Golden Key

2300-word fairy tale retelling
When Detective Reginald Helms investigates a homicide near a university, the only clue he has to work from is an antique, golden key. Based on the fairy tale of the same name.

Available for purchase in:

Tell Me A Fable Cover copyTELL ME A FABLE anthology
Published Dec 2013 by Dark Opus Press

Available formats: PAPERBACK


“What do you think happened to him?”

Detective Reginald Helms scowled, biting the end of his pencil. He hadn’t been on the crime scene more than three minutes, yet this rookie cop—little more than a crossing guard, really—thought that because he had “detective” on his name tag that he was some sort of modern-day Sherlock Holmes. How many times did he have to put up with the same unoriginal jokes or remind people that it was “Helms” not “Holmes.” It almost made him want to legally change his name. Or quit the force. It hadn’t been nearly so bad until they started showing all those TV crime scene dramas, where they manage to solve the case and lock away the bad guy in the time it takes the viewer to chow down a bag of Doritos. Maybe he should consider an early retirement.

“Won’t know much till we get the autopsy back,” he said to deflect the question. He bent down in the dingy slush to study the victim. Hours ago, this path through the woods must have been completely obscured by the new snowfall. Over a foot had fallen overnight, but by the time Helms arrived on the scene, any that the sun hadn’t already melted had been stomped down into a dirty, icy-brown muck, first by the searchers, and later by the gawkers, until finally police officers that had roped off the scene and forced the nosy onlookers back to their regularly scheduled day among the living.


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