I recently entered a writing contest over at Scribe’s Writing Desk. The direction was to write a piece of flash fiction (under 500 words) using three of the following words:
murder, mystery, fire, gates, cat, warlord, gold, dwarf, planet, ship
Just to be a smartarse I entered a whacky little yarn using all ten words. It took out 2nd place and I won an ebook. So it seems only fitting to share it here as this week’s Friday Flash. May I present:
A Little Killing
It was a murder mystery that had the colony gossiping. Was it possible that a cat had killed a dwarf? Was it possible for a Warlord to get away with murder, blaming his mistress’s pet? Everyone on Sigma Outpost Seven knew the Rigellian Warlord was seeing Trix, the exotic dancer. Everyone knew that Trix was also seeing the dwarf. And she had a cat. That was the thing about outposts like this; everyone knew everything. Or thought they did.
When the calm of a Sunday morning had been shattered by rushing security, the bored denizens of the outpost knew there was a chance that something might break the monotony. When the blatantly casual crowd loitering around Trix’s apartment saw a stretcher emerge with a very short covered body, tongues started wagging like tails on excited dogs.
It was considered a kind of badge of honour on Sigma to spend the night with Trix. Man, woman, gender indeterminate alien, it didn’t matter, Trix was both desired and open to conquest. Spending a second night with Trix, however, was something of a gold medal achievement. The Warlord had demanded extra time with Trix, deluding himself that she wanted his company. As a Warlord, he had an innate sense of entitlement. The general consensus was that Trix put up with him out of fear for her safety.
The dwarf in question, Robinnus De Fleggum, was a man with a personality inversely proportional to his physical size. He had arrived on a passenger ship, walked directly across the planet surface dividing himself and Trix, and took his turn in the dancer’s bed. There seemed not the slightest thought in his mind that it would go any other way. Trix, according to gossips and close friends alike, had greatly enjoyed that tiny package of overwhelming confidence and continued to see him. And nobody minded that at all; it was unanimously agreed that Robinnus was a top bloke. Nobody, that is, except the Warlord.
When the day of the inquiry came the gossip centred around how a dancer like Trix would give evidence against a Warlord. After all, if the Warlord said that Trix’s cat had mauled Robinnus to death, what good was the word of an exotic dancer? The colony was buzzing with excitement. The court was an open session, every gallery packed. The presiding judge sat officiously at his bench. The inquiry was due to start at 9.00am precisely. At 8.59 the sound of heels clicking against the tile floor hushed the crowds. Trix strode seductively in. She looked calm, though a fire burned in her eyes. At the wooden gates before the judge’s bench she paused, letting all the eyes present drink her in. “Your honour,” she said huskily, “I’m afraid the Rigellian Warlord won’t be attending this inquiry today.” The judge raised an eyebrow. “It would seem,” Trix went on, a smile tugging saucily at one side of her mouth, “that my cat has killed again.”