The Greatest Case

Submitted into Contest #105 in response to: Write your story from the perspective of a side character.... view prompt

5 comments

Fiction Crime Funny

My name is Nick Jorgan, I’m a detective in the small town of Forge River Connecticut, but that’s not what’s important, I only play a small part in the shadow of my partner, Blake Randall, a massive man with an intellect bigger than the whole police force combined, I might even go as far as to compare us to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, it’s uncanny really, sometimes I feel like I’m just along for the ride, but occasionally he does actually need me, though he often forgets I’m even there.

When we first became partners, I was already a big fan, and I was excited to tell him how I collected every newspaper article that printed his solved cases, I remember the exasperated look in his eyes, he saw me as a little nerd, that would just get in his way when he was on a case, in fact for the first month of our partnership he called me something different every day, he’d say things like “Come on Robin, fire up the bat mobile” Or “Don’t get your dander up Barney Fife, we’ll catch 'em" Or “Put your ear to the ground Tonto” Sounds like a grade a bully right? Well that may be somewhat true, but he was one heck of a great detective, he had over thirty solved cases, the only thing he would not admit was his need for a partner.

 By the first year of our partnership I think he was finally beginning to see just how much he needed me, He had a penchant for getting in tough spots, in nearly every case, I was always getting him out of some kind of jam, because he would still go out on his own, more than once I had to work alone just to figure how to get him out of these frequent scrapes where, as he put it “Was intentional and I don’t need your help” it was his way of saying he would have figured an escape route without me, I mean I guess he would have eventually, but I definitely saved him lots of time and unnecessary exertion.

 Soon my picture was in the newspaper right next to Randall’s, as we solved another 20 cases together as a team, I will probably have to buy another scrapbook, it’s such an honor to actually work alongside him, and to be known as his sidekick, from books to movies, all the great heroes had one, I was lucky to work alongside our town hero, just being with him put me in the spotlight, and I reveled in the attention, no one thought I’d amount to much more than a restocking clerk, but now I was proud to claim having a part in solving some of the town’s most grueling cases.

 For instance the case of the Red Flame which I might add was a name I came up with, but I digress… This particular case was probably the strangest I had ever encountered.

It started with three random fires, all happening within a week’s time, under normal circumstances a fire would be a mere issue for the local firefighters, however due to the multiple occurrences within a short period of time, Randall knew something fishy was happening and there was obviously a connection, not long after we began delving into the investigation a fourth and fifth fire came to light (pun unintended) each fire was several miles apart, the first was an old barn, the second the Forge River commemorative bridge, third, the old man Willards drugstore,  fourth the old Smiley motel, which luckily only housed two traveling families, who escaped unscathed, and finally the forest became ablaze which understandably was the largest and most dangerous fire yet.

As the townspeople worked to put it out before it spread to far, Randall and I worked to fit the strange pieces together before the whole town was razed, for each fire the implement that was the cause of the flames was never the same, a cigar, a gas can, good old-fashioned flint and steel, oil-soaked rags, Randall suggested a simple match was the cause of the forest fire, because there was no evidence left behind as to what started it.

Five fires, five different causes, with no evident motive, we obviously were dealing with a pyromaniac, and we had to catch him before a sixth fire erupted, and someone actually got hurt. This is when I got to see Randall in action, as he paced thinking this all through while I occasionally lent an idea or thought, and he grunted in response, “Perhaps we could lay a trap” I suggested, Randall ignored me as usual, and kept up his steady pace, drumming his fingers in thought over his crossed arms, then suddenly he turned back in my direction “What was it you said?”

“I thought we could lay a sort of trap; you know to draw him in” I repeated.

Randall was quiet again for a few more moments, pondering my suggestion “That’s almost too simple, like something out of a movie, or a book, but I like the sound of it, we will have to literally fight fire with fire, surely if he or she see’s a fire not of their own making, they will be curious and drawn to the flame”

Just like that, my little idea took root to a larger idea and a foolproof plan orchestrated by Randall, and before the sixth fire could even take place, our own carefully planned and well contained fire, brought the man himself right to us, we needed little convincing to know he was indeed the culprit, for he was utterly mesmerized by the flames, and attempted to help them grow bigger, by adding bundles of twigs and watching it rise higher and hotter, laughing gleefully.

The man was certainly crazed, and entirely obsessed, but the important thing was that we could put this man behind bars, keep the town safe, and have another story in the headlines of Randall’s success, and my part as well.

But in all the years and all the cases that filled our desks, I still had yet to solve the greatest case of Blake Randall himself, A man of little words, cunning, an intellect to be praised, I had no doubt he would branch out beyond our little town, and maybe even become world renowned, and I would be there right along with him every step of the way. 

July 31, 2021 14:37

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5 comments

Denise Pearson
11:35 Aug 13, 2021

I like the idea of the Holmes-Watson vibe through the story. It kept me wondering about how they first met and if that would be another "chapter" in this possible series.

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14:51 Aug 12, 2021

I loved the story to the end. I'm confused. Was it Blake Randall starting the fires? You kept the interest going and your phrases were great.

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Hannah Foust
14:57 Aug 12, 2021

Thank you! And no Randall only started a fire to draw in the culprit, I'll have to check my phrasing and commas now. 😊

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Gip Roberts
18:42 Aug 08, 2021

Sorry I just now got around to commenting on this, but I'll start by saying: It kept me glued. It really did remind me of a modern "Holmes and Watson" tale. I liked Randall and Nick's clever move to solve the case of "the Red Flame" by literally fighting fire with fire. Also liked your description of that little town in Connecticut where they work.

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Hannah Foust
04:48 Aug 09, 2021

No worries Gip, I'm still new to this whole setup but love the challenges. I wanted a Sherlock vibe but in a Andy and Barney small-town style, I love how the words just flow when an idea is put in place. Thanks for your feedback!

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