Fable of the Reconstruction

This is a Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers submission for the week beginning 22nd December 2015.

If you find your interest piqued, you may or may not want to explore my 2015 festive ghost story here.

(NB, I suspect I’ve gone over the world limit but I hope you’ll let me off, what with it being Christmas)

Thanks to Etol Bagam for the prompt.

  
***

“What’s this reconstruction supposed to do again?” asked Christine, fidgeting awkwardly with the umbrella.

The earnest Police Inspector explained, “Jog people’s memory,” she said, “Get some more witnesses to come forward.” He smiled, embarrassed in his gratitude. He looked familiar, Christine thought, like a newsreader or a minor television actor.
Christine sighed. Alison’s clothes were tight on her, “But will it work?”
The inspector shrugged non-committally. “Shall we?” he paused, looked non-commit tally down the alleyway.
Christine set off, reenacting a dead woman’s final journey. She and Alison had been out drinking last New Year’s Eve, but they’d had an argument and separated. Christine had taken a taxi home but her friend, too proud to share, had set off on foot and been beaten to dead on this alleyway. The police had acted quickly, arresting a local misfit, but the unfortunate man had hanged himself in the cells before he could be exonerated by the DNA evidence. Since then, there’s been nothing and, one year on, the reconstruction was a final throw of the dice one.
Christine walked, let her heels tap out an ominous staccato rhythm. The alleyway had never seemed as long as this before. More striking was something else. She turned to the inspector,
“Who’s watching this?” she asked, realising they were alone; there were no watching crowds, no camera crews.
“Doesn’t matter?” hissed the inspector, “All we need is one person to see it.”
“But,” began Christine.
“But nothing,” said the Inspector, “If you’d been watching out for her, none of this would have happened.”
The temperature dropped, and the air fell suddenly dark. Christine realised at last where she’d seen the inspector before. He looked exactly like he had photographed in the local paper, though the ligature mark on his neck was a novelty. Christine looked up and down the alleyway. There was no end to it in sight. She realised at last she was living a reconstruction of her final mistake.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Fable of the Reconstruction

  1. A really different spin to the prompt! I agree with Sonya, very dark. Seems this Inspector wants her to feel guilty about her mistake. Great story!

  2. This isn’t going to end well, I’m afraid. Very afraid.

  3. That’s awful to have to relive your final mistake. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, even life changing ones.

  4. I really like this. Very good development given the word restrictions. Thanks for the good read! TJ

  5. Once is enough! To do it again is really tragic. Mistakes can really put you in a bind. Great …dark story. 🙂

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