Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 29
EXT. SAINT SWITHUN’S HOME FOR EXCEPTIONALLY BIG-EYED ORPHANS – MORNING
We see the sun rising over St. Swithun’s Home for Exceptionally Big-eyed Orphans, which is prominently signposted. Birds are singing. Peaceful flute music – you know the music I mean – plays.
Record scratch. The music stops.
INT. SAINT SWITHUN’S HOME FOR ETC. KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS
MRS. WITHERSPOON continues screaming, hands clasped to her face. She screams for some time, eyes wide with horror. Finally, we see what she was screaming about. There is a plate on the kitchen table covered with the smeared remains of a cake. Icing is splattered liberally all around.
MRS. WITHERSPOON: Who can possibly deduce who ate the orphans’ precious cake?
Tyres screech outside.
Brutal guitar solo plays.
TITLE CARD: “SATAN AND HIS ROBOT BUDDY PAUL”
SATAN and his robot buddy PAUL burst through the wall of the orphanage. Fragments of brick fly across the room, breaking crockery and generally causing a mess.
SATAN (diabolically): YEAAAAAAAAAAH!
PAUL: Fear not, citizen. Satan is here to solve this heinous crime, and I, his robot buddy Paul, shall assist.
MRS. WITHERSPOON (relieved): Thank you, Satan, and Satan’s robot buddy Paul!
SATAN: Alright! Let’s solve this thing! First clue: somebody has sprayed debris all across the kitchen.
PAUL: It is probable that whoever did that was attempting to cover up vital evidence.
SATAN: Hmm. You’re right. Even we might not be able to solve this one, Paul. Perhaps we should just give up and go home. Maybe enjoy a really, really, really hot bath.
PAUL: Illogical. My high-tech sensors and infallible machine-mind shall make short work of this mystery.
SATAN: Yeah! That’s the spirit! You analyse the crime scene while I spray bleach everywhere.
MRS. WITHERSPOON: I must say, it’s awfully nice of you to help clean the place up!
SATAN begins scouring the surfaces with bleach while PAUL carefully removes dust and fragments from the floor using his vacuum cleaner arm.
PAUL: The culprit’s attempt to sabotage our investigation appears to have backfired. The brick dust has adhered to sticky patches on the floor, revealing some distinctive footprints.
MRS. WITHERSPOON (stepping closer): So it has! Looks like whoever gobbled up that cake has cloven hooves.
SATAN (still scrubbing vigorously): Wowzers! That does narrow it down a bit. Say, Mrs. Witherspoon, could you call the orphans in here? Like, all the orphans? I feel as though we’d have a much better shot at cracking this with several dozen orphans trampling around.
MRS. WITHERSPOON: Oh, yes! Many hands make light work and all that.
MRS. WITHERSPOON claps.
The room is instantly flooded with orphans.
SATAN: Much better!
ORPHAN #1 (pointing): Cor blimey! Somebody’s really scuffed up the door of that cupboard, they have!
PAUL examines the damage to the cupboard door using the mass spectrometer mounted on his telescopic middle finger.
PAUL: Well observed, young fellow. We would in all probability have overlooked that crucial detail, had Satan not had the foresight to pack as many tiny people as possible into this kitchen.
SATAN (laughing nervously): Yep! That was the plan!
PAUL: The gouge marks in the cupboard door contain traces of keratin. Based on this information and the marks’ shape and spacing, I can deduce that the culprit has horns.
ORPHAN #1 (pointing again): Satan has horns!
SATAN (not unkindly): Alright, ORPHAN #1, that’s enough out of you.
ORPHAN #2: And there are scorch marks on that worktop.
PAUL: From this we can infer that the perpetrator of this crime either breathes fire or smokes a pipe.
MRS. WITHERSPOON (thoughtfully): Sounds like the investigation is really coming together.
SATAN: Well, obviously it’s far too early to-
PAUL: We have a suspect!
We hear dot matrix printer noises. A small slip of paper emerges from a port in PAUL’s head.
PAUL (CONT’D): The culprit is…
SATAN: I’m just going to do some calf stretches outside real quick. You know, in case whoever it is makes a run for it and we have to chase them.
PAUL: A minotaur named Esteban who’s wearing hot pants and a Hawaiian shirt and also he plays the ukulele.
ESTEBAN (bursting out of the pantry): They’re not hot pants, they’re bicycle shorts! And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for Satan and his robot buddy Paul!
ESTEBAN throws down his pipe and makes a run for it.
SATAN: Good thing I stretched my calves!
SATAN chases after him. MRS. WITHERSPOON, PAUL, and the ORPHANS all laugh.
PAUL: Oh, Satan…
MRS. WITHERSPOON: Now if only we could work out who slaughtered the orphanage hamster and wrote the Lord’s Prayer backwards using its entrails.