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Rated: XGC · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2077514
What do these five phrases have in common? Besides, all being part of today's Prompt.

Five Equals One

     Mondon squatted in front of the dead houseplant laying on its side. He pinched some of the dirt between two fingers. Then he lifted it up to his nostrils – and took a deep whiff. “Only a little moisture in there.”

     Grabbing the plant at the bottom near that dirt, being careful not to get cut by the thorns on it, Mondon pulled it the rest of the way out of the pot. Mondon had to lay flat on the cold cement floor to see into that pot. “There was definitely something hidden under that dirt.”

     Getting up slowly by placing his hands flat against the floor and pushing up Mondon glanced around the room in was in. Once up Mondon flicked his fingers on his white palm hands. The true color of his hands started coming back. Mondon blew on his hands to finish getting them back. “This looks like a good place to hide it.”

     Mondon took a closer look around the room – with his eyes. The placed looked like a disaster: furniture overturned and torn apart, books and paper scattered everywhere and the flooring ripped open. “Whatever they were looking for it looks like they found it.”


     “It looks like someone punched the air several times.” Charlotta stared at what appeared to be a wall of cloud mist. About twenty hand size holes were in it. “How did that happen?”

     “This must of happened within the last hour or two.” Charlotta started to put her fist into one of those holes. But pulled back at the last second. She had to bend down to look into that hole. A few seconds later she put her hand into it. When she pulled back out it was with an open hand. “Whoever did this was probably a male.”

     “There’s another wall on the other side of the mist.” Charlotta first looked down both ways of that cloud wall. Then started walking down one of those ways. She saw holes headed in that direction too. Charlotta suddenly stopped. What she stared at now was a large human shaped hole. On the other side of that hole stood a door. “They found what they were looking for.”


     What was an obscure name? It’s a name that was hard to read. Florie peered at a name like that on a piece of paper she just picked up off a cluttered floor. She brought it up to within an inch of her eyes. “I still can’t read it. It’s a list of some kind.”

     Florie glanced around the sleeping quarters she was in. The floor of that room was so cluttered the floor couldn’t be seen. Everywhere Florie looked she saw crumpled up pieces of paper. She picked up another one – and un-crumpled it. Florie mumbled as she read it. “I can read this one a lot better. It’s definitely a list of names.”

     Every piece of paper she picked up had names on them. Florie picked up another crumpled up piece of paper – and read it. “All the names have a line across them. I wonder what they mean?”


     The ground was scattered with fresh pencil shavings. Everywhere Branic looked in that wooded area they were there. “Someone has sharpening a lot of pencils around here.”

     Branic started walking around those trees. “It looks like the shavings head in that direction.”

     Heading in the direction Branic just pointed at he could see the small piles of shavings getting smaller. Branic followed them down a narrow path – when he suddenly stopped. “What happened to the shavings?”

     Glancing around him Branic could see there were no shavings. That included the ones behind him. Branic looked behind him. And the shavings were gone. He stuck a finger in his mouth. The raised it above him. “Being windy isn’t the answer to this problem.”

     Branic stepped into a small clearing – and saw all the shaved pencils. There must have been thousands of them in a big pile in the center of that clearing. “That answers one question, but not the main one.”


     Jaspom could smell the rotting meat. He took a deep breath. Then shook his head wildly. “It’s in that direction.” Jaspom walked down a long hallway in the directed he just pointed in.

     At the end of that hallway a light could be seen. He stopped just before entering it. “This is where that smell came from.” Jaspom entered that room. The look of shock on his face said he was staring at something.

     What he couldn’t keep his eyes off of were two dead bodies. A rope had been thrown over a thick beam in the ceiling. On one end of that rope a male dangled. And on the other end the female swung. “From that smell they must have been dead at least a week.” Jaspom could see them once he got closer to the overturned chairs.


     “What can you tell me about these killings?” Haddi asked the five individuals seated at a long table in front of her. “Other than it was done by the two individuals in the room behind us.”

     “They didn’t have to kill the couple they killed,” said Mondon. “The couple weren’t there when they found what they were looking for.”

     “The same is true about my couple,” said Charlotta. “They also waited for the couple to return when they didn’t need to.”

     “Every name on those lists were killed by that couple in there,” said Florie. “There must have been several hundred names on them.”

     “Those sharpened pencils were used to kill that couple,” said Branic. “Why the shavings led me to them I still haven’t figured out yet.”

     “Nothing was taken from that place,” said Jaspom. “I still don’t know why they were killed.”

     “Those two haven’t admitted to anything, and I don’t think they will,” said Haddi. “Which means we still have a lot more investigating to do before we can prove they killed anyone.”

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