K. A. Williams
was wheeled out on a gurney while forensics
were checking for clues. I had already talked with the police officers that had
answered the call, and now I was being questioned by the detective in charge of
Detective Simmons was reading the notes handed to him by
the cops that were leaving on another call. "Now you said you never saw
anyone leave the house after you arrived and found your uncle's body."
"Tell me everything from the time you got here. Maybe
you forgot something important."
I didn't think I had forgotten anything, but I repeated
what I'd already told the other police officers. "The downstairs door was
locked. I entered with my key and called my uncle's name several times, but he
didn't answer, so I came upstairs to his study. Uncle Andrew was slumped over
his desk. I checked for a pulse but didn't find one, and immediately called
911. At first I thought he'd had a heart attack, but then I noticed the blood
on the back of his head."
Detective Simmons was obviously comparing what I was saying
to the notes.
"I don't know anyone who would want to kill him. I
think his murderer was a burglar who had gotten inside by climbing over the
gate in the backyard and entering through the patio doors which were open when
I came up," I said, volunteering my deductions, even though the detective
had not asked for my opinion on the case.
The detective consulted the notes yet again. He walked over
to the open patio doors which lead to the wooden deck and looked out across the
well-tended lawn where uniformed cops were checking the area.
Then his gaze swept the entire room and settled on my
uncle's mahogany desk. I could see a small black corner peeking out from
beneath a large heap of papers.
"I must have surprised the burglar when I entered the
house and called my uncle's name. That would explain why nothing is
missing," I said, trying to distract him.
He ignored me, moved aside the papers, and picked up the
object. It was a digital voice recorder. He studied it a moment before pressing
a few buttons.
Uncle Andrew's voice came out of the speaker. "I
wanted to speak with you about your gambling problem."
My voice answered, "I don't know what you're talking
My uncle said, "I took you in when your parents died
and taught you my business so you could take over when I retire because I have
no other heir. But you've disappointed me. I know you're in debt, and lately
you've been stealing from the company."
"That's a lie," I said. "Do you have any
proof that I've been embezzling?"
"No, but a lot of money is missing, and you're the
only other one with access to the accounts. You're fired! Tomorrow I'm making a
new will and removing your name from the business. You'll still get the house
and my personal assets when I die but not the business assets. They will be
sold and donated to charities."
I said, "You can't do that, I won't let you."
Then there was a loud thump.
Detective Simmons looked at me and shook his head. He read
me my rights before he handcuffed me.
I had wiped my fingerprints from the bowling trophy I'd
bashed his head in with but forgotten about my uncle's habit of dictating his
correspondence into a recorder.
K. A. Williams has been
published in various magazines, including Black Petals, Bewildering
Stories, Calliope, The Rockford Review, and Nuthouse,
with upcoming fiction scheduled for Corner Bar Magazine and Transfigured
Cynthia Fawcett has been writing
for fun or money since she was able to hold a pen. A Jersey Girl at heart, she got her
journalism degree at Marquette University in Milwaukee and now writes mostly technical
articles about hydraulics and an occasional short story or poem on any other subject.