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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The words “Best Cuts Boucherie” are painted in cursive lettering on the window. Place is clean and upscale enough that no one else could see its secret.
“Detective Garn,” my radio snaps, “Why are you shopping for steak when you should be finding those bodies?”
I slip a baseball cap over my bald spot. “Why are you tracking my phone on one of those map apps?”
Parallel parking the old unmarked squad car at the curb in front of a hydrant is a bitch. Parking enforcement will see a half-junked ride and a driver who didn’t give half a crap. My boss would gripe about how I wasted a city employee’s time and her own in order to get the information I needed. Better that than not exposing this secret.
High-cost-high-reward is the only game I play.
I shove open the door to Best Cuts and adjust my worn leather jacket. Rich beef and spices flood my nose and I cough. The holster around my ribs keeps catching on the jacket’s inside pockets. Design flaws. Still happens when you’ve got to rely on army surplus equipment and can’t afford a tailor.
A squawk gouges both ears. “Tasty. Tasty. At the door.”
The woman and parrot standing behind glass cases and weighing equipment could be part of a matching mannequin set. Light gray skin and stained butcher’s apron. Light gray feathers and red tail. Even the cases with their cuts of meat play to the gray-and-red scheme. At least the lights were LEDs and not red bulbs.
I flash a badge-looking laminated card in my wallet at the butcher woman. “Detective Garn McCander. I need to ask you about some warm bodies disappearing. Need your name too.”
The bird shuffles on her shoulder while she rasps, “You parked your police vehicle in front of the fire hydrant. What if there’s a fire, Mr. Garn?”
She said ‘Mr.’ and not ‘Detective.’ Observant. I point at the old unmarked squad car. “I bought that at a police auction. City can bring in a wrecker for all I care. Now why is this is the only New York butcher shop that ambulances stop at on a regular basis.”