FREE FICTION: Dropping Bombs

This continues the story of the private eye I started with Fast Car, then continued with Carnies, Sight to See, and A Tooth for a Tooth.

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“When they emptied out the gumball machines, they found teeth from six different people. Finally, something interesting happens here.”

The girl’s voice was husky and sounded newly changed. Farrah guessed her age at about thirteen to fifteen, but she would have to turn around and look to pinpoint her age any closer.

Not that it mattered. The kids behind her speculated out of boredom; they knew less about the case than she did, and if they knew more, they wouldn’t be so excited. From her sources, she learned that none of the teeth belonged to anyone over the age of about 17. Some of them were baby teeth.

The boy across from the girl snorted as if his sinuses had seen better days. “Maybe it’s like a horror movie. Stupid small town, kids disappear, teeth popping up in gumball machines. Maybe there’s a killer clown at the carnival.”

“Maybe.” She didn’t sound convinced. “More likely the kids ran away and the teeth aren’t real.”

“You have no imagination.”

The door opened and the diner went eerily quiet save for the sizzling grill. Farrah felt the boy shift in his seat behind her to look at the statuesque figure silhouetted in the doorway. Then the door closed and the silence died with the scraping of Farrah’s chair as she stood.

“Cage,” Farrah said, hand outstretched to shake.

Cage gave her a nod but walked past, pulled a chair from an empty table, and sat down with the kids. Farrah turned and watched as the two – she pegged them both at about fourteen – gawked at their new companion.

“You kids know anything about this?”

Cage slapped a homemade flier down on the table. Farrah and the kids looked, but Cage kept her eyes on the kids.

“No, ma’am,” the boy squeaked.

The girl shook her head hard and her greasy black hair flew into her face. She scraped it away from her wide eyes with chipped fingernails.

“Then who does?”

Farrah plucked the flier from the table. “Carnie baby killers get out.”

Cage stretched to her full height. “We’re not baby killers.”

“Why do you suspect kids?” She studied the flier.

“One of my guys saw some kids slapping them up around our setup.”

“Wasn’t us,” the girl said. She slipped out of the booth and stood up next to Cage. “We need to get home. Come on,” she hissed at the boy, who slid out of the booth to join her. “Sorry.”

Cage and Farrah watched the kids leave the diner, then Farrah turned back to the redhead.

“People are just scared,” she said.

Cage snatched the flier from her hand and crumpled it in one fist. “I’m just trying to make a living.”

A strange idea hatched in Farrah’s mind. “Maybe we can help each other.”

Continued in ParaDice Point, Part 6.


13 Week Streak – Meet the Streakers!

Read the rest of my 13WS stories.

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