• We hope you enjoy the third edition of The Wred Feather Newspaper!
Advertisement

The Wred Feather

The Student News Site of Wredling Middle School

The Wred Feather

The Wred Feather

The Sleuth’s Puzzle

A mysterious murder in 1950s New York City. A determined detective. A handful of suspects. Is this crime truly as simple as it seems?
The Sleuths Puzzle

 

OCTOBER, 1959, NEW YORK CITY.

“Here are the files, Mr. Alden.“

“Let me have a look.”

In the middle of a thunder-stricken New York City, on the upper floor of a police department, two men stood in the latter’s creaky, wooden office- rain pattering against the windowsill. The first awaited the other’s reactions to the arrangement of files spread about on his desk. 

“Co-founder of Whitney-Ross Automobiles, Theodore Doug Whitney dies at age fifty-six by murder…“ the detective mumbled as he read aloud. He rolled up the sleeves of his white collared shirt, and turned the file over. A picture of the crime scene was offered. It was black and white, and very clearly showed the outline of a dagger embedded in the back of a man. There was a dark, possibly crimson liquid surrounding the corpse. 

“It happened in his own home, sir,“ the apprentice said, adjusting the glasses that masked his light blue eyes. “A neighbor found the body.“ 

The detective fixated his gaze on the other man. “Sonny, has Mr. Ross been informed?“ 

“The first one to be notified.“ 

The detective narrowed his eyes. “Is that so? Dear Mr. Whitney- fairly well known as he is around these parts- he has no family, or friends to speak of?“ 

“Not many, sir. Family- dead and gone. Friends? Employees of Whitney-Ross claim he was a very reserved man.“

“Curious.“ The detective set the files down, clasping his hands together in front of him on the desk. “The neighbor that found the body. Who is he?“ 

“Mr. James Wilson. He owns a newspaper post down the block, sir.“ 

Without a response, the detective got up from his chair, throwing his blazer around his shoulders and grabbing his ivy cap. 

Sonny stood up as well, his light eyes widening. “Sir! Where are you goi-“

“To talk to a certain Mr. James Wilson, of course.” The detective approached him, dropping the files in his hand. “I won’t be needing these any longer. My dear apprentice, sort out my return car, and I shall see you soon.” The man then hurried out of the office- leaving the other startled.


“New York City’s Mr. Sleuth! What a lovely surprise.“

“Mr. Ross.”

Clouds upon him, the detective strode through the wet streets of Manhattan, making his way to the newspaper post. Another man- short and stout, wearing a tweed suit- began to walk alongside him. 

“I do hope I haven’t caught you here on duty,“ Ross said, his tone oddly cheerful. 

“As a matter of fact, I’m on my way to talk with a witness right now.“ Detective Alden lowered his voice slightly. “And of Whitney’s murder, no doubt.“ 

“Ah.” Ross’ earlier grin lowered, and his eyes settled somewhere else, rather than on the detective. “Tragic, really. He was a good man.“ 

“Starting a business together, I’d assume the two of you were rather.. close?” 

The old man seemed to almost force himself to look into Alden’s eyes. “Yes, quite.” 

“And how have you been faring?”

Ross inhaled, shaking his head. “Not good at first, I’ll say, Mr. Sleuth. However, I’ve.. done some thinking, you know, and I believe I’m… quite over it.” 

Alden stared at Ross for a few moments, before he caught the placard of a newspaper post in his peripheral vision. “Excuse me, but shall we continue this conversation later?” 

“A short one it was, but nevertheless, you go ahead.” Ross offered a warm smile as he allowed Alden to open the door to the building. “Please contact me if there’s anything I can do for you. To help.” 

“I will, most definitely.”


Getting Mr. James Wilson to realize the situation at hand was not difficult- and minutes later, both the man and Alden found themselves seated in a small office at the back of the newspaper post, James with a nervous smile on his face. 

“I’ll get this over with, then,” Alden said with a calm tone. He leaned forward in his seat. “How exactly did you find the body, Mr. Wilson?” 

