“Sir, we need you?”
“Ed, please don’t panic, tell me what happened?”
“A man died at 4th Rose street in Pie- a- trust bakery.”
“Pray, tell his name?”
“Business tycoon Robert Jr.?” A sudden alarm switches on in my mind.
“You are right sir."
I hang up the phone, a new case is like coffee shots for me. Sudden shots of energy with a sudden smell of success. Being a private detective was tough in 1959, the remnants of World War were still haunting people's minds. So basically, everyone was behind food and money. Hence the rise of murders and death of rich men were the constant headline of newspapers and weekly magazines. The police were sometimes behind the culprit or were sometimes the culprit themselves. My first successful case was about Dorthy Maddaok, a murder mystery that had shaken the neighborhood. At that time, I was 19, who had only read Sherlock Homes as his curriculum and used to write some articles for a newspaper column. Back then, I took the case for justice, not for fame or success. With my wit and observation, I nabbed the murderer to everyone's surprise and dismay. The success of the case made fame kiss my toes, but the police grew cold feelings towards me. First, the bitterness was one-sided, later with the continued collision of our thinking and ideas, it became a competition for us to prove each other wrong.
Coming to the case, Robert Jr. was famous as well as an established businessman. He was constantly in the newspaper due to the rounds of an affair between him, and a beautiful singer. The case was a gold mine for the press because now it had glamor and stardom.
I reach the spot, it was a small sit-in bakery with musty brown walls and white windows. It was unusual for a rich man to dine here, people were thronging outside the bakery to view the sudden death. Police were having a tough time trying to control the mob. I honk my Ford car on purpose, to gain the attention of the press. In seconds, a group of photographers and cameramen with their journalists were rushing towards my car. I took some time to come out of my car, but when I came out I was surrounded by the sudden flashes which blind my irises. There is a constant tugging and screaming of journalists at my face. I raise my hand to silence everyone, to bring their attention towards me.
“I will ensure that the culprit is caught, and the innocents are given justice. With the help of the police, we will solve the crime as soon as possible. Till then please maintain your integrity and work ethics."
I make a straight beeline towards the bakery. Where I'm coldly welcomed by Inspector Houston.
“Don't come here fella without any prior information. Take your media attention somewhere else," he smirks.
“It would be better if you pay enough attention to your duty, rather than observing my style and sensibility.”
He stares at me and spits on the ground.
“So what are the details of the case, Mr. Houston?”
“According to the witness Robert entered the bakery with singer Sasha, they ordered a lime tart with lemonade. Then in the middle of the conversation, an argument burst open. A few seconds later he asks for water, which was given by Sasha from her bottle. In moments he clenched his head and passed out.”
“So, where is the singer now?”
“She is in the basement of the bakery, hiding from the press.”
“Bring in all the witnesses, and let's interview each one there itself.”
We agreed to investigate the scene first. Nothing was weird nor there was anything suspicious. Then we interrogated each eyewitness.
First was the singer Sasha, a beautiful woman in her early 20’s, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Her cheeks were stained by mascara, and her lips quivered from the constant crying. It was odd that a young girl like her was interested in a man who was in his late 40’s, but it is not odd in a patriarchal society. I gave her my handkerchief, a man gotta respect a lady's emotion.
“So, Miss Sasha, what happened during your brunch at the bakery?”
“Robert called me here to discuss some private matters. He was stressed for the past few weeks.”
“Can you guess, what he was about to discuss?” I ask.
She moves her head from side to side with few sobs.
“Miss Sasha when Robert asked for water. Instead, you could have called the waiter. Why did you provide it from your bottle?”
“Robert liked clean filter water. He always used to question the quality of water at restaurants, hence I used to carry my own source.”
“Did you hand over the bottle to the police?”
The next person was the waitress, the only witness who was present at the bakery. A young woman in her mid-twenties, with hazel eyes and raven black hair. She was confident with her body language and was least affected by the sudden death.
“What's your name?”
“For how long you are working here?”
“Since the past few weeks.”
“Can you describe what happened this morning?”
“Mr. Robert was coming to our bakery for the last few days, but this time he came with Miss Sasha. He ordered tart and she ordered lemonade. It's wrong to eavesdrop on anybody's conversation, so I was at my counter cleaning the stoves. But in the middle of their conversation, they started arguing. Mr. Robert was demanding Miss Sasha to leave her career. Then he asked for water, to which she gave her own bottle and in a matter of seconds he clenched his head and fell on the ground.”
“Where was the owner of the shop?”
“Every morning the owner goes to buy the supplies for the rest of the day. He went out as usual.”
The next person was the cleaner boy who was not the witness, but he was there in the basement of the bakery when the incident took place.
“What's your name?”
“So, Vayd Miss Rebecca told me that you went to the basement to take a puff of the cigarette.”
