Insidious (98 words)

Truly it was a masterful disguise. No one would mistake him for a hired assassin, least of all the cops. He was old, and nearsighted, and he had that fuddy-duddy demeanor that caused people to smile in amusement, despite the evidence.

Once, he had dropped his driver’s license at the scene. On another occasion he had called the victim from his own phone. This time he had unthinkingly spit out his gum on the corpse. Duh!  

But there was no point getting upset over it. The disguise always prevailed, anyway.

He chuckled.

“Oh Magoo, you’ve done it again!”

Copyright 2018 by D.A. Donaldson


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Arson on Tap

Arson on Tap (222 words)

“Look, Markus, we know you were at the brewery, so don’t waste my time,” Detective Feraro pulled a plastic evidence bag from his coat pocket. “You see this? It’s a beer keg spigot with your prints all over it, taken from the brewery keg cellar on the night of the fire. We found it sitting in the center console of your Escalade. I guess you couldn’t resist a souvenir. Not very smart.”

Markus sat back in his chair, lit a cigarette and blew smoke off to the side, where Officer Paulus was standing. “If that’s all you’ve got, de-tec-tive, then I’m afraid you are wasting your own time. Ruby Prescott gave me a private tour of the keg cellar that very evening, and handed the spigot to me as a keepsake. Very sad, her dying in the fire, but the spigot was a gift. Was there anything else?” He blew another cloud toward Paulus.

“Just this,” Officer Paulus stepped forward, handcuffs at the ready. “Traces of the accelerant used to start the fire are seeped into the wooden spout – see those dark patches? So you were there, with the victim, at the time the fire was started, and you saved the only piece of evidence to prove it. You may drive a Caddy, but you’re also a dope… and you are under arrest.”   

Copyright 2018 – D.A.Donaldson
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Miscalculation (169 words)

“You should try this cake, it’s amazing!” I say.

I figure I’ll keep it light, at least at first. She’s a killer, after all. No need to provoke her. She knows that I know, and that’s enough. I laughed when she suggested we meet at her place for lunch. I mean, seriously? She poisoned eleven people – that I know of – and I’m gonna let her serve up coffee and danish? I’m not stupid.

But here in Bud’s Diner, no problem. And the cake really is amazing. Coffee isn’t bad either. A little refreshment before we get down to business. It won’t take much, me keeping quiet. My needs are simple. I’d be satisfied with less than the price of a decent full-size pickup. I’m not greedy, after all. It’s just business. Swallowing the last fork full, I look up at her and wink. She smiles.

“Yes, I’ve heard the cake is quite good,” she says. “The cook is a personal friend of mine.”

She winks.  

Copyright 2018 by D.A. Donaldson
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I’m Not Crazy

I’m Not Crazy (280 words)

I’m not crazy.

Crazy doesn’t know what it’s doing. Crazy isn’t responsible for its actions because it’s, you know … crazy.

But I knew exactly what I was doing when I stepped in front of that train. I wasn’t trying to kill myself, absolutely not!

It was the bees; I did it for them.

Everyone knows the bees are in danger, but most people don’t know why. It’s complicated. It’s an irregular confluence of magnetic waves, wind velocity and ozone depletion that sends their little bee directional compasses all out of whack, so they can’t find the flowers.

No flowers equals no nectar. No nectar equals no honey. No honey equals a world without honey, and we’re not going to survive long in that environment.

And worst of all is the trains. Wherever they go they stir up unnatural breeze patterns, disrupting Mother Nature’s airflow and generating those insidious magnetic fields, with their steel wheels and their parallel rails — Field Strength equals velocity times alloy ratio over the rail coefficient to the fourth power… everyone knows the formula.

But no one seems to care, so it was up to me.

If I hadn’t stepped in front of that train, it never would have slammed on its brakes, never would have stopped … derailed, whatever. I realize that some people got hurt. OK, killed, and that is very regrettable. It wasn’t my intention to cause any harm. But we don’t know how many more trains the bees can take. The trains have to stop, and the stopping has to start somewhere, and today was the day because there I was and there was the train and, well, I suppose it was fate.

But I did it for the bees.

I’m not crazy.


Copyright 2017 by D.A. Donaldson
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