James blinked and nodded his head, the smile still plastered on his freckled face. “The body, yes… I was on a walk with my wife in our neighborhood. The Whitney residence’s window was open, and I could hear crashing inside as if somebody had fallen.” 

“Fallen?” Alden raised an eyebrow, then cleared his throat. “Pardon me. Please continue.” 

“I heard a scream. A single scream.” James’ voice had a quiver to it. Alden watched the way his fingers fiddled with one another, fidgeting and tense. “I went inside, followed by my darling wife, and.. The man was dead. There was nobody else there.” 

“Hm.” Alden crossed his legs. “Answer me this. What do you think happened here, Mr. Wilson? What is your hypothesis?”  

It took James ten seconds to respond. His jaw tightened. “Perhaps he was in an accidental predicament where… the knife ended up in his back when he fell.”

“So you believe his death was an accident?” 

“Yes. I do,” James murmured, running a single hand through his slicked-back ginger hair, almost apprehensively. “Whitney was a good man. Nobody would ever be out to kill him. No sir.” 

“A man with a lot of money, was he not?” 

The other nodded. 

“Why so quiet, Mr. Wilson?” 

There was no response from James. At least, for a few moments, before he cleared his throat and shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “Pardon, you must understand.. I have never seen a dead body before, no, not until last night.” 

“I am very sorry you had to witness such an event.” Alden took on a gentler tone, taking his cap off and holding it between his fingers. “If you would be so kind, would you answer one more question for me?” 

“Of course.” 

“Do you believe that somebody would have willingly wanted to harm Whitney?” 

James blinked again, appearing to be deep in thought. He seemed to have specific words on the tip of his tongue before he closed his mouth and out came something different. “I don’t think the man was a victim of murder, Mr. Detective. I do not think that was the case.” 

Alden stood up abruptly. “Thank you for your time, Mr. Wilson. I will go to the neighborhood myself to investigate further.”

“Please, allow me to take you,” James said quickly, standing up also. “I have a very fine automobile, you see. One of Whitney-Ross’ designs, no less-” 

The detective raised a palm and shook his head. “It is very much appreciated, good sir. But I have a ride of my own.” He exited the office, a good idea of the situation now in his head.


“A lead, Mr. Alden?” Keeping his hand on the wheel, Sonny acknowledged Alden in the seat next to him as he drove. 

“Not quite,” he responded, gazing upon the soaked window of the automobile. “I’m good at my job, and confident in my skills, know that. It’s not the first time I’ve run into a situation such as this.” 

“Such as this?” Sonny tilted his head.

“It appears complex, this case. However, it’s as simple as they come.” The detective put a wrinkled hand to his chin, thinking out loud. “The killer wanted to frame the situation as an accident, by disappearing without a trace after the fact. All I have to do now is find a witness who can show proof that Whitney was not alone the night of his death.” 

A content chuckle came from Sonny’s mouth. “Amazing as ever, Mr. Alden. Truly amazing, you are..” 

“You’ll get there eventually, my boy.” 

“As soon as I graduate from the police academy!” A grin made its way onto the young man’s face, but it slowly faded. “Perhaps once I manage to prove myself to you, however.”

“I can’t imagine a situation where you’d need to do that, Sonny. No need to be modest- you are well on your way to be a brilliant detective,” 

Sonny sighed and shook his head. “You give me too much credit, sir.” 

The detective shrugged. “At least you know your way with a gun, young man. I didn’t get good at that for a long time.” 

The apprentice narrowed his eyes, which Alden could see clearly through the overhead mirror. “Even you hardly ever use your gun, Mr. Alden.”

Lost in thought, Alden suddenly sat up and tapped his knuckles against the window. “Sonny, drop me off here, would you?” 

The automobile screeched to a halt, as Alden gazed upon a grand, lavish brick house at the end of the lane- surrounded in police tape, and with a couple police cars parked out front. 

“Investigators still making their rounds?” Alden commented as he shut the automobile door shut, fixing the tie on his suit. 

