“When Fortune Fails”

Article courtesy of Kyle Parks of Creative Writing Club

“In local news today, town hero Philip Phell was found dead floating in a river. After a fantastically lucky day where Phell won the lottery, was promoted from assistant burger-flipper to head burger-flipper at local fast-food diner Friendly Fred’s, then helped police catch the infamous Cat Thief who had been striking fear in the hearts of the town’s cat owners for months, Phell met a tragic end. On the scene is reporter Felix Forde with Detective Frederickson, who has been assigned this case. Felix, over to you.”

“Thank you, Felicia. We are standing outside of the Fair Field apartment complex, where it is believed that our unfortunate Mr. Phell was pushed from a fourth-story balcony into a river where he then drowned. Detective Frederickson, what can you tell us about this incident?”

“Well, Felix, we’re still unsure of most of the details of Phell’s death, but the initial report indicates that he may have died of… well, everything.”

“And what are some of the circumstances of his death, if you can tell us?”

“Well, it seems he fell from the balcony onto the hill behind this building and was knocked unconscious before rolling into the river and drowning. However, we also found a stab wound in his left hand, scrapes and scratches all along the right side of his body, a small hole burned into his shirt, and he appears to have vomited recently, suggesting he may have also been poisoned.”

“Wow, that certainly is quite a way to go. Now, we also have here as a witness local firefighter Francis Finley, who claims he saw Phell’s tragic fall. Francis, what can you tell us about this incident?”

“You see, I was busy putting out a dumpster fire behind this building that I may or may not have started when I heard a scream. Well, it was more of a shriek than a scream, I guess. I don’t think people really differentiate those two words enough, but I think they’re pretty different. A scream is more like ‘Ahhh’ and a shriek also like ‘Ahhh’ but higher pitched, you know? Anyway, I turned around and saw that guy falling off the balcony, and standing up there, allegedly, was some other guy, but I didn’t get a good look at him because there was a dumpster fire behind me that may or may not have been getting out of control.”

“You say there was ‘allegedly’ another man on the balcony?”

“Yeah, I mean, it could have been a woman, I guess. They were pretty bulky, so I assumed it was a man, but you can never know, right?”

“But you can confirm that you saw another person, correct?”

“Well, probably. They looked a little weird, but I only caught a glimpse of them so maybe it wasn’t a person at all. I don’t have very good eyesight, anyway, and I also had lost my glasses that morning. Well, I didn’t lose them, per se, it’s just that I may or may not have dropped them into a burning dumpster.”

“Right. Well, thank you, Francis. The apartment building that Phell was reportedly pushed from also happens to be the very same apartment building owned by local Cat Thief Fabian Fabuleux, who only stayed here during the autumn months for reasons he has not yet disclosed. So, I think it’s suffice to say, folks, that our phenomenal Phil Phell fell fatally from fell felon’s feline-filled, four-floor Fair Field fall flat. Back to you, Felicia.”