Archive for August 24th, 2011

24th August
2011
written by amber

Red Tights

When I walked into the room, I couldn’t take my eyes off her, her red tights, her legs straddled wide and cuffed to the bed posts, her arms hand-cuffed to the headboard.

“The body’s in here,” I was told and they lead me to the bathroom. The man had been brutally bludgeoned to death.

There was no sign of the cuff keys. While we waited for someone to bring a hack saw, the girl told me what had happened. “I was already restrained when a man came into the room and took Fred into the bathroom. Is he dead?”

“Yes, ma’am, he is,” I told her, “and it isn’t pretty. There must have been quite a commotion. I’m surprised the guy didn’t do anything to you, you being a witness and all.”

“Oh, I was blind-folded. I didn’t see anything.”

The police who’d been first at the scene nodded and showed me the mask they’d removed from her face.

“Well, anything you can tell us would be helpful. When we cut you loose, we’ll drive you down to the station, get your statement and you’ll be free to go as long as you don’t leave town.”

I drove her down to the station myself. She was quiet and cooperative, leaving me time to think about the lack of a murder weapon and the missing cuff keys.

I had a hunch.

“Let’s take you to the hospital first, get you checked out. They said you were screaming for a while in there, before anyone came.”

“I’m fine,” she claimed, but I insisted and when we got there, I convinced an ER doc I know to xray her.

The cuff keys were in her stomach but the real surprise was her artificial leg, all battered and bent, the red stains hidden beneath those red tights.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This story was inspired by a discussion among my fellow hikers about using an artificial leg to beat someone.

24th August
2011
written by amber

A Flaxen Tale

Astrid was born larger than most, stronger than most and different. Over the years, she watched her younger sisters, soft pretty little things, marry and drop children year after year – sweet flaxen-haired daughters and stalwart flaxen-haired sons.

Astrid watched her younger brother sail away in a war boat and return year after year with chests of Catholic gold and bales of oriental silks and casks of Anglish mead. She envied him. In their younger years, when his skill with axe and broad sword had surpassed that of the servant assigned to spar with him, she had become his secret partner. Not only did she hide her warrior skills from their parents, but also she reined in her strength and strategy with her brother, knowing that it would be to her peril to defeat him.

She’d had no excitement since he left home. She’d been relegated to act as nursemaid to her aged parents, the common lot of ugly unmarriageable daughters. But now they were both dead and when next her brother returned from his warring, he’d find no trace of her at home.

But soon he might hear of the mighty feats of a new warrior, Astoth the Magnificent.

Dear readers – this story is posted a day late. I’ve been away on a horse-assisted back-packing trip in the Wilmore Wilderness and out of touch with the Internet. I left some stories to be posted on this website daily, but I was one story short.

I wrote a story every day in the backcountry, and read it to my fellow hikers (we were 9 in all) around the campfire every night. So now you can be treated to several campfire stories.

This story was inspired by a notice about a missing horse with a flaxen ‘tale.’

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.