Dincton Flatt and the Crime Scene Place

Time for some more nonsense?


Is a crimes


Dincton Flatt strode handsomely through the quaint French doors of 29 Cherry Grove Street, his robot coyote trotting alongside him.  He adjusted his collar and surveyed the scene, expression insisting on his own importance.

“Heaven’s grace, Flatt!” blurted Abberson Watley, one of his top agents.  “It’s been three hours – where on Earth were you?”

“He felt the need to take a detour for a spot of chair shopping,” Featherby offered.

Flatt raised an eyebrow at his coyote.  “A man must see to the needs of his posterior, you’ll agree.”

“Mr. Flatt, I’m glad you could join us at last,” a familiar voice floated in from another room.

Flatt nodded in greeting as the other approached.  “Constable Billiardsman.  What precisely are we looking at?”  Jeborah Billiardsman was one of the more competent officers he had worked with, but his attire sported a preposterous amount of buttons.

“It’s Detective Inspector, Mr. Flatt, as I’ve told you many times.”  He gestured toward the middle-aged woman who lay motionless in the center of the sitting room.  “Hiddia Ribbenstern, forty-three years of age, found at 10:30 this morning with her body cut off.”

“Her entire body?”  Flatt grimaced, eyes sweeping over the woman’s corpse.

“I’m afraid so.”

Flatt shook his head.  “Savages.”  He knelt over the body.  “Do we have any leads?”

“None yet,” Watley sighed.  “Who would commit such a heinous act in such a well-kept and well-priced little chalet?  To so wantonly devalue it is the real crime, if you ask me.  Have you seen the kitchen?  Real marble tops and new, stainless steel appliances.  Solid maple floors throughout.  And such a short distance from the station.”

These last comments were directed toward Billiardsman, who held up a hand.  “I’m not here to house-hunt, Mr. Watley.  Merely to investigate a murder.”

“Yes.  Yes, of course…”

“And on the topic of said murder: how much do you know about the owners, Mr. Flatt?  Why are they selling?  Any financial difficulties?”

“The Hollyrakers?  I don’t believe so.  She’s expecting, and they purchased a larger property last month.”

“One represented by Flatt’s Flats, of course,” Watley added.

“Naturally.”  Flatt smiled at his reflection in the metal clasps of the deceased’s handbag, running a hand over his short, impossibly blond hair.  “No, I doubt they were involved in this.  Perhaps the culprit was incensed by the victim’s fashion.”  He stood up, gesturing to the bowler that lay askew on the floor, a half meter from the woman’s head.  “That bag with that cap?  No, madame, I fear not.”

“I hardly think–” Billiardsman began.

“Did anyone notice her mobile?” Featherby chimed in.  He had been nosing around the woman’s body, and was fishing the device out from under her frame with a paw.

Watley retrieved the phone and looked through it.  His eyes widened.  “My god!”

Flatt stepped over.  “Watley?”  Watley showed him the screen.  Ms. Ribbenstern had written a note to herself, and Flatt read it aloud for the officer’s sake: “I am not wearing a hat today.”

Billiardsman blinked.  “No hat?  You’re certain?  Then, that means…”

“That our killer must be some–some sort of hatleaver.”  Flatt frowned.  “Watley – call Ms. Franklin and have her cancel my dentist appointment for this afternoon.”

“You do not have a dentist appointment today, sir,” reminded Featherby.

“Ah, yes.  Watley – call Ms. Franklin and have her schedule an appointment with Dr. Clamb for 5:00.”

Watley’s features contorted.  “But, Flatt, we–”

“And then have her cancel it.”

Watley was silent a moment before asking,  “Whyever for?”

“We haven’t the time to indulge in the luxuries of oral hygiene, Watley; we have a murder to solve.”  Flatt turned to Billiardsman, who had scooped up the cap and was turning it over studiously.  “Have that checked for hair and prints, Constable.  Meanwhile, we’ll start looking for anyone who appears to have recently parted ways with a hat.  And committed homicide.”

