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The Date

by Bruce Harris

About the Author: Bruce Harris is the author of, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: About Type.


The neighborhood felt strange. Not the typical seedy side of town into which Pete Shaw is typically dispatched. Upper middle-class, manicured lawns, and polished foreign-made automobiles parked in front of freshly painted tropical fruit-colored garage doors. The home security signs oxymoronically blended in, yet stood out from the professional landscaping.

Shaw, no tree expert, suspected there were more majestic palm trees than elm despite the 19 Elm Street address. The homicide detective had little interest in dendrology, although if he thought about it, he’d appreciate the fact that trees didn’t kill each other.

The GPS directed him to a sprawling ranch on the corner. Several police cruisers and a handful of Chevys and Crown Vics were also parked out front. A few loiterers, clad in sandals, sunglasses, and neon-bright shorts that rivaled the neighborhood garage doors gawked. August 6, the first Saturday in August and people were bored. They had nothing better to do.

Shaw waived to a uniformed officer. The cop stopped chewing gum and stepped aside to let Shaw pass. The detective’s cell phone came alive blasting the theme song from an old television police comedy series, Car 54 Where are you? The patrolman’s jaw dropped.

Shaw held up an index finger. “One minute,” he said to the dumbfounded policeman standing sentry. His daughter’s face smiled across the phone’s small screen. “What’s up sweetie? I’m just about to start an investigation. Anything important?”

Story Comments

Jul 26 - Richard Bishop

I enjoyed the twist ending - good story

Jul 26 - Penny Shane Richards

Really liked the tone of the story and certainly wasn't expecting the ending. Enjoyed!

Jul 26 - Fred Krampe

I love crisp writing like this. Also, you "wave" your hand, but "waive" your rights.

Jul 26 - Nina Ritter

I truly enjoyed the unfolding story! Excellent! More please!!!

Jul 26 - Regina Clarke

This was clever, and an enjoyable read. I liked the details, the doors matching the shorts, for example. The lead-up to the ending was subtle so it came as a complete surprise, but the logic was there all the while--good story.

Jul 30 - Deborah Clark

Good story. Nice pacing and description. There is a spelling error "Shaw waived to a uniformed officer"; should be "waved"

Aug 1 - Bruce Harris

Thank you everyone for the kind words!

Aug 2 - Stan Guthrie

Very enjoyable. For its length there was a great amount of detail. I'd really like to know more about Shaw.

Aug 3 - Frances Dunn

This was a great, thoroughly engaging story.

Oct 15 - kip meyerhoff

Rapid character development is outstanding.

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