“Did you wish to go inside Whitney’s house, sir?” Sonny asked. “My apologies, I did not plan for any proper search warranty.”

“No need. I have no reason to go inside the house.” Alden found his instincts drawing him towards an older, black-dressed woman outside the house next to Whitney’s, a shovel in her hand, and assortments of flowers and garden vegetables at her feet. “Wait here, Sonny.” 

“As you wish, sir.”

Alden made his way into the front yard of the woman, approaching her. “Good day, Madame.” 

The woman raised her head, seemingly surprised by Alden’s presence. She stood upright, still holding her shovel in her left hand. “Mr. Detective. May I help you?” Her voice seemed quiet- almost reserved of emotion.

The detective looked back at the crime scene for a moment, then back to her. “Lovely garden you have. May I ask your name?” 

The woman narrowed her eyes. “My name is Dahlia. And I have told the police everything already.” As if wishing to end the conversation there, she continued digging her shovel into the dirt of the garden. 

Alden cleared his throat, leaning in slightly, speaking quietly as if afraid somebody would overhear. “Madame Dahlia, I’m afraid this is a matter of some urgency.” 

Dahlia stopped her digging. Alden noticed something in her dark eyes- she was intimidated, perhaps even scared. At last, she spoke. “.. Well. Allow me to invite you into my home, where we can speak.” 

“That would be quite appreciated.” Alden leaned away, a content smile on his face.


“Cigarette?” 

“Thank you, but I’m alright.” 

Dahlia held a lighter up to the smoke in her hand and sat down on the silk, red couch in her home. Alden sat across from her comfortably. “Would you mind it if I asked you some questions?”

“Go ahead.” 

“How well did you know Mr. Whitney?” Alden stared intently at the other in the room, observing her response.

Dahlia sighed, still holding her cigarette in her hand. “Well, I, uh, saw him on occasion.” 

“On occasion? He lives right next door to you.” 

Her eyebrows furrowed slightly. “I’m not sure if you realize, Mr. Detective, but Whitney was never the most talkative chap. Hardly any friends. An antisocial man, he was.” 

“Did you happen to see the dead body, Madame?” 

Dahlia shook her head. “I did not.”

Alden spoke quickly, almost interrupting her. “Henry Ross. Does that name mean anything to you?” 

She seemed to be taken off her guard. “Ross. The other co-founder of Whitney-Ross Automobiles. Correct?” 

“Tell me something. Would Whitney have co-founded an organization with a man he was not close to?” 

Dahlia paused before laughing nervously and humorlessly. “I suppose he would not. Oh, do you make me sound dumb right now, Mr. Detective…” her laughter slowly died down. “Still, though, I can’t see what any of this has to do with me. Or why the topic of Ross matters.” 

“Because you know something that that you are not telling me.” 

Her expression changed instantly. That quiet, emotionless tone she had upon their first meeting quickly came back. “Why do you say that, Mr. Detective?”

“For a woman who didn’t even see the corpse, you seem quite nervous right now. Do you not?” 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Her voice became sharper, almost irritated. “If you’re here to make accusations, I suppose you kindly leave.” 

“Ah, but I still have more questions to ask you, you see.” 

Dahlia seemed to speak through clenched teeth. “Yes, Mr. Detective?”

Alden spoke slowly, almost condescendingly. “Who do you suppose murdered Theodore Doug Whitney?” 

“What makes you think he was murdered?” 

“Why, is that not quite obvious, Madame Dahlia? The dagger. Do you truly suppose that was an accident?” Alden raised his voice slightly. 

“Perhaps he was murdered, perhaps he was not. I do not see how this has anything to do with me,” Dahlia said with the same raised tone, putting her cigarette to her lips again. “I’m simply a lone widow who was tending to my garden until you showed up. What do you want?” 

“I want you to tell me the truth.” 

What truth?” Dahlia shouted. Her hand holding the cigarette trembled slightly. 

The room was quiet. Silent.

Then Alden cleared his throat, and spoke quietly, “You are frightened, and I cannot determine why. Do you not wish to tell me that you did, in fact, see the body?” 

