Bastille

Posted: September 13, 2012 in Flash

Written for the Aphelion-webzine June 2012 Flash challenge. The challenge was the same as for May; To write the story of a human detective investigating the murder of a nefarious alien named Skekko. Except this time, written as a parody or comedy! 

—–

Nathan Bastille, debonair bachelor and best selling crime writer, caught sight of Detective Stana Kalashnikova as he entered the squadroom. She had the phone jammed against her ear as she scribbled furiously in her notepad. Nathan smiled as he took in the delicate curve of her neck, the strong line of her jaw and her full, red lips. She was his muse, the woman he loved, but she was damaged, driven and could never return his feelings until she’d brought her father’s killer to justice.

“Bastille, what are you grinning at?” Stana slammed the phone down and grabbed her jacket before striding towards Bastille. “We’ve caught a murder at a warehouse down on Sesame Street. Let’s go.”

***

They found Janie, the pathologist, already at the scene in the cluttered back office room of the grimy Sesame Street warehouse. Loose papers and yellow feathers covered every surface. Janie stood over the corpse of a six foot bird.

“That canary ain’t gonna sing no more,” said Nathan.

“Why did you have to bring Bastille with you?”

“Now play nice, Janie,” replied Stana. ”You know the deal, he gets to follow me around doing research for his books and in return his poker buddy, the chief of police, stays off our backs. What have we got?”

“Vic’s an extraterrestrial, name of Skekko, ran an import export business out of here. She’s been strangled. Time of death is between ten and two last night.”

“So, who choked the chicken?” Said Bastille with a grin.

“Skekko was dirty bird,” said Detective Rodriguez, Stana’s partner, as he walked in. “Got a rap sheet as long as my arm; smuggling, drugs, fraud.”

“So, plenty of enemies,” said Stana. “What do you think, Bastille?”

“Ah yes, a case of murder most-”

“I have a gun,” cut in Stana, “Don’t make me use it.”

“She’s been strangled,” continued Bastille soberly. “That’s personal, a crime of passion no doubt.”

“We’ve got her business partners downstairs,” said Rodriguez. “See if they knew anyone who had a grudge.”

***

“Wow, a couple of Mupponians!” Bastille stared at the short, orange humanoids that had been Skekko’s business partners as Stana and he came down the stairs into the shadowy warehouse. “They look so adorable, can we keep them?”

“They’re suspects,” growled Stana, “not pets.”

She turned to the to the Mupponians, her face stern, “So, which one of you is Earnest and which is Bertrum.”

“I’m Earnest,” said the shorter. “He’s Bertrum. I can’t believe the big bird is dead. It’s just so sad.”

“She had it coming,“ said the taller one, “She didn’t make many friends. “

“Can think of anyone who had a problem with the deceased?” Asked Stana.

“Only everyone that ever met her.”

“Now, that’s just mean, Bertrum. She had a big heart under that soft, downy exterior,” said Earnest.

“Have either of you got an alibi between ten and two last night?” Asked Stana.

“We were at home together, all night,” said Bertrum. “Earnest took a bath and I was reading, we went to bed about midnight.”

“Where’s your other business partner?” asked Rodriguez, coming down from the office, a stack of papers in his hands. He turned to Stana and Nathan, “I’ve been looking at the paperwork, there’s a fourth business partner, name of Aloyoshenka.”

“Bah!” said Bertrum. “The mythical sleeping partner. Skekko made him up so she could take more share of the profits. We’ve never laid eyes on him.”

“It’s true, we’ve never met him, but the big bird always spoke very highly of him,” said Earnest. “She said he was a Chameleoprobos, from her home planet.”

“A Chameleoprobus!” exclaimed Bastille.

“What is it, Bastille? What’s a Chameleoprobus?” asked Stana.

“This is so great,” said Bastille. “Detective, I think we may have a witness to our murder most-”

“Bastille!” Cut in Stana, “I won’t warn you again.”

***

“Okay, Bastille,” said Stana with scowl on her face. “What are we all doing back in the office?” The room was crowded with Bastille, both detectives, the pathologist, the Mupponians and the body of Skekko.

“We’ve all been avoiding the elephant in the room,” said Bastille. “Janie, give me your UV light and goggles?”

With an puzzled expression, Janie handed over the equipment. Bastille shone the UV light around the room, squinting through the goggles.

“Voila!” shouted Bastille, and handed the goggles to Stana, “There is your witness!”

“Well, I’ll be!” said Stana with awe, “There really is an elephant in the room.”

“Bravo, Mr Bastille,” the deep voice came as what appeared to be a wall and row of filing cabinets resolved themselves into a seven foot tall pachyderm, its luxuriant fur changing color and texture so it no longer blended with its environment. “May I just say, I am a huge fan of your books. And this must be Detective Kalashnikova, on whom your character Kate Frost is based. A pleasure to meet you too.”

“Can it, Jumbo,” said Stana. “What did you see?”

“Skekko and I were working late last night when Bertrum burst into the office. He accused her of having an affair with Earnest. My species are pathological cowards, I’m afraid, evolved to avoid attention and conflict. I could do nothing to intervene. When Skekko denied the affair, Bertrum went crazy and strangled her.”

“It’s true,” confessed Bertrum. “Even as I choked the life out of her, she denied she was trying to steal my dear, sweet Earnest from me. Earnest, say you’ll wait for me?”

“Of course, my love. But Bertrum, there was no affair!”

“I heard you, Earnest, through the bathroom door that night , saying how you loved the yellow bird. I came here immediately, in a jealous rage.”

“I was talking about my little rubber duckie, bath time just wouldn’t be so much fun without it.”

“Rodriguez, cuff him,” said Stana. “Okay, Bastille, you can say it now.”

Bastille smiled with delight. “Ah yes, a case of murder most fowl.”

The End

Advertisements
Comments
  1. […] recent flash-fiction, Bastille, features an alien race called Mupponians, specifically two members of that race; Ernest and […]

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s