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Beyond the Lone Islands

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Saturday, 25 July 2009

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge # 73


For the rules of the game, and for more stories, go to Raven's Nest.

The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 20 - Procrastination


The words this week (10+5):
riverboat, procrastinaton, drank, demons, invisible, candle, enough, film stars, summer job, computer, general demeanor, surprisingly, masked man, reach, standards


Skittles resisted another impulse to reach out for one of the tempting nectarines. He reminded himself again that as a detective, he had to keep certain standards. Not eating while interviewing people was one of them.

"Dr Challenge," he said, focusing on the man on the other side of the table. "Please tell me when and why you came here today."

Adam hesitated a moment. He was still fighting invisible demons within himself about what to say.

"I came to see the Brigadier General," he said. "He's a patient of mine."

"Excuse me," said Skittles bluntly, "but to me you look dressed for a party rather than a housecall." He looked disapprovingly at Adam's lavender colored shirt.

Adam in turn did not like the detective's general demeanor. The man reminded him of one of those old film stars – what was his name – he'd played a riverboat captain once… Adam found himself wondering if the lieutenant drank. The riverboat captain did... But enough with the procrastination. He would have to tell the truth. Or part of it, anyway.

"Well, as a matter of fact I was invited to a party," he said, taking the invitation card out of his pocket and pushing it across the table to Skittles, who took it and read out aloud:

"Welcome to be my guest at a slumber party this Friday evening."

Skittles stared at the card, and then at Adam. "Slumber party?" he said, incredulously. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"I don't know," said Adam, truthfully. "As you can see, it is not signed, but it's one of the General's cards. It has his address printed on it. So I came to find out."

" An old man inviting his doctor to a slumber party!" said Skittles. "That doesn't make any sense! Slumber parties, that's for giggling school girls!"

"Well," said Adam, "as a doctor I can't just ignore a strange message like that from a patient. True, it might be just a prank. It might also be really serious. The General is not at all well, you know. He has hinted at times…" Adam fell silent and tried his best to play the role of the masked man who is really just waiting to have his mask ripped off. Skittles fell for it.

"Oh," he said, as it dawned upon him what Adam was suggesting. "You mean… You thought the General might intend to take his own life?"

"Well," said Adam. "You never know."

"But…" said Skittles, thinking hard. Something did not quite make sense. "But you diagnosed he'd had a sun stroke!"

"Yes," said Adam. "That's what it seemed like when I examined him after we got him out of the pool. I'm telling you now what I thought when I got the card."

Skittles looked again at the doctor's lavender shirt, and his thoughts went simultaneously to the young girl sitting at her computer upstairs. Just a little while ago she had surprisingly admitted to him that Adam Challenge was "the love of her life"…

"You didn't think of the possibility that someone else from this house might have sent the card?" he asked. "Someone thinking more along the line of a late candle lit dinner, perhaps…?"

Adam blushed and looked very uncomfortable. "Well, yes and no," he said. "It wasn't my first thought. It did occur to me that Diana might be home for some kind of summer job. But that was only after…" Adam broke off in the middle of the sentence and fell silent.

"After…?" prompted Skittles.

"Do you think I might have one of those nectarines?" said Adam. "I'm terribly thirsty!"

4 comments:

bettygram said...

More is unveiled. Enjoying tis story.

Dr.John said...

It gets stranger and stranger. I( feel sorry for Skittles. He tries so hard and doesn't seem to make any progress.
Perhaps, next week.

Raven said...

You write so well and with such wonderful wit. I love that I like all of your characters. They are wonderful. Great job as always.

Stephen said...

It looks like Skittles might be about to find out something interesting, though it may or may not help him with the case. I liked the story.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
http://stephen-has-spoken.blogspot.com/

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