"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.
Once I awoke, I remembered how I died. Both shotgun barrels made a fine mess – fine enough to fill my schedule with nearly a year of physical therapy. The officers on my team also made a fine mess of the hidden suspect, who pulled those vintage triggers of the double barrels. The doctor said I experienced a three-day coma and used gallons of blood. He also says I was shocked back to life three times in the helicopter. I had many dreams in that time. Each one crazy different, except for a three times recurring scene. One man in a strange purple office.
Dying on a dark carpeted floor of an old creepy house is not how I wanted to go out. Window shades yellowed the only light on the walls. Walls lined floor to ceiling with leftover card catalogues. Each drawer had a name labeled in pencil, corresponding with a growing list of missing persons burned into my mind, plus a few hundred more I didn’t recognise. I slid open a stout drawer with my gloved hand, looked inside and smelled the familiar old smells from my grade school library. What lay inside? An immediate dread fell upon me with realization they weren’t missing any longer. Countless murders happened in this old house. I heard a loud click and felt overpowering numbness. I pulled out the drawer on my way down, falling like a sack of potatoes. I stared at that drawer next to me with fading vision. Ellis Burnside’s personal effects were in there. So said the name on the label. He wasn’t on my list.
I can only tell you now, fully awake, that this strange man in the purple office of my dreams thanked me profusely for my work; for solving a mystery he could not. I didn’t fully understand him, but he was gracious enough to pour two drinks for us. My glass, in this dream, had no flavor or effect whatsoever on me. He introduced himself as a fellow detective and we talked about the trade. Suspects, clues and method. I was tired but began to figure things out. We had nice moments each time I visited between the bizarre dreams. He said he found me when I died, so I wasn’t alarmed when the doctor told me it happened, but I didn’t know how the dream man knew this. Dreams are oddly knowing and confusing at the same time. He kept saying every one of his coworkers ignored the big break in his own missing persons investigation, like he didn’t exist. I guess that would be a problem with a name like Ellis Burnside – dead detective.
(Author’s notes) May 22, 2016: Calgary
A concept I’m thinking of developing into episodic installments. I started thinking of paranormal things when a noted audio show, Radiolab, released an episode on paranormal investigators coming to your house. The investigator phrase got my mind going on detectives and their work. A problem-solving mind never stops, right?