The Lobster-Chef Interrogation

Submitted into Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about community.... view prompt



“Mrs. Peters, can you explain what happened?”

“From the beginning, or-”

“From the beginning.”

“Oh dear, the beginning. Well, I was at the restaurant with all my friends. Christie, and Julie, and Stacey, and Karen, and Rachel, and Rachel’s odd daughter, and Julie’s husband, and Stacey’s cousin-”

“Please, ma’am, continue. We already know who was involved.”

“Oh, are you going to interrogate them? Oh, don’t do that. Poor Christie will crack under the stress, no, she won’t like that. Christie always melts down at something. Last year it was the Fourth of July, the fireworks were wet, and she’d so wanted to see them. Then it was her granddaughter’s first steps- my, we heard about that at bridge club for weeks. Before that her maid-of-honor looking nicer in her wedding dress than she did, and before that-”


“Sorry, so sorry, I do this all the time! My mouth just starts running- bblblbbblblblbbblbl, just like a motor. My husband tells me, he tells me, “Helen, if you don’t shut up, I’ma gonna start sleepin’ in the livin’ room again!” He’s from Kentucky, officer, they talk horrid like that.”

“Ma’am, please, just answer the questions.”

“What questions? You haven’t asked me anything yet! Don’t run your hand through your hair like that, you’ll go bald. Where are you going?”

“State your name.”

“Mrs. Julie Tulip Angella Pearl Jonson. That’s Jonson with no ‘h’, officer. And ‘Angella’ with two ‘l’s’. Tulip- can you spell Tulip?”

“I can, ma’am.”

“Good boy. Some folks can’t, you know. I do pity them, just not as bright as others. You know, I once met someone who spelled ‘pie’ wrong, wrote it like ‘pi’ with an ‘i’-”

“Please describe the incident.”

“Well, it was very dark outside and I was meeting my friends- Helen, Stacey, Christie, Rachel-”

“I know, ma’am. Mrs. Peters- Helen- already told me.”

“Well, you might have forgotten. And Rachel’s daughter, and Julie’s husband, and Stacey’s cousin- write that down good, officer.”

(long pause)

“Thank you, ma’am.”

“Alright then. It was dark, very dark, too dark to see my own hand. We were all headed to the restaurant, gabbling away. Then Rachel’s daughter got into an argument with Julie, who’s around her age. We had to go and break it up, can you believe that?”

“Ma’am, just the facts. We don’t have time for all the details.”

“Well fine then. Just the facts, sir? We go into the restaurant, eat, hear some yelling, see a lobster, talk to the police, go home.”

“Ma’am, I’m going to need a little more.”

“You said you wanted the facts, officer, those are the facts. You want to hear the story, listen to me hash it out.”

(long pause)

“Very well, ma’am. Go ahead.”

“Good boy. Now, it was very dark outside, too dark to see my own hand...”

“Please state your name and, um, don’t worry about our spelling abilities.”

“Why? Do you spell bad?”

“No ma’am.”

“Do you spell good then?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Can you spell my name?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Really? I got a pretty long name.”

“I’m aware of that, ma’am.”

“Why do you need me to state my name then?”

“Official reasons.”

“How official?”

“Very official.”

“Too official to just write it down?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Or is it ‘cause you can’t spell?”

(long pause)

“Please state your name.”

“You gonna write it down?”

“No ma’am.”


“Because- oh, for God’s sake…”

“Now don’t get touchy”

(long pause)

“You are Nymphadora Jones, daughter of Rachel Jones?”


“What happened at the restaurant, Miss Jones?”

“Lots of stuff! There was a lobster, an angry ex, a chef, and a dude that punched an old lady. That one was my favorite, ‘cause old ladies don’t usually get punched.”

“What order did these events take place?”

“Good question.”

“Do you remember?”



“I was in the bathroom the whole time, officer. Came back to blood all over the table, and some lady shrieking, “The shoes! Where are the shoes?” Then you all showed up and dragged everyone to the police station. Even me. Why’d you bring me, Officer?  I wasn’t even there.”

(long pause)

“Please go.”

“Love to. By the way, are you married?”

“I’m ten years older than you.”

“But you’re so pretty-”

“Get out.”

“Tell me your name, tell me exactly what you saw, what happened at the restaurant. Nothing before or after, no side details.”

“Why on Earth are you yelling at me?”

“I’m not, ma’am. I just need the facts.”

“Well don’t- don’t scream at me, that’s mean. This world needs more kindness, I always say, and yelling won’t help that. All it does is hurt people’s feelings!”

“I’m sorry, ma’am. I promise not to yell. Tissue?”


“Thank you.”


“Christie Brown. Used to be Christie M-”

“That’s very nice, ma’am, but Brown is fine. What happened at the restaurant? Wait, did you witness the incident?”

“Yes. It was- it was awful. There was blood, and shoes, and lobsters, and- and everyone was so upset- it makes me teary to think about it.”

“Have another tissue.”

“Thank you.”

“We’ve listened to the testaments of other witnesses, who are calling it, “The Lobster Incident” officially on the local news. However, as your table was right at the Incident, we’ve decided to interview each of you personally to get an accurate report. Most likely they’ll want to interview you for the news as well but you don’t have…”

“News? We get to be on television?”


“When? Where? Why haven’t we been told?”

“We need to interrogate you to get the facts right. Some witnesses account for the old woman being punched after the lobster ran out of the kitchen, some before. We want to make sure everything is very clean.”

“For the television?”

