Day 30: The Cave Files

Detective Mom didn’t want to go into the cave, but it was her job.

It was a cliche, but there really were secret caves behind waterfalls in the world. Well, “secret” was a strong word–hobos and ruffians of all kinds always seemed to find them. And murderers.

Mom unholstered her pistol and balanced her gun hand on her left wrist, which was holding a flashlight. She was drenched from the waterfall. She wondered if the gun would still fire. At least the flashlight still worked.

She stepped cautiously, the bedrock floor slick beneath her boots. She painted the cave walls with light, expecting to see… something she didn’t want to see.

Something on the wall made her stop. She aimed the flashlight deeper into the mouth of the cave, but the light seemed to be gobbled up by the darkness. How far does this go? she wondered.

Stepping toward the irregularity on the wall, she dragged the light toward what she was looking at. A spatter. Red. The killer, or a hungry bear? Which was worse? She tried the radio. Her voice jumped straight back at her, then again, all around. The walkie-talkie made no sound. She put it away. This wasn’t a crime scene yet. So she kept stepping forward.

It had been decades since the murder. She could still remember the arrow wounds–in the knee, the eyes. The “Robin Hood” killer, he was called. Way to misrepresent the character, Mom always thought. Robin Hood was a rogue, but a folk hero. He didn’t murder innocents. Nobody’s daughter was killed by Robin Hood.

She blinked the wetness from her eyes. The waterfall.

Something on the ground moved.

She thumbed back the hammer and took aim.

A spider. A big spider. But a spider. She suppressed the urge to squeal. If this was her living room, it would be a different story. At least it didn’t look poisonous.

Carrying on, she saw something glinting against the peripheral of her flashlight’s beam. She followed it, careful to sweep the flashlight all around her, to cover every surface. The cave was getting tighter, but it showed no signs of ending. Wonder if this goes right into town…

The glinting was close. A few more steps, and she saw it. An old, gnarled, wooden box, green with moss and rot, but overflowing–overflowing–with gold.

Mom’s heart skipped. An immediate, domestic sort of primal twitch in her mind said, I’m rich! A treasure inside a cave. Of course.

But she looked closer. The coins weren’t gold at all. Not really.

They were loonies. Canadian loonies. Every last one.

They never thought the crimes were robberies.

 

 

Today’s random prompt categories were, “An unsolved crime,” “A secret cave” (special thanks to reader Inkbiotic for this prompt category!), and, “Mom.”

Detective Mom. Oh yes, she needs more adventures.

I’ve added a few prompt categories, but I could always use more. Feel free to comment and suggest a few, and I’ll credit you when they come up!

– H.

 

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