get a shot of that. Now that looks real.”
‘So that’s where you ended, you …’ not used to cursing, Neddy had a hard time to find the word that’d fit here. Yeah, his parents would’ve been proud. They’ve successfully created a human being unable to use the words banned in their house. There was a list of them, which made it so much worse at first, after all they were right there, printed on the red sheet of paper, bold font. Every single day he stared at them. Knew the shape of each letter. The punishment for using? Oh, nothing really. Except the parents would not speak a word at all for a week. Yeah, laugh all that you want, until you realize it is not so funny, when you’re a 6 year old.
Ned shook the memory out of his head. He looked again at the lifeless body… Oh yes he knew him. The whole neighbourhood knew him. That was the… no-good son of the… ghrrr… The “being” (not quite sure he’d call him human being) responsible for kidnapping five children in the city. ‘Yeah, NEVER again. Never again a family will be crying because of you.’
Looking carefully around, checking all details, his senses sharp as a surgical knife, Ned was taking pictures of anything and everything he considered odd or helpful. Yeah, the camera specialist would come in a few minutes, but it does not hurt to have a backup.
And that’s when he noticed it..
At first it looked like an average patch of fog… Then he noticed the fingers and thumb… As big as the body. All of a sudden a big chill went through his chest, and he couldn’t move or breathe for a moment.
And just like that it all was gone.
No body, no tape, no fog.
‘Good thing I took pictures with my…’ Just as he was thinking that, Ned realized his cellphone was gone as well…
My effort was “CSI, eat your hearts out“.
When I saw the photograph, the man standing put me in mind of UK comedian Julian Clary, so:
Oh, well now. This is exciting, isn’t it? Do you know, this is my first investigation since they made me a detective.
I was very relieved when they said I could work in my own clothes; that uniform was so not my colour, and the hat; sorry, helmet; OMG! It just, totally ruined my hair and, well, you know what my hair is like; it needs all the help it can get, these days. And, honestly, the whole outfit chafed quite badly. You can see by the rash it’s given me under my ears and on the top of my chest. I can’t tell you how many times a day I have to apply cream to those parts, just to keep them supple and attractive.
Anyway, that’s all behind me now, and I have this murder to investigate.
Let’s see. What have we here?
Well, for a start, either the man died very conveniently on the marks, or someone got here before me, and put that tape down. By the way, isn’t it supposed to be done with chalk, not masking tape?
Hang on a minute! The sword isn’t sticking in him, he’s holding it. And I don’t know what state he was in, when whoever put this tape down found him, but just look at that loop of tape sticking in front of his… you know!
And how did he come to die and fall conveniently onto a mat? I mean; what’s a mat even doing in the middle of the road in the first place?
Do you suppose this is a test? Are they trying to find out if I’m going to be a good detective, if my powers of deduction are up to standard? It wouldn’t surprise me; some of these people are mistrusting enough.
You know what? I don’t even think he’s dead. Why not? Well; just look at the sword. If he were dead, would he be able to hold the sword there like that? I don’t think so. I mean, it stands to reason, doesn’t it? If he’s dead, his hand is going to go all floppy, at least until rigor mortis sets in. So he couldn’t hold it like that, could he?
Let me just test my theory. I’ll give him a gentle nudge with my size nines.
Aren’t they, though! You would have thought I could wear my own shoes as well, but no. They say I have to keep wearing the regulation boots, and they are ugly, ugly, ugly.
[screams] He moved. I thought he was supposed to be dead!
I know I said I didn’t think he was, but I didn’t really believe it. I was just, you know, theorising.
Well, I clearly didn’t expect him to move, did I?
Do you think that’s what it was? No, he hasn’t moved again, so I suppose it might have been his body settling. Do you have a mirror with you?
No, I don’t want to check my hair! Do you really think I’m that vain? Okay, maybe I am. But I want to see if he’s breathing.
You put the mirror in front of his mouth and nose, and if he’s breathing, it’ll steam up.
I was surprised, too, when they told me. Here goes…
[screams again] What are you doing? You’re supposed to be dead!
Oh dear. Now I’m in shock. Somebody get me a glass of water, please. I think I need a lie down.
No, I don’t want to lie on the flipping marks!
Oh. It’s my turn to test one of the other new recruits, is it?
Okay then, here goes…
On to this week’s challenge:Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; and either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here – for reasons I have yet to fathom, pingbacks don’t seem to be working.
Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries, with links to your own blog or web site, next Monday.