Round 3 Challenge: Incorporate the death of a dog into your next passage. It should be no more than 400 words long.
If the dead doberman Frank found a week later on his doorstep next to the Washington Times delivery was an attempt to scare him off the case, it backfired. Standing in his bathrobe, a mug of black coffee in hand, Frank scanned the empty street. A note was pinned to the hound’s flank. He bent down to read it:
The letters had been individually cut out and glued from a newspaper. By the font he could tell it was from the New York Times. Frank chortled. It didn’t go wasted on him that the would-be assassins were trying to scare Frank off by sending him kindergarten messages made out of the same liberal rag that had spent all of last year creaming itself over Obama as the next messiah and all of this year making up excuses for him.
Frank sipped his coffee and contemplated the note. Most death threats were like spam to him: everyday nuisances to be promptly chucked in the trash. But this one intrigued him. In part it was the early delivery. That the terrorists had already found him out meant they had breached intelligence security. But mostly it was the message: Love, Blackjack5555.
A lesser agent would have interpreted the signoff as a signature. But Frank Braun wasn’t top dog for nothing. “Jack” also meant ‘to hunt by jacklight.’ Sandwich that between “Black” and “5555” – or May 5, 1955, the day that West Germany became a sovereign state, in the same year that opened with the assassination of the president of Panama – and the reference became a veiled allusion to the coming assassination of America’s first negro president by violent non-state actors.
But the most devious part of the signoff was the word “Love.” It was a devil’s wink. Whoever composed this note knew full well Frank would decipher it. It wasn’t a death threat, after all. It was a declaration of war. Frank Braun was up against one twisted motherfucker.
He swallowed the last of his coffee then shoved the corpse with his foot off the porch. He’d dispose of it after breakfast. There was no point in calling in the CSI team. The results would just send them on a useless goose chase.
As he went back inside, he made a mental note that the grass needed mowing.