This story landed me 2nd place in my group, and a spot in the top 125 out of over 6000 writers, to compete in the third and final round of the 2021, NYC Midnight 250 word micro-fiction challenge!
Genre. Action. Word.
Sci-Fi. Pushing someone into a swimming pool. Lock.
24 hours. Write!
Backyard pools. Scenes for summertime bliss and play, no place for a homicide detective to be spending an evening.
“Bot’s not showing anything unexpected, boss,” Fong said while swiping gestures through his glasses, vector graphics displayed in-lens allowing him control of the airborne drone. At their feet, the water writhed with the motion of something living. A reflective swirling metallic sheen blocking light from below its surface. Detective Woo reminisced, the ghost of his baby brother fooling around poolside after dark. A slip. A fall. A drowning.
Not his fault, the psychiatrist would continue to say.
“No word from the owners?”
“No responses yet, boss.”
“The house closed up?”
“Lock and key.”
Woo pulled a coin from his pocket, tossed it at the pool. It bounced, coming to rest on the tile. He dragged a wooden deck chair to the pool’s edge. “Help me lift this.” Together they hurled it at the reflective layer. The surface protection glitched, momentarily vanishing then reappearing, giving a brief glance at a headless body drifting beneath the water, simultaneously cleaving the chair in two. One half remained below.
A uniformed officer approached from the home’s rear glass doors. “There’s a severed head visible on the kitchen counter. Scanned and ran it through Facial Recog and got a hit. It’s the home owner’s son.”
Pushed their own child into a swimming pool with an active security layer. Not my fault, Woo reminded himself, picking up his coin, his brother’s memory no longer distant.
Lucien Telford 2021
Short Fiction Writings
These are a collection of short stories, flash fiction, and micro fiction I've written largely for NYC Midnight, where I made the final round of the 250 word micro fiction challenge 2021, beating out more than 6000 other writers to compete for cash prizes against 124 other writers. I did not place with my final entry.