Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"The Red Lamp Shade"

Carol moves into a small furnished apartment on the edge of the seedy part of town where bars dominate the landscape and nightly rentals hide the sins of the city. She unpacks hurriedly and doesn't notice the lamp by the window wears a red lamp shade and that her questions about the former tenant go unanswered. The world is a blur and opportunities await.

As she scours the classified ads later that evening for a job, a knock at her door startles her. She knows no one in the city, and no one knows she is here.

"Who is it?" She stands near the door holding a small knife.

"Bobby sent me." The man's whispery voice is horse. His words barely leach through the thin door.

"I'm sorry. I don't know a Bobby."

"But the light is on."

She glances at the lamp.

"Please. Go away."
Detective Ron Howard looks around the room. The girl lies in a puddle of blood next to the smashed door.

After dusting the lamp for prints, a CSI technician sets it upright. "An egg-shell colored shade would have gone better with this color motif."

Howard listens inattentively and stares at a torn remains of the red lamp shade. He nods. "Yes. The color of the lamp shade made all the difference in the killer's motive."

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