“I saw it,” Dahlia replied with a harsh tone. “However, he was not murdered. I know that for certain.” 

Alden nodded his head steadily. “I see. And now, why was that so hard to admit?”

She exhaled through her cigarette once again, her tone full of irritation. “I assumed you may be skeptical of me if I were to have witnessed his corpse before the police did.” 

“How did you find it?” 

“I was gardening and heard screams coming from Whitney’s residence, so I made my way over,” Dahlia explained. “Some neighbors had encountered it before me and urged me not to look. But I did. I did anyway.” Her voice shook slightly, and she placed the cigarette at her feet, stomping on it to shoo away the flame. 

“And then, I assume Mr. James Wilson returned to his residence to make the call to the police?” 

She nodded. “That’s correct.” 

“There’s one more thing I’m curious about. Would you mind a last question, Madame Dahlia?” 

“I’ll answer to the best of my ability.” 

“Very well then.” Alden situated one hand under his stubbled chin, leaning his elbow on the couch-side coffee table. “Why do you still refuse to admit the blatant fact that Whitney was a victim of murder?” 

Dahlia scoffed, a vehement smile on her face. “Well, Detective- I never refused it, outright. It’s just, well, Whitney was a good man. There’d be nobody wanting to kill him. It’s possible that his death was even an.. accident.”

Alden pondered her reply for a few moments. Then, he stood up. “I apologize for taking up so much of your time. Thank you for the answers you have given me.” 

“Ah, it’s no trouble, Mr. Detective.” Dahlia extended an arm in a friendly fashion. “I insist you stay. I would love to fix you a cup of tea.” 

The detective shook his head with a warm smile. “I’m afraid I have much work to do. Another time. I’ll see myself out.”


The sky was dark- the full moon shone brightly above the trees surrounding Detective Alden’s apartment. 

He was seated in front of a fire crackling under the chimney, a book in his hands. Sonny was likely sound asleep already, in the room underneath him. 

He flipped to another page. The crickets chirped outside. The fire crackled. A window shattered. 

..A window shattered. 

Alden jolted to his feet, startled- the pamphlet in his hand dropping to the floor. The noise came from his bedroom window. 

He reached for the pistol on his coffee table, eyes widened as he stared intently at the cracked-open door to his chambers. 

Footsteps. Mumbling, coming from the other room. 

In one swift motion, Alden shot his arm up and pointed the gun directly at the door. “Who’s there?” 

There was complete and utter silence. 

Until the sounds of more footsteps arose, gradually and gradually making their way to the door the detective was aiming towards.

The door creaked open. 

Alden’s hand shook slightly- not of fear, but of puzzlement.

A face of freckles and red hair erupted from behind the shadows, following it the figure of a middle-aged woman dressed in all black. 

Their faces were serious and unemotional. 

A million questions swarmed in Alden’s head. He put it into words as best he could. “What.. have you two done?” 

Mr. James Wilson adjusted his suit jacket, the shaking in his voice seeming to betray his neutral, almost exasperated expression. “Enough that it gained me more money than I could get in an entire year’s salary at my newspaper post.”

The detective was so very overwhelmed he couldn’t help but repeat his question, nudging his finger on the trigger of the gun. “What have you two done?”

“They’ve done quite a bit of nothing, Mr. Sleuth.”

Alden aimed his gun towards the third voice behind the door, and was met with another pistol, aimed directly at his head from the distance they stood apart. 

Henry Ross. 

Dahlia hummed and brushed a hair off of her dark-colored dress, which seemed to blend in with the eerie dimness of the apartment. “Oh, please, Ross, make the deed quick. I do not desire to see such a bloody mess.” 

At first, to Detective Alden, the puzzle set in front of him seemed simple and easy to solve- a single killer that he would find within a week or two’s time. 

However, now, as he began to realize where the pieces fit on the board- this puzzle was more complex than he could have imagined.

“Mr. Sleuth?” Ross said in a singsong voice, almost a whisper. 

