Whatever Happened To David Thompson?

This is a short piece of fiction which was originally written to try and fit the rules for Marcel Cairo’s ‘Whatever Happened to David Thompson’ Competition, being titled “Whatever Happened to David Thompson?”, ending with a specific last line and being 500 words or less. The last one being the problem: it’s a smidge under 600 words and I don’t think I can really cut it further without harming the story.

So I’ve decided just to leave it as it is: to me, the writing is more important than the competition.

There is possibly another problem too: I suspect that Marcel wants the story to be about a specific David Thompson, an Australian medium whom — assuming I understand correctly — Marcel is sceptical of. Not knowing — or caring — much about this particular David Thompson however, I’ve decided instead to write about an entirely ficticious David Thompson, who doesn’t even have a speaking role in this story…

Whatever Happened To David Thompson?

It was a Thursday night. I don’t work Fridays: my shifts go from Sunday through to Thursday. But this sort of thing always bloody happens on a bloody Thursday night, and I’ve just about had enough of it.

Take last week, for example…

I get a call to apartment 342 Rasbin; the neighbours have heard screams.

When I get there, the door is hanging off its hinges — not a good sign — furniture was overturned all over the flat, and so on. And there was a corpse on the floor amongst some broken bits of chair and a pool of blood.

And it’s 11:50pm. I’m meant to clock off and start my weekend right now, only I can foresee spending the next couple of hours securing the crime scene; then filling in reports, then filing the damn reports, then getting home at about six in the morning for a few hours sleep, just in time to be called in on my day off to brief everyone else about it.

In short, having my weekend completely ruined. Again.

Well, I wasn’t having that.

Strictly speaking, I should have called it in as a murder. But it was time to clock off, and as the guy was already dead, it’s not like there was going to be any benefit to him in me spoiling my weekend.

So I just fixed the door back into place, shoved the body into the airing cupboard — propped up next to the boiler — and just told control he’d had his TV on too loud. It was still after midnight by the time I clocked off, but only by about half an hour.

That was last week.

So now it’s Thursday night again, it’s twenty to midnight again, and I’ve got a call from control telling me to get to Rasbin again — 242 this time. I tell you, you simply could not make up the stuff I have to put up with.

The couple in 242 were obviously into all that “New Age” shit. There were three or four of those “dreamcatcher” things dotted around, the rooms looked feng shuied to death, and the woman with jangly bracelets and dangly earrings was wittering away some nonsense to me about having a hostile “aura”.

Oh, and they were burning incense. But I’ll maybe let them off with that one, as it might have just been to try and cover up the smell.

The smell being a cloying, nauseating, overpowing stench of putrefying flesh that was filling the apartment, and as soon as they pointed out to me the blood and bodily fluids that were seeping through their ceiling (just beside their airing cupboard), I realised that that bastard from last week was still causing me trouble.

This was going to mean more bloody weekend bloody working. Unless…

“I’m sorry Sir, Ma’am, but I have to ask you some serious questions. I notice you have an interest in this ‘New Age’ stuff. Have you ever used a Ouija board, healing crystals, or anything of that nature?”

The woman nodded. Hah! Paydirt.

“You’ve brought this on yourselves then. You’ve summoned up a malevolent spirit that’s manifesting these liquids and smells, but if you clean it up yourselves and don’t waste any more police time, I think we can probably just let the matter drop, rather than needing to haul you down to the station and charge you.”

They looked suitably abashed, chastised, and — importantly — terrified of getting into trouble.

And for the coup de grace, I ran my finger through the putrefying liquid gathering on their carpet, held it to my nose and sniffed deeply, before glaring at them again.

“Ectoplasm! I knew it.”

One Response to “Whatever Happened To David Thompson?”

  1. Marcel Cairo responds:

    Wow.. there’s a budding novelist inside that chemist mind, is there now! I may just have to bend the rules for your extremely well played out fiction.

    Since you’ve already had a reading from me, if you win, you can give the FREE reading to someone as a Christmas gift, or maybe as a retirement present to someone sitting a lot closer to the afterlife gates than yourself.

    BTW, I think your short story provides great insight into your own twisted mind. Your cops are corrupt and lazy, your neighbors are hypocritical and spiritual buffoons and no one ever pays for moral depravity. Nice. :-)

    Good luck, Mr. Hemingway.

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