Contest prompt ignited a dormant muse for a challenging, exact 18 sentence format.
An APB had been launched for Harvey Charleston, an escapee from the Shady C Asylum for the criminally insane. Stuck on 'Emergency Phone' detail, the perturbed Detective Hall keyed his radio for the fifth time trying to raise their missing Captain O'Leary. Hall couldn’t know that his boss had silenced his radio while hiding in ambush at his own home, certain the fugitive was bent on personal revenge against his family.
The clues seemed obvious to the veteran sleuth of twenty years. Their home was vulnerable with him on duty, his kids at day camp, and his wife in town shopping for a ball gown. And, while dropping his Mercedes off for servicing only a block from the institute, he noticed the town’s massive plow was missing.
Only one reason that could be; it all fits, he deduced. There was no doubt in his mind ol' Harvey had stolen it after escaping, determined to destroy the O'Leary residence. While crouching behind thick bushes, the Captain reflected on the events that had driven his former neighbor to such crazed compulsion.
Late one night 'fore the family went to bed,
Mrs. O’Leary lit a lantern in the shed.
Their cow kicked it over and the blazes quickly spread,
and burned the house down, of neighbor Charleston, that night. Fire! Fire!
His hunch was right as he sprung from ‘hind the hedge.
Captain O’Leary quickly flashed his badge and said:
“Stop where you are, put your hands above your head!
You're goin' downtown, Mr. Charleston, tonight. Higher! Higher!