ABC Challenge Letter P: Painted Ladies by Dellani Oakes

ABC Challenge

For NaNoWriMo in 2018, I decided to try my hand at a thriller. Not sure if I succeeded, but I did write a good mystery. Captain Seamus Fehey and his partner, Barney Collins, are out for a run, when they notice a very distinct odor on the wind. It’s not a huge surprise to find a dead body in a copse of trees nearby. The fact she’s been crucified is alarming. Seamus has been off for medical leave, and can’t take charge, so the case belongs to Barney.

Eventually, all the evidence had been gathered. The body was taken down and loaded into the coroner’s van. It trundled slowly away, heading to the morgue. Several officers took down the cross, loading it into a pickup truck. When everything had been bagged, tagged and accounted for, Barney returned the notepad and pen to the officer.

“Thank you. Not even supposed to be working today.”

The man smiled, nodding. “Keep the pad. I’ve got more.”

“Thanks. You’ve got this here?”

“Yes, sir. We’ll have someone on it until it’s released.”


Making his way to Seamus’ car, Barney grabbed a towel from the back, and spread it on the driver’s seat. Adjusting it for his lesser height, as opposed to Seamus’ six foot two, he headed home. After a shower and a change of clothing, he left the Captain’s car in his driveway, driving his own to the station. Taking a chance that Seamus wasn’t sleeping, he called him.

“Fehey. Talk.”

Barney chuckled. “You’re the only person I know who answers the phone like that.”

“No, I’m not. What’s up?”

Barney gave him a detailed report. “You okay now?”

“Better. A pill and a Guinness, I’m happier.”

“You shouldn’t take both. That can have unpleasant side effects.”

“I’m lying in my recliner. Six feet from a bathroom. I think I’ll be fine. Are you okay?”

Barney exhaled sharply. “Yeah. I’ll be better when we catch this bastard.”

“Agreed. De Santos needs a full report.”

“On my way there now. I do know a thing or two about this job. I happen to be kinda good at it.”

“Yeah, yeah. Don’t let that shiny, new rank go to your head. You’re still a dumbass.”

“Glad to know the boss has such faith in me. At least I’m not a stupid mick.”

“Bite my ass,” Seamus chuckled.

“I’ll pass, thanks. Not a fan of man-ass.”

“Go do your job.”

“Pulling into the parking lot now. Sleep. Eat. Heal.”

“Drink.” Seamus hung up.

Laughing a little, Barney pulled into his reserved spot. Grabbing his gear, he headed to his office. De Santos, the acting captain, wandered in, shortly after he got settled.

“Speak.” Taking a seat across from Barney, he listened attentively to his report.

Checking his notes, Barney gave him as clear a picture as he could.

“Excellent. Let’s catch this bastard fast.”

“That’s the plan.”

“Good. How’s Shea?”


De Santos nodded, tapping the desk with the flat of his palm, he stood. “Good.”

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Painted Ladies NaNoWriMo 2018 cover


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