Archive for the ‘Flash Fiction’ Category

Oh. My. Dog! #44

Posted: September 3, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Mrs Cairns looked exhausted.

Why don’t you take a rest, Mrs Cairns? I’ll take care of the dishes while Lynx does a little on-line research.”

Mrs Cairns offered me a grateful smile before she left to lay down.

Lynx grinned, her tablet was already on the table.

I filled the dishwasher, started it, and helped myself to more coffee. When I sat, Bud laid his paw on my knee – I roared. Lynx looked up. “What’s so funny?”

Seems like I have to buy a crate of coffee.”

I always knew that Bud has a great sense of humour.”

He’s right nevertheless.”

The search results showed that the blue Mondeo was a rather common car.

What can the police do? Presumably they ask at the garages within a fifty-mile-radius.”

Ken, this only helps if they really care to have the car repaired. Perhaps they know someone who does repairs like these at home.”

Mr Cairns will certainly access the criminal register for guys who could repair a work under the radar.”

My phone vibrated. “Ken, I need you and Bud here.”

On our way.”

Lynx understood. “I’ll stay and look after Mrs Cairns. She shouldn’t wake up to an empty house.”

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Oh. My. Dog! #43

Posted: August 6, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Mr Cairns went pale, then colour rose to his cheeks. “Are you sure, Bud?” Bud produced one of his silent barks.

We watched in wonder as Mr Cairns placed a call. “Jones, do you know if there is still someone in the jeweller’s neighbourhood?”

The answer seemed to please him. “All right, tell him to wait for us. I’ll pick you up in five minutes!”

When he realised our questioning looks, he just nodded at Bud. “Ask him!”

Bud laid his paw on my knee.

What is it, Ken?!”

I saw the jeweller’s shop, a hooded guy stepping out the door, casually walking to a blue Ford Mondeo, getting in. As soon as the door closed, the car sped toward the junction where it came in contact with a freshly painted wall to avoid colliding with another car. The other driver hit the accelerator and was gone, the Mondeo was steered out of sight.

And it was really the other couple’s stolen car? The near-miss must have panicked them.”

That’s probably what made them end up in the Ouse.”

Lynx smiled. “Your husband masters the art of connecting the dots. It will not be difficult to find the damaged car.”

Oh. My. Dog! #42

Posted: June 11, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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After the news, Mr Cairns cleared his throat. “Let’s not jump to conclusions. Why should they have robbed a jeweller in broad daylight? This was out of their league.”

Lynx spoke first. “What if they were only coincidentally there? They might have stolen the car, seen the police in that street, and – they simply panicked.”

You mean that they were simply fleeing from their own crime scene?”

It was my turn. “If they panicked in front of an officer, their license plate would have been noted.”

Mr Cairns drew in his breath. “Exactly! I’ll set Jones onto this; the poor lad has the night shift. He also needs to verify the possible routes from the site of the car theft to the jeweller’s street.”

We returned to the kitchen as Mr Cairns talked to Jones. His wife busied herself with the coffee-maker while I rinsed our mugs for a refill.

When Mr Cairns returned to the kitchen, he seemed slightly upset. “Several cars made U-turns when seeing the police presence. None of the plates was noted down. It’s a dead end.”

Bud indicated the robbery for a reason!”

As if on cue, Bud laid his paw on Mr Cairns’ knee.

Oh. My. Dog! #41

Posted: May 7, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Mrs Cairns sighed. “I am relieved that the poor girl is not orphaned.”

We were all relieved and I finally understood Bud’s initial reaction. It had bothered me that he didn’t seem to care for the girl’s parents. Bud sensed my train of thoughts, he nudged my hands and our eyes met. If more people had at least half of his empathy – this world would be a better place.

The girl’s parents are at the hospital, they won’t leave until she is allowed home.”

They must have been devastated. All the ‘What ifs’ – this is awful.” Mrs Cairns’ eyes were brimming with tears.

We will learn more tomorrow morning.” Mr Cairns was too realistic for thoughts like ‘It’ll all be all right.’

This fine couple had a history of stealing and selling everything for their addiction. It’s still unclear why they were in such a hurry.”

And what’s your take on this, Bud?” Lynx asked this half-joking and we realised that he had left my side. We located him – holding a pointer(!) pose – in front of the TV set.

Mr Cairns grabbed the remote and the screen sprang to life. A local jeweller deplored the loss of a valuable bracelet.

Oh. My. Dog! #40

Posted: April 23, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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We sat in shocked silence for a while, then everyone started talking at once.

They were terribly young for a four-year-old child.”

How could they do this to the little one?!”

Why didn’t they get help?”

Where were they headed, any clues?”

Mr Cairns’ ringing phone put an end to the chatter. His eyes grew wide as he listened intently. “All right, they can stay there for the night. Please make sure that they come to the station in the morning for a statement.”

After disconnecting, Mr Cairns stared into space for a while. Bud whimpered softly and Mr Cairns turned his attention to us.

You won’t believe this.”

Clearing his throat, he continued “This young couple stole the car with the sleeping girl inside. The girl’s mother had exited the car to get a newspaper, she was gone for less than a minute. Apparently they had lain in wait for the opportunity to get transportation. Presumably they weren’t even aware of the little girl.”

Why could this couple be mistaken for the parents?”

The papers were in the car. To make matters worse, the car was reported stolen during shift change. Therefore we didn’t learn about the connection sooner.”

