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.
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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