“So what’s the case?” Sgt. Thursday asked.

Det. Columbus handed over a thin file. “A missing maybe-person.”

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Tale, a weekly feature where we collaborate to write a story. Previous Tuesday’s Tales include Debbie Does Lady Chatterly’s Green Door and Midspring Misdemeanors. We follow the basic rules of the “Yes, And” improvisational game – accept everything written so far as part of the story, and add your own paragraph (or so) where the last addition left off – except you needn’t begin your addition with “Yes, and.” I’ll start the story….


Editor’s Note: Today’s tale spoofs police dramas and crime-o-mentories about unsolved cold cases.


“A maybe-missing person?” Thursday asked. “We’re not sure if the subject is missing?”

“Oh, Elizabeth Fotherington-Grant is definitely missing,” Columbus said. “Nobody’s seen her.”

Thursday offered his patented Just The Facts face. “For how long?”

Columbus pointed his cigar at the file. “That’s the thing. Nobody’s seen her ever. No birth certificate. No school records. No criminal records. No tax records. Nothing at all.”

“Who reported her missing?” Thursday asked.

“Nobody,” Columbus said. “That’s why I suspect a conspiracy.”

“I heard that,” Woodstein said, flashing his press credential as he walked into the room. “So you think the government’s in on it?”

Columbus shrugged. “Who else could scrub all those files?”

“How did you get a file on her?” Thursday asked.

Columbus sighed. “I went to the file room and got a folder. Then I cleaned out the pockets of my rain coat and put everything in it. Then I typed her name on a label and stuck it on the folder. It’s all there.”

“Salami and Swiss on rye, light mayo?” Woodstein asked, peering over Thursday’s shoulder. “Why hold the pickle?”

“Maybe she’s allergic to cucumbers,” Columbus said. “Or pickling spices.”


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