storage shed

© Russell Gayer

“Got the DNA evidence from SFPD in 2007, and it leads here, April.”

Two temporal investigators closed in on the Zodiac Killer at an abandoned farm’s outbuilding.

“Go in here, H.G. I’ll circle around.”

The young 19th century man waited and then entered the cinder block building.

“H.G! Hurry!”

He rushed inside and saw her standing by the body. “What happened? Dead?”

“Very, but how?”

“Who said I was dead?” The voice came from all around them. Both H.G. Wells and April Dancer realized the murderer was really a demon who had been possessing serial killers since the dawn of time.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge for December 1st. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

I’m leveraging a story I wrote last week for Rochelle’s challenge, Just Stepping Out for a Week, Be Right Back about a time traveler who occasionally helps H.G. Wells track down some of history’s most notorious killers.

In this case, I continued that story only to have them find the nature of the Zodiac is actually a single eternal spirit, one who possesses the bodies of human beings and compels them to kill.

I admit to stealing the idea from an episode of the original Star Trek series Wolf in the Fold written by Robert Bloch and leveraging his own “Jack the Ripper” theme.

Unfortunately, 100 words isn’t a lot to explore a complete concept, but hopefully I’ve managed to instill some sense of mystery and menace.

Oh, I took the name “April Dancer” from the title character of a late 1960s TV show called The Girl from U.N.C.L.E (a spin off of The Man from U.N.C.L.E) starring Stefanie Powers.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

57 thoughts on “Elusive

  1. Dear James,

    Although short lived, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.was one of my favorite shows. At the time it probably had more to do with Noel Harrison, one of my schoolgirl crushes. 😉 Intriguing story.




    • I remembered the “The Man from U.N.C.L.E” being a terrific show but a few years back I rented some episodes on DVD from my local library and found them to be disappointing. Then I read that the 1st season was the best, so I rented it, got about halfway through, got bored, and returned it. Guess sometimes you just can’t go home.

      I barely remember “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E” but then again, it only lasted one season.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dear James,

        I suppose that’s the difference between an adolescent girl and boy. I was a big fan of David McCallum’s too (still am) and later in life did exchange some emails with Noel Harrison.
        As for the Man from UNCLE, I have the box set. Aside from the acting being terrible, the scripts ridiculous, David McCallum is still eye candy in them. 😉

        Liked by 3 people

    • The HG is supposed to give it away. Imagine a young writer from the late 19th century and a cover agent from 1968 occasionally being called in by some mysterious “boss” to solve cross-time crimes.


  2. I am amazed each time I read your stories and how much you know and research.
    I hope April finally made it to the breakfast table on time . A wonderful sequel, James.


  3. Very well done. I think I recall the episode you’re talking about, where Captain Kirk ponders an evil spirit or force taking over and possessing willing and/or susceptible people throughout history, driving them to horrific crimes. I’ve never forgotten his statement — because it’s so true.


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