Sometimes you had to twist other people's confession to extract the truth.
“No sir, Miss Rebecca had seen a few mice in our basement so, I went there to get rid of them.”
“Ok, so for how long are you working here?”
Everything was done, we talked to the witness, we investigated the scene but couldn’t find a clue. The police as well as I was waiting for the medical reports of the corpse, but it had a lot of time to it. Miss Sasha was on house arrest and other people were under observation. I took a few days to search for the missing links in this case but could not find one. This morning I decided to give a visit to the bakery. Through the glass windows, I could see Rebecca taking orders from the customer and Vayd helping his owner. I enter inside and Rebecca gasps her breath seeing me.
“Did I frighten you, Miss Rebecca?”
“No, I mean yes, the incident has made us face the worst fears that we never could have expected. What will you like sir?”She asks in a humble tone.
“Oh nothing, I just want to sit and relax for a few seconds, nothing else.”
She goes away leaving me in silence, I try to connect the information that I had about this case, but couldn’t figure out any missing links. A force knocks at my temples, the migraine bouts were reoccurring every morning. I press my fingers at my head to ease out the pain. I search my pockets for the container of pills, but I couldn’t find them.
“Sir, are you okay?” I see Rebecca beside my table.
“Yeah, everything is fine, nothing to bother about.”
She puts a tray in front of me, it has herb tea and strawberry custard.
“It's for your migraine sir, it will soothe your nerves.”
I thank her and dig in my spoon because I have skipped my breakfast this morning. At the last spoon, a thought occurred to me. To clear it, I needed to meet the Dr. who was examining the body as well as the reports. I rush out of the bakery without paying the bill and race my car to the hospital.
“Dr. did Robert had a migraine? Because according to the witness he clenched his head before passing out. Did he get a migraine attack while having the arguments with the singer?”
“I don’t know lad, maybe he had, maybe he hadn’t. The technology isn’t so developed to bring in the conclusions.”
“What did you find in the reports?”
“The mystery is that we couldn’t find anything with his body, the brain and his other organs were intact. But his blood reports are weird.”
“What does the report say?”
“That during their argument there was the sudden spike of salts in his blood flow. He had large quantities of salts in his body during his death, which we call Hypernatremia. In Hypernatremia, a person typically feels thirsty. The most serious symptoms of hypernatremia result from brain dysfunction. Severe hypernatremia can lead to confusion, muscle twitching, seizures, coma, and death.”
“So, how did this condition occur in his body, any clue?”
“We couldn’t find that, but the bottle that Miss Sasha gave had typically weird ingredients and salts. I think you should further investigate it.”
The police were informed about the reports and we both rushed to the villa of the singer who was currently under house arrest.
“Miss Sasha, we found salts and weird ingredients in your bottle and Mr. Robert died from Severe hypernatremia. The justice of sword points at you because before he had passed away, he demanded water from you.”
“I drink salt-infused water to keep my voice intact and to keep throat infections away.” She started to sob and pleaded in front of us that she was innocent.
She was taken in for police custody and the court will manage the rest of the hearing. We gave a press conference about the case and addressed questions of the media.
After a few days, I visited the bakery again to pay my pending bill and to meet the staff.
The staff members were happy to see me and greeted me with warm smiles, I paid my bill and talked to each staff personally.
Rebecca was happy and asked me about my migraine conditions.
“That day how did you know that I got a mild migraine attack?”
“My mother was suffering from migraine, so I recognized the symptoms really fast.”
“So, you live with your mother?”
“No sir, my mother passed away a year ago. I live on my own.”
“I'm sorry to hear about your mother, well take this.”
I take 50 bucks from my wallet and hand it over to her.
“Take it as your tip and use it wisely.”
She takes the money and her warm finger brush with mine, her cheeks tinge like strawberries, and she gives me a peck on the cheek. I smile at her and walk towards the door.
“Sir, please do come here again.”
I turn around and say “I will come if I have time.”
“I know you will.” I nod to her and sit into my car, and drive to my home with a smile.
I was watching a soap opera on television while cooking my dinner. Then I hear a knock on the front door.
“Who is there?” I shout switching off the television.
“Sir, it's me, Daniel.”
I take a sigh of relief and opened the door, Daniel was my counterpart as well as my personal spy. He used to track the backstory of the cases as well as the victim.
“So, Daniel what brings you here?’’
“The back history of Robert Jr.”
“Tell me the juicy details.”
“He was a drug dealer in South Carolina and was once arrested while delivering a load of cocaine capsules.”
“This businessman earns the white money with the help of the black money,” I said.
“Listen, he used to execute his plans with a help of a female doctor, but after his arrest, she was absconding and still is on the wanted list. Here see her photo.”
I take the file to view and my head spins, I reach the kitchen counter for support. I could not believe my eyes, it was Rebecca.
