Here’s my writing final. The title’s in the works. I plan on editing this, so if you have any suggestions, let me know! Thanks!
Fact Number 1: The phonograph was smashed on one end and the spindle was coated in blood.
Fact Number 2: The woman was clearly dead. We’d nearly had to break her fingers in order to pull the Elvis Presley record from her hands.
Fact Number 3: It was supposed to be my day off.
I looked at my partner: “Got anything?”
“Nope, single, a recluse. Brother out of town.” I nodded. Why did all the crappy ones happen in my jurisdiction? Over the next several hours, we preceded to ask all the neighbors if they’d seen or heard anything on the days leading up to and directly following the murder. They all said no and seemed annoyed by our questions. (Frankly so was I; I was missing out on chicken salad and Netflix for this.) The only person happy to see us was the old woman two houses down whose African Swallow had gone missing. As if that was a job for the police.
After we disentangled ourselves from that mess, my partner and I went back to the crime scene. The body and the phonograph had been taken to the station, but I figured we could still go over the room again. What else was there to do? We had no leads, no witnesses, nothing.
Suddenly, I heard a crunching noise. “Kennedy, over here,” my partner beckoned. Next to the antique heat vent was what seemed to be an assortment of raw noodles. Kneeling down next to them though, I realized they were tiny bones. I picked one up and was left with a slimy residue on my fingers. Needless to say, I didn’t pick up any of the others.
I turned to my partner to say something, but stopped when I saw something fluttering in the grillwork- a feather. Passing it to him, I shimmied the vent off the wall; inside was a trail of feathers. “Do we have a copy of the house plans?”
“Umm…yes…wait a minute…they should be…” My partner ran out to the car. In a minute he was back with a mess of papers clutched in his hands. “Thanks.” We spread them out on the ground and together traced the course of the vent. It led to one of the upstairs closets.
We headed up the stairs. There were four rooms and the one we needed was the second on the left. The space seemed to be a guest room, inviting yet artificial. Except for the bllody footprints. We followed them into the closet and saw where they were joined by crimson handprints, scaling the wall and ending at the vent.
I looked at my partner. “I’m guessing the murderer is in there.” He nodded, “I’ll call for backup.”
“Sounds good.” Waiting for him to finish his call, I began to study the room. A night table, lamp, shelf, and, in the corner, another phonograph. “Hey,” I called over my shoulder, “did they take that Elvis record in too?” He shrugged and went back to his call.
It took me less than a minute to go downstairs, locate the record, wipe off the stray flecks of blood, run back upstairs, and set it in the phonograph. By now, my partner was off the phone. I grineed. “Ready?” He smiled back and I put the spindle down. “Houndog” had only been playing for a few seconds when we heard a jagged scream.
Simultaneously, we turned towards the open closet to see a ragged man throw himself out of the vent and onto the floor. Blood making his clothes look like a Jackson Pollock painting and gushing from his ears, he scrambled towards us. “Stop that! “Stop that infernal sound!” The blood flowed harder. “I’m allergic to it! She knew it and still she played his music!”
He lunged at us, shoving my partner out of the way. Grasping the machine, he began to smash it against his head own head. “Stop! Stop! STOP!” We let him do it, until he had fallen to the floor and could no longer lift his own hands. Then i shot him in the head. My partner turned to me, “Overkill, don’t you think?”
“No. If I were allergic to Elvis I wouldn’t want to live either.”