The Accident, Part 3: Accusations

This 100-word story is Part 3 of The Accident, written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt. I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue the story of Detective Stuart Leale, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. It was difficult to write part three (in 100 words) and make it a stand alone story, yet fit with the other two pieces. If you haven’t read Parts 1 & 2, I will make it easy for you:

The Accident, Part 1 (written for Visdare)

He searches his face in the mirror and smirks at his 58 years of hard-earned wrinkles. They are reminders. Stuart often relives his ingenious triumphs, but lately, one in particular feeds his ego; that defining moment his brother Charlie died.

Charlie was their favorite, their golden boy, their reason to live. After he was born, Stuart was forgotten. His resentment festered.

“Charlie’s so smart, much smarter than Stuart,” his mother always said.

“Finally, a perfect child,” his father always replied.

Climbing onto the shack roof was mostly Charlie’s idea. Stuart never touched him. He merely jiggled the plank and watched as Charlie lay broken on the ground. “An accident,” they said. For Stuart, there have been 34 accidents since.

The door to the restroom squeaks open. “Detective, there’s been another murder that fits the pattern,” says his captain.

Stuart washes his hands and replies, “I know. I’ll be right there.”

The Accident, Part 2: Everglades (written for Friday Fictioneers)

The police presence briefly spoils the Everglades’ natural beauty, but in the face of death, nature lives on. Alligator eyes watch. A heron perches nearby. Detectives Stuart Leale and Henri Archer linger over the man’s body, speculating.

“Looks like the work of the Everglades Butcher,” Detective Archer says. “No I.D. without the fingers or teeth.”

Detective Leale squats beside the man, attempting to regain his composure. Furious, he says, “Trust me. This is a copycat.” He nervously scans the boardwalk, troubled by the fact that the woman’s body he dumped here last night is gone, replaced with her husband’s.

I hope Part 3 doesn’t disappoint. Oh, and one more thing, I have a Facebook page for my blog, Chronic Nonsense. I really appreciate Likes. I’ll Like you back. Thanks for the support! Now, on to the story.

Friday Fictioneers 03-21

Photo Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Accident, Part 3: Accusations

Forty-eight years since Stuart’s first accident, as he calls them. With Charlie, he’d been inexperienced. His parents suspected him, feared him. Their solution – boarding school – the very place Stuart learned the art of precision, patience.

At 18, he returned home to demonstrate his expertise on his parents. Local police said the elevator malfunctioned, another tragic accident for the Leale family.

Now, he stares at the evidence bag in disbelief. His partner Archer asks, “Leale, why’d the victim have your business card in his mouth?”

Stuart hears the accusation in Archer’s words, just like his parents’, so long ago.

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29 thoughts on “The Accident, Part 3: Accusations

  1. Come on, Archer, stay alert and figure it out! Nice touch with the business card. I like the way you have Stuart hearing the accusatory tone (which no doubt is mostly in his mind), not only tying things together but forming his “excuse.” (Here: “just like his parent’s”, you need “parents’ “.) I’m not a big fan of serials, party because they often don’t stand alone, which yours could, but because I can’t remember all of them from week to week and reading 100+ stories is more than enough without having to click on links to go back to earlier episodes. So I appreciated that you put the earlier stories in this post. 🙂


    • Detective Archer may not be as smart as Stuart. You know those genius serial killers are hard to pin down. And sometimes I’m not as smart as the genius apostrophe. Thanks for the suggestion. Writing serials is not easy, and I agree that they are hard to keep up with each week. It’s difficult to read one story by each person, let alone several by one person. I’m not sure where my story is going.

  2. Lisa, I’m really getting to like this story more and more… sticks with me! I think this one does in fact stand alone. If we didn’t know anything from the other two, this would still be compelling. I fear Archer is in for some trouble, but perhaps Archer will surprise us… and Stuart! Janet makes a good point… with my story of Henry and Marjorie now in part 5 (and spread out!), it is a good idea to include the “previously on…” section to this post. Nice job, Lisa!

    • Thanks so much for the feedback. I’m glad you’re enjoying the story. I keep trying to plan ahead, but nothing works for me. In the end, I’m making it up as I go, especially since the photo has to fit with the story. I worry that including the rest of the flash pieces each week will eventually get burdensome for the readers. It might be a lot to scroll through to get to the new story. We will have to see how it goes. Thanks again.

  3. Lisa, I read this week’s FF story first to see how well it stood on it’s own. You’ve done a fabulous job. In fact, all three flashes work fine by themselves, and I enjoyed reading each individually as much as I enjoyed putting them together to see more of the picture. This is a great series, and it looks as though you are learning a lot as you work to write these stand-alone tales. Keep up the great work!

    Kindest regards,
    Marie Gail

  4. Pingback: The Accident, Part 4: Copycat | Chronic Nonsense

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