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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“So it was wild before the beginning of this year,” Wren said, scribbling on the timeline on her clipboard with a pencil.
Across the kitchen table, Mike scratched the fox’s ears and frowned at the woman in second-hand store business clothes. He said, “She had zero people skills, that’s for sure.”
Wren tried to reach across and pet the now-tamed animal where it sat on the table in front of him. Mike swatted her hand away, scattering the pepper shaker and dusting the fox’s fiery fur with the pungent spice. The animal didn’t flinch an inch.
“Don’t touch her,” Mike said, eyes flashing. “She didn’t bite anyone and she sure as hell didn’t kill anyone.”
“For now I’m not saying that she did,” Wren said. “In case it wasn’t obvious, I’m establishing how tame she really is. Has she got a name?”
The fox flicked her tail and posed in a too-lazy-to-sit-primly way. Mike scratched his belly under the overalls and said, “Sophie.”
Wren’s lip quirked up. “Such an innocent name compared to the ones floating around this little village.”
He ignored the snide in her voice. “It means ‘intelligence’ or something like that. She’s a smart one.”
At that last word, Sophie the fox leapt down from the table and sashayed across the stained linoleum into the hallway that led to the living room. Then she left through the half-open front door. The breeze that swept through from front door to back windows was too delicious not to have, especially on the only day a police consultant woman had ever been in his farmhouse.
Wren continued. “You must work with lots of animals to know how to tame them so fast.”
Mike leaned back in his chair toward the front door, saying nothing. A minute passed.
“I asked how many animals you worked with in order to learn how to tame them. When small towners call a man like you the beastman and then a car dealer’s daughter ends up bitten to death, it’s suspicious.”
“You didn’t ask me a thing,” Mike said, lowering his voice. “You found a body with deep bite marks on the neck and you hauled ass right over to my place. No police investigation, no news, no nothing.”
The clack of claws on wood signaled Sophie’s return to the house. Mike craned his neck around, saw no blood in Sophie’s fur, teeth, or paws.
No partner around, then. This woman was an amateur.
He heard Wren take a breath to reply, but he snarled, “Them car salesmen didn’t give a hoot when they ran my last two pets over—”
At the number two, Sophie bared her teeth, rushed the woman, and leapt for her neck.