Flash Fiction Friday

So, little funny story before the flash. I asked my seven year old for a prompt while we were in the kitchen and she said, “Can I have some ice cream, please?” My four year old comes running into the kitchen, “I want some, too!” Umm…*chuckles* I had to calmly tell her that her sister wasn’t really asking for ice cream and she had to wait until after supper for some. We almost had a crisis on our hands. lol

Writing prompt: Can I have some ice cream, please?

Alex leaned back in his chair as he waited for Ms. Appleby to answer his question. He couldn’t tell yet whether she was guilty or not. He had a weird six sense for telling whether a suspect was guilty within seconds of meeting them. From there, he found every possible evidence there was and nailed their ass to the wall.

Some thought he was crazy with his intuition. Others just nodded and went along with him because they knew he was right.

But her. He still couldn’t get a read on her and it was slowly driving him insane.

“Ms. Appleby, please have a seat.” He tried to offer a smile, not a kind one either, but a smile nonetheless. He knew that type of thing calmed people down. The problem was he never liked to smile much. In his line of work, there wasn’t much to be happy about.

With a tremble in each movement, she picked up her chair and sat down, although didn’t scoot her chair closer to the table.

“It’s uncanny, isn’t it? The details. The placement of the body. It looks just exactly as you painted it.”

“I didn’t do that.”

He brushed the picture of the dead woman to the side so her painting showed as well and tapped the photo. “But you painted this.”

Her bright green eyes with a sprinkle of yellow specks gazed at him, almost as if she was trying to peer into his soul. Not that he thought he had much of one. After so many years working in homicide, dealing with death day in and day out, his soul had withered to nothing. He barely felt anything but wanting justice for the victims who needed their voices heard.

His brother had been trying to pull him out of his routine, his quest for justice for so long, that he all but pushed him out of his life. Nobody understood his need to make people pay for their heinous crimes. Nobody.

“Ms. Appleby?”

She shoved her hair behind her ear. “I thought it was a rhetorical statement. You know I painted it.” She leaned closer, but didn’t move her chair, and tapped the photo. “But I didn’t murder this woman.”

“Well, if you didn’t do it, and you don’t know who did it, how did this woman die? How come the crime scene looks exactly like your painting?”

He couldn’t wait to hear this answer. Perhaps he’d finally be able to get a read on her. His gut churned like a rough current in the middle of the ocean. He still couldn’t say either way, whether she was guilty, or even involved, besides being the artist of the painting. Which he hated to admit was quite masterful. The tiny details she painted, the way the color splashed out of the picture. The way the emotion screamed at him. He really hated to admit she had talent.

Before she could answer, the scraggly looking guy from behind the café counter walked up to the table. His eyes glossed to the photos, yet no expression punctured his face. Odd.

“Ginny, you okay? This guy bothering you?”

She smiled, a tentative one, but slightly beautiful. He didn’t like thinking in those terms, but he couldn’t deny the beauty that graced her face when she smiled.

“I’m fine, Tommy. He’s a detective. He’s just asking a few questions.”

Tommy, who looked like a street bum rather than someone who should be behind the counter serving food to people, nodded. His unruly hair waved around, the scruff on his face giving him a creepy vibe. Something with this guy didn’t sit right with him. Even his clothes, wrinkled from head to toe, didn’t speak highly of him. Why in the world would management let this guy look and dress like this while working?

“If you’re sure.” Tommy glanced at him with a hard glare as if that would scare him. He didn’t respond with anything but to return a hard glare. His head turned back to Ms. Appleby. “Can I get you anything, Ginny?”

“Actually, yes. Can I have some ice cream, please? Chocolate.”

He smiled with a nod and walked away.

“Ice cream?” Alex couldn’t hold the surprise or the slight sarcasm out of his tone.

Wringing her hands, she kept her head down as she answered. “It calms me down.”

“And why are you upset?”

Her eyes whipped to his. Her piercing stare gutted him. “Honestly, Detective, do you have no feelings? Do you think it’s easy to look at a picture of…of an innocent woman murdered? Please put them away!”

He turned away from her stare and gathered the photos, shoving them back into the folder, not because she told him to, but because he couldn’t handle the way her eyes drove straight to the pit of his stomach. He couldn’t describe what it did to him, but it made him uneasy.

“Who said she’s innocent of anything?”

“Regardless of who she was as a person, nobody deserves to be murdered in such a way.”

He pulled the folder closer and glanced at her. He wouldn’t allow her to unnerve him. And he needed to get a read on her. The only way to do that was to push her to the limit.

“You’re hiding something, Ms. Appleby. What is it? Who are you working with? You have some other interesting works of art. When will the next body pop up?”

Her face turned ashen. “You think…you’re wrong, Detective. And if you keep pursuing me as your prime suspect, then yes, another innocent victim may just appear.”

Leaning forward, he watched as the color in her eyes morphed from green with a small sparkle of yellow to a golden halo of brightness. “Was that a threat?”

“Of course not. Just the truth.”

Well, shit. Not only did she further confuse him, he still couldn’t decide if she was guilty.


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