The Three Little Pigs – A Flash Fiction Piece
It’s been a while since my last Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction challenge, so I thought I’d try and keep it short and sweet this week. I admit, I cheated a little; was meant to pick a fairytale and apply to it a random sub-genre. Instead, I picked a fable, applied a random sub-genre, borrowed an idea from Roald Dahl, and engaged in fabletastic (yes, it’s a word!) detective fun. I hope you like this short story, which clocks in at a piddly 681 words.
The Three Little Pigs
Red. Glistening. Blood. It coated the walls in pretty scarlet spray-patterns, pooled beneath the tattered body lying supine on the floor, dripped through the minute gaps in the wooden floorboards. The lampshade on the table was decorated in the crimson liquid, as was the forty-two inch TV screen and the Dali print hanging upon one of the walls. Nothing in the room had escaped the carnage.
“Detective Hood, over here!”
Roxanne Hood abandoned her examination of the scene as the coroner called her name. In the background, one of the forensics team went about photographing the evidence. He was going to be here a while.
“Give me the run-down, Tom,” she said, standing just on the edge of the crimson pool.
The coroner shrugged. “You’re looking at what used to be Officer Grant Melkin. Thirty-two, single, a good guy, from what little of him I remember.”
Roxanne crouched down, getting a better view of the former officer’s glassy eyes. “Cause of death?”
“Throat slashed with a kitchen knife. Forensics have bagged it already. As you can see, the heart’s been removed, probably after it stopped beating.”
“That’s the third cop in three weeks,” she said, a shiver running up her spine. “A cop-killing serial killer. Great. The Chief’s gonna hit the roof.”
“You’re going to love this, too,” he replied. Gesturing for her to follow, he led her away from the body of Melkin and into the bedroom. There on the wall above the bed, painted in the victim’s own blood, was the killer’s calling card.
Roxanne sighed. The cartoonish red wolf grinned down at her.
“Seems our guy considers himself an artist,” said Tom.
“A son of a bitch is what he is.” Her words came out as a growl, and she reached into her pocket for the pack of smokes. Sparking up, she took a long drag, savouring the first toxic breath. Every morning she woke up intending to quit. And by every evening she’d seen enough shit to drive her to lighting up another white stick of comfort.
“That stuff’ll kill you,” Tom admonished.
“What are we missing, Tom?” she asked, ignoring his warning. Coroners; what did they know anyway?
She tapped the floor with her foot, smudging a little ash from her cigarette into the carpet. “These killings. First there was Robards over on Straw Lane. Then McKenzie on Stickland Drive. Now Melkins on Brick House Avenue. We’re not talking about just anyone; they were cops. They worked out of different offices, all of them lived alone, we never find any sign of a struggle, yet I find it hard to believe these guys would just let their killer into their homes, and stand there like cattle for the slaughter whilst he slashed their throats.”
“If it even is a ‘he’,” said Tom. “All the hearts are missing. That could be telling.”
“So what, these guys are all seeing the same chick, and for some reason she gets the urge to murder them and cut out their hearts?” She shook her head and put the cigarette out on the dresser. “I don’t buy it. You don’t rip your lover’s heart out and then fingerpaint on the walls with his blood.”
Tom shrugged, offered a helpless look, and led the way back to the living room. “I’m just a coroner, Detective. I’ll leave the motives and opportunity to you.”
“Yeah, thanks anyway. You’ll send me a copy of your autopsy report?”
“I’ll fax it to your office as soon as it’s ready.”
“Thanks.” She pulled on her dark red raincoat and prepared to step out into the downpour. “I’ll be on my cell if you need to get hold of me.”
“Where are you going?”
“To the lumber yard.” She pulled her belt tight, knowing it would do little to keep out the rain. “Their company logo’s a timber wolf. Seems as good a place as any to start.”
Tom gave a brief nod. “Good luck. And be careful out there. The last thing I want is the wolf getting his paws on you, Detective Hood.”