It’s a dim Wednesday evening, and there's been a murder. You’re the detective they hired to solve the case. Suitcase in hand, you head to the station. You try to hide the torn side of the suitcase. Only if you had enough money to buy a new one. Its calm and not as busy as usual at the station. As you wait for the train to arrive you find a place to sit and read the morning paper. This is the very first murder that has happened in the town of Bartlaby since 1982 and it's been 5 years since then.  

You gently rest your head on the window after you take a seat in the last compartment of the train. A whistle is blown and the train begins to move at a steady pace. You place the newspaper back into the suitcase and head to the bathroom. Today's lunch did not suit your stomach well.   

You walk back to your seat to take a water bottle out of the suitcase when you notice a piece of paper hanging out of the bag. Confused you look around to see nothing but a man looking out of the window.  

“Sir, did you leave this paper here?” you ask him holding it in your hand.  

“No, I was just looking outside. Isn't it a dark day?” the man replies with a slight frown.  

“Yeah, it will surely rain today” you reply, but your detective instincts tell you that something isn't right about that man.  

You take a good look at him before you sit back down. He has black curly hair, and dark, narrow eyes. He also has a freckle under his right eye.  

You take a closer look at the paper to see a phone number written on it.  

Fone Number:  

202 555 0122

You smirk at the way they spelled phone, then fold the paper and tuck it into your coat pocket.  

You use your suitcase as an umbrella as you step into the small family house where the murder happened. You're greeted by a short stubby man “Welcome in,” he says in a mousy voice “The family's in that room” he says pointing to the left.   

You walk into the room and examining everyone before you. Their eyes are puffy and red. There are two young boys who are probably the victim's brothers, and a mid-aged lady. They all look at you expecting answers.   

“Hello, I'm so sorry for your loss” you say to calm the tension.  

“You have to find out who did this!” the lady demands. Her emotion had changed from sad to angry within seconds. You are taken aback for a moment, but answer her without a delay.  

“That's my job, ma'am. I will find out who did this, but before I start may I use the telephone?”   

“Yes, you may” she says. Then she screams “THOMAS” and the short man comes stumbling along  

“Yes Madam?” he asks in is squeaky voice  

“Show the detective to the telephone, please” the lady says, looking at the short man. 

“Sure thing!” he says as he leads you out of the room.  

You follow him through the hallway to a brown telephone hanging from the wall.  

“Thank you, sir” you say and wait for him to leave.  

“No problem!” he says, then he quickly speeds away.  

You reach into your coat pocket and take out the paper. You unfold it and dial the numbers.   

“Hello?” You say in a quiet voice.  

“So, you finally called” you hear. It sounds like a man's voice, but it's muffled so it's not clear.  

“Who is this?” you ask confused.  

“You will soon find out detective.” The voice lingers on the word “detective”.  

You don’t know how to respond so you stay silent. 

“I just wanted to start a little fun"

“Are you that man on the train?”  

“No, he's just my messenger. I wanted to make this town a little more exciting”  


“I killed her” he says in a joyful voice.  

You stay frozen not able to reply. You look around to see if anyone's listening when you see no one you say “So your the murderer?”.  

You hear a laugh. “I heard you are in need of money these days. I’ll give you what you need” 

"If I do what?" you ask interested 

"Help me cover it up the murder" the voice says. 

"Okay." you say cautiously "Who are you?" 

"The baker's son" 

Then you hear the line disconnect.   

You stand there dazed in your thoughts. “Sir, do you want to see the investigation site?”  

You shake your head to refocus on the short man. “Yes, thank you!”  

He leads you to the dining room. The first thing that catches your eye is the beautiful chandelier hanged above. You walk around the room inspecting every corner.   

“So, she was shot by a handgun” you say to yourself as you look around at the bullets on the ground.   

You hear a knock at the front door, and peer from the edge of the room to see who it is You see the lady welcoming in a man with a plate full of cookies.   

“Oh, how nice! Come in!” the lady says delightedly. The man gives her a kind nod and walks in.   

