Fiction Friday

I’ve been feeling a little uninspired on Fridays lately. So, I’m going to try something a little different.

I used to write a lot of fiction, and I always appreciated it as a venue for exploring difficult questions. Both in reading and writing, these imaginary worlds create space to ask new questions and to look at problems in a new way. You can play with society a lot more when it’s not real lives you’re talking about.

A world’s been taking shape in my mind over the last week. Since I wrote about imaging utopia. It started forming when I found myself asking, what would it look like if a perfect society was full of imperfect people? I’ve hardly had a second to explore this world – a sort of futuristic film noir, gritty but beautiful – so I will do so here. Perhaps in serial format, updating on Fridays. At least, I believe the below is intended to be an initial installment. We’ll see how it goes.

O, for a muse of fire.


Detective Jones stared a long time. She’d seen bodies before, sure, but nothing like this. It had always been random accidents or natural causes. Occasionally, a sudden crime of passion. A misstep, a blood clot. The usual. Tragedies all.

But this was different. This was intentional. Someone had done this. And not out of clumsiness. Out of…she didn’t even know. What could possibly make someone do this to another human being?

Detective Jones let out a long breath. “Alright, Harrison, I’m packing it up. Let me know if you get anything new.” She nodded to the medical examiner as she left. 

The chief’d want to talk to her for sure. This was gonna be a day. This was gonna be a case. She’d been a cop for ten years, but nothing had prepared her for this.

As she walked to subway, she went over the details of the case in her head. Forced entry. Violent assault. Neighbors saw nothing. Well, nothing of value. Glimpsed a shadow fleeing the scene after they awoke from the noise.

She’d have to inform the family. Maybe they would have something. Known enemies? But enemies exchange hard words, they don’t do things like that. Or at least they didn’t. 

Maybe she’d call her contacts in other cities. See if they’d every heard of anything like this…this premeditated murder? The concept was unfathomable.

She’d better call her wife. Let her know she’d be late for dinner.


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