Other Stories in this issue

Locked Tight

by Peter DiChellis

About the Author: Peter DiChellis concocts sinister and sometimes humorous tales for anthologies, ezines, and magazines. He is a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society and an Active (published author) member of the Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. For more, visit his site Murder and Fries at


“Dawson Roarke, you are under arrest for the murder of Grady Tyrell Johnstone. You have the right to remain silent. And, uh, wait, there’s more but …”

“Grady is dead?” Roarke screamed. “Dead? No! He was my friend! I sure didn’t kill him! No!”

Roarke, a recent parolee from Statesville prison, had just finished the lunch shift at his dreary dishwashing job and was headed home to take an afternoon nap before his dinner shift started. Jasper County Sheriff Melvin P. Weemly stumbled through the rest of the Miranda warning while Deputy Bobby Boone Kyle, formerly a bone-busting All-State defensive tackle, kept a mean grip on Roarke’s wrists. Roarke, a career cat burglar who’d served prison time in two states, no doubt could have recited the Miranda warning better than the sheriff did.

Satisfied that Roarke understood his Constitutional rights, however clumsily presented, Weemly nodded to a smirking Deputy Kyle, who marched his prisoner the few steps to the Sheriff’s Department SUV, slammed him face first against the vehicle’s hood, and handcuffed him. Kyle tightened the cuffs and twisted Roarke’s arms until Roarke’s hands went numb.

“Nah, you wouldn’t hurt poor ole Grady,” the grinning deputy said as he shoved Roarke toward the back of the SUV. “Who ever heard of a dirtbag convict falling out with a prison buddy?”

“We were friends. I didn’t kill him. I didn’t even know he was dead.”

Story Comments

Jul 1 - Earl Staggs

Good story with interesting characters. I loved Miz Lucille.

Jul 1 - Robert Petyo

Great story. Fun characters and a well done puzzle.

Jul 1 - Peter DiChellis

Thank you, Earl and Robert. I appreciate your kind words.

Jul 1 - Len Coombs

I've been a subscriber for several years but just found these comment pages. I like the old fashioned traditional mysteries so this one I really enjoyed. Good job!

Jul 1 - Peter DiChellis

Thank you, Len. I appreciate your kind comment.

Jul 1 - Susan Rickard

That's a good one. All the suspects, all the clues, all the red-herrings, all the distractions. You made it hard to figure out. Lots of personality in your characters as well.

Jul 1 - Peter DiChellis

Thank you, Susan. Appreciated!

Jul 2 - Richard Bishop

Good Story Peter. Miz Lucille was a nice touch but the yapping poodle was better

Jul 2 - Peter DiChellis

Thank you, Richard. I appreciate it!

Jul 2 - Nina Ritter

I love a good mystery, and this is one! Thanks for the fabulous read! Miz Lucille is wonderful added character. You had me wondering! Thumbs up!

Jul 2 - George Garnet

Nice work. Congratulations!

Jul 3 - Peter DiChellis

Thank you, Nina and George. I appreciate your comments.

Add story comment: