Promotional image for the track “Moanin’ At Midnight” by “Howlin’ Wolf” (Chester Arthur Burnett)
“Yes sir, this is the Parks residence. No sir, he can’t come to the phone right now.”
“Betty, who are you talking to on the telephone?” Lillie Parks was home alone with her two little daughters and especially when her husband Arthur was out, he was very protective of the children.
“Says it’s the police, Mama.”
“Let me have the phone, Baby.”
Eight-year-old Betty handed the black, plastic receiver to her Mama.
“This is Mrs. Lillie Parks. May I help you?”
“Yes, Ma’am. This is Officer Bill Tucker. Is Arthur Parks your husband?”
Lillie gripped the phone tighter and she began to tremble. No, if he were dead, the police would have come to the door, not called. “Yes he is, Officer.” She tried to be as polite as she could, not only because that was part of her natural tendency but because of how the police treated “uppity” Negros.
© Marie Gail Stratford
It was late when Mikiko Kojima checked into the Four Seasons Hotel at 900 N. Michigan in Chicago.
The building was known as Bloomingdale’s given the shopping establishment’s significant presence, including its name on the structure. It contained some of the most upscale stores in the nation and the rather luxurious hotel in which Mikiko had been booked occupied the 30th through the 46th floors of the building.
There had been a sudden mix up in reservations at the last-minute once unknown government agencies requested that a room be made available for Ms. Kojima’s stay. Accommodations for at least one guest had to be made elsewhere with certain financial incentives added in order for Mikiko to have room 3014 open to her at two hours notice.
Her suitcase had been sent ahead of her, although it wasn’t actually her luggage. A large Louis Vuitton case had been purchased and clothing in Mikiko’s size was bought, packed, and then sent to the Four Seasons and placed in her room. She would seem a more legitimate guest this way since she had left England only with a small handbag and a carry on.
Body being pulled out of the Thames River – found at DailyMail.com
The body of a young woman has been found in the River Thames in Reading.
Thames Valley Police said the corpse was found shortly before 10:00 GMT on Tuesday morning, near the Thames Lido.
She has not yet been identified but officers believe she may have been a recently arrived undocumented immigrant.
Police are currently treating the woman's death as suspicious. According to Det Insp Robert Farming, an appeal for witnesses has been made.
Mikiko Jahn sat reading the BBC news story on the borrowed tablet over and over again, and then after a while stopped being conscious of the words. A photo was run with the story. She recognized the girl from Sebastian Wright’s security file.
The dead woman was a fourteen-year-old Syrian refugee who had been trying to escape to Europe when she and a group of twenty-one other young girls between the ages of twelve and seventeen had been captured by human traffickers. She and four others were routed to the UK, London, specifically to Wright to provide a night’s “entertainment” to a few select delegates at the symposium Mikiko had attended last week.
© Marie Gail Stratford
Mikiko left her room at the Four Seasons reluctantly ready to kill the assassin-for-hire called Sandman. MI6 learned his condo was on the 29th floor.
Her contact arranged the Glock. She’d never met Sandman, but she knew his victim’s scent from last month’s encounter. Mikiko barely survived a nuclear accident six years ago and was now reconstructed using revolutionary techniques. Her sense of smell was that of a wolf’s.
Sandman was amusing himself with the girl. There. Mikiko could hear sounds of pain and passion just the other side of the door. “Just another murder in Chicago,” she told herself.
I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to write a story no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.
Once again I’m leveraging a pre-existing character and situation, in this case, my synthetic woman Mikiko Jahn whose latest published adventure can be found HERE.
When I saw the address in Chicago, I looked it up and indeed found that the “Bloomingdale’s” building contains the Four Seasons Hotel on floors 30-46 and condos on floors 21-29. It wouldn’t be much trouble for Mikiko to get from the 30th to the 29th floor to seek out her target and her synthetic body has enhanced senses including a sense of smell that can recognize a particular odor for up to about 3 kilometers. Her hearing is goes into the 80 kHz range, so listening through the door is child’s play.
Oh, 100 words is pretty limiting and if I’d had more “real estate,” I would have explained the child sex trafficking angle of the story. There’s another tale of Mikiko’s that covers her stalking these predators in much more detail. Today’s wee bit of flash fiction occurs immediately after that one (which I’m still writing).
To see some of the events that led Mikiko up to this point, read First Flight.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com. Given the number of entries already present, it seems I’m getting off to a pretty late start.
Michigan Avenue in Chicago
Walking down Michigan Avenue, Johnny remembered the meme, “Come to Chicago for the food, stay because you got murdered,” yet all he saw was another “hustle bustle” Monday morning in a big city.
Naturally he came prepared. This was mostly a vacation trip, but he did have one bit of business to attend to. There she was just ahead of him, about to cross the DuSable Bridge. It would be touchy in broad daylight, but with these crowds, he was confident he’d get away with it.
He slipped the small .22 out of his sleeve into his palm just as he caught up with her. He shoved the barrel into her back and fired, then kept walking. She collapsed against the bridge railing and then onto the sidewalk.
Another successful hit, this time on an NBC news exec. Now to lunch. He’d heard “The Purple Pig” had a great wine list.
Written for What Pegman Saw. The idea is to use the Google Maps photo prompt above to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is exactly 150.
To read more stories inspired by the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.