The Waif | Fiction: Crime Detective Mystery
by Julius Falconer
‘Eric’s widow,’ I said, ‘told us you and he had planned some sort of raid on the industrial estate outside Sherburn.’
‘Well, maybe she did.’
‘So she was wrong?’
‘Well, maybe not altogether wrong.’
‘Come on, sunshine, for crying out loud, how can we hope to catch Eric’s murderer when you won’t tell us what happened last night?’ Nobs took a last drag at his cigarette before throwing the remains into the hearth. He sat for a moment stony-faced. Then he told us a rambling story, in which - Nobs happily confessed - all the names but his and Eric’s were false, to protect himself and his wife from repercussions. The gist of what he said is as follows.
Thursday, 2 October 2014
MELANCHOLY, THE HAPPY SPANIEL
Growing up as I did in the hinterlands of Nebraska was a profound and moving experience. The relentless winds of the Great Plains howled maudlin concerts across the prairie, with seething fields of golden grain set waving and heaving back and forth by torrid currents of the same. This was the land of my forefathers, and those who had come before had cultivated an untamed and wild soil in the latter days of Manifest Destiny. We who came after could only hope to follow their hearty example. It was a fantastic and exotic place to grow up.
As kids do, we would dash across those same fields of sod and furrow until our hearts fairly leapt from our chests in protest and exhaustion. The expanse of flat and endless black earth made the world seem infinite, and our dreams were rooted as fast as the mulch we turned. The triumphs of our collective youth were realized in these vistas, and along for the ride of a lifetime was Melancholy, our happy spaniel.