Readers Gazette Short Stories


Short Story A Woman's Touch

A Woman's Touch by John Pirillo Fantasy short story

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“A Redeye And Chittles Story”
“I don't believe in love.” Redeye said over a glass of Sherry and rhubarb pie. He stirred the gooey pie on the plate before him, shaping it thoughtfully as he sipped occasionally from his crystal Merryweather Glass, imported from Gloucester.


Chittles eyed him sternly. “You've been in love more times than grass grows in the Spring.”

“We have no grass.” Redeye replied frothily, a touch of rhubarb on his nose.

Chittles pointed to his own nose.

Redeye grabbed his napkin and swabbed at Chittle's nose.

“Not mine, you idiot! Yours!”

“Oh.” Chittles responded weakly, then dabbed the pie from the tip of his beaky nose.

Chittles reached towards the center of the short dining table they use when it was just them and moved his pawn forward diagonally opposite Redeye's queen.

“That's unusual.” Redeye noted.

“Checkmate.”

“Hardly.” Redeye replied, moving his Queen diagonally until it was directly in line with Chittles' King, who had no exit in any direction but towards the King.

“Good move.”

“I rather think so.” Redeye said, squinting at his pie.

“What's with the pie search?” Chittles demanded, his temper rising as he felt more and more ignored by his good friend and detective companion.

“It resembles the kidneys that were taken from Lord Peterbrooke's body and placed on his wife's boudoir.”

Chittles had been raising his own pie to his mouth, grimaced, then placed his pie back on its plate, and shoved it away.

“You know how to ruin everything.”

“I'm an expert at it, you know.”

“Do I ever.” Chittles replied.

“No, not that, this.”

Redeye shoved his plate closer to Chittles to see. Chittles stopped fuming and his eyes widened.

“I'll get the car!”

“Righto!” Redeye replied. “I'll get the guns.”

--------------------------------------------------


They met out front of the rather sumptuous two story Elizabethan Mansion that Redeye maintained with the wealth of his inheritance from his late father, Lord Redeye of Thumberland. The Tesla made a light purring sound as its electric engine sucked in the purple and blue energies of the Tesla battery.


Redeye hopped into the front seat next to Chittles, who floored the power pedal, and sent them squealing off into the center of the road, leaving a smoking trail of rubber behind them.

-------------------------------------------------


Lady Peterbrooke sat on her fan porch, where twin fans, mounted with Tesla engines purred quietly, keeping the air stirred above her Pompidou hairdo, which was the rage of Parisian ladies at that time. She sipped at a glass of lemonade that her maid had just placed on the antique Edwardian foot table with its ornate King and Queen legs with raised gold bars. The leggings of the porch railings were also embossed with gold leafs and roses of a ruby gold metal, creating an artificial look of a garden bordering her porch and enclosing it in a warmth of nature.


In a neatly embroidered bag hanging from the side of her chair were darning needles and yarn of a colorful nature. Several of the needles seemed a bit rusty.


She eyed the New London Brazier, a rather radical newspaper that demanded freedom for women, and was co-sponsored by Lady Shareen, the fiancée of Lord Graystone, also known as the Jungle Lord. She gave herself permission to hold the paper lightly on her lap, where a gold chemise napkin laid lightly to catch any crumbs or liquid that might decide to play there.


She looked at the picture of a man standing next to Lord Graystone, which was the trademark logo of the paper. Man and woman united in power. Equal in abilities. It was New Age according to all the occultists and a sign of the coming of the New Christ who would lift up the masses and bring them on the golden trail to Heaven, where they would all live forever and ever with their accumulated wealth and power.


She thrilled at that prospect. Her late husband had as well before he...

“Lady Peterbrooke, there are two gentlemen here to see you.” Maid Margaret's said to her from the screened door, her form invisible behind it.

“Oh?”

“Lord Thumberland's son and Chittles, I believe his name was or is, I should say. Rather remarkable men too. Very strange, but different. Shall I bring them to you?”


Lady Peterbrooke rose carefully and set the paper and her lemonade down. “Please do. But ask them to wait five minutes for me to freshen before they come back here.”


“Yes, Madam.” Maid Margaret replied.

But instead of preparing herself as she had promised and indicated, Lady Peterbrooke did a very remarkable thing. She hiked her bloomers so that her stockinged legs were visible and leaped the porch railing and ran as nimbly as a rabbit for the backyard fence, where there was a ladder against it. She reached the ladder, and began rapidly climbing it.


As she reached the top, an ugly, grinning face smiled into her startled one.

Chittles touched his hat in a gentlemanly fashion. “Good day to you, Lady Peterbrooke. I have the pleasure of escorting you to your new home.”


She looked down and saw Redeye standing next to a gentleman with a severe scowl on his face.

He turned to Redeye. “Exactly as you indicated she would be and do.”


Redeye nodded, as Chittles helped Lady Peterbrooke down the ladder on the other side of the wall, then guided her to the back of a constable wagon, where Constable Evans touched his cap, then gently, but firmly escorted her into the back, and placed handcuffs on her.
“But what I don't understand is how you determined she would flee like this?”


“Rhubarb pie. You see.” Redeye leaned close to the Inspector and smiled. “When we found her husband, as she claims he had been discovered, his kidneys and intestines had been wrapped about each other like a slice of pie ready to be eaten.”


Inspector Bloodstone made a face like he was going to be sick, then stiffened. “I see. But how does this relate to the death?”
Chittles explained. “In order to wrap the intestines and kidneys about each other, one would need the correct kind of darning tools. And...”


Redeye finished. “Lady Peterbrooke is the only one within fifty square kilometers of London that has such tools.” He held up her darning bag, and thrust out the needles with the rusty stains on them. “I think once we put these stains under the proper eyes, we will discover Lord Peterbrooke's kidneys...”


“And intestines...”

“On them.” Redeye finished.

“Thus.” Chittles went on. “Redeye's rhubarb pie and Lord Peterbrooke's kidneys and intestines neatly wrapped up the case.”
This was the final tipping point for Inspector Bloodstone.

He rushed to the street and heaved his guts. After a few more moments of emptying his late breakfast, he turned to them. “Excuse my poor manners, but I didn't eat too well earlier.”


“What did you have?” Redeye inquired.


“Rhubarb Pie.”


To see more of John Pirillo's work, click the link to his website or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view his member details Visit John Pirillo's Website.

Images used for the story are John Pirillo's own work.

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“I don\'t believe in love.” Redeye said over a glass of Sherry and rhubarb pie. He stirred the gooey pie on the plate before him, shaping it thoughtfully as he sipped occasionally from his crystal Merryweather Glass,...

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