Taking a Bite Out of Crime

This is my response to the Friday Fictioneers prompt for October 31. The challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo prompt. Play along by writing your own, reading others and/or commenting on the flashes we fictioneers create. The photo prompt this week comes from Melanie Greenwood. My piece this week weighs in at 98 words. I’m returning to the story of Ben, former police chief turned undead. You can read the other story about Ben here.

2014 10 31

Copyright Melanie Greenwood

Taking a Bite Out of Crime

Ben found it incredible that his conscience remained silent as he used the stolen key to gain entrance to the police station. The attack that stole his mortality along with his reflection had left him desperate to maintain a sense of integrity without an internal moral compass.

Tonight, the former police chief sought justice. Unable to bring it about directly, he chose an indirect method. Ben reached into his knapsack to pull out a sheet of paper and two photographs. By the light of the emergency exit signs, he located the head detective’s inbox and deposited the evidence.

32 thoughts on “Taking a Bite Out of Crime

  1. “The attack that stole his mortality along with his reflection had left him desperate to maintain a sense of integrity without an internal moral compass.”
    What a sentence! I want more.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks! *blushes* Actually, one of my projects today is to sketch out a novel or loosely connected story collection that includes this particular character. More may be coming soon.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  2. Sandra says:

    I think entering with a stolen key ranks a bit lower on the moral compass chart than getting his dinner from a chat room. He’ll get over this. 🙂

    • storydivamg says:

      Somehow . . . 🙂 Thanks for reading both stories, Sandra. It’s always fun to get feedback from people commenting on related flashes. I have a notion that my vampire slayer Lauren is eventually going to have a run in with Ben. Time will tell whether or not his undead crime fighting will garner him any favors with the agency.

      Marie Gail

  3. He makes me think of Batman. Batman always had internal struggles. The Joker did as well but went in the opposite direction. I love how your super hero deals with his internal struggles.

  4. I like how a lot of the conflict is him trying to maintain integrity without any sort of conscience. Interesting idea. 🙂

    • storydivamg says:

      This character has begun to challenge me. I’m using the idea from Joss Whedon’s Buffy-verse that vampires don’t have souls. (It fits in well with most other common vampire lore.) But I keep thinking that a truly disciplined person with a moral mind would be able to resist evil on some level. In other words, the conscience contains elements of thought even when all inhibitions are removed. In the case of Ben, even though his conscience doesn’t “prick” him anymore, there is an aversion to doing obviously evil things based on thought and intellect. This sort of individual would be rare, but it makes for a great plot device. We’ll see what happens.

      Thanks for reading.

      Marie Gail

  5. Dear Marie Gail,

    A vampire with an internal struggle. Intriguing. I love it that this isn’t empty, bloody-fanged horror.

    Did you ever see Moonlight. Nick was a vampire who fought crime and only got his blood from a blood bank. .

    Nicely done. You could get me to like this. 😉



  6. Hope it worked for him. I hadn’t pegged him as a vampire. Is this the reflection thing?

    • storydivamg says:

      There would be no reflection since he is a vampire. I did have to rely more heavily on subtle cues in this particular vampire story than I usually do in order to maintain the appropriate word count. This is my second story about Ben, and the first one (linked in my intro this week) gives more explicit details about his undeadness. 🙂

      Thanks for reading.

      Marie Gail

  7. I almost went with the reflection idea but couldn’t cram the idea into 100 words. You, on the other hand did a stellar job.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks so much, Alicia. I’ll admit it was no small feat, and I cheated a little by relying on a character from a previous story to carry it.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  8. Definitely makes me want more, Marie Gail! Clearly there are many levels. Really great reading!

  9. erinleary says:

    A zombie with a moral compass! Truly a Halloween phenomenon. Nice one. 🙂

  10. rgayer55 says:

    I like where you’re going with this. There are a lot of worse things a vampire could do than break into a police station to drop off evidence.

    • storydivamg says:

      I think so. 🙂 Today I had a fabulous brainstorming session with my live-in editor/wife concerning where to go with this concept. The biggest question: Will my vampire-slaying protagonist kill him or work with him?

      Thanks for weighing in.

      Marie Gail

  11. babso2you says:

    Loved the way you weaved this story! I began a new flash site where you get a photo prompt and the first sentence to the story. You get to finish the story! I hope that you can take a moment to check out Mondays Finish the Story! Be well! ^..^

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks so much fro reading and commenting. I’ll be checking out your weekly challenge. I need a few additional prompts to help keep my creative juices flowing.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  12. Margaret says:

    Very intriguing. I like your character. I’m thinking that the loss of conscience would mean that his decisions would be based on eith self-gratification or some kind of logical reasoning – maybe a combination of both.

    • storydivamg says:

      I’m playing with this idea. My concept is based on neural pathways and glial cells. If the anatomy of the brain itself remains the same even after a person’s soul is stolen, then it seems that a strong mental morality would become enough of a moral compass to keep that individual from devolving into a despicable criminal. But who knows? I’m having fun playing with it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  13. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Marie Gail, Good story and I figured out he was a vampire when there was no reflection. Good job and entertaining. I like the sneaking in to place the evidence where it should be. Nan 🙂

    • storydivamg says:

      This little flash was a great catalyst for my overall vamp saga. Settling in to work on that for a while today while waiting on business meetings.

      Thanks to you and all my readers here for encouraging me as the first versions of the saga emerge onto the screen. I couldn’t do it without you!

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  14. My favorite sentence (and what an amazing sentence it was): “The attack that stole his mortality along with his reflection had left him desperate to maintain a sense of integrity without an internal moral compass.”
    Great story!

  15. […] He’s been successful in eliminating several sexual predators, and I have reason to believe he has other insights to […]

  16. Ellespeth says:

    Being from New Orleans, I’m scared of vampires with human-like feelings. Ya just never know about that type.’
    I’ve liked all three of these, MG.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks! I have a few more stories in my head. First, we’ll be exploring a bit more about Agent Schrecklich. She has some issues to deal with back home in Boston.


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