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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gossip/Rumors (either or both) (10/28/10)

TITLE: Private I
By Troy Manning


The vicious rumors about me became so widespread I decided to hire a private detective to discover whether or not they were true.

Though Bill was a nice enough guy, getting spied on several hours a day could be trying. On Bill’s first day on the job, I had to learn to drive slow enough not to lose him. And though I gave him my spare key so he could sneak into my home more easily, he often lost it in the deep pockets of his overcoat and had to knock.

I debated telling Jan my fiancé about Bill, but decided against it as I feared it might provoke unnatural behavior from her when she was around me. I bought Bill a life-like inflatable doll that could sit in his car beside him when Jan and I parked on Lover’s Lane. I nearly blew his cover trying to secretly turn his attention to the conspicuous price tag dangling from the doll’s hat like a modern Minnie Pearl.

Thursday nights were movie night. Bill and I would sit down with a bag of popcorn to watch his videos of my life. My favorite episode was when I fell asleep on the couch while baby-sitting my sister’s precocious son Marty. The video depicted me snoring away while Marty maneuvered one of my hands into a bowl of warm water. Bill adjusted his camera to rapid motion so the prank’s intended result rapidly manifested. My initial surprise followed by my subsequent anger were captured, as were Marty’s imploring tears as I threatened to smite his behind with my soggy belt.

As the weeks went on, Bill became quite savvy with both his editing skills and in concealing his whereabouts. The videos suggested my life contained never a dull or private moment. Our whole arrangement was nearly exposed, however, when Jan unexpectedly dropped in one Thursday evening. I unthinkingly introduced Bill to her as my detective friend, even though I knew Jan to be an enthusiast for crime programs. Still, I was impressed at Bill’s deftness in keeping my case out of the discussion, as Jan was determined no vicissitude of his profession should go unprobed.

Eventually Jan noticed the cord extending from my television to Bill’s camera. We both reddened as she asked to see some of his footage. Bill pretended to fumble with it awhile as he advanced the tape to material he previously recorded and planned to tape over. It was a case of a suspected serial killer who turned out to be innocent of the reported crimes, having turned himself in out of sheer paranoia.

“Are there really people who would do that to themselves?” asked Jan.

“There sure are,” affirmed Bill.

“These days one never can be too careful,” I offered.

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This article has been read 763 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amanda Brogan11/04/10
This was both humorous and creative. I wonder how many of us would willingly submit to having our lives monitored 24/7? Oh, wait ... I do that with the Holy Spirit all the time. ;)

This could have been a little more on-topic, but I'll give you points for creativity. ;) Good job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/04/10
This is hysterical. The comedy is so subtle I'm afraid some may not get it but I'm enough like Bill that I thought it was a delight. I laughed throughout. Great job!
Gregory Kane11/08/10
I say, "vicissitude," a new word for me to get my teeth around. The times they are a changing. An amusing tale although I think lost the plot right at the end
Lollie Hofer11/09/10
Most definitely outside the box...found myself chuckling several times.
Noel Mitaxa 11/13/10
AS Oscar Wilde observed: "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about!" Good light touch Troy, coming from a different direction. That's a different; not a detective; er, I mean, a defective; direction. Very well done.