“No, for apprehending the man who punched the old woman. To ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

“Well, don’t waste your time with that, officer. The television’s more important. Those channels go everywhere. Oh, and I’ll get to be on the news, in front of everyone, they’ll all see me shine-

“Well, we need the facts, ma’am. So if you could help-”

“Actually, may I go? My memory’s not so good and I need to be ready for the telly. Maybe interview someone else? You’re probably more likely to get a straight answer out of them.”

“No, actually, as it turns out. You’ve given me more information than four of your other friends combined.”

“Well, to tell you the truth, it’s just- it’s too hard to talk about. All the blood… it was so scary! Oh, officer…”

“Have a tis- screw it, take the whole box.”

“Why thank you. Oh, they’re so nice and soft… I like this little picture of the baby bear wiping his nose, look at the little snout.”

“You’ve- you’ve got something on your cheek, ma’am.”

“Oh dear! Now I’ll really look a fright! Oh, what if all the news people are out there, oh I’d be so embarrassed…”

“Just go, ma’am. Take the tissues with you.”

“Please state your name.”

“Mr. Donovan Jonson, officer. Mrs. Julie’s husband.”

“Yes, I interviewed her second. Been married long?”

“Thirty-four years, officer.”

(very long pause)

“Poor bastard.”


(another pause)

“You like scotch?”


“Scotch is good, isn’t it?

“Very good. I have a glass a day, sir.”

“Thirty-four years, eh?”

“She gets louder with each one, sir.”

 “I bet. How’d you meet?”

“Disco rollerblading night at the Moonshine Alley, officer.”



“Why were you there?”

“My cousin, sir. Mrs. Helen Peters.”

“I met her. Dear Lord, Mr. Jonson.”





“Aren’t you supposed to be interrogating me?”

“State your name.”

“Miley Wilkes, officer. Miley for short.”

“You are the cousin of Mrs. Stephanie Garcia, age 47?”

“Yes officer.”

“Can you describe the incident, please?”

“Right from the beginning?”


“Okay, but I have one question-” 

“Please, please don’t.”

“Uh, why are you banging your head on the table?”

“Official reasons, ma’am. What’s the question?”

“If I leave, will I be in trouble?”

“Er, ma’am, this is an interrogation. We have some questions for you.”

“Yes, but my kids have a sitter I don’t trust a whole lot. He had these snaky eyes and a cigarette lighter in his pocket and a funny smell-”

“Why did you leave them with him then?”

“Cause I wanted to go out, officer, honestly! Don’t you have children?”

“No, but I’m not sure why you left them alone with someone you don’t trust.”

“Sitters were on short demand! The guy heard me talking on my phone to the teenager down the street, and when she said no, he offered! What was I supposed to do?”


“I mean, Henry just took off on his business trip, leaving me all alone with the kids! It’s been a whole week, officer! I’m getting desperate!”

“The, uh, the interrogation…”

“So what if the sitter was shifty eyed? My daughter’s fourteen and beautiful, she can take care of him herself. Attractive people are usually smarter, officer. Look at me- a blossom in the desert wind, with eyes like limpid pools of sapphires. Did you know that I went to school for almost two years?”

“Very- very impressive. But the interrogation-”

“My daughter gets all B’s and we’ve talked about leaving her home alone all the time. I’m sure she can take care of it. I shouldn’t be worried.”

“Maybe you could answer the questions quicker, so you can get home to your kids. The sooner we finish-”

“Why? Do you think something’s wrong? Do you think they’re hurt??”

“Wh- no, of course not, it’s just-”


“It seems an odd situation you’ve left them in, but nothing to worry about. Now, I have a question about the chef-”

(jumps out of her chair and sprints from the room)


Transcript of the Lobster-Chef Case:

Mrs. Helen Peters: No information.

Mrs. Julie Tulip Angella Pearl Jonson: No information.

Ms. Nymphadora Jones: No information.

Mrs. Christie Brown: No information.

Mr. Donovan Jonson: No information.

Mrs. Miley Wilkes: No information, left before the interrogation concluded.

Case Report by Officer Vlachos:

 No witnesses.

June 11, 2020 10:53

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Harken Void
11:44 Jun 18, 2020

Oh my god... This is so brilliantly hilarious that I'm awe struck! I'm reading this at work and my laughing might cause some unwanted attention, haha. First: I love the fact that this story is 99% dialogue, and it doesn't even feel like it. We get all information from the talking (well, all information except the actual incident, haha). Second: The characters were amazing. The poor officer who kept his cool, the blabbermouth women, the tormented husband... I got a feeling like I know half the town now. Third: I'm dying to know what actual...


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Kelechi Nwokoma
11:37 Jun 26, 2020

Waverly, this is truly a wonderful story. It provides excellent comic relief and I really love the dialogue. Harken has said most of what I wanted to say, haha. All in all, great job on this! I hope to read more from you.


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Tvisha Yerra
16:12 Jun 24, 2020

Is Stark a pen name, or...?


Waverley Stark
20:47 Jun 24, 2020

No, real name. It was my last name before I got married.


Tvisha Yerra
02:25 Jun 25, 2020

You must've had fun with it! Rest in peace, Tony Stark.


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Blane Britt
00:16 Jun 24, 2020

Great story.


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Katy S.
09:43 Jun 12, 2020

Very funny, and your characterisation was excellent. :). Did you get the name Nymphadora from the HP series? Also here's a suggestion, maybe put some spacing between the interviews because at first it was a bit confusing. Anyways great story!


Waverley Stark
19:44 Jun 12, 2020

Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciate it. As for Nymphadora- yes is from HP. I’m a huge Ravenclaw nerd who ran out of names!


Katy S.
19:58 Jun 12, 2020

No problem, and I always thought Tonks made a big deal out of her name, it was not that bad!


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