Sunday, October 2, 2011

Short Story Ending Contest

Here is a short story written by an imaginative high school freshman.  You are invited to write the ending of the story.  The best endings will be published at Students Publish Here along with T.T. Lacy's original ending.  The ending may be a surprise, funny, tragic, ironic, surreal or scary.

DEADLINE:  October 31, 2011

Just a Few Questions

by Thomas Toland Lacy  

It was around 1:00 am and I was so tired I didn't even want to look at my watch.  I'm a psychiatrist and my name is Tom O'Reilly. I assist in police investigations and it often means long hours. I got into this a few years ago when I helped the police interrogate a psychopath.  Now every time a looney is arrested, the detectives call me.

Tonight, when I entered the precint headquarters I was greeted by detective Jonas Stewart. 

"We got a real psycho this time," the detective told me.

I shook my head and responded, "Aren't they all? So what's up with this case?"

Stewart and I walked down the hall together as he explained, "Well, he isn't talking for one and we're pretty sure that he murdered three people."

"What name does he go by?"

"Smith.  He calls himself Mr. Smith."

"Oh great! Another cliche," I said, feeling annoyed by the prospect of spending a late night in a small interrogation room with a lack-luster criminal.

"That's all he'd tell us, Tom.  You have your hands full with this one!"

Detective Stewart started to humm.  His soft humming often continued during the interrogation, which was enough to drive me nuts.

We arrived at the door and I hesitated before entering. 

"Okay, let's see what I can find out."

Stewart shrugged his shoulders and opened the door.

The suspect was

He sat stiffly in the chair opposite me.

"Hello, Mr. Smith."

No response.

"Mind if I ask you a few questions?"

After a prolonged silence he said, "I guess so, but you're just some doctor trying to find out if I'm crazy."

No one had ever said that to me and before I could think of a reply, he said with some agitation, "Just start asking!"

"Okay.  Did you kill the Lovett family?"

"Yes I did. Why do you as?.  I'm in a different state of mind, you see. You may think that I'm insane, but I'm not... just in a different state of mind."

This was a first.  The man was admitting that he was insane, that is, assuming an insane state of mind.

I asked, "What state of mind are you in, Mr. Smith?"

"I'm perfectly sane, you see."

So that's how he wants to play, never giving me a straight answer.

"Okay.  Let's consider this: either you are sane or insane.  Which state of mind would you say describes you at the moment?"

"Well sir, I'm in between.  I know I did wrong to kill those people.  They never did anything to me, but I did it anyway."

I could feel my blood pressure rising. 


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