Archive for January 10th, 2012

10th January
written by amber

Duck Costume

“A man walked into the bar wearing a duck costume,” one of my men told me.

I looked away from the body behind the bar. “Are you practising to be a stand-up comedian or what?”

“No – our witness says that someone walked into the bar wearing a duck costume, not long before closing time.”

Across the room, a man sat on a bench against the wall. Someone had draped a blanket across his shoulders. “Is he hurt too?” I asked. The victim had taken one clean shot to the back of the head.

“No, he’s just cold. They turn down the heat in here at night and he didn’t have a jacket or anything.”

“He couldn’t leave, or call for help?”

“Bar tender locks everything before he moves the cash to the safe. Wit couldn’t find the keys. He thinks the vic took them. And the perp cut the phone lines. Neither wit or vic have a cell.”

“Nor vic.”


“Never mind.” I wandered around the crime scene – the bar, the foyer with its empty coat hooks, the office where the safe gaped open and chill air seeped in through a small broken window, the washrooms, the utility room with its snarl of rag mops and crusty rags and a metal-hatched chute which probably dropped to an incinerator in the basement. I wandered back. “Why does the wit say he was here?”

“Says he used to work here. He and the bar-tender were pals.”

“Cuff him.”

“Say what? We corroborated the duck suit story with other customers, and that guy’s not dressed as Daffy.”

“And he doesn’t have a coat either. Who goes out in this weather without a coat? Check the basement – I’m betting you’ll find the duck suit in the incinerator. And probably the money too.”

“I thought incinerators were illegal.”

“They are, as of last year. Our perp probably worked here when burning stuff in them was still allowed. So he tried to get rid of the evidence that way.”

“Why’d he need the duck suit?”

“He probably didn’t cease working here on friendly terms. This might not be his first attempt to rob the place.”

“Why burn the dough?”

“He couldn’t get out of here, so he had to pretend to be a witness. He knew we’d find the money if he hid it someplace in the bar. If you’d done a walk-around outside, you would have found these.”

I showed him the bagged and tagged keys I’d found in the alley beneath the tiny shattered window, along with the crystal paperweight the victim had used to break the glass, thus ensuring that the thief wouldn’t escape, and possibly signing his own death warrant.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted 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 or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story. If you’d like me to use your name in a story, I’d be happy to do that.