Archive for September 23rd, 2011

23rd September
2011
written by amber

Variation I

The body was in the yard, just outside the cabin. I lifted the sheet and took a brief look. Shotgun wounds aren’t pretty.

“Who called it in?” I asked my men.

“Anonymous,” they said. “Pay phone at the gas station out on the highway.”

“Tracks in the yard that don’t match Bud’s truck?” I asked. Young Bud, either simple-minded or drug-addled, had lived in this cabin for over two years. He’d never given us any trouble. And now his troubles had been ended in the most brutal manner.

“Yeah. We took impressions.”

“Good,” I said, and stepped inside the cabin. Two cups on the table and the pot of coffee still warm on the wood stove. The bed heaped with a tangle of quilts and animal pelts, and a neatly folded pallet of old grey army blankets on the floor. A galvanized wash pail beside the stove, damp rags and old towels draped over the edge. A pair of hiking boots drying by the fire, too small for Bud’s large feet and too new for the woodsy recluse’s limited budget.

I went back outside.

“Call Jerry Whyte,” I told my men.

“The man over in Edville whose daughter is missing?”

I nodded. “I don’t think she’s missing any more.”

“You think Bud took her?” They looked around as if they’d overlooked some clue to the missing girl.

“I think he found her, and was fixing to take her home, after she got warmed up a bit. And I think Jerry mistook his intentions.”

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.

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