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Beyond the Lone Islands

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge #74

The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 21 - Fair warning

To read previous episodes, click here, or on the label "wordzzle" at the bottom of this post.
For the rules of the game, and for more stories, go to Raven's Nest.

The words this week (10+5):
fair warning, hormones, journalism, philanthropist, burgeoning, running the bulls, saturation, tossed in the towel, whine, indelicate details, hard labor, lurid, quick fix, sizable contributions, trumpet

Interviewing reluctant witnesses, Lieutenant Skittles thought, was like running the bulls. You had to keep ahead of them. First he had had to deal with that young girl, burgeoning with hormones, crying like a waterfall and babbling about the love of her life. And now the doctor, the object of Diana's feelings, seemed to have reached his point of saturation, too - breaking off in the middle of a sentence, and starting to whine about being thirsty and asking for fruit! More likely than not, there were some indelicate details the doctor was trying to avoid revealing.

The problem when being alone on a job was that you had no one to play good cop/bad cop with, you had to choose. Skittles was tempted to take the easy way out again, playing the goodhearted philantropist, but decided to wait a while yet before he tossed in the towel.

"First we finish the interview, then you can have a nectarine!" he said to Adam. "I'm giving you fair warning: Don't try to sidetrack me, it won't work. You said you thought Diana might be coming home for a summer job, but that was only after…? After what?"

Adam had had a few seconds to think while Skittles hesitated.

"After school?" he suggested, weakly, not really believing he'd get away with it.

But the unexpected answer did throw Skittles off guard.
"After school? What's that supposed to mean?" he asked, feeling confused.

"Well, she goes to school, doesn't she?" said Adam, defensively. "Studies journalism, or something of that kind, I believe."

"She said to me she's writing a book," said Skittles, thoughtfully.

"Well, there you are then," said Adam; and Skittles, again, felt completely lost. How could it be so hard to keep control over a simple interview?

"If she's writing a book, I bet it's either a murder story or a ghost story," said Adam. "She was always very much into lurid tales, even as a child."

It was really hard labor to keep this conversation on track, Skittles thought to himself. On the one hand, for all that he knew, the doctor might actually be giving him sizable contributions for the bigger picture. On the other, Skittles couldn't get rid of the feeling that Adam was just trying to quick fix some slip of the tongue he had made earlier.

"Doctor Challenge," said Skittles, in as trumpet-like voice as he could accomplish, "let's get back to topic, shall we? Who do you really think sent you that invitation card, and why?"

"Now I think it might have been Diana," said Adam. "But wouldn't the simplest thing be to ask her whether it was she who sent it or not?"

This might just go on for ever and ever, Skittles thought. Whether innocent or guilty, people always tried to hide their own secrets by directing the attention towards someone else. Then, suddenly, he remembered what it was Diana had suggested that he should be asking Adam.

"Right now, I'm questioning you," he said. "You were seen coming to this house twice this afternoon. You came, you left, and you came back. Explain, please!"


Dr.John said...

Finally the poor man might be going somewhere but we won't know until next Saturday.
This is just great writing.
I love it.

Raven said...

Well done! I love these characters and always enjoy reading the next chapter.

SouthLakesMom said...

I think Skittles has some neurons firing in a non-linear fashion! Poor guy's distractability reminds me! Oh my!

I can't wait to hear the explanation. I just hope that Skittles will remember what he asked!

Stephen said...

Maybe Skittles should have something to eat himself. I think he's going to need some extra energy to get through the interviews. I liked the story.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

DawnTreader said...

Skittles and the others of course have no idea of the Unseen Power that controls their world: the power called Wordzzle, that keeps throwing strange words and phrases into their thoughts and conversations... Thanks for following! ;)


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