Oh. My. Dog! #39

Posted: April 9, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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What did Mr Cairns say?”

I held Bud, sensing his desperation as I asked this.

He listened, immediately barking orders to his team. Before he disconnected, he told me that a local police car was already close by.”

What did he tell them?”

He told them that it was an anonymous caller. As you called his personal smartphone, they won’t check.”

We sat in silence as buses and passengers came and went, not in the mood for a change of location. Then Mr Cairns called. “Where are you?”

A little later he picked us up, his face not giving anything away. He didn’t drive to the station, he brought us home instead.

Mrs Cairns already expected us, coffee and other delicacies were waiting on her kitchen table.

Hands!” This order was also directed at her husband. We obeyed.

Cleaned and refreshed we gathered around the table. Mr Cairns cleared his throat.

We pulled out the car, inside a young couple and their 4-year-old daughter. The paramedics could revive the little girl. They expect her to fully recover.”

What a relief. Bud sighed audibly.

The parents didn’t make it. Year-long drug abuse affected their constitution way too much. They were only 20!”

Oh. My. Dog! #38

Posted: February 12, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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“Thank you, Ken.” A slight smile appeared on her face as she planted a kiss on my cheek. The rain stopped as if on cue, and the sun shimmered through the clouds. The day was no longer dull when we headed back to the station.

We didn’t talk much on the train, it wasn’t necessary. Bud watched the landscape, visibly enjoying the journey. Until – shortly before reaching York – he pricked his ears, staring at something only he could see. He was subtly growling.

“Bud?!”

He turned away from the window, sadness in his eyes. When we got off the train, he pushed us toward a bus station. We sat on the bench, and Bud laid his paw on my knee.
“No way!” I couldn’t believe my eyes. This was horrific.

Bud repeated the exercise and Lynx immediately grabbed my hand. “Ken! You need to tell Mr Cairns immediately!

My fingers trembled as I hit the dial button.

“Mr Cairns, this is urgent – a car just went into the Ouse! Bud just showed us.”

“Where exactly?”

Lynx took my phone.

“You know that old barn by the bend of road, the one hidden from view? Right there, give or take a few!”

Oh. My. Dog! #37

Posted: January 8, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Lynx and I had agreed on visiting the cemetery the following Saturday. As the train was due to leave York station at 10 o’clock, I had time for a second mug of coffee before getting on the way. Walking briskly, Bud and I arrived at the station with nearly twenty minutes to spare; heading into the café I ordered a coffee and a cinnamon roll to go. Both were long gone when Lynx arrived at the platform – right as the train entered the station.

We boarded the train and found our seats; I let Bud to the window, knowing how much he enjoyed watching the world go by.

It was cloudy when we left the train, meeting none of the villagers on our way to the small cemetery where only the ravens greeted us. Bud led us to Lynx father’s grave. Lynx was pale as she took a minuscule plant from her bag. Carefully, she planted the arbor vitae in a corner.

Bud gently nudged her and she got up. I could see her tears despite the heavy shower that soaked us through within seconds.

“Do you think they let the tree there?”

“I’m confident – they’ll think it was the gardener.”

Oh. My. Dog! #36

Posted: December 11, 2016 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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We left Mrs Cairns and James in animated conversation; they didn’t seem to notice that we were gone.

I unlocked my door, instantly revealing the whole flat. Compared to Lynx’s accommodation it was tiny, completely furnished by my landlords.

I grabbed two bottles of sparkling water and switched on the coffee machine.

This is nice. Like a lottery win, having your own ‘house’, a landlady like Mrs Cairns…”

You cannot complain about your flat, Lynx!”

Lynx clenched her fists. “I know, it’s mine. Do you know why? My father didn’t like my lifestyle. He bought that flat in my name, left me 18 000 £, telling me to never contact him again!”

Bud laid his paw on my knee. I saw a graveyard, and an inscription. ‘Final battle’ was often used for patients who did not survive cancer.

Bud’s eyes locked with mine. He seemed to ask if he should show it to Lynx as well. I nodded, edging closer to her. She gasped on seeing the images, unshed tears started running freely. I held her, Bud snuggled close; Lynx’s finally taking a deep breath ended our group hug.

Could you please come with me to the cemetery? I can’t do that alone.”

Oh. My. Dog! #35

Posted: November 13, 2016 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Mrs Cairns’ high tea was delicious – as always. Throughout the meal, I felt Bud’s watchful eyes on me. He sensed my restlessness; he presumably knew the reason why.

Why don’t we go outside, our garden is beautiful on bright autumn days like this.”

We cleared the table, then we followed Mrs Cairns to the garden. The rose-bush seemed bigger, or perhaps I was imagining things. Bud pricked his ears as we heard soft voices behind the hedge. He let out one of his silent barks and trotted to the garden gate. His joyful wagging indicated that it had to be Lynx. I rushed over to meet her. As expected she had James in tow.

I made the introductions. Mrs Cairns recognised James immediately. She greeted our visitors with a warm smile. “Would you like some freshly made lemonade, or would you prefer coffee?”

Lynx politely declined. “Thank you, we’re good, Mrs Cairns. I know for a fact that James is dying to see your garden, though. Can you imagine that his father denied his studying landscape gardening? He insisted on business management!”

Mrs Cairns chuckled. “Business management studies followed by landscape gardening make for a successful future job, I suppose.”