In this series, I will take the Word of the Day from Dictionary.com and craft a short piece of creative writing around it. My goal is to embrace the meaning of the word in some unique way, all the while trying out different styles, rhythms and characterizations. It is as much an exercise in creativity as it is an exploration of grammar. Enjoy!
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By Alex Seise
“Whatta we got here, Clarkson?” asked Detective Sarley. He shook the rain off his faun-colored trench coat. It was the 1950s, for Pete’s sake; he’d tell Irma to get him a G-D umbrella the next time she was out at the store.
The young man with the grease-slicked auburn hair, parted down to his red scalp just left of center, led him back through the maze of hallways and offices
“Another Jane Doe,” he said over his lab coat-clad shoulder without stopping.
“Christ,” muttered Sarley. “What is goin’ on around here lately? Any word on the C of D?”
Dr. Clarkson chewed his lip, out of Sarley’s line of sight. “It looks like another one of those burns, the one with three points of entry on the neck.” He scratched his oily mane.
Sarley half-grunted, half-sighed. It was the third victim this week. All females, all around 40 years old, all with jobs as switchboard operators. They’d each gone from Jane Does to murdered mothers, daughters, sisters in no time flat.
Clarkson turned and opened a door, letting Sarley in first. He let out a gasp.
“Whattarya doin’ to me, Clarkson? Her eyes, close ’em up, jiminy creepers.”
Clarkson shook his head as he walked over to her. “Not yet. Look, this one’s different.”
Sarley looked at her delicate nose and lips. They were untouched, as though she was sleeping. This woman had some fine lines around her face, but she was not old. Then, Sarley saw the eyes.
“What the…?!” he asked. Her eyes were achromic, devoid of all color. The irises were still specked and streaked like a normal person’s, but… They lacked any hue whatsoever.
“We don’t know, Sarley. The other two girls had the burn marks on their neck,” he said, indicating at the triangular arrangement of red-black dots just above her carotid artery. “But she’s the first one to have the color drained right out of her eyes. No other signs of injury or trauma, not even around her lids.”
Sarley took a step back, let out a puff of air through pursed lips and thought hard. Who would do something like this? Why? And perhaps most perplexingly… How?