Tag Archives: mystery

Uncomfortable Silence

Jimmy set his lunch down on the break table and plopped down in a chair, heaving a huge sigh.

“Man, what a day,” he said, picking up his sandwich and taking a bite.

“Uh…” Frank said, looking at Jimmy then glancing quickly away to catch Seth’s eye, sharing a disturbed expression.

“Whampf?” Jimmy asked around a mouthful of bread and bologna.

“Nothing,” Seth said.

Jimmy swallowed and looked between his two friends, studying their expressions. “What?” he repeated.

“It’s nothing,” Frank said, sounding uncomfortable. “Just, uh, have you looked in a mirror today?”

Jimmy tore another bite from his sandwich and chewed silently for a moment while nodding. “Of course. I had to comb my hair and shave this morning, like usual.”

“Ok,” Seth said. “We were just wondering.”

Jimmy set his sandwich down and looked again at his friends. “Seriously, guys, what’s got your dander up?”

The other two were silent for a moment. Finally, it was Seth that spoke.

“Well, you might want to look again when you get a chance.”


Fog drifted, wet and heavy, over the short mall between the Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry and Stanley Coulter Hall. Six tall lampposts bathed everything in an eerie, orange glow. The hour was late, and the campus was deserted — deserted but for one.

She stood at the south end of the mall, seemingly in contemplation, a small bundle clutched under her arm. Her other hand rested lightly on the fountain there, its lion face spewing water in a thin stream into the stone basin below its chin.

The fog swirled, and a cloaked figure appeared. She approached it, cautiously, the fog parting like a veil before her. Drawing to within three paces of him, she bowed slightly, a greeting.

“Your delivery as requested, Professor.” He spoke not a word in response, merely tipped his bearded chin in thanks as he collected the items into the deep folds of his robe.

Her task complete, she turned on her heel and strode quickly back to the edge of the mall, glancing only once over her shoulder. Only mist and vapor remained.

[Originally posted on Ficly.]

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Clanks at Midnight

The place smelled like shit and piss.

“I thought these things didn’t have bodily excretions,” I called out to my partner.

“They’re not supposed to,” she replied. “For some reason this one does. Someone’s been hard at work making a clank that can process food the way humans do.”

The clank was a junker, alright, especially since someone had unloaded several rounds of buckshot into the thing. Oil and grease spattered the wall around where it was slumped, and a puddle of very human sewage was leaking onto the floor around the thing.

“Makes you wonder what happened here,” I said thoughtfully. No answer. I looked around. “Mel?”

I found her in the next room looking at a scrap of paper she’d found on the desk. I looked over her shoulder and read: Nobody loves a clank at midnight.

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“Hell if I know, Joe. Nothing about this makes sense. We still haven’t found Mr. Peabody.” She sighed. “Maybe when we find him, we’ll have our answers.”

Maybe, I thought, but I wouldn’t count on it.

[Originally posted at Ficly.]