“You seem to be the quiet one now, don’t you, Mr. Alden?” James spoke through gritted teeth, yet his mocking words didn’t hide his anxious expression. “Once he’s dead, this will all be but a memory of the past.. Over with it, Henry!” 

“So the three of you were unstable to begin with.” Alden tightened his grip on the gun. 

“Oh, but not me,” Dahlia chuckled, before her voice lowered immensely. “You see, money is the most important thing to me right now. I need it. That is all there is to it.” 

“Madame Dahlia. Mr. James Wilson. What has this villain made you do?” Alden said in a stressed voice, his eyes remaining on Ross. 

“All they had to do was lie for me. It was quite that simple, you see.” A smirk came onto the short man’s face. “Yet, even a detective as ‘grand’ as you was unable to see through it. Tsk, what a shame.” 

With each new word, the puzzle began to make more and more sense to Alden. “You offered me a ride home in your automobile, James. And Dahlia, you offered me to stay for a cup of tea. I-” He stopped himself short, coming to a horrifying realization. 

“I see that you get it now. I have prepared for all measures to ensure my killing of Theodore would be perfect.” Ross’s taunting voice rose up and down as he began to walk out of the doorframe, towards Alden. The detective took a step back as he edged closer. “It turns out, humans are willing to do very uncivilized things, if for the sake of money. To your fortune, my lovely ‘assistants’ felt rather sheepish and decided not to kill you. I’m here to finish that job.” 

“Don’t you call us your assistants, now. I don’t enjoy all this violence, I simply wish to take my money and leave,” Dahlia muttered. 

“The men are talking,” Ross responded, his tone nothing short of cruel and unstable, as his eyes lingered on the detective. 

As Alden continued to steadily backtrack away from Ross, his eyes flashed down to the gun in his hand. 

Unloaded. 

It was useful as a threat, but other than that, Ross had the upper hand in this life-or-death situation.

“Mr. Sleuth, could you guess the other tricks I had up my sleeve?” inquired the other man with a curious tone. 

Alden snapped himself out of his panic and thought back to his interrogations, willing to play Ross’s game if it just meant he could stall and think of ways to escape this situation. 

Something clicked inside his head. He spoke a single word. “Accidents.” 

“Ahh.” Ross’s teeth opened in a broad smile. “How observant of you.” 

Perhaps he was in an accidental predicament where… the knife ended up in his back when he fell. Alden replayed those words in his mind over and over, and remembered Dahlia’s almost identical ones as well. It’s possible that his death was even an.. accident.

“It’s although you gave them a set of instructions, a script to follow in the case that they were interrogated,” Alden spoke his thoughts aloud. He then shook his head and stared at the culprit, appalled. “I never took you for a madman, Ross. Not once. How could I have misread this entire case so wrongly?” 

“Oh, don’t think I haven’t heard ALL about you and your exploits, Mr. Sleuth!” Ross began to yell. The noise rang uncomfortably in Alden’s ears. “You think you’re God- you think you can manipulate any case, any situation, so that it will always fall in your favor!” Ross laughed hysterically. “Yet, the truth above all remains that I have outsmarted you.” He laughed harder- sounding more unhinged by the second. He stopped abruptly, staying still in place from where he stood in the middle of Alden’s living room. Alden was a safe distance away. The two guns remained in the air- one loaded, the other not- and pointed at each other. “But I don’t care about that. No, no, I find no joy in the fact that I will kill you- it’s simply what needs to be done. It is, after all, what needed to be done to Theodore as well.” 

“Mark my words. You shall never get away with this,” Alden snarled. 

“I’d say a phrase along the lines of, ‘I already have’, however..” The detective could hardly react before Ross began to dash towards him, his finger lower on the trigger. “I shall halt to say that until there lies a bullet between your eyes!

Alden stumbled backward, smashing his finger down on the trigger defensively only for nothing to happen. His free arm relentlessly scanned for something near him- a weapon, anything.

It was too late. 

Alden understood that just after he turned his head to the side and covered his vision. A gunshot then shook the room.


