Murder Most Fowl

An exercise in writing the first 100 words of a story.

In writing workshops, we are told that unsolicited stories end up in the “slush” pile and the average editor will give a work the first one hundred words before giving up on it if they are not intrigued enough to keep reading. In this workshop, we were urged to write about ‘the other’. Writing from a perspective other than your own. I assume the suggestion was for men to write women, women men, gays straights, and/or straights gays. I took the suggestion one step further:


Don Fillmore was an ill-tempered duck this morning even as his webbed feet luxuriated in the cool, morning dew of one of Central Park’s grassy fields. He hated murder.

“It’s a pretty fowl deed, huh detective?” the beat cop manning the police cordon said with a chuckle.

It never ceased to amaze Detective Fillmore how people managed to lose focus on what was important when confronted with an over-sized, hyper-intelligent Mallard duck.

“You think this is funny?” Don quacked as he turned and challenged the officer standing thirty feet behind him. When the man did not look chastened enough by this rebuke, Fillmore charged the beat cop, wings flapping, and took flight. He pulled up just short of the officer, battering him with his wings, before landing and said, “there’s nothing funny about a corpse, officer. Get out of my crime scene!”

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