"What happened?" Daniel asked.
"She is the waitress who works at the bakery where Robert had died."
For a few seconds, we glared at each other and rushed to our cars.
I sped up my car not worrying about getting a fine. I rush into the bakery and shout.
"Where is Rebecca?"
Vayd rushes towards me with a note in his hand.
"Rebecca quit her job this morning and left a note for you."
I take the note and read.
Take a warm coffee with a heavy breakfast to curb your migraine attacks. Before sleeping drink a nice herbal tea, it will cure the migraine away.
And what else will you like, sir?
Something catches my eye across the street, and I rush towards the window to see clearly. It's Rebecca with red auburn hairs and a wicked smile.
She waves at me gives a flying kiss, and in the next second disappears.
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I love this! It was so engaging and kept me reading until the end! Awesome job.
I loved this story, and the concept was amazing!! However, I do think you need to dial back on the hard words, because even a detective doesn't use words like that in his head. Also, maybe make the dialogue a little less stiff and more flexible, which you can do by also adding a friendly relationship between Ed and the detective dude.
ok, I will keep the feedback in my mind. Thankyou
Story concept is great, but I think your dialogue could greatly benefit if you added some context (I'm tired so the following is a bad example of it but you get the idea))) Ed gripped the edge of his table until his knuckles turned white. “Sir, we need you?” “Ed, please don’t panic, tell me what happened?” replied the man without a flinch. Ed shook his head. “A man died at 4th Rose street in Pie- a- trust bakery," he exclaimed, throwing his hands in the air. “Pray, tell his name?” “Robert Jr.” “Business tycoon Robert Jr.?” Ed eagerly...
Hello Radhika! This was such a well written story!!! You really captured the mystery aspect of it!!!!!!!! Great job! :D
Thanks. So what are your plans for the new year.
Np! Well my friends and I are going to do the countdown. What about you?
doing dinner and fun with my parents.
Ooh! That seems fun!
yeah. I was thinking that we should collab sometime. Would you like it?
Hey, i just found a downvoter.
who is it?
ya want me to send a link or something? I can try to find it
That would be good. Even i have been spammed recently.
yes, send me the link. Let me check out.
I loved this story with its little twists and turns and hidden details. I'm always a fan of good old fashioned detective stories. This is a change in your usual style, but I still love it! It's great to branch out and try different things. In this case, you pulled it off really well. I really like the ending with Rebecca, it leaves things up in the air and the reader questioning. Great work, Radhika!
Thank you so much, Yolanda. How are the preparations for Christmas going?
Great! Really looking forward to it. What about you?
NOTHING. Just doing some stuff.
This is a great story!!!!!!!!!!! what about instead of the title being "What would you like sir?" It was, "What would you like, sir?" Other than that, just missing some commas. Great job!!!!!!!!!
Hi Radhika! I really enjoyed reading your story! I always love detective stories because of the suspense in them, and I definitely loved reading yours! Especially the last line, and all the twists you add in between! Maybe you could italicize the text in the note the next time you write so it will be easier to distinguish between the story and the note? Great job! Keep writing! :)
thank you so much. I will keep the point in the mind
Of course! :)
I loved it! So perfectly well done:) I suspected it since the beginning that Rebecca was the culprit;) Great work! Really felt like a mystery novel.
Great job!! Honestly enjoyed the read. waiting for more. keep writing.
Thankyou so much. Can i get your feedback on other stories? Only a few. And thanks for liking my stories.
amazing story concept!! I loved this unique mystery story :) well done, Radhika!
I have absolutely NO IDEA WHY but this reminds me of Chicago PD, lol! Terrific story, Radhika!
I have yet to try my hand at murder mysteries, but this one was pretty good.
Thanks for your feedback.
This is a very engaging story and really loved the ideas! Also I can see an improvement in terms of your dialogue having looked at a few of your other submissions which is really great! It’s nice to see how much you value feedback. Well done and looking forward to reading more
Thanks for your feedback. Can you give feedback on my submissions that you have already read I would love to collab with you if you feel free to do it.?
Of course! I’d love to do that anytime
Hey!!!! How are you??? I'm going to upvote you as much as I can!! :)
I'm fine. Thank you so much. Even I will do the same.
Hello! This is quite late but which prompts do you wanna do for this week, so we can collab?
You choose. And if we are working together then how will we do it?
We can use docs maybe?
Ok, tell me when should we start. And just explain how to use it. Have you decided the prompt?
Can you tell me when can we start, not to work at the last moment.
aw, I just saw your bio. Thanks for putting me in there :-)
Ayyyyyy your on the leaderboard!!!!!
yes. I wouldn't be without the support of the others.
That's so great
Hello! I am so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so SORRY but I am kind of busy this week so I can't collaborate, but we can definitely do it next week! (SO sorry again!)
NP, its ok.