Yet, Detective Alden was unharmed. 

He opened his eyes, and found something- rather, someone, most unexpected. 

Sonny was positioned in front of the apartment door, a pistol in his hand, and police on his left and on his right. 

Ross was unharmed as well, but just beyond him, there was a small hole in the wooden wall, where a bullet had passed through. 

Freeze,” uttered Sonny. With one hand on the gun, he used his other to gesture the police towards the three people, immediately taking Dahlia and James into restraints. 

“Off me! I am innocent!” James roared, desperately attempting to jerk himself free. Dahlia, next to him, struggled just as intensely.

“I have done nothing wrong!” she screamed frantically. 

“As far as I am concerned, aiding and abetting is a very serious crime.” Alden exhaled heavily, releasing the tension from his body as a police officer handcuffed a very stunned Ross. Alden walked closer to him, and focused his eyes on Sonny. “I knew you and that gun of yours would get you somewhere, Sonny. You saved me.” 

Sonny beamed. “Don’t worry yourself now, Mr. Alden. I don’t plan on shooting anybody today, no sir. Or any day, preferably.” 

Alden smiled back, then turned back to Ross, his face firming into a frown. “Do you have anything to say for yourself?” 

Ross breathed in and out, fury showing through his every action. “I murdered Theodore because-” 

“Because? I can guess that trick up your sleeve too, Ross.” Alden began to clarify, “This is not a simple crime. Oftentimes there is one killer, occasionally with an accomplice or two up his alley. Yet, I have never had an event where the killer actually bribes or blackmails the witnesses into aiding him.” He continued, “Everything those two said to me.. All of it was lies that you fed them, that you ordered them to spit at me, and they did so without batting an eye- so long as they received the money you promised them. Of course, it caused you no harm. Being a co-founder of Whitney-Ross Automobiles, you’re a man with quite a lot of money,” He tutted, speaking in a harsher tone. “This may be a complex crime, but there’s one simple, cliche thing that makes me doubt the genius you think you are.” 

“And what, pray tell, might that be?” Ross growled.

Alden stepped closer, saying it softly. “Your motive. Whitney was getting old- older than you are. Furthermore, apparently all the money you gained as an entrepreneur just wasn’t enough for you. You saw him sign the majority of his assets away to the company in the case of his death. And there was your ‘opportunity’.” He shook his head, disgusted. “You are not some intellectual that has outsmarted me, Ross. You are a simple man full of greed.” 

Ross was speechless, at least for a split second. He lowered the volume of his voice. “I have despised you since before the thought of murder ever crossed my head, Mr. Sleuth. You and your arrogance, your supposed ‘brilliance’..” He spat at the ground in front of Alden. “I was so set on proving you a fool.” 

“It appears you have been the fool here all along.” 

“Ohh, you would have been dead now if it weren’t for the lad with the gun!” Ross thundered, shooting an incandescent glare at Sonny. 

Sonny narrowed his eyes, walking over to the two. He gestured his head towards the police officer holding the madman. “Take him away.” 

Ross continued to fight against his restraints, and he called out, one last time, chillingly. “You will never forget me, Mr. Sleuth.”

The detective continued to gaze at him as the police officer pulled him away. “Perhaps he is right. Perhaps this will be a case I shall never forget.” He looked over at Sonny. “Ross supposedly told James and Dahlia to be vague about Whitney’s relationships, so as to not lead suspicion towards himself. The truth, however, is that Ross was a man surrounded by supporters- and Whitney only had him. Sad, isn’t it- to murder a man who cares and looks up to you, in cold blood.” 

“I wish I had been here sooner,” Sonny apologized.

“It’s quite alright, my boy. I had the opportunity to learn about everything I had interpreted wrong, you see,” Alden said. “I have underestimated this case from the beginning. The culprit was correct, however.” A smile made its way onto his face. “I would have perished, had you not arrived, Sonny.”

Sonny laughed pleasantly. “Amazing as ever, Mr. Alden. Truly amazing, you are..”