You walk out of the dining room and the man says “You must be the detective, right?”  

“Yes, sir” you say back.  

“I hope you find out who did this. Here please have a cookie” he says with a smile  

“Thank you!” you say as you take a cookie.  

While you finish chewing the young man and the lady exchange small talk. You think this young man is very kind. 

“Who was here when this incident happed?” you ask them  

“All of us! It was myself, my two boys, the butler, and the baker's son mike” she says pointing at the young man.  

The baker's son? You look at the man closely and he winks with a smirk. 

“And what were you doing when you heard the gunshot?” you ask looking at both of them. You want to see how the man covers his story up so you start to ask questions. 

“Well, I was in the restroom and hurried out to see what had happened and--” The lady says, then starts to sob without finishing her sentence. 

“Sir, I was talking to Thomas about my father's recipes” the young man explains.  

“What were the boys doing?” you ask.

“They were playing ball outside” the lady manages to choke out in between her sobs.  

You take a deep breath, and try to concentrate. "Can I talk to you alone?" you ask looking directly at the man. 

"Sure" the man replies still smirking. 

You both are led into a small room by Thomas. As soon as Thomas closes the door of the room the baker's son says "So you're interested?" 

You think about this for a second "How much will I be getting?" you say debating your options. 

"20k" he says, taking a stack of money from his pocket and passing it to you. 

"Hm. Okay" you say, smirking back "But first tell me everything about her murder" 

You slowly put one hand into your pocket and turn the recorder on. You're glad you took it with you this morning. 

"Alright," he says, "I was bored. I wanted something exciting to happen. So I killed her, but I don't want to take all the credit. The butler was a great help." 

"What did the butler do?" You ask interested 

"He told me I should target that girl. I was going to kill my

neighbor, but he gave me a better target" 

"Who wrote the note with the number on it" you ask 

"Oh yeah, he also did that for me" the baker's son says. 

"You're under arrest for murder" you say taking handcuffs from your suitcase. 

"Give me my money back!" he yells. His face filled with anger. 

"What money?" you say and wink at him.

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Charles Stucker
05:33 Jul 08, 2020

So I write a fair bit of noir mystery. It's why I chose to read this one from your list. Although set a lot after the typical period, it follows all the rules- a PI, a murder, and a sleazy killer. Then you cut it off too short. There was no real mystery, no build up, no intrigue. However, if you tied up the loose end, the butler, you have the opening of something a lot better. See the trick is WHY did the butler want the girl killed? Or is the boy lying. Maybe he saw the butler kill the girl and is lying to try and make sure the butler pay (...


14:36 Jul 08, 2020

Ok thank you so much for the advise! I completely agree with all of this...I 100% think I rushed this.


Charles Stucker
18:39 Jul 08, 2020

well, we have a week from the time the prompt is posted to try and get the $50, so...it's a rush.


19:28 Jul 08, 2020

Yeah it really is. I just think of it as more practice!


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Renata Srečić
17:05 Jul 11, 2020

I like the noir atmosphere of the story. The ending is a bit rushed, but nevertheless, it's a short story, not a novel.


17:07 Jul 11, 2020

Thank you for taking the time to read it! Yes, it was VERY rushed. :)


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06:04 Jun 27, 2020

Wow...such an unexpected twist Lata! Great job! Keep writing Lata! :))


14:00 Jun 27, 2020

Thank you!!


01:42 Jun 28, 2020



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Batool Hussain
05:52 Jun 26, 2020

A wonderful story!


15:21 Jun 26, 2020

Thank you!!


Batool Hussain
15:44 Jun 26, 2020

You're welcome!


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Rhondalise Mitza
04:00 Jun 26, 2020

Wonderful dialogue, as always! I love the detective story in second person. It's fun and moves fast and I just enjoyed it a lot.


04:05 Jun 26, 2020

Thank you for taking the time to read this!


Rhondalise Mitza
04:08 Jun 26, 2020

You're so welcome!


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