“Detective Inspector,” the officer sighed.  “And I assure you, Mr. Flatt, that the CID is quite capable of handling this investigation.  You are merely here as a courtesy and character witness–”

“Nonsense, my good man.”  Flatt clapped him on the shoulder.  “I’ll have this dastardly hatleaver brought in forthwith.  And this property will sell in no time at all.”  He turned and beckoned to Watley and Featherby.  “Come, gentlemen; let us get to work.”

“Mr. Flatt, that isn’t how–” Billiardsman was calling after him, but Flatt stopped listening.  He was too busy playing at a bicuspid with the tip of his tongue.  Alas, there were signs of a chip.

“Watley – ring Ms. Franklin, if you would  I think I’ll keep that appointment after all.”


Bene scribete.


10-Minute Story: Dincton Flatt and the Cherry Grove Fiasco

Time for some more spontaneous nonsense, I suppose.

(Though I may not be feeling quite punchy enough today.)


House of No


Dincton Flatt sat cross-legged on the floor of one of his empty properties, shuffling through a deck of cards and frowning.

The sound of padding on the carpet and the soft voice of his robot coyote broke his trance.  “What’s wrong, sir?”

Flatt turned at the prompt and raised an eyebrow.  “I’m missing some cards, Featherby.”

The coyote tilted his head.  “Are you trying to say that you’re not playing with a full deck, sir?”

Flatt narrowed his eyes.

“Which cards are you missing?”

“The diamonds, of course.  It’s always the diamonds…”  He shoved the rest of the deck between Featherby’s jaws.  “Go fetch a new deck, will you?”

“I’ll see what I can find, sir,” was the coyote’s muffled response as he trotted away.

A buzzing rumble shook Flatt’s trousers, and he reached in to fetch his mobile.  “Flatt’s Flats – this is Mr. Flatt.”

A husky voice answered on the other end of the line.  “It’s Watley.”  Abberson Watley, one of his top agents.

“What is it, Watley?  News on the Clumpsworth listing?”

“No, Flatt, I’m afraid not.  There’s been a murder.”

“A murder?”  Flatt shot to his feet, eyes squinting at the horizon he could not see beyond the wall in front of him.  “A murder most foul, you say?”

Watley sighed.  “Most foul, I fear.  At the Cherry Grove property.”

“Cherry Grove?  Damnation, Watley, it’s only been two days on the market!”

“It seems people are literally dying to get into your suites, Flatt.”

“Yes, well, they could do us the courtesy of popping their clogs on the way there, now, couldn’t they?”  He wiped his free hand down his face.  “Very well.  I’ll be right over.”

Only a moment after he hung up, Flatt’s phone buzzed again.  “Yes, Watley – what now?”

The voice that answered this time was not Watley’s, however, but one which heavily implied the perfection of its owner’s immaculate white suit.  “Abberson Watley?  Come, now, Flatt, you mistake me for someone who cares as little about his closure rate as he does his attire.”

“Cheverly,” Flatt grumbled.  “I’m sure you’re looking splendid this afternoon.”

“Mm, yes, quite.  I hear there’s been a murder.”

Flatt glowered at nothing, nearly crushing the phone in his hand.  “If fact, there has.”  His voice grew low and sharp.  “Was it you?”

“Don’t be daft, Flatt.  It’s unbecoming.  You must understand, however, that a murder would never happen at one of my properties.  No, I imagine this will not be good for business.”

“Imagine what you will, Cheverly – we’ll see how things play out.”  He hung up as forcefully as modern technology would allow.

A moment or two later, he dialed Mr. Cheverly back, but only reached his answering service.

“Good,” he spoke into the recording, “is how things will play out.  Because I shall solve the murder with wit and good manners and make the property worth double.”  He hung up again and dropped the phone back into his pocket as Featherby returned with a much slimmer stack of cards in his maw.

“I’ve found the diamonds, sir,” he said, dropping them.

“Excellent work, Featherby.  But,” he began, then continued, without stopping, “where are the others?”

The coyote’s gaze wandered the room.  “I haven’t the slightest idea.”

Flatt crossed his arms and shook his head.  “Oh, Featherby, why did I build you?”

“For good times, sir.”


Bene scribete.