“You are no good as my mere apprentice, Sonny. You are much too grand for that,” the detective stated. “Perhaps there is a way that we could graduate you from the police academy early?” 

Sonny took the glasses off of his eyes, astounded. “You mean it?” 

“I do, most certainly.” 

The apprentice’s face lit up. “I have no words..  I would be so very appreciative if-!” 

“Ah, now, now, don’t get too excited.” Alden raised a hand. “There are a lot of proceedings to go into that. Besides.. Ah, would you excuse me for a moment?” 

“Of course, Mr. Alden.” Sonny answered happily. 

The detective nodded his head at him, before making his way down the hallway and onto the ground level. As he peered out the windows, flashing lights of blue and red shone, various bystanders standing about. 

Once arrived, he pushed himself out the front door of the apartment building, approaching Dahlia and James, the two still in cuffs as other police officers questioned them. 

Alden eyed the officers. “Excuse me, good sirs, I was the detective placed in charge of this case. May I have a word with the two accomplices?”

After an affirmative gaze from the men, the detective viewed Dahlia and James scowling at him.
“Do not call me an accomplice. I never wanted this to happen,” Dahlia said truculently. “I am no murderer. I detest violence, death, and-” 

“You are no better than Ross, Madame Dahlia,” Alden interrupted, a stern look on his face. He raised an eyebrow at James. “Nor are you, Mr. Wilson.” 

James simply looked regretful- overcome with guilt. His voice became as meek as it was when Alden had interrogated him. “Mr. Detective.. Please, have mercy. If I hadn’t agreed to take the money, Ross would have had me as a dead man..” He stepped closer, a police officer from nearby staring at him intently to ensure he wouldn’t do anything rash. His voice came out in an uncontrollable cry. “I never wanted Whitney to die, Mr. Detective! I never wished to lie to you! Please, I didn’t have a choice!”

Alden looked blankly at him. “For a man so overcome with emotion, I could almost forget how urgently you longed for me to die by Ross’s hand.”

James opened his mouth, struggling to come up with a response. “I-” 

“That’s enough, you two. In.” A police officer approached Dahlia and James, ushering them towards the open door of a car in which Ross was already seated. James gave one last tearful, heartbroken look before he was pushed into the seat, Dahlia following after him. 

Sonny came up next to Alden, and the two watched somberly as the police car drove them and Ross away. 

“Another successful case, Detective?” Sonny asked. 

Detective Alden closed his eyes and inclined his head. “I would say so.” 

“And what happens now?” 

The man turned to his apprentice and placed a palm on his shoulder. “We’re detectives. We never stop working.” 

“‘We, Mr. Alden?” Sonny repeated. 

“We.” Alden took one last, prolonged gaze at the police car before it disappeared beyond the cityscape.


(Story illustrations generated by Canva AI)
5
View Comments (5)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Natalie Rubin
Natalie Rubin, Staff Writer
Natalie is an 8th-grade writer for the Wred Feather. Writing is a passionate hobby of hers, and she is currently in the middle of writing a dark science fiction novel, hoping to publish it before the end of high school (and the two sequels following it!). She enjoys both listening to music and performing it- she plays in Wredling's Jazz Band as the 1st Alto Saxophone. She dreams of one day becoming a fantasy/science fiction/horror writer.

Comments (5)

All Wredling RedHawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • M

    Mrs. SislowMar 12, 2024 at 9:16 am

    Wow, so impressive, Natalie!

    Reply
  • H

    Haileigh PrillMar 8, 2024 at 11:01 am

    Wow, this made me want to keep reading on and on! What a great book, I agree with Hannah I see you as a best-selling author!!!!

    Reply
    • N

      Natalie RubinMar 12, 2024 at 9:02 am

      Thank you!!

      Reply
  • H

    Hannah SitMar 7, 2024 at 3:55 pm

    Girl this is so good!!! I can see you as a best-selling author!

    Reply
    • N

      Natalie RubinMar 7, 2024 at 3:58 pm

      Thank you so much!!!

      Reply