• Jabe Stafford

One Page Worlds - Murder Analyst

A whole world on a single page!

The short story morsels of One Page Worlds are flash fiction adventures of all flavors. Every Wednesday will feature a complete story in one page, or the first page of what could be a novel or novelette.

Sharing the fun and geekery is the best part of writing! Please tweet or comment with your guesses on what genre, character, and job is central to each tale. Enjoy touring new universes each week with One Page Worlds!

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Squinting at the card in the dim porchlight, I scoffed. “You're a Risk Analyst?”

The salesman stepped onto the welcome mat. He watched the darkness and the moths that flitted over his bald head. Mint lightened his breath when he spoke. “Yes ma’am. Morton Clyde, state certified. My partner at Homeowner’s Shepherd helped me develop a formula. Many homes from this era collapse or catch fire simply because of their old condition.”

I slid a hand up the solid oak door I’d been holding open, the grain cool on the skin. “She’s been through tornadoes and hailstorms. Solid of a house as I ever seen.” A clunk, definitely the furnace, sounded reassuring-like in the basement behind me.

Clyde clasped both his hands. “We aim to help you analyze the risk involved in owning such a home and act to mitigate it. Our services will save your whole bank account in the future.”

“No thank you, Mr. State Certified. Good evening.”

Wind rippled through my robe when I closed the door on him. Those types always had those types of names. The old girl creaked and cracked behind me, calming me like she did every night.

I’d gotten too used to the dimness outside and my eyes were overloaded, so I squinted around the bright-lit living room for my wineglass.

Right there on the end table.

A hand gripped me when I reached for the glass. Gooseflesh prickled down to my bones.

“Break-ins are a risk,” A voice rattled.

Light spots swirled behind both eyes, between this strange woman’s face and mine.

She offered a razor blade and my purse to somebody climbing the basement stairs. A man that smelled of mint. “Morton, how should we mitigate that?”

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