Very Short Story – Private Investigator

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So for my Creative Writing class I had to write a 1.5-3 page short story about a crappy job. It could only have 1-2 characters. I trashed what I had before and wrote this. What do you guys think?


When I decided to open this business, I thought it would be a great idea. My extensive military training, business degree, and generally observable nature made it seem like a great idea. It was ultimately the concept of working whenever I wanted that led to my decision. Unlocking the door, I paused, briefly, on my name:

Douglas Tennant

Private Investigator

I was taken back to when I had first opened my door ten years ago. Business had boomed right from the get-go. My clients began referring my business to their friends and so on. The job had been dirty, but I loved it, and I was good at it. I pulled myself from that thought. Sighing quietly to myself as I turned the worn brass knob on the door and pushed it open. There was no need to think about the past when there was so much to figure out in the present.

The floorboards creaked as I took heavy steps across the dusty floor to my desk. Tossing my beat up leather shoulder bag onto the ground, I plopped heavily into the swivel chair, causing it to roll back a couple inches, and throwing my black bowler hat on the far left side of my desk. Normally, this is when I would begin to look through my case files for the day. But there weren’t any. I stared blankly at my desk. Lately I had begun to notice the imperfections in its worn wood top. The walnut finish was worn in a circle to my left where I placed my coffee cup each morning. Scratches covered the portion where I had typically placed papers as I wrote on them. Damn cheap paper. The corner where I often sat to stare at the white board that was frequently covered in case notes was worn down, faded. I stared at the phone, a black, rotary dial that I had been so proud of. It gave a certain air to the business. Day after day I sat here, hoping that it would ring. Knowing that the chances of that were next to none.

My gaze shifted to the stack of papers occupying the far right corner. I slid them to the center of the desk. Right on top was the newspaper clipping I had memorized word for word. The headline read:


I read through each clipping, each case file, I looked at each photo, like I had every day for the past years, trying desperately to figure out where I had gone wrong. How this had happened to me. Searching for a way to reverse it. Thinking each day that maybe today would be the day I noticed something new.

I looked out the window that gave a beautiful view of street outside just in time to see the first drops of spring rain hit the glass. If I had had any hope of a decent day, it disappeared with the rain like it did so many other days here in Seattle. I had thought several times about moving, but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t leave without resolving this. I stood up stiffly, and walked to the small kitchen that inhabited the far back corner of the office. I opened the lone cabinet. Mugs occupied the bottom shelf, while my dwindling supply of coffee was on the top. I stretched my right arm up to grab the Folgers’s can. There was a tightening in my shoulder, a sharp twinge of pain that me yelp as my face construed and beads of sweat formed at my hairline. My left hand automatically came to rest on the place where the bullet had entered my shoulder. It will still in there. The doctors had deemed it too big a risk to remove. Maybe I should have taken the risk. Maybe I should have been more cautious with my cases and suspects.

I decided against the coffee. The sick feeling I got in the pit of my stomach that was caused by pain and depression told me that it just wasn’t a good idea. I sat back down in my chair, placed my feet on the desk, and stared out the window at the rain that was now coming down in hard, fast drops. Bouncing off the glass, the cement sidewalks. I could smell its scent mixed with that of spring through the thinly insulated walls. I sat like that for the rest of the day. Occasionally a woman would walk by in a black coat, protected from the rain with an oversized black umbrella, or a man in a cap, rolled up newspaper in his hand glancing quickly behind him would seem to slow at the door, but they never stopped. Never even glanced in. They kept their eyes down and kept walking.

At precisely 5 o’clock I stood up, picked my shoulder bag up off the floor, pushed the chair in, placed my stack of papers back in their place at the far right corner of the desk, grabbed my hat, placing it back on my head, and proceeded out the door, locking it before heading down the street.


the space between me and the sky

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the space between me and the sky

is dark

though I’m not sure why


the darkness consumes me

with each breath I take

constricting my throat

drying it

it feels like I’m going

days without water


it wasn’t always like this

the space between me and the sky

used to be bright


full of color


full of life


at least until the rain clouds came

they won’t go away

and so I sit here

alone in the dark


staring at the space between me and the sky

Short Story 1 – Part 11

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“So, let me get this straight, you found a cluster of islands that has never been discovered?” Francine asked; I could hear the amazement in her voice.


“Yeah, but that’s just the beginning.” Was I really ready to tell someone? It didn’t matter. It’s now or never. “That’s not everything I wanted to tell you.” The words came out, though they were a struggle.


“Okay, what is it? Is everything okay?”


“I’m not exactly sure. You have to promise not to freak out and not to tell anyone. Kay?”


“Alright, Am, you’re starting to scare me,” her voice on the edge of fear.


“I seem to be having these, well, it’s kind of like a dream. Only when my mind leaves so does my body. Except, my body also stays here. My body is in two places at once.”


I paused, looked up and saw a bewildered look on my friend’s face. She met my eyes and cocked her head to the side, urging me to continue.


“There have been several times where I fall asleep and go somewhere else. Somewhere in a forest. An eerie forest. Normally by myself. The only thing I can hear is a loud thump that keeps getting closer. I have to make my way to a black hole. Once I jump in it takes me back and I wake up. The first time it happened I was at work. I was laying on the ground in a clearing when I woke up. All around me were trees and bushes, I could hear a river trickling. Directly behind me was a giant black… thing. When I looked into closely I could see myself sitting at my desk. Asleep. Suddenly I heard the sound—the loud thump—and the sound of crashing through brush. I jumped into the hole not knowing where else to go. Then I suddenly woke up at my desk, very little time had passed. A couple minutes at most.” I looked at Fran. Expecting her to be in shock, or laughing. But she wasn’t. She was calm. Maybe from her time on the job.


“Wow. How many times has it happened?”


“I don’t know. I lost track. Maybe around six or so?”


“Are they all the same?” I could tell she was thinking hard, trying to wrap her head around this. Trying to help me.


“No, each one is a little different. I seem to learn a little more about where I am and what’s chasing me each time I go. It hasn’t happened in a few days.”


“And when did you say they started?”


I didn’t. I thought back to that first time. Trying to remember what I had been doing. Suddenly, an image flashed to my head. It could be a coincidence.


“They started right after I found the islands on the satellite.”


Her eyebrows arched up. It seemed like that made sense in her head. “Do you think it could be connected to that?”


“Maybe, the last time it happened it was really different. A man, an indigenous looking man, appeared out of nowhere and beckoned me to follow him. It was astonishing what he showed me.” It had been. I had been keeping it in the back of my mind since I was so busy at work, but maybe that was why. Maybe it had to do with the islands.


“Don’t leave me hanging. What did you see?”


“Well, first…”


And then my world went dark again.


the tree in the meadow is my friend

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the tree in the meadow is my friend


during the spring its new (l)(e)(a)(v)(e)(s)

protect me from the rain

we watch the flowers bloom

and the fields turn green


during the summer its long, sinewy branches and leaves

protect me from the scorching sun

while we read an old tattered book

or try to write one


during the fall my friend begins to lose its leaves

at the end of one branch

a lone, red (leaf) hangs

waiting to fall off

I watch it carefully

holding on to the thought

that it will never fall off


but it does


and during the winter

it stands tall but lonely

our friendship weakens

if only briefly

until the cold air starts to turn warm

Short Story 1 – Part 10

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Note: I know some of these parts are still a little boring. These are some of the sections I am going to spend the most time revising once I get the story completely done.

[10] (CIA) (Figure out what division of the CIA this fits best in)

Being an agent isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And it is completely different from the movies and TV shows that seem to air constantly these days. I swear they have a TV show for just about everything. What I had heard from James was astonishing; I wasn’t even sure if I believed it. Or at the very least I didn’t want to believe it.


We had called an emergency meeting. Bringing in only a handful of our most trusted field and tech agents. A couple of them had been filled in already and had been helping us try to research this phenomenon, but so far we had made very little headway. If we wanted to figure this out we were going to have dig deep into not only the history of America but also the history of all peoples, and all places. And especially of the islands. When they were discovered during WWII they were immediately classified and every precaution has been taken to keep them hidden. We needed to know how and why Amelia Garrett found them and what they were doing to her.
Everyone trickled in shortly before our start time of 6 PM. As soon as the clock struck six, I shut the door with nothing other than a grim look on my face.


Short Story 1 – Part 9

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With less than a week before our scheduled departure, my life seemed to be going crazy. I hadn’t had another “dream” since the last one. I was still trying to figure out what it meant and had come to the conclusion that until I did so, I would not be going back, at least not in that manner. I spent several hours thinking about what I should, whether or not I should talk about it, and if I did, who I could trust with such sensitive information.


Ultimately, I had decided upon my best friend, Francine, who was on the fast track to working her way to the top of the NYPD. At the time, she was a detective on the Major Cases Squad, which was mostly high profile murders; she loved that sort of thing.


Always the good friend, she picked up on the first ring. I explained to her that I had something very important to talk to her about and that it couldn’t wait any longer. I sounded shaky. I know I did. My uneasiness evoked alarm, and I could tell I had scared her. She said she would be over right away, and I didn’t doubt that. Francine lived a stone’s throw away: just a few blocks over on 172nd St.
I decided to pick up some of my mess before she got there. I had papers everywhere: papers about dreams, dream traveling, etc. I didn’t want her to freak out as soon as she walked in the door. Even though I was sure she’d freak out at some point. I was stacking and folding papers quick as lightning, trying to shove them under things and in drawers, which is very hard to do in a small apartment I might add. I was so busy that I barely heard the knock on the door.

Short Story 1 – Part 8

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[8] (Change point of view to CIA Agent)

The last couple months had been a pain in my ass. Everything I do at the Agency is about national security, whether it’s gathering intelligence, analyzing, or going out in the field. Currently I was trying to figure out which brilliant government agency gave the Museum of Natural History a very classified satellite. A satellite that gave them the view of a very unique, and secret cluster of islands.


My intelligence told me that Amelia Garrett, current Head Curator from the Division of Anthropology would soon be leading a team of researchers to the islands to explore and, well, research.


I couldn’t let that happen. It was too late now to only find where the satellite came from and erase all the data that had been collected and stored. Too many people were involved, and I still had no leads on the satellite itself. I needed to stop them before it was too late. Our already unstable world may not be able to survive if those islands and what was on them became public.


I picked up my phone and slowly dialed the other senior agent on this case.


“I think it’s time.”


His words were as follows: “Oh, it definitely is. I was just going to call.”


Astonished couldn’t even begin to describe the way I felt when he got done telling me what he had discovered.