Thursday, December 4, 2014

Chasing Red

Finish That Thought #2-22 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: As quickly as [she] appeared, the [woman] in the red dress vanished into the [woods.]
Special Challenge: Include at least FOUR different words for shades of red.  "Red" doesn't count.

Taken from
As quickly as she appeared, the woman in the red dress vanished into the cluttered abyss of cyberspace. The ruby dot blinked once, twice, then disappeared as static overtook the 42” screen.

“Dang it, she’s gone again!” Murphy cursed into his headset. Fingers flattened from many years of typing on keyboards gripped the scuffed edge of the roll top desk in annoyance. The woman in scarlet always did this, always got away just in the nick of time before he came onto the scene. Like clockwork.

“Where d’you think she’ll head next?” inquired his partner on the other end. “Morocco? Venezuela?” Her southern syllables dripped with a calming patience. However, Murphy had worked with this mysterious woman—known only by her code name CrimsonHater and honeysuckle voice—long enough to recognize the subtle difference between her indifferent tone and her I’m-about-to-blow-a-gasket tone. This was definitely more towards the latter.

“I’m not sure, I didn’t find any clues this time,” he admitted sheepishly. Pulling out his datapad, Murphy licked the pad of his forefinger and flipped through the top sheets to his scribbled notes from this case. “At some point she’s got to go to Portugal to meet up with her contact there, but that’s only after she gets her hands on the Damask Files. As far as my contact here knows, she hasn’t gotten them yet.”

“Should we consult W.A.L.D.O.?”

Murphy grimaced. He hated having to resort to W.A.L.D.O. [Wayfinding Agent for Locating Distributed Objects] for any reason. It made him feel like a cheat. Besides, he’d misplaced the flash drive containing the program the last time the maid decided to do a surprise spring cleaning of his office and digging up the search engine online just irked him to no end. No one had the time to find W.A.L.D.O., least of all him.

“Negative, Crimson. We can do this ourselves. There’s got to be a clue we’ve overlooked, a question we haven’t asked. How did your interrogation go?”

A long sigh sounded through the headphones.

“That bad, huh?” Murphy turned to the world map hanging on the wall to study the scattered cherry-topped pins symbolizing red-coat sightings. He pinched a green pin from the side of the board and pressed it into Munich. Their woman wasn’t in Germany after all. “There’s got to be some sort of pattern I’m just not seeing-”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake, use W.A.L.D.O. already!”

“Fine...” Sighing in defeat, Murphy pulled up his web browser in another window. The hourglass cursor rotated again and again as he waited for his search query to bring up answers. Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?

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