Man’s best friend

dead fish

More of Andrew’s story

Two heads ducked down in their car seats when Nori drove past them and away from the Brownlee house. Mayfield, watching her exit through his side mirror, sat up when she turn the corner toward the highway.

Roni, the perfect pastiche of a street corner psychic and full-time, unorthodox undercover agent, stayed crouched down to change clothes.

“Wish me luck,” she said once transformed into yet another alter-ego. “I won’t be long.”

“You don’t need any luck,” Mayfield said, turning on the car. “I’ll circle around and wait for you at the east corner intersection.”

Roni approached the Browniee’s house, humming softly under her breath, running scales and limbering up her larynx. She would be employing one of many accents in her vocal repertoire. Today she would be impersonating a gas company inspector.

Once inside the house, having convinced Kathryn of the pending doom of a gas leak and the urgency of finding the broken line, Roni ran a skilled reconnoiter to determine the best spot to hide her listening devices. Mayfield, disguised as a cable lineman, had already tapped the Brownlee phone and computer. The call Haywood was making in his office was being recorded for them to listen to later.

Climbing back into Mayfield’s car after setting her bugs, Roni gave a thumbs up, as they left the Brownlees home heavily surveilled.

Farther down the road, speeding away from her past and into an unknown future, Nori tried to remember everything she could about this key everyone was so captivated by, and why it was so special.

Nori gave the key to psychic Weronika Nagy on the pretense of her using it to focus her paranormal visions so she could decipher Nori’s disturbing dreams, but Weronika had stopped answering Nori’s calls, and she wasn’t prophesying at her usual haunts.

That key was important and Nori was afraid it was gone forever.

After driving around aimlessly for hours, Nori found herself back at the jetty park. The last time she was there, she saw an old fisherman that reminded her of her late friend Ashley’s dad, Drew. The same man law enforcement teams claim to have found in a sunken car in Carson Lake, the same man who until this recent discovery was the main suspect in his daughter’s death.

Perhaps, she thought, the fisherman will be back, and he would be Andrew Ransom resurrected.

A barking dog forced her attention. Looking up she saw a large, wet Setter tussling with someone farther down the park pathway. She stood transfixed as the hound, his battle trophy gripped tightly in his mouth, galloped at full speed directly toward her. The man whose property the dog had stolen was racing close behind him.

Just when she thought the dog would crash into her, it skidded to a stop, dropping its prize at her feet – an old skeleton key tied on a length of red ribbon.

The man almost didn’t stop in time, nearly tripping over the dog. Pulling himself up short, he came face to face with Nori. Releasing the breath she had been holding, Nori stared at the man, her mouth agape in shock.

Without preamble, the man scooped up the key and presented it to Nori.

“I think Ashley would want you to have this back,” he said.

“Andrew Ransom,” was all Nori managed to say.

Inspiration Monday icon
Inspiration: Canis ex Machina
This week’s Studio30 Plus: “Pastiche” and/or “Imitation”

5 thoughts on “Man’s best friend

  1. Haha, love the use of the prompt. Interesting hearing a little more about Roni and Mayfield’s scheme, followed closely by a nice dun-dun-DUN plot-twisty appearance of Andrew Ransom himself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story, Lexy. The dog… that was a play on the Inspiration Monday prompt – Canis ex Machina – which in itself is a parody of Deus ex Machina: God from the Machine (doG from the Machine). Deus ex Machina is a literary device used to resolve conflict with an unexplained intervention. I needed to get the key and Andrew back to Nori, enter the canis.


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