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Coffee Break 1 - Mystery [REVISED 13/07/2010]

by FenixTaichou 

Posted: 13 July 2010
Word Count: 570
Summary: A revised version of a short piece I made as part of a series of shorts around 500 words each spanning various genres .
Related Works: Coffee Break - Mystery • 

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Coffee Break 1 – Mystery

Nightime. It was cold and slightly foggy, the street lamps turning the thin, dull, grey fog into a slightly more hopeful yellow. Hope was what Detective Stone needed right now, as he stood in the streetlamp light over a bloody, naked, maimed body.
“What kind of sick bastard are we dealing with here?” Stone said, his husky voice, his years of smoking cigars having taken its toll. He lit a stogie and scratched his grey stubbled chin, deep in thought.

A short and stocky man stood next to him, his long beige duster almost contrasting Stone’s black coat. He adjusted his hat and put his hands in his trouser pockets. His voice was high and clear. This was Detective Landon, the Earl Grey to Stone’s black coffee.
“Well Stone, it looks like you’ve got yourself a doozy.”
Stone laughed, breaking into a chesty cough.
“Figures. I’m a week from retiring. Still, a guy’s gotta go out in style, right, Landon?”
Stone glanced behind him at the scene unfolding. Emergency services lined the roads, cordoning off the usual curious cats.
“Well whaddaya know? The vultures are out.”
Stone grunted, taking in a deep drag from the cigar.
“They’re hardly vultures, Stone. They’re just curious.”
“Curious, yeah. Curious to see what schmuck who ain’t them got put down. That ain’t altruism, they just wanna feel better about their own lives.”
Landon looked back down at the body.
“The ambulance crew can barely tell the gender, the body’s slashed so bad. One of the crew was violently sick, said he’d never seen anything like this before. They’re all pretty shaken up.”
Stone turned back to the body.
“This is beyond anything that I’ve seen before.” He said, smoke exhaling with every word.
Landon turned to Stone and raised his eyebrows.
Stone nodded solemnly,
“I’ve met my fair share of people sadistic enough to do something like this, but none of them fit this.”
Landon gestured wildly with his hands, a common trait when they weren’t in his pockets.
“But it’s the middle of the night, surely the killer meant for this to be under the cover of night?”
“No drag marks. The victim was killed right here in the spotlight. The killer wanted us to find this body.”
Landon patted Stone on the back.
“Well, old buddy, it’s down to you. I’ve got to get back to my exciting desk job. I can loan you one of my guys. He’s a rookie. I’m sure a case like this will do him some good and toughen him up a little. I could think of no better mentor than you.”
Stone sighed heavily.
“You know I don’t like a partner. It took me long enough to shake you off, you old coot.”
Landon laughed heartily,
“Hey, I’m sure it was the other way around. How many times did you nearly cost me my badge?”
Stone smiled, clenching the cigar between his teeth.
“Git’. I’ll tie things up here. Send your boy to my office for morn’, first thing.”
Landon tipped his hat, and bid his farewell, leaving Detective Stone standing alone once more with the mutilated body at his feet. He glanced back at the ambulance, the informant sitting in the open back with a blanket around her shoulders. He looked back down at the body.
“Just you and me. Let’s try and find out what happened, shall we?”

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Comments by other Members

Bunbry at 18:05 on 16 July 2010  Report this post
Hi Robert, I really like this, you have the start of something good here!

I'll just run through a few things that didn't quite work for me.

First line avoid using fog and foggy so close. Try misty or mist in place of one of them.

Cut 'maimed' in 2nd line - your reader can see that already!

4th line cut 'deep in thought' - reader should work that out for themselves.

Cut 'I'm a week from retiring' it is what we call 'tell' and is a weak way of giving info to the reader. Try and think of a more subtle way.

Not sure about 'shmuck' or 'old coot'- does anybody really talk like that?!

Hope some of this helps.

Good luck with it.


tusker at 07:45 on 18 July 2010  Report this post
Hi Robert,

This is the start of something interesting.

I agree with Nick's pointers.

I'm wondering what era it's set in? It has the feel of the 80's. Don't know why.

I'd like to know what happens in the end.


Findy at 10:56 on 19 July 2010  Report this post
Hi Robert

Very interesting, I'd also like to more, what happened? why? who's the killer?

Just one thing, if it is the middle of the night, would there be a lot of people crowding around the crime scene?


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