Daily Archives: January 29, 2014

Wednesday Write-In #76

This week’s words for CAKE.shortandsweet’s Wednesday Write-In were:

suspicious behaviour :: auburn :: shock :: grin :: dawn

What follows is my story, based around those prompts. What would yours be?

Scene from 'Rear Window'. Image: writingeditingspring2013.blogspot.com

Scene from ‘Rear Window’.
Image: writingeditingspring2013.blogspot.com

Alex, Extraordinary

‘And hello. Dawn has broken one more time over the beautiful Auburn Heights … or, well, I’m sure it did break, several hours ago while I was unconscious, but who cares about that, right? Anyway.  As usual, your intrepid observer of human nature is up and at ‘em, poking the merciless binoculars of justice between the musty, paisley-patterned curtains of Suspicious Behaviour. Or, just ‘the neighbours’, if you prefer. There’s no movement yet -’

‘Alex? Who’re you talking to?’

‘Good morning to you too, Mum!’

‘Answer the question, please.’

‘I’m not talking. Me? Wouldn’t know how.’

‘I’ll be up with your breakfast in five minutes, young man. You’d better have that ridiculous recorder switched off by then, or there’ll be consequences.’

‘Sure thing! I’m turning it off right now!’


‘Yeah, right. As if. She’s just worried I’ll put the footage up on YouTube again, but a promise is a promise. Well. Unless she gives me excellent content, that is. Of course. You just sit tight, old friend, and we’ll take what we can get. Now, if the stupid microphone would just point down…  Gah. Right. That’ll have to do.’

‘Alex? Are you decent? I’m coming up!’

‘Some ‘five minutes,’ Mum! Geez! I could’ve been doing anything up here!’

‘What, like tap-dancing?’

‘Yeah! Or stepping into my zero-gravity suit. Or watching a grin flickering across the face of a beautiful woman as I –‘

‘All right! Boundaries, Alexander. Remember those?’

‘Please, mother. Between us? Surely not.’

‘Surely not, indeed. Good morning, darling. Did you sleep?’

‘I think so. I’m filled with boundless energy, ready to jump from bed and attack the day, at least.’

‘You’re such a funny little man.’

‘Little? I am fifteen! In the prime of my wasted life!’

‘Alex! Stop that. We’ve talked about the ‘wasted’ word, haven’t we? Now. You ready for me to start?’

‘It’s that or starve to death, I guess.’

‘Alexander. Give it a rest, all right?’ *rustling* ‘Now. Let’s get your feed bag ready…’

‘Ow, Mum. Take care, will you?’

‘Alex, please. This is hard enough without you –‘

‘I reserve the right to be more freaked out by being fed through a tube than you are, Mum. God!’

‘But honey, you can’t even feel what I’m doing. Right?’

‘Shock, horror, Mum. I can still see when you’re being too rough. That’s one thing I can still do.’

‘I’m sorry, darling. I’ll take more care. All right?’

‘Yeah. Thanks.’

‘Okay – almost done. Let me just set the pump, and we’re good to go.’

‘What flavour mush is it today, anyway?’

‘Let’s see… Oh. Carrot, maize and sirloin steak. Apparently.’

‘Hmm. Piquant. Notes of oak and – mustard.’

‘Oak and mustard?’

‘It could be mustardy. Nobody will ever know.’

‘Such a funny boy. Now, are you comfortable?’

‘Probably. How can I tell?’

‘Let me just straighten up these pillows for you – Alexander!’


‘The light on your headset is still on. Have you been recording, all this time?’

‘I cannot tell a lie.’

‘Honestly. You are too much. If I so much as get a sniff of this conversation online, I will be very upset. Do you hear me?’

‘What – you’ll ground me? Deny me the car keys this weekend? Take away my stash of beer? You’re so unfair!’

‘Just – I can’t even. Just don’t put up any more descriptions of Mrs Stroud’s underwear, all right? It was bad enough the first time.’

‘But I named no names! A good journalist never reveals his sources, after all. It could have been the underwear of any middle-aged woman with a large… clothesline.’

‘Alexander! Oh, my God. You’re too much.’

‘Amen, sista. Hey, Mum?’

‘Yes, darling.’

‘Love you. Look, I even said it on tape.’

‘Love you, too, Alexander. Get some rest, now. And do keep the spying to a minimum. Your father might just lose what little mind he has left if the police end up knocking on the door. Right?’

‘Ach. What’s life without a police raid, from time to time?’




‘Get going! I have an empire to run up here!’

*laughter, fading*

‘Finally, a bit of peace. Now. As I was saying. All is quiet this morning in Auburn Heights, but the sun is high and the day is bright, and that means all I’ve got to do is wait. And boy, am I good at that. This is Alex, investigator extraordinaire, signing off – for now…’