hello dear readers,
here’s the beginning of another short mystery…truthfully, i’m not really sure where it’s going to go, but i thought i would throw it out here and see if that motivates me to continue writing. i don’t even know if this snippet is enough to begin…the Inspector in this story is the very same as in “A strange morning in the neighborhood“.
A shock in the parlor
Jones was always too little, too late. Never could remember or settle upon a time in which inadequacy was not a defining theme of his life.
Except when it came to Dr. Missus Jones. Yes, his polar opposite, Dr. Missus. A shining example of humanity.
Her love for him was not without gentle judgement; she kept him in his place, grounded, but with a tether long enough to allow him to indulge in his own shortcomings. The daydreaming, tardiness, absentminded qualities of his existence.
And so, when Jones walked into the living room, mouth already halfway around an excuse, it took a full minute to register the scene before him.
His mouth dropped open mid-syllable, then widened into a grimace.
A low moan, like something out of a walruses’ maw, escaped.
No. The word sucked the air from his lungs. There was Dr. Missus, sprawled on the floor, cooked-noodle limbs at odd angles.
One satin slipper languishing near the tapestried settee, the painted toenails of its foot seemed to indict Jones for his late arrival.
Jones crawled along the edge of the rug, attempting to assess the state of his wife without actually touching her body. It was then that he noticed the blood and realized that even emergency medicine could not save her, for she had been neatly dispatched by a garrote. The offending tool had been thrown haphazardly to the floor just shy of the rug’s tassels.
Jones felt nauseous and managed to scramble on all fours to the kitchen, where he promptly vomited on the parquet flooring. Without amending his position, he reached for his cellular phone, dialing the police.
Suffice it to say that the paramedics and police arrived quickly and an immediate investigation began with Jones.
What time did you arrive home?
Where were you before you arrived?
How long was your commute?
Can any one verify your whereabouts?
Did your wife have any enemies or outstanding debts?
Is there anyone you know who would want to kill your wife?
Jones just stood there, monotone answers occasionally punctuated by the walrus moan, which caused the interrogators to eye him with concern. Soon the duty officers departed, suggesting he contact loved ones and consider staying somewhere else for the evening.
And just as they were leaving, the Inspector walked in. She met the eyes of the officer speaking to Jones with her cool stare, and he stumbled over his words. After a pause, he deferred to his superior,
The inspector will speak with you now, Mr. Jones. Our deepest condolences. He beat a hasty retreat toward the wide open front door to make room for the Inspector.
Did you love your wife, Mr. Jones? The Inspector’s question caught him unawares. He looked down at his work-worn hands before he faced the Inspector,
Of course I did. She was my safe haven. He groaned again, tears escaping the corners of his eyes.
I’ll take a look around, if you don’t mind. The Inspector did not wait for the affirmative response.
When the Inspector left the premises about an hour later, there was a small huddle of officers waiting for her. They looked at her expectantly, murmuring to each other
The old gal’s looking quite confident there, isn’t she?
She’s got it all tied up in a neat package now, for sure!
Wonder when she’ll make her report, mebbe tomorrow?
The Inspector ignored all the talk and made her way past the subordinates. Her pace quickened as she exited the front gate and moments later, she was cocooned in the smells of automobile leather and artificial lavender air freshener. Of course it would start to drizzle now, but at least she was dry. She took a deep but shaky breath and reviewed her handwritten notes. Perhaps it would take a few days, but she was certain she could solve this crime, and she was certain the guilty party was not far off.