The Devil’s in the Details


“Sir, is that your wife? Is that your wife, sir? Mr. Venable?”

That’s me, Igor Venable. And the doll on the slab? That’s my wife, Chiki, or what’s left of her after the son-of-a-bitch harpooned her and dragged her dying body behind a motor boat, through the tall grass of the Everglades. You know, the kind of grass that slices human skin like a gazillion razors. Razor grass–I think that’s what they call it. Now I know why it’s called a “blade” of grass or a razor “blade”.

“Sir, do you need a few more minutes?”

“Yeah, sure. Give me a few. I want to be sure, you know.”

Now all I get is a few minutes with her. Chiki use to joke about how she’d die one day: death by flip flop, on the beach. She never did nothing to nobody that they didn’t deserve. She looked real good, too, but you can’t see that now. I married her right out of the Army. She was the meanest D.I. they ever seen at Ft. Benning. That really came in handy in my business–breaking heads and whatnot. Hell, she could knock out a man in a split second–then turn around and eat dinner and not miss a beat. That was my Chiki….

“Mr. Venable?”

“Nope. That’s not her.”

Too bad they found her body. Where’s the American Alligator when you need it? This is gonna bring the Sherlocks nosing around.

2000 miles away, in Guyana


“Remy Jefferson Danton, what are you doing? Doc Jhaveri told you to stay in bed for your own good. How you gonna get better?”

“Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a broken heart transplant, Old Man. I am packing for a small sojourn to the land of thongs and birthplace of Sidney Poitier.”

“You’re going to Miami? Whatever for, Remy? That place just brings back old memories…sad memories of time wasted….”

“Old Man, time is not a commodity to be used or it will go to waste.”

“It does have an expiration date, Remy.”

“Any other day I would argue with you but not today, Old Man. Today I am in a hurry. There is a mystery for which I have been summoned to South Beach….”

“Is there a corpse, Remy?”

“There’s always a corpse, Old Man. Chiki Venable is missing.”

“You think she’s dead? In that case, you need me to go with you.”

“Not this time, Old Man.”

“Stop trying to defy the inevitable, Remy. You know you need me and you know why….”

South Beach


Igor Venable knew he could only delay the police for a short time before they figured out he was lying about Chiki. He was sitting on the lanai with a tall glass of Scotch and soda, when the answer to his troubles walked in and sat down across from him, with a bottle of “Stoli” and two shot glasses: Venable truth serum.

“What’s going on Uncle Igor? Where’s Aunt Chiki? I tried calling her all day and no answer. And, you don’t drink Scotch, Uncle. Something’s not right with the world, I just know it.”

Iris Betancourt was Igor’s niece by marriage. It was nearly unimaginable that such a sweet, delicate creature as Iris could be related to Chiki or, for that matter, that Chiki’s brother could have fathered Iris. Then again, things are not always what they seem.

Having left Igor in a drunken stupor, Iris stood over the remains of her Aunt. What she saw horrified her. The Detective caught Iris as her knees started to buckle. How could that be Aunt Chiki? The mass of flesh, blood, and bone was barely recognizable as human. Iris could understand why Uncle igor was unable to identify her. It was hard for Iris to accept that the remains were Chiki and she could understand that it was much harder for Igor to accept. Based on his behavior at the morgue, the Police considered Igor Venable to be a person of interest in the death of Christina “Chiki” Venable.

Remy left his old friend, Morpheus St. Jean, in Remy’s condo to unpack and sort out the place while he made a visit to the morgue. He arrived just in time to see Iris and the Detective leaving. Neither he nor Iris gave any indication that they were acquainted, though they were very well acquainted, as a father could be with his daughter claimed and raised by another man. Everything came to a head six months ago when Iris discovered that Remy Danton was her biological father, but nothing was resolved. Iris’s mother–the love of Remy’s life–was killed along with her husband in a small plane crash, leaving Iris with a multi-million dollar enterprise and Remy with a broken heart.

Remy stared at the remains of Chiki Venable. It was hard to believe this was once Chiki. Just then Remy had an epiphany. Remy was still a U.S. Marshall. He went on leave after the plane crash but had the idea rolling around in his head to quit the Marshall Service. Not yet. He needed to pick up some fire power at headquarters–Iris would be the next victim. He knew who he had to face to save his daughter’s life….


It was a warm, Miami night. You could barely see lightning in the distant clouds over the ocean. Remy was bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest. At his feet lay Chiki–the real Chiki–just as dead as the poor creature she killed whose pitiful remains were stored in a cold locker in the morgue. Morpheus and Iris caught Remy as he collapsed on to the Venable’s marble floor, just inches from the corpse of Igor Venable–half his skull blown all over the expensive white sofa. The Venable line was severed…

“Good riddance.” It was but a dying whisper from Remy’s lips. The last thing he saw was Iris and the love of his life was in her eyes….


2000 miles away, in Guyana

“Remy, Remy, get up. We’re going sailing–even Morpheus is going. Come on, Dad.”

“What? What happened? Am I one of the walking dead, Old Man?”

“Ha. They didn’t want you. You’re in lollipop fields, Remy, where you’re a father and that’s your daughter over there–Iris.”

“I thought I died, Morpheus. What did you do?”

Do not press the matter, my friend. Just live and enjoy life….”

“Morpheus. What about Chiki and Igor?”

“Who are Chiki and Igor, Dad? Listen, are you coming? Morpheus got us a big-ass sloop for the week. Can you believe it? And he’s going to teach me how to dive.”

Remy looked at the faces of his daughter and his old friend. There was something missing from Iris’s eyes and Morpheus never did learn to swim….

Inspiration Monday:  Defy the inevitable
Word prompts:  Defy the inevitable, death by flip flop, lollipop fields, do not press, broken heart transplant.
Word Count:  1000+

Many, many thanks to Stephanie Orges for hosting Inspiration Monday at Be Kind Rewrite



When I was a kid I wanted to be an "atomic" scientist. Not anything my mother expected of me. Well, I became a scientist, just not an atomic one.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in death, fiction, Florida, horror, humor, inspiration monday, murder, mystery
2 comments on “The Devil’s in the Details
  1. Definitely a few jaw-dropping twists in there, though I found it a bit difficult to keep track of the names. Nice!

    • Lucy says:

      Thanks. How can you forget Igor and Chiki? Such a lovely couple. Morpheus and Old Man are the same–that could be a bit confusing. Glad you liked it, though. I see Denzel